14 March 2011

The Anti-Canon

Dystopia isn't just for science fiction writers.

Argument from the “anticanon,” the set of cases whose central propositions all legitimate decisions must refute, has become a persistent but curious feature of American constitutional law. These cases, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, and Korematsu v. United States, are consistently cited in Supreme Court opinions, in constitutional law casebooks, and at confirmation hearings as prime examples of weak constitutional analysis.

From here.

Some anti-canonical examples pre-date the Republic. For example, the "Star Chamber" is a classic anti-canonical example against which the Bill of Rights protections for due process are examined.

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