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Constitution

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

John Brown's Constitution, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2010

John Brown's Constitution, Robert L. Tsai

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

It will surprise many Americans to learn that before John Brown and his men briefly captured Harper’s Ferry, they authored and ratified a Provisional Constitution. This deliberative act built upon the achievements of the group to establish a Free Kansas, during which time Brown penned an analogue to the Declaration of Independence. These acts of writing, coupled with Brown’s trial tactics after his arrest, cast doubts on claims that the man was a lunatic or on a suicide mission. Instead, they suggest that John Brown aimed to be a radical statesman, one who turned to extreme tactics but ...


Constitutional Borrowing, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2009

Constitutional Borrowing, Robert L. Tsai

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Borrowing from one domain to promote ideas in another domain is a staple of constitutional decisionmaking. Precedents, arguments, concepts, tropes, and heuristics all can be carried across doctrinal boundaries for purposes of persuasion. Yet the practice itself remains underanalyzed. This Article seeks to bring greater theoretical attention to the matter. It defines what constitutional borrowing is and what it is not, presents a typology that describes its common forms, undertakes a principled defense of borrowing, and identifies some of the risks involved. The authors' examples draw particular attention to places where legal mechanisms and ideas migrate between fields of law ...


Democracy's Handmaid, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2006

Democracy's Handmaid, Robert L. Tsai

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Democratic theory presupposes open channels of dialogue, but focuses almost exclusively on matters of institutional design writ large. The philosophy of language explicates linguistic infrastructure, but often avoids exploring the political significance of its findings. In this Article, Tsai draws from the two disciplines to reach new insights about the democracy enhancing qualities of popular constitutional language. Employing examples from the founding era, the struggle for black civil rights, the religious awakening of the last two decades, and the search for gay equality, he presents a model of constitutional dialogue that emphasizes common modalities and mobilized vernacular. According to this ...