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Constitutional Law

1993

University of Georgia School of Law

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Rights As Trumps, Dan T. Coenen Jan 1993

Rights As Trumps, Dan T. Coenen

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In this essay, I question Professor Fallon's strong rejection of the notion that "rights are trumps" by making four points. First, rights are trumps in the single, but important, sense that they preclude the exercise of powers granted to government by the constitutional text. Second, rights sometimes operate as trumps on governmental powers in the very purse sense that they cut off all consideration of governmental interests. Third, even when the Court considers government interests in dealing with rights, it often does so on such a restricted basis that the description of rights as "trumps" remains accurate. Finally, even ...