Working Paper No. 13-05:
Micro-Symposium on Orin Kerr's "A Theory of Law"


Ross Davies

Date Posted: January 2013

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For more than a century, careful readers of the Green Bag have known that “[t]here is nothing sacred in a theory of law . . . which has outlived its usefulness or which was radically wrong from the beginning. . . . The question is What is the law and what is the true public policy?” Professor Orin Kerr bravely, creatively, and eloquently answered that question in his article, “A Theory of Law,” in the Autumn 2012 issue of the Green Bag. Uniquely among all theories of law that I know of, Kerr’s answer to the fundamental question of law and true public policy enables all scholars to answer that same question in their own ways. The Green Bag is pleased to be featuring his “A Theory of Law” in its first micro-symposium, and just as pleased with the quality, quantity, and diversity of the responses to the call for papers. Blessed with an abundance of good work but cursed by a shortage of space, we were compelled to select a small set – representative and excellent – of those essays to publish in the Green Bag or its sibling publication, the Journal of Law. We regret that we cannot do full justice to the outpouring of first-rate legal-theoretical commentary we received.

Contributors include Laura I Appleman, Shawn Bayern & Jeffrey Kahn, Adam D. Chandler, Robert D. Cheren, Miriam A. Cherry & Anders Walker, Ross E. Davies, Lee Anne Fennell, Paul Gowder, Caitlin M. Hartsell, Kieran Healy, Robert A. James, Orin S. Kerr, Jacob T. Levy, Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, Orly Lobel, Geoffrey A. Manne, Theodore P. “Jack” Metzler, Chad M. Oldfather, Ronak Patel, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Alexandra J. Roberts, Kent Scheidegger, Arthur Stock, and Ryan C. Williams.