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2006

Constitutional Law

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 30 of 60

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 ...


Making Law, Making War, Making America (Revised 12/6/06), Mary Dudziak Dec 2006

Making Law, Making War, Making America (Revised 12/6/06), Mary Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

It is often said that “in times of war, law is silent,” but this essay argues that the experience of the twentieth century provides a sharp contrast to this old saying. It is not just that law was not silent during warfare, but that law provided a language within which war could be seen. War is not a natural category outside the law, but is in part produced by it. Across decades of conflict, law was a marker that defined for the nation some of those times when conflict would be contemplated as a “war,” and helped cabin other uses ...


The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


Working Toward Democracy: Thurgood Marshall And The Constitution Of Kenya, Mary L. Dudziak Dec 2006

Working Toward Democracy: Thurgood Marshall And The Constitution Of Kenya, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This Article is a work of transnational legal history. Drawing upon new research in foreign archives, it sheds new light on the life of Thurgood Marshall, exploring for the first time an episode that he cared very deeply about: his work with African nationalists on an independence constitution for Kenya. The story is paradoxical, for Marshall, a civil rights legend in America, would seek to protect the rights of white landholders in Kenya who had gained their land through discriminatory land laws, but were soon to lose political power. In order to understand why Marshall would take pride in entrenching ...


Moral Limits On Morals Legislation: Lessons For U.S. Constitutional Law From The Declaration On Religious Freedom, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J. Nov 2006

Moral Limits On Morals Legislation: Lessons For U.S. Constitutional Law From The Declaration On Religious Freedom, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A persistent American confusion regarding the proper relationship between law and morality is manifest in the opinions in Lawrence v. Texas. The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom provides the foundation for an analytical framework that can bring clarity to that confusion. The heart of this framework is the moral concept of public order. This concept offers a principled explanation of both the holding in Lawrence and the limitations the Court placed on that holding. The Court could clarify the confusion manifest in Lawrence by explicitly acknowledging that a state interest only becomes legitimate for purposes of rational ...


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 ...


Original Intent In The First Congress, Louis J. Sirico Jr. Nov 2006

Original Intent In The First Congress, Louis J. Sirico Jr.

Working Paper Series

Most of the literature on this country’s Founding Era concludes that at least in the very early years, the Founders did not look to original intent to construe the Constitution. However, this study looks not at what the Founders said they believed, but how they acted. In the First Federal Congress, the members did use arguments based on original intent. This study identifies their originalist arguments and categorizes them into five rhetorical categories. It concludes that these arguments did not dominate the debates, but were one type of argument among many.


Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...


Shooting The Messenger, Richard Delgado Oct 2006

Shooting The Messenger, Richard Delgado

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

This essay reviews Ward Churchill’s "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality" (2003).

One of the most talked about — but least read — books of recent years, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" documents a long history of U.S. wars, invasions, and violations of international law on the way to concluding that when the terrible events of 9/11 took place, the U.S. deserved and should have expected retribution. In popular language, we "had it coming."

As the reader may recall, when Hamilton College rescinded Churchill’s invitation ...


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 ...


The Story Of Me: The Underprotection Of Autobiographical Speech, Sonja R. West Oct 2006

The Story Of Me: The Underprotection Of Autobiographical Speech, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

This Article begins the debate over the constitutional underprotection of autobiographical speech. While receiving significant historical, scientific, religious, and philosophical respect for centuries, the timehonored practice of talking about yourself has been ignored by legal scholars. A consequence of this oversight is that current free speech principles protect the autobiographies of the powerful but leave the stories of “ordinary” people vulnerable to challenge. Shifting attitudes about privacy combined with advanced technologies, meanwhile, have led to more people than ever before having both the desire and the means to tell their stories to a widespread audience. This Article argues that truthful ...


The Pragmatic Populism Of Justice Stevens' Free Speech Jurisprudence, Gregory P. Magarian Sep 2006

The Pragmatic Populism Of Justice Stevens' Free Speech Jurisprudence, Gregory P. Magarian

Working Paper Series

In his three decades on the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens has developed a distinctive approach to the First Amendment. During his tenure, the Court’s majority has crystallized a theory of First Amendment speech protection as an abstract, negative protection of individual autonomy against government interference. In contrast, Justice Stevens’ pragmatic judicial methodology has caused him to place greater emphasis on free speech decisions’ practical consequences, particularly their effectiveness in making democratic debate inclusive as to both participants and subject matter in order to ensure robust, well-informed public discourse. Alone on the present Court, Justice Stevens manifests a ...


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 Case For Rational Basis Review Of General Suspicionless Searches And Seizures, Richard Worf Aug 2006

The Case For Rational Basis Review Of General Suspicionless Searches And Seizures, Richard Worf

Student Scholarship Papers

This Article examines the constitutional status of suspicionless searches and seizures of groups—an exceedingly important question in an age of terror, and a subject recently brought back to the forefront by the searches of subway passengers in New York City. It draws on process theory to argue that when a legislature has authorized a group search or seizure, courts should generally apply rational basis review. First, other areas of constitutional doctrine exhibit deep trust in the power of groups to protect their interests in the political process, and there is no reason why the Fourth Amendment should not do ...


Are Constitutions Legitimate?, Andrei Marmor Jul 2006

Are Constitutions Legitimate?, Andrei Marmor

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper argues that constitutionalism raises some serious concerns of moral legitimacy. Following a preliminary outline of the main features of constitutionalism, the paper presents some of the main moral concerns about the legitimacy of constitutions. It then considers in detail a number of arguments that purport to answer those concerns, arguing that they all fail to meet the challenge. The paper concludes with a brief outline of some of the moral implications of this failure and some suggestions for reform.


The Dual Path Initiative Framework, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew Mccubbins Jul 2006

The Dual Path Initiative Framework, Elizabeth Garrett, Mathew Mccubbins

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this Article, we focus on two complaints about initiatives that can be addressed through a new legal framework. First, some have argued that the policy choices made through direct democracy are often not socially optimal, and the processes through which initiatives are passed may make welfare-reducing decisions inevitable. Second, initiatives, once enacted, often fail to be implemented by government officials. In response to these two problems, we propose a new comprehensive framework of postqualification reforms that keeps both the spirit and intent of the initiative process: the Dual Path Initiative Process with a Citizens’ Initiative Implementation Oversight Commission.

First ...


Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins Jul 2006

Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Religious Group Autonomy: Further Reflections About What Is At Stake, Kathleen A. Brady Jul 2006

Religious Group Autonomy: Further Reflections About What Is At Stake, Kathleen A. Brady

Working Paper Series

This article addresses the protections afforded by the First Amendment when government regulation interferes with the internal activities or affairs of religious groups. In previous pieces, I have argued that the First Amendment should be construed to provide religious groups a broad right of autonomy over all aspects of internal group operations, those that are clearly religious in nature as well as activities that seem essentially secular. In my view, such autonomy is necessary to preserve the ability of religious groups to generate, live out and communicate their own visions for social life, including ideas that can push the norms ...


The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

This paper is an empirical analysis of the Supreme Court's recently-ended 2005 term, including an examination of the issues raised by, and the ideological direction of, the decisions issued by the Court. In addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, the paper also separately examines the jurisprudence of new Justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it raises the possibility that these justices may have more in common with each other than with the Court's more established conservative members. The paper also demonstrates that the Court, pursuant to one of Justice Roberts' frequently stated ...


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Executive Aggrandizement In Foreign Affairs Lawmaking, Michael P. Van Alstine May 2006

Executive Aggrandizement In Foreign Affairs Lawmaking, Michael P. Van Alstine

Faculty Scholarship

This article analyzes the power of the President to create federal law on the foundation of the executive’s status as the constitutional representative of the United States in foreign affairs. Executive branch advocates have claimed such a power throughout constitutional history. Recent events also have revived this constitutional controversy with particular vigor. In specific, President Bush recently issued a surprise “Determination” which asserted that the implied executive powers of Article II of the Constitution permit the President to enforce in domestic law the obligations owed to foreign states under international law.

The article first sets the legal and factual ...


Questioning The Fundamental Right To Marry, Joseph A. Pull May 2006

Questioning The Fundamental Right To Marry, Joseph A. Pull

Student Scholarship Papers

The Supreme Court has adopted the doctrine of a constitutional “fundamental right to marry,” and has construed this doctrine to mean a fundamental right to state-recognized legal-marriage. However, the doctrine has several problems: (a) the Court never satisfactorily explains why marriage is a fundamental right; (b) the Court never defines the boundaries of marriage as a fundamental right; and (c) the Court has occasionally treated marriage as if it were not a fundamental right.

Further, the idea of a “fundamental right to marry” contains a debilitating internal contradiction: the notion of a fundamental right implies firm privileges which the state ...


Christian Scripture And American Scripture: An Instructive Analogy?, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J. May 2006

Christian Scripture And American Scripture: An Instructive Analogy?, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Review Essay examines the analogy between biblical interpretation and constitutional interpretation drawn by the eminent Yale church historian Jaroslav Pelikan in his provocative book, Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution. Part I of the Essay focuses on Pelikan’s discussion of the differences and analogies between the Bible and the Constitution that provide the foundation for methodological comparison. Part II of the Essay examines Pelikan’s effort to draw on the work of 19th-century theologian John Henry Newman in order to explore the fundamental problem of the relation between the authority of the original text and the authority of ...


The Rise And Fall Of The Centrality Concern In Free Exercise Jurisprudence, Sean J. Young May 2006

The Rise And Fall Of The Centrality Concern In Free Exercise Jurisprudence, Sean J. Young

Student Scholarship Papers

In 1990, Smith changed the landscape of free exercise jurisprudence and introduced what this Article describes as the “centrality concern”: the principle that judges are in no place to determine the centrality of various activities to a particular religion. However, no legal scholar has recognized the extent to which the centrality concern has been undermined. This Article explains how Lukumi, Locke and most Circuits have undermined the centrality concern. Implications of this doctrinal anomaly will be illustrated with the example of the less often discussed religion of conservative Christianity, and the Article concludes with some brief recommendations.


You’Re So Vain, I’Ll Bet You Think This Song Is About You, Joseph W. Dellapenna Apr 2006

You’Re So Vain, I’Ll Bet You Think This Song Is About You, Joseph W. Dellapenna

Working Paper Series

Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History covers over 1,000 years of abortion history in England and America, with special emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It presents an accurate and thoroughly fresh look at that history, reaching several unorthodox conclusions without taking sides on the merits of the abortion debate. The true history of abortion in England and America is important because Justice Harry Blackmun, drawing on the work of law professor Cyril Means, structured the argument of the majority in Roe v. Wade around the history of abortion laws. Means’ argument was later buttressed by the work ...


Considering Standing, Sincerity, And Antidiscrimination, Chapin C. Cody Apr 2006

Considering Standing, Sincerity, And Antidiscrimination, Chapin C. Cody

Working Paper Series

This Article will establish that an unrecognized norm, the “norm of sincerity,” is an implicit factor in the standing analysis in a certain class of equal protection cases. That class of cases includes equal protection claims where 1) courts have applied the “able and ready to compete” test to determine a plaintiff’s injury in fact, and where 2) the plaintiff has complained about discriminatory access to limited government resources. In those cases, a plaintiff cannot demonstrate injury in fact sufficient to meet Article III standing unless she shows that she sincerely intends to use the benefits at stake in ...


Discrimination And Diplomacy: Recovering The Fuller National Stake In 1960s Civil Rights Reform, Mary L. Dudziak Apr 2006

Discrimination And Diplomacy: Recovering The Fuller National Stake In 1960s Civil Rights Reform, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The conventional understanding of the history behind the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 leaves out an important issue: the role of foreign relations. Legal scholarship on the basis for federal legislative power to regulate civil rights often focuses on the question of whether the Commerce Power was an appropriate basis for civil rights legislation. Congress turned to the Commerce Power because its earlier attempt to regulate race discrimination by private actors under the enabling clauses of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments was struck down by the Supreme Court. Concerned about that precedent, in the 1960s the Kennedy ...


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

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

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Judicial opinions typically rely on facts about a social group to justify or reject limitations on group members' rights, especially when traditional views about the status or capacity of group members are in contest. Yet the fact based approach to decision making obscures the normative judgments that actually determine whether restrictions on individual rights are reasonable. This article offers an account of how and why courts intervene in social conflicts by focusing on facts rather than declaring norms. In part, it argues that this approach preserves judicial flexibility to retain traditional justifications for restricting group members' rights in some settings ...


Why The Defense Of Marriage Act Is Not (Yet?) Unconstitutional: Lawrence, Full Faith And Credit, And The Many Societal Actors That Determine What The Constitution Requires, Mark D. Rosen Mar 2006

Why The Defense Of Marriage Act Is Not (Yet?) Unconstitutional: Lawrence, Full Faith And Credit, And The Many Societal Actors That Determine What The Constitution Requires, Mark D. Rosen

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is not unconstitutional - at least not yet. DOMA provides that States need not recognize same-sex marriages (or judgments in connection with such marriages) performed in sister States. The Article first shows that the Supreme Court's recent opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down as unconstitutional state laws that criminalized sodomy, has not invalidated the DOMA. Lawrence is best understood as having left undecided the constitutional status of same-sex marriage, and the Article explains the benefits of the Court's having held back its constitutional judgment on this subject ...


Electoral College Reform Is Heating Up, And Posing Some Tough Choices, Robert Bennett Feb 2006

Electoral College Reform Is Heating Up, And Posing Some Tough Choices, Robert Bennett

Public Law and Legal Theory Papers

Electoral College reform is beginning to get some attention, with two different emphases, a move to institute a nationwide popular vote without a constitutional amendment, and a move to forbid faithless electoral votes. There is no logical incompatibility between the two, but in political and public policy terms, there are tensions between them. This paper evaluates the relative merits and importance of the two efforts and explores the tensions in simultaneous pursuit of the two.