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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Constitutional Legitimacy Of Freestanding Federalism, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

The Constitutional Legitimacy Of Freestanding Federalism, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Responding to John F. Manning, Federalism and the Generality Problem in Constitutional Interpretation, 122 Harv.. L. Rev. 2003 (2009).


A Convenient Constitution? Extraterritoriality After Boumediene, Christina Duffy Ponsa-Kraus Jan 2009

A Convenient Constitution? Extraterritoriality After Boumediene, Christina Duffy Ponsa-Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Questions concerning the extraterritorial applicability of the Constitution have come to the fore during the "war on terror." In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court held that noncitizens detained in Guantánamo have the right to challenge their detention in federal court. To reach this conclusion, the Court used the "impracticable and anomalous" test, also known as the 'functional" approach because of its reliance on pragmatic or consequentialist considerations. The test first appeared in a concurring opinion over fifty years ago; in Boumediene, it garnered the votes of a majority.

This Article argues that the Boumediene Court was right to hold ...


The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay, prepared as part of the Emory Law Journal’s 2009 Thrower Symposium on Executive Power, addresses internal separation of powers constraints on the executive branch. After briefly describing the form such constraints take and assessing their constitutional legitimacy, the Essay takes up the question of whether internal constraints can be an effective restraint on presidential aggrandizement. I argue that although such constraints can have some purchase, focusing solely on internal measures frames the inquiry too narrowly and ignores the important interdependent relationship between internal and external checks on executive power. The Essay concludes with an assessment of one ...


Geier V. American Honda Motor Co.: A Story Of Statutes, Regulation And The Common Law, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Geier V. American Honda Motor Co.: A Story Of Statutes, Regulation And The Common Law, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This essay was written as a contribution to one of Foundation's "Story" series. In Geier, a lawsuit had been brought on behalf of a teenager whose injuries from an accident might have been lessened if her car had contained an airbag. Plaintiffs sued on the straightforward basis that the design choice to omit a safety device of proven merit made the car unreasonably hazardous. Federal safety regulations had required the maker of her car to install some such device as an airbag in at least 10% of the cars it made the year it made her car – but her ...


Town Of Telluride V. San Miguel Valley Corp.: Extraterritoriality And Local Autonomy, Richard Briffault Jan 2009

Town Of Telluride V. San Miguel Valley Corp.: Extraterritoriality And Local Autonomy, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

At first blush, the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court in Town of Telluride v. San Miguel Valley Corp. seems like an extraordinary endorsement of home rule and a significant milestone in the evolution of local power. The Colorado Supreme Court adopted a very broad construction of the power of a home rule municipality under the state constitution and invalidated a state statute that expressly sought to limit that power. The power in question – extraterritorial eminent domain – seems to go well beyond even the most generous assumptions about local government authority. As the uproar following the United States Supreme Court ...


Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2009

Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Has originalism won? It's easy to think so, judging from some of the reaction to the Supreme Court's recent decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. The Heller Court held that the District of Columbia could neither ban possession of handguns nor require that all other firearms be either unloaded and disassembled or guarded by a trigger lock. In finding for the first time in the Court's history that a gun control law violated the Second Amendment, Justice Scalia's opinion for the 5-4 majority appeared to be a sterling exemplar of originalism, the method of constitutional ...


Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

One recurring theme of the Roberts Court's jurisprudence to date is its resistance to facial constitutional challenges and preference for as-applied litigation. On a number of occasions the Court has rejected facial constitutional challenges while reserving the possibility that narrower as-applied claims might succeed. According to the Court, such as-applied claims are "the basic building blocks of constitutional adjudication." This preference for as-applied over facial challenges has surfaced with some frequency, across terms and in contexts involving different constitutional rights, at times garnering support from all the Justices. Moreover, the Roberts Court has advocated the as-applied approach in contexts ...


The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

It has been the best of times and the worst of times for internal separation of powers. Over the past few years, internal checks on executive power have been a central topic of legal academic debate – rarely have details of public administrative structure received so much attention. To some extent, this sudden popularity reflects growing interest in questions of institutional design. Unfortunately, however, another reason for this attention is the prominent erosion and impotence of such internal constraints under the recent administration of President George W. Bush.


Deep Secrecy, David Pozen Jan 2009

Deep Secrecy, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new way of thinking and talking about government secrecy. In the vast literature on the topic, little attention has been paid to the structure of government secrets, as distinct from their substance or function. Yet these secrets differ systematically depending on how many people know of their existence, what sorts of people know, how much they know, and how soon they know. When a small group of similarly situated officials conceals from outsiders the fact that it is concealing something, the result is a deep secret. When members of the general public understand they are being ...


Our Twenty-First Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Our Twenty-First Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Accommodating our Eighteenth Century Constitution to the government that Congress has shaped in the intervening two and a quarter centuries, Professor Strauss argues, requires accepting the difference between the President’s role as “Commander in Chief” of the Nation’s military, and his right to seek written opinions from those Congress has empowered to administer domestic laws under his oversight. Thus, the question for today is not whether the PCAOB offends Eighteenth Century ideas about government structure, but the question asked by Professors Bruff, Lawson, and Pildes – whether the relationships between PCAOB and SEC, SEC and President meet the constitutional ...


Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David Pozen Jan 2009

Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most important recent developments in American legal theory is the burgeoning interest in "popular constitutionalism." One of the most important features of the American legal system is the selection of state judges – judges who resolve thousands of state and federal constitutional questions each year – by popular election. Although a large literature addresses each of these subjects, scholarship has rarely bridged the two. Hardly anyone has evaluated judicial elections in light of popular constitutionalism, or vice versa.

This Article undertakes that thought experiment. Conceptualizing judicial elections as instruments of popular constitutionalism, the Article aims to show, can enrich ...


On The Origins Of Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2009

On The Origins Of Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

For all its proponents' claims of its necessity as a means of constraining judges, originalism is remarkably unpopular outside the United States. Recommended responses to judicial activism in other countries more typically take the form of minimalism or textualism. This Article considers why. Ifocus particular attention on the political and constitutional histories of Canada and Australia, nations that, like the United States, have well-established traditions of judicial enforcement of a written constitution, and that share with the United States a common law adjudicative norm, but whose political and legal cultures less readily assimilate judicial restraint to constitutional historicism. I offer ...


Deep Secrecy, David E. Pozen Jan 2009

Deep Secrecy, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new way of thinking and talking about government secrecy. In the vast literature on the topic, little attention has been paid to the structure of government secrets, as distinct from their substance or function. Yet these secrets differ systematically depending on how many people know of their existence, what sorts of people know, how much they know, and how soon they know. When a small group of similarly situated officials conceals from outsiders the fact that it is concealing something, the result is a deep secret. When members of the general public understand they are being ...


Davis V. Fec: The Roberts Court's Continuing Attack On Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2009

Davis V. Fec: The Roberts Court's Continuing Attack On Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In Davis v. FEC, decided on the last day of the October 2007 Term, a closely divided Supreme Court invalidated the so-called Millionaires' Amendment, which was a provision added to the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA") as part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act ("BCRA") of 2002 to make it easier for Senate and House candidates to raise private contributions when they run against an opponent who uses a substantial amount of personal wealth to pay for his or her campaign. From the reform perspective, the loss of the Millionaires' Amendment was not of great moment. The Amendment was not ...


Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

One recurring theme of the early Roberts Court's jurisprudence to date is its resistance to facial constitutional challenges and preference for as-applied litigation. On a number of occasions the Court has rejected facial constitutional challenges while reserving the possibility that narrower as-applied claims might succeed. Unfortunately, the Roberts Court has not matched its consistency in preferring as-applied constitutional adjudication with clarity about what this preference means in practice. The Court itself has noted that it remains divided over the appropriate test to govern when facial challenges are available. Equally or more important, the Court has made little effort to ...


The Warren Court, Legalism And Democracy: Sketch For A Critique In A Style Learned From Morton Horwitz, William H. Simon Jan 2009

The Warren Court, Legalism And Democracy: Sketch For A Critique In A Style Learned From Morton Horwitz, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Morton Horwitz's Transformation books developed a critical approach that elaborates the underlying premises of legal doctrine and compares them to suppressed or ignored alternative perspectives. However, Horwitz's Warren Court book is largely an appreciation of the Court's doctrine that accepts at face value its underlying premises and the judges' claim to vindicate democratic values. In this essay, I speculate on what a Transformation-style critique of the Warren Court might look like and suggest that the Court is vulnerable to criticisms analogous to those the Transformation books make of earlier doctrine. I suggest that book ignores an alternative ...


On The Origins Of Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2009

On The Origins Of Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

For all its proponents' claims of its necessity as a means of constraining judges, originalism is remarkably unpopular outside the United States. Recommended responses to judicial activism in other countries more typically take the form of minimalism or textualism. This Article considers why. I focus particular attention on the political and constitutional histories of Canada and Australia, nations that, like the United States, have well-established traditions of judicial enforcement of a written constitution, and that share with the United States a common-law adjudicative norm, but whose judicial cultures less readily assimilate judicial restraint to constitutional historicism. I offer six hypotheses ...


Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2009

Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

This Article considers the future of originalism in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. It argues that, although Heller is in many ways a triumph for proponents of originalism, it might also represent a high water mark for the doctrine and for the political movement that supports it. There is little reason to believe that the cases of relative first impression that originalism feeds on will be readily available in the near future, and the politics of the Court and of the country do not augur the appointment of additional originalist ...


Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

A Constitution that strongly separates legislative from executive activity makes it difficult to reconcile executive adoption of regulations (that is, departmentally adopted texts resembling statutes and having the force of law, if valid) with the proposition that the President is not ‘to be a lawmaker’. Such activity is, of course, an essential of government in the era of the regulatory state. United States courts readily accept the delegation to responsible agencies of authority to engage in it, what we call ‘rulemaking’, so long as it occurs in a framework that permits them to assess the legality of any particular exercise ...


Legislation That Isn't – Attending To Rulemaking's Democracy Deficit, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Legislation That Isn't – Attending To Rulemaking's Democracy Deficit, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Written in celebration of Philip Frickey’s many contributions to the legislation literature, this essay is a further effort to understand the President’s relationship to administrative agency rulemaking. On the one hand, the President’s executive authority precludes the possibility that he is to be a lawmaker (Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) (opinion of Black, J.)); on the other, we unhesitatingly embrace agency rulemaking – as, indeed, as a practical matter, we must. On the one hand, “where the heads of departments are ... to act in cases in which the executive possesses a constitutional or legal discretion, nothing can be more perfectly clear, than that their acts ...


Ordinary Administrative Law As Constitutional Common Law, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

Ordinary Administrative Law As Constitutional Common Law, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Last term, in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) v. Fox Television Stations, the Supreme Court expressly refused to link ordinary administrative law to constitutional concerns, insisting that whether an agency action is “arbitrary and capricious” and whether it is unconstitutional are separate questions. In this article, I argue that Fox is wrong. The Court’s protestations aside, constitutional law and ordinary administrative law are inextricably linked, with the result that a fair amount of ordinary administrative law qualifies as what Henry Monaghan famously termed constitutional common law. Its doctrines and requirements are constitutionally informed but rarely constitutionally mandated, with Congress and ...