From the Particular to the General: Three Federal Rules and the Jurisprudence of the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts

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With the possible exception of John Marshall, the Justice most frequently quoted by legal scholars is almost certainly Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Following that practice, I begin with an appropriate Holmesian injunction: our “business as thinkers is to make plainer the way from some thing to the whole of things.”1 Accordingly, the purpose of this Article is to suggest that recent Supreme Court decisions construing three Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “make plainer” some salient aspects of a particularly important “whole”—namely, the jurisprudence of the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts.

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