The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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What is the Politics of Law?

Introduction

Source: Kairys, David. "Introduction." Politics of Law: A progressive critique. Ed. David Kairys. 3rd ed. Basic Books, 1998.


"Decisions are predicated upon a complex mixture of social, political, institutional, experiential, and personal factors; however, they are expressed and justified, and largely perceived by judges themselves, in terms of "facts" that have been objectively determined and "law" that has been objectively and rationally "found" and "applied."

Judges, like the rest of us, are immersed in the culture that pervades their daily lives and form values and prioritize conflicting considerations based on their experience, socialization, self-perceptions, hopes, and fears. ... This is the great source of the law's power: It enforces, reflects, constitutes, and legitimizes dominant social and power relations without a need for or the appearance of control from outside and by means of social actors who largely believe in their own neutrality and the myth of nonpolitical, legally determined results."

To examine some of the more vocal social actors of the church/state separation debate. please return to The Politics of Law and the Courts