The Alchemy of Race and Rights Themes

Patricia J. Williams
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Patricia Williams is a prominent member of the critical legal studies community, although she has her criticisms. The school arises in response to the liberal theory of law, which holds that law is best administered impartially and that the law must be stable, predictable over time, and structured in general terms, abstracting from the particularities of race, class and the like. Law is made determinate over time through the build-up of precedent, which is thought to be a fairly structured accretion of discovery about the proper application of the law. The liberal theory of law also sees a lot of law as actually fair, restraining the rich and powerful from taking advantage of the weak.

The traditional and classical liberal view also emphasize that law should be classified into clear and distinct categories that everyone can understand. It calls judicial activism dangerous because...

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