Applying Legal Precedent Molded By Local Interests Essay

772 Words Aug 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Is the notion of legal precedent molded by local interests? Barbara Yngvesson, in her essay entitled Inventing Law in Local Settings: Rethinking Popular Legal Culture, asserts that the foundation of justice and communal identity rests with the American court system. Though all members of the judiciary body remain “unbiased,” this idea suggests an overpowering force behind local petitions which are, thus, used as vehicles to deliver justice and identity. Linda Greenhouse, author of Becoming Justice Blackmun, offers an alternative approach to this question through detailed analysis of the career of Justice Blackmun. With deep insights, Blackmun effectively conveys stare decisis in relation to restrictions the Supreme Court places on certain aspects of justice and local identity. However, the perspectives pertain to two distinct groups within the American legal system; Yngvesson discusses local courts, whereas Greenhouse’s narrative describes federal courts. Although the accounts represent the different parts of the American legal system, their convergence outlines the rigid relationship between state and federal courts. Considering the unbiased nature of judges at any level, Yngvesson’s arguments provide no merit; however, precedent, as described in Becoming Justice Blackmun infiltrates the American populous and, thus, becomes the driving force behind sentiments of justice and identity. Therefore, precedent, in any setting, whether state or federal, dictates a mutual…

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