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Failures of American Methods of Lawmaking in Historical and Comparative Perspectives


  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107198159

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About the Authors
  • In this book, James R. Maxeiner takes on the challenge of demonstrating that historically American law makers did consider a statutory methodology as part of formulating laws. In the nineteenth century, when the people wanted laws they could understand, lawyers inflicted judge-made, statute-destroying, common law on them. Maxeiner offers the cure for common law, in the form of sensible statute law. Building on this historical evidence, Maxeiner shows how rule-making in civil law jurisdictions in other countries makes for a far more equitable legal system. Sensible statute laws fit together: one statute governs, as opposed to several laws that even lawyers have trouble disentangling. In a statute law system, lawmakers make laws for the common good in sensible procedures, and judges apply sensible laws and do not make them. This book shows how such a system works in Germany and how it would be a solution for the American legal system as well.

    • Encourages renewing systematization of America's laws
    • Facilitates finding the law by people and legal professions, and focusing on facts
    • Legitimizes democratic lawmaking and better realizes the common good
    • Presents to the people one government of laws instead of competing and conflicting federal and state rules that delegitimize government
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107198159
    • length: 358 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 176 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Introduction: of governments and laws
    2. Common law is not an option
    Part II. What Americans Sought: A Government of Laws, Not of Men:
    3. America's exceptionalism in 1876: systematizing of laws
    4. Founding a government of laws
    5. Building a government of laws in the first century of the republic
    Part III. What Americans Got: Deranged Laws:
    6. A rule of lawyers: two centennials
    7. From the gilded age to Google
    8. Inviting comparison: a gift horse in two lands
    Part IV. What Americans Can Do: Improve Legal Methods:
    9. Systematizing and simplifying statutes
    10. Making laws for a government of laws
    11. Federalism and localism
    12. Constitutional review
    13. Applying laws
    14. Appendix: place of foreign law in American legal scholarship
    Suggestions for further reading

  • Author

    James R. Maxeiner, University of Baltimore
    James R. Maxeiner is the Associate Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Baltimore.

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