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Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass May 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jonathan Gienapp's The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era.


Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin May 2020

Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

Review of Lawrence Lessig's Fidelity and Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution.


A Suspended Death Sentence: Habeas Review Of Expedited Removal Decisions, Lauren Schusterman Feb 2020

A Suspended Death Sentence: Habeas Review Of Expedited Removal Decisions, Lauren Schusterman

Michigan Law Review

Expedited removal allows low-level immigration officers to summarily order the deportation of certain noncitizens, frequently with little to no judicial oversight. Noncitizens with legitimate asylum claims should not find themselves in expedited removal. When picked up by immigration authorities, they should be referred for a credible fear interview and then for more thorough proceedings.

Although there is clear congressional intent that asylum seekers not be subjected to expedited removal, mounting evidence suggests that expedited removal fails to identify bona fide asylum seekers. Consequently, many of them are sent back to persecution. Such decisions have weighty consequences, but they have remained ...


Looking Backward And Forward At The Suspension Clause, G. Edward White Apr 2019

Looking Backward And Forward At The Suspension Clause, G. Edward White

Michigan Law Review

Review of Amanda L. Tyler's Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay.


The New Impartial Jury Mandate, Richard Lorren Jolly Feb 2019

The New Impartial Jury Mandate, Richard Lorren Jolly

Michigan Law Review

Impartiality is the cornerstone of the Constitution’s jury trial protections. Courts have historically treated impartiality as procedural in nature, meaning that the Constitution requires certain prophylactic procedures that secure a jury that is more likely to reach verdicts impartially. But in Peña- Rodriguez v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 855 (2017), the Supreme Court recognized for the first time an enforceable, substantive component to the mandate. There, the Court held that criminal litigants have a Sixth Amendment right to jury decisions made without reliance on extreme bias, specifically on the basis of race or national origin. The Court did not ...


Article Ii And Antidiscrimination Norms, Aziz Z. Huq Jan 2019

Article Ii And Antidiscrimination Norms, Aziz Z. Huq

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Trump v. Hawaii validated a prohibition on entry to the United States from several Muslim-majority countries and at the same time repudiated a longstanding precedent associated with the Japanese American internment of World War II. This Article closely analyzes the relationship of these twin rulings. It uses their dichotomous valences as a lens on the legal scope for discriminatory action by the federal executive. Parsing the various ways in which the internment of the 1940s and the 2017 exclusion order can be reconciled, the Article identifies a tension between the Court’s two holdings ...


State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman Oct 2018

State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman

Michigan Law Review

On conventional accounts, the state action doctrine is dichotomous. When the government acts, constitutional limits take hold and the government action is invalid if those limits are exceeded. When the government fails to act, the state action doctrine leaves decisions to individuals, who are permitted to violate what would otherwise be constitutional constraints.

It turns out though that the modern state action doctrine creates three rather than two domains. There is indeed a private, inner band where there is thought to be insufficient government action to trigger constitutional constraints, but often there is also a public, outer band where there ...


The Cunning Of Reason: Michael Klarman's The Framers' Coup, Charles Fried Apr 2018

The Cunning Of Reason: Michael Klarman's The Framers' Coup, Charles Fried

Michigan Law Review

A review of Michael J. Klarman, The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution.


The People Against The Constitution, Aziz Z. Huq Apr 2018

The People Against The Constitution, Aziz Z. Huq

Michigan Law Review

A review of Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?.


Why Enumeration Matters, Richard A. Primus Jan 2016

Why Enumeration Matters, Richard A. Primus

Michigan Law Review

The maxim that the federal government is a government of enumerated powers can be understood as a “continuity tender”: not a principle with practical consequences for governance, but a ritual statement with which practitioners identify themselves with a history from which they descend. This interpretation makes sense of the longstanding paradox whereby courts recite the enumeration principle but give it virtually no practical effect. On this understanding, the enumerated-powers maxim is analogous to the clause that Parliament still uses to open enacted statutes: “Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty.” That text might imply that the Queen ...


Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jan 2016

Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

Though the Constitution conspicuously bars some state involvement in foreign affairs, the states clearly retain some authority in foreign affairs. Correctly supposing that state participation may unnecessarily complicate or embarrass our nation’s foreign relations, the Supreme Court has embraced aggressive preemption doctrines that sporadically oust the states from discrete areas in foreign affairs. These doctrines are unprincipled, supply little guidance, and generate capricious results. Fortunately, there is a better way. While the Constitution permits the states a limited and continuing role, it never goes so far as guaranteeing them any foreign affairs authority. Furthermore, the Constitution authorizes Congress to ...


The Sweeping Domestic War Powers Of Congress, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jun 2015

The Sweeping Domestic War Powers Of Congress, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

With the Habeas Clause standing as a curious exception, the Constitution seems mysteriously mute regarding federal authority during invasions and rebellions. In truth, the Constitution speaks volumes about these domestic wars. The inability to perceive the contours of the domestic wartime Constitution stems, in part, from unfamiliarity with the multifarious emergency legislation enacted during the Revolutionary War. During that war, state and national legislatures authorized the seizure of property, military trial of civilians, and temporary dictatorships. Ratified against the backdrop of these fairly recent wartime measures, the Constitution, via the Necessary and Proper Clause and other provisions, rather clearly augmented ...


Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe Apr 2015

Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe

Michigan Law Review

Our Constitution can change. We can amend it, update it, improve it. And so we have—twenty-seven times by one count, many more by another. Everyone recognizes this. But fewer people appreciate that the mechanics of constitutional change can change as well. A method of alteration unaddressed at the founding can grow into established practice. A procedure built into constitutional text can slip into disuse. As much as citizens can change the substance of the Constitution, they can also change the ways they change it. In Originalism and the Good Constitution, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport make an elegant and ...


A Moment For Pragmatism, Jane S. Schacter Apr 2015

A Moment For Pragmatism, Jane S. Schacter

Michigan Law Review

One of the least controversial things to say about the U.S. Constitution is that it has proven very difficult to amend. The numbers are familiar. Only 27 amendments have been made since the Constitution was ratified, and 10 of those were adopted at the same time, only a few years after the original ratification. These numbers are all the more remarkable given that there have been over 11,500 attempts to amend the Constitution since it was first enacted. The paucity of amendments is also striking as a comparative matter. The national constitution that India approved in 1949 has ...


Six Overrulings, Andrew Koppelman Apr 2015

Six Overrulings, Andrew Koppelman

Michigan Law Review

John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010 at the age of ninety after more than thirty-four years on the Supreme Court, has capped his astoundingly distinguished career by becoming an important public intellectual. He reviews books, gives high-profile interviews, wrote a memoir of the chief justices he has known, and has now written a second book. Six Amendments revisits half a dozen old, lost battles. Stevens appeals over the heads of his colleagues to a higher authority: the public. Now that he is off the Court, Stevens explains why six decisions in which he dissented should be overruled by constitutional ...


Saving Originalism, Robert J. Delahunty, John Yoo Apr 2015

Saving Originalism, Robert J. Delahunty, John Yoo

Michigan Law Review

It is sometimes said that biographers cannot help but come to admire, even love, their subjects. And that adage seems to ring true of Professor Amar, the foremost “biographer” of the Constitution. He loves it not just as a governing structure, or a political system, but as a document. He loves the Constitution in the same way that a fan of English literature might treasure Milton’s Paradise Lost or Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He loves the Constitution not just for the good: the separation of powers, federalism, and the Bill of Rights. He also loves it for its nooks and ...


Passive Takings: The State's Affirmative Duty To Protect Property, Christopher Serkin Dec 2014

Passive Takings: The State's Affirmative Duty To Protect Property, Christopher Serkin

Michigan Law Review

The purpose of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause is to protect property owners from the most significant costs of legal transitions. Paradigmatically, a regulatory taking involves a government action that interferes with expectations about the content of property rights. Legal change has therefore always been central to regulatory takings claims. This Article argues that it does not need to be and that governments can violate the Takings Clause by failing to act in the face of a changing world. This argument represents much more than a minor refinement of takings law because recognizing governmental liability for failing to act ...


The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Nov 2014

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

The scope of Supreme Court precedent is capacious. Justices of the Court commonly defer to sweeping rationales and elaborate doctrinal frameworks articulated by their predecessors. This practice infuses judicial precedent with the prescriptive power of enacted constitutional and statutory text. The lower federal courts follow suit, regularly abiding by the Supreme Court’s broad pronouncements. These phenomena cannot be explained by—and, indeed, oftentimes subvert—the classic distinction between binding holdings and dispensable dicta. This Article connects the scope of precedent with recurring and foundational debates about the proper ends of judicial interpretation. A precedent’s forward- looking effect should ...


A Pragmatic Republic, If You Can Keep It, William R. Sherman Apr 2014

A Pragmatic Republic, If You Can Keep It, William R. Sherman

Michigan Law Review

These things we know to be true: Our modern administrative state is a leviathan unimaginable by the Founders. It stands on thin constitutional ice, on cracks between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It burdens and entangles state and local governments in schemes that threaten federalism. And it presents an irresolvable dilemma regarding democratic accountability and political independence. We know these things to be true because these precepts animate some of the most significant cases and public law scholarship of our time. Underlying our examination of administrative agencies is an assumption that the problems they present would have been bizarre ...


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social constructions ...


Plausible Absurdities And Practical Formalities: The Recess Appointments Clause In Theory And Practice, David Frisof Feb 2014

Plausible Absurdities And Practical Formalities: The Recess Appointments Clause In Theory And Practice, David Frisof

Michigan Law Review

The recent controversy surrounding President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while the Senate was holding pro forma sessions illustrates the need to reach a new understanding of the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution. For the Recess Appointments Clause to be functional, it must fulfill two essential constitutional purposes: it must act as a fulcrum in the separation of powers, and it must ensure the continued exercise of the executive power. Achieving this functionality depends not only on the formal constructions of the Clause but also on the ways ...


Constitutional Change, Courts, And Social Movements, Douglas Nejaime Apr 2013

Constitutional Change, Courts, And Social Movements, Douglas Nejaime

Michigan Law Review

In Constitutional Redemption: Political Faith in an Unjust World, Professor Jack Balkin furnishes a positive account of constitutional change, advances a normative vision of the relationship between popular mobilizations and evolving constitutional principles, and develops an interpretive theory aimed at fulfilling the Constitution's promise. Rather than take an internal perspective that asks how courts alter constitutional doctrine, Balkin decenters adjudication and instead views the role of courts in constitutional change through the lens of social movements. In doing so, he convincingly exposes the feedback loop between social movements and courts: courts respond to claims and visions crafted by movements ...


Dubious Delegation: Article Iii Limits On Mental Health Treatment Decisions, Adam Teitelbaum Jun 2012

Dubious Delegation: Article Iii Limits On Mental Health Treatment Decisions, Adam Teitelbaum

Michigan Law Review

A common condition of supervised release requires a defendant, post-incarceration, to participate in a mental health treatment program. Federal district courts often order probation officers to make certain decisions ancillary to these programs. However Article III delegation doctrine places limits on such actions. This Note addresses the constitutionality of delegating the "treatment program" decision, in which a probation officer decides which type of treatment the defendant must undergo; the choice is often between inpatient treatment and other less restrictive alternatives. The resolution of this issue ultimately depends on whether this decision constitutes a "judicial act." Finding support in lower court ...


Race And Constitutional Law Casebooks: Recognizing The Proslavery Constitution, Juan F. Perea Apr 2012

Race And Constitutional Law Casebooks: Recognizing The Proslavery Constitution, Juan F. Perea

Michigan Law Review

Federalist No. 54 shows that part of Madison's public defense of the Constitution included the defense of some of its proslavery provisions. Madison and his reading public were well aware that aspects of the Constitution protected slavery. These aspects of the Constitution were publicly debated in the press and in state ratification conventions. Just as the Constitution's protections for slavery were debated at the time of its framing and ratification, the relationship between slavery and the Constitution remains a subject of debate. Historians continue to debate the centrality of slavery to the Constitution. The majority position among historians ...


The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon Mar 2012

The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

The legal problem of policing is how to regulate police authority to permit officers to enforce law while also protecting individual liberty and minimizing the social costs the police impose. Courts and commentators have largely treated the problem of policing as limited to preventing violations of constitutional rights and its solution as the judicial definition and enforcement of those rights. But constitutional law and courts alone are necessarily inadequate to regulate the police. Constitutional law does not protect important interests below the constitutional threshold or effectively address the distributional impacts of law enforcement activities. Nor can the judiciary adequately assess ...


Stare Decisis And Constitutional Text, Jonathan F. Mitchell Oct 2011

Stare Decisis And Constitutional Text, Jonathan F. Mitchell

Michigan Law Review

Almost everyone acknowledges that stare decisis should play a significant role when the Supreme Court of the United States resolves constitutional cases. Yet the academic and judicial rationales for this practice tend to rely on naked consequentialist considerations, and make only passing efforts to square the Court's stare decisis doctrines with the language of the Constitution. This Article offers a qualified defense of constitutional stare decisis that rests exclusively on constitutional text. It aims to broaden the overlapping consensus of interpretive theories that can support a role for constitutional stare decisis, but to do this it must narrow the ...


But How Will The People Know? Public Opinion As A Meager Influence In Shaping Contemporary Supreme Court Decision Making, Tom Goldstein, Amy Howe Apr 2011

But How Will The People Know? Public Opinion As A Meager Influence In Shaping Contemporary Supreme Court Decision Making, Tom Goldstein, Amy Howe

Michigan Law Review

Chief Justice John Roberts famously described the ideal Supreme Court Justice as analogous to a baseball umpire, who simply "applies" the rules, rather than making them. Roberts promised to "remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat." At her own recent confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan demurred, opining that Roberts's metaphor might erroneously suggest that "everything is clear-cut, and that there's no judgment in the process." Based on his 2009 book, The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the ...


Limited War And The Constitution: Iraq And The Crisis Of Presidential Legality, Bruce Ackerman, Oona Hathaway Jan 2011

Limited War And The Constitution: Iraq And The Crisis Of Presidential Legality, Bruce Ackerman, Oona Hathaway

Michigan Law Review

We live in an age of limited war. Yet the legal structure for authorizing and overseeing war has failed to address this modern reality. Nowhere is this failure more clear than in the recent U.S. conflict in Iraq. Congress self-consciously restricted the war's aims to narrow purposes-expressly authorizing a limited war. But the Bush Administration evaded these constitutional limits and transformed a well-defined and limited war into an open-ended conflict operating beyond constitutional boundaries. President Obama has thus far failed to repudiate these acts of presidential unilateralism. If he continues on this course, he will consolidate the precedents ...


Commerce, Jack M. Balkin Jan 2010

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

This Article applies the method of text and principle to an important problem in constitutional interpretation: the constitutional legitimacy of the modem regulatory state and its expansive definition of federal commerce power Some originalists argue that the modem state cannot be justified, while others accept existing precedents as a "pragmatic exception" to originalism. Nonoriginalists, in turn, point to these difficulties as a refutation of originalist premises. Contemporary originalist readings have tended to view the commerce power through modem eyes. Originalists defending narrow readings offederal power have identified "commerce" with the trade of commodities; originalists defending broad readings of federal power ...


Judicial Compensation And The Definition Of Judicial Power In The Early Republic, James E. Pfander Jan 2008

Judicial Compensation And The Definition Of Judicial Power In The Early Republic, James E. Pfander

Michigan Law Review

Article III's provision for the compensation of federal judges has been much celebrated for the no-diminution provision that forecloses judicial pay cuts. But other features of Article Ill's compensation provision have largely escaped notice. In particular, little attention has been paid to the framers' apparent expectation that Congress would compensate federal judges with salaries alone, payable from the treasury at stated times. Article III's presumption in favor of salary-based compensation may rule out fee-based compensation, which was a common form of judicial compensation in England and the colonies but had grown controversial by the time of the ...