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1.14: Evidence, Explanation, and Narrative

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  • Examining law as narrative and rhetoric can mean many different things: examining the relation between stories and legal arguments and theories; analyzing the different ways that judges, lawyers, and litigants construct, shape, and use stories; evaluating why certain stories are problematic at trials; or analyzing the rhetoric of judicial opinions, to mention just a few particulars. But as a matter of general outlook, treating law as narrative and rhetoric means looking at fact more than rules, forms as much as substance, the language used as much as the idea expressed (indeed, the language used is seen as part of the idea expressed).


    Legal Storytelling

    I am much taken these days with a trend in legal scholarship that I believe has direct relevance to the themes we are developing in this book. We have been concerned with notions of good reasoning and good evidence. Legal academics spend a good deal of time analyzing these concepts in the very specific context of the law. Consider, for example, the definition of legal reasoning put forward by Lief Carter:

    In a nutshell, legal reasoning describes how effectively an opinion’s blend of case facts, prior law, social background facts, and moral values create a legal outcome that makes some plausible sense of the moral and empirical world we know.2

    This definition of legal reasoning seems overly narrow. Certainly, understanding how to unpack and evaluate appellate court opinions is an import legal skill and deserving of careful scholarly attention (we did a bit of this in analyzing Justice Blackmun’s understanding of the death penalty and the Constitution). But as Carter certainly knows, appellate court judges are not the only legal reasoners. Trial lawyers reason, as do their audiences—juries. Trial court judges reason. And academic lawyers, and a host of other legal scholars, reason. And sadly, not all legal reasoning counts as good legal reasoning. What is needed is something like a logic of legal reasoning. A surprising humanistic partnership of philosophy, particularly the philosophy of science, as well as literary theory, particularly narratology, offers a promising outline of just such a logic of legal reasoning. As you might have guessed, I believe that inference to the best explanation (IBE) forms the foundation of such a legal logic.

    One view of legal storytelling sees it candidly as a method for presenting an argument.

    The goal of storytelling in law is to persuade an official decision maker that one’s story is true, to win the case, and thus invoke the coercive force of the state on one’s behalf.3

    And many academic lawyers explicitly endorse IBE as the internal logic of the arguments that lawyers produce at trial.

    The process of inference to the best explanation itself best explains both the macro-structure of proof at trial and the microlevel issues regarding the value of particular items of evidence. . . . The probability-based accounts, rather than being an alternative, are parasitic on the more fundamental explanation-based considerations.4

    This nicely captures my portrayal of the trial between Tony and Corey, and we will use IBE and legal narrative as a way of looking at a couple more murder trials directly.

    As much as I admire the storytelling movement in the law, many of its most strident champions endorse a view of legal narrative that I find deeply problematic. Consider the following very useful summary paragraph by two thoughtful and sympathetic critics.

    Many advocates of storytelling explicitly contrast rational argument and the more directly emotive power of stories. As Gerald Lopez tells us, “Stories and storytelling de-emphasize the logical and resurrect the emotive and intuitive.” The “epistemological claim” of feminist narratives, according to Kathryn Abrams, is that there are ways of knowing other than “scientific rationality.” Radical feminist scholars—especially those using narrative as a methodology—thus reject the linearity, abstraction, and scientific objectivity of rational argument. Mari Matsuda similarly recommends noncognitive ways to know the good.5

    I contend that these views are fundamentally mistaken. Now I certainly concede that stories can, and often do, reach intended audiences in ways that cold, structured syllogisms may not. I also grant that human emotion plays a significant role in our ability to understand and successfully navigate the physical and social world. But none of this shows that there is not an underlying logic to successful storytelling. Indeed, I will be arguing that this logic has remarkably close connections to “scientific rationality,” and rather than being “noncognitive,” it is (while not exactly demonstrating “linearity, abstraction, and scientific objectivity”) highly structured and promises in many cases, if not objectivity, at least reliable intersubjectivity.

    O. J. Simpson

    Paul Thagard offers a quick and dirty summary of the prosecution’s case in the O. J. Simpson trial.

    At first glance, the evidence that O. J. Simpson was guilty of the murder of his ex-wife was overwhelming. Shortly after the time that the murder took place, he caught a plane to Chicago carrying a bag that disappeared, perhaps because it contained the murder weapon and bloody clothes. Police who came to Simpson’s house found drops of blood in his car that matched his own blood and that of Ron Goldman. In Simpson’s back yard, police found a bloody glove that was of a pair with one that was found at the scene of the crime, and they found a bloody sock in his bedroom. Simpson had a cut on his hand that might have been caused by a struggle with the victims who tried to defend themselves. Moreover, there was a plausible motive for the murder, in that Simpson had been physically abusive to his wife while they were married, and was reported to be jealous of other men who saw Nicole after the divorce.6

    The state’s evidence looks like this:

    e1. The plane flight and missing bag

    e2. The blood in Simpson’s car matching his and Ron Goldman’s

    e3. The bloody glove and sock at Simpson’s house

    e4. Matching glove at the murder scene

    e5. Simpson’s history of jealousy and abuse

    And of course, they are asking the jury to accept their explanation of all this data:

    t0. O. J. Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron Goldman.

    Simpson’s attorneys get their say, as well.

    The first task of the defense lawyers was to generate an alternative explanation of who killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. Based on Nicole’s known history of cocaine use, they hypothesized that she was killed by drug dealers . . . In order to explain the circumstantial evidence linking O. J. to the crime scene, including the bloody car, glove and sock, the defense contended that the items had been planted by Los Angeles Police Department officers determined to frame Simpson for the crime.7

    They offer some additional evidence:

    e6. Nicole’s history of cocaine use

    e7. Mark Furman’s history of racist behavior

    And they propose a rival explanation of all the evidence.

    t1. Drug dealers murdered Nicole and Ron Goldman, and officers for the Los Angeles Police Department framed O. J.

    The jury gets the complete case:

    e1. The plane flight and missing bag

    e2. The blood in Simpson’s car matching his and Ron Goldman’s

    e3. The bloody glove and sock at Simpson’s house

    e4. Matching glove at the murder scene

    e5. Simpson’s history of jealousy and abuse

    e6. Nicole’s history of cocaine use

    e7. Mark Furman’s history of racist behavior

    IBE can potentially lead us astray at this point. It appears that the jury must decide between the two competing explanations that the attorneys have proffered:

    t0. O. J. Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron Goldman.

    t1. Drug dealers murdered Nicole and Ron Goldman, and officers for the Los Angeles Police Department framed O. J.

    This is mistaken on two counts. First, the jury should be considering, not the quite detailed rival explanation offered by Simpson’s attorneys, but one that is spectacular in its vagueness and generality.

    t2. O. J. Simpson did not murder Nicole and Ron Goldman.

    Now the jury will undoubtedly be troubled by the state’s physical evidence and the well-established motive, so the defense needs to sow the seeds of doubt, which the more detailed account of drug dealers and a racist frame does so well. But Simpson is innocent until proven guilty, so the real rival is any account where he is in fact innocent. But even if we grant that t0 is a better explanation than t2, this will only show that the state has evidence that he is guilty, not that they have proven it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Abe and His Daughter

    The case involved a businessman named Hamilton who had taken out a life insurance policy on his partner ten days before the partner was gunned down by a professional hit man. The district attorney (DA) was finding it easy to persuade the jury that the timing could not possibly be coincidental, and Abe had been racking his brain for an answer. Emma [Abe’s seventeen-year-old daughter], finding that she simply couldn’t get his attention, had decided to try to help him figure out a common-sense rebuttal to the DA’s circumstantial case.

    And she had.

    “Daddy,” she said, popping into his office late one night, “the answer is Chekhov.”

    “Why Chekhov?” Abe asked, his head still buried in the books.

    “Because Chekov once told an aspiring dramatist that if you hang a gun on the wall in the first act, you had better use it by the third act. We read it in lit class.”8

    Alan Dershowitz is a first-class storyteller. His little anecdote about Abe and Emma is used to remind readers that narrative devices and expectations can have undesirable legal consequences. It is easy to read his essay as a subtle indictment of the legal narrative project. I think, however, that Abe and Emma teach us not to eschew law as narrative but to keep in mind that the best narratives will sometimes be messy, unexpected, and even defy simple narrative rules like Chekhov’s. The DA told a plausible enough story about Hamilton. We are not privy to all the details in the story, but we can guess that they involved facts about Hamilton’s relationship to his partner and perhaps information about Hamilton’s finances. The key dramatic element, though, is the weird timing. A (large?) life insurance policy is taken out on the partner, ten days later the partner is gunned down. Obviously, Hamilton hired the hit man so that he could collect on the policy. Abe, however, tells a very different story. Life is complicated and filled with coincidences.

    He’d convinced the jury not to look at the Hamilton case as if it were a made-for-TV-movie, but rather as a slice of real life, full of irrelevant actions and coincidences. He’d asked the jurors how many of them had taken out life insurance on a loved one and what their neighbors would have thought if the loved one died shortly thereafter.9

    Both the DA and Abe were not just telling stories; they were arguing a case before a jury. Let us assume that the facts were not in dispute and looked something like the following:

    e1. Hamilton and his partner had a strained personal and professional relationship.

    e2. Hamilton had recently encountered severe financial problems.

    e3. Hamilton had recently taken out a sizable life insurance policy on his partner.10

    e4. Ten days later his partner was gunned down by a professional hit man.

    From the inference-to-the-best-explanation paradigm, the DA and Abe offer competing explanations.

    t0. Hamilton hired the hit man to gun down his partner so that he could collect on the life insurance.

    t1. Hamilton had nothing to do with his partner’s murder. It was pure coincidence that the murder occurred so closely to the newly acquired life insurance policy.

    Perhaps you’re like me and are not quite sure which of these explanatory stories is the best. I think that if I were the DA, I’d have asked the police for more investigation before bringing the case to trial. The standard in a murder trial like this is that the evidence must show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means not only that t0 must be a better explanation than t1 but that it must be much, much, much better.

    Stories That Make Sense of Things

    Perhaps the most obvious question in this entire book is what exactly is an explanation in the first place? Science has long struck philosophers as a kind of paradigm of good reasoning. IBE comes directly from the philosophy of science and has been treated not only as a model of scientific evidence but as scientific discovery as well. Likewise, some of the most significant models of explanation come from the natural sciences and philosophers seeking to model scientific thinking.

    We need to begin by noting that explanations are the result of things we do. We explain things. Little Johnny is an inquisitive kid. He asks a lot of questions: “Why do I have to go to bed now?” “Why was Aunt Jane so mad?” “Why do stars ‘twinkle’?” Sometimes we decline to really answer his questions: “Because I said so!” “That’s grown-up stuff; you wouldn’t understand.” “Gee, that’s a good question—I don’t know.” Other times, however, we do him the courtesy of responding in as truthful and informative way as we can: “You have to get up early tomorrow, and besides, I need the rest now.” “Well, I think you hurt her feelings.” “It’s complicated, but it has to do with light being refracted in the atmosphere.” So what exactly is involved when we respond to Johnny in these latter, more helpful ways?

    Johnny asked questions about what was going on—his bedtime, Aunt Jane’s anger, and the twinkling stars. Connie implicitly asked a big question too—How’d that lipstick stain get there? We considered similar implicit questions about the car outside Joe’s bar, the observed red shifting, the identical exams, and those last two songs I heard traveling back from Portland. Might this suggest that explanations have to do with asking and answering questions? I believe this is the real key to understanding what an explanation is, and many philosophers agree with me.

    An explanation is not the same as a proposition, or an argument, or a list of propositions; it is an answer. (Analogously, a son is not the same as a man, even if all sons are men, and every man is a son.) An explanation is an answer to a why-question. So, a theory of explanation must be a theory of why-questions.11

    Mary Ann and Wanda

    In the 1990s, the songwriter Dennis Linde wrote a controversial song about friendship, spousal abuse, and murder, “Goodbye Earl.”

    Lyrics to “Goodbye Earl” can be found here: The Dixie Chicks performing the song can be found here:

    The story told in the song is actually quite complicated, almost like a good short story or even a novel. In a nutshell, we meet Mary Ann and Wanda, high school best friends. After graduation, Mary Ann leaves town, and Wanda enters a sad relationship that culminates in marriage to a loser named Earl. Earl is violent and consistently batters Wanda. Wanda decides to divorce Earl and gets a restraining order. Unfortunately, Earl ignores it and assaults Wanda so severely that she ends up in intensive care. She calls her friend who immediately flies in and visits her in the hospital. There they decide that the only thing to do is to murder Earl. They subsequently poison him and dump his body in the lake. The police investigate but not with much enthusiasm. And the ladies, without a trace of guilt, buy some land and start a business and apparently live happily ever after.

    My reason for telling you all of this is the plan that Mary Ann and Wanda cooked up in intensive care—Earl had to die! What were their reasons for thinking this? It’s easy to schematize some of their central reasons.

    e1. It wasn’t two weeks after she got married that Wanda started gettin’ abused.

    e2. She finally got the nerve to file for divorce.

    e3. Earl walked right through that restraining order and put her in intensive care.

    t0. Earl had to die.

    In this little argument, the ladies’ reasons seem to function something like the reasons for Connie’s suspicion did. They seem to provide evidence in support of their theory about what had to be done. But there are important differences as well. Connie’s theory was about what had happened. Her method was akin to a police detective’s or a historian’s or a scientist’s. Mary Anne and Wanda’s theory is not about what happened but about the right course of action in the circumstances.

    There is a crucial difference between the two arguments that any devotee of inference to the best explanation will note. The second bit of reasoning is not explanatory in the same way the first is. The smooching hypothesis explains the lipstick stain, the extended absence from the record hop, and the boyfriend’s lame excuse. The Earl-has-to-die hypothesis doesn’t even attempt to explain the pattern of abuse, the divorce, the restraining order, or the assault. This would seem to indicate that inference to the best explanation will be of little use in deciding whether Mary Anne and Wanda’s reasons were strong enough to justify the murder.

    For many years, I would have completely agreed with this sentiment. I would have insisted that IBE was useful to the police in investigating what happened to Earl or even in understanding the origins of the ladies’ beliefs about what had to be done but that a different kind of argument was needed to attempt to justify their action. Now, I’m not so sure. There are important similarities between the two stories. Connie’s story offers an explanation of what happened. We deem her diagnosis reasonable because we judge her story as superior to alternative stories about what happened—the laundry detergent story or the revenge narrative. Although the normative recommendation regarding Earl is not an explanation of any of the facts, the whole story does offer an account of what the ladies did and why they think they were normatively justified. So it seems relevant to ask whether the Earl-has-to-die story is superior to other stories that friends, loved ones, counselors, lawyers, and the like would have no doubt spun had the ladies given them a chance.

    Geneva and Brown v. Board of Education

    Consider a story that might have been a synopsis of a movie—a mystery, a science-fiction story, a satirical sci-fi movie such as Get Out—or something more literary like a short story or novel.

    The black students, every one of them, had vanished on the way to school. Children who had left home on foot never appeared. Buses that had pulled away from their last stop loaded with black children had arrived at schools empty, as had the cars driven by parents or car pools. Even parents taking young children by the hand for their first day in kindergarten or in preschool had looked down and found their hands empty, the children suddenly gone.12

    But the quote actually comes from a scholarly discussion of race, law, and the famous Brown v. Board of Education case. Why would a respected constitutional scholar tell such a crazy story? Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic diagnose three related reasons that critical race theorists employ legal narrative. They allow for an “Opening [of] a Window onto Ignored or Alternative Realities.”13 In addition, legal storytelling gives scholars a way of “Counterstorytelling.”14 And finally, they provide a “Cure for Silencing.”15 These are all important and noble academic undertakings. But I fear Delgado and Stefancic have left out the most obvious and important reason Derrick Bell constructs his stories. He does not simply desire to give voice to perspectives that have been silenced nor present an alternative reality nor even, though this gets closer to his underlying motivation, does he modestly present a counterstory to the received interpretation of Brown v. Board of Education. I take him to be advocating and arguing that his view of Brown is superior to the received view.

    It is worth pausing to consider the elaborate narrative structure that Bell uses to construct the stories in And We Are Not Saved. His two main characters are an unnamed narrator (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Derrick Bell himself) and a somewhat magical colleague named Geneva Crenshaw. Each story begins with a “chronicle.” Sometimes the chronicle is dependent on Geneva’s magical powers, as in “The Chronicle of the Constitutional Contradiction,” where she travels back in time to address the Constitutional Convention and warn them of dire consequences, and moral disgrace, of enshrining the institution of slavery in the Constitution. Other chronicles, like “The Sacrificed Black Schoolchildren,” are naked allegories that Bell refers to as “fairy tales.” Following each chronicle, there is an extended discussion of the chronicle between the narrator and Geneva. The stories, thus, blend fantasy and the time-honored philosophical trope of fictional dialogue.

    The narrative of the disappearing (or sacrificed) black school children and the ensuing dialogue are used to critique the accepted reading of Brown as a historical and constitutional triumph. Geneva argues that the Court’s rejection of legal segregation had more to do with whites’ interests, as a result of the Cold War and our nation’s international reputation, than it did in achieving moral and constitutional justice for black schoolchildren. She also argues that the sad history of public education since Brown demonstrates a failure to achieve anything remotely close to equal public education. She advocates for a very different decision and gives voice to what she believes the Court should have ruled:

    1. 1. Even though we encourage voluntary desegregation, we will not order racially integrated assignments of students or staff for ten years.
    2. 2. Even though “separate but equal” no longer meets the constitutional equal-protection standard, we will require immediate equalization of all facilities and resources.
    3. 3. Blacks must be represented on school boards and other policy-making bodies in proportions equal to those of the black students in each school district.16

    Geneva’s evidence has a familiar structure:

    e1. “The Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education should be seen as furthering the nation’s foreign and domestic interests. . . .”17

    e2. The history of desegregation in St. Louis (and many other districts) where Brown was first resisted and the fact that when finally ordered to desegregate, these districts used the newly increased funding to improve largely white schools

    e3. The harm to black students who were bussed to largely white schools

    e4. The many excellent black schools that were destroyed by Brown

    e5. The blatant inequality and de facto segregation that still exists in many school districts

    t0. The Court should have ruled as Geneva suggests.

    This argument looks much more like the one prosecuted by Mary Ann and Wanda than the cases made in the O. J. Simpson trial or by Abe. The recommended ruling in Brown, indeed Bell’s entire reading of the case, does not explain, at least in a scientist’s or detective’s sense, any of the evidence. And just as we needed a standard to judge the evidential success or failure of all these arguments, we need a standard with which to assess Geneva’s evidence.

    Fabula and Sjuzet

    Here comes some highfalutin technical terminology. It comes from (yet some more jargon) narratology: “The branch of knowledge or literary criticism that deals with the structure and function of narrative and its themes, conventions, and symbols.”18 Literary critics in the Russian formalist tradition distinguished between the basic bare bones of the story, or the plot, and the way the story was told. The story, or narrative, they labeled the fabula; the specific telling of the story, its narrative discourse, they called the sjuzet. The same story regarding a day’s worth of action can be told in a single sentence proceeding forward or backward and from a first-person or a third-person point of view.

    When I woke up, I packed two loaded guns and a ski mask, drove to the bank, robbed it, and was back in time for dinner.

    I was back in time for dinner, having robbed the bank to which I had driven with a ski mask and two loaded guns just after my nap.

    He loved that old familiar, yet always strangely new, sensation of being someone else inside his ski mask, a pistol in each hand, watching the frightened teller count out a cool million. Nothing like it to wake a guy up. Nothing like it to give him a good appetite.19

    A single fabula and three very different sjuzets.

    This distinction has obvious relevance to academic lawyers. Trial lawyers don’t just present facts for juries to consider; they tell them stories. The facts were not in much dispute in the O. J. Simpson trial nor in the case of Hamilton and his partner. It’s not just that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and O. J.’s “dream team” told different stories by offering alternative explanations of the facts; they told them in very different ways to the jury. Many scholars believe that O. J. was acquitted because his lawyers were better storytellers. We know that Abe’s ability to tell his story effectively was instrumental in getting Hamilton off: “After he’d won, several jurors told him that his TV argument turned them around.”20 The Dixie Chicks do a pretty good job of telling Mary Ann and Wanda’s story. But I’m pretty skeptical of their judgment that Earl had to die. When I’ve tried to tell my rival narrative to students, I have to not only add some reminders about the dangers of vigilante justice but carefully frame my remarks so that I don’t sound indifferent about the seriousness of domestic abuse nor naïve about the protection that the criminal justice system can provide for Wanda. I can tell you firsthand that talking to students about global warming, the death penalty, Brown v. Board of Education, or Mary Ann and Wanda requires every bit as much attention to the sjuzet of my story as to its fabula.

    I have a dear friend who truly despises all talk of narrative in the context of political arguments. He believes that the facts should speak for themselves and that rational people should be able to agree on what the facts tell us. I wish that were true, but I doubt that it is. It’s not just in the law or political theory that the way a story is told is relevant to whether the story convinces its audience. This is often the case in science, scholarly disagreements, and family arguments over Thanksgiving dinner.

    Inference to the Best Narrative

    As we saw with Mary Ann and Wanda, and with Derrick Bell and Geneva, we often offer evidence for theories or positions that don’t explain any of the data provided in the evidence. We offer the prediction that global warming will continue to increase. We defend it with evidence from basic physics and chemistry, the historical record, and the testimony of respected scientists. But the prediction doesn’t explain any of this. Derrick Bell offered a constitutional analysis of Brown v. Board of Education, but this analysis doesn’t explain the history of race in this country nor what happened, and what did not happen, in the years since Brown was decided. Mary Ann and Wanda offer a moral justification for murdering Earl, but this justification doesn’t explain the abuse, the divorce, or the assault. It would be nice to have a general tool for evaluating evidence in these kinds of arguments.

    So how might we do this? I have already suggested that we can capture much of the structure of the reasoning that seems to unite Connie’s diagnosis, and Mary Anne and Wanda’s proposed course of action, by treating both their arguments as narratives (i.e., stories) that attempt to “make sense” of the relevant facts. We have seen that inference to the best explanation rests on a comparative procedure where we evaluate the success of competing explanatory stories. How are we to accomplish this? You will remember that at the beginning of chapter 5, we considered Gilbert Harman’s answer to this question:

    In making this inference one infers, from the fact that a certain hypothesis would explain the evidence, to the truth of that hypothesis. In general, there will be several hypotheses which might explain the evidence, so one must be able to reject all such alternative hypotheses before one is warranted in making the inference. Thus, one infers, from the premise that a given hypothesis would provide a “better” explanation for the evidence than would any other hypothesis, to the conclusion that the given hypothesis is true.21

    I believe we can extend Harman’s method to encompass not just straightforwardly explanatory stories such as Connie’s but also normative stories such as Mary Ann and Wanda’s and Geneva Crenshaw’s. We arrive at a kind of comparative reasoning I am calling inference to the best narrative. Notice how nicely the concept of story replaces hypothesis, and making sense can be substituted for explanation.

    In making this inference, one infers from the fact that a certain narrative would make sense of the reasons to the truth of the story. In general, there will be several narratives that might make sense of the reasons, so one must be able to reject all such alternative narratives before one is warranted in making the inference. Thus one infers from the premise that a given narrative would make better sense of the reasons than would any other narrative to the conclusion that the given true.

    Just as with inference to the best explanation, we face the obvious question of what are the criteria for one normative narrative to be better than another.


    1. 1. Why do the narratives about Hamilton and his partner invite the use of IBE to determine the quality of the evidence each lawyer presents for what happened, but the narratives about Wanda and Earl seem to preclude the use of IBE as a tool for assessing what Mary Ann and Wanda should do?
    2. 2. Who is Geneva Crenshaw? How does she fit into the material in this chapter?
    3. 3. What is the difference between fabula and sjuzet? Is this distinction helpful to understand the success or failure of an argument?


    Here are two narratives about immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the proposed DACA bill. Use “inference to the best narrative” to determine the quality of evidence each author has for his or her narrative. Which narrative make the most sense of things as you understand them. Feel free to do a little research and inform yourself a little more about the DACA debate and indeed the whole immigration debate. Also feel free to offer your own rival narrative about all this.

    Narrative One: “I’m a Dreamer. I’d Have Nothing If It Weren’t for DACA,”

    Narrative Two: “Paul Ryan to Push DACA Amnesty for Millions of Illegal Aliens before Leaving Congress,”


    1. Paul Gewirtz, “Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law,” in Law’s Stories, ed. Peter Brooks and Paul Gewirtz (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996), 3.

    2. Lief H. Carter, Reason in Law, 5th ed. (New York: Longman, 1988), 4.

    3. Gewirtz, “Narrative and Rhetoric,” 5.

    4. Michael S. Pardo and Ronald J. Allen, “Juridical Proof and the Best Explanation,” Law and Philosophy 27, no. 3 (2008): 223.

    5. Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry, “Legal Storytelling and Constitutional Law: The Medium and the Message,” in Brooks and Gewirtz, Law’s Stories.

    6. Paul Thagard, Hot Thought (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), 136.

    7. Thagard, 138–39.

    8. Alan M. Dershowitz, “Life Is Not a Dramatic Narrative,” in Brooks and Gewirtz, Law’s Stories, 99.

    9. Dershowitz, 100.

    10. I am dying to know if this was reciprocal and if the partner had a newly acquired life insurance policy on Hamilton.

    11. Bas van Fraassen, The Scientific Image (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), 134.

    12. Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds., The Derrick Bell Reader (New York: New York University Press, 2005), 268.

    13. Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory (New York: New York University Press, 2012), 45.

    14. Delgado and Stefancic, 46.

    15. Delgado and Stefancic, 47.

    16. Derrick Bell, And We Are Not Saved (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 112.

    17. Bell, 187–88.

    18. “Narratology,” Google,

    19. H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 15–16.

    20. Dershowitz, “Dramatic Narrative,” 100.

    21. G. Harman, “The Inference to the Best Explanation,” Philosophical Review 74, no. 1 (1965): 89.

    22. Ms. Guzman, “I’m a Dreamer. I’d Have Nothing If It Weren’t for DACA,” Fortune, September 21, 2017,

    23. John Binder, “Paul Ryan to Push DACA Amnesty for Millions of Illegal Aliens before Leaving Congress,” Breitbart, April 13, 2018,

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