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Full-Text Articles in Law

Restoring The Right Constitution?, Eduardo M. Peñalver Dec 2006

Restoring The Right Constitution?, Eduardo M. Peñalver

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

After years of relative neglect, the past few decades have witnessed a dramatic renewal of interest in the natural law tradition within philosophical circles. This natural law renaissance, however, has yet to bear much fruit within American constitutional discourse, especially among commentators on the left. In light of its low profile within contemporary constitutional debates, an effort to formulate a natural law constitutionalism is almost by definition an event worthy of sustained attention. In "Restoring the Lost Constitution," Randy Barnett draws heavily upon a natural law theory of constitutional legitimacy to argue in favor of a radically libertarian reading of ...


Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette Meyler Dec 2006

Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Originalists' emphasis upon William Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" tends to suggest that the common law of the Founding era consisted in a set of determinate rules that can be mined for the purposes of constitutional interpretation. This Article argues instead that disparate strands of the common law, some emanating from the colonies and others from England, some more archaic and others more innovative, co-existed at the time of the Founding. Furthermore, jurists and politicians of the Founding generation were not unaware that the common law constituted a disunified field; indeed, the jurisprudence of the common law ...


Kelo's Moral Failure, Laura S. Underkuffler Dec 2006

Kelo's Moral Failure, Laura S. Underkuffler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Economic Emergency And The Rule Of Law, Bernadette A. Meyler Nov 2006

Economic Emergency And The Rule Of Law, Bernadette A. Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Academic work extolling the merits of the "rule of law" both domestically and internationally abounds today, yet the meanings of the phrase itself seem to proliferate. Two of the most prominent contexts in which rule of law rhetoric appears are those of economic development and states of emergency. In the area of private law, dissemination of the rule of law across the globe and, in particular, among emerging market countries is often deemed a prerequisite for enhancing economic development, partly because it ensures that foreign investments will not be summarily expropriated and that contractual rights will not be frustrated by ...


Reverse-Erie, Kevin M. Clermont Nov 2006

Reverse-Erie, Kevin M. Clermont

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Traditional Erie is like a false front on a movie set, with nobody seeing the unfinished rear side. That other side depicts the extent of federal law applicable in state courts, which is determined under a doctrine called reverse-Erie. While everyone has an Erie theory and stands ready to debate it, almost no one has a theory of reverse-Erie, and no one at all has developed a clear choice-of-law methodology for it. Reverse-Erie, often misunderstood, mischaracterized, and misapplied by judges and commentators, goes strangely ignored by most scholars. And it goes ignored even though it holds a key to understanding ...


Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison Oct 2006

Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When executive actors interpret statutes, the prevailing assumption is that they can and should use the tools that courts use. Is that assumption sound? This Article takes up the question by considering a rule frequently invoked by the courts - the canon of constitutional avoidance.

Executive branch actors regularly use the avoidance canon. Indeed, some of the most hotly debated episodes of executive branch statutory interpretation in recent years - including the initial torture memorandum issued by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the President's signing statement regarding the McCain Amendment's ban on the mistreatment of detainees, and ...


Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison Oct 2006

Constitutional Avoidance In The Executive Branch, Trevor W. Morrison

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When executive branch actors interpret statutes, should they use the same methods as the courts? This Article takes up the question by considering a rule frequently invoked by the courts-the canon of constitutional avoidance. In addition to being a cardinal principle of judicial statutory interpretation, the avoidance canon also appears regularly and prominently in the work of the executive branch. It has played a central role, for example, in some of the most hotly debated episodes of executive branch statutory interpretation in the "war on terror." Typically, executive invocations of avoidance are supported by citation to one or more Supreme ...


Social Reproduction And Religious Reproduction: A Democratic-Communitarian Analysis Of The Yoder Problem, Josh Chafetz Oct 2006

Social Reproduction And Religious Reproduction: A Democratic-Communitarian Analysis Of The Yoder Problem, Josh Chafetz

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In 1972, Wisconsin v. Yoder presented the Supreme Court with a sharp clash between the state's interest in social reproduction through education -- that is, society's interest in using the educational system to perpetuate its collective way of life among the next generation -- and the parents' interest in religious reproduction -- that is, their interest in passing their religious beliefs on to their children. This Article will take up the challenge of that clash, a clash which continues to be central to current debates over issues like intelligent design in the classroom. This Article engages with the competing theories put ...


Through A Glass Darkly: Van Orden, Mccreary, And The Dangers Of Transparency In Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Laura S. Underkuffler Oct 2006

Through A Glass Darkly: Van Orden, Mccreary, And The Dangers Of Transparency In Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Laura S. Underkuffler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette A. Meyler Aug 2006

Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette A. Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Originalists' emphasis upon William Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" tends to suggest that the common law of the Founding era consisted in a set of determinate rules that can be mined for the purposes of constitutional interpretation. This Article argues instead that disparate strands of the common law, some emanating from the colonies and others from England, some more archaic and others more innovative, co-existed at the time of the Founding. Furthermore, jurists and politicians of the Founding generation were not unaware that the common law constituted a disunified field; indeed, the jurisprudence of the common law ...


The Court's Purpose: Secular Or Anti-Strife?, Bernadette Meyler Apr 2006

The Court's Purpose: Secular Or Anti-Strife?, Bernadette Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Treating Religion As Speech: Justice Stevens's Religion Clause Jurisprudence, Eduardo M. Peñalver Mar 2006

Treating Religion As Speech: Justice Stevens's Religion Clause Jurisprudence, Eduardo M. Peñalver

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Justice Stevens has sometimes been caricatured as the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who hates religion. Whether considering questions under the Establishment Clause or the Free Exercise Clause, questions about the funding or regulation of religious groups, or the permissibility of religious speech in public places, in case after case he has voted against religion. Like most caricatures, this view of Justice Stevens is based on a kernel of truth. He does appear to be more likely to vote against religious groups than any other Justice. But an exploration of the cases in which Justice Stevens has voted in favor ...


The Equal Protection Of Free Exercise: Two Approaches And Their History, Bernadette Meyler Mar 2006

The Equal Protection Of Free Exercise: Two Approaches And Their History, Bernadette Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Contrary to critics of the Supreme Court's current equal protection approach to religious liberty, this Article contends that, from the very first federal free exercise cases, the Equal Protection and Free Exercise Clauses have been mutually intertwined. The seeds of an equal protection analysis of free exercise were, indeed, planted even before the Fourteenth Amendment within the constitutional jurisprudence of the several states. Furthermore, this Article argues, equal protection approaches should not be uniformly disparaged. Rather, the drawbacks that commentators have observed result largely from the Supreme Court's application of an inadequate version of equal protection. By ignoring ...


The Political Economy Of Education Federalism, Michael Heise Jan 2006

The Political Economy Of Education Federalism, Michael Heise

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The No Child Left Behind Act represents the federal government's most significant foray into the nation's elementary and secondary public school policymaking terrain. Although the Act undertakes unassailable policy goals, its critics argue that it represents an unwarranted federal intrusion into education policymaking, generates unintended policy consequences, and amounts to an unfunded federal mandate. Constitutionalists dwell on the Act's threat to structural federalism as it plausibly strains Congress's conditional spending authority. The coercive force that federal education funds exert on local school districts and states attracts particular attention. The No Child Left Behind Act, however, safely ...


No Lawsuit Left Behind, Michael Heise Jan 2006

No Lawsuit Left Behind, Michael Heise

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.