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America’s Unwritten Constitution by Akhil Reed Amar

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CHAPTER 5

PUTTING PRECEDENT IN ITS PLACE

America’s Doctrinal Constitution

In 1973, Justice Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade

HARRY BLACKMUN (left) AND WILLIAM REHNQUIST (right) (1976).

In 1973, Justice Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade and Justice Rehnquist dissented. In 1992, the two again squared off, as the Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey pondered not merely the specific scope of abortion rights but also the proper weight to be given to precedent. Although Rehnquist by this time had become chief justice, he once again found himself in dissent.

WHEN NOT SPINNING INTO PARADOX,* self-referential statements often bring matters into sharp focus. So it is with the Constitution, ...

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