Creative moments in law

June 2, 2008
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Valparaiso University School of Law professor Robert Blomquist has written a paper, “Thinking about Law and Creativity: On the 100 Most Creative Moments in American Law.” Blomquist sent a survey to a bunch of legal historians to find out what they felt were some of America’s most innovate legal moments. Of course, the U.S. Constitution and the ratification debates top the list, followed by other important U.S. documents – the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Articles of Confederation.  

More modern moments include Brown v. Board of Education at No. 10; Roe v. Wade, at No. 21; the Civil Rights Act at No. 34; and Miranda v. Arizona at No. 82. Even former U.S. Vice President Al Gore made the list at No. 68 with his book, “Earth in the Balance,” and movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The case Goldberg v. Kelly, which dealt with due process and welfare recipients, came in at No. 100. A complete list of the rankings and professor Blomquist’s 98-page paper can be read here.



 What do you think about the list? Do all the documents that our Founding Fathers created belong at the top or should something else have been ranked higher? Anything on the list (or that didn’t make the list) surprise you?
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  • Curious the 14th amendment isn\'t ranked higher given its somewhat duplicitous nature. On its face, it grants rights to individual citizens but its lasting affect has been to take rights away from states. I don\'t argue with its wisdom necessarily, but such a stealthy maneuver on such a grand scale strikes me as pretty creative.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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