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Full-Text Articles in Law

Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson Jun 2019

Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson

Articles

Article II of the United States Constitution vests “the executive power” in the President. For more than two hundred years, advocates of presidential power have claimed that this phrase was originally understood to include a bundle of national security and foreign affairs authorities. Their efforts have been highly successful. Among constitutional originalists, this so-called “Vesting Clause Thesis” is now conventional wisdom. But it is also demonstrably wrong. Based on an exhaustive review of the eighteenth-century bookshelf, this Article shows that the ordinary meaning of “executive power” referred unambiguously to a single, discrete, and potent authority: the power to execute law ...


Scrutinizing Anticompetitive State Regulations Through Constitutional And Antitrust Lenses, Daniel A. Crane May 2019

Scrutinizing Anticompetitive State Regulations Through Constitutional And Antitrust Lenses, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

State and local regulations that anticompetitively favor certain producers to the detriment of consumers are a pervasive problem in our economy. Their existence is explicable by a variety of structural features—including asymmetry between consumer and producer interests, cost externalization, and institutional and political factors entrenching incumbent technologies. Formulating legal tools to combat such economic parochialism is challenging in the post-Lochner world, where any move toward heightened judicial review of economic regulation poses the perceived threat of a return to economic substantive due process. This Article considers and compares two potential tools for reviewing such regulations—a constitutional principle against ...


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely ...


Equitable Gateways: Toward Expanded Federal Habeas Corpus Review Of State Court Criminal Convictions, Eve Brensike Primus Apr 2019

Equitable Gateways: Toward Expanded Federal Habeas Corpus Review Of State Court Criminal Convictions, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

State prisoners who file federal habeas corpus petitions face a maze of procedural and substantive restrictions that effectively prevent almost all prisoners from obtaining meaningful review of their convictions. But it is a mistake to think that habeas litigation is just a Kafkaesque nightmare with no constructive potential. Federal courts do sometimes cut through the doctrinal morass to consider state prisoners’ claims, relying on what this Articleterms "equitable gateways" to federal habeas relief. Litigants and courts generally underestimate the potential these gateways offer, with the result that habeas litigation does not focus on them as often as it should. Here ...


Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus Jan 2019

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In The Accumulation of Advantages, the picture that Professor Owen Fiss paints about equality during and since the Second Reconstruction is largely a picture in black and white. That makes some sense. The black/white experience is probably the most important throughline in the story of equal protection. It was the central theme of both the First and Second Reconstructions. In keeping with that orientation, the picture of disadvantage described by Fiss’s theory of cumulative responsibility is largely drawn from the black/white experience. Important as it is, however, the black/white experience does not exhaust the subject of ...


The Elephant Problem, Richard Primus Jan 2019

The Elephant Problem, Richard Primus

Reviews

In their new book, "A Great Power of Attorney": Understanding the Fiduciary Constitution, Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman argue that, as a matter of original meaning, the Constitution should be understood as analogous to a power of attorney, that interpretive devices applicable to powers of attorney should therefore be used in constitutional interpretation, and that interpreting the Constitution that way would produce results congenial to modern libertarian preferences, such as the unconstitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the invalidity, on nondelegation grounds, of much of the federal administrative state. But the book fails to carry any of its central ...


The Most Revealing Word In The United States Report, Richard Primus Jan 2019

The Most Revealing Word In The United States Report, Richard Primus

Articles

The most prominent issue in NFIB v. Sebelius was whether Congress’s regulatory power under the Commerce Clause stops at a point marked by a distinction between “activity” and “inactivity.” According to the law’s challengers, prior decisions about the scope of the commerce power already reflected the importance of the distinction between action and inaction. In all of the previous cases in which exercises of the commerce power had been sustained, the challengers argued, that power had been used to regulate activity. Never had Congress tried to regulate mere inactivity. In NFIB, four Justices rejected that contention, writing that ...


Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway At A Time, Eve Brensike Primus Jul 2018

Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway At A Time, Eve Brensike Primus

Other Publications

Habeas corpus, also known as the Great Writ, was meant to be a “bulwark against convictions that violate fundamental fairness,” according to the Supreme Court. Yet today, federal courts provide relief in fewer than half of one percent of cases in which a non-capital state prisoner seeks relief through habeas. The Great Writ, it would seem, is no longer so great. In Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway at a Time, Eve Brensike Primus examines the various procedural and substantive hurdles that have been erected in the past half century that make it nearly impossible for state prisoners ...


Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas Jun 2018

Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

The Ex Post Facto Clause bars any increase in punishment after the commission of a crime. But deciding what constitutes an increase in punishment can be tricky. At the front end of a criminal case, where new or amended criminal laws might lengthen prisoners’ sentences if applied retroactively, courts have routinely struck down such changes under the Ex Post Facto Clause. At the back end, however, where new or amended parole laws or policies might lengthen prisoners’ sentences in exactly the same way if applied retroactively, courts have used a different standard and upheld the changes under the Ex Post ...


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias Mar 2018

The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias

Articles

As Parts I and II of this Essay elaborate, the examination yields three observations of relevance to constitutional law more generally: First, judge-made constitutional doctrine, though by no means the primary cause of rising inequality, has played an important role in reinforcing and exacerbating it. Judges have acquiesced to legislatively structured economic inequality, while also restricting the ability of legislatures to remedy it. Second, while economic inequality has become a cause célèbre only in the last few years, much of the constitutional doctrine that has contributed to its flourishing is longstanding. Moreover, for several decades, even the Court’s more ...


The Constitutional Law Of Incarceration, Reconfigured, Margo Schlanger Jan 2018

The Constitutional Law Of Incarceration, Reconfigured, Margo Schlanger

Articles

On any given day, about 2.2 million people are confined in U.S. jails and prisons—nearly 0.9% of American men are in prison, and another 0.4% are in jail. This year, 9 or 10 million people will spend time in our prisons and jails; about 5000 of them will die there. A decade into a frustratingly gradual decline in incarceration numbers, the statistics have grown familiar: We have 4.4% of the world’s population but over 20% of its prisoners. Our incarceration rate is 57% higher than Russia’s (our closest major country rival in ...


Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran Dec 2017

Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In New York City, an indigent parent can receive the assistance of a multidisciplinary legal team—an attorney, a social worker, and a parent advocate—to defend against the City’s request to temporarily remove a child from her care. But in Mississippi, that same parent can have her rights to her child permanently terminated without ever receiving the assistance of a single lawyer. In Washington State, the Legislature has ensured that parents ensnared in child abuse and neglect proceedings will receive the help of a well-trained and well-compensated attorney with a reasonable caseload. Yet in Tennessee, its Supreme Court ...


Fundamental Rights, Federal States, And Sovereignty: Some Random Remarks, Donald H. Regan Dec 2017

Fundamental Rights, Federal States, And Sovereignty: Some Random Remarks, Donald H. Regan

Articles

I am not an EU lawyer. The days are long gone when I could know a substantial fraction of EU law just by knowing about the free movement of goods. I get a fleeting glimpse of where the EU is going every year at the Jean Monnet Seminar in Dubrovnik, but no more than a glimpse. Still, when the editors invited me to write this Editorial Note, I could not refuse. Looking for inspiration, I read or reread all the previous twelve Notes. This was an enjoyable and informative exercise in itself, but only a few of the essays suggested ...


Educational Equality For Children With Disabilities: The 2016 Term Cases, Samuel R. Bagenstos Nov 2017

Educational Equality For Children With Disabilities: The 2016 Term Cases, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Book Chapters

One of the most longstanding debates in educational policy pits the goal of equality against the goal of adequacy: Should we aim to guarantee that all children receive an equal education? Or simply that they all receive an adequate education? The debate is vexing in part because there are many ways to specify “equality” and “adequacy.” Are we talking about equality of inputs (which inputs?), equality of opportunity (to achieve what?), or equality of results (which results?)? Douglas Rae and his colleagues famously argued that there are no fewer than 108 structurally distinct conceptions of equality. And how do we ...


Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran Oct 2017

Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In many jurisdictions, once a parent has her rights terminated to one child, the State can use that decision to justify the termination of parental rights to another child. The State can do so regardless of whether the parent is fit to parent the second child. This article explores this practice, examines its origins, and discusses its constitutional inadequacies.


From Grace To Grids: Rethinking Due Process Protections For Parole., Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly A. Thomas May 2017

From Grace To Grids: Rethinking Due Process Protections For Parole., Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Current due process law gives little protection to prisoners at the point of parole, even though the parole decision, like sentencing, determines whether or not a person will serve more time or will go free. The doctrine regarding parole, which developed mostly in the late 1970s, was based on a judicial understanding of parole as an experimental, subjective, and largely standardless art—rooted in assessing the individual “character” of the potential parolee. In this Article we examine the foundations of the doctrine, and conclude that the due process inquiry at the point of parole should take into account the stark ...


The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar May 2017

The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar

Articles

A decade after the Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona, Geoffrey Stone took a close look at the eleven decisions the Court had handed down “concerning the scope and application of Miranda.” As Stone observed, “[i]n ten of these cases, the Court interpreted Miranda so as not to exclude the challenged evidence.” In the eleventh case, the Court excluded the evidence on other grounds. Thus, Stone noted, ten years after the Court decided the case, “the Court ha[d] not held a single item of evidence inadmissible on the authority of Miranda.” Not a single item. To use baseball ...


Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus May 2017

Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Fifty years after Miranda v. Arizona, many have lamented the ways in which the Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts Courts have cut back on Miranda's protections. One underappreciated a spect of Miranda's demise is the way it has affected the development of the pretrial Sixth Amendment right to counsel guaranteed by Massiah v. United States. Much of the case law diluting suspects' Fifth Amendment Miranda rights has bled over into the Sixth Amendment right to counsel cases without consideration of whether the animating purposes of the Massiah pretrial right to counsel would support such an importation. This development is ...


Federalism And The End Of Obamacare, Nicholas Bagley Apr 2017

Federalism And The End Of Obamacare, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

Federalism has become a watchword in the acrimonious debate over a possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Missing from that debate, however, is a theoretically grounded and empirically informed understanding of how best to allocate power between the federal government and the states. For health reform, the conventional arguments in favor of a national solution have little resonance: federal intervention will not avoid a race to the bottom, prevent externalities, or protect minority groups from state discrimination. Instead, federal action is necessary to overcome the states’ fiscal limitations: their inability to deficit-spend and the constraints that federal law ...


The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus Mar 2017

The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote that "the enumeration presupposes something not enumerated." Modern courts use that phrase to mean that the Constitutions enumeration of congressional powers indicates that those powers are, as a whole, less than a grant of general legislative authority. But Marshall wasn't saying that. He wasn't talking about the Constitution's overall enumeration of congressional powers at all. He was writing about a different enumeration - the enumeration of three classes of commerce within the Commerce Clause. And Marshall's analysis of the Commerce Clause in Gibbons does not imply that ...


Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas Mar 2017

Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

First, this Article surveys the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to analogize life without parole for juveniles to the death penalty for adults, and discusses the Eighth Amendment law regarding the parameters around death penalty statutory schemes. Second, this Article examines the state legislative response to Miller, and scrutinizes it with the Court's Eighth Amendment death penalty law-and the states' responses to this case law-in mind. This Article highlights the failure of juvenile homicide sentencing provisions to: 1) narrow offenses that are eligible for life without parole sentences; 2) further limit, once a guilty finding is made, the ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott Dec 2016

Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

In case after case, prosecutors, judges and juries therefore still struggle to come up with a definition of slavery, looking for some set of criteria or indicia that will enable them to discern whether the phenomenon they are observing constitutes enslavement. In this definitional effort, contemporary jurists may imagine that in the past, surely the question was simpler: someone either was or was not a slave. However, the existence of a set of laws declaring that persons could be owned as property did not, even in the nineteenth century, answer by itself the question of whether a given person was ...


An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk Oct 2016

An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Takings scholarship has long focused on the niceties of Supreme Court doctrine, while ignoring the operation of takings law "on the ground" in the state and lower federal courts, which together decide the vast bulk of all takings cases. This study, based primarily on an empirical analysis of more than 2000 reported decisions ovcr the period 1979 through 2012, attempts to fill that void. This study establishes that the Supreme Court's categorical rules govern almost no state takings cases, and that takings claims based on government regulation almost invariably fail. By contrast, when takings claims arise out of government ...


How The Ada Regulates And Restricts Solitary Confinement For People With Mental Disabilities, Margo Schlanger May 2016

How The Ada Regulates And Restricts Solitary Confinement For People With Mental Disabilities, Margo Schlanger

Other Publications

In a landmark decision two decades ago, United States District Judge Thelton Henderson emphasized the toxic effects of solitary confinement for inmates with mental illness. In Madrid v. Gomez, a case about California’s Pelican Bay prison, Judge Henderson wrote that isolated conditions in the Special Housing Unit, or SHU, while not amounting to cruel and unusual punishment for all prisoners, were unconstitutional for those “at a particularly high risk for suffering very serious or severe injury to their mental health . . . .” Vulnerable prisoners included those with pre-existing mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and brain damage. Henderson concluded that “[f]or these ...


Debunking Humphrey's Executor, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2016

Debunking Humphrey's Executor, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The Supreme Court’s 1935 Humphrey’s Executor decision paved the way for the modern administrative state by holding that Congress could constitutionally limit the President’s powers to remove heads of regulatory agencies. The Court articulated a quartet of features of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) statutory design that ostensibly justified the Commission’s constitutional independence. It was to be nonpartisan and apolitical, uniquely expert, and performing quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial, rather than executive, functions. In recent years, the staying power of Humphrey’s Executor has been called into question as a matter of constitutional design. This Essay reconsiders ...


Separations Of Wealth: Inequality And The Erosion Of Checks And Balances, Kate Andrias Jan 2016

Separations Of Wealth: Inequality And The Erosion Of Checks And Balances, Kate Andrias

Articles

American government is dysfunctional: Gridlock, filibusters, and expanding presidential power, everyone seems to agree, threaten our basic system of constitutional governance. Who, or what, is to blame? In the standard account, the fault lies with the increasing polarization of our political parties. That standard story, however, ignores an important culprit: Concentrated wealth and its organization to achieve political ends. The only way to understand our current constitutional predicament—and to rectify it—is to pay more attention to the role that organized wealth plays in our system of checks and balances. This Article shows that the increasing concentration of wealth ...


Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus Jan 2016

Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Is Originalism Our Law?, William Baude has made a good kind of argument in favor of originalism. Rather than contending that originalism is the only coherent theory for interpreting a constitution, he makes the more modest claim that it happens to be the way that American judges interpret our Constitution. If he is right—if originalism is our law—then judges deciding constitutional cases ought to be originalists. But what exactly would the content of that obligation be? Calling some interpretive method “our law” might suggest that judges have an obligation to decide cases by reference to that method ...


Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias Jan 2016

Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias

Articles

In the last few years, scholars have sought to revitalize a range of constitutional arguments against mounting economic inequality and in favor of labor rights. They urge contemporary worker movements to lay claim to the Constitution. But worker movements, for the most part, have not done so. This Essay takes seriously that choice. It examines reasons for the absence of constitutional argumentation by contemporary worker movements, particularly the role of courts and legal elites in our constitutional system, and it contends that labor’s ongoing statutory and regulatory reform efforts are essential prerequisites to the development of progressive constitutional labor ...