Judicial decision-making is not a neutral and logical enterprise that involves applying clear rules to agreed-upon facts. Legal educators can and should help students learn more about how judges actually go about making their decisions. The study of re-imagined judicial decisions, such as the alternative judgments from various Feminist Judgments Projects, can enrich the study of law in multiple ways. First, seeing a written decision that differs from the original can help students think “outside the box” constructed by the original opinion by showing them a concrete example of another perspective written in judicial language. Second, the rewritten judgments show law’s potential to change and its ability to serve different accounts of justice. Third, alternative judgments counter the narrative that law is objective while other arguments are political or biased. Fourth, feminist judgments provide tools for students to understand how persuasion and explanation are able to work effectively — in many different guises — even within the significant conventions and constraints of legal practice. Finally, but by no means least important, alternative feminist judgments are one of the only ways that “outsider” students — those whose perspectives have been historically erased or marginalized in law — can see themselves and their lived experiences reflected in the law. The Appendix to this essay includes short descriptions of courses drawing on rewritten decisions from the U.S. Feminist Judgments.
98 Texas L. Rev. Online 40 (2019)
Berger, Linda L.; Stanchi, Kathryn M.; and Crawford, Bridget J., "Learning from Feminist Judgments: Lessons in Language and Advocacy" (2019). Scholarly Works. 1271.