Professor Noa Ben-Asher explores the underlying themes of legal theory

How do legal norms affect our abilities to think, judge and make decisions?  Should lawmakers cultivate those individual capacities? If so, how?

Professor Noa Ben-Asher explores these and other questions in her scholarly research on the underlying themes in legal theory including “legalism” and “decisionism,”— two different attitudes regarding the possibility and desirability of regulating our world through legal norms.

“How do we make it so people are equipped to think in the moment and act in the moment? How do we prepare people to violate an unjust law with acts of civil disobedience?” she asks.

In her current work in progress, “Cultivating Thinking,” Prof. Ben-Asher explores the concept of thinking, and how it relates to legal norms in different areas of law. She studies several techniques that lawmakers use to encourage individuals to reflect critically on legal norms.

In an earlier article, “Obligatory Health,” Prof. Ben-Asher examined the “Individual Mandate” that is part of “Obamacare.” Published in “Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal” shortly after the Supreme Court decision, Prof. Ben-Asher analyzed the tension between liberty and equality in the Individual Mandate.

“Alongside the individual rights to healthcare, liberty, and equality, the public and judicial discussion of the Individual Mandate should include the individual obligation to help others realize those rights,” she argued.

Prof. Ben-Asher’s article “Obligatory Health” can be accessed here.

Her article “Legalism and Decisionism in Crisis” can be read here.