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Constitutional Law

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Constitution

University of Georgia School of Law

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Avoiding Independent Agency Armageddon, Kent H. Barnett May 2012

Avoiding Independent Agency Armageddon, Kent H. Barnett

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In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Congress’ use of two layers of tenure protection to shield Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) members from the President’s removal. The SEC could appoint and remove PCAOB members. An implied tenure-protection provision protected the SEC from the President’s at-will removal. And a statutory tenure-protection provision protected PCAOB members from the SEC’s at-will removal. The Court held that these “tiered” tenure protections unconstitutionally impinged upon the President’s removal power because they prevented the President from holding the SEC responsible for ...


Due Process As Separation Of Powers, Nathan S. Chapman, Michael W. Mcconnell May 2012

Due Process As Separation Of Powers, Nathan S. Chapman, Michael W. Mcconnell

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From its conceptual origin in Magna Charta, due process of law has required that government can deprive persons of rights only pursuant to a coordinated effort of separate institutions that make, execute, and adjudicate claims under the law. Originalist debates about whether the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments were understood to entail modern “substantive due process” have obscured the way that many American lawyers and courts understood due process to limit the legislature from the Revolutionary era through the Civil War. They understood due process to prohibit legislatures from directly depriving persons of rights, especially vested property rights, because it was ...


The Originalist Case Against Congressional Supermajority Voting Rules, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2012

The Originalist Case Against Congressional Supermajority Voting Rules, Dan T. Coenen

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Controversy over the Senate’s filibuster practice dominates modern discussion of American legislative government. With increasing frequency, commentators have urged that the upper chamber’s requirement of sixty votes to close debate on pending matters violates a majority-rulebased norm of constitutional law. Proponents of this view, however, tend to gloss over a more basic question: Does the Constitution’s Rules of Proceedings Clause permit the houses of Congress to adopt internal parliamentary requirements under which a bill is deemed “passed” only if it receives supermajority support? This question is important. Indeed, the House already has such a rule in place ...


Awakening The Press Clause, Sonja R. West Apr 2011

Awakening The Press Clause, Sonja R. West

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The Free Press Clause enjoys less practical significance than almost any other constitutional provision. While recognizing the structural and expressive importance of a free press, the Supreme Court has never recognized explicitly any right or protection as emanating solely from the Press Clause. Recently in the Court’s Citizens United decision, Justices Stevens and Scalia reignited the 30-year-old debate over whether the Press Clause has any function separate from the Speech Clause.

The primary roadblock to recognizing independent meaning in the Press Clause is the definitional problem - who or what is the “press”? Others have attempted to define the press ...


Congressional Power Over Presidential Elections: Lessons From The Past And Reforms For The Future, Dan T. Coenen, Edward J. Larson Mar 2002

Congressional Power Over Presidential Elections: Lessons From The Past And Reforms For The Future, Dan T. Coenen, Edward J. Larson

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Presidential election controversies are nothing new. They have plagued our republic since 1801, when the fourth election for the office ended in a muddle that nearly deprived the rightful winner of the presidency. Each controversy has led to calls for reform. In every instance, the cryptic and troublesome constitutional text has hampered congressional efforts to correct the problems. Simply stated, the Constitution offers little explicit guidance on when and how Congress can regulate the selection of the President. In this Article, we explore the implications of this textual deficiency, looking both at what Congress has done in the past and ...


Book Review: From Confederation To Nation: The American Constitution, 1835-1877 By Bernard Schwartz (1973), Donald E. Wilkes Jr. Jan 1974

Book Review: From Confederation To Nation: The American Constitution, 1835-1877 By Bernard Schwartz (1973), Donald E. Wilkes Jr.

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From Confederation to Nation is a constitutional history of the United States in the nineteenth century. To be more exact, it is an examination of the operation of the Federal Constitution from 1835 (the year of John Marshall's death) to 1877 (the end of Reconstruction).

Although the book is. rather short (only 243 pages, including index), it is packed with information and analysis. None of the important American constitutional developments of the period is excluded from discussion. The thesis of the book is that between 1835 and 1877 the United States was transformed from a loose confederation with a ...