San Diego Law Review


Roger S. Ruffin

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In thinking about the Constitution, we should keep in mind the commonplaces that lace our thinking. We must keep them in sight at both levels: content and character, commonplace and commonplaceness–else their importance may escape us. Maitland’s view that "the history of law must be a history of ideas" is one such commonplace. Another was noticed by Edward Corwin: the "commonplace that every age has its own peculiar categories of thought; its speculations are carried on in a vocabulary which those who would be understood by it must adopt . . . ." These are tow of the commonplaces of our time, and if true they suggest tow related propositions.