Chapter

Legislation, Authority, and Voting

Jeremy Waldron

in Law and Disagreement

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198262138
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682308 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262138.003.0005
Legislation, Authority, and Voting

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Chapter 5 focuses on the processes involved in the enactment of laws in the legislature including voting and majority decision. The chapter looks at the process whereby a proposition ceases to be merely an anchor for discussion and is given authority as a source of law. Whether courts use majority-decision or not, the question with respect to legislatures needs to be faced squarely. The chapter poses a number of questions: what are we to make of the relation between legislating and voting, in an ideal model? How can we possibly present legislation as a dignified and respectable source of law, when we recall that a given statute might have had no legal standing at all if some individual had happened not to be present in the legislature when a particular vote was counted, or if a whim had moved him to vote the other way? How should that awareness bear on our interpretation of the provision, and on the spirit in which it is received and integrated into the law?

Keywords: legislature; voting; majority decision; consensus; deliberation

Chapter.  15140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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