Rhetorical Processes and Legal Judgments: How Language and Arguments Shape Struggles for Rights and Power

Rhetorical Processes and Legal Judgments: How Language and Arguments Shape Struggles for Rights and Power

by Austin Sarat (Editor)


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Over the last several decades legal scholars have plumbed law's rhetorical life. Scholars have done so under various rubrics, with law and literature being among the most fruitful venues for the exploration of law's rhetoric and the way rhetoric shapes law. Today, new approaches are shaping this exploration. Among the most important of these approaches is the turn toward history and toward what might be called an 'embedded' analysis of rhetoric in law. Historical and embedded approaches locate that analysis in particular contexts, seeking to draw our attention to how the rhetorical dimensions of legal life works in those contexts. Rhetorical Processes and Legal Judgments seeks to advance that mode of analysis and also to contribute to the understanding of the rhetorical structure of judicial arguments and opinions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107155503
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Associate Dean of the Faculty at Amherst College, Massachusetts and Justice Hugo L. Black Senior Faculty Scholar at the University of Alabama School of Law. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the recent A World without Privacy (2014), Civility, Legality, and the Limits of Justice (2014), and Re-imagining To Kill a Mockingbird: Family, Community, and the Possibility of Equal Justice under Law (2013). His book When Government Breaks the Law: Prosecuting the Bush Administration was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Huffington Post.

Table of Contents

The relevance of rhetoric: an introduction Austin Sarat; 1. From 'equality before the law' to 'separate but equal': legal rhetoric, legal history and Roberts v. Boston (1849) Eric Slauter; 2. The civlizing hand of law: defending the legal process in the civil rights era Christopher W. Schmidt; 3. The evolving rhetoric of gay rights and same-sex marriage debate Teresa Godwin Phelps; 4. The rhetoric of precedent Bernadette Meyler; 5. Alternative perspectives on legal rhetoric: persuasion, invitation and argument Linda L. Berger; Afterword. Use your words: rhetoric as absence of law, rhetoric as essence of law Adam Steinman.

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