Super Statute
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Super Statute

The term super statute was applied in 2001 by William Eskridge and John Ferejohn to characterize an ordinary statute whose effort "to establish a new normative or institutional framework ... 'stick[s]' in the public culture" and has "a broad effect on the law".[1] As a result, it has a "quasi-constitutional" significance that exceeds its formal status as a statute.

Other uses

According to Eskridge and Ferejohn, previous legal commentators had used the term "super-statute" for other purposes. Some writers have used the term to describe a constitution, e.g., A. E. Dick Howard, The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and the Constitutionalism in America (1968, pg.122) (stating that American lawyers in the eighteenth century viewed the Magna Carta and the common law it was thought to embody "as a kind of superstatute, a constitution placing fundamental liberties beyond the reach of Parliament"). Other writers believe it's simply a big statute with no force outside its four corners, e.g., Bruce A. Ackerman, "Constitutional Politics/Constitutional Law", 99 Yale Law Journal 453, 522 (1989) ("Superstatutes do not seek to revise any of the deeper principles organizing our higher law; instead, they content themselves with changing one or more rules without challenging basic premises.").[1]


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