In this article, Levine explores some of the ways in which Jewish law may shed light on issues in American constitutional theory. While acknowledging that there are fundamental differences between a religious legal system and a secular one, he attempts to show that certain conceptual similarities between American law and Jewish law allow for meaningful yet cautious comparison of the two systems. Part I provides a broad historical and analytical overview of interpretation in Jewish law. Part II of the Article offers a specific conceptual framework for comparing Jewish law with American law. Levine considers questions of flexibility in legal interpretation in the two legal systems. In particular, Part II compares and contrasts the notion of "rules and standards" in Jewish law and American constitutional law. Finally, Levine concludes with the hope that the current turn to the Jewish legal model in American legal scholarship will continue, but through a principled and accurate view of the Jewish legal system, in order to allow for illuminating comparative study.
24 Hastings Const. L. Q. 442 (1996-1997)
24 Hastings Const. L. Q. 442