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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Learned Hand on the Constitution

I'm doing some research on Judge Hand for the paper that I'm now writing, and I came across this gem in a tax case that he wrote in 1930.

"[C]onstitutional limitations are not indifferent to the occasions of the statutes they affect. They represent a mood rather than a command, that sense of moderation, of fair play, of mutual forbearance, without which states become the prey of faction. They are not the rules of a game; their meaning is lost when they are treated as though they were." Daniel Reeves, Inc. v. Anderson, 43 F.2d 679, 682 (2d Cir. 1930).

I think this line was something of a precursor to his language in the famous "Spirit of Liberty" speech of 1944. Or at least that's what I may say in the paper.

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on June 14, 2022 at 09:38 PM | Permalink


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