The Volokh Conspiracy

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Blackstone on precedent and interpretation


An interesting line from Blackstone's letters:

"Precedents are Laws interpreted by Usage; & if there has been no Interpretation, we must resort to the Law itself."

"Letter 18. To Randle Wilbraham, 9 January 1753 [draft]," in The Letters of Sir William Blackstone 1744–1780, at 26 (W. R. Prest ed. 2006) (Selden Society Supplementary Series vol. 14).