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Comparative and Foreign Law

Comparative and Foreign Law

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

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Generic Constitutional Law, David S. Law Sep 2004

Generic Constitutional Law, David S. Law

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This paper seeks to articulate and explore the emerging phenomenon of generic constitutional law, here and in other countries. Several explanations are offered for this development. First, constitutional courts face common normative concerns pertaining to countermajoritarianism and, as a result, experience a common need to justify judicial review. These concerns, and the stock responses that courts have developed, amount to a body of generic constitutional theory. Second, courts employ common problem-solving skills in constitutional cases. The use of these skills constitutes what might be called generic constitutional analysis. Third, courts face overlapping influences, largely not of their own making, that ...


The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith Sep 2004

The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Among the various instruments in the toolbox of liberalism, the so-called “harm principle,” presented as the central thesis of John Stuart Mill’s classic On Liberty, has been one of the most popular. The harm principle has been widely embraced and invoked in both academic and popular debate about a variety of issues ranging from obscenity to drug regulation to abortion to same-sex marriage, and its influence is discernible in legal arguments and judicial opinions as well. Despite the principle’s apparent irresistibility, this essay argues that the principle is hollow. It is an empty vessel, alluring but without any ...


Grutter's First Amendment, Paul Horwitz Sep 2004

Grutter's First Amendment, Paul Horwitz

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Most of the reaction to the Supreme Court's decision affirming the law school affirmative action policy at issue in Grutter v. Bollinger has focused on its Fourteenth Amendment implications. But Grutter also raises significant First Amendment issues. By reaffirming a First Amendment value of "educational autonomy," the Grutter Court raised a host of questions with implications not only for the constitutional law of academic freedom, but for First Amendment jurisprudence generally. This article therefore puts the Fourteenth Amendment to one side and provides a detailed analysis of the First Amendment implications of Grutter.

Some of the consequences of the ...