04/05/16 “ADJECTIVE LAW”?

e-legal lesson

Adjective law is not a set of rules governing nominal modifiers, but rather the aggregate of rules on procedure. In law as in language, the adjectival affects the substantive. E.g., “Determined to uphold the constitutionality of a Texas statute whatever obstacles bar the way, the majority opinion tramples every procedural rule it considers; if this en banc decision is precedent, it assuredly rewrites the adjective law.”