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Moral Limits On Morals Legislation: Lessons For U.S. Constitutional Law From The Declaration On Religious Freedom, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J. Nov 2006

Moral Limits On Morals Legislation: Lessons For U.S. Constitutional Law From The Declaration On Religious Freedom, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A persistent American confusion regarding the proper relationship between law and morality is manifest in the opinions in Lawrence v. Texas. The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom provides the foundation for an analytical framework that can bring clarity to that confusion. The heart of this framework is the moral concept of public order. This concept offers a principled explanation of both the holding in Lawrence and the limitations the Court placed on that holding. The Court could clarify the confusion manifest in Lawrence by explicitly acknowledging that a state interest only becomes legitimate for purposes of rational ...


Daubert And The Disappearing Jury Trial, Allan Kanner Oct 2006

Daubert And The Disappearing Jury Trial, Allan Kanner

ExpressO

Since being decided by the Supreme Court in 1993, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals has earned its place as one of the most misinterpreted and misapplied decisions in modern history. Meant to liberalize the standards for admissions of proof, the decision has had the opposite effect. The gatekeeper powers given to judges via Daubert, coupled with the internal and external incentives to prevent jury trials, has placed our entire civil justice system at risk.


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Parents Involved & Meredith: A Prediction Regarding The (Un)Constitutionality Of Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans, Eboni S. Nelson Sep 2006

Parents Involved & Meredith: A Prediction Regarding The (Un)Constitutionality Of Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans, Eboni S. Nelson

ExpressO

During the October 2006 Term, the United States Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of voluntary race-conscious student assignment plans as employed in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No.1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education. These cases will mark the Court’s first inquiry regarding the use of race to combat de facto segregation in public education. This article examines the constitutionality of such plans and provides a prediction regarding the Court’s decisions.

The article begins with an analysis of the resegregation trend currently plaguing American educational institutions and identifies two causes ...


Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults Sep 2006

Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults

ExpressO

The Article argues in favor of shifting the balance in federal sentencing toward a more indeterminate system. By exploring the post-Booker legal landscape at both the federal and state levels, the Article asserts that the judiciary's continued reliance on the “advisory" Guidelines has practically changed federal sentencing procedures very little in form or function. Accordingly, the Article proffers that, rather than insisting upon the Guidelines' immutability, federal sentencing would do well to reflect upon its own history, and the evolution of its state counterparts.


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice Sep 2006

Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice

ExpressO

Garcetti v. Ceballos was intended to clear up an area of First Amendment law so murky that it was the source not only of circuit splits but also of intra-circuit splits—panels from within the same circuit had arrived at opposite results in nearly identical cases. As it turned out, the Supreme Court itself was as splintered as the circuits. Of all the previously argued cases that remained undecided during the Court’s transition involving Justice O’Connor’s retirement and Justice Alito’s confirmation, Garcetti was the only one for which the Court ordered a second argument. This suggested ...


Taking "Justice And Fairness" Seriously: Distributive Justice And The Takings Clause, Jeffrey M. Gaba Sep 2006

Taking "Justice And Fairness" Seriously: Distributive Justice And The Takings Clause, Jeffrey M. Gaba

ExpressO

Since the 1960 case of Armstrong v. United States, the Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that “the” purpose of the Takings Clause is to prevent burdens falling on individual landowners that should in “justice and fairness” be born by society as a whole. The essay argues that this embodies a concept of distributional justice and further argues that the Court has failed to adequately consider the implications of such a conception as the basis of Takings analysis. The essay, after describing the origins of the Armstrong principle, discusses four implications: first, the rejection of a rights- based conception of the ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


The Restitutionary Approach To Just Compensation, Tim Kowal Sep 2006

The Restitutionary Approach To Just Compensation, Tim Kowal

ExpressO

In the wake of the Court’s near-total refusal to impose a check on the legislature through the public use clause, this paper discusses whether any confidence in our property rights be restored through the just compensation clause in the form of restitutionary compensation, rather than the traditional, and myopic, “fair market value” standard. This paper discusses the historical presumption against restitution, elucidated through Bauman v. Ross over a century ago, is founded upon (1) the idea that the public should not be made to pay any more than necessary to effect a public project, and (2) the idea that ...


The Pragmatic Populism Of Justice Stevens' Free Speech Jurisprudence, Gregory P. Magarian Sep 2006

The Pragmatic Populism Of Justice Stevens' Free Speech Jurisprudence, Gregory P. Magarian

Working Paper Series

In his three decades on the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens has developed a distinctive approach to the First Amendment. During his tenure, the Court’s majority has crystallized a theory of First Amendment speech protection as an abstract, negative protection of individual autonomy against government interference. In contrast, Justice Stevens’ pragmatic judicial methodology has caused him to place greater emphasis on free speech decisions’ practical consequences, particularly their effectiveness in making democratic debate inclusive as to both participants and subject matter in order to ensure robust, well-informed public discourse. Alone on the present Court, Justice Stevens manifests a ...


The New Nuisance: An Antidote To Wetland Loss, Sprawl, And Global Warming, Christine A. Klein Aug 2006

The New Nuisance: An Antidote To Wetland Loss, Sprawl, And Global Warming, Christine A. Klein

ExpressO

In 1992, Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council held that governments must provide compensation to landowners whenever regulations deprive land of all economically beneficial use, unless the restrictions inhere in background principles of the state’s law of property and nuisance. Such background principles, the Court added, may evolve in accordance with new knowledge. Thus, nuisance became “new” in two critical respects: it expanded from offense to affirmative defense, and it explicitly recognized that new learning continuously redefines the boundaries of nuisance. More than a dozen years have passed since Lucas, and much is new: The years have brought a ...


Liberalism And Religion, Steven H. Shiffrin Aug 2006

Liberalism And Religion, Steven H. Shiffrin

ExpressO

No abstract provided.


Why Justice Scalia Should Be A Constitutional Comparativst . . . Sometimes, David C. Gray Aug 2006

Why Justice Scalia Should Be A Constitutional Comparativst . . . Sometimes, David C. Gray

ExpressO

The burgeoning literature on transjudicialism and constitutional comparativism generally reaffirms the familiar lines of contest between textualists and those more inclined to read the Constitution as a living document. As a consequence, it tends to be politicized, if not polemic. This essay begins to shift the debate toward a more rigorous focus on first principles. In particular, it argues that full faith to the basic commitments of originalism, as advanced in Justice Scalia’s writings, opinions, and speeches, requires domestic courts to consult contemporary foreign sources when interpreting universalist language found in the Constitution. While the essay does not propose ...


Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher Aug 2006

Conducting The Constitution: Justice Scalia, Textualism, And The Eroica Symphony, Ian Gallacher

ExpressO

This article examines the three principle Constitutional interpretative approaches and compares them to similar interpretative doctrines used by musicians. In particular, it examines the theoretical underpinnings of Justice Scalia’s “textualist” philosophy by trying to predict what results would obtain from application of that philosophy to a performance of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony.

The article does not declare the foundation of a new genre of legal hermeneutics, nor does it seek to announce a comprehensive interpretative framework that can solve problems of Constitutional or statutory interpretation. Rather, the article explores some fundamental principles of legal textual ...


Justice Thomas' Kelo Dissent, Or, "History As A Grab Bag Of Principles", David L. Breau Aug 2006

Justice Thomas' Kelo Dissent, Or, "History As A Grab Bag Of Principles", David L. Breau

ExpressO

In Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court held 5-4 that creating jobs and increasing tax revenues satisfy the Fifth Amendment’s requirement that property be "taken for public use." Justice Thomas joined the dissenters, but authored a separate opinion arguing that the Public Use Clause was originally understood as a substantive limitation that allowed the government to take property only if the government owns, or the public actually uses, the taken property. This article demonstrates that much of the historical evidence that Justice Thomas provides in his dissent to support a narrow original understanding of public use ...


The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

ExpressO

This paper is an empirical examination of the recently ended 2005 Supreme Court term. The paper, in addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, also examines the jurisprudence of new justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it proposes the intriguing possibility that these two justices may share a jurisprudential approach different from the Court's more established conservatives. If correct, this raises numerous and interesting possibilities for the future of conservativism on the Supreme Court.


Are Constitutions Legitimate?, Andrei Marmor Jul 2006

Are Constitutions Legitimate?, Andrei Marmor

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper argues that constitutionalism raises some serious concerns of moral legitimacy. Following a preliminary outline of the main features of constitutionalism, the paper presents some of the main moral concerns about the legitimacy of constitutions. It then considers in detail a number of arguments that purport to answer those concerns, arguing that they all fail to meet the challenge. The paper concludes with a brief outline of some of the moral implications of this failure and some suggestions for reform.


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Mixed Messages: The Supreme Court’S Conflicting Decisions On Juries In Death Penalty Cases, Ken Miller, David Niven Jun 2006

Mixed Messages: The Supreme Court’S Conflicting Decisions On Juries In Death Penalty Cases, Ken Miller, David Niven

ExpressO

The right to a jury determination of a capital defendant's fate has expanded recently. The era of judges making factual determinations then determining whether to apply a death sentence or judges having the power to overrule a jury's life sentence to impose death is over. The expanded right to access a jury and have it hold determinative power over a defendant's life has not, however, been accompanied by commensurate attention to the instructions that guide those jurors through the applicable law toward their verdict. Nor have adequate procedures been designed to produce a truly representative jury panel ...


Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson, Steven Moeller May 2006

Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson, Steven Moeller

ExpressO

Our manuscript entitled "The Foundations of Federalism: An Exchange" is occasioned by the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence which, in our judgment, calls for a broad ranging exploration of the constitutional concept of federalism itself. That exploration takes place in the form of a dialog between us which, while rewritten from its original form, nevertheless reflects our actual exchanges over an 18 month period. Our conclusion is that such terms as "sovereignty" generally have no place in American constitutional federalism, that the Supreme Court's efforts to enforce federalism limitations have been ineffective and, in some instances, counterproductive, and most ...


Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson May 2006

Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book entitled Radicals in Robes. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis, this essay offers ...


Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman May 2006

Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman

ExpressO

This is a review essay entitled “Using All Available Information,” in which I review and comment on Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, published in September 2005. Justice Breyer’s book, adapted from the Tanner Lectures given in 2005 at Harvard Law School, serves partly as a response to Justice Scalia’s 1997 volume A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law. I review Justice Breyer’s book in part by comparison to and contrast with Justice Scalia’s. I propose that much about Justice Breyer’s interpretive philosophy, which centers on determining ...


Using Capture Theory And Chronology In Eminent Domain Proceedings, John H. Ryskamp May 2006

Using Capture Theory And Chronology In Eminent Domain Proceedings, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

Capture theory--in which private purpose is substituted for government purpose--sheds light on a technique which is coming into greater use post-Kelo v. New London. That case affirmed that eminent domain use need only be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. Capture theory focuses litigators' attention on "government purpose." That is a question of fact for the trier of fact. This article shows how to use civil discovery in order to show the Court that private purpose has been substituted for government purpose. If it has, the eminent domain use fails, because the use does not meet minimum scrutiny. This ...


Dignity - The Enemy From Within, Guy E. Carmi Mar 2006

Dignity - The Enemy From Within, Guy E. Carmi

ExpressO

The manuscript challenges the use of human dignity as an independent free speech justification. The articulation of free speech in human dignity terms carries unwarranted potential consequences that may result in limiting free speech rather than protecting it. This possible outcome makes human dignity inadequate as a free speech justification.

The manuscript also demonstrates why articulations of the rationales behind the “argument from dignity” are either superfluous, since they are aptly covered by the “argument from autonomy,” or simply too broad and speech-restrictive to be considered a free speech justification. As a matter of principle, the nexus between freedom of ...


The Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson Mar 2006

The Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson

ExpressO

Our manuscript entitled "The Foundations of Federalism: An Exchange" is occasioned by the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence which, in our judgment, calls for a broad ranging exploration of the constitutional concept of federalism itself. That exploration takes place in the form of a dialog between us which, while rewritten from its original form, nevertheless reflects our actual exchanges over an 18 month period. Our conclusion is that such terms as "sovereignty" generally have no place in American constitutional federalism, that the Supreme Court's efforts to enforce federalism limitations have been ineffective and, in some instances, counterproductive, and most ...


The Takings Clause, Version 2005: The Legal Process Of Constitutional Property Rights, Mark Fenster Mar 2006

The Takings Clause, Version 2005: The Legal Process Of Constitutional Property Rights, Mark Fenster

ExpressO

The three takings decisions that the Supreme Court issued at the end of its October 2004 Term marked a stunning reversal of the Court’s efforts the past three decades to use the Takings Clause to define a set of constitutional property rights. The regulatory takings doctrine, which once loomed as a significant threat to the modern regulatory state, now appears after Lingle v. Chevron to be a relatively tame, if complicated, check on exceptional instances of regulatory abuse. At the same time, the Public Use Clause, formerly an inconsequential limitation on the state’s eminent domain authority, now appears ...


An Analysis Of The Contemporary Role Of Social Science In The Law: The Case Of Race Conscious Admissions, Crystal R. Gafford Muhammad Mar 2006

An Analysis Of The Contemporary Role Of Social Science In The Law: The Case Of Race Conscious Admissions, Crystal R. Gafford Muhammad

ExpressO

The present inquiry focuses on the role of social science evidence contemporarily, using observations from judicial opinions in race conscious admissions cases. Using a set of judicial opinions from K-12 voluntary desegregation and higher education affirmative action in admissions, I use legal and statistical analysis to argue that social science data presented into evidence does not affect the outcomes of court cases involving normative subject matters, such as those involving race. I find judicial political affiliation to be the greatest predictor of opinions in this area of law. However, the question is not whether social science evidence is influential or ...


Regulatory Reform: The New Lochnerism?, David M. Driesen Mar 2006

Regulatory Reform: The New Lochnerism?, David M. Driesen

ExpressO

This article explores the question of whether contemporary regulatory reformers’ attitudes toward government regulation have anything in common with those of the Lochner-era Court. It finds that both groups tend to favor value neutral law guided by cost-benefit analysis over legislative value choices. Their skepticism toward redistributive legislation reflects shared beliefs that regulation often proves counterproductive in terms of its own objectives, fails demanding tests for rationality, and violates the natural order. This parallelism raises fresh questions about claims of neutrality and heightened rationality that serve as important justifications modern regulatory reform.