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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Contextual Approach To Harmless Error Review, Justin Murray Jan 2017

A Contextual Approach To Harmless Error Review, Justin Murray

Articles & Chapters

Harmless error review is profoundly important, but arguably broken, in the form that courts currently employ it in criminal cases. One significant reason for this brokenness lies in the dissonance between the reductionism of modern harmless error methodology and the diverse normative ambitions of criminal procedure. Nearly all harmless error rules used by courts today focus exclusively on whether the procedural error under review affected the result of a judicial proceeding. I refer to these rules as “result-based harmlesserror review.” The singular preoccupation of result-based harmless error review with the outputs of criminal processes stands in marked contrast with criminal ...


Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon Jan 2016

Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the charge that activist judging is inconsistent with democracy in the light of two recent perspectives in legal scholarship. The perspectives – Democratic Constitutionalism and Democratic Experimentalism – suggest in convergent and complementary ways that the charge ignores or oversimplifies relevant features of both judging and democracy. In particular, the charge exaggerates the pre-emptive effect of activist judging, and it implausibly conflates democracy with electoral processes. In addition, it understands consensus as a basis for judicial legitimacy solely in terms of pre-existing agreement and ignores the contingent legitimacy that can arise from the potential for subsequent agreement.


Resisting Wholesale Electronic Invasion Of The Fourth Amendment, Michael E. Tigar Jan 2015

Resisting Wholesale Electronic Invasion Of The Fourth Amendment, Michael E. Tigar

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Conservative-Libertarian Turn In First Amendment Jurisprudence, Steven J. Heyman Dec 2014

The Conservative-Libertarian Turn In First Amendment Jurisprudence, Steven J. Heyman

All Faculty Scholarship

Conservative constitutional jurisprudence in the United States has an important libertarian dimension. In recent years, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court has strengthened the constitutional protections for property rights, recognized an individual right to own firearms, imposed limits on the welfare state and the powers of the federal government, cut back on affirmative action, and held that closely held corporations have a right to religious liberty that permits them to deny contraceptive coverage to their female employees. This libertarian streak also can be seen in decisions on freedom of speech and association. In several leading cases, conservative judges have ...


Realism Over Formalism And The Presumption Of Constitutionality: Chief Justice Roberts’ Opinion Upholding The Individual Mandate, Wilson Huhn Jan 2013

Realism Over Formalism And The Presumption Of Constitutionality: Chief Justice Roberts’ Opinion Upholding The Individual Mandate, Wilson Huhn

Akron Law Publications

Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act because he rejected formalism and embraced realism in constitutional analysis, and because he deferred to Congress, acknowledging its right to make policy choices.


War-Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, Mary L. Dudziak Jan 2012

War-Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

When is wartime? On the surface, it is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," as the Administration announced an "end to conflict in Iraq," even though conflict on the ground is ongoing. It is no longer easy to distinguish between wartime and peacetime. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing ...


An Institutional Conception Of Authority, Andrei Marmor Sep 2011

An Institutional Conception Of Authority, Andrei Marmor

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The essay develops a conception of practical authorities that ties their legitimacy to the particular nature of the social practice or institution in which practical authorities invariably operate, and the terms of the subjects’ participation in that practice. The main argument of the paper draws on the distinction between what it takes to have practical authority and what would make it legitimate. The general idea is that what it takes to have practical authority is always determined by a social or institutional practice, and thus the legitimacy of any given authority crucially depends on the nature of the practice and ...


The Individual Mandate, Sovereignty, And The Ends Of Good Government: A Reply To Professor Randy Barnett, Patrick Mckinley Brennan Feb 2011

The Individual Mandate, Sovereignty, And The Ends Of Good Government: A Reply To Professor Randy Barnett, Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

Randy Barnett has recently argued that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it is an improper regulation under the Necessary and Proper Clause (in conjunction with the Commerce Clause) because it improperly "commandeers" the people and thereby violates their sovereignty. In this paper, I counter that the argument from sovereignty is unavailing because it is, among other defects, hopelessly ambiguous. The variety of historically attested meanings of "sovereignty" renders the concept useless for purposes of answering questions of comparative authority, including the authority of the Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance from a private market. There is no ...


Resolving The Qualified Immunity Dilemma: Constitutional Tort Claims For Nominal Damages, James E. Pfander Jan 2011

Resolving The Qualified Immunity Dilemma: Constitutional Tort Claims For Nominal Damages, James E. Pfander

Faculty Working Papers

Scholars have criticized the Court's qualified immunity decision in Pearson v. Callahan on the ground that it may lead to stagnation in the judicial elaboration of constitutional norms. Under current law, officers sued in their personal capacity for constitutional torts enjoy qualified immunity from liability unless the plaintiff can persuade the court that the conduct in question violated clearly established law. Pearson permits the lower courts to dismiss on the basis of legal uncertainty; it no longer requires the courts to address the merits of the constitutional question. This essay suggests that constitutional tort claimants should be permitted to ...


Should Bush Administration Lawyers Be Prosecuted For Authorizing Torture?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Michael Lewis Jan 2010

Should Bush Administration Lawyers Be Prosecuted For Authorizing Torture?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Michael Lewis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum May 2009

The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum

Faculty Scholarship Series

This article builds on Philip Bobbitt's Wittgensteinian insights into constitutional argument and law. I examine the way that we interact with canonical texts as we construct arguments in the forms that Bobbitt has described. I contend that these texts serve as metonyms for larger sets of associated principles and values, and that their invocation usually is not meant to point to the literal meaning of the text itself. This conception helps explain how a canonical text's meaning in constitutional argument can evolve over time, and hopefully offers the creative practitioner some insight into the kinds of arguments that ...


A Comment On "Legisprudence", Vlad F. Perju May 2009

A Comment On "Legisprudence", Vlad F. Perju

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen May 2009

The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Most observers of constitutional adjudication believe that it works in an all-or-nothing way. On this view, the substance of challenged rules is of decisive importance, so that political decision makers may resuscitate invalidated laws only by way of constitutional amendment. This conception of constitutional law is incomplete. In fact, courts often use so-called “semisubstantive” doctrines that focus on the processes that nonjudicial officials have used in adopting constitutionally problematic rules. When a court strikes down a rule by using a motive-centered or legislative-findings doctrine, for example, political decision makers may revive that very rule without need for a constitutional amendment ...


Equality, Conscience, And The Liberty Of The Church: Justifying The Controversiale Per Controversialius, Patrick Mckinley Brennan Apr 2009

Equality, Conscience, And The Liberty Of The Church: Justifying The Controversiale Per Controversialius, Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

This paper considers the central normative claim of Martha Nussbaum’s Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality, viz., that the U.S. Constitution’s religion clauses should be construed to provide equal (and extensive) protection to the vulnerable human faculty called conscience. The paper argues that Nussbaum’s argument from Rawlsian political liberalism that leads to her normative constitutional claim amounts, perversely, to an attempt to justify the controversial by the more controversial. The paper goes on to argue that while equality and conscience are concepts that are reasonably contested, Nussbaum illegitimately gives them ...


Delivering The Goods: Herein Of Mead, Delegations, And Authority, Patrick Mckinley Brennan Mar 2009

Delivering The Goods: Herein Of Mead, Delegations, And Authority, Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

This paper argues, first, that the natural law position, according to which it is the function of human law and political authorities to instantiate certain individual goods and the common good of the political community, does not entail judges' having the power or authority to speak the natural law directly. It goes on to argue, second, that lawmaking power/authority must be delegated by the people or their representatives. It then argues, third, that success in making law depends not just on the exercise of delegated power/authority, but also on the exercise of care and deliberation or, in the ...


The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2009

The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Does it violate the dormant Commerce Clause for a state to exempt interest earned on its own bonds, but no others, from income taxation? In a recent decision, the Supreme Court answered this question in the negative. Six members of the Court found the case controlled by the state-self-promotion exception to the dormancy doctrine's antidiscrimination rule. Three of those Justices, however, went further by also invoking the longstanding market-participant exception to sustain the discriminatory state tax break. This Essay challenges that alternative line of analysis. According to the author, the plurality's effort to apply the market-participant principle: (1 ...


``No One Does That Anymore": On Tushnet, Constitutions, And Others, Penelope J. Pether Jun 2008

``No One Does That Anymore": On Tushnet, Constitutions, And Others, Penelope J. Pether

Working Paper Series

In this contribution to the Quinnipiac Law Review’s annual symposium edition, this year devoted to the work of Mark Tushnet, I read his antijuridification scholarship “against the grain,” concluding both that Tushnet’s later scholarship is neo-Realist rather than critical in its orientation, and that both his early scholarship on slavery and his post-9/11 constitutional work reveal an ambivalence about the claim that we learn from history to circumscribe our excesses, which anchors his popular constitutionalist rhetoric.

The likeness of Tushnet’s scholarship to the work of the Realists lies in this: while the Realists’ search for a ...


James Wilson And The Drafting Of The Constitution, William Ewald Jun 2008

James Wilson And The Drafting Of The Constitution, William Ewald

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Differentiating Church And State (Without Losing The Church), Patrick Mckinley Brennan May 2008

Differentiating Church And State (Without Losing The Church), Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

There is an ongoing debate about whether the U.S. Constitution includes -- or should be interpreted to include -- a principle of "church autonomy." Catholic doctrine and political theology, by contrast, clearly articulated a principle of "libertas ecclesiae," liberty of the church, when during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Church differentiated herself from the state. This article explores the meaning and origin of the doctrine of the libertas ecclesiae and the proper relationship among churches, civil society, and government. In doing so, it highlights the points at which church and state should cooperate and the points at which mutual ...


The Tropicalization Of Proportionality Balancing: The Colombian And Mexican Examples, Luisa Conesa Apr 2008

The Tropicalization Of Proportionality Balancing: The Colombian And Mexican Examples, Luisa Conesa

Cornell Law School Inter-University Graduate Student Conference Papers

In “The Tropicalization of Proportionality Balancing: the Colombian and Mexican Examples” the author analyzes how the German based proportionality balancing test was exported to Latin America, by studying the Colombian Constitutional Court and the Mexican Supreme Court. This work is guided by the following questions: what is proportionality balancing? How has it been used by the Colombian and Mexican jurisprudences and what are its influences? Do the Courts cite other jurisdictions when using the test? Have they imported a traditional European test? Or, have they “tropicalized” it?

The study of the Latin American examples leads to the conclusion that the ...


Reviving The Subject Of Law, Penelope J. Pether Apr 2008

Reviving The Subject Of Law, Penelope J. Pether

Working Paper Series

This essay is an advanced draft of work that will be published in On Philosophy and American Law (Francis J. Mootz III ed. forthcoming, Cambridge U.P., 2009). This edited collection includes responses by a wide range of scholars working in legal theory to Mootz’s challenge to respond to the current state of American legal philosophy, using Karl Llewellyn’s 1934 University of Pennsylvania law review account of the emergence of legal realism as a prompt. Drawing on the author’s recent scholarship on the emergence of a distinctive and impoverished model of “common law” judging in the U ...


Proportionality Balancing And Global Constitutionalism, Alec Stone Sweet, Jud Mathews Mar 2008

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

Faculty Scholarship Series

Over the past fifty years, proportionality balancing – an analytical procedure akin to “strict scrutiny” in the United States – has become the 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 I proposes a theory of why judges are attracted to the procedure, an account that blends strategic and normative elements. Parts II and III provide a genealogy of proportionality, trace ...


Market Triumphalism, Electoral Pathologies, And The Abiding Wisdom Of First Amendment Access Rights, Gregory P. Magarian Oct 2007

Market Triumphalism, Electoral Pathologies, And The Abiding Wisdom Of First Amendment Access Rights, Gregory P. Magarian

Working Paper Series

Forty years ago, Professor Jerome Barron made the classic case that the First Amendment requires not merely protection of speech against government interference but provision of access to the means of mass communication. The Supreme Court in the ensuing decades has largely rejected Barron’s approach. In this article, Professor Magarian defends Barron’s case for access rights against the two theoretical critiques that have underwritten its doctrinal rejection. The libertarian critique attacks the normative underpinnings of access rights, maintaining that the First Amendment insulates market-driven distributions of expressive opportunities. Professor Magarian demonstrates that politically progressive and conservative libertarian critics ...


"Sociological Legitimacy" In Supreme Court Opinions, Michael Wells Jul 2007

"Sociological Legitimacy" In Supreme Court Opinions, Michael Wells

Scholarly Works

Analysis of a Supreme Court opinion ordinarily begins from the premise that the opinion is a transparent window into the Court's thinking, such that the reasons offered by the Court are, or ought to be, the reasons that account for the holding. Scholars debate the strength of the Court's reasoning, question or defend the Court's candor, and propose alternative ways of justifying the ruling. This Article takes issue with the transparency premise, on both descriptive and normative grounds. Especially in controversial cases, the Court is at least as much concerned with presenting its holding in a way ...


Why We Have Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Apr 2007

Why We Have Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper accompanies Mary Sarah Bilder, The Corporate Origins of Judicial Review , 116 Yale L.J. 502 (2006), in which the author argues that the origins of judicial review lie not in the expansion of judicial power but rather in the prior practice of commitment to limited legislative authority.


The Jurisprudence Of Colliding First Amendment Interests: From The Dead End Of Neutrality To The Open Road Of Participation Enhancing Review, Gregory P. Magarian Apr 2007

The Jurisprudence Of Colliding First Amendment Interests: From The Dead End Of Neutrality To The Open Road Of Participation Enhancing Review, Gregory P. Magarian

Working Paper Series

No abstract provided.


Interpreting Immunity, Chaim Saiman Apr 2007

Interpreting Immunity, Chaim Saiman

Working Paper Series

This paper offers an examination and critique of the Supreme Court’s doctrine of qualified immunity—the immunity from constitutional tort liability granted to government officials in cases in which the tort was not “clearly established” by prior case law. Currently, courts must engage in a two-pronged inquiry: first, whether the official’s conduct was unconstitutional, and second, whether the unconstitutionality was clearly established. This paper argues that while the first question presents a standard case of common law interpretation and analysis, the second inquiry forces courts to approach the body of constitutional tort law as if it were a ...


Harmonizing Plural Societies: The Cases Of Lasallians, Families, Schools – And The Poor, Patrick Mckinley Brennan Apr 2007

Harmonizing Plural Societies: The Cases Of Lasallians, Families, Schools – And The Poor, Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

The modern state characteristically assumes or asserts a monopoly over “group persons” and their right to exist; group persons are said to exist at the pleasure or concession of the state. According to Catholic social teaching, by contrast, these unities of order -- such as church and family, as well as corporations and schools and the like -- are, at least in potency, ontologically prior to the state. Such group persons both constitute conditions of the possibility of human flourishing and, correlatively, impose limitations on the “sovereign” state. Such group persons are not mere concessions of an unbounded state: They are ontological ...


A Quandary In Law? A (Qualified) Catholic Denial, Patrick Mckinley Brennan Apr 2007

A Quandary In Law? A (Qualified) Catholic Denial, Patrick Mckinley Brennan

Working Paper Series

A contribution to the second law review symposium dedicated to Steven Smith’s Law’s Quandary (Harvard 2004), this paper asks whether the “quandary” in which Smith finds modern law and jurisprudence is not, at least in part, the consequence of misunderstanding the classical natural law jurisprudence. The paper advances an interpretation of natural law according to which the natural law is the human person’s “participation” in the eternal law itself, with literally cosmic consequences for how we understand the ends and measures of human lawmaking. Mounting an argument against Justice Scalia’s thesis that “God applies the natural ...


Bush V. Gore As Precedent, Chad W. Flanders Mar 2007

Bush V. Gore As Precedent, Chad W. Flanders

Student Scholarship Papers

My essay treats the thorny question of the precedential value of Bush v. Gore from three angles. In the first part, I look at the history of the Supreme Court limiting its decisions to the facts of present case. The venture into history is designed to test the argument made by some that the language limiting the reach of Bush v. Gore is an innocuous example of narrowing the scope of the principle propounded in Bush, rather than an objectionable restriction of the ruling to only one unique set of circumstances ­ the circumstances of Bush v. Gore. The second part ...