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The past twenty years have witnessed an explosion of public law scholarship, as legal scholars reconceptualized themes of administrative law, legislation, and constitutional law; created almost from scratch whole new areas of public law scholarship, including discrimination, environmental, and consumer protection theory; and enlivened discourse with concepts drawn from microeconomiqs, public choice theory, civic republicanism, practical philosophy, and hermeneutics. This intellectually intense activity has suggested the possibility that public law discourse has entered a "critical stage"1 and stimulated the Michigan Law Review to hold a conference in October 1990 on whether there is something that might be called "New Public Law." At first we thought there certainly was. We still do, but on further reflection we think that the more interesting inquiry is how these new developments in public law relate to the recent politicization of jurisprudence.

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