Robert Post, 21 February 1991
In America, at least, legal realism stripped the law of its pretensions to transcendental purity in the early years of the 20th century. Our legal project consequently turned toward the creation of a merely human law, one that could serve as an instrument for the achievement of social purposes. To the surprise of many, however, our law has nevertheless managed to retain an authority quite astonishing in its robust power to silence competing perspectives and to impose a legitimacy seemingly grounded on nothing more than its own brute assertion. The effort to explain this striking authority has led to the proliferation within American legal academies of important and influential movements like critical legal studies and critical legal sociology.