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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