Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kelsen’s Glue

Now that we have described John Austin’s command theory of law, or Legal Positivism 1.0 (see here), let us turn our attention to Legal Positivism 2.0–Hans Kelsen’s self-described “scientific” or “pure theory” of law. (Here is a short bio of … Continue reading

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Tyrannosaurus Thursday

Check out the 3D-printed T-Rex shower head pictured below, which is available for download for free from MakerBot’s Thingiverse. Hat tip: @pickover.

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Teaching Tiger King

I am interrupting my series of blog posts on “legal positivism” to share my most recent work-in-progress, which is titled “Teaching Tiger King“–a rough draft of which is also available here via the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). I have … Continue reading

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Who commands the commander?

What is “law”? And how can we distinguish law from morality? I identified three competing theories of legal positivism in a previous post. Here, I want to focus on the first of these theories, John Austin’s famous “command theory of … Continue reading

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One-word Wednesday

One of my favorite blogs (View from the Back by Sheree) has a “Wordless Wednesday” category for photographs that need no further comment or elaboration. Sheree invited me to follow suit, but what if the object being photographed itself has … Continue reading

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Thrasymachus: father of legal positivism

In their entry for “legal positivism” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), Leslie Green and Thomas Adams define this theory of law as “the thesis that the existence and content of law depends [sic] on social facts and not … Continue reading

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Memo to the Florida Bar

Before I begin blogging about legal positivism, I want to go on the record and send the following succinct message to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners: it’s time to pull your heads out of the sand and cancel the … Continue reading

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Masks and the Constitution

My friend and colleague Josh Blackman writes, “Would a constitutional challenge to a mask-mandate be viable? Under Jacobson v. Massachusetts the answer is no. Is Jacobson consistent with a century of Due Process Clause jurisprudence? No. Several judges have already begun to … Continue reading

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Taxonomy of pasta

hat tip: @pickover

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They had style, they had grace …

(With apologies to Madonna.) While many of you are fast asleep or binging on contemporary Netflix shows, I have been staying up late all week savoring many film noir classics. Last night, for example, the Movies! TV Network broadcasted the … Continue reading

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