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Constitutional Law

Constitution

The University of Akron

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Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Federalism And Contagion: Reevaluating The Role Of The Cdc, Kyle J. Connors May 2020

Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Federalism And Contagion: Reevaluating The Role Of The Cdc, Kyle J. Connors

ConLawNOW

The United States Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak raises difficult questions of federalism. This essay argues for greater federal leadership and involvement to mount the most effective response to a pandemic. As history shows, a response led by local governments is vulnerable to collective action problems and political impediments. An improved response structure in a contagious disease event would include more federal leadership and policy dictated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to be then effectuated by state and local governments. This power can be exercised either formally, through federal grants, or informally through the influence of ...


Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Pandemic Surveillance - The New Predictive Policing, Michael Gentithes, Harold J. Krent May 2020

Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Pandemic Surveillance - The New Predictive Policing, Michael Gentithes, Harold J. Krent

ConLawNOW

As the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues, state governments are considering more invasive surveillance to determine who has been exposed to the virus and who is most likely to catch the virus in the future. Widespread efforts to test temperatures have been initiated; calls for contact tracing have increased; and plans have been revealed to allow only those testing positive for the virus’s antibodies (who presumably now are immune) to return to work and travel. Such fundamental liberties may now hinge on the mere probabilities that one may catch the disease or be immune from it.

To assess ...


Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Tiered Scrutiny In A Pandemic, Jeffrey D. Jackson May 2020

Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Tiered Scrutiny In A Pandemic, Jeffrey D. Jackson

ConLawNOW

During this spring of COVID-19, Americans are facing numerous state and local government-imposed restrictions that would have seemed implausible a few short months ago. While many of these restrictions seem to be unquestionably warranted, there have been others that have the potential to negatively impact fundamental rights. From abortion restrictions to gun control, these actions threaten liberty in the name of police powers. During this time of crisis, there is a need for courts to be especially vigilant. Throughout the nation’s history, the concept of emergency power has been used to justify restrictions on the rights of Americans, with ...


Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Positive Constitutionalism In A Pandemic: Demanding Responsibility From The Trump Administration, Ruthann Robson May 2020

Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Positive Constitutionalism In A Pandemic: Demanding Responsibility From The Trump Administration, Ruthann Robson

ConLawNOW

We have become accustomed to conceiving of our constitutional rights as affording protection only against government infringement, but not as granting us any positive rights to claim government protection or action. The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic should make us question this reflexive resort to negative constitutionalism. The numerous failures of the present federal Administration to ameliorate and address the pandemic are startling. Even under current doctrinal limits of negative rights, the Administration’s failures should give rise to individual constitutional claims. Most importantly, we should reorient our constitutional frameworks, theories, and doctrines toward recognition of positive rights to health ...


Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Why The Special Needs Doctrine Is The Most Appropriate Fourth Amendment Theory For Justifying Police Stops To Enforce Covid-19 Stay-At-Home Orders, Henry F. Fradella May 2020

Symposium: Pandemics And The Constitution: Why The Special Needs Doctrine Is The Most Appropriate Fourth Amendment Theory For Justifying Police Stops To Enforce Covid-19 Stay-At-Home Orders, Henry F. Fradella

ConLawNOW

Despite the fact that the steps the federal and state governments take to curtail the spread of the viral infection are presumably taken in the best interest of public health, governmental actions and actors must comply with the U.S. Constitution even during a pandemic. Some public health measures, such as stay-at-home orders, restrict the exercise of personal freedoms ranging from the rights to travel and freely associate to the ability to gather in places of worship for religious services. This Essay explores several completing doctrines that might justify the authority of law enforcement to stop people who are out ...


Symposium: Erie At Eighty: Choice Of Law Across The Disciplines: Erie As A Way Of Life, Ernest A. Young May 2019

Symposium: Erie At Eighty: Choice Of Law Across The Disciplines: Erie As A Way Of Life, Ernest A. Young

ConLawNOW

This essay—presented as the keynote address to the University of Akron School of Law’s conference on “Erie at 80”—considers the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins on the broader landscape of American law. I begin with Erie’s contribution to our modern, positivist understanding of the nature of law. That understanding, however, is under threat from pervasive tendencies, on both the political Left and Right, to collapse the distinction between law as a set of positivist choices adopted by government and law as the principles that we think are just ...


Symposium: 50 Years With The 25th Amendment: The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Crafting And Drafting Process, John D. Feerick May 2019

Symposium: 50 Years With The 25th Amendment: The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Crafting And Drafting Process, John D. Feerick

ConLawNOW

The Twenty-fifth Amendment’s development occurred over a period of ten years, from 1955 to 1965. This historic effort addressed questions raised but not answered at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as to what constitutes “presidential inability” and who is authorized to determine its existence. This article is a response to the enormous interest in the amendment that has emerged between 2017 and 2019. Many accounts of what the amendment provided for and what was intended by its language appeared in the media and writings during this period. The article takes the reader through the step by step development of ...


Suppression Of Free Tweets: How Packingham Impacts The New Era Of Government Social Media And The First Amendment, Elise Berry Jun 2018

Suppression Of Free Tweets: How Packingham Impacts The New Era Of Government Social Media And The First Amendment, Elise Berry

ConLawNOW

As social media popularity grows, so too does the constitutional conflicts between the First Amendment’s public forum doctrine and a public official’s social media. More and more claims of viewpoint discrimination are arising from the district courts, stemming from a public official’s use of his or her social media to delete comments or ban users from their official social media pages. Similarly, President Donald Trump’s use of his Twitter has also instigated a law suit against him for viewpoint discrimination under the public forum doctrine. While the Supreme Court has been silent on the issue, its ...


Remedies Symposium: Contempt Fines And The Eleventh Amendment, John Sanchez Jun 2018

Remedies Symposium: Contempt Fines And The Eleventh Amendment, John Sanchez

ConLawNOW

The Eleventh Amendment permits plaintiffs to recover prospective relief, for example, injunctive or declaratory relief, against a state. By contrast, the Eleventh Amendment bars recovery of retrospective relief against a state. The classic legal remedy of money damages is not recoverable. There are three types of contempts: civil compensatory and coercive contempt and criminal contempt. Civil compensatory contempt fines and criminal contempt fines are clearly retrospective in nature and so are not recoverable against a state. At the same time, civil coercive contempt fines are prospective and so should be recoverable against a state despite the Eleventh Amendment. Problems arise ...


Surprising Originalism: The Regula Lecture, Lawrence B. Solum Jun 2018

Surprising Originalism: The Regula Lecture, Lawrence B. Solum

ConLawNOW

This article takes the reader on a guided tour of contemporary originalist constitutional theory. Most Americans believe that they already know everything they need to know about constitutional originalism. But in many cases, they are mistaken. Contemporary originalists do not believe that we should ask, "What would James Madison do?" Instead, the mainstream of contemporary originalism aims to recover the original public meaning of the constitutional text. Conservatives and libertarians are sure that originalism is a necessary corrective to the liberal excesses of the Warren Court. Progressives have an almost unshakeable belief that originalism is a right-wing ideology that seeks ...


The Icing On The Cake: How Background Factors Affect Law Faculty Predictions In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Michael Conklin Jun 2018

The Icing On The Cake: How Background Factors Affect Law Faculty Predictions In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Michael Conklin

ConLawNOW

In this research, I explore law school faculty perceptions and predictions of the highly publicized Masterpiece Cakeshop case. I created a survey to assess how law faculty members’ prediction of the case may be affected by their area of instruction, background in business, religious involvement, political affiliation, same-sex union celebration participation, exposure to the case, and personal desired outcome for the case. I contacted over 800 law school faculty members, inviting them to participate in the research. The ninety-three completed responses provide insight into how law school faculty demographics may be indicators of their Supreme Court case predictions. Furthermore, different ...


Remedies Symposium: Statutory Damages And Standing After Spokeo V. Robins, Richard L. Heppner Jr. Apr 2018

Remedies Symposium: Statutory Damages And Standing After Spokeo V. Robins, Richard L. Heppner Jr.

ConLawNOW

In Spokeo v. Robins, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts may no longer infer the existence of an injury in fact—and thus constitutional standing—from a statute’s use of a particular remedy, such as a statutory or liquidated damages provision. But Spokeo also directed courts to consider whether Congress intended to identify an intangible harm and elevate it to the status of a “concrete” injury in fact when deciding standing questions. This article argues that courts can and should continue to pay close attention to the structure and language of statutory remedial provisions in making that ...


When Constitutional Rights Clash: Masterpiece Cakeshop's Potential Legacy, Ken Hyle Mar 2018

When Constitutional Rights Clash: Masterpiece Cakeshop's Potential Legacy, Ken Hyle

ConLawNOW

The narrow question presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop is undoubtedly one of great national importance. The decision will likely yield a framework for courts to resolve conflicts that specifically involve religious freedom, artistic expression, and anti-discrimination laws in the context of public accommodations. However, my essay suggests that Masterpiece Cakeshop is an appropriate vehicle for the Court to expound upon a broader, more fundamental constitutional issue: what is the optimal framework for resolving direct conflicts between constitutional rights? The essay begins by exploring the inherent flaw in a framework grounded in the traditional levels of ...


Remedies Symposium: Reexamining Bivens After Ziglar V. Abbasi, Bernard W. Bell Mar 2018

Remedies Symposium: Reexamining Bivens After Ziglar V. Abbasi, Bernard W. Bell

ConLawNOW

In Ziglar v. Abbasi, the U.S. Supreme Court revisited Bivens doctrine, suggesting that courts recognize constitutional tort actions only in cases closely analogous to one of the cases comprising the 1970s/1980s era Bivens trilogy, namely Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, Davis v. Passman, and Carlson v. Green. In doing so the Court set forth several factors that might make a case distinguishable from those 1970s/1980s cases. This essay argues that the key to Ziglar v. Abbasi is not the analogical exercise the Court imposed, but the Court’s concern that Bivens actions could become a mechanism ...


Remedies Symposium: Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton Mar 2018

Remedies Symposium: Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton

ConLawNOW

Although governments have engaged in expression from their inception, only recently have we begun to consider the ways in which the government’s speech sometimes threatens our constitutional rights. In my contribution to this symposium, I seek to show that although the search for constitutional remedies for the government’s harmful expression is challenging, it is far from futile. This search is also increasingly important at a time when the government’s expressive powers continue to grow—along with its willingness to use these powers for disturbing purposes and with troubling consequences.

More specifically, in certain circumstances, injunctive relief, declaratory ...


Restoring Nobility To The Constitution: A Modern Approach To A Founding Principle, Marc A. Greendorfer Jan 2016

Restoring Nobility To The Constitution: A Modern Approach To A Founding Principle, Marc A. Greendorfer

ConLawNOW

It is common lore in the United States that our federal government was structured with a number of checks and balances that ensure, at a minimum, the equal application of law among all citizens. While there are indeed such structural mechanisms embedded in the Constitution, they don’t always work as intended and, in fact, at times they fail utterly to prevent blatant abuses of the rule of law by the vast and growing political class in America. Our political office holders (and their favored constituents) can, and do, pick and choose which laws apply to them and, more importantly ...


Prayer And The Meaning Of The Establishment Clause: A Debate On Town Of Greece V. Galloway, Patrick M. Garry Dec 2015

Prayer And The Meaning Of The Establishment Clause: A Debate On Town Of Greece V. Galloway, Patrick M. Garry

ConLawNOW

Greece v. Galloway involved the constitutionality of the town of Greece’s practice of opening its monthly town board meetings with an invocation given by a volunteer chaplain of the month. The issue in Greece was not the appropriateness, sensitivity, or wisdom of the prayers, nor whether some people are offended by the prayers.

The Establishment Clause is not about feelings, just as the Speech Clause is not about the feelings of people who disagree with or are offended by other people’s speech. The Establishment Clause is not an individual rights clause; it is a clause focused on the ...


Who Amended The Amendment?, John Olsson Dec 2015

Who Amended The Amendment?, John Olsson

ConLawNOW

The purpose and intent of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution has been repeatedly distorted by textualist misinterpretation, orchestrated by elements of the judiciary more concerned with preserving the power of government than the rights of individual defendants. As a result, it is hard to know what the Amendment stands for, since it has been successively re‑interpreted and, effectively, amended for at least the past 80 years and possibly longer. The author argues that it is time for courts to return to the spirit of the laws that actuated the Bill of Rights over two hundred years ago ...


The Founders On: "Does The Constitution Work?", Craig A. Stern Dec 2015

The Founders On: "Does The Constitution Work?", Craig A. Stern

ConLawNOW

Whether the Constitution works depends upon the purpose of its working. Discerning that purpose, however, has resisted consensus. Consequently, this article suggests a roundabout way to supply at least a tentative answer to the question whether the Constitution works. The Founders believed that the Constitution, like any republican form of government, would work only for a moral and religious people. They framed and adopted the Constitution in that belief. John Adams warned that without morality and religion, the passions of the people “would break the strongest cords of our Constitution.” A glance at how some cords have fared with a ...


Fundamental Unenumerated Rights Under The Ninth Amendment And The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Adam Lamparello Nov 2015

Fundamental Unenumerated Rights Under The Ninth Amendment And The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Adam Lamparello

Akron Law Review

The failure to link the Ninth Amendment and Privileges or Immunities Clause for the purpose of creating unenumerated fundamental rights has been a persistent but rarely discussed aspect of the Court’s jurisprudence. That should change. There need not be an ongoing tension between the Court’s counter-majoritarian role and the authority of states to govern through the democratic process. If the Constitution’s text gives the Court a solid foundation upon which to recognize new rights and thereby create a more just society, then the exercise of that power is fundamentally democratic. The Ninth Amendment and Privileges or Immunities ...


Liberty At The Borders Of Private Law, Donald J. Smythe Nov 2015

Liberty At The Borders Of Private Law, Donald J. Smythe

Akron Law Review

Liberty is both dependent upon and limited by the State. The State protects individuals from the coercion of others, but paradoxically, it must exercise coercion itself in doing so. Unfortunately, the reliance on the State to deter coercion raises the possibility that the State’s powers of coercion might be abused. There is, not surprisingly, therefore, a wide range of literature on the relationship between law and liberty, but most of it focuses on the relationship between public law and liberty. This Article focuses on the relationship between private law and liberty. Private laws are enforced by courts. Since the ...


The Interdependence Of Our Freedoms, Warren E. Burger Aug 2015

The Interdependence Of Our Freedoms, Warren E. Burger

Akron Law Review

IF I WERE TO GIVE A TITLE to what I want to say tonight, in this Bicentennial program, I think I would call it "The Interdependence of our Freedoms" and, in a sense, that is simply a more formal way of saying what the leaders of our revolution told each other, and the people, 200 years ago: we must hang together, or we will hang separately


The Hohfeldian Approach To Constitutional Cases, H. Newcomb Morse Aug 2015

The Hohfeldian Approach To Constitutional Cases, H. Newcomb Morse

Akron Law Review

INFERRED, OR AT THE MOST rebuttably presumed, is a slight acquaintanceship on the part of the reader with the work on jural opposites and jural correlatives by Professor W. Newcomb Hohfeld. The Founding Fathers, as though anticipating the coming of the Messianic logician, used all of the four Hohfeldian gravamen terms-rights, privileges, powers and immunities-in the Constitution of the United States,' and for this reason the author perceives a nexus between Hohfeldian logic and constitutional construction. The appropriate initial touchstone for contemporary use of this theory could appear to be the 1968 case of Flast v. Cohen, considering Mr. Justice ...


The Declaration As Ur-Constitution: The Bizarre Jurisprudential Philosophy Of Professor Harry V. Jaffa, Patrick M. O'Neil Jul 2015

The Declaration As Ur-Constitution: The Bizarre Jurisprudential Philosophy Of Professor Harry V. Jaffa, Patrick M. O'Neil

Akron Law Review

In his most recent work, Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: A Disputed Question, Professor Harry V. Jaffa finally has put together in one place the core of his constitutional hermeneutic with all the attendant elements of his jurisprudential philosophy. Stated in oversimplified terms, perhaps, Dr. Jaffa sees the Declaration of Independence as the source of the principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States and finds the Declaration, furthermore, to be an indispensable aid to the correct interpretation of that later document. In order to comprehend the error of Jaffa's claims, one must first consider ...


The Constitutional Right To Suicide, The Quality Of Life, And The "Slippery-Slope": An Explicit Reply To Lingering Concerns, G. Steven Neeley Jul 2015

The Constitutional Right To Suicide, The Quality Of Life, And The "Slippery-Slope": An Explicit Reply To Lingering Concerns, G. Steven Neeley

Akron Law Review

[M]any courts and scholars appear to be motivated by yet another and more implicit concern with the so-called "quality of life" argument. [...] This ofttimes subtle design ultimately proves to be nothing more than a variation of the "slippery-slope" argument. This paper will contend that such arguments are logically fallacious and, at best, sway only by emotional appeal. As such, this style of argument should be afforded little forensic weight as it serves only to further confuse the debate over the constitutionality of selfdirected death.


Why A Fundamental Right To A Quality Education Is Not Enough, James Wilson Jul 2015

Why A Fundamental Right To A Quality Education Is Not Enough, James Wilson

Akron Law Review

This article relies upon the political and economic analysis of such great thinkers as Aristotle and Rousseau to understand and normatively evaluate constitutional caselaw in general and education cases in particular. The article’s title contains its conclusion: a judicially created right to a quality education is a laudable, but possibly counterproductive and definitely insufficient condition, for creating a humane constitutional system. The rest of society needs to do far more to protect the average citizen and worker from the ever-ravenous ruling class. All the edification in the world will not mean much if there are only a few decent ...


Citizenship Education And The Free Exercise Of Religion, Tyll Van Geel Jul 2015

Citizenship Education And The Free Exercise Of Religion, Tyll Van Geel

Akron Law Review

Part One of this article provides a broad-brush overview of constitutional doctrine as it bears on citizenship education in the public schools. The remaining parts of the article focus on a Free Exercise challenge to the introduction of a Callaneseque program of citizenship education in a public school. Part Two thus explicates Callan’s theory. Part Three outlines my approach to the Free Exercise Clause. Part Four applies that approach to a challenge brought against a Callanesque program of citizenship education. Part Five takes up other possible rights-based limits on the education power and offers a suggestion regarding how citizenship ...


The Passing Of The Cardozo Generations, Stephen E. Gottlieb Jul 2015

The Passing Of The Cardozo Generations, Stephen E. Gottlieb

Akron Law Review

I want to make the following three points:

First, constitutional discourse has changed from the consequentialism of the generations of lawyers and judges who followed the model of Benjamin N. Cardozo to the formalism now ascendant in bench and bar.

Second, this change in constitutional rhetoric and argument has widened the disjunctions in argument. Polling data make clear that people have their own views of the Constitution. Knowledge about contrary official interpretations gives them vocabulary, but is relatively unlikely to change minds. Moral arguments and appeals to self-interest are more effective with the public.

Third, one consequence is that both ...


Thinking About The Constitution At The Cusp, Mark Tushnet Jul 2015

Thinking About The Constitution At The Cusp, Mark Tushnet

Akron Law Review

Marshall’s understanding that schools have an implicit curriculum might be a better guide to thinking about what we should teach about the Constitution in this century than any substantive points I might make. One controversial example may illustrate Marshall’s understanding: just as he asked what lesson would be taught by delaying desegregation, so we might ask, “What lesson will be taught about the nature of our constitutional community if we adopt a large-scale system of vouchers that parents can use to assist them in sending their children to non-public schools?” Such a system would demonstrate B and would ...


Teaching Slavery In American Constitutional Law, Paul Finkelman Jul 2015

Teaching Slavery In American Constitutional Law, Paul Finkelman

Akron Law Review

From 1787 until the Civil War, slavery was probably the single most important economic institution in the United States. On the eve of the Civil War, slave property was worth at least two billion dollars. In the aggregate, the value of all the slaves in the United States exceeded the total value of all the nations railroads or all its factories. Slavery led to two major political compromises of the antebellum period, as well as to the most politically divisive Supreme Court decision in our history. Vast amounts of political and legal energy went into dealing with the institution. It ...