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Constitutional Theory

Demosprudence Through Dissent

In the lead up to Volume 134, theĀ Harvard Law Review republished five classic Critical Race Theory articles from our archives. This is the fifth and final piece in our series. The full version of the Foreword may be found by clicking on the PDF link to the left.

In her 2007 Foreword, Professor Guinier argues that oral dissents, like the orality of spoken word poetry or the rhetoric of feminism, have a distinctive potential to root disagreement about the meaning and interpretation of constitutional law in a more democratically accountable soil. Drawing on a host of recent cases and a wide range of theories of democracy, she argues that oral dissents may spark a deliberative process that enhances public confidence in the legitimacy of the judicial process. Oral dissents, she concludes, can become a crucial tool in the ongoing dialogue between constitutional law and constitutional culture.