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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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