Legal writing From UW–Madison Law Professor Andrew B. Coan's Judicial Capacity and the Substance of Constitutional Law (2012). Notice how the introduction leads the reader through a series of logical steps that describe the current conversation about the topic, and how the last sentence ends by promising (by implication) to fill an important gap in that conversation. Start with a very basic premise: courts can decide only a small fraction of the constitutional issues generated by the American government. By now, this is something of a commonplace among constitutional theorists. But it is a commonplace of a peculiar sort. It receives frequent lip service but is almost never taken really seriously. Advocates for more expansive constitutional protections routinely brush aside, or outright ignore, the judiciary's limited capacity. Opponents of such protections routinely write as if "government by judiciary" were a real and worrisome possibility. Meanwhile, there has been very little work exploring why the judiciary has such limited capacity or how we should expect this limitation to affect the substance of its constitutional decisions.