Pretending To Be Free: Oliver Wendell Holmes As a Victorian Revolutionary


Skeptical of Truth and of its assumed relation to public policy, Oliver Wendell Holmes tended to approve of legislation so long as it adhered to proper procedures. He had no need, unlike is great colleague Brandeis, to evaluate the substance of legislative acts. The entire process, irrational in its premises, was sufficient unto itself. He presumed the legislature reflected the public will, almost always devoid of reason. The judiciary’s sole role was to assess the legislature’s adherence to the rules of legislative procedure as laid out in the Constitution. Judges were arbiters of the rules not of the wisdom of legislation

Keywords: Enlightenment, Legislation, Louis Brandeis, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Policy, Procedure, Will

Unique Article ID: GJPLR-104

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