Article Title



Pierre Schlag


Justice, goodness, rightness, truth, fairness, efficiency, order, progress, freedom, equality, security, tolerance, neutrality, community, honesty, loyalty, convenience, clarity, precision, comprehensiveness, consistency, rationality, elegance, rigor. These are just some of the key political, ethical, and aesthetic values of contemporary American law.

Much of American legal thought is dedicated to the identification and classification of these values in terms of rank, intensity, scope, compatibility, and commensurability. These values are analyzed, clarified, systematized, reconciled, balanced, sacrificed, overcome, and overwhelmed. Their implications are traced. They are deployed to support or attack sundry agendas. They are used to justify, redeem, uplift, motivate, command, and defeat. They feature at all stages in legal arguments: in their origins, their frames, their development, and their terminus.