Monday, November 26, 2012

A Harmless and Quite Possibly Amusing Satirical Endeavor

[The Green Bag invites submissions for its first micro-symposium, to be published in our Winter 2013 issue, on Orin S. Kerr's A Theory of Law, 16 Green Bag 2d 111 (2012).  Welcome is any commentary on the piece, which appears in its entirety below, that is “novel, interesting, and not mean-spirited.  Humor optional.”  The call continues:]

Professor Kerr will, of course, be given a chance to have the last word. Whether he will take that chance remains to be seen.

Length limit: No longer than the original A Theory of Law, which is 164 words long, including title, byline, and footnotes. (It is reproduced in its entirety below.)

Deadline: Finished works must be received at by December 25, 2012. No extensions will be granted and no post-deadline tinkering will be permitted.

Selection criteria: Works will be selected for publication by the Green Bag and Professor Kerr based on their novelty, interestingness, and good-spiritedness.

"A Theory of Law," by Orin S. Kerr†

It is a common practice among law review editors to demand that authors support every claim with a citation. These demands can cause major headaches for legal scholars. Some claims are so obvious or obscure that they have not been made before. Other claims are made up or false, making them more difficult to support using references to the existing literature.

Legal scholars need a source they can cite when confronted with these challenges. It should be something with an impressive but generic title. I offer this page, with the following conclusion: If you have been directed to this page by a citation elsewhere, it is plainly true that the author’s claim is correct. For further support, consult the extensive scholarship on the point.[1]

† Orin Kerr is the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at the George Washington University Law School.

[1] See generally Orin S. Kerr, A Theory of Law, 16 Green Bag 2d 111 (2012).

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