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Constitutional Law

Constitution

University of Massachusetts School of Law

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A Modest Proposal On Supreme Court Unanimity To Constitutionally Invalidate Laws, Dwight G. Duncan Oct 2019

A Modest Proposal On Supreme Court Unanimity To Constitutionally Invalidate Laws, Dwight G. Duncan

Faculty Publications

There is a problem in our constitutional history: the problem of split Supreme Court decisions invalidating democratically enacted laws. From Dred Scott[1] to Lochner[2] to Roe v. Wade[3] to Citizens United,[4] and even the recent Second Amendment decisions of Heller[5] and McDonald,[6] these patently fallible decisions on controversial political and social issues have divided the nation, politicized the Court, poisoned the Supreme Court nomination process and thwarted the political branches and democratic governance. Requiring Supreme Court unanimity to overturn legislation on constitutional grounds would therefore be morally and politically desirable. Why that is so ...


Recommendations For Improving Firearms Vetting In Massachusetts, Robert C. Devine Jun 2019

Recommendations For Improving Firearms Vetting In Massachusetts, Robert C. Devine

University of Massachusetts Law Review

The United States is in a state of conflict over the ability to obtain firearms as well as their use in highly publicized mass shootings. On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza obtained several firearms that were lawfully owned by his mother, but were improperly secured. Lanza killed his mother that morning and then drove a short distance to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where he murdered twenty-six people, many of whom were small children. Lanza eventually turned a gun on himself before being confronted by responding officers. Though mass shootings are often headlines in this country, the ...


"Black Lives Matter" As A Claim Of Fundamental Law, David B. Mcnamee Feb 2019

"Black Lives Matter" As A Claim Of Fundamental Law, David B. Mcnamee

University of Massachusetts Law Review

In this Article, I argue that we should understand #BlackLivesMatter as a claim on the Constitution—a very special kind of constitutional claim, on the Constitution as fundamental law. It is a paradigmatic contemporary example of this category of constitutional law for citizens, one that reaches back past the roots of the American Revolution and underlies the logic of popular sovereignty at the core of our system. Section I develops a conceptual sketch of fundamental law and its features. Section II then turns to the content of “Black Lives Matter” as a constitutional principle and traces its position in the ...


Carpenter Privacy Case Vexes Justices, While Tech Giant Microsoft Battles Government In Second U.S. Supreme Court Privacy Case With International Implications, Richard J. Peltz-Steele Jan 2017

Carpenter Privacy Case Vexes Justices, While Tech Giant Microsoft Battles Government In Second U.S. Supreme Court Privacy Case With International Implications, Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Faculty Publications

Fall 2017 saw a major privacy case with international implications reach the U.S. Supreme Court this term, Carpenter v. United States. Now a second such case pits the Government against Big Tech in United States v. Microsoft. Carpenter is a criminal case involving federal seizure of cell phone location data from service providers. Arising under the “reasonable grounds” provision of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), the case accentuates Americans’ lack of constitutional protection for personal data in third-party hands, in contrast with emerging global privacy norms. The second major privacy case headed for Supreme Court decision in 2018 also ...


Ulysses: A Mighty Hero In The Fight For Freedom Of Expression, Marc J. Randazza Nov 2016

Ulysses: A Mighty Hero In The Fight For Freedom Of Expression, Marc J. Randazza

University of Massachusetts Law Review

James Joyce’s Ulysses was a revolutionary novel, and this much is common knowledge. What is not common knowledge is how useful Ulysses was in pushing the boundaries of freedom of expression. This masterpiece of literature opened the door for modern American free speech jurisprudence, but in recent years has become more of an object of judicial scorn. This Article seeks to educate legal scholars as to the importance of the novel, and attempts to reverse the anti-intellectual spirit that runs through modern American jurisprudence, where the novel is now more used as an object of mockery, or as a ...


When Do The Ends Justify The Means?: The Role Of The Necessary And Proper Clause In The Commerce Clause Analysis, David Loudon Jun 2015

When Do The Ends Justify The Means?: The Role Of The Necessary And Proper Clause In The Commerce Clause Analysis, David Loudon

University of Massachusetts Law Review

This Article discusses the interplay between the Necessary and Proper Clause and the Commerce Clause, particularly in light of the landmark decision of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. First, this Article reviews the historical interaction between the two clauses, discussing the instances in which the two may have been considered together, and introducing the Supreme Court jurisprudence of each clause, setting the legal landscape for the NFIB v. Sebelius decision. Next, this Article details the three opinions from the NFIB v. Sebelius decision, Chief Justice Roberts’ holding, the joint concurrence, and Justice Ginsberg’s dissent, specifically as they ...


The Efficacy Of Indefinite Detention: Assessment Of Immigration Case Law In Kiyemba V. Obama, Hansdeep Singh Mar 2015

The Efficacy Of Indefinite Detention: Assessment Of Immigration Case Law In Kiyemba V. Obama, Hansdeep Singh

University of Massachusetts Law Review

This note discusses the potential indefinite detention, also called preventative detention, of the Uighur detainees. Until early 2010, the U.S. Government had been unable to resettle seventeen Uighurs for over 5 years. In 2009, the Supreme Court, granted certiorari on the issue of whether federal courts have the authority to ―order the release of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay 'where the Executive detention is indefinite and without authorization in law, and release into the continental United States is the only possible effective remedy.‘ However, on March 1, 2010, the Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case to the United ...


2007 National Lawyer’S Convention The Federalist Society And Its Federalism And Separation Of Powers Practice Groups Present A Panel Debate On Federalism: Religion, Early America And The Fourteenth Amendment, John Eastman, Marci Hamilton, William H. Pryor Jr. Dec 2014

2007 National Lawyer’S Convention The Federalist Society And Its Federalism And Separation Of Powers Practice Groups Present A Panel Debate On Federalism: Religion, Early America And The Fourteenth Amendment, John Eastman, Marci Hamilton, William H. Pryor Jr.

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Transcript of the Federalist Society and its Federalism and Separation of Powers Practice Groups panel debate at the 2007 National Lawyers Convention including panelists Dean John Eastman of Chapman University School of Law, Professor Marci Hamilton of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and moderated by Hon. William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.


Eyes In The Sky: Constitutional And Regulatory Approaches To Domestic Drone Deployment, Hillary B. Farber Jan 2013

Eyes In The Sky: Constitutional And Regulatory Approaches To Domestic Drone Deployment, Hillary B. Farber

Faculty Publications

This article begins with a current look at the deployment of drones domestically, both in terms of their use and the procedure for attaining approval for flight. Part II examines the capabilities of drones. Part III considers the Supreme Court's current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and its application to law enforcement's use of drones. Part IV reviews existing and proposed federal and state regulation of drones. Part V offers constitutional and legislative prescriptions for regulating drones.


Simultaneous Copyright And Trade Secret Claims: Can The Copyright Misuse Defense Prevent Constitutional Doublethink?, Ralph D. Clifford Jan 2000

Simultaneous Copyright And Trade Secret Claims: Can The Copyright Misuse Defense Prevent Constitutional Doublethink?, Ralph D. Clifford

Faculty Publications

As the Constitution authorizes Congress to grant copyrights, it subjects the power to a public purpose requirement. Any monopoly Congress grants must be for the purpose of “promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts.” But one result of Congress enacting the 1976 Act is a potential conflict between the Act and this public purpose requirement. An owner of intellectual property may believe that both copyright law – which mandates disclosure – and trade secret law – which mandates secrecy – can be used simultaneously. To believe that disclosure and secrecy can coexist is doublethink as both cannot be true.

This unconstitutional double ...


A Matter Of Power: Structural Federalism And Separation Doctrine In The Present, Frances Howell Rudko Jan 1998

A Matter Of Power: Structural Federalism And Separation Doctrine In The Present, Frances Howell Rudko

Faculty Publications

Public reaction to the 1823 Supreme Court decision in Green v. Biddle prompted John Marshall’s letter to Henry Clay, who had argued the case as amicus curiae for the defendant. The letter is significant because Marshall, who had been a legislator himself, candidly expresses not only his personal dissatisfaction with the congressional assault on the 1823 decision but also the constitutional basis for his opinion. The significance of Marshall’s extrajudicial opinion becomes more apparent when it is considered in the aftermath of the recent tug-of-war between Congress and the Court which culminated in the decision in City of ...