Which one of the following principles is most clearly operative in the author's argument?

Lucie on November 14, 2019

Repost from Question 4

"Question 6. Answer choice D says that if courts are hesitant to apply the rationale given in a past decision, this should be taken as evidence that the rationale is questionable. Lines 39-48 support this directly."

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Annie on November 14, 2019

Hi @Lucie,

This question is asking you to determine which "principle" is most at work in the argument. The question is phrased in an odd manner, but essentially you are looking for the answer choice which helps guide the argument.

Answer Choices:
(A) is incorrect. The passage does not say that subsequent courts should not utilize the Shelley v. Kramer decision. Rather, it only tells us that subsequent courts did not follow its reasoning (lines 44-46). Additionally, the passage does not connect the reasoning of legal scholars to the actions of the court.

(B) is incorrect. The passage never implies that private agreements should become law.

(C) is incorrect. This answer choice is tempting. However, it does not mirror the general tone of the passage. There is no discussion in the passage of what the "most troubling aspect" of a practice is, or what effect that should have.

(D) is correct. The passage tells us that courts are hesitant to apply Shelley (lines 44-46) and also that the rationale in Shelley in questionable (lines 35-44). Thus, this answer choice provides a sort of general outline for the argument and is correct.

(E) is incorrect. The passage does not talk about the rationale in Shelley being controversial, but rather essentially says that the rationale is wrong.