Can irony play a role in the construction of statutes? In the following articles, legal scholars Richard Lempert and Peter Westen debate the point, taking, as their context, the Supreme Court decision in United Steelworkers v. Weber, a 1979 affirmative action case that brings to the fore the moral dilemmas posed by such programs.
Professor Lempert's initial article originally appeared in Ethics 95 (October 1984), published by the University of Chicago Press. Professor Westen's response, and Lempert's rejoinder to it, were written especially for Law Quadrangle Notes.
Richard Lempert is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan Law School; he also holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. He is partic-ularly concerned with the problem of applying social science research to legal issues. He is editor of the Law & Society Review.
Peter Westen received his B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was editor in chief of the California Law Review. After serving as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas, he worked abroad and in Washington, D.C. He joined the Law School faculty in 1973. His principal scholarly interests are in the fields of judicial procedure and legal theory.
Richard Lempert & Peter Westen,
Point/Counterpoint: A Debate on Irony and Interpretation,
Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/lqnotes/vol29/iss2/5