So I actually read it. Apparently the civil law in the Bayou State is
Because of its French history, the state has inherited a Civil Code that expressed the drive of the French bourgeoisie to upend and replace all vestiges of feudal and religious ordinances that encumbered private property. That's one way of describing what the French Revolution of 1789 was all about. By the time an embattled France sold off Louisiana to President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, a civil code expressing the bourgeoisie's optimistic rationalism had become the region's law. Proponents of this sort of Code, called "civilians" in this little book, look to statutes to deduce and order how citizens (male property owners, really) ought to organize their affairs. The rest of U.S. law which derives from the English common law tradition, building a frame for legal behavior inductively out of accumulated generations of particular instances or "cases."
Most of us are so steeped in a world shaped by the common law's assumptions that utilitarianism and pragmatism come naturally. Might this be a different country if the ideological assumptions of the Code Civil -- the belief that legislators can prescribe a right society -- had shaped our laws?