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Constitutional Law

Equal protection

University of Georgia School of Law

2019

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Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2019

Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen

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The Supreme Court ordinarily supports its establishment of major constitutional principles with detailed justifications in its opinions. On occasion, however, the Court proceeds in a very different way, issuing landmark pronouncements without giving any supportive reasons at all. This Article documents the recurring character and deep importance of these “quietrevolution rulings” in constitutional law. It shows that—however surprising it might seem—rulings of this sort have played key roles in shaping incorporation; reverse incorporation; congressional power; federal courts; and freedom-ofspeech, freedom-of-religion, and equal-protection law. According to the synthesis offered here, these rulings fall into two categories. One set of ...