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Series

2009

Constitutional law

Discipline
Institution
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 39

Full-Text Articles in Law

From Choice To Reproductive Justice: De-Constitutionalizing Abortion Rights, Robin West Nov 2009

From Choice To Reproductive Justice: De-Constitutionalizing Abortion Rights, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Essay argues that the right to abortion constitutionalized in Roe v. Wade is by some measure at odds with a capacious understanding of the demands of reproductive justice. No matter its rationale, the constitutional right to abortion is fundamentally a negative right that rhetorically keeps the state out of the domain of family life. As such, the decision privatizes not only the abortion decision, but also parenting, by rendering the decision to carry a pregnancy to term a choice. It thereby legitimates a minimalist state response to the problems of pregnant women who carry their pregnancies to term and ...


Freedom Of Speech And Contempt By Scandalizing The Court In Singapore, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee Nov 2009

Freedom Of Speech And Contempt By Scandalizing The Court In Singapore, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Research Collection School Of Law

The offence of scandalizing the court, a form of contempt of court, is regarded as obsolete in the United Kingdom. However, it continues to be imposed in other Commonwealth nations and remains very much alive in Singapore, having been applied in a crop of cases between 2006 and 2009. This short commentary examines one of these cases, Attorney-General v Hertzberg and others [2009] 1 Singapore Law Reports 1103, which has generated worldwide interest as it arose out of articles published in the Wall Street Journal Asia. In Hertzberg, the High Court of Singapore held that utterances by an alleged contemnor ...


In Defense Of Ideology: A Principled Approach To The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand Oct 2009

In Defense Of Ideology: A Principled Approach To The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

In this paper, Professor Ringhand offers a principled defense of an ideological approach to the Supreme Court justice confirmation process. In constructing her argument, she does three things. First, she explores how the insights provided by recent empirical legal scholarship have created a need to re-think the role of the Supreme Court and, consequently, the process by which we select Supreme Court justices. In doing so, Professor Ringhand explains how these insights have called into question much of our conventional constitutional narrative, and how this failure of the conventional narrative has in turn undermined traditional objections to an ideologically-based confirmation ...


The Fog Of Certainty, Robert B. Ahdieh Sep 2009

The Fog Of Certainty, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

In a recent essay in the Yale Law Journal, constitutional law scholar Michael Stokes Paulsen argues that “[t]he force of international law, as a body of law, upon the United States is . . . largely an illusion.” Rather than law, he suggests, international law is mere “policy and politics.”

For all the certainty with which this argument is advanced, it cannot survive close scrutiny. At its foundation, Professor Paulsen’s essay rests on a pair of fundamental misconceptions of the nature of law. Law is not reduced to mere policy, to begin, simply because it can be undone. Were that true ...


Not Very Collegial: Exploring Bans On Illegal Immigrant Admissions To State Colleges And Universities, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug, Danielle R. Holley-Walker Apr 2009

Not Very Collegial: Exploring Bans On Illegal Immigrant Admissions To State Colleges And Universities, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug, Danielle R. Holley-Walker

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


'Neutral Principles': Herbert Wechsler, Legal Process, And Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker Jan 2009

'Neutral Principles': Herbert Wechsler, Legal Process, And Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper recovers Columbia Law Professor Herbert Wechsler's constitutional involvement in the long civil rights movement. Derided for criticizing Brown v. Board of Education in 1959, Wechsler first became involved in civil rights litigation in the 1930s, continued to be interested in civil rights issues in the 1940s, and argued one of the most important civil rights cases to come before the Supreme Court in the 1960s. His critique of Brown, this article maintains, derived not from a disinterest in the black struggle but from a larger conviction that racial reform should be process rather than rights-based. By recovering ...


Social Facts, Constitutional Interpretation, And The Rule Of Recognition, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2009

Social Facts, Constitutional Interpretation, And The Rule Of Recognition, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay is a chapter in a volume that examines constitutional law in the United States through the lens of H.L.A. Hart’s “rule of recognition” model of a legal system. My chapter focuses on a feature of constitutional practice that has been rarely examined: how jurists and scholars argue about interpretive methods. Although a vast body of scholarship provides arguments for or against various interpretive methods --such as textualism, originalism, “living constitutionalism,” structure-and-relationship reasoning, representation-reinforcement, minimalism, and so forth -- very little scholarship shifts to the meta-level and asks: What are the considerations that jurists and scholars bring ...


Originalism And The Difficulties Of History In Foreign Affairs, Eugene Kontorovich Jan 2009

Originalism And The Difficulties Of History In Foreign Affairs, Eugene Kontorovich

Faculty Working Papers

This Article spotlights some of the idiosyncratic features of admiralty law at the time of the founding. These features pose challenges for applying the original understanding of the Constitution to contemporary questions of foreign relations. Federal admiralty courts were unusual creatures by Article III standards. They sat as international tribunals applying international and foreign law, freely hearing cases that implicated sensitive questions of foreign policy, and liberally exercising universal jurisdiction over disputes solely between foreigners. However, these powers did not arise out of the basic features of Article III, but rather from a felt need to opt into the preexisting ...


The "Define And Punish" Clause And The Limit Of Universal Jurisdiction, Eugene Kontorovich Jan 2009

The "Define And Punish" Clause And The Limit Of Universal Jurisdiction, Eugene Kontorovich

Faculty Working Papers

This Article examines whether the "Define and Punish" clause of the Constitution empowers Congress to criminalize foreign conduct unconnected to the United States. Answering this question requires exploring the Constitution's "Piracies and Felonies" provision. While it is hard to believe this can still be said of any constitutional provision, no previous work has examined the scope of the "Piracies and Felonies" powers. Yet the importance of this inquiry is more than academic. Despite its obscurity, the Piracies and Felonies power is the purported Art. I basis for a statute currently in force, which represents Congress's most aggressive use ...


Rethinking Bivens: Legitimacy And Constitutional Adjudication, James E. Pfander, David Baltmanis Jan 2009

Rethinking Bivens: Legitimacy And Constitutional Adjudication, James E. Pfander, David Baltmanis

Faculty Working Papers

The Supreme Court's decision in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics provides an uncertain framework for the enforcement of constitutional rights against the federal government. Rather than recognizing a federal common law right of action for use in every case, the Court views itself as devising actions on a case-by-case basis in light of a range of factors. Critics on all sides question the Court's approach, doubting either its power to fashion federal common law or the tendency of its case-by-case analysis to create gaps in constitutional enforcement. Particularly when compared with ...


The Number Of States And The Economics Of American Federalism, Steven G. Calabresi, Nicholas K. Terrell Jan 2009

The Number Of States And The Economics Of American Federalism, Steven G. Calabresi, Nicholas K. Terrell

Faculty Working Papers

In 1789 it was possible to speak of a federation of distinct States joined together for their mutual advantage, but today it is rather the Nation that is divided into subnational units. What caused this shift in focus from the States to the Federal Government? Surely the transformation from a collection of thirteen historically separate States clustered along the Atlantic seaboard to a group of fifty States largely carved out of Federal territory has played a role. Building on previous analysis of the economics of federalism, this essay considers the dynamic effects of increasing the number of states on the ...


Religious Establishment And Autonomy, Andrew Koppelman Jan 2009

Religious Establishment And Autonomy, Andrew Koppelman

Faculty Working Papers

Kent Greenawalt claims that one rationale for nonestablishment of religion is personal autonomy. If, however, the law is barred from manipulating people in religious directions (and thus violating their autonomy), while it remains free to manipulate them in nonreligious directions (and thus violate their autonomy in exactly the same way), autonomy as such is not what is being protected. The most promising alternative is to understand religion as a distinctive human good that is being protected from government interference.


The Story Of Bivens V. Six Unknown-Named Agents Of The Federal Bureau Of Narcotics, James E. Pfander Jan 2009

The Story Of Bivens V. Six Unknown-Named Agents Of The Federal Bureau Of Narcotics, James E. Pfander

Faculty Working Papers

In Bivens v. Six Unknown-Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the Supreme Court recognized the right of an individual to sue federal government officials for a violation of constitutional rights. Drawing on interviews with some of the participants, including Webster Bivens himself and one of the agents who conducted the search, this chapter in the forthcoming book Federal Courts' Stories describes the events that led to the litigation and the complex array of factors that informed the Court's approach to the case. After placing the Bivens decision in context, the chapter evaluates the competing narratives that have ...


Emotional Common Sense As Constitutional Law, Terry A. Maroney Jan 2009

Emotional Common Sense As Constitutional Law, Terry A. Maroney

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In Gonzales v. Carhart the Supreme Court invoked post-abortion regret to justify a ban on a particular abortion procedure. The Court was proudly folk-psychological, representing its observations about women's emotional experiences as "self-evident." That such observations could drive critical legal determinations was, apparently, even more self-evident, as it received no mention at all. Far from being sui generis, Carhart reflects a previously unidentified norm permeating constitutional jurisprudence: reliance on what this Article coins "emotional common sense." Emotional common sense is what one unreflectively thinks she knows about the emotions. A species of common sense, it seems obvious and universal ...


"We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone.", Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2009

"We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone.", Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

This essay is based on remarks at the 2008 teaching conference of the Society of American Law Teachers, on the theme Teaching for Social Change When You're Not Preaching to the Choir. It reflects on my experience as a liberal/progressive teaching constitutional law in a conservative southern state. It also explores the importance of not just training students in the skills of a junior lawyer but also preparing them for their long-term obligations as citizens and members of the bar.


House Of Wisdom Or A House Of Cards? Why Teaching Islam In U.S. Foreign Detention Facilities Violates The Establishment Clause, Scott Thompson Jan 2009

House Of Wisdom Or A House Of Cards? Why Teaching Islam In U.S. Foreign Detention Facilities Violates The Establishment Clause, Scott Thompson

Articles

In an attempt to erase Islamic-fundamentalist sentiments held by detainees apprehended in the course of the "war on terror," the United States government began teaching and preaching a more moderate version of the Qur'an and Islam to detainees in Iraq. One such detention program in Iraq was dubbed the House of Wisdom. But the wisdom of such a practice is highly suspect--both because it likely runs afoul of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and because it may be doing more harm than good to the American effort to defuse Islamic-extremism and anti-American sentiment. This Article examines the ...


On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2009

On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Using the conflict over medical marijuana as a timely case study, this Article explores the overlooked and underappreciated power of states to legalize conduct Congress bans. Though Congress has banned marijuana outright, and though that ban has survived constitutional scrutiny, state laws legalizing medical use of marijuana constitute the de facto governing law in thirteen states. This Article argues that these state laws and (most) related regulations have not been, and, more interestingly, cannot be preempted by Congress, given constraints imposed on Congress's preemption power by the anti-commandeering rule, properly understood. Just as importantly, these state laws matter, in ...


Draining The Morass: Ending The Jurisprudentially Unsound Unpublication System, David R. Cleveland Jan 2009

Draining The Morass: Ending The Jurisprudentially Unsound Unpublication System, David R. Cleveland

Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Proportionality Balancing And Global Constitutionalism, Jud Mathews, Alec Stone Sweet Jan 2009

Proportionality Balancing And Global Constitutionalism, Jud Mathews, Alec Stone Sweet

Journal Articles

Over the past fifty years, proportionality balancing – an analytical procedure akin to strict scrutiny in the United States – has become a dominant technique of rights adjudication in the world. From German origins, proportionality analysis spread across Europe, into Commonwealth systems (Canada, New Zealand, South Africa), and Israel; it has also migrated to treaty-based regimes, including the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the World Trade Organization. Part II proposes a theory of why judges are attracted to the procedure, an account that blends strategic and normative elements. Parts III and IV provide a genealogy of proportionality, trace ...


‘The Federalist’ Abroad In The World, Donald L. Horowitz Jan 2009

‘The Federalist’ Abroad In The World, Donald L. Horowitz

Faculty Scholarship

This paper traces the influence of The Federalist Papers on five continents. From 1787 to roughly 1850, The Federalist was widely read and highly influential, especially in Europe and Latin America. Federalist justifications for federalism as a solution to the problem of creating a continental republic or to provincial rivalries were widely accepted. So, too, was the presidency, at least in Latin America, and that region adopted judicial review later in the nineteenth century. Presidentialism and judicial review fared less well in Western Europe. Following World War II, judicial review slowly became part of the standard equipment of new and ...


Unshackling Speech (Book Review), David L. Lange Jan 2009

Unshackling Speech (Book Review), David L. Lange

Faculty Scholarship

Reviewing, Brian C. Anderson and Adam D. Thierer, A Manifesto for Media Freedom (2008))


Guns As Smut: Defending The Home-Bound Second Amendment, Darrell A. H. Miller Jan 2009

Guns As Smut: Defending The Home-Bound Second Amendment, Darrell A. H. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal, individual right to keep and bear arms. But the Court left lower courts and legislatures adrift on the fundamental question of scope. While the Court stated in dicta that some regulation may survive constitutional scrutiny, it left the precise contours of the right, and even the method by which to determine those contours, for 'future evaluation."

This Article offers a provocative proposal for tackling the issue of Second Amendment scope, one tucked in many dresser drawers across the nation: Treat the Second Amendment ...


The Constitutionality Of Breed Discriminatory Legislation: A Summary, Joan E. Schaffner Jan 2009

The Constitutionality Of Breed Discriminatory Legislation: A Summary, Joan E. Schaffner

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

This chapter focuses on Toledo v. Tellings, an Ohio case dealing with breed-specific legislation that restricted a Toledo resident to owning one “vicious” dog, defined purely by breed as a pit bull. This case implicated numerous constitutional issues, including vagueness, procedural due process, equal protection, substantive due process, takings, and privileges and immunities. Although the Ohio Sixth Appellate District struck down the breed-specific legislation, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed, and I find this reversal at odds with the constitutional issues at play.


Muscular Procedure: Conditional Deference In The Executive Detention Cases, Joseph Landau Jan 2009

Muscular Procedure: Conditional Deference In The Executive Detention Cases, Joseph Landau

Faculty Scholarship

Although much of the prevailing scholarship surrounding the 9/11 decisions tends to downgrade procedural decisions of law as weak and inadequate, procedural rulings have affected the law of national security in remarkable ways. The Supreme Court and lower courts have used procedural devices to require, as a condition of deference, that the coordinate branches respect transsubstantive procedural values like transparency and deliberation. This is “muscular procedure,” the judicial invocation of a procedural rule to ensure the integrity of coordinate branch decision-making processes. Through muscular procedure, courts have accelerated the resolution of large numbers of highly charged cases. Moreover, they ...


Judicial Activism And Fourteenth Amendment Privacy Claims: The Allure Of Originalism And The Unappreciated Promise Of Constrained Nonoriginalism, Daniel O. Conkle Jan 2009

Judicial Activism And Fourteenth Amendment Privacy Claims: The Allure Of Originalism And The Unappreciated Promise Of Constrained Nonoriginalism, Daniel O. Conkle

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Among other meanings, "judicial activism" can be defined as judicial decisionmaking that frustrates majoritarian self-government and that is unconstrained by law. So understood, judicial activism is presumptively problematic, because it frustrates customary democratic and judicial norms.

In this essay, I address originalist and nonoriginalist responses to the presumptive problem of judicial activism in the context of Fourteenth Amendment privacy claims, including claims relating to abortion, sexual conduct, and same-sex marriage. I argue that originalism is an overrated solution, largely because current understandings of originalism, despite claims to the contrary, do not provide standards of decision that are sufficiently clear to ...


Living Originalism, Peter J. Smith, Thomas Colby Jan 2009

Living Originalism, Peter J. Smith, Thomas Colby

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

Originalists routinely argue that originalism is the only coherent and legitimate theory of constitutional interpretation. This Article endeavors to undermine those claims by demonstrating that, despite the suggestion of originalist rhetoric, originalism is not a single, coherent, unified theory of constitutional interpretation, but is rather a disparate collection of distinct constitutional theories that share little more than a misleading reliance on a common label. Originalists generally agree only on certain very broad precepts that serve as the fundamental underlying principles of constitutional interpretation: specifically, that the “writtenness” of the Constitution necessitates a fixed constitutional meaning, and that courts that see ...


Presidential Popular Constitutionalism, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2009

Presidential Popular Constitutionalism, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

This Article adds a new dimension to the most important and influential strand of recent constitutional theory: popular or democratic constitutionalism, the investigation into how the U.S. Constitution is interpreted (1) as a set of defining national commitments and practices, not necessarily anchored in the text of the document, and (2) by citizens and elected politicians outside the judiciary. Wide-ranging and groundbreaking scholarship in this area has neglected the role of the President as a popular constitutional interpreter, articulating and revising normative accounts of the nation that interact dynamically with citizens’ constitutional understandings. This Article sets out a “grammar ...


Religion In The Workplace: A Report On The Layers Of Relevant Law In The United States, William W. Van Alstyne Jan 2009

Religion In The Workplace: A Report On The Layers Of Relevant Law In The United States, William W. Van Alstyne

Faculty Scholarship

This article reports on the thick layers of law applicable to claims of religious exception to public and private employment workplaces in the United States. It reviews the Supreme Court's First and Fourteenth Amendment salient holdings, distinguishing public sector (government) workplaces, and the extent to which legislative bodies may and may not oblige private employers to "accommodate" religiously-asserted requirements. It also provides exhaustive footnote analyses of all major federal statutes (plus some representative state and local law variations) pertinent to the topic. Its principal conclusions are these: In the currently prevailing view of the U.S. Supreme Court, neither ...


Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

At the Federalist Society's 2008 National Student Symposium, a panel of scholars was asked to consider the question, does pervasive judicial review threaten to destroy local identity by homogenizing community norms? The answer to this question is yes, pervasive judicial review certainly does threaten local identity, because such review can homogenize[e] community norms, either by dragging them into conformity with national, constitutional standards or (more controversially) by subordinating them to the reviewers' own commitments. It is important to recall, however, that while it is true that an important feature of our federalism is local variation in laws and ...


"Neutral" Principles: Rethinking The Legal History Of Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker Jan 2009

"Neutral" Principles: Rethinking The Legal History Of Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper recovers Columbia Law Professor Herbert Wechsler's constitutional involvement in the long civilrights movement. Derided for criticizing Brown v. Board of Education in 1959, Wechsler first became involved in civil rights litigation in the 1930s, continued to be interested in civil rights issues in the 1940s, and argued one of the most important civil rights cases to come before the Supreme Court in the 1960s. His critique of Brown, this article maintains, derived not from a disinterest in the black struggle but from a larger conviction that racial reform should be process rather than rights-based. By recovering Wechsler ...