Vanderbilt Law Review

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"The World Do Move" was the subject of an address by Judge Joseph C. Hutcheson to members of the Association of American Law Schools shortly after the decision of the Supreme Court in Funk v. United States.' He used the opinion in that case as evidence that the courts do likewise even in matters of procedure when legislatures lag. With his usual finesse and subtle sense of humor, he did not specify the rate of motion or mention the magnitude of the movement. The time lapse was a mere 144 years and the memorable advance was from the position where a wife was incompetent to testify at the trial of a criminal prosecution in which her husband was an accused to the stage where she is competent to testify in his favor though still generally incompetent as a witness against him. This glacier-like rate of progress makes comparison heartening in terms of geologic periods, but it can hardly be a source of gratification in measuring the improvement in the administration of justice by courts in a time of rapidly changing physical and social conditions. And our adversary system makes entirely impracticable the process of comprehensive procedural reform by judicial decision in contested cases.

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