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The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber Aug 2019

The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A Farber

At the end of the summer of 1787, the Philadelphia Convention issued two documents. One was the Constitution itself. The other document, now almost forgotten even by constitutional historians, was an official letter to Congress, signed by George Washington on behalf of the Convention. Congress responded with a resolution that the Constitution and "letter accompanying the same" be sent to the state legislatures for submission to conventions in each state.

The Washington letter lacks the detail and depth of some other evidence of original intent. Being a cover letter, it was designed only to introduce the accompanying document rather than ...


Amending The Constitution, Erwen Chemerinsky Aug 2019

Amending The Constitution, Erwen Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky

The ultimate measure of a constitution is how it balances entrenchment and change. On the one hand, a constitution differs from all other laws in that it is much more difficult to revise. For example, the next session of Congress can amend or repeal a statute, but altering the U.S. Constitution requires a complex process involving supermajorities of both houses of Congress and the states. A constitution thus reflects a desire to place a society's core values of governance - such as the structure of government and the rights of individuals - in a document that is hard to revise ...


How The United States Supreme Court Diminished Constitutional Protections Of The Right To Vote And What Congress Can Do About It, Henry Rose Jul 2019

How The United States Supreme Court Diminished Constitutional Protections Of The Right To Vote And What Congress Can Do About It, Henry Rose

Henry Rose

No abstract provided.


The Constitution As Poetry, Samuel J. Levine Mar 2019

The Constitution As Poetry, Samuel J. Levine

Samuel J. Levine

Building upon a body of scholarship that compares constitutional interpretation to biblical and literary interpretation, and relying on an insight from a prominent nineteenth century rabbinic scholar, this Article briefly explores similarities in the interpretation of the Torah—the text of the Five Books of Moses—and the United States Constitution. Specifically, this Article draws upon Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin’s (“Netziv”) intriguing suggestion that the interpretation of the text of the Torah parallels the interpretation of poetry. According to Netziv, this parallel accounts for the practice of interpreting the Torah expansively in ways that derive substantive legal rules ...


Pick A Number, Any Number: State Representation In Congress After The 2000 Census, Suzanna Sherry, Paul H. Edelman Oct 2018

Pick A Number, Any Number: State Representation In Congress After The 2000 Census, Suzanna Sherry, Paul H. Edelman

Suzanna Sherry

In this essay, Professors Edelman and Sherry explain the mathematics behind the allocation of congressional seats to each state, and survey the different methods of allocation that Congress has used over the years. Using 2000 census figures, they calculate each state's allocation under five different methods, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods.


Leveling Down Gender Equality.Pdf, Tracy A. Thomas Apr 2018

Leveling Down Gender Equality.Pdf, Tracy A. Thomas

Tracy A. Thomas

The U.S. Supreme Court in Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017) revived its decades old jurisprudence of "leveling down" -- that is, curing an equal protection violation by denying the requested benefit to all rather than extending the benefit to the excluded class. This article challenges that continuation of the conventional acceptance of leveling down or the "mean remedy" and the assumption that leveling down is an equally legitimate remedial option as leveling up for gender discrimination. Instead, it argues for the adoption of an alternative remedial calculus of a strong presumption of leveling up remedies, overcome only rarely by limited equitable ...


Gerrymandering And Conceit: The Supreme Court's Conflict With Itself, Mckay Cunningham Jan 2018

Gerrymandering And Conceit: The Supreme Court's Conflict With Itself, Mckay Cunningham

McKay Cunningham

In November 2016, a federal court struck as unconstitutional Wisconsin’s redistricting map under both the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The court’s decision in Whitford v. Gill marks the first time a federal court invalidated a redistricting map as unconstitutional for partisan gerrymandering in over thirty years. Wisconsin has appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court, which recently granted review. The Supreme Court has long held that extreme partisan gerrymandering violates equal protection but has simultaneously refused to determine the merits of gerrymandering disputes, instead labeling them as non-justiciable political questions. In particular, the ...


Robocop Is Almost Here, Stewart L. Harris Jul 2017

Robocop Is Almost Here, Stewart L. Harris

Stewart L. Harris

No abstract provided.


Law Enforcement And Criminal Law Decisions, Erwin Chemerinsky Jun 2017

Law Enforcement And Criminal Law Decisions, Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Borrowing, Robert L. Tsai Nov 2016

Constitutional Borrowing, Robert L. Tsai

Robert L Tsai

Borrowing from one domain to promote ideas in another domain is a staple of constitutional decisionmaking. Precedents, arguments, concepts, tropes, and heuristics all can be carried across doctrinal boundaries for purposes of persuasion. Yet the practice itself remains underanalyzed. This Article seeks to bring greater theoretical attention to the matter. It defines what constitutional borrowing is and what it is not, presents a typology that describes its common forms, undertakes a principled defense of borrowing, and identifies some of the risks involved. The authors' examples draw particular attention to places where legal mechanisms and ideas migrate between fields of law ...


Democracy's Handmaid, Robert L. Tsai Nov 2016

Democracy's Handmaid, Robert L. Tsai

Robert L Tsai

Democratic theory presupposes open channels of dialogue, but focuses almost exclusively on matters of institutional design writ large. The philosophy of language explicates linguistic infrastructure, but often avoids exploring the political significance of its findings. In this Article, Tsai draws from the two disciplines to reach new insights about the democracy enhancing qualities of popular constitutional language. Employing examples from the founding era, the struggle for black civil rights, the religious awakening of the last two decades, and the search for gay equality, he presents a model of constitutional dialogue that emphasizes common modalities and mobilized vernacular. According to this ...


John Brown's Constitution, Robert L. Tsai Nov 2016

John Brown's Constitution, Robert L. Tsai

Robert L Tsai

It will surprise many Americans to learn that before John Brown and his men briefly captured Harper’s Ferry, they authored and ratified a Provisional Constitution. This deliberative act built upon the achievements of the group to establish a Free Kansas, during which time Brown penned an analogue to the Declaration of Independence. These acts of writing, coupled with Brown’s trial tactics after his arrest, cast doubts on claims that the man was a lunatic or on a suicide mission. Instead, they suggest that John Brown aimed to be a radical statesman, one who turned to extreme tactics but ...


Virtue And The Constitution Of The United States, John M. Finnis Oct 2016

Virtue And The Constitution Of The United States, John M. Finnis

John M. Finnis

In this Article, Finnis reflects on the following five questions: (1) Does the Constitution require or presuppose, or thwart or even forbid, a formative project of government inculcating in citizens the civic virtue necessary to promote and sustain a good society?; (2) To what extent can the institutions of civil society support or even supplant government in inculcating civic virtue?; (3) What is the content of the civic virtue that should be inculcated in circumstances of moral disagreement, and how does it relate to traditional moral virtue?; (4) Does it include respect for and appreciation of diversity?; (5) Should a ...


Constitutional Conundrums, Alan E. Garfield Sep 2016

Constitutional Conundrums, Alan E. Garfield

Alan E Garfield

No abstract provided.


Rlupia And The Limits Of Religious Institutionalism, Zachary A. Bray Sep 2016

Rlupia And The Limits Of Religious Institutionalism, Zachary A. Bray

Zachary Bray

What special protections, if any, should religious organizations receive from local land use controls? The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”)—a deeply flawed statute—has been a magnet for controversy since its passage in 2000. Yet until recently, RLUIPA has played little role in debates about “religious institutionalism,” a set of ideas that suggest religious institutions play a distinctive role in developing the framework for religious liberty and that they deserve comparably distinctive deference and protection. This is starting to change: RLUIPA’s magnetic affinity for controversy has begun to connect conflicts over religious land use with ...


A Plea For Constitutional Balance, Stephen M. Feldman Aug 2016

A Plea For Constitutional Balance, Stephen M. Feldman

Stephen M. Feldman

The fundamentalist approach of the conservative bloc of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court in regards to corporate spending on political campaigns skews government processes and generates unintended consequences.  This paper discusses the historical approach of the Framers to invigorate the new republican democratic government while protecting individual liberties by separating these into public and private spheres of activity.


The Political Branches And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia Aug 2016

The Political Branches And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court went out of its way to follow background rules of the law of nations, particularly the law of state-state relations. As we have recently argued, the Court followed the law of nations because adherence to such law preserved the constitutional prerogatives of the political branches to conduct foreign relations and decide momentous questions of war and peace. Although we focused primarily on the extent to which the Constitution obligated courts to follow the law of nations in the early republic, the explanation we offered rested on an ...


Lower Courts And Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford Aug 2016

Lower Courts And Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford

Roger P. Alford

The issue of constitutional comparativism has been a topic of significant commentary in recent years. However, there is one aspect of this subject that has been almost completely ignored by scholars: the reception, or lack thereof, of constitutional comparativism by state and lower federal courts. While the Supreme Court's enthusiasm for constitutional comparativism has waxed and now waned, lower state and federal courts have remained resolutely agnostic about this new movement. This is of tremendous practical significance because over ninety-nine percent of all cases are resolved by lower state and federal courts. Accordingly, if the lower courts eschew constitutional ...


Some Realistic Thinking About Secular Effects, Paul E. Salamanca Jul 2016

Some Realistic Thinking About Secular Effects, Paul E. Salamanca

Paul E. Salamanca

Notwithstanding complaints about incoherence in Establishment Clause doctrine, courts by and large administer the Clause responsibly. They do so by mediating between a number of powerful considerations, none of which can ever be entirely disregarded. These considerations include, but are not limited to, separation of church and state, the value of religiosity, the imperative of affording equal treatment to religious and similarly situated nonreligious entities, and the proper role of courts in a democratic political system. This is not to say that courts cannot overstep their bounds and provoke an adverse reaction from other powerful elements within the polity. It ...


A Sleeping Giant: §2 Of The Kentucky Constitution, Allison I. Connelly Jul 2016

A Sleeping Giant: §2 Of The Kentucky Constitution, Allison I. Connelly

Allison Connelly

In this newsletter article, Professor Connelly discusses Section 2 of the Kentucky Constitution which prohibits the exercise of arbitrary official power.


The Constitution Of Cádiz In Florida, M C. Mirow Feb 2016

The Constitution Of Cádiz In Florida, M C. Mirow

M. C. Mirow

The article explores the vibrant constitutional community that existed in St. Augustine and the province of East Florida in the final decade of Spanish control of the area. Based on relatively unexplored primary sources, it reveals a great deal of unknown information about the importance of the Constitution in Florida immediately before the territory was transferred to the United States. The article provides full description of the Constitution's promulgation in 1812 and a second promulgation of the Constitution in 1820 (something unknown in the general literature). It also addresses the construction of the St. Augustine monument to the Constitution ...


Pre-Constitutional Law And Constitutions: Spanish Colonial Law And The Constitution Of Cádiz, M C. Mirow Feb 2016

Pre-Constitutional Law And Constitutions: Spanish Colonial Law And The Constitution Of Cádiz, M C. Mirow

M. C. Mirow

This article contributes to the intellectual and legal history of this constitutional document. It also provides a close study of how pre-constitutional laws are employed in writing constitutions. It examines the way Spanish colonial law, known as "derecho indiano" in Spanish, was used in the process of drafting the Constitution and particularly the way these constitutional activities and provisions related to the Americas. The article asserts that this pre-constitutional law was used in three distinct ways: as general knowledge related to the Americas and their institutions; as a source for providing a particular answer to a specific legal question; and ...


The Executive, Shubhankar Dam Dec 2015

The Executive, Shubhankar Dam

Shubhankar Dam

India has a parliamentary system. The President is the head of the Union of India; the Prime Minister is the head of government.1 Along with his or her cabinet, the Prime Minister is responsible to the Lower House of Parliament.2 States have similar arrangements. They are formally headed by Governors. But chief ministers and their cabinets lead the governments. Executive power, ordinarily, is exercised by the Prime Minister, chief ministers and their respective councils of ministers. However, in keeping with India’s Westminster inheritance, such power often vests in the formal heads, and is exercised in their names ...


Holmes And Brennan, Howard M. Wasserman Dec 2015

Holmes And Brennan, Howard M. Wasserman

Howard M Wasserman

This article jointly examines two legal biographies of two landmark First Amendment decisions and the justices who produced them. In The Great Dissent (Henry Holt and Co. 2013), Thomas Healy explores Oliver Wendell Holmes’s dissent in Abrams v. United States (1919), which arguably laid the cornerstone for modern American free speech jurisprudence. In The Progeny (ABA 2014), Stephen Wermiel and Lee Levine explore William J. Brennan’s majority opinion in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) and the development and evolution of its progeny over Brennan’s remaining twenty-five years on the Court. The article then explores three ideas ...


Who’S The ‘We?’ Who’S ‘The People?’, Rodney A. Smolla Sep 2015

Who’S The ‘We?’ Who’S ‘The People?’, Rodney A. Smolla

Rod Smolla

No abstract provided.


All American Citizens Fall Under ‘We The People,’ But Who Is Really Included?, Alan E. Garfield Sep 2015

All American Citizens Fall Under ‘We The People,’ But Who Is Really Included?, Alan E. Garfield

Alan E Garfield

No abstract provided.


Take It To The Limit: The Illegal Regulation Prohibiting The Take Of Any Threatened Species Under The Endangered Species Act, Jonathan Wood Aug 2015

Take It To The Limit: The Illegal Regulation Prohibiting The Take Of Any Threatened Species Under The Endangered Species Act, Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood

The Endangered Species Act forbids the “take” – any activity that adversely affects – any member of an endangered species, but only endangered species. The statute also provides for the listing of threatened species, i.e. species that may become endangered, but protects them only by requiring agencies to consider the impacts of their projects on them. Shortly after the statute was adopted, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service reversed Congress’ policy choice by adopting a regulation that forbids the take of any threatened species. The regulation is not authorized by the Endangered Species Act, but ...


Categories, Tiers Of Review, And The Roiling Sea Of Free Speech Doctrine And Principle: A Methodological Critique Of United States V. Alvarez, Rodney A. Smolla Jul 2015

Categories, Tiers Of Review, And The Roiling Sea Of Free Speech Doctrine And Principle: A Methodological Critique Of United States V. Alvarez, Rodney A. Smolla

Rod Smolla

None available.


Academic Freedom, Hate Speech, And The Idea Of A University, Rodney A. Smolla Jul 2015

Academic Freedom, Hate Speech, And The Idea Of A University, Rodney A. Smolla

Rod Smolla

Not available.


Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Sombra Jul 2015

Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Sombra

Thiago Luís Santos Sombra

This essay propose an analysis about how Warren Court became one of the most particular in American History by confronting Jim Crow law, especially by applying the Bill of Rights. In this essay, we propose an analysis of how complex the unwritten Constitution is. Cases like Brown vs. Board of Education will be analyzed from a different point of view to understand the methods of the Court.