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The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis Jun 2019

The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis

This Article argues that the Reconstruction Amendments incorporated the human dignity values of the Declaration of Independence. The original Constitution contained clauses, which protected the institution of slavery, that were irreconcilable with the normative commitments the nation had undertaken at independence. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments set the country aright by formally incorporating the Declaration of Independence's principles for representative governance into the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides valuable insights into matters of human dignity, privacy, and self-government. Its statements about human rights, equality, and popular sovereignty establish a foundational rule of interpretation. While the Supreme Court ...


Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


This Article presents a new perspective on the Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence during the Early Republic.  It focuses on what I am calling second-order ipse dixit reasoning, which occurs when Justices have to decide between two incommensurable interpretive modalities.  If first-order ipse dixit is unreasoned decision-making, second-order ipse dixit involves an unreasoned choice between or among two or more equally valid interpretive options.  The early Court often had recourse to second-order ipse dixit because methodological eclecticism characterized its constitutional jurisprudence, and the early Court established no fixed hierarchy among interpretive modalities.
Chisholm, the pre-Marshall Court’s most important constitutional ...


Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


Eric Segall’s Originalism as Faith provides both a history of the originalist movement in constitutional interpretation and a critique of that movement from the perspective of legal realism.This Review Essay summarizes Segall’s main argument: as originalism has abandoned deference to the political branches, it has become indistinguishable from its nemesis, living constitutionalism. Emptied of substance, originalism becomes nothing more than an expression of faith. Segall makes his argument very convincingly, evidencing both his knowledge of originalism, in all its variants and his mastery of constitutional doctrine.
This Essay offers two ways in which Segall’s exemplary work ...


Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke Apr 2018

Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke

Anthony O'Rourke

This is a review essay of The Two Faces of American Freedom, by Aziz Rana. The book presents a new and provocative account of the relationship between ideas of freedom and the constitutional structure of American power. Through the nineteenth century, Rana argues, America’s constitutional structure was shaped by a racially exclusionary, yet economically robust, concept that he calls “settler freedom.” Drawing on the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of settler colonial studies, as well as on the vast historical literature on civic republicanism, Rana contends that the concept of settler freedom necessitated a constitutional framework that enabled rapid territorial expansion ...


Book Review: The Once And Future King: The Rise Of Crown Government In America, Ronald D. Rotunda Oct 2015

Book Review: The Once And Future King: The Rise Of Crown Government In America, Ronald D. Rotunda

Ronald D. Rotunda

If you want to understand your own language, learn a foreign tongue. Similarly, if you want to understand the American system of government, learn what our intellectual kin—Great Britain and Canada—have done. As Professor F.H. Buckley notes, “He who knows only his own country knows little enough of that.” He is one of the few people who has thoroughly mastered the legal structure and history of all three countries.


The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert Hovenkamp Aug 2015

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

The Emergence of Classical Patent Law

Abstract

One enduring historical debate concerns whether the American Constitution was intended to be "classical" -- referring to a theory of statecraft that maximizes the role of private markets and minimizes the role of government in economic affairs. The most central and powerful proposition of classical constitutionalism is that the government's role in economic development should be minimal. First, private rights in property and contract exist prior to any community needs for development. Second, if a particular project is worthwhile the market itself will make it occur. Third, when the government attempts to induce ...


What The Constitution Means By “Duties, Imposts, And Excises”—And “Taxes” (Direct Or Otherwise), Robert G. Natelson Mar 2015

What The Constitution Means By “Duties, Imposts, And Excises”—And “Taxes” (Direct Or Otherwise), Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

This Article recreates the original definitions of the U.S. Constitution’s terms “tax,” “direct tax,” “duty,” “impost,” “excise,” and “tonnage.” It draws on a greater range of Founding-Era sources than accessed heretofore, including eighteenth-century treatises, tax statutes, and literary source, and it corrects several errors made by courts and previous commentators. It concludes that the distinction between direct and indirect taxes was widely understood during the Founding Era, and that the term “direct tax” was more expansive than commonly realized. The Article identifies the reasons the Constitution required that direct taxes be apportioned among the states by population. It ...


The Classical Constitution, Herbert Hovenkamp Feb 2015

The Classical Constitution, Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

Conservative and libertarian constitutional writers have often pined for return to a "classical" understanding of American federal and state Constitutions. "Classical" does not necessarily mean "originalist" or "interpretivist." Some classical views, such as the attempt to revitalize Lochner-style economic due process, find little support in the text of the federal Constitution or any of the contemporary state constitutions. Rather, constitutional meaning is thought to lie in a background link between constitution formation and classical statecraft. The core theory rests on the assumption of a social contract to which everyone in some initial position agreed. Like any contract, it would ...


The Royal Proclamation Of 1763 And The Aboriginal Constitution, Brian Slattery Dec 2014

The Royal Proclamation Of 1763 And The Aboriginal Constitution, Brian Slattery

Brian Slattery

In Manitoba Metis Federation, the Supreme Court of Canada makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of Aboriginal law. Building on the foundations laid down in the Haida Nation case, the Court identifies three major pillars of the subject: the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Honour of the Crown, and Aboriginal Treaties. These three, taken together, make up the framework of the Aboriginal Constitution, which parallels the Federal Pact between the Provinces and provides the Constitution of Canada with its most ancient roots.


Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert Hovenkamp Aug 2014

Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

One recurring call over a century of American constitutional thought is for return to a “classical” understanding of American federal and state Constitutions. “Classical” does not necessarily mean “originalist” or “interpretivist." Some classical views, such as the attempt to revitalize Lochner-style economic due process, find little support in the text of the federal Constitution or any of the contemporary state constitutions. Rather, constitutional meaning is thought to lie in a background link between constitution formation and classical statecraft. The core theory rests on the assumption of a social contract to which everyone in some initial position agreed. Like any ...


China's Homegrown Free-Speech Tradition: Imperial Past And Modern Present. And Post-Modern Future?, Roy L. Sturgeon Jul 2014

China's Homegrown Free-Speech Tradition: Imperial Past And Modern Present. And Post-Modern Future?, Roy L. Sturgeon

Roy L. Sturgeon

Freedom of speech, or the right to publicly criticize government officials and policies without being criminally prosecuted or otherwise deprived of personal liberty, is the most important right citizens have in nations claiming to be democratic, respect human rights, and follow the rule of law. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Constitution grants citizens this right. But those exercising it in the political sphere have met grave problems since the PRC’s founding in 1949. Tension and conflict over free speech in China, however, are not only recent phenomena. They have existed for millennia. A recounting of six important ...


Lochner, Liquor, And Longshoremen: A Puzzle In Progressive Era Federalism, Barry Cushman Apr 2014

Lochner, Liquor, And Longshoremen: A Puzzle In Progressive Era Federalism, Barry Cushman

Barry Cushman

In 1890, the Supreme Court shocked and thrilled the civilized world with the announcement that dry states could not prohibit the sale of liquor shipped in from outside the state. So long as the out-of-state goods remained in their "original packages," the Court held they retained their character as interstate commerce subject only to federal regulation. The consequences for the cause of local sobriety were, predictably, catastrophic. The proliferation in temperance territory of "original package saloons," at which one could purchase liquor free from the superintendence of local liquor authorities, was appalling to dry eyes. Members of Congress immediately proposed ...


The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide, Christopher W. Schmidt Mar 2014

The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide, Christopher W. Schmidt

Christopher W. Schmidt

Contemporary legal discourse differentiates “civil rights” from “civil liberties.” The former are generally understood as protections against discriminatory treatment, the latter as freedom from oppressive government authority. This Essay explains how this differentiation arose and considers its consequences.

Although there is a certain inherent logic to the civil rights-civil liberties divide, it in fact is the product of the unique circumstances of a particular moment in history. In the early years of the Cold War, liberal anticommunists sought to distinguish their incipient interest in the cause of racial equality from their belief that national security required limitations on the speech ...


Deadly Dicta: Roe’S “Unwanted Motherhood”, Gonzales’S “Women’S Regret” And The Shifting Narrative Of Abortion Jurisprudence, Stacy A. Scaldo Mar 2013

Deadly Dicta: Roe’S “Unwanted Motherhood”, Gonzales’S “Women’S Regret” And The Shifting Narrative Of Abortion Jurisprudence, Stacy A. Scaldo

Stacy A Scaldo

For thirty-four years, the narrative of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the issue of abortion was firmly focused on the pregnant woman. From the initial finding that the right to an abortion stemmed from a constitutional right to privacy[1], through the test applied and refined to determine when that right was abridged[2], to the striking of statutes found to over-regulate that right[3], the conversation from the Court’s perspective maintained a singular focus. Pro-life arguments focusing on the fetus as the equal or greater party of interest were systematically pushed aside by the Court.[4] The consequences of ...


The United States Constitution And Its History Through The Barristers And Political, Allen E. Shoenberger Mar 2013

The United States Constitution And Its History Through The Barristers And Political, Allen E. Shoenberger

Allen E Shoenberger

No abstract provided.


In Defense Of Implied Injunctive Relief In Constitutional Cases, John F. Preis Feb 2013

In Defense Of Implied Injunctive Relief In Constitutional Cases, John F. Preis

John F. Preis

If Congress has neither authorized nor prohibited a suit to enforce the Constitution, may the federal courts create one nonetheless? At present, the answer mostly turns on the form of relief sought: if the plaintiff seeks damages, the Supreme Court will normally refuse relief unless Congress has specifically authorized it; in contrast, if the plaintiff seeks an injunction, the Court will refuse relief only if Congress has specifi- cally barred it. These contradictory approaches naturally invite arguments for reform. Two common arguments—one based on the historical relationship between law and equity and the other based on separation of powers ...


The International Law Jurisprudence Of Thurgood Marshall, Craig L. Jackson Feb 2013

The International Law Jurisprudence Of Thurgood Marshall, Craig L. Jackson

Craig L. Jackson

International law conjures up images of large firm lawyers jetting from one glamorous international location to another making deals for an international multilateral corporation. Or one’s thoughts may tend toward civil servants working for their country’s foreign ministry or for an international organization negotiating treaties that stop wars or arguing fine points of public international law before an international tribunal in The Hague or Strasbourg, or some similar place not named Pompano Beach, Florida,[1] Houston, Texas,[2] St. Louis, Missouri,[3] Norman, Oklahoma,[4] Topeka, Kansas[5] even New York City. But the latter areall places where ...


The Second Amendment´S Fixed Meaning And Multiple Purposes, Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger Jan 2013

The Second Amendment´S Fixed Meaning And Multiple Purposes, Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger

Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger

The Second Amendment’s Fixed Meaning and Multiple Purposes

The faith to the Constitution’s textual meaning may provide the interpreter with the ability to perceive the adaptability of a constitutional provision to different social and political contexts. The text of the Constitution refers to principles of law; principles that are indispensable in different ways throughout time. Textualism as a constitutional interpretation model may offer the path to a more versatile Constitution.

To support this statement, this work examines the cases in which the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The focal point of interest is the ...


Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn Dec 2012

Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn

Wilson R. Huhn

People have a fundamental need to think of themselves as “good people.” To achieve this we tell each other stories – we create myths – about ourselves and our society. These myths may be true or they may be false. The more discordant a myth is with reality, the more difficult it is to convince people to embrace it. In such cases to sustain the illusion of truth it may be necessary to develop an entire mythology – an integrated web of mutually supporting stories. This paper explores the system of myths that sustained the institution of slavery in the antebellum United States.


How Bad Were The Official Records Of The Federal Convention?, Mary Sarah Bilder Oct 2012

How Bad Were The Official Records Of The Federal Convention?, Mary Sarah Bilder

Mary Sarah Bilder

The official records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 have been neglected and dismissed by scholars for the last century, largely to due to Max Farrand’s criticisms of both the records and the man responsible for keeping them - Secretary of the Convention William Jackson. This Article disagrees with Farrand’s conclusion that the Convention records were bad, and aims to resurrect the records and Jackson’s reputation. The Article suggests that the endurance of Farrand’s critique arises in part from misinterpretations of certain procedural components of the Convention and failure to appreciate the significance of others, understandable considering ...


The Thirteenth Amendment Enforcement Authority, Alexander Tsesis Jul 2012

The Thirteenth Amendment Enforcement Authority, Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis

In the paper, I argue that the Thirteenth Amendment's enforcement clause grants Congress the power to enact statutes to protect liberty. I trace the American concept of liberty, using archival research, through the writings of the revolutionary framers and abolitionists. I believe that the Thirty-Eighth Congress, 1864-1865, intended the Thirteenth Amendment to provide the power to enforce the Declaration of Independence's and Preamble's guarantees of equal liberty. The paper also places the enforcement clause of the Thirteenth Amendment into the contemporary setting of recent decisions on the Fourteenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause.


Bush V. Gore: The Worst (Or At Least Second-To-The-Worst) Supreme Court Decision Ever, Mark S. Brodin May 2012

Bush V. Gore: The Worst (Or At Least Second-To-The-Worst) Supreme Court Decision Ever, Mark S. Brodin

Mark S. Brodin

In the stiff competition for worst Supreme Court decision ever, two candidates stand heads above the others for the simple reason that they precipitated actual fighting wars in their times. By holding that slaves, as mere chattels, could not sue in court and could never be American citizens, and further invalidating the Missouri Compromise, which had prohibited slavery in new territories, Dred Scott v. Sanford charted the course to secession and Civil War four years later. By disenfranchising Florida voters and thereby appointing popular-vote loser George W. Bush as President, Bush v. Gore set in motion events which would lead ...


Federalist Or Friends Of Adams: The Marshall Court And Party Politics, Mark A. Graber Apr 2012

Federalist Or Friends Of Adams: The Marshall Court And Party Politics, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

No abstract provided.


Hollow Hopes And Exaggerated Fears: The Canon/Anticanon In Context, Mark A. Graber Jan 2012

Hollow Hopes And Exaggerated Fears: The Canon/Anticanon In Context, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

Students of American constitutionalism should add constitutional decisions made by elected officials to the constitutional canon and the constitutional anticanon. Neither the canonical nor the anticanonical constitutional decisions by the Supreme Court have produced the wonderful results or horrible evils sometimes attributed to them. In many cases, elected officials made contemporaneous constitutional decisions that had as much influence as the celebrated or condemned judicial rulings. More often than not, judicial rulings matter more as a result of changing the political dynamics than by directly changing public policy. Law students and others interested in constitutional change, for these reasons, need to ...


Plus Or Minus One: The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Amendments, Mark A. Graber Jan 2012

Plus Or Minus One: The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Amendments, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

The consensus that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Thirteenth Amendment has come under sharp criticism in recent years. Several new works suggest that the Thirteenth Amendment, properly interpreted, protects some substantive rights not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Some of this scholarship is undoubtedly motivated by an effort to avoid hostile Supreme Court precedents. Nevertheless, more seems to be going on than mere litigation strategy. Scholars detected different rights and regime principles in the Thirteenth Amendment than they find in the Fourteenth Amendment. The 2011 Maryland Constitutional Law Schoomze, to which this is an introduction, provided an opportunity for law ...


Bad News For John Marshall, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson Dec 2011

Bad News For John Marshall, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson

David B Kopel

In Bad News for Professor Koppelman: The Incidental Unconstitutionality of the Individual Mandate, we demonstrated that the individual mandate’s forced participation in commercial transactions cannot be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause as the Clause was interpreted in McCulloch v. Maryland. Professor Andrew Koppelman’s response, Bad News for Everybody, wrongly conflates that argument with a wide range of interpretative and substantive positions that are not logically entailed by taking seriously the requirement that laws enacted under the Necessary and Proper Clause must be incidental to an enumerated power. His response is thus largely unresponsive to our actual ...


The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

If there is any single theme that has provided the foundation of modern liberalism and has infused our more specific constitutional commitments to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, that theme is probably “freedom of conscience.” But some observers also perceive a progressive cheapening of conscience– even a sort of degradation. Such criticisms suggest the need for a contemporary rethinking of conscience. When we reverently invoke “conscience,” do we have any idea what we are talking about? Or are we just exploiting a venerable theme for rhetorical purposes without any clear sense of what “conscience” is or why it ...


Idea Or Practice: A Brief Historiography Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Sep 2011

Idea Or Practice: A Brief Historiography Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Mary Sarah Bilder

Judicial review may be the most publicly contested aspect of American constitutionalism. The conventional beliefs that judicial review should be understood as an idea and American constitutionalism studied as a new rationalistic, political science are largely due to the influential scholarship of Edward Corwin. This brief essay recovers the pre-Corwin discussion about the origins of judicial review to demonstrate the way in which the approach to judicial review as an idea has been, itself, historically constructed by scholarly inclination, disciplinary identification, and the availability of historical materials.


Expounding The Law: Law And Judicial Duty, Mary Sarah Bilder Sep 2011

Expounding The Law: Law And Judicial Duty, Mary Sarah Bilder

Mary Sarah Bilder

Written as a comment on Philip Hamburger's book, Law and Judicial Duty, this essay explains why the history of judicial review remains a difficult area for scholarship. American judicial tradition espoused that judges had an obligation to declare as void laws repugnant to the constitution. The essay suggests that the source of this duty, as well as the meaning of both the constitution and laws of the land, changed over time. The essay proposes that scholars perceived American judicial review as problematic only when this tradition conflicted with an increasingly rigid belief in separation of powers. The essay concludes ...


From Racial Discrimination To Separate But Equal: The Common Law Impact Of The Thirteenth Amendment, David S. Bogen Aug 2011

From Racial Discrimination To Separate But Equal: The Common Law Impact Of The Thirteenth Amendment, David S. Bogen

David S. Bogen

Many forces produced the shift in the United States from the acceptance of slavery and racial inequality to the doctrine of separate but equal. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and authorized legislation to enforce that abolition, but these well-known direct effects are only part of the story. This paper examines the Amendment’s indirect impact on racial discrimination – furthering a standard of equality in public relationships without threatening the existing racial separation. The Amendment is evidence of a change in values that justified overturning prior decisions, and abolition created a new context for legislation and common law decisions. It reinforced ...