Publication Date



One of the chief intellectual discoveries of the past four years has been the degree to which government rests on norms: on a shared sense of the proper way to go about the business of government. This is unsurprising for followers of the law and society movement, with which the Baldy Center is so closely associated. From the beginning, scholars of law and society have demonstrated the limits of formalism in explaining how the law actually works. One can think of the Trump presidency as finally demonstrating for the wider world of legal scholars, the essential role of shared understandings, legal culture, accepted practice, informal conventions, and customs in our separation of powers. The judge-made doctrine has changed only at the margins, and its major holdings remain intact, but the real meaning of separation of powers has been altered dramatically.