Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 88

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


What Bankruptcy Law Can And Cannot Do For Puerto Rico, John A. E. Pottow Jun 2016

What Bankruptcy Law Can And Cannot Do For Puerto Rico, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

This article is based on a February 2016 keynote address given at the University of Puerto Rico Law Review Symposium “Public Debt and the Future of Puerto Rico.” Thus, much of it remains written in the first person, and so the reader may imagine the joy of being in the audience. (Citations and footnotes have been inserted before publication ‒ sidebars that no reasonable person would ever have inflicted upon a live audience, even one interested in bankruptcy law. Rhetorical accuracy thus yields to scholarly pedantics.) The analysis explains how bankruptcy law not only can but will be required to remedy ...


Reflections On Comity In The Law Of American Federalism, Gil Seinfeld Apr 2015

Reflections On Comity In The Law Of American Federalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Comity is a nebulous concept familiar to us from the law of international relations. Roughly speaking, it describes a set of reciprocal norms among nations that call for one state to recognize, and sometimes defer to, the laws, judgments, or interests of another. Comity also features prominently in the law of American federalism, but in that context, it operates within limits that have received almost no attention from scholarly commentators. Specifically, although courts routinely describe duties that run from one state to another, or from the federal government to the states, as exercises in comity, they almost never rely on ...


The Limits Of Enumeration, Richard A. Primus Dec 2014

The Limits Of Enumeration, Richard A. Primus

Articles

According to a well-known principle of constitutional interpretation here identified as the “internal-limits canon,” the powers of Congress must always be construed as authorizing less legislation than a general police power would. This Article argues that the internallimits canon is unsound. Whether the powers of Congress would in practice authorize any legislation that a police power would authorize is a matter of contingency: it depends on the relationship between the powers and the social world at a given time. There is no reason why, at a given time, the powers cannot turn out to authorize any legislation that a police ...


Enacted Legislative Findings And The Deference Problem, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2014

Enacted Legislative Findings And The Deference Problem, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The constitutionality of federal legislation sometimes turns on the presence and sufficiency of congressional findings of predicate facts, such as the effects of conduct on interstate commerce, state discrimination justifying the abrogation of sovereign immunity, or market failures justifying intrusions on free speech. Sometimes a congressional committee makes these findings in legislative history. Other times, Congress recites its findings in a statutory preamble, thus enacting its findings as law. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has not distinguished between enacted and unenacted findings in deciding how much deference to accord congressional findings. This is striking because the difference between enactedness and unenactedness ...


The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley Mar 2014

The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

The presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action is a cornerstone of administrative law, accepted by courts and commentators alike as both legally appropriate and obviously desirable. Yet the presumption is puzzling. As with any canon of statutory construction that serves a substantive end, it should find a source in history, positive law, the Constitution, or sound policy considerations. None of these, however, offers a plausible justification for the presumption. As for history, the sort of judicial review that the presumption favors - appellate-style arbitrariness review - was not only unheard of prior to the twentieth century, but was commonly ...


The Jurisprudence Of Union, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2014

The Jurisprudence Of Union, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

The primary goal of this Article is to demonstrate that the interest in national unity does important, independent work in the law of vertical federalism. We have long been accustomed to treating union as a constitutionally operative value in cases involving the duties states owe one another (i.e. horizontal federalism cases), but in cases involving the relationship between the federal government and the states, the interest in union is routinely ignored. This Article shows that, across a wide range of cases relating to the allocation of power between the federal government and the states, the states are constrained by ...


Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

This panel has been asked to consider whether "the Constitution [is] responsible for electoral dysfunction."' My answer is no. The electoral process undeniably falls well short of our aspirations, but it strikes me that we should look to the Supreme Court for an accounting before blaming the Constitution for the deeply unsatisfactory condition in which we find ourselves.


Congress Underestimated: The Case Of The World Bank, Kristina Daugirdas Jan 2013

Congress Underestimated: The Case Of The World Bank, Kristina Daugirdas

Articles

This article challenges the oft-repeated claim that international organizations undermine democracy by marginalizing national legislatures. Over the past forty years, Congress has established itself as a key player in setting U.S. policy toward the World Bank. Congress has done far more than restrain executive branch action with which it disagrees; it has affirmatively shaped the United States’ day-to-day participation in this key international organization and successfully defended its constitutional authority to do so.


The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias Jan 2013

The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias

Articles

Enforcement of law is at the core of the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed, and it is a primary mechanism for effecting national regulatory policy. Yet questions about how presidents oversee agency enforcement activity have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This Article provides a positive account of the President’s role in administrative enforcement, explores why presidential enforcement has taken the shape it has, and examines the bounds of the President’s enforcement power. It demonstrates that presidential involvement in agency enforcement, though extensive, has been ad hoc, crisis-driven, and frequently opaque ...


Unbundling Constitutionality, Richard A. Primus Jan 2013

Unbundling Constitutionality, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theory features a persistent controversy over the source or sources of constitutional status, that is, over the criteria that qualify some rules as constitutional rules. This Article contends that no single criterion characterizes all of the rules that American law treats as constitutional, such that it is a mistake to think of constitutionality as a status with necessary conditions. It is better to think of constitutionality on a bundle-of-sticks model: different attributes associated with constitutionality might or might not be present in any constitutional rule. Analysts should often direct their attention more to the separate substantive properties that are ...


How The Gun-Free School Zones Act Saved The Individual Mandate, Richard A. Primus Jan 2012

How The Gun-Free School Zones Act Saved The Individual Mandate, Richard A. Primus

Articles

For all the drama surrounding the Commerce Clause challenge to the in-dividual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), the doctrinal question presented is simple. Under existing doctrine, the provision is as valid as can be. To be sure, the Supreme Court could alter existing doctrine, and many interesting things could be written about the dynamics that sometimes prompt judges to strike out in new directions under the pressures of cases like this one. But it is not my intention to pursue that possibility here. My own suspicion, for what it is worth, is that the ...


Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider Jan 2010

Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

American government rests on the principle of distrust of government. Not only is power within the federal government checked and balanced. Power is divided between the federal government and the state governments. So what if a state law conflicts with a federal law? The Constitution says that the "Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land; ... any Thing in the ... Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Sometimes the conflict between federal and state law is obvious and the Supremacy Clause is easily applied. But sometimes ...


Article I, Article Iii, And The Limits Of Enumeration, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2010

Article I, Article Iii, And The Limits Of Enumeration, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Article I, Section 8 and Article Ill, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution deploy parallel strategies for constraining the power of the federal government. They enumerate powers that the national legislature and judiciary, respectively, are permitted to exercise and thereby implicitly prohibit these two branches of government from exercising powers not enumerated. According to conventional thinking, this strategy has failed in connection with Article I and succeeded in connection with Article III. That is, it is widely acknowledged that Congress routinely exercises powers that are difficult to square with the Article I enumeration; but it is commonly thought that ...


Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The inauguration of Barack Obama was marred by one of the smallest constitutional crises in American history. As we all remember, the President did not quite recite his oath as it appears in the Constitution. The error bothered enough people that the White House redid the ceremony a day later, taking care to get the constitutional text exactly right. Or that, at least, is what everyone thinks happened. What actually happened is more interesting. The second time through, the President again departed from the Constitution's text. But the second time, nobody minded. Or even noticed. In that unremarked feature ...


The Basic Law At 60 - Introduction To The Special Issue, Susanne Baer, Christian Boulanger, Alexander Klose, Rosemarie Will Jan 2010

The Basic Law At 60 - Introduction To The Special Issue, Susanne Baer, Christian Boulanger, Alexander Klose, Rosemarie Will

Articles

For Germany 2009 was a year of constitutional anniversaries: the first democratic constitution (Paulskirchenverfassung of 1849) was promulgated 160 years ago; the 1919 Weimar Constitution would have turned 90; and finally, the country celebrated 60 years of the Basic Law, which was proclaimed and signed in Bonn on 23 May 1949. Despite its birth in the midst of economic and political turmoil and widespread disillusion with politics, the Basic Law has come to be regarded as a "success story." As is well known, it was never meant to last - the very term "Grundgesetz" (basic law) indicated that it was intended ...


Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Barry Friedman's new book The Will of the People attempts to dissolve constitutional law's countermajoritariand ifficulty by showing that, in practice,t he Supreme Court does only what the public will tolerate. His account succeeds if "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the threat that courts will run the country in ways that contravene majority preference, but not if the "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the need to explain the legitimate sources of judicial authority in cases where decisions do contravene majority preference. Friedman's book does not pursue the second possibility, and may suggest that doing so is ...


The Functions Of Ethical Originalism, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

The Functions Of Ethical Originalism, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Supreme Court Justices frequently divide on questions of original meaning, and the divisions have a way of mapping what we might suspect are the Justices’ leanings about the merits of cases irrespective of originalist considerations. The same is true for law professors and other participants in constitutional discourse: people’s views of original constitutional meaning tend to align well with their (nonoriginalist) preferences for how present constitutional controversies should be resolved. To be sure, there are exceptions. Some people are better than others at suspending presentist considerations when examining historical materials, and some people are better than others at recognizing ...


Constitutional Flaw?, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2009

Constitutional Flaw?, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

Do terminally ill patients have a constitutional right "to decide, without FDA interference, whether to assume the risks of using potentially life-saving investigational drugs that the FDA has yet to approve for commercial marketing, but that the FDA has determined, after Phase I clinical human trials, are safe enough for further testing"? In Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. McClellan, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said "no." In Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach, a panel (three judges) of the United States Court of Appeals for the ...


Preemption And Theories Of Federalism, Robert R. M. Verchick, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2009

Preemption And Theories Of Federalism, Robert R. M. Verchick, Nina A. Mendelson

Book Chapters

American government is an experiment in redundancy, with powers and duties shared among federal, state, and local decision makers. The arrange­ment is designed to divide power, maximize self-rule, and foster innovation, but it also can breed confusion. In the areas of public safety and environ­mental protection, state and federal leaders (to name the two most active players in these disputes) are often seen jockeying for the inside track, hoping to secure the resources or authority needed to promote their views of the public good or gain politically. To outside observers, the best outcomes are not obvious. For example ...


The Truth About Torts: Rethinking Regulatory Preemption And Its Impact On Public Health, William Buzbee, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz Jan 2009

The Truth About Torts: Rethinking Regulatory Preemption And Its Impact On Public Health, William Buzbee, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz

Other Publications

As consumers, we assume that the automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other products we purchase are generally safe for their intended uses. We rely on manufacturers to design and produce safe products, and we assume that federal regulators are conscientious watchdogs of the marketplace. In most instances, our assumptions are valid and we safely go about our lives. But the regulatory system is now frayed to the point that dangerous products sometimes slip through the cracks. Vioxx, Firestone/ATX tires, and toxics-laden children’s toys have endangered and harmed millions. In these cases, society depends on the state courts as ...


Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus Jan 2009

Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Justice Stephen Markman sits on the Supreme Court of my home state of Michigan. In that capacity, he says, he is involved in a struggle between two kinds of judging. On one side are judges like him. They follow the rules. On the other side are unconstrained judges who decide cases on the basis of what they think the law ought to be. This picture is relatively simple, and Justice Markman apparently approves of its simplicity. But matters may in fact be a good deal more complex.


Quick Off The Mark? In Favor Of Empowering The President-Elect, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2009

Quick Off The Mark? In Favor Of Empowering The President-Elect, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

The United States’s presidential transition period is too long. Between November 7, 2008, and January 20, 2009, the media quickly identified a “‘leadership vacuum.’” In contrast to those of President-elect Obama, President Bush’s approval ratings were at historic lows. One reporter commented in late November, “The markets, at least, seem to be listening to one [P]resident—and he’s not the one in the Oval Office,” and another noted that “everyone . . . ignores the actions of the lame duck.”


When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus Jan 2008

When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theory lacks an account of when each of the familiar sources of authority-text, original meaning, precedent, and so on-should be given weight. The dominant tendency is to regard all sources as potentially applicable in every case. In contrast, this Article proposes that each source of authority is pertinent in some categories of cases but not in others, much as a physical tool is appropriate for some but not all kinds of household tasks. The Article then applies this approach to identify the categories of cases in which original meaning is, or is not, a valid factor in constitutional decisionmaking.


Limiting Federal Agency Preemption: Recommendations For A New Federalism Executive Order, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz, James Goodwin Jan 2008

Limiting Federal Agency Preemption: Recommendations For A New Federalism Executive Order, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz, James Goodwin

Other Publications

The structure of the U.S. Constitution reflects a profound respect for the principles of federalism and state sovereignty. These principles require the federal government to recognize and encourage opportunities for state and local governments to exercise their authority, especially in areas of traditional state concern such as the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. However, over the last six years there has been a coordinated Executive Branch effortto use the regulatory process to shield certain product manufacturers from state tort liability. The Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Consumer Product Safety ...


Federalism And The Commerce Clause: A Comparative Perspective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2007

Federalism And The Commerce Clause: A Comparative Perspective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court has on numerous occasions addressed the constitutionality of state taxes under the U.S. Constitution (most often under the Commerce Clause, but sometimes under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses). In general, the Supreme Court has granted wide leeway to the states to adopt any tax system they wish, only striking down the most egregious cases of discrimination against out-of-state residents. Thus, for example, the Court has generally refused to intervene against state tax competition to attract business into the state. It has twice upheld a method of calculating how much income of a ...


The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In 1870, a black man named Hiram Revels was named to represent Mississippi in the Senate. Senate Democrats objected to seating him and pointed out that the Constitution specifies that no person may be a senator who has not been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Democrats argued, Revels had not been a citizen on account of the Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Thus, even if Revels were a citizen in 1870, he had held that status for only two ...