The Green Bag
Court's decision would almost certainly be sustained. As it is, there is some doubt. The question is, how much doubt? Time and the autocrats must decide as to the sequel — for or against "the natural and inherent justice of the case." A Year Later. — The appellate auto crats jolted the Superior Court for fol lowing the trend of their own past deci sions. They apparently caught the modern spirit. Yet they do not admit
any change — perhaps are conscious of none. Probably the judges are not con scious of a past habit of accentuating technicalities. Very likely they are unconscious of any purpose now to iron out the wrinkles in the cases, in the interests of "natural and inherent jus tice." Nevertheless they are doing it, more and more. And the "rules of the game" are being applied less and less techni cally.
Genuine and Spurious Interpretation (A NOTE ON POUND'S "COURTS AND LEGISLATION"1) By the Editor
PROFESSOR McILWAIN, in criti cizing Lucas's "Corporate Nature of English Sovereignty,"2 withholds his approval from the rule unhesitatingly laid down that "the English sover eignty" is and always was "co-opera tive," that "all the practical hindrances to a feudal king are necessarily consti tutional limitations," and comments as follows : — The method of applying "appropriate modern descriptions" to "innominate forms" is essen tially unsound. It is based on the fundamental error, pointed out long ago by Maitland, of mis taking the indefinite for the simple. The foregoing illustration serves to indicate an ordinary type of error in description. Such misdescription, il would seem, may assume either of two forms: the attempt may be made to 1 7 American Political Science Review 361. See p. 519 post. '7 American Political Science Review 502.
convey an indefinite object in a definite term, or through equivocation a term susceptible of an indefinite connotation may be employed in a definite sense. In this light the legal term "inter pretation" may be examined. While the word may not always mean exactly the same thing, in the case of every thing interpreted, a statute, a deed, or a formal contract, the general notion of legal interpretation is a fairly uniform single concept. And so little does that concept differ from the popular concept of interpretation, outside the sphere of the law, so little does it add to it or subtract from it, that one need not consult law dictionaries to elucidate its fundamental meaning. "To interpret" is, alike in legal lan guage and in the vernacular, to set forth the meaning of anything. There appears to be no adequate synonym in the language. No equivalent verb being