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2006

Constitutional Law

Public Law and Legal Theory

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The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


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.


Off To Elba: The Legitimacy Of Sex Offender Residence And Employment Restrictions, Joseph L. Lester Oct 2006

Off To Elba: The Legitimacy Of Sex Offender Residence And Employment Restrictions, Joseph L. Lester

ExpressO

Overborne by a mob mentality for justice, officials at every level of government are enacting laws that effectively exile convicted sex offenders from their midst with little contemplation as to the appropriateness or constitutionality of their actions. These laws fundamentally alter the liberties and freedom of convicted sex offenders to satisfy the ignorant fear of the masses. As a result, residence and employment restrictions which in theory are to protect society, in practice only exacerbate the perceived recidivism problem. When such laws are passed and the political process is broken, it is necessary for the judicial branch to step forward ...


From Origin To Delta: Changing Landscape Of Modern Constitutionalism, Jiunn-Rong Yeh, Wen-Chen Chang Oct 2006

From Origin To Delta: Changing Landscape Of Modern Constitutionalism, Jiunn-Rong Yeh, Wen-Chen Chang

ExpressO

This article deals with the question of whether and to what extent the two forces of democratization and globalization have altered our understandings of constitutionalism. We attempt to theorize a changing landscape of constitutionalism that includes transitional and transnational perspectives and examine respectively their features, functions and characteristics. First, we analyze respective developments of transitional and transnational constitutionalism by identifying their features, perspectives, functions, and characteristics. Then we examine to what extent and in what ways the developments in transitional and transnational constitutionalism pose challenges to our traditional understanding of modern constitutional laws. Finally, we shall picture a new constitutional ...


Theories Of Supranationalism In The Eu, Rafael Leal-Arcas Sep 2006

Theories Of Supranationalism In The Eu, Rafael Leal-Arcas

ExpressO

Supranationalism has been a topic of analysis from various points of view when trying to understand the process of European integration. This article aims at presenting the major theories of supranationalism when discussing the ongoing process of European integration. Three main theories are examined: 1) normative versus decisional supranationalism; 2) theories of partial integration, and 3) legal theories of economic integration (such as the neo-liberal economic policy, the European Community (EC) as a special-purpose association of functional integration, as well as the theory of the supranational and intergovernmental dual structure of the EC).


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 ...


“Actions As Words, Words As Actions: Sexual Harassment Law, The First Amendment And Verbal Acts, John F. Wirenius Sep 2006

“Actions As Words, Words As Actions: Sexual Harassment Law, The First Amendment And Verbal Acts, John F. Wirenius

ExpressO

The article examines the tension between the hostile work environment under the civil rights laws and the First Amendment’s protection of free speech, even when such speech is offensive and even discriminatory. After discussing the tension and its limits, the author examines other rationales proposed to resolve this tension, and rejecting them as unsatisfactory. Noting that hostile work environment doctrine, as a variable standard, employs a less “bright-line” approach than is typical of the First Amendment’s rule, the author nonetheless finds that the “open texture” of all rules, and the requirement that a hostile work environment be systematically ...


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 ...


Conversational Standing: A New Approach To An Old Privacy Problem, Christopher M. Drake Sep 2006

Conversational Standing: A New Approach To An Old Privacy Problem, Christopher M. Drake

ExpressO

American society has long considered certain conversations private amongst the participants in those conversations. In other words, when two or more people are conversing in a variety of settings and through a variety of media, there are times when all parties to the conversation can reasonably expect freedom from improper government intrusion, whether through direct participation or secret monitoring. This shared expectation of privacy has been slow to gain judicial recognition. Courts have indicated that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution only protects certain elements of the conversation, such as where and how it takes place, but that ...


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 Uncertain Future Of Marriage And The Alternatives, Daniel I. Weiner Aug 2006

The Uncertain Future Of Marriage And The Alternatives, Daniel I. Weiner

ExpressO

The cultural and institutional predominance of marriage in our society has lately been challenged by two important social trends: growing dissatisfaction with or indifference to marriage on the part of those eligible to marry, and the emergence of nontraditional families headed by adults who may wish to marry but are presently excluded from doing so. This Essay argues that proactive law reformers have responded to these trends by taking two very different approaches. The first approach, “diversity of forms,” is exemplified by the cultivation of alternatives and substitutes to traditional marriage ranging from same and opposite-sex domestic partnerships and other ...


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 ...


Varied Carols: Legislative Prayer In A Pluralist Polity, Robert J. Delahunty Aug 2006

Varied Carols: Legislative Prayer In A Pluralist Polity, Robert J. Delahunty

ExpressO

The article grows out of my research in writing an amicus brief for a group of distinguished theologians and religious scholars in Hinrichs v. Bosma, a case currently pending before the Seventh Circuit. That litigation involves a challenge to the practice of the Indiana House of Representatives of inviting chaplains of various faiths to lead the House in prayer before the start of each day’s official business. The trial court interpreted the Supreme Court’s 1983 decision, Marsh v. Chambers, to prohibit “sectarian” legislative prayer, and accordingly enjoined the Indiana House’s chaplains from invoking the name of Jesus ...


A Race Or A Nation? Cherokee National Identity And The Status Of Freedmen's Descendents, S. Alan Ray Aug 2006

A Race Or A Nation? Cherokee National Identity And The Status Of Freedmen's Descendents, S. Alan Ray

ExpressO

The Cherokee Nation today faces the challenge of determining its citizenship criteria in the context of race. The article focuses on the Cherokee Freedmen. As former slaves of Cherokee citizens, the Freedmen were adopted into the Cherokee Nation after the Civil War pursuant to a treaty with the United States, and given unqualified rights of citizenship. The incorporation of the Freedmen into the tribe was resisted from the start, and now, faced with a decision of the Cherokee Nation’s highest court affirming the descendents’ citizenship rights, the Nation prepares to vote on a constitutional amendment which would impose an ...


Semper Disqualified: The Incongruity Between Federal And State Suffrage Protections For Certain Military Voters Seeking To Vote In State And Local Elections, And A Possible Legislative Remedy, Alexandra R. Harrington Aug 2006

Semper Disqualified: The Incongruity Between Federal And State Suffrage Protections For Certain Military Voters Seeking To Vote In State And Local Elections, And A Possible Legislative Remedy, Alexandra R. Harrington

ExpressO

It is axiomatic that members of the United States military forces at all levels and throughout the course of the nation’s history have fought for the essential freedoms which underlie the constitution – key among them the suffrage right. Over the course of its history, the suffrage right has seen controversy and change, which mirrored the social and political issues and changed realities of the country. As the right to vote has been extended to encompass more citizens, so too has the ability to serve one’s country as part of the military. In recognition of the importance of the ...


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.


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.


Who Will Redevelop Redevelopment?, Tim Kowal May 2006

Who Will Redevelop Redevelopment?, Tim Kowal

ExpressO

Although California’s redevelopment law is among the strictest in the nation, from a layperson’s perspective, redevelopment agencies (RDAs) appear to be no more obstructed from their projects in California as they would be in, say, Connecticut. This article addresses a sort of “tragedy of the commons” problem applied to redevelopment: If redevelopment powers are “over-harvested” such as to instigate serious political revolt against them, they will become barren and useless, and will no longer be available for the purposes for which they were intended and for which they are still needed. Even assuming that redevelopment is efficacious and ...


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 ...


Zoning And Eminent Domain Under The New Minimum Scrutiny, John H. Ryskamp May 2006

Zoning And Eminent Domain Under The New Minimum Scrutiny, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

Recently the Supreme Court has made it clearer that minimum scrutiny is a factual analysis. Whether in any government action there is a rational relation to a legitimate interest is a matter of determining whether there is a policy maintaining important facts. This has come about in the Court’s emerging emphasis on developing fact-based criteria for determining government purpose. Thus, those who want to affect zoning and eminent domain outcomes should look to what the Court sees as important facts, and whether government action is maintaining those facts with its proposed land use or eminent domain action.


Finding The Constitutional Right To Education In San Antonio School District V. Rodriguez, John H. Ryskamp Apr 2006

Finding The Constitutional Right To Education In San Antonio School District V. Rodriguez, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court abolished the scrutiny regime because it impermissibly interfered with an important fact, liberty. And yet, even in earlier cases which ostensibly upheld the scrutiny regime, it is difficult to see that the Court ever did so to the detriment of facts it considered important. In short, the Court often (always?) found itself raising the level of scrutiny for a fact in the same case it upheld the regime, leaving us to wonder if the scrutiny regime ever actually had any effect at all, or even whether the Court felt it was relevant. As ...


Buried Online: State Laws That Limit E-Commerce In Caskets, Jerry Ellig, Asheesh Agarwal Mar 2006

Buried Online: State Laws That Limit E-Commerce In Caskets, Jerry Ellig, Asheesh Agarwal

ExpressO

Consumers seeking to purchase caskets online could benefit from the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision that states cannot discriminate against interstate direct wine shipment. Federal courts have reached conflicting conclusions when asked whether state laws requiring casket sellers to be licensed funeral directors violate the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause. In Powers v. Harris, the 10th Circuit even offered an unprecedented ruling that economic protectionism is a legitimate state interest that can justify otherwise unconstitutional policies. In Granholm v. Heald, however, the Supreme Court declared that discriminatory barriers to interstate wine shipment must be justified by a legitimate ...


Never Get Out'a The Boat: Stenberg V. Carhart And The Future Of American Law, Michael Scaperlanda, John Breen Mar 2006

Never Get Out'a The Boat: Stenberg V. Carhart And The Future Of American Law, Michael Scaperlanda, John Breen

ExpressO

In this essay, the haunting scenes from the film Apocalypse Now serve as the backdrop for an examination of Stenberg v. Carhart and the meaning that this case holds for the future of American law and culture.

The movie tells the story of Captain Benjamin Willard, a special forces officer in Vietnam who travels up-river on a patrol boat in search of a renegade American colonel whom Willard has been ordered to “terminate.” The major thematic concerns of the film are morality, violence, candor, and the tenuous nature of civilization. Indeed, life on board the boat, such as it is ...


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 Children Of Science: Property, People, Or Something In Between?, Star Q. Lopez Mar 2006

The Children Of Science: Property, People, Or Something In Between?, Star Q. Lopez

ExpressO

How should states classify embryos? The war has often waged between two classifications, people versus property. But what if a state assumed something in between, finding the embryo to be a potential person entitled to special respect? If a state adopted this position, how would the law affect medical research?

Presuming embryos constitute potential persons, the debate would continue with how to define “special respect.” The status of a potential person runs along a spectrum between property and personhood. How one defines “special respect” determines where the potential person falls along this spectrum. Special respect would create a spectrum of ...


Halbert V. Michigan: The Application Of The Douglas-Ross Dichotomy In Constitutionalizing Indigency In States’ Appellate Court Processes, Omari O. Jackson Mar 2006

Halbert V. Michigan: The Application Of The Douglas-Ross Dichotomy In Constitutionalizing Indigency In States’ Appellate Court Processes, Omari O. Jackson

ExpressO

This note centers on a discussion of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Halbert v. Michigan case. This case addressed the issue of whether an indigent defendant is entitled to assistance of counsel by the state to file a leave for appeal. The Court, in a 6-3 decision, held that an indigent defendant is entitled to assistance of counsel when an appeal is available by leave of the court. Prior decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have addressed the issue of assistance of counsel during the trial and appellate stage of litigation. This note will present ...


When Worlds Collide: Federal Construction Of State Institutional Competence, Marcia L. Mccormick Mar 2006

When Worlds Collide: Federal Construction Of State Institutional Competence, Marcia L. Mccormick

ExpressO

The federal courts routinely encounter issues of state law. Often a state court will have already analyzed the law at issue, either in a separate case or in the very situation before the federal court. In every one of those cases, the federal courts must decide whether to defer to the state court analysis and, if so, how much. The federal courts will often defer, but many times have not done so, and they rarely explain the reasons for the departures they make. While this lack of transparency gives the federal courts the greatest amount of discretion and power, it ...


Law, Narrative, And The Continuing Colonist Oppression Of Native Hawaiians, David Barnard Feb 2006

Law, Narrative, And The Continuing Colonist Oppression Of Native Hawaiians, David Barnard

ExpressO

The article does three things. First, and for the first time, it brings to bear the perspectives of critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and narrative theory on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Rice v. Cayetano, which dealt a severe blow to Native Hawaiians’ struggles for redress and reparations for a century of dispossession and impoverishment at the hands of the United States. Second, it demonstrates in the concrete case of Hawaii the power of a particular historical narrative—when it is accepted uncritically by the Supreme Court—to render the law itself into an instrument of ...


The (Neglected) Importance Of Being Lawrence: The Constitutionalization Of Public Employee Rights To Decisional Non-Interference In Private Affairs, Paul M. Secunda Feb 2006

The (Neglected) Importance Of Being Lawrence: The Constitutionalization Of Public Employee Rights To Decisional Non-Interference In Private Affairs, Paul M. Secunda

ExpressO

This paper argues that whatever debates continue to stew regarding the true meaning of Lawrence v. Texas, at the very least, Lawrence represents the recognition of an individual's heightened interest in decisional non-interference in private affairs. This is an important constitutional development since a problem under the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions only arises when the government offers a benefit, like government employment, conditioned on the waiver of a preferred constitutional right. Thus, a government employer, post-Lawrence, should be prohibited, under the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions, from firing a government employee who exercises her rights to decisional non-interference in private ...