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Constitution

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Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Modest Proposal On Supreme Court Unanimity To Constitutionally Invalidate Laws, Dwight G. Duncan Oct 2019

A Modest Proposal On Supreme Court Unanimity To Constitutionally Invalidate Laws, Dwight G. Duncan

Faculty Publications

There is a problem in our constitutional history: the problem of split Supreme Court decisions invalidating democratically enacted laws. From Dred Scott[1] to Lochner[2] to Roe v. Wade[3] to Citizens United,[4] and even the recent Second Amendment decisions of Heller[5] and McDonald,[6] these patently fallible decisions on controversial political and social issues have divided the nation, politicized the Court, poisoned the Supreme Court nomination process and thwarted the political branches and democratic governance. Requiring Supreme Court unanimity to overturn legislation on constitutional grounds would therefore be morally and politically desirable. Why that is so ...


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely ...


Law Library Blog (March 2019): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Mar 2019

Law Library Blog (March 2019): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Withdrawing From Nafta, Alison Peck Mar 2019

Withdrawing From Nafta, Alison Peck

Faculty Scholarship

Since the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA. Can he? The question is complex. For one thing, NAFTA is not a treaty negotiated under the Treaty Clause of the Constitution, but rather a congressional–executive agreement, a creature of dubious con- stitutionality and ill-defined withdrawal and termination parameters. This Article reviews the scope of those restrictions and concludes that unilateral presidential withdrawal from NAFTA, although not without support, is ultimately unlawful. On one hand, unilateral presidential withdrawal would be valid as a matter of international law, and the NAFTA Implementation Act appears to be designed to ...


The Constitution As Poetry, Samuel J. Levine Jan 2019

The Constitution As Poetry, Samuel J. Levine

Scholarly Works

Building upon a body of scholarship that compares constitutional interpretation to biblical and literary interpretation, and relying on an insight from a prominent nineteenth century rabbinic scholar, this Article briefly explores similarities in the interpretation of the Torah—the text of the Five Books of Moses—and the United States Constitution. Specifically, this Article draws upon Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin’s (“Netziv”) intriguing suggestion that the interpretation of the text of the Torah parallels the interpretation of poetry. According to Netziv, this parallel accounts for the practice of interpreting the Torah expansively in ways that derive substantive legal rules ...


The Influence Of The Warren Court And Natural Rights On Substantive Due Process, James Marmaduke Jan 2019

The Influence Of The Warren Court And Natural Rights On Substantive Due Process, James Marmaduke

Calvert Undergraduate Research Awards

Advanced Research Winner 2019:

While the concept of substantive due process has guided judicial decision making even prior to the Civil War, it has become a lightning rod among the juristic community especially since the 1960s. This controversy includes issues ranging from the applicability and reliability to the cogency and legitimacy of the doctrine of substantive due process Many scholars attribute the skepticism toward the concept of substantive due process to be the result of a paradigm shift in the middle of the 20th century when this concept transitioned from an economic and property rights based approach to one ...


The Declaration Of Independence And The American Theory Of Government: “First Come Rights, And Then Comes Government”, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2019

The Declaration Of Independence And The American Theory Of Government: “First Come Rights, And Then Comes Government”, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The topic of this panel is the Declaration of Independence, to which I devoted a chapter of my recent book, Our Republican Constitution. I want to draw on that book to make five points.


Framer’S Intent: Gouverneur Morris, The Committee Of Style, And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor Jan 2019

Framer’S Intent: Gouverneur Morris, The Committee Of Style, And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

At the end of the proceedings of the federal constitutional convention, the delegates appointed the Committee on Style and Arrangement to bring together the textual provisions that the convention had previously agreed to and to prepare a final constitution. Pennsylvania delegate Gouverneur Morris was assigned to draft the document for the committee, and, with few revisions and little debate, the convention subsequently adopted the Committee’s proposed constitution. For more than two hundred years, questions have been raised as to whether Morris as drafter covertly made changes in the text in order to advance his constitutional vision, but the legal ...


Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum Oct 2018

Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Much ink has already been spilled on the relationship of constitutional originalism to precedent (or, more specifically, the doctrine of stare decisis). The debate includes contributions from Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Kurt Lash, Gary Lawson, John McGinnis with Michael Rappaport, Michael Paulsen, and Lee Strang, not to mention Justice Antonin Scalia—all representing originalism in some form. Living constitutionalism has also been represented both implicitly and explicitly, with important contributions from Phillip Bobbitt, Ronald Dworkin, Michael Gerhardt, Randy Kozel, and David Strauss. Some writers are more difficult to classify; Akhil Amar comes to mind. And there are many other contributions ...


Gamble V. U.S.: Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Petitioner, Stuart Banner, Paul Cassell Sep 2018

Gamble V. U.S.: Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Petitioner, Stuart Banner, Paul Cassell

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

In this case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, petitioner Gamble's brief demonstrates that there was no dual sovereignty doctrine before the mid-19th century. At the Founding and for several decades thereafter, a prosecution by one sovereign was understood to bar a subsequent prosecution by all other sovereigns. Dual sovereignty is thus contrary to the original meaning of the Double Jeopardy Clause. Defendants today enjoy a weaker form of double jeopardy protection than they did when the Bill of Rights was ratified.

But that fact only raises three further questions. First why did the Court erroneously conclude in ...


After All These Years, Lochner Was Not Crazy—It Was Good, Randy E. Barnett Jul 2018

After All These Years, Lochner Was Not Crazy—It Was Good, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For this year’s Rosenkranz Debate, we have been asked to debate the question: Lochner v. New York: Still Crazy After All These Years? It is my job to defend the “negative” position. My burden is not to establish that Lochner was correctly decided, but merely that it was not “crazy.” I intend to meet that burden and exceed it. I intend to show how Lochner v. New York was not at all crazy; in fact, it was a reasonable and good decision.


Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas Jun 2018

Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

The Ex Post Facto Clause bars any increase in punishment after the commission of a crime. But deciding what constitutes an increase in punishment can be tricky. At the front end of a criminal case, where new or amended criminal laws might lengthen prisoners’ sentences if applied retroactively, courts have routinely struck down such changes under the Ex Post Facto Clause. At the back end, however, where new or amended parole laws or policies might lengthen prisoners’ sentences in exactly the same way if applied retroactively, courts have used a different standard and upheld the changes under the Ex Post ...


A Study In Sovereignty: Federalism, Political Culture, And The Future Of Conservatism, Clint Hamilton Apr 2018

A Study In Sovereignty: Federalism, Political Culture, And The Future Of Conservatism, Clint Hamilton

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis confronts symptoms of an issue which is eroding at the principles of conservative advocacy, specifically those dealing with federalism. It contrasts modern definitions of federalism with those which existed in the late 1700s, and then attempts to determine the cause of the change. Concluding that the change was caused by a shift in American political identity, the author argues that the conservative movement must begin a conversation on how best to adapt to the change to prevent further drifting away from conservative principles.


The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias Mar 2018

The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias

Articles

As Parts I and II of this Essay elaborate, the examination yields three observations of relevance to constitutional law more generally: First, judge-made constitutional doctrine, though by no means the primary cause of rising inequality, has played an important role in reinforcing and exacerbating it. Judges have acquiesced to legislatively structured economic inequality, while also restricting the ability of legislatures to remedy it. Second, while economic inequality has become a cause célèbre only in the last few years, much of the constitutional doctrine that has contributed to its flourishing is longstanding. Moreover, for several decades, even the Court’s more ...


Newsroom: Interrogation Expert Warns Against Use Of Torture 2-2-2018, Roger Williams University School Of Law Feb 2018

Newsroom: Interrogation Expert Warns Against Use Of Torture 2-2-2018, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Law Library Blog (January 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2018

Law Library Blog (January 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton Jan 2018

Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton

Articles

Although governments have engaged in expression from their inception, only recently have we begun to consider the ways in which the government’s speech sometimes threatens our constitutional rights. In my contribution to this symposium, I seek to show that although the search for constitutional remedies for the government’s harmful expression is challenging, it is far from futile. This search is also increasingly important at a time when the government’s expressive powers continue to grow—along with its willingness to use these powers for disturbing purposes and with troubling consequences.

More specifically, in certain circumstances, injunctive relief, declaratory ...


Profound Sophistication Or Legal Sophistry, Ediberto Román, Katryna Santa Cruz, Melissa Gonzalez, Dianet Torres Jan 2018

Profound Sophistication Or Legal Sophistry, Ediberto Román, Katryna Santa Cruz, Melissa Gonzalez, Dianet Torres

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Gerrymandering And Conceit: The Supreme Court's Conflict With Itself, Mckay Cunningham Jan 2018

Gerrymandering And Conceit: The Supreme Court's Conflict With Itself, Mckay Cunningham

Faculty Scholarship

In November 2016, a federal court struck as unconstitutional Wisconsin’s redistricting map under both the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The court’s decision in Whitford v. Gill marks the first time a federal court invalidated a redistricting map as unconstitutional for partisan gerrymandering in over thirty years. Wisconsin has appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court, which recently granted review. The Supreme Court has long held that extreme partisan gerrymandering violates equal protection but has simultaneously refused to determine the merits of gerrymandering disputes, instead labeling them as non-justiciable political questions. In particular, the ...


How The United States Supreme Court Diminished Constitutional Protections Of The Right To Vote And What Congress Can Do About It, Henry Rose Jan 2018

How The United States Supreme Court Diminished Constitutional Protections Of The Right To Vote And What Congress Can Do About It, Henry Rose

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Why Federal Courts Apply The Law Of Nations Even Though It Is Not The Supreme Law Of The Land, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Jan 2018

Why Federal Courts Apply The Law Of Nations Even Though It Is Not The Supreme Law Of The Land, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

We are grateful to the judges and scholars who participated in this Symposium examining our book, The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution. One of our goals in writing this book was to reinvigorate and advance the debate over the role of customary international law in U.S. courts. The papers in this Symposium advance this debate by deepening understandings of how the Constitution interacts with customary international law. Our goal in this Article is to address two questions raised by this Symposium that go to the heart of the status of the law of nations under the ...


Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Byrd V. U.S. (U.S. June 12, 2017) (No. 16- 1371)., Janet Moore Jun 2017

Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Byrd V. U.S. (U.S. June 12, 2017) (No. 16- 1371)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

More than two centuries after it was ratified, the Fourth Amendment continues to protect the “right of the people to be secure” from “unreasonable searches.” U.S. Const. amend. IV. Modern technological advances and social developments do not render our rights “any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2494–95 (2014). This Court plays an essential role in ensuring that the Fourth Amendment retains its vitality as an indispensable safeguard of liberty, even as Americans dramatically change the ways they organize their everyday affairs. This case calls for the ...


Rwu First Amendment Blog: Andrew Horwitz's Blog: First Amendment Protects The Right To Give And To Receive 05-23-2017, Andrew Horwitz May 2017

Rwu First Amendment Blog: Andrew Horwitz's Blog: First Amendment Protects The Right To Give And To Receive 05-23-2017, Andrew Horwitz

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


Motion For Leave To File Amicus Curiae Brief And Brief For The National Association For Public Defense And Kentucky Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Sneed V. Burress (U.S. March 24, 2017) (No. 16-8047)., Janet Moore Mar 2017

Motion For Leave To File Amicus Curiae Brief And Brief For The National Association For Public Defense And Kentucky Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Sneed V. Burress (U.S. March 24, 2017) (No. 16-8047)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

No abstract provided.


The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus Mar 2017

The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote that "the enumeration presupposes something not enumerated." Modern courts use that phrase to mean that the Constitutions enumeration of congressional powers indicates that those powers are, as a whole, less than a grant of general legislative authority. But Marshall wasn't saying that. He wasn't talking about the Constitution's overall enumeration of congressional powers at all. He was writing about a different enumeration - the enumeration of three classes of commerce within the Commerce Clause. And Marshall's analysis of the Commerce Clause in Gibbons does not imply that ...


Newsroom: Slate: Goldstein On Travel Ban 02-17-2017, Jared A. Goldstein Feb 2017

Newsroom: Slate: Goldstein On Travel Ban 02-17-2017, Jared A. Goldstein

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Originalist Law Reform, Judicial Departmentalism, And Justice Scalia, Kevin C. Walsh Jan 2017

Originalist Law Reform, Judicial Departmentalism, And Justice Scalia, Kevin C. Walsh

Law Faculty Publications

Drawing on examples from Justice Antonin Scalia's jurisprudence, this Essay uses the perspective of judicial departmentalism to examine the nature and limits of two partially successful originalist law reforms in recent years. It then shifts to an examination of how a faulty conception of judicial supremacy drove a few nonoriginalist changes in the law that Scalia properly dissented from. Despite the mistaken judicial supremacy motivating these decisions, a closer look reveals them to be backhanded tributes to judicial departmentalism because of the way that the Court had to change jurisdictional and remedial doctrines to accomplish its substantive-law alterations. The ...


How To Salvage Article I: The Crumbling Foundation Of Our Republic, David Schoenbrod Jan 2017

How To Salvage Article I: The Crumbling Foundation Of Our Republic, David Schoenbrod

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


Carpenter Privacy Case Vexes Justices, While Tech Giant Microsoft Battles Government In Second U.S. Supreme Court Privacy Case With International Implications, Richard J. Peltz-Steele Jan 2017

Carpenter Privacy Case Vexes Justices, While Tech Giant Microsoft Battles Government In Second U.S. Supreme Court Privacy Case With International Implications, Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Faculty Publications

Fall 2017 saw a major privacy case with international implications reach the U.S. Supreme Court this term, Carpenter v. United States. Now a second such case pits the Government against Big Tech in United States v. Microsoft. Carpenter is a criminal case involving federal seizure of cell phone location data from service providers. Arising under the “reasonable grounds” provision of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), the case accentuates Americans’ lack of constitutional protection for personal data in third-party hands, in contrast with emerging global privacy norms. The second major privacy case headed for Supreme Court decision in 2018 also ...


The Modern Class Action Rule: Its Civil Rights Roots And Relevance Today, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2017

The Modern Class Action Rule: Its Civil Rights Roots And Relevance Today, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

The modern class action rule recently turned fifty years old — a golden anniversary. However, this milestone is marred by an increase in hate crimes, violence and discrimination. Ironically, the rule is marking its anniversary within a similarly tumultuous environment as its birth — the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. This irony calls into question whether this critical aggregation device is functioning as the drafters intended. This article makes three contributions.

First, the article unearths the rule’s rich history, revealing how the rule was designed in 1966 to enable structural reform and broad injunctive relief in civil rights cases ...