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University of Michigan Law School

Marbury v. Madison

2001

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Dissing Congress, Ruth Colker, James J. Brudney Oct 2001

Dissing Congress, Ruth Colker, James J. Brudney

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Rehnquist's recent leadership has invalidated numerous federal laws, arguably departing from settled precedent to do so. The Rehnquist Court has held that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in five instances during the 2000-01 Term, on four occasions during the 1999-2000 Term and in a total of twenty-nine cases since the 1994-95 Term. Commentators typically explain these decisions in federalism terms, focusing on the Court's use of its power to protect the States from an overreaching Congress. That explanation is incomplete and, in important respects, unpersuasive. The Rehnquist Court has not been as ...


How To Apply The Religious Freedom Restoration Act To Federal Law Without Violating The Constitution, Gregory P. Magarian Aug 2001

How To Apply The Religious Freedom Restoration Act To Federal Law Without Violating The Constitution, Gregory P. Magarian

Michigan Law Review

Learned commentators have called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 ("RFRA" or "the Act") "perhaps the most unconstitutional statute in the history of the nation" and "the most egregious violation of the separation of powers doctrine in American constitutional history." In the 1997 case of City of Boerne v. Flores, the Supreme Court struck down the Act in its applications to state and local governments, declaring that "RFRA contradicts vital principles necessary to maintain separation of powers and the federal balance." The Act's applications to federal law, however, survived Boerne, which means that plaintiffs with religious freedom claims ...