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Constitutional Law

Political Science

2016

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Microaggressions, Trigger Warnings, And The Fight To Redefine Free Speech: An Analysis Of The Judiciary's Response To Campus Speech Codes Through Liberal And Communitarian Perspectives, Madeleine G. O'Neill Jan 2016

Microaggressions, Trigger Warnings, And The Fight To Redefine Free Speech: An Analysis Of The Judiciary's Response To Campus Speech Codes Through Liberal And Communitarian Perspectives, Madeleine G. O'Neill

Senior Independent Study Theses

As campus speech codes enjoy a renaissance surrounding microaggressions and trigger warnings, understanding how and whether such speech codes can stand up to constitutional scrutiny is crucial. This project offers a historical overview of the evolution of free speech in U.S. history, with a particular focus on the jurisprudential history of hate speech and the “first wave” of litigation surrounding campus speech codes in the 1980s and ’90s. I use two theoretical frameworks, liberalism and communitarianism, to analyze the judiciary’s response to speech codes and to understand whether that response aligns with either framework. Lastly, I offer three ...


Evolving Standards Of Decency: The Intersection Of Death Penalty Theory And Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Rachel S. Sullivan Jan 2016

Evolving Standards Of Decency: The Intersection Of Death Penalty Theory And Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Rachel S. Sullivan

Senior Independent Study Theses

The American death penalty must be abolished in order to establish a more just system of punishment. This thesis examines the arguments of eight political theorists and their connections with five essential Supreme Court cases on capital punishment in order to determine the Court's theoretical view of the American death penalty. This theoretical view is that justices who affirm the constitutionality of capital punishment use philosophical theories, while justices who critique capital punishment rely upon context-dependent analyses. If the Court ever rules that capital punishment is unconstitutional in all circumstances, these latter theories will be dispositive.