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Constitutional law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jun 2019

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article argues that administrative agencies have been primary interpreters and implementers of the federal Constitution throughout the history of the United States, although the scale and scope of this "administrative constitutionalism" has changed significantly over time as the balance of opportunities and constraints has shifted. Courts have nonetheless cast an increasingly long shadow over the administered Constitution. In part, this is because of the well-known expansion of judicial review in the 20th century. But the shift has as much to do with changes in the legal profession, legal theory, and lawyers’ roles in agency administration. The result is that ...


Customs, Immigration, And Rights: Constitutional Limits On Electronic Border Searches, Laura K. Donohue Apr 2019

Customs, Immigration, And Rights: Constitutional Limits On Electronic Border Searches, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The warrantless search of travelers’ electronic devices as they enter and exit the United States is rapidly increasing. While the Supreme Court has long recognized a border-search exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, it applies to only two interests: promoting the duty regime and preventing contraband from entering the country; and ensuring that individuals are legally admitted. The government’s recent use of the exception goes substantially beyond these matters. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are using it to search electronic devices, and at times the cloud, for evidence of ...


Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as ...


The Constitutionalization Of Fatherhood, Dara Purvis Jan 2019

The Constitutionalization Of Fatherhood, Dara Purvis

Journal Articles

Beginning in the 1970s, the Supreme Court heard a series of challenges to family law statutes brought by unwed biological fathers, questioning the constitutionality of laws that treated unwed fathers differently than unwed mothers. The Court’s opinions created a starkly different constitutional status for unwed fathers than for unwed mothers, demanding additional actions and relationships before an unwed father was considered a constitutional father. Although state parentage statutes have progressed beyond their 1970s incarnations, the doctrine created in those family law cases continues to have impact far beyond family law. Transmission of citizenship in the context of immigration law ...


The Workers' Constitution, Luke Norris Jan 2019

The Workers' Constitution, Luke Norris

Law Faculty Publications

This Article argues that the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, Social Security Act of 1935, and Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 should be understood as a “workers’ constitution.” The Article tells the history of how a connected wave of social movements responded to the insecurity that wage earners faced after the Industrial Revolution and Great Depression by working with government officials to bring about federal collective bargaining rights, wage and hour legislation, and social security legislation. It argues that the statutes are tied together as a set of “small c” constitutional commitments in both their histories and theory ...


A Century In The Making: The Glorious Revolution, The American Revolution, And The Origins Of The U.S. Constitution’S Eighth Amendment, John Bessler Jan 2019

A Century In The Making: The Glorious Revolution, The American Revolution, And The Origins Of The U.S. Constitution’S Eighth Amendment, John Bessler

All Faculty Scholarship

The sixteen words in the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment have their roots in England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688–89. This Article traces the historical events that initially gave rise to the prohibitions against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. Those three proscriptions can be found in the English Declaration of Rights and in its statutory counterpart, the English Bill of Rights. In particular, the Article describes the legal cases and draconian punishments during the Stuart dynasty that led English and Scottish parliamentarians to insist on protections against cruelty and excessive governmental actions. In describing ...


Holistic Review In Race-Conscious University Admissions, Hal Arkes, George W. Dent Jr. Jan 2019

Holistic Review In Race-Conscious University Admissions, Hal Arkes, George W. Dent Jr.

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court has held that race may be considered as “a factor of a factor of a factor” within a “holistic” program of university admissions if the university can satisfy a heavy burden of proving that the program is “narrowly tailored” to achieve the educational benefits of diversity. The Court has listed the desired benefits of racial diversity, but it has not discussed what evidence a university needs to prove that its program is “narrowly tailored” to achieve those benefits.

This article addresses that issue. The field of psychology offers abundant research about the process of judgment and decision-making ...


Framer’S Intent: Gouverneur Morris, The Committee Of Style, And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor Jan 2019

Framer’S Intent: Gouverneur Morris, The Committee Of Style, And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

At the end of the proceedings of the federal constitutional convention, the delegates appointed the Committee on Style and Arrangement to bring together the textual provisions that the convention had previously agreed to and to prepare a final constitution. Pennsylvania delegate Gouverneur Morris was assigned to draft the document for the committee, and, with few revisions and little debate, the convention subsequently adopted the Committee’s proposed constitution. For more than two hundred years, questions have been raised as to whether Morris as drafter covertly made changes in the text in order to advance his constitutional vision, but the legal ...


Evaluating Constitutional Hardball: Two Fallacies And A Research Agenda, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Evaluating Constitutional Hardball: Two Fallacies And A Research Agenda, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This Reply addresses the responses by Professors David Bernstein and Jed Shugerman to our essay Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball. Bernstein's response, we argue, commits the common fallacy of equating reciprocity with symmetry: assuming that because constitutional hardball often "takes two" to play, both sides must be playing it in a similar manner. Shugerman's response, on the other hand, helps combat the common fallacy of equating aggressiveness with wrongfulness: assuming that because all acts of constitutional hardball strain norms of governance, all are similarly damaging to democracy. We suggest that whereas Bernstein's approach would set back the burgeoning effort ...


A Computational Analysis Of Constitutional Polarization, David Pozen, Eric L. Talley, Julian Nyarko Jan 2019

A Computational Analysis Of Constitutional Polarization, David Pozen, Eric L. Talley, Julian Nyarko

Faculty Scholarship

This Article is the first to use computational methods to investigate the ideological and partisan structure of constitutional discourse outside the courts. We apply a range of machine-learning and text-analysis techniques to a newly available data set comprising all remarks made on the U.S. House and Senate floors from 1873 to 2016, as well as a collection of more recent newspaper editorials. Among other findings, we demonstrate:

(1) that constitutional discourse has grown increasingly polarized over the past four decades;

(2) that polarization has grown faster in constitutional discourse than in non-constitutional discourse;

(3) that conservative-leaning speakers have driven ...


Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

How should we interpret the Constitution? The “positive turn” in legal scholarship treats constitutional interpretation, like the interpretation of statutes or contracts, as governed by legal rules grounded in actual practice. In our legal system, that practice requires a certain form of originalism: our system’s official story is that we follow the law of the Founding, plus all lawful changes made since.

Or so we’ve argued. Yet this answer produces its own set of questions. How can practice solve our problems, when there are so many theories of law, each giving practice a different role? Why look to ...


Dying Constitutionalism And The Fourteenth Amendment, Ernest A. Young Jan 2019

Dying Constitutionalism And The Fourteenth Amendment, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

The notion of a “living Constitution” often rests on an implicit assumption that important constitutional values will “grow” in such a way as to make the Constitution more attractive over time. But there are no guarantees: What can grow can also wither and die. This essay, presented as the 2018 Robert F. Boden Lecture at Marquette University Law School, marks the sesquicentennial of the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification as a powerful charter of liberty and equality for black Americans. But for much of its early history, the Fourteenth Amendment’s meaning moved in reverse, overwhelmed by the end of Reconstruction ...


Historical Gloss, Madisonian Liquidation, And The Originalism Debate, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2019

Historical Gloss, Madisonian Liquidation, And The Originalism Debate, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution is old, relatively brief, and very difficult to amend. In its original form, the Constitution was primarily a framework for a new national government, and for 230 years the national government has operated under that framework even as conditions have changed in ways beyond the Founders’ conceivable imaginations. The framework has survived in no small part because government institutions have themselves played an important role in helping to fill in and clarify the framework through their practices and interactions, informed by the realities of governance. Courts, the political branches, and academic commentators commonly give weight to ...


Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism has long been criticized for its “law office history” and other historical sins. But a recent “positive turn” in originalist thought may help make peace between history and law. On this theory, originalism is best understood as a claim about our modern law — which borrows many of its rules, constitutional or otherwise, from the law of the past. Our law happens to be the Founders’ law, unless lawfully changed.

This theory has three important implications for the role of history in law. First, whether and how past law matters today is a question of current law, not of history ...


The Depravity Of The 1930s And The Modern Administrative State, Gary Lawson, Steven Calabresi Dec 2018

The Depravity Of The 1930s And The Modern Administrative State, Gary Lawson, Steven Calabresi

Faculty Scholarship

Gillian Metzger’s 2017 Harvard Law Review foreword, entitled 1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Siege, is a paean to the modern administrative state, with its massive subdelegations of legislative and judicial power to so-called “expert” bureaucrats, who are layered well out of reach of electoral accountability yet do not have the constitutional status of Article III judges. We disagree with this celebration of technocratic government on just about every level, but this Article focuses on two relatively narrow points.

First, responding more to implicit assumptions that pervade modern discourse than specifically to Professor Metzger’s analysis, we challenge the ...


Special Justifications, Randy J. Kozel Oct 2018

Special Justifications, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court commonly asks whether there is a “special justification” for departing from precedent. In this Response, which is part of a Constitutional Commentary symposium on Settled Versus Right: A Theory of Precedent, I examine the existing law of special justifications and describe its areas of uncertainty. I also compare the Court’s current doctrine with a revised approach to special justifications designed to separate the question of overruling from deeper disagreements about legal interpretation. The aspiration is to establish precedent as a unifying force that enhances the impersonality of the Court and of the law, promoting values the ...


James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo Jul 2018

James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For decades, James Wilson has been something of a “forgotten founder.” The area where commentators generally recognize Wilson’s influence at the Convention is with respect to Article II, which establishes the executive and defines its powers. Most scholars characterize him as a resolute advocate of an independent, energetic, and unitary presidency, and a particularly successful one at that. In this regard, some scholars have generally characterized Wilson’s thinking as overly rigid. Yet a close examination of the Convention reveals Wilson to be more flexible than sometimes characterized. With respect to many aspects of the presidency, including the appointment ...


Supreme Court Struggles To Define 'Searches' As Technology Changes, Behzad Mirhashem Jul 2018

Supreme Court Struggles To Define 'Searches' As Technology Changes, Behzad Mirhashem

Law Faculty Scholarship

[Excerpt] "What the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means when it protects citizens agains an unreasonable search by government agents isn't entirely clear. It certainly includes police physically entering a person's home, but for almost 100 years, the Supreme Court has tried to define what else might qualify, including keeping the law up-to-date with new technologies - as a recent case illustrates."


Abortion Rights And The Kavanaugh Nomination, John M. Greabe Jul 2018

Abortion Rights And The Kavanaugh Nomination, John M. Greabe

Law Faculty Scholarship

[Excerpt] "Last week, President Trump nominated federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat opened by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Immediately, coverage of the nomination focused on abortion and whether Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation would spell the end of the constitutional right recognized in Roe v. Wade. Let's explore why."


The Never-Ending Assault On The Administrative State, Jack Beermann Jul 2018

The Never-Ending Assault On The Administrative State, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

This Article is an exploration of the twists and turns of the never-ending assault on the administrative state. Without attempting to resolve all of the separation of powers controversies that have existed since the beginning of the Republic, this Article examines and analyzes the fundamental constitutional challenges to the administrative state as well as the more peripheral constitutional difficulties involving the administrative state and the nonconstitutional legal challenges that have arisen over the decades. In my view, the legal and political arguments made in favor of major structural changes to the administrative state do not provide sufficient normative bases for ...


Neil Gorsuch And The Return Of Rule-Of-Law Due Process, Nathan Chapman Apr 2018

Neil Gorsuch And The Return Of Rule-Of-Law Due Process, Nathan Chapman

Popular Media

Something curious happened at the Supreme Court last week. While the country was glued to the Cirque du Trump, the rule of law made a comeback, revived by Neil Gorsuch, whose place on the Court may prove to be one of Trump’s most important legacies.

Unlike the partisan gerrymander and First Amendment cases currently pending before the Court, immigration cases are usually long on textual analysis and short on grand themes. Accordingly, court-watchers didn’t have especially high expectations for Sessions v. Dimaya.


Quarantine And The Federal Role In Epidemics, Wendy K. Mariner, Michael R. Ulrich Apr 2018

Quarantine And The Federal Role In Epidemics, Wendy K. Mariner, Michael R. Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

Every recent presidential administration has faced an infectious disease threat, and this trend is certain to continue. The states have primary responsibility for protecting the public’s health under their police powers, but modern travel makes diseases almost impossible to contain intrastate. How should the federal government respond in the future? The Ebola scare in the U.S. repeated a typical response—demands for quarantine. In January 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued final regulations on its authority to issue Federal Quarantine Orders. These regulations rely heavily on confining ...


Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2018

Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this article, we respond to Professor Zelinsky’s criticism of our arguments regarding the constitutionality of New York’s tax residence rule. We argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Wynne requires reconsideration of the New York Court of Appeal’s decision in Tamagni.


The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin Jan 2018

The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Loving Story (Augusta Films 2011), directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the backstory of the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that overturned state laws barring interracial marriage. The article looks to the documentary to explain why the Lovings should be considered icons of racial and ethnic civil rights, however much they might be associated with marriage equality today. The film shows the Lovings to be ordinary people who took their nearly decade long struggle against white supremacy to the nation’s highest court out of a genuine commitment to each other and a determination to live ...


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power ...


Debating The Past's Authority In Alabama, Sara Mayeux Jan 2018

Debating The Past's Authority In Alabama, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

With some exceptions, the major project of civil rights litigators today is not forward movement but the work of preserving as much as possible the gains of the 1960s against legal and political battering.29 Meanwhile, and ironically, the rise of conservative progress metanarratives reflects the achievement of both liberal and radical scholars of forcing into mainstream discourse greater recognition of the evils of slavery and Jim Crow. Respectable conservatives now join in denouncing the most flagrant forms of racial terror running through the American past (pace certain allies of the Trump Administration). But doing so places them in a ...


Preclusion Law As A Model For National Injunctions, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2018

Preclusion Law As A Model For National Injunctions, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


Excavating The Forgotten Suspension Clause, Helen Norton Jan 2018

Excavating The Forgotten Suspension Clause, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent ...


Suing The President For First Amendment Violations, Sonja R. West Jan 2018

Suing The President For First Amendment Violations, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

On any given day, it seems, President Donald Trump can be found attacking, threatening, or punishing the press and other individuals whose speech he dislikes. His actions, moreover, inevitably raise the question: Do any of these individuals or organizations (or any future ones) have a viable claim against the President for violating their First Amendment rights?

One might think that the ability to sue the President for violation of the First Amendment would be relatively settled. The answer, however, is not quite that straightforward. Due to several unique qualities about the First Amendment and the presidency, it is not entirely ...