It is doubtful whether American legal institutions have witnessed a more far-reaching procedural reform since New York adopted its Code of Civil Procedure in 1848, than the movement toward the authorization of judicial declarations of rights which has received its chief impetus from legislation enacted in three American States during the past year. A somewhat timid step in this direction was taken by the New Jersey Chancery Practice Act of 1915, but it disclosed a want of confidence in the broad effectiveness of the remedy. Now for the first time American legislation has definitely committed itself to the principle that an adequate system of remedial law requires courts to offer remedies in advance of the happening or even of the threat of any wrongful act and to authoritatively advise parties as to what their legal rights may be in the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Sunderland, Edson R. "The Courts as Authorized Legal Advisors of the People." Am. L. Rev. 54 (1920): 161-92.