Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2007


References to the concept of symmetry have appeared in judicial opinions, advocacy efforts, and scholarly commentary throughout American legal history. But for every legal writer who invokes the concept as a logical or moral ideal, there is another who dismisses it as a formalistic distraction or an arid illusion. What is more, although legal writers virtually always use the term “symmetry” as if its meaning were self-evident, in fact they have used the same term to refer to a variety of distinct concepts, each with its own ambiguities.