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Series

Constitutional Law

2010

Yale Law School

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Twombly In Context: Why Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 4(B) Is Unconstitutional, E. Donald Elliott Dec 2010

Twombly In Context: Why Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 4(B) Is Unconstitutional, E. Donald Elliott

Faculty Scholarship Series

Rule 4(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure delegates to private parties state authority to compel a person to appear and answer civil charges in court without any preliminary state review or screening for reasonableness. This is argued to be unconstitutional as a unreasonable seizure of the person, a deprivation of private property without due process, and a standardless delegation of state power to a private party with a financial interest.

The history of the writ of summons is reviewed. From the Founding until 1938, federal courts reviewed the grounds proposed for suit prior to service of a ...


Commerce, Jack M. Balkin Feb 2010

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin

Faculty Scholarship Series

This article applies the method of text and principle to an important problem in constitutional interpretation: the constitutional legitimacy of the modern regulatory state and its expansive definition of federal commerce power. Some originalists argue that the modern state cannot be justified, while others accept existing precedents as a "pragmatic exception" to originalism. Non-originalists, in turn, point to these difficulties as a refutation of orignalist premises.

Contemporary originalist readings have tended to view the commerce power through modern eyes. Originalists defending narrow readings of federal power have identified “commerce” with the trade of commodities; originalists defending broad readings of federal ...


The Reconstruction Power, Jack M. Balkin Feb 2010

The Reconstruction Power, Jack M. Balkin

Faculty Scholarship Series

Modern doctrine has not been faithful to the text, history, and structure of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. These amendments were designed to give Congress broad powers to protect civil rights and civil liberties; together they form Congress's Reconstruction Power.

Congress gave itself broad powers because it believed it could not trust the Supreme Court to protect the rights of the freedmen. The Supreme Court soon realized Congress's fears, limiting not only the scope of the Reconstruction Amendments but also Congress's powers to enforce them in decisions like United States v. Cruikshank and the Civil Rights ...