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Full-Text Articles in Law

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many have argued that the United States' two major political parties have experienced "asymmetric polarization" in recent decades: The Republican Party has moved significantly further to the right than the Democratic Party has moved to the left. The practice of constitutional hardball, this Essay argues, has followed a similar – and causally related – trajectory. Since at least the mid-1990s, Republican officeholders have been more likely than their Democratic counterparts to push the constitutional envelope, straining unwritten norms of governance or disrupting established constitutional understandings. Both sides have done these things. But contrary to the apparent assumption of some legal scholars, they ...


The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of rulings that demonstrate the degree to which the First Amendment can be used to thwart economic and social welfare regulation – generating widespread accusations that the Court has created a "new Lochner." This introduction to the Columbia Law Review's Symposium on Free Expression in an Age of Inequality takes up three questions raised by these developments: Why has First Amendment law become such a prominent site for struggles over socioeconomic inequality? Does the First Amendment tradition contain egalitarian elements that could be recovered? And what might a ...


Rule Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

Rule Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional rules are norms whose application depends on an interpreter's identification of a set of facts rather than on her exercise of practical judgment. This Article argues that constitutional interpreters in the United States tend to resolve ambiguity over constitutional rules by reference to originalist sources and tend to resolve uncertainty over the scope of constitutional standards by reference to nonoriginalist sources. This positive claim unsettles the frequent assumption that the Constitution's more specifw or structural provisions support straightforward interpretive inferences. Normatively, this Article offers a partial defense of what it calls "rule originalism," grounded in the fact ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative "conscience clauses" are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2014

The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new explanation for the puzzling origin of modern civil liberties law. Legal scholars have long sought to explain how Progressive lawyers and intellectuals skeptical of individual rights and committed to a strong, activist state came to advocate for robust First Amendment protections after World War I. Most attempts to solve this puzzle focus on the executive branch's suppression of dissent during World War I and the Red Scare. Once Progressives realized that a powerful administrative state risked stifling debate and deliberation within civil society, the story goes, they turned to civil liberties law in order ...


Toward A Constitutional Review Of The Poison Pill Essay, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr. Jan 2014

Toward A Constitutional Review Of The Poison Pill Essay, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

We argue that the state-law rules governing poison pills are vulnerable to challenges based on preemption by the Williams Act. Such challenges, we show, could well have a major impact on the corporate law landscape.

The Williams Act established a federal regime regulating unsolicited tender offers, but states subsequently developed a body of state antitakeover laws that impose additional impediments to such offers. In a series of well-known cases during the 1970s and 1980s, the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, held some of these state antitakeover laws preempted by the Williams Act. To date, however, federal courts and commentators ...


Pathetic Argument In Constitutional Law, Jamal Greene Jan 2013

Pathetic Argument In Constitutional Law, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Pathetic argument, or argument based on pathos, persuades by appealing to the emotions of the reader or listener. In Aristotle's classic treatment, it exists in parallel to logical argument, which appeals to deductive or inductive reasoning, and ethical argument, which appeals to the character of the speaker. Pathetic argument is common in constitutional law, as in other practical discourse-think of "Poor Joshua!"- but existing accounts of constitutional practice do not provide resources for understanding the place of and limitations upon such appeals when they appear in judicial opinions. This Article begins to fill that gap. Pathetic argument is one ...


On Avoiding Avoidance, Agenda Control, And Related Matters, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2012

On Avoiding Avoidance, Agenda Control, And Related Matters, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars have long posited that, heuristically at least, two basic adjudicatory models – the dispute resolution model and the law declaration model – compete for the Court's affection along a wide spectrum of issues. The former focuses upon judicial resolution of actual disputes between litigants. Historically, that model has been underpinned by a premise, reflected in a wide range of doctrines, that significant barriers rightly exist to judicial review of the constitutionality of governmental conduct. By contrast, the law declaration model focuses on the Court itself not the litigants. Emphasizing the judicial authority to say what the law is, it ...


Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Thirteenth Amendment optimism is the view that the Thirteenth Amendment may be used to reach doctrinal outcomes neither specifically intended by the Amendment's drafters nor obvious to contemporary audiences. In prominent legal scholarship, Thirteenth Amendment optimism has supported constitutional rights to abortion and health care and constitutional powers to prohibit hate speech and domestic violence, among other things. This Essay examines the practical utility of Thirteenth Amendment optimism in the face of dim prospects for adaption by courts. The Essay argues that Thirteenth Amendment optimism is most valuable, both historically and today, as a means of motivating the political ...


Federalism And Federal Agency Reform, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2011

Federalism And Federal Agency Reform, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This Article assesses three major preemption decisions from the 2008-2009 Term – Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, Wyeth v. Levine, and Cuomo v. Clearing House Ass'n – for their implications about the role of the states in national administrative governance. The Article argues the decisions are centrally concerned with using state law and preemption analysis to improve federal administration and police against federal agency failure. Federalism clearly factors into the decisions as well, but it does so more as a mechanism for enhancing federal agency performance than as a principle worth pursuing in its own right.

The decisions' framing of state ...


Profiling Originalism, Jamal Greene, Nathaniel Persily, Stephen Ansolabehere Jan 2011

Profiling Originalism, Jamal Greene, Nathaniel Persily, Stephen Ansolabehere

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism is a subject of both legal and political discourse, invoked not just in law review scholarship but also in popular media and public discussion. This Essay presents the first empirical study of public attitudes about originalism. The study analyzes original and existing survey data in order to better understand the demographic characteristics, legal views, political orientation, and cultural profile of those who self-identfy as originalists. We conclude that rule of law concerns, support for politically conservative issue positions, and a cultural orientation toward moral traditionalism and libertarianism are all significant predictors of an individual preference for originalism. Our analysis ...


The Disposing Power Of The Literature, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2010

The Disposing Power Of The Literature, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Constitution as we understand it includes principles that have emerged over time in a common law fashion. One such principle is the disposing power of the legislature – the understanding that only the legislature has the power to arrange, order, and distribute the power to act with the force of law among the different institutions of society. This Essay illustrates the gradual emergence of the disposing power in criminal, civil, and administrative law, and offers some reasons why it is appropriate that the legislature be given this exclusive authority. One implication of the disposing power is that another type of ...


Ordinary Administrative Law As Constitutional Common Law, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2010

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

Faculty Scholarship

Henry Monaghan famously argued that much of constitutional interpretation takes the form of what he termed constitutional common law, a body of doctrines and rules that are constitutionally inspired but not constitutionally required and that can be altered or reversed by Congress. This Essay argues that a fair amount of ordinary administrative law qualifies as constitutional common law: Constitutional concerns permeate core administrative law doctrines and requirements, yet Congress enjoys broad power to alter ordinary administrative law notwithstanding its constitutional aspect. Unfortunately, the constitutional common law character of much of ordinary administrative law is rarely acknowledged by courts. A striking ...


Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David E. Pozen Jan 2010

Judicial Elections As Popular Constitutionalism, David E. 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 ...


Embedded International Law And The Constitution Abroad, Sarah H. Cleveland Jan 2010

Embedded International Law And The Constitution Abroad, Sarah H. Cleveland

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay explores the role of "embedded" international law in U.S. constitutional interpretation, in the context of extraterritorial application of the Constitution. Traditional U.S. understandings of the Constitution's application abroad were informed by nineteenth-century international law principles of jurisdiction, which largely limited the authority of a sovereign state to its geographic territory. Both international law and constitutional law since have developed significantly away from strictly territorial understandings of governmental authority, however. Modern international law principles of jurisdiction and state responsibility now recognize that states legitimately may exercise power in a number of extraterritorial contexts, and that legal ...


Supremacy Clause Textualism, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2010

Supremacy Clause Textualism, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Whatever its status in the statutory interpretation "wars," originalism-driven textualism has assumed an increasingly prominent role in constitutional interpretation, at least within the academy. The focus of this Article is on one such form, namely, "Supremacy Clause textualism", that is, recent textualist claims about the implications of the Supremacy Clause of Article VI. This Article addresses two such claims.

First, in important articles, Professor Bradford Clark argues that the clause is "at the epicenter of [our] constitutional structure" and it "recognizes only the 'Constitution,' 'Laws,' and 'Treaties' of the United States as 'the supreme Law of the Land."' Displacement of ...


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 ...


Article Iii And Supranational Judicial Review, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2007

Article Iii And Supranational Judicial Review, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

With the rise of supranational legislative bodies, the use of supranational adjudicatory bodies has also increased. These adjudicatory bodies have even been allowed to review the domestic law decisions offederal administrative agencies, and their decisions are insulated from any review by Article III courts. These developments have been met by intense opposition. This Article addresses the question whether, as claimed by several writers, the emerging supranational adjudicatory order impermissibly contravenes the "essential attributes of the judicial power established by Article III." Examining two case studies, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Supreme Court's recent decisions regarding ...


Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2006

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers an account of how courts respond to social change, with a specific focus on the process by which courts "tip" from one understanding of a social group and its constitutional claims to another. Adjudication of equal protection and due process claims, in particular, requires courts to make normative judgments regarding the effect of traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or mental retardation on group members' status and capacity. Yet, Professor Goldberg argues, courts commonly approach decisionmaking by focusing only on the 'facts" about a social group, an approach that she terms 'fact-based adjudication." Professor Goldberg critiques ...


Facial Challenges And Federalism, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2005

Facial Challenges And Federalism, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay addresses the question of whether challenges to legislation as exceeding Congress' powers should be assessed on a facial or an as-applied basis, a question that rose to the fore in the Supreme Court's recent decision in Tennessee v. Lane. The Essay begins by arguing that what distinguishes a facial challenge is that it involves an attack on some general rule embodied in the statute. Such challenges can take a broader or narrower form, and thus the terms 'facial" and "as-applied" are best understood as encompassing a range of possible challenges rather than as mutually exclusive terms. The ...


Doing Originalism, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2004

Doing Originalism, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

It is an honor to participate in celebrating Justice Ginsburg's tenth anniversary on the Court. She is a Justice whom I admire on many fronts; moreover, she continues to be a vital part of this school as this Symposium itself attests. But an invitation to participate also presents a challenge: This session is about her and her contributions to various aspects of the Court's jurisprudence. I know Justice Ginsburg well enough to believe that nothing would cause her more discomfort than to be in an audience with herself as the sole topic. So I thought that my remarks ...


Rethinking Article I, Section I: From Nondelegation To Exclusive Delegation, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2004

Rethinking Article I, Section I: From Nondelegation To Exclusive Delegation, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The first substantive clause of the Constitution – providing that "[all legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress" – is associated with two postulates about the allocation of legislative power. The first is the nondelegation doctrine, which says that Congress may not delegate legislative power. The second is the exclusive delegation doctrine, which says that only Congress may delegate legislative power. This Article explores the textual, historical, and judicial support for these two readings of Article I, Section 1, as well as the practical consequences of starting from one postulate as opposed to the other. The Article concludes that ...


Madisonian Equal Protection, James S. Liebman, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2004

Madisonian Equal Protection, James S. Liebman, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

James Madison is considered the "Father of the Constitution," but his progeny disappointed him. It had no effective defense against self-government's "mortal disease" – the oppression of minorities by local majorities. This Article explores Madison's writings in an effort to reclaim the deep conception of equal protection at the core of his constitutional aspirations. At the Convention, Madison passionately advocated a radical structural approach to equal protection under which the "extended republic's" broadly focused legislature would have monitored local laws and vetoed those that were parochial and "unjust." Rejecting this proposal to structure equal protection into the "interior ...


Supreme Court Review Of State-Court Determinations Of State Law In Constitutional Cases, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2003

Supreme Court Review Of State-Court Determinations Of State Law In Constitutional Cases, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

The decision in Bush v. Gore and particularly Chief Justice Rehnquist's concurring opinion were widely criticized for their unwarranted intrusion upon the "authoritative" status of the Florida Supreme Court in determining the meaning of Florida election law. This Article rejects the merits of that criticism. It proposes the thesis that the Supreme Court has ancillary jurisdiction to review state-court determinations of state law in cases where the Constitution or ftderal law imposes a duty of fidelity to prior state law (t1) and the claim is that the state court materially and impermissibly departed from that law at a ...


The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Recent campaign finance innovations of the major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance regulation. The relationship between parties and candidates also challenges the basic doctrinal categories of campaign finance law. The Constitution permits regulation of campaign finances to deal with the danger of corruption. But some judges and commentators have argued that the parties present no danger of corruption. This Article finds that, although parties play a positive role in funding campaigns, certain party practices raise the specter of corruption in the constitutional sense. Moreover, due to the close connection between parties and candidates ...


In God's Image: The Religious Imperative Of Equality Under Law, George P. Fletcher Jan 1999

In God's Image: The Religious Imperative Of Equality Under Law, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay argues that the principle of equality under law is best grounded in a holistic view of human dignity. Rejecting modem attempts to justify equality by reducing humanity to a particular actual characteristic, it articulates a religious imperative to treat people equally by drawing on biblical as well as modern philosophical sources. The principle "all men are created equal," as celebrated in the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address, draws on this holistic understanding of humanity. This admittedly romantic approach to equality generates a critique of contemporary Supreme Court doctrine, including the prevailing approaches to strict scrutiny, affirmative action ...


The Courts And The Congress: Should Judges Disdain Political History?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 1998

The Courts And The Congress: Should Judges Disdain Political History?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

In an earlier article in these pages, Professor John Manning argued that the use of legislative materials by courts in effect permits Congress to engage in delegation of its authority to subunits of the legislature, in violation of the separation of powers. Professor Strauss, acknowledging that the previous generation of courts may have excessively credited the minutiae of legislative history, responds that judicial attention to the political history of legislation is required, not forbidden, by considerations of constitutional structure. Only awareness of that history will promote interpretation reflective of the context and political moment of Congress's action. Our history ...


A Constitution Of Democratic Experimentalism, Michael C. Dorf, Charles F. Sabel Jan 1998

A Constitution Of Democratic Experimentalism, Michael C. Dorf, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, Professors Dorf and Sabel identify a new form of government, democratic experimentalism, in which power is decentralized to enable citizens and other actors to utilize their local knowledge to fit solutions to their individual circumstances, but in which regional and national coordinating bodies require actors to share their knowledge with others facing similar problems. This information pooling, informed by the example of novel kinds of coordination within and among private firms, both increases the efficiency of public administration by encouraging mutual learning among its parts and heightens its accountability through participation of citizens in the decisions that ...


We The People[S], Original Understanding, And Constitutional Amendment, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 1996

We The People[S], Original Understanding, And Constitutional Amendment, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Recent legal and political activity and renewed academic discussion have focused considerable attention on the nature of the federal system that the founders created some two hundred years ago. In two important decisions in the 1994 Term, the Supreme Court addressed this issue. No fewer than fifteen states have recently passed resolutions reasserting the importance of the Tenth Amendment – the constitutional affirmation of the limits on national authority. Additionally, legal academics have advanced arguments intended to alter settled understandings about the constitutional framework established in 1789. This widespread reexamination of the nature and limitations of our federal system has the ...


Free Speech And The Widening Gyre Of Fund-Raising: Why Campaign Spending Limits May Not Violate The First Amendment After All Symposium On Campaign Finance Reform, Vincent A. Blasi Jan 1994

Free Speech And The Widening Gyre Of Fund-Raising: Why Campaign Spending Limits May Not Violate The First Amendment After All Symposium On Campaign Finance Reform, Vincent A. Blasi

Faculty Scholarship

Candidates for office spend too much of their time raising money. This is scarcely a controversial proposition. A major impetus for campaign finance reform is the frustration politicians now feel concerning how much time they must devote to courting potential donors, often by methods borrowed from the marketplace that can only be described as demeaning. The situation has gotten worse as electoral merchandising has grown ever more sophisticated and expensive.