- Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:03 pm
There are at least two problems with answer C, kmpaez, and one of those is the word "most" - there is no evidence in the passage to support the claim that most laws are applied based on substantive, rather than formal, reasoning. They are more common in the U.S. than in England, but that doesn't get us anywhere near "most". The second problem is perhaps a bigger one, and that is that substantive reasons are NOT legal in nature, but according to the passage "are based on moral, economic, political, and other considerations." They supplement our understanding of the law, but they are not themselves the law.
As to answer D, there is nothing in the passage that suggests anything about how often judges get their specific rationale from substantive reasoning, nor is there any suggestion that substantive reasoning is ever used to support a complete disregard of the law. Instead, the suggestion is that substantive reasoning is used to interpret and apply the law in ways that may not comply with the formal language of the law, but instead with the underlying intent or purpose of the law. Judges who follow substantive reasoning rather than formal reasoning may come to a decision that appears to be contradictory to the formal letter of the law, but that doesn't mean they are disregarding the law, but instead interpreting it in a particular way. That's the difference between the formal and substantive approaches - both are about following the law, but with potentially opposite results.
Adam M. Tyson
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