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The Constitution's Political Deficit, Robin West Dec 2006

The Constitution's Political Deficit, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professor Levinson has wisely called for an extended conversation regarding the possibility and desirability of a new Constitutional Convention, which might be called so as to correct some of the more glaring failings of our current governing document. Chief among those, in his view, are a handful of doctrines that belie our commitment to democratic self-government, such as the two-senators-per-state makeup of the United States Senate and the Electoral College. Perhaps these provisions once had some rhyme or reason to them, but, as Levinson suggests, it is not at all clear that they do now. They assure that our legislative ...


How To Skip The Constitution, David Cole Nov 2006

How To Skip The Constitution, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


The Ninth Amendment: It Means What It Says, Randy E. Barnett Nov 2006

The Ninth Amendment: It Means What It Says, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Although the Ninth Amendment appears on its face to protect unenumerated individual rights of the same sort as those that were enumerated in the Bill of Rights, courts and scholars have long deprived it of any relevance to constitutional adjudication. With the growing interest in originalist methods of interpretation since the 1980s, however, this situation has changed. In the past twenty years, five originalist models of the Ninth Amendment have been propounded by scholars: The state law rights model, the residual rights model, the individual natural rights model, the collective rights model, and the federalism model. This article examines thirteen ...


Why The Court Said No, David Cole Aug 2006

Why The Court Said No, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


In Case Of Emergency, David Cole Jul 2006

In Case Of Emergency, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


Presidential Signing Statements: Hearing Before The S. Comm. On The Judiciary, 109th Cong., June 27, 2006 (Statement Of Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jun 2006

Presidential Signing Statements: Hearing Before The S. Comm. On The Judiciary, 109th Cong., June 27, 2006 (Statement Of Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Testimony Before Congress

No abstract provided.


Line-Item Veto: Constitutional Issues: Hearing Before The H. Comm. On The Budget, 109th Cong., June 8, 2006 (Statement Of Viet D. Dinh, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Viet D. Dinh Jun 2006

Line-Item Veto: Constitutional Issues: Hearing Before The H. Comm. On The Budget, 109th Cong., June 8, 2006 (Statement Of Viet D. Dinh, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Viet D. Dinh

Testimony Before Congress

No abstract provided.


Brief Of Law Professors David D. Cole Et Al. As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner (Geneva-Enforceability), Hamdan V. Rumsfield, No. 05-184 (U.S. Jan. 6, 2006), David Cole, Julie R. O'Sullivan, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2006

Brief Of Law Professors David D. Cole Et Al. As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner (Geneva-Enforceability), Hamdan V. Rumsfield, No. 05-184 (U.S. Jan. 6, 2006), David Cole, Julie R. O'Sullivan, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

No abstract provided.


Impeachment: Advice And Dissent, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2006

Impeachment: Advice And Dissent, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Lectures and Appearances

In this lecture, the author describes how she first met Professor William Van Alstyne at a Federalist Society debate at Wayne State Law School in Detroit. Their colleague, the late Professor Joe Grano, had invited them to discuss whether one can sue a sitting president. Of course, this debate was not merely academic. Paula Jones had begun her sexual harassment suit against President Clinton and the suit was on its way to the Supreme Court. They got together before the debate and walked around the campus. The author thought that the president could not be sued while in office. Although ...


Internal Separation Of Powers: Checking Today's Most Dangerous Branch From Within, Neal K. Katyal Jan 2006

Internal Separation Of Powers: Checking Today's Most Dangerous Branch From Within, Neal K. Katyal

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The standard conception of separation of powers presumes three branches with equivalent ambitions of maximizing their powers. Today, however, legislative abdication is the reigning modus operandi. Instead of bemoaning this state of affairs, this piece asks how separation of powers can be reflected within the Executive Branch when that branch, not the legislature, is making much law today. The first-best concept of legislature v. executive checks-and-balances has to be updated to contemplate second-best executive v. executive divisions.

A critical mechanism to promote internal separation of powers is bureaucracy. Much maligned by both the political left and right, bureaucracy serves crucial ...


The National Security Agency's Domestic Spying Program: Framing The Debate, David Cole, Martin S. Lederman Jan 2006

The National Security Agency's Domestic Spying Program: Framing The Debate, David Cole, Martin S. Lederman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On Friday, December 16, 2005, the New York Times reported that President George W. Bush had secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans' telephone and e-mail communications as part of an effort to obtain intelligence about future terrorist activity.' The Times report was based on leaks of classified information, presumably by NSA officials concerned about the legality of the program. The Times reported that at the President's request it had delayed publication of the story for more than a year.

The Indiana Law Journal reprinted four documents that, taken together, set forth the ...


Constitutional Texting, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

Constitutional Texting, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

"Constitutional Texting" introduces an account of constitutional meaning that draws on Paul Grice's distinction between "speaker's meaning" and "sentence meaning." The constitutional equivalent of speaker's meaning is "framer's meaning," the meaning that the author of the constitutional text intended to convey in light of the author's beliefs about the reader's beliefs about the author's intentions. The constitutional equivalent of sentence meaning is "clause meaning," the meaning that an ordinary reader would attribute to the text at the time of utterance without any beliefs about particular intentions on the part of the author. Clause ...


Pluralism And Public Legal Reason, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

Pluralism And Public Legal Reason, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What role does and should religion play in the legal sphere of a modern liberal democracy? Does religion threaten to create divisions that would undermine the stability of the constitutional order? Or is religious disagreement itself a force that works to create consensus on some of the core commitments of constitutionalism--liberty of conscience, toleration, limited government, and the rule of law? This essay explores these questions from the perspectives of contemporary political philosophy and constitutional theory. The thesis of the essay is that pluralism--the diversity of religious and secular conceptions of the good--can and should work as a force for ...


Scalia's Infidelity: A Critique Of "Faint-Hearted" Originalism, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2006

Scalia's Infidelity: A Critique Of "Faint-Hearted" Originalism, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this essay, based on the 2006 William Howard Taft lecture, the author critically evaluates Justice Antonin Scalia's famous and influential 1988 Taft Lecture, entitled Originalism: The Lesser Evil. In his lecture, Justice Scalia began the now-widely-accepted shift from basing constitutional interpretation on the intent of the framers to relying instead on the original public meaning of the text. At the same time, the essay explains how Justice Scalia allows himself three ways to escape originalist results that he finds to be objectionable: (1) when the text is insufficiently rule-like, (2) when precedent has deviated from original meaning and ...


Who's Afraid Of Unenumerated Rights?, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2006

Who's Afraid Of Unenumerated Rights?, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Unenumerated rights are expressly protected against federal infringement by the original meaning of the Ninth Amendment and against state infringement by the original meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Despite this textual recognition, unenumerated rights have received inconsistent and hesitant protection ever since these provisions were enacted, and what protection they do receive is subject to intense criticism. In this essay, the author examines why some are afraid to enforce unenumerated rights. While this reluctance seems most obviously to stem from the uncertainty of ascertaining the content of unenumerated rights, he contends that underlying this ...


Clauses Not Cases, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2006

Clauses Not Cases, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Clauses Not Cases is a Response to Robert Post and Reva Siegel, Questioning Justice: Law and Politics in Judicial Confirmation Hearings, Yale L.J. (The Pocket Part), Jan. 2006.

In Questioning Justice, Robert Post and Reva Siegel make three claims. First, that the Constitution authorizes the Senate to rest its judgement, in part, on the constitutional philosophy of nominees to the Supreme Court; second, that this practice is justified on grounds of democratic legitimacy; and third, that it is best implemented by asking nominees “to explain the grounds on which they would have voted in past decisions of the Supreme ...


Legislatures, Agencies, Courts And Advocates: How Laws Are Made, Interpreted And Modified, Chai R. Feldblum, Robin Appleberry Jan 2006

Legislatures, Agencies, Courts And Advocates: How Laws Are Made, Interpreted And Modified, Chai R. Feldblum, Robin Appleberry

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This chapter explains the nature and practice of lawmaking, legal advocacy, and legal research as they relate to the field of work and family. Through reference to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as a case study, the authors explain the dynamic processes by which laws are made, interpreted and modified by legislatures, administrative agencies and courts, with the help of legal advocates. Their goal is not to provide substantive analysis of laws related to work and family, but rather to enable researchers from a range of disciplines to understand and access the legal system, as it currently ...


A Response To Goodwin Liu, Robin West Jan 2006

A Response To Goodwin Liu, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professor Liu's article convincingly shows that the Fourteenth Amendment can be read, and has been read in the past, to confer a positive right on all citizens to a high-quality public education and to place a correlative duty on the legislative branches of both state and federal government to provide for that education. Specifically, the United States Congress has an obligation under the Fourteenth Amendment's Citizenship Clause, Liu argues, to ensure that the public education provided by states meets minimal standards so that citizens possess the competencies requisite to meaningful participation in civic life. Liu's argument is ...


The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay advances a formalist conception of constitutional stare decisis. The author argues that instrumentalist accounts of precedent are inherently unsatisfying and that the Supreme Court should abandon adherence to the doctrine that it is free to overrule its own prior decisions. These moves are embedded in a larger theoretical framework--a revival of formalist ideas in legal theory that he calls "neoformalism" to distinguish his view from the so-called "formalism" caricatured by the legal realists (and from some other views that are called "formalist").

In Part II, The Critique of Unenumerated Constitutional Rights, the author sets the stage by briefly ...


We The People's Executive, Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks Jan 2006

We The People's Executive, Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Perhaps to no one’s surprise, a recent survey found that most Americans know far more about television hits than they know about the United States Constitution. For instance, 52% of Americans surveyed could name at least two characters from The Simpsons, and 41% could name at least two judges from American Idol. Meanwhile, a mere 28% could identify more than one of the rights protected by the First Amendment.

Surveys such as this help clear up one of the apparent mysteries of the last five years: How did we change so quickly from a nation in which the rule ...


Constitutional Academic Freedom After Grutter: Getting Real About The "Four Freedoms" Of A University, J. Peter Byrne Jan 2006

Constitutional Academic Freedom After Grutter: Getting Real About The "Four Freedoms" Of A University, J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court's decision in Grutter v. Bollinger represents a high-water mark for the recognition and influence of constitutional academic freedom. The Court there relied, gingerly perhaps, on constitutional academic freedom, understood as some autonomy for university decision making on matters of core academic concern, to provide a compelling interest adequate to uphold flexible racial preferences in university admissions. Now that the dust has settled from direct import of the decision for affirmative action in admissions, it is important to consider what role constitutional academic freedom, as a working constitutional doctrine, should or may play within current disputes about ...


Beyond Coercion: Justice Kennedy's Aversion To Animus, Steven Goldberg Jan 2006

Beyond Coercion: Justice Kennedy's Aversion To Animus, Steven Goldberg

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In evaluating the constitutionality of religious displays, Justice Kennedy adheres to the coercion test. A crèche on the courthouse steps is acceptable because it does not coerce anyone to support or participate in a religious exercise. He rejects the endorsement test, which asks whether the display makes reasonable nonadherents feel like outsiders, finding it to be “flawed in its fundamentals and unworkable in practice.” Yet in the free exercise context, Kennedy has focused on whether a community shows hostility to minority faiths, and his opinions in Romer and Lawrence stress that legislatures acted unconstitutionally in showing animus to gays. Suppose ...


Unenumerated Duties, Robin West Jan 2006

Unenumerated Duties, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The article aims to make problematic the relative absence of questions about the affirmative duties of legislators to pass laws to achieve various welfarist ends in liberal constitutional theory. The duty to legislate for the public good is a bedrock of both classical and modern liberal theory, yet there is almost nothing in liberal constitutional theory about the possible constitutional grounding of the moral duties, whether enumerated or unenumerated, of legislators. The full explanation for this absence rests on a set of jurisprudential assumptions that lead moral questions about governance to be understood solely as adjudicative questions of law. Yet ...


Unitariness And Myopia: The Executive Branch, Legal Process And Torture, Cornelia T. Pillard Jan 2006

Unitariness And Myopia: The Executive Branch, Legal Process And Torture, Cornelia T. Pillard

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What promotes legality on the part of government under strain? This Article looks to the role of intra-executive processes in facilitating well-reasoned, legitimate conclusions on questions like the one addressed in this symposium: What are the legal authorities and limits governing coercive interrogation tactics? Admittedly, even the best legal processes are no guarantee of good substantive outcomes. Many critics would disagree with the substance of the executive's August 1, 2002, legal position on coercive interrogation no matter how it was derived. And even were all the best processes faithfully adhered to in developing the government's legal position on ...


Political Power And Judicial Power: Some Observations On Their Relation, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

Political Power And Judicial Power: Some Observations On Their Relation, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Essay summarizes and perhaps extends slightly some important recent work, mostly by political scientists, on the structural relation between the array of political power in a nation's nonjudicial branch or branches and the way in which judicial review is exercised in relatively stable democracies. Robert Dahl's classic article identified one such relation. According to Dahl, "[e]xcept for short-lived transitional periods when the old alliance is disintegrating and the new one is struggling to take control of political institutions, the Supreme Court is inevitably a part of the dominant national alliance." What, though, if there is no ...


"A Decent Respect To The Opinions Of Mankind": Referring To Foreign Law To Express American Nationhood, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

"A Decent Respect To The Opinions Of Mankind": Referring To Foreign Law To Express American Nationhood, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Why might a court refer to non-U.S. law? Justice Stephen Breyer's pragmatic defense of the practice is probably the most widely known, as are its defects. Here, I want to sketch a counterintuitive explanation for the practice. Referring to non-U.S. law in Supreme Court opinions might be a way in which Supreme Court Justices participate in the dissemination of a distinctively American self-understanding. By this I do not mean that Justices who refer to non-U.S. law necessarily endorse the (reasonable) interpretive theory that the U.S. Constitution instantiates universally true propositions of political morality. Rather, I ...


Popular Constitutionalism As Political Law, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

Popular Constitutionalism As Political Law, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article addresses some of the critical reviews of ‘The People Themselves’, focusing on how they respond to the proposition, which I believe to be correct and made in ‘The People Themselves’, that constitutional law is a distinctive or special kind of law. I call that kind of law political law. Both parts of the formulation are equally important. Constitutional law is law, what is sometimes described as "hard" law. As law, it sometimes induces decision-makers to make decisions that are inconsistent with their "pure" preferences, that is, those they would hold in the absence of law. My aim is ...


When Is Knowing Less Better Than Knowing More? Unpacking The Controversy Over Supreme Court Reference To Non-U.S. Law, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

When Is Knowing Less Better Than Knowing More? Unpacking The Controversy Over Supreme Court Reference To Non-U.S. Law, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

My goal in this Essay is simply to lay out the criticisms of the use of non-U.S. law in constitutional interpretation, so as to identify what might be correct (not much, in the end) in those criticisms. I discuss criticisms based on theories of interpretation, on the claim that reference to non-U.S. law is merely decoration playing no role in generating outcomes, on the role the Constitution has in expressing distinctively American values, and on the proposition that judges are unlikely to do a good job in understanding - and therefore in referring to - non-U.S. law. This last ...


Weak-Form Judicial Review And "Core" Civil Liberties, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

Weak-Form Judicial Review And "Core" Civil Liberties, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this Essay, I want to unearth some subordinated strands in the Rehnquist Court's free speech jurisprudence. For example, the Rehnquist Court allowed Congress to regulate campaign finance in ways subject to credible First Amendment objections, and to impose obligations on cable television systems that would almost certainly be unconstitutional were they imposed on newspapers. These decisions, I suggest, do not rest simply on the kind of deference to legislative judgment that fits comfortably into a system of strong-form review. Rather, they represent what I call a managerial model of the First Amendment, which accords legislatures a large role ...


The "Constitution Restoration Act" And Judicial Independence: Some Observations, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2006

The "Constitution Restoration Act" And Judicial Independence: Some Observations, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Essay uses the proposed Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 as the vehicle for exploring some aspects of contemporary concerns about judicial independence and the mechanisms available to control what might be perceived as abuses of judicial authority . . . I doubt that the Act has a serious chance of enactment, but its introduction provides an opportunity to examine some difficulties associated with congressional control of judicial decision-making. I begin by treating the Constitution Restoration Act as a real statute, asking what its substantive terms mean. I argue that there is substantial tension between what the Act says and what its sponsors ...