NewYorkUniversity
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Pierre Schlag

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Hiding the Ball

Pierre Schlag

Lawyers, judges, law teachers, and law students are forever telling each other what the law is. Whether they are issuing briefs, opinions, or law review articles, they are forever staking out legal positions. And when they stake out these legal positions, they are always ascribing them to some ostensibly authoritative legal source. Hence, it is that legal actors and legal thinkers say things like, “The Constitution requires… ,” “The doctrine of worthier title provides … ,” “The parol evidence rule states that… ,” “18 U.S.C. 1503 prohibits … .” And so on.