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Wittgenstein's Poker: Contested Constitutionalism And The Limits Of Public Meaning Originalism, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2017

Wittgenstein's Poker: Contested Constitutionalism And The Limits Of Public Meaning Originalism, Ian C. Bartrum

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Constitutional originalism is much in the news as our new President fills the Supreme Court vacancy Antonin Scalia's death has created. "Public meaning" originalism is probably the most influential version of originalism in current theoretical circles. This essay argues that, while these "New Originalists" have thoughtfully escaped some of the debilitating criticisms leveled against their predecessors, the result is a profoundly impoverished interpretive methodology that has little to offer most modern constitutional controversies. In particular, the fact that our constitutional practices are contested-that is, we often do not seek semantic or legal agreement-makes particular linguistic indeterminacies highly problematic for ...


The Downstream Consequences Of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton, Sandra G. Mayson, Megan Stevenson Jan 2017

The Downstream Consequences Of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton, Sandra G. Mayson, Megan Stevenson

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In misdemeanor cases, pretrial detention poses a particular problem because it may induce innocent defendants to plead guilty in order to exit jail, potentially creating widespread error in case adjudication. While practitioners have long recognized this possibility, empirical evidence on the downstream impacts of pretrial detention on misdemeanor defendants and their cases remains limited. This Article uses detailed data on hundreds of thousands of misdemeanor cases resolved in Harris County, Texas—the thirdlargest county in the United States—to measure the effects of pretrial detention on case outcomes and future crime. We find that detained defendants are 25% more likely ...


Why Some Religious Accommodations For Mandatory Vaccinations Violate The Establishment Clause, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2017

Why Some Religious Accommodations For Mandatory Vaccinations Violate The Establishment Clause, Hillel Y. Levin

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All states require parents to inoculate their children against deadly diseases prior to enrolling them in public schools, but the vast majority of states also allow parents to opt out on religious grounds. This religious accommodation imposes potentially grave costs on the children of non-vaccinating parents and on those who cannot be immunized. The Establishment Clause prohibits religious accommodations that impose such costs on third parties in some cases, but not in all. This presents a difficult line-drawing problem. The Supreme Court has offered little guidance, and scholars are divided.

This Article addresses the problem of religious accommodations that impose ...


The “Sovereigns Of Cyberspace” And State Action: The First Amendment’S Application (Or Lack Thereof) To Third-Party Platforms, Jonathan Peters Jan 2017

The “Sovereigns Of Cyberspace” And State Action: The First Amendment’S Application (Or Lack Thereof) To Third-Party Platforms, Jonathan Peters

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Many scholars have commented that the state action doctrine forecloses use of the First Amendment to constrain the policies and practices of online service providers. But few have comprehensively studied this issue, and the seminal article exploring “[c]yberspace and the [s]tate [a]ction [d]ebate” is fifteen years old, published before the U.S. Supreme Court reformulated the federal approach to state action. It is important to give the state action doctrine regular scholarly attention, not least because it is increasingly clear that “the private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression.” It is critical ...


The Fragility Of The Free American Press, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West Jan 2017

The Fragility Of The Free American Press, Ronnell Anderson Jones, Sonja R. West

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President Donald Trump has faced criticism for attacking the press and for abandoning longstanding traditions of accommodating and respecting it. This Essay argues that the national discussion spurred by Trump’s treatment of the press has fallen short of capturing the true seriousness of the situation. Trump’s assault on the custom of press accommodation follows a generation-long collapse of other major press protections. In order to fully understand the critical juncture at which American press freedom now stands, we must expand the discussion beyond talk of a rogue president’s aberrant attacks on the press and consider the increasingly ...


A Politics-Reinforcing Political Question Doctrine, Harlan G. Cohen Jan 2017

A Politics-Reinforcing Political Question Doctrine, Harlan G. Cohen

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The modern political question doctrine has long been criticized for shielding the political branches from proper judicial scrutiny and allowing the courts to abdicate their responsibilities. Critics of the doctrine thus cheered when the Supreme Court, in Zivotofsky I, announced a narrowing of the doctrine. Their joy though may have been short-lived. Almost immediately, Zivotofsky II demonstrated the dark side of judicial review of the separation of powers between Congress and the President: deciding separations of powers cases may permanently cut one of the political branches out of certain debates. Judicial scrutiny in a particular case could eliminate political scrutiny ...


Adjudicating Religious Sincerity, Nathan Chapman Jan 2017

Adjudicating Religious Sincerity, Nathan Chapman

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Recent disputes about the “contraception mandate” under the Affordable Care Act and about the provision of goods and services for same-sex weddings have drawn attention to the law of religious accommodations. So far, however, one of the requirements of a religious accommodation claim has escaped sustained scholarly attention: a claimant must be sincere. Historically, scholars have contested this requirement on the ground that adjudicating religious sincerity requires government officials to delve too deeply into religious questions, something the Establishment Clause forbids. Until recently, however, the doctrine was fairly clear: though the government may not evaluate the objective accuracy or plausibility ...


Freedom Of Speech And The Criminal Law, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2017

Freedom Of Speech And The Criminal Law, Dan T. Coenen

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Because the Free Speech Clause limits government power to enact penal statutes, it has a close relationship to American criminal law. This Article explores that relationship at a time when a fast-growing “decriminalization movement” has taken hold across the nation. At the heart of the Article is the idea that free speech law has developed in ways that have positioned the Supreme Court to use that law to impose significant new limits on the criminalization of speech. More particularly, this article claims that the Court has developed three distinct decision-making strategies for decriminalizing speech based on constitutional principles. The first ...


Who Has Standing To Sue The President Over Allegedly Unconstitutional Emoluments?, Matthew I. Hall Jan 2017

Who Has Standing To Sue The President Over Allegedly Unconstitutional Emoluments?, Matthew I. Hall

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Three pending lawsuits challenge President Trump's practice of accepting payments and other benefits from foreign governments through his businesses as violative of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. They also allege that the President's practice of accepting payments and benefits from state or federal governmental units violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause. These actions raise interesting questions about the meaning of two little-discussed provisions of the Constitution. But before reaching the merits the courts will first have to grapple with issues of justiciability - in particular, with the question whether plaintiffs have "standing" to bring their claims in federal court. This article ...


Standing For (And Up To) Separation Of Powers, Kent H. Barnett Apr 2016

Standing For (And Up To) Separation Of Powers, Kent H. Barnett

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The U.S. Constitution requires federal agencies to comply with separation-of-powers (or structural) safeguards, such as by obtaining valid appointments, exercising certain limited powers, and being sufficiently subject to the President’s control. Who can best protect these safeguards? A growing number of scholars call for allowing only the political branches — Congress and the President — to defend them. These scholars would limit or end judicial review because private judicial challenges are aberrant to justiciability doctrine and lead courts to meddle in minor matters that rarely effect regulatory outcomes.

This Article defends the right of private parties to assert justiciable structural ...


Internet Ethics, American Law, And Jewish Law: A Comparative Overview, Samuel J. Levine, Gertrude N. Levine Jan 2016

Internet Ethics, American Law, And Jewish Law: A Comparative Overview, Samuel J. Levine, Gertrude N. Levine

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Societies are governed by codes of ethics. In developed societies, parts of these codes form a set of laws, enforceable by legal authorities, with or without assistance from the populace. At times, laws are crafted for the benefit of the powerful members of the society, ensuring preservation of their positions and property, while other constituents may ignore, actively disobey, or challenge laws they believe do not support their ethics. Developing and maintaining appropriate social norms is thus particularly critical for sustaining rapidly changing heterogeneous populaces.

The Internet, devised for the purpose of interconnecting diverse computer networks of research and educational ...


Political Dysfunction And The Election Of Donald Trump: Problems Of The U.S. Constitution's Presidency, David Orentlicher Jan 2016

Political Dysfunction And The Election Of Donald Trump: Problems Of The U.S. Constitution's Presidency, David Orentlicher

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In this article, Professor Orentlicher examines the Constitution's design for the executive branch. He argues that by opting for a single executive rather than a multi-person executive, the Constitution causes two serious problems-it fuels the high levels of partisan polarization that we see today, and it increases the likelihood of misguided presidential decision making. Drawing on the experience in other countries with executive power shared by multiple officials, he proposes a bipartisan executive.


When Immigrants Speak: The Precarious Status Of Non-Citizen Speech Under The First Amendment, Michael Kagan Jan 2016

When Immigrants Speak: The Precarious Status Of Non-Citizen Speech Under The First Amendment, Michael Kagan

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The legal protection of free speech for immigrants in the United States is surprisingly limited, and it may be under more threat than is commonly understood. Although many unauthorized immigrants have become politically active in campaigning for immigration reform, their ability to speak out publicly may depend more on political discretion than on the Constitutional protections that we normally take for granted. Potential threats to immigrant free speech may be seen in three areas of law. First, a broad claim has been made by the Department of Justice that immigrants who have not been legally admitted to the country have ...


Shrinking The Post-Plenary Power Problem, Michael Kagan Jan 2016

Shrinking The Post-Plenary Power Problem, Michael Kagan

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In this essay, Professor Michael Kagan responds to Professor Matthew J. Lindsay's article, Disaggregating “Immigration Law.” Professor Kagan posits a majority of Supreme Court justices appear to be at least occasionally uneasy with the plenary power doctrine that has shaped immigration law since the Chinese Exclusion Case, but they are not all sure how to live without it either. He argues so long as this remains the case, the Court’s immigration jurisprudence is likely to be incrementally favorable to immigrants on the whole, but tentative, inconsistent, and incoherent in some important ways. He concludes the importance of Professor ...


Off-Label Drug Marketing, The First Amendment, And Federalism, David Orentlicher Jan 2016

Off-Label Drug Marketing, The First Amendment, And Federalism, David Orentlicher

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In this article, Professor Orentlicher explores free speech and federalism issues arising from FDA regulation of off-label uses and off-label marketing of drugs. In light of the FDA's desire to respect state government authority, together with other considerations discussed in this article, he argues for the rejection of the analysis of the Caronia court and to give the FDA significant leeway in its regulation of off-label marketing.


The Institutionalization Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Paul M. Collins Jr., Lori A. Ringhand Jan 2016

The Institutionalization Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Paul M. Collins Jr., Lori A. Ringhand

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This article uses an original database of confirmation hearing dialogue to examine how the Senate Judiciary Committee’s role in Supreme Court confirmations has changed over time, with particular attention paid to the 1939–2010 era. During this period, several notable developments took place, including a rise in the number of hearing comments, increased attention to nominees’ views of judicial decisions, an expansion of the scope of issues addressed, and the equalization of questioning between majority and minority party senators. We demonstrate that these changes were shaped by both endogenous and exogenous factors to promote the legitimization of the Judiciary ...


James Wilson In The State House Yard: Ratifying The Structures Of Popular Sovereignty, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2016

James Wilson In The State House Yard: Ratifying The Structures Of Popular Sovereignty, Ian C. Bartrum

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There is an excellent (and rapidly growing) literature examining the influence of James Wilson's Scottish philosophical education on his later political ideas. In this Article, Professor Ian Bartrum makes two contributions to that scholarship. First, he reexamines several of the most important Scottish moral sentimentalists with a particular focus on the specific ontological and epistemological accounts that influenced Wilson. Second, he dissolves the seeming contradictions in Wilson's political thought by showing that, while he understood that representative bodies were essential to legitimate government, he nonetheless distrusted these institutions because they work to obscure, or even subvert, their members ...


What Did The Supreme Court Hold In Heffernan V. City Of Paterson?, Michael Wells Jan 2016

What Did The Supreme Court Hold In Heffernan V. City Of Paterson?, Michael Wells

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As a favor to his mother, Jeffrey Heffernan picked up a political yard sign. His supervisors demoted him, in the mistaken belief that he had engaged in protected speech. In Heffernan v. City of Patterson, 136 S.Ct. 1412 (2016), the Supreme Court held that a public employee can sue a local government under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when a supervisor acts for constitutionally impermissible motives, even though he has not in fact exercised First Amendment rights. But the grounds for that holding are unclear. The Court may have ruled that the city, through its police chief, violated Heffernan ...


Making Sense Of Legislative Standing, Matthew I. Hall Jan 2016

Making Sense Of Legislative Standing, Matthew I. Hall

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Legislative standing doctrine is neglected and under-theorized. There has always been a wide range of opinions on the Supreme Court about the proper contours of legislative standing doctrine and even about whether the Court should adjudicate disputes between the other two branches at all. Perhaps owing to these disagreements, the full Court has never articulated a clear vision of the doctrine. While the Court has managed to resolve some cases, it has not achieved the consensus necessary to provide a comprehensive and coherent account of critical doctrinal issues such as what type of injury can give rise to legislative standing ...


Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2016

Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook

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On April 4, 2015, Walter L. Scott was driving his vehicle when he was stopped by Officer Michael T. Slager of the North Charleston, South Carolina, police department for a broken taillight. A dash cam video from the officer’s vehicle showed the two men engaged in what appeared to be a rather routine verbal exchange. Sometime after Slager returned to his vehicle, Scott exited his car and ran away from Slager, prompting the officer to pursue him on foot. After he caught up with Scott in a grassy field near a muffler establishment, a scuffle between the men ensued ...


The Problem With Free Press Absolutism, Sonja R. West Jan 2016

The Problem With Free Press Absolutism, Sonja R. West

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In her important new book, The First Amendment Bubble, Professor Amy Gajda exposes the many dangers of this all-encompassing attitude about constitutional rights for the press. Sure, there may have been a time when the news media could demand- and the courts and public would grant near immunity for their work, making free press absolutism relatively costless. Yet Gajda provides example after example demonstrating that the courts no longer give the media a free pass. And as the public and the courts' opinions about the press change, Gajda warns, the news media's thinking about their legal protections must change ...


The Media Exemption Puzzle Of Campaign Finance Laws, Sonja R. West Jan 2016

The Media Exemption Puzzle Of Campaign Finance Laws, Sonja R. West

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In the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court solidified the media exemption dilemma in campaign finance law. When attempting to address concerns about corporate campaign expenditures (i.e., corporate political speech), legislatures are now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Regulate media corporations, and they violate press freedoms. Exempt media corporations from the regulations, however, and they are accused of speaker discrimination.

Thus the question of how to treat the press in campaign finance law can no longer be ignored. Can legislatures, without running afoul of the First Amendment, ever ...


Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes: Four Arguments, Randy Beck Jan 2016

Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes: Four Arguments, Randy Beck

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The Supreme Court has never justified the conclusion that the Constitution bars any substantial regulation designed to protect fetal life prior to viability. No majority opinion has ever offered a rationale for the viability rule, and the arguments recited in non-majority opinions are either conclusory or fail to distinguish viability from earlier lines that might be drawn. The most coherent academic attempt to justify the rule — Professor Laurence Tribe’s argument that a woman can “transfer nurture of [a viable] fetus to other hands” — rests on the erroneous assumption that a pregnant woman can arrange for premature delivery of any ...


Deciphering The Supreme Court's Opinion In Wynne, Walter Hellerstein Jul 2015

Deciphering The Supreme Court's Opinion In Wynne, Walter Hellerstein

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In Wynne, the Supreme Court held that Maryland's personal income tax regime violated the dormant Commerce Clause because It taxed income on a residence and source basis without giving a credit to residents for in· come taxed on a source basis by other states. The Court suggested, how· ever, that a state may tax residents on all their Income without providing a credit for taxes paid by other states if the state did not tax nonresidents on income from sources within the state, even though such a taxing regime might result in double taxation of interstate commerce.


A Critique Of Hobby Lobby And The Supreme Court's Hands-Off Approach To Religion, Samuel J. Levine Jan 2015

A Critique Of Hobby Lobby And The Supreme Court's Hands-Off Approach To Religion, Samuel J. Levine

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Over the past several decades, the United States Supreme Court has demonstrated an increasing refusal to engage in a close evaluation of the religious nature of Free Exercise and Establishment Clause claims, instead deferring to adherents’ characterizations of the substance and significance of a religious practice or belief. The Supreme Court’s hands-off approach, which it has justified on both constitutional and practical grounds, has attracted considerable scholarly attention, producing a substantial and growing body of literature assessing and, at times, critiquing the Court’s approach.

Part I of this Essay provides a brief overview for analyzing the Supreme Court ...


Speaker Discrimination: The Next Frontier Of Free Speech, Michael Kagan Jan 2015

Speaker Discrimination: The Next Frontier Of Free Speech, Michael Kagan

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Citizens United v. FEC articulated a new pillar of free speech doctrine that is independent from the well-known controversies about corporate personhood and the role of money in elections. For the first time, the Supreme Court clearly said that discrimination on the basis of the identity of the speaker offends the First Amendment. Previously, the focus of free speech doctrine had been on the content and forum of speech, not on the identity of the speaker. This new doctrine has the potential to reshape free speech law far beyond the corporate speech and campaign finance contexts. This article explores the ...


Immigration Law’S Looming Fourth Amendment Problem, Michael Kagan Jan 2015

Immigration Law’S Looming Fourth Amendment Problem, Michael Kagan

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In 2014, a wave of federal court decisions found that local police violate the Fourth Amendment when they rely on requests from the Department of Homeland Security to detain people suspected of being deportable immigrants. The problem with these requests, known as “detainers,” was that they were not based on any neutral finding of probable cause. But this infirmity is not unique to DHS requests to local police. It is characteristic of the normal means by which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests people and detains them at the outset of deportation proceedings. These decisions thus signal a glaring constitutional ...


Creating Kairos At The Supreme Court: Shelby County, Citizens United, Hobby Lobby, And The Judicial Construction Of Right Moments, Linda L. Berger Jan 2015

Creating Kairos At The Supreme Court: Shelby County, Citizens United, Hobby Lobby, And The Judicial Construction Of Right Moments, Linda L. Berger

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Kairos is an ancient rhetorical concept that was long neglected by rhetorical scholars, and its significance to legal argument and persuasion has been little discussed. Through their use of two words for time, chronos and kairos, the Greeks were able to view history as a grid of connected events spread across a landscape punctuated by hills and valleys. In chronos, the timekeeper-observer constructs a linear, measurable, quantitative accounting of what happened. In kairos, the participant-teller forms a more qualitative history by shaping individual moments into crises and turning points. From a rhetorical perspective, chronos is more closely allied with the ...


Rethinking Religious Minorities' Political Power, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2015

Rethinking Religious Minorities' Political Power, Hillel Y. Levin

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This Article challenges the assumption that small religious groups enjoy little political power. According to the standard view, courts, because of their countermajoritarian qualities, are indispensable for protecting religious minority groups from oppression by the majority. But this assumption fails to account for the many and varied ways in which the majoritarian branches have chosen to protect and accommodate even unpopular religious minority groups, as well as the courts’ failures to do so.

The Article offers a public choice analysis to account for the surprising majoritarian reality of religious accommodationism. Further, it explores the important implications of this reality for ...


Formalism And Distrust: Foreign Affairs Law In The Roberts Court,, Harlan G. Cohen Jan 2015

Formalism And Distrust: Foreign Affairs Law In The Roberts Court,, Harlan G. Cohen

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When it comes to foreign relations, the Roberts Court has trust issues. As far as the Court is concerned, everyone — the President, Congress, the lower courts, plaintiffs — has played hard and fast with the rules, taking advantage of the Court’s functionalist approaches to foreign affairs issues. This seems to be the message of the Roberts Court foreign affairs law jurisprudence. The Roberts Court has been active in foreign affairs law, deciding cases on the detention and trial of enemy combatants, foreign sovereign immunity, the domestic effect of treaties, the extraterritorial reach of federal statutes, the preemption of state laws ...