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Courts Over Constitutions Revisited: Unwritten Constitutionalism In The States, Thomas B. Mcaffee, Nathan N. Frost, Rachel Beth Klein-Levine Jan 2004

Courts Over Constitutions Revisited: Unwritten Constitutionalism In The States, Thomas B. Mcaffee, Nathan N. Frost, Rachel Beth Klein-Levine

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A good deal of modern debate in constitutional law has concerned the appropriate methods for construing constitutional rights. But the focus on “individual rights” has sometimes prompted us to pay too little attention to the “right” deemed most fundamental by those who brought us the state and federal constitutions: the right of the people collectively to make determinations about how they should be governed. The author demonstrates that the key to understanding the development of the power of judicial review, both by the United States Supreme Court and by the highest courts of the states, is to perceive courts as ...


Does The Federal Constitution Incorporate The Declaration Of Independence?, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 2001

Does The Federal Constitution Incorporate The Declaration Of Independence?, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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A standard view at the time of the adoption of the Constitution was that “a constitution does not in itself imply any more than a declaration of the relation which the different parts of the government have to each other, but does not imply security for the rights of individuals.” The drafters of the state constitutions had “assumed that government had all power except for specific prohibitions contained in a bill of rights.” When the federal Constitution was transmitted to the states by Congress, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts defended the omission of a bill of rights based on the federal ...


The Tenth Amendment Among The Shadows: On Reading The Constitution In Plato's Cave, Jay S. Bybee Jan 2000

The Tenth Amendment Among The Shadows: On Reading The Constitution In Plato's Cave, Jay S. Bybee

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In Plato's Allegory of the Cave, he describes a cavernous chamber in which men are imprisoned. Although a large fire lights the cave, the prisoners cannot see the light source. Instead, they can only make out figures that dance and parade in front of them illuminated by the fire. The prisoners cannot even see the figures directly, only their shadows. Everything that the prisoners know about reality they have learned from the distorted shapes of the shadows dancing about the cave's walls. Socrates wonders, if a prisoner were suddenly freed and could see the objects themselves and not ...


The Federal System As Bill Of Rights: Original Understandings, Modern Misreadings, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1998

The Federal System As Bill Of Rights: Original Understandings, Modern Misreadings, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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In the modern era, we have almost completely lost track of the relationship that the Framers of the United States Constitution perceived between the structure of our federal system and the protection of popular rights. At least two obvious components of this confusion persist. First, as we have come to think of rights almost exclusively in terms of the claims of individuals against the government, we have lost the ability to hear the Framers' voices referring to rights held by the people in their collective capacity, including the rights of the people within each of the sovereign states to be ...


Forum Shopping For Arbitration Decisions: Federal Courts' Use Of Antisuit Injunctions Against State Courts, Jean R. Sternlight Jan 1998

Forum Shopping For Arbitration Decisions: Federal Courts' Use Of Antisuit Injunctions Against State Courts, Jean R. Sternlight

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Arbitration clauses, which are supposed to do away with litigation, have ironically spawned many complicated and expensive court fights. Some of the most complex cases involve both forum shopping by the parties and jurisdictional turf battles between federal and state courts. Federal courts have, on quite a few occasions, actually gone so far as to enjoin a state court from continuing to consider a pending case because the federal court concluded that the matter ought to be arbitrated. The Supreme Court, however, has never ruled on whether or when such "arbitral antisuit injunctions" are permissible. In Moses H. Cone Memorial ...


Insuring Domestic Tranquility: Lopez, Federalization Of Crime, And The Forgotten Role Of The Domestic Violence Clause, Jay S. Bybee Jan 1997

Insuring Domestic Tranquility: Lopez, Federalization Of Crime, And The Forgotten Role Of The Domestic Violence Clause, Jay S. Bybee

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Lost in the discussions of the federalization of crime is the one clause in the Constitution that actually links Congress, the states, and the problem of local crime: the Domestic Violence Clause.

Long ignored by courts, the Domestic Violence Clause recognizes the primacy of the states in addressing domestic violence within their borders. It imposes on the federal government a duty to protect states against domestic violence, but only when states request assistance. The Domestic Violence Clause plays the role of a Tenth Amendment for crime. It is a reaffirmation of the enumerated powers doctrine and a promise of federal ...


Gateway Widens Doorway To Imposing Unfair Binding Arbitration On Consumers, Jean R. Sternlight Jan 1997

Gateway Widens Doorway To Imposing Unfair Binding Arbitration On Consumers, Jean R. Sternlight

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Hill v. Gateway, is but the most extreme example of a series of court decisions that allow large companies to impose potentially unfair binding arbitration agreements on unwitting consumers. The outcome in Gateway, however, is questionable on federal statutory, common law, and constitutional grounds.


Who Executes The Executioner? Impeachment, Indictment And Other Alternatives To Assassination, Jay S. Bybee Jan 1997

Who Executes The Executioner? Impeachment, Indictment And Other Alternatives To Assassination, Jay S. Bybee

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This article addresses whether the Constitution protects a sitting President from indictment. The text of the Constitution is not clear on this question as it might be, but it is clear enough. No court has ever addressed the question of the President’s amenability to criminal charges, although the courts have considered the related question of whether federal judges can be subjected to criminal charges. Those courts have answered that judges and other officials are subject to criminal prosecution while in office. Congress has implicitly approved this conclusion in its passage of the Ethics in Government Act with its provision ...


A Critical Guide To The Ninth Amendment, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1996

A Critical Guide To The Ninth Amendment, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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Since the Supreme Court's decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, thousands of law students each year have confronted a confusing debate over the meaning of the Ninth Amendment. Writing for the majority in Griswold, Justice Douglas included the Ninth Amendment among the sources for deriving the “penumbral” right of privacy. More central to this article, in a separate concurrence Justice Goldberg contended that the Amendment provided a basis for the discovery of fundamental human rights beyond those included in the text of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In response, the dissenting Justices, Stewart and Black, argued that Goldberg ...


Federalism And The Protection Of Rights: The Modern Ninth Amendment’S Spreading Confusion, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1996

Federalism And The Protection Of Rights: The Modern Ninth Amendment’S Spreading Confusion, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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Blindness to a basic understanding of the framers' design of our federal structure is largely responsible for the confusion that surrounds our understanding of the Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In Griswold v. Connecticut, Justices Black and Stewart explained in separate dissenting opinions that the Ninth Amendment's reference to the other rights “retained by the people” alluded to the collective and individual rights the people “retained” by virtue of granting limited, enumerated powers to the national government ...


The Illinois Bill Of Rights And Our Independent Legal Tradition: A Critique Of The Illinois Lockstep Doctrine, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1987

The Illinois Bill Of Rights And Our Independent Legal Tradition: A Critique Of The Illinois Lockstep Doctrine, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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Illinois’ highest court continues to follow the rule that courts of this state are strictly bound by Supreme Court decisions construing provisions that are substantially identical to provisions found in the Illinois Constitution. Increasingly, however, this rule has been challenged by dissenting justices who contend that it is contrary to the state’s independent legal tradition and rests upon an accurate view of the relationship between federal and state courts and their respective constitutions. These justices contend that the court may give independent attention to the provisions of the Illinois Constitution and need not slavishly adhere to decisions of the ...