Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Digital Commons Network

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 522

Full-Text Articles in Entire DC Network

Issuance Of The Keystone Xl Permit: Presidential Prerogative Or Presidential “Chutzpah”, Hope M. Babcock May 2020

Issuance Of The Keystone Xl Permit: Presidential Prerogative Or Presidential “Chutzpah”, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article uses President Trump's issuance of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit to illustrate the dangers of an imperial presidency, one in which the exercise of discretionary authority, based on neither the text of Article II of the Constitution nor a statute, will in all likelihood be unchecked by Congress, the courts, or popular opinion. To understand the dimensions of this concern, Part I of this article briefly describes the process and requirements for a presidential permit. Part II identifies key facts surrounding issuance of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, the chronology of its issuance, and commonly given reasons ...


Governmental Public Health Powers During The Covid-19 Pandemic: Stay-At-Home Orders, Business Closures, And Travel Restrictions, Lawrence O. Gostin, Lindsay F. Wiley Apr 2020

Governmental Public Health Powers During The Covid-19 Pandemic: Stay-At-Home Orders, Business Closures, And Travel Restrictions, Lawrence O. Gostin, Lindsay F. Wiley

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The president and all 50 governors have declared health emergencies to combat the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While researchers race for vaccines, officials are implementing physical distancing, including orders to stay at home, restrict travel, and close non-essential businesses. To limit cross-border spread, a few states have issued mandatory quarantines for interstate travelers. Models suggest physical distancing would have to persist for 3 months to mitigate peak impacts on health systems and could continue on an intermittent basis for 12-18 months. What legal powers do governments have? What is ...


Gerrymandering Justiciability, Girardeau A. Spann Apr 2020

Gerrymandering Justiciability, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

As illustrated by its 2019 decision in Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court has gerrymandered its justiciability doctrines in a way that protects the political power of white voters. Comparing the Court’s willingness to find racial gerrymanders justiciable with its refusal to find partisan gerrymanders justiciable reveals a lack of doctrinal constraint. That gives the Court the discretionary power to uphold or strike down particular gerrymanders by deeming them racial or partisan in nature. Such discretion is problematic because, when the Supreme Court has exercised discretion in a racial context, it has historically done so to protect the ...


New Media, Free Expression, And The Offences Against The State Acts, Laura K. Donohue Mar 2020

New Media, Free Expression, And The Offences Against The State Acts, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Ireland, since 1939, the Offences Against the State Act (OAS) has served as the primary vehicle for confronting political violence. How effective is it in light of new media and the novel types of threats that it poses? Terrorist recruitment is just the tip of the iceberg. Social networking sites allow for targeted and global fundraising, international direction and control, anonymous power structures, and access to critical expertise. The platform can create the oceans within which extreme ideologies can prosper—and it can do so, targeting individuals likely to be sympathetic to the cause, 24 hours a day, seven ...


Confronting Memory Loss, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Feb 2020

Confronting Memory Loss, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment grants “the accused” in “all criminal prosecutions” a right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” A particular problem occurs when there is a gap in time between the testimony that is offered, and the cross-examination of it, as where, pursuant to a hearsay exception or exemption, evidence of a current witness’s prior statement is offered and for some intervening reason her current memory is impaired. Does this fatally affect the opportunity to “confront” the witness? The Supreme Court has, to date, left unclear the extent to which a memory-impaired witness ...


Why A Wealth Tax Is Definitely Constitutional, John R. Brooks, David Gamage Jan 2020

Why A Wealth Tax Is Definitely Constitutional, John R. Brooks, David Gamage

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Wealth tax reform proposals are playing a major role in the 2020 presidential campaign. However, some opponents of these wealth tax reform proposals have claimed that a wealth tax would be unconstitutional. Other prominent critics have argued that wealth tax reforms are probably unconstitutional, so that, after review by the courts, the “likeliest outcome is that a wealth tax will raise exactly zero dollars.”

These claims are wrong. More precisely, these claims are wrong conditioned on wealth tax legislation being carefully drafted so as to ensure its constitutionality. As we will explain in this essay, properly drafted, wealth tax reform ...


Three Keys To The Original Meaning Of The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2020

Three Keys To The Original Meaning Of The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Establishing the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause requires a wealth of evidence. But three key data points are crucial to identifying the core of its meaning. First, Supreme Court Justice Washington’s explanation of the meaning of “privileges and immunities” in Corfield v. Coryell; second, the rights protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1866; and third, Michigan Senator Jacob Howard’s speech explaining the content of the Privileges or Immunities Clause when introducing the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Senate in 1866. Any theory of the Privileges or Immunities Clause and its ...


The President And Nuclear Weapons: Authorities, Limits, And Process, Mary B. Derosa, Ashley Nicolas Dec 2019

The President And Nuclear Weapons: Authorities, Limits, And Process, Mary B. Derosa, Ashley Nicolas

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is no more consequential decision for a president than ordering a nuclear strike. In the Cold War, the threat of sudden nuclear annihilation necessitated procedures emphasizing speed and efficiency and placing sole decision-making authority in the president’s hands. In today’s changed threat environment, the legal authorities and process a U.S. president would confront when making this grave decision merit reexamination. This paper serves as a resource in the national discussion about a president’s legal authority and the procedures for ordering a nuclear strike, and whether to update them.


Brief Of Amicus Curiae 290 Criminal Law And Mental Health Law Professors In Support Of Petitioner's Request For Reversal And Remand, Kahler V. Kansas, 18-6135 (U.S. June 6, 2019), Paul F. Rothstein Jun 2019

Brief Of Amicus Curiae 290 Criminal Law And Mental Health Law Professors In Support Of Petitioner's Request For Reversal And Remand, Kahler V. Kansas, 18-6135 (U.S. June 6, 2019), Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Amici curiae are a group of philosophically and politically diverse law school professors and scholars in the fields of criminal law and mental health from a variety of disciplines who have been teaching and writing about the insanity defense and related issues throughout their careers. They include the authors of leading criminal law and mental health law treatises and casebooks and numerous important scholarly books and articles.

Amici believe this case raises important questions about principles of criminal responsibility, the integral role of the insanity defense in Anglo-American law, and the inadequacy of the “mens rea alternative” to the traditional ...


Originalism Versus Living Constitutionalism: The Conceptual Structure Of The Great Debate, Lawrence B. Solum Apr 2019

Originalism Versus Living Constitutionalism: The Conceptual Structure Of The Great Debate, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Essay explores the conceptual structure of the great debate about “originalism” and “living constitutionalism.” The core of the great debate is substantive and addresses the normative question, “What is the best theory of constitutional interpretation and construction?” That question leads to others, including questions about the various forms and variations of originalism and living constitutionalism. Originalists argue that the meaning of the constitutional text is fixed and that it should bind constitutional actors. Living constitutionalists contend that constitutional law can and should evolve in response to changing circumstances and values. This Essay advances a metalinguistic proposal for classifying theories ...


No Arbitrary Power: An Originalist Theory Of The Due Process Of Law, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick Apr 2019

No Arbitrary Power: An Originalist Theory Of The Due Process Of Law, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

“Due process of law” is arguably the most controversial and frequently-litigated phrase in the American Constitution. Although the dominant originalist view has long been that Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process of Law Clauses are solely “process” guarantees and don’t constrain the “substance” of legislation at all, originalist scholars have in recent years made fresh inquiries into the historical evidence and concluded that there’s a weighty case for some form of substantive due process. In this Article, we review and critique these findings employing our theory of good-faith originalist interpretation and construction.

We begin by investigating the ...


Customs, Immigration, And Rights: Constitutional Limits On Electronic Border Searches, Laura K. Donohue Apr 2019

Customs, Immigration, And Rights: Constitutional Limits On Electronic Border Searches, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The warrantless search of travelers’ electronic devices as they enter and exit the United States is rapidly increasing. While the Supreme Court has long recognized a border-search exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, it applies to only two interests: promoting the duty regime and preventing contraband from entering the country; and ensuring that individuals are legally admitted. The government’s recent use of the exception goes substantially beyond these matters. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are using it to search electronic devices, and at times the cloud, for evidence of ...


Texas V United States: The Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional And Will Remain So, Lawrence O. Gostin Jan 2019

Texas V United States: The Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional And Will Remain So, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On December 14, 2018, in a widely reported decision, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. The judge reasoned that since the ACA’s “individual mandate” is unconstitutional, the rest of the law cannot stand without it. However, the ACA will remain in place pending appeal, and it is highly unlikely that this ruling will stand.


Aedpa As Forum Allocation: The Textual And Structural Case For Overruling Williams V. Taylor, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2019

Aedpa As Forum Allocation: The Textual And Structural Case For Overruling Williams V. Taylor, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Williams v. Taylor, the Supreme Court read a section of the Anti- Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) to change the long-prevailing de novo standard of review of federal habeas petitions by state prisoners. In holding that Congress had denied the lower federal courts the power to grant habeas relief to prisoners in custody pursuant to wrong but reasonable state court decisions, the Court departed from the provision’s text and relied instead on its perception of a generalized congressional purpose to cut back on habeas relief and on the non-redundancy canon of statutory construction. On both scores ...


The Declaration Of Independence And The American Theory Of Government: “First Come Rights, And Then Comes Government”, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2019

The Declaration Of Independence And The American Theory Of Government: “First Come Rights, And Then Comes Government”, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The topic of this panel is the Declaration of Independence, to which I devoted a chapter of my recent book, Our Republican Constitution. I want to draw on that book to make five points.


The Privileges Or Immunities Clause Abridged: A Critique Of Kurt Lash On The Fourteenth Amendment, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick Jan 2019

The Privileges Or Immunities Clause Abridged: A Critique Of Kurt Lash On The Fourteenth Amendment, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was virtually eliminated by the Supreme Court in three cases: The Slaughter-House Cases, Bradwell v. Illinois, and United States v. Cruikshank. Today, most constitutional scholars agree that this was a terrible mistake, the effects of which continue to reverberate through our constitutional law. But, as evidenced by the Court’s decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, both the “left” and “right” sides of the Court are reluctant to open the “Pandora’s Box” of uncertainty created by the phrase “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Scholars have ...


On Being Old Codgers: A Conversation About A Half Century In Legal Education, Mark Tushnet, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2019

On Being Old Codgers: A Conversation About A Half Century In Legal Education, Mark Tushnet, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This conversation, conducted over three evenings, captures some of our thoughts about the last half century of legal education as both of us near retirement. We have edited the conversations so as to eliminate verbal stumbles and present our ideas more coherently, slightly reorganized a small part of the conversation, and added a few explanatory footnotes. However, we have attempted to keep the informal tone of our discussions.


The Case Of The Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor Jan 2019

The Case Of The Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

At the end of the proceedings of the federal constitutional convention, the delegates appointed the Committee of Style and Arrangement to bring together the textual provisions that the convention had previously agreed to and to prepare a final constitution. Pennsylvania delegate Gouverneur Morris drafted the document for the committee, and, with few revisions and little debate, the convention subsequently adopted the constitution proposed by the Committee. For more than two hundred years, questions have been raised as to whether Morris as drafter covertly made changes to the text in order to advance his constitutional vision, but the legal scholars and ...


Why Bernie Is Confused: Populist And Progressive Strands In Liberal Constitutionalism, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2019

Why Bernie Is Confused: Populist And Progressive Strands In Liberal Constitutionalism, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Many modern liberals believe that the federal government is captured by a “billionaire party” determined to wield public power for private gain. But many of them also believe in giving the federal government greatly enhanced powers, like administering “Medicare for all.”

There is a history to this contradiction. Modern liberalism is an amalgam of older populist and progressive impulses with deep roots in the country’s past. The populist impulse locates the source of economic oppression in government corruption. The solution to this problem is direct, popular democracy. Progressives tend to locate the source of economic oppression in the malfunction ...


The Difference Narrows: A Reply To Kurt Lash, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick Jan 2019

The Difference Narrows: A Reply To Kurt Lash, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


The Canon Wars, Anita S. Krishnakumar, Victoria Nourse Nov 2018

The Canon Wars, Anita S. Krishnakumar, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Canons are taking their turn down the academic runway in ways that no one would have foretold just a decade ago. Affection for canons of construction has taken center stage in recent Supreme Court cases and in constitutional theory. Harvard Dean John Manning and originalists Will Baude and Stephen Sachs have all suggested that principles of “ordinary interpretation” including canons should inform constitutional interpretation. Given this newfound enthusiasm for canons, and their convergence in both constitutional and statutory law, it is not surprising that we now have two competing book-length treatments of the canons—one by Justice Scalia and Bryan ...


Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum Oct 2018

Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Much ink has already been spilled on the relationship of constitutional originalism to precedent (or, more specifically, the doctrine of stare decisis). The debate includes contributions from Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Kurt Lash, Gary Lawson, John McGinnis with Michael Rappaport, Michael Paulsen, and Lee Strang, not to mention Justice Antonin Scalia—all representing originalism in some form. Living constitutionalism has also been represented both implicitly and explicitly, with important contributions from Phillip Bobbitt, Ronald Dworkin, Michael Gerhardt, Randy Kozel, and David Strauss. Some writers are more difficult to classify; Akhil Amar comes to mind. And there are many other contributions ...


State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman Oct 2018

State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On conventional accounts, the state action doctrine is dichotomous. When the government acts, constitutional limits take hold and the government action is invalid if those limits are exceeded. When the government fails to act, the state action doctrine leaves decisions to individuals, who are permitted to violate what would otherwise be constitutional constraints.

It turns out though that the modern state action doctrine creates three rather than two domains. There is indeed a private, inner band where there is thought to be insufficient government action to trigger constitutional constraints, but often there is also a public, outer band where there ...


After All These Years, Lochner Was Not Crazy—It Was Good, Randy E. Barnett Jul 2018

After All These Years, Lochner Was Not Crazy—It Was Good, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For this year’s Rosenkranz Debate, we have been asked to debate the question: Lochner v. New York: Still Crazy After All These Years? It is my job to defend the “negative” position. My burden is not to establish that Lochner was correctly decided, but merely that it was not “crazy.” I intend to meet that burden and exceed it. I intend to show how Lochner v. New York was not at all crazy; in fact, it was a reasonable and good decision.


The Law (?) Of The Lincoln Assassination, Martin S. Lederman Mar 2018

The Law (?) Of The Lincoln Assassination, Martin S. Lederman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Shortly after John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, President Andrew Johnson directed that Booth’s alleged coconspirators be tried in a makeshift military tribunal, rather than in the Article III court that was open for business just a few blocks from Ford’s Theater. Johnson’s decision implicated a fundamental constitutional question that was a subject of heated debate throughout the Civil War: When, if ever, may the federal government circumvent Article III’s requirements of a criminal trial by jury, with an independent, tenure-protected presiding judge, by trying individuals other than members of the armed ...


The Letter And The Spirit: A Unified Theory Of Originalism, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick Jan 2018

The Letter And The Spirit: A Unified Theory Of Originalism, Randy E. Barnett, Evan Bernick

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The concept of constitutional construction is of central importance to originalist theory but is both underdeveloped and controversial among originalists. Some object that its apparent open-endedness undermines the constraining virtues of originalism and exposes citizens to arbitrary judicial power. In this Article, we respond to this challenge by presenting an originalist theory of constitutional construction that can guide and constrain judicial activity within the “construction zone.” When combined with an originalist theory of constitutional interpretation, our approach yields a unified theory of originalism.

Our theory of constitutional construction draws upon a familiar common-law concept long used in contract and fiduciary ...


The Constitutional Right To Collateral Post-Conviction Review, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck Sep 2017

The Constitutional Right To Collateral Post-Conviction Review, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For years, the prevailing academic and judicial wisdom has held that, between them, Congress and the Supreme Court have rendered post- conviction habeas review all but a dead letter. But in its January 2016 decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court may have dramatically upended that understanding in holding—for the first time—that there are at least some cases in which the Constitution itself creates a right to collateral post-conviction review, i.e., cases in which a prisoner seeks to enforce retroactively a “new rule” of substantive constitutional law under the familiar doctrine of Teague v. Lane.

On ...


Of Spies, Saboteurs, And Enemy Accomplices: History’S Lessons For The Constitutionality Of Wartime Military Tribunals, Martin S. Lederman Mar 2017

Of Spies, Saboteurs, And Enemy Accomplices: History’S Lessons For The Constitutionality Of Wartime Military Tribunals, Martin S. Lederman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Congress has recently authorized military commissions to try enemies not only for violations of the international law of war, but also for domestic-law offenses, such as providing material support to terrorism and conspiring to commit law-of-war offenses. Moreover, President Trump has indicated support for further military trials, including trials against U.S. citizens. Such military tribunals lack the civilian jury and independent judge that Article III of the Constitution prescribes. The constitutionality of such an abrogation of Article III’s criminal trial guarantees has been debated during many of the nation’s wars without clear resolution, and the constitutional question ...


Rethinking Children's Advertising Policies For The Digital Age, Angela J. Campbell Jan 2017

Rethinking Children's Advertising Policies For The Digital Age, Angela J. Campbell

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article describes major changes in how video content and advertising is delivered to consumers. Digital technologies such as broadband allow consumers to stream or download programming. Smart phones and tablets allow consumers to view screen content virtually anywhere at any time. Advertising has become personalized and integrated with other content.

Despite these major changes in the media markets, the framework for regulating advertising to children has not changed very much since the 1990s. This article argues that the existing regulatory framework must be reinvented to protect children in the digital age. It uses Google’s recently introduced YouTube Kids ...


The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor Jan 2017

The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In late May 1788, with the essays of the Federalist on the Congress (Article I) and the Executive (Article II) completed, Alexander Hamilton turned, finally, to Article III and the judiciary. The Federalist’s essays 78 to 83 – the essays on the judiciary - had limited effect on ratification. No newspaper outside New York reprinted them, and they appeared very late in the ratification process – after eight states had ratified. But, if these essays had little immediate impact – essentially limited to the ratification debates in New York and, perhaps, Virginia – they were a stunning intellectual achievement. Modern scholars have made Madison ...