Law and Creativity

Given the heavy reliance on precedent in Anglo-American common law, creativity is not the first thought one has when thinking about the development of the law. But in Thinking about Law and Creativity: on the 100 Most Creative Moments In American Law, Prof. Robert F. Blomquist of Valparaiso University School of Law, does just that as he sets out a tentative list of the 100 most creative moments in American law. His criteria in compiling the list include five arguable aesthetic characteristics of artistic creativity that he parallels to legal creativity. They are originality, working within traditional forms, “objective perspective”, “the subjective view” and whether “consumers can have a role in co-creating the work”. Most of the top ten events on the list, according to Blomquist, are “associated with the articulation of basic governmental foundational principles for the new American nation during its first decades of emergence as a democratic-republic” and are:

1. The Constitution of the United States (1787) and the ratification debates (1787-1788)
2. The Declaration of Independence (1776)
3. The Bill of Rights (1791-1792)
4. The Articles of Confederation (1777)
5. The Ordinance of 1787: the Northwest Territorial Government
6. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
7. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
8. The Judiciary Act of 1789
9. President Lincoln’s suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War (1861-1865)
10. Brown v. Board of Education (Brown I & Brown II) (1954-55)

The only entry on the list dating from the 21st Century is No. 68. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (1992) and An Inconvenient Truth (2006).

Source: BeSpacific, dated May 24, 2008