Crossing the Next Meridian

Written by Charles F. Wilkinson

I wish to explore, then, a set of questions that, when fairly presented, are clouded with ambiguities and subtleties, with gray areas and close calls. But these questions are not fairly presented due to the lords of yesterday and the forces that perpetuate them. The law of the American West has become a classic case of what can happen when the normally salutary tendency of the law toward stability becomes subverted, when societal change far outstrips entrenched rules: when that happens, as legal scholar Roscoe Pound has observed, law can become "in very truth a government of the living by the dead."

p. 25

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