The Form or Shape of Constitutional Law

AuthorCharles D. Kelso; R. Randall Kelso
ProfessionProfessors of Law

As discussed at ß 1.2.1, Aristotle illustrated the use of four causes to explain any thing or situation with the famous silver bowl example. The material cause of a silver bowl was, of course, silver. Its efficient cause was the hammering of the silversmith and its final cause the purpose for which the bowl was intended. The fourth cause was the form or shape which identified the thing as a bowl rather than a plate or a vase.1 With respect to constitutional law, the form or shape of constitutional law is dependent primarily on interpretations of the Constitution produced by authorized government officials, particularly the Supreme Court of the United States. For this reason, although the impact of other governmental actors and citizens generally play some role in the form or shape of constitutional law, as discussed at ßß 17.1.2 & 17.1.4, Part II of this book focuses predominantly on an overview of the elements that combine to define an act of constitutional interpretation by courts.

Part II is comprised of four...

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