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Objective Judicial Review

Tara Smith

Presented at: Book Release - Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System 2016

Date: Jan 26, 2016

Smith, professor of philosophy and BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism at the University of Texas – Austin, is interviewed here by Steve Simpson, director of legal studies at the Ayn Rand Institute. In this interview, Tara Smith describes the genesis of her book, Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System (Cambridge University Press 2015), and talks about the Rule of Law and its relationship to objectivity. 

  • How does a professor of philosophy come to write a book about judicial review? And why does the concept of objectivity figure so strongly in how she believes judges should do their work? 
  • What is an objective legal system? Where does a legal system get its authority to use force? Is the Rule of Law a value-neutral concept?
  • Tara Smith distinguishes her approach to judicial review from originalism, textualism, minimalism and other theories.

philosophy of law

Parts: 3

Handout: none


  • YouTube, 2016 (En) - 9 mins - Part 1 - Tara Smith on Her Book's Origins
  • YouTube, 2016 (En) - 17 mins - Part 2 - Tara Smith on Law's Moral Authority
  • YouTube, 2016 (En) - 8 mins - Part 3 - Tara Smith on Her New Approach