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Full-Text Articles in Law

Law School News: 'Law Isn't A Foreign Language Anymore' 11/24/2020, Michael M. Bowden Nov 2020

Law School News: 'Law Isn't A Foreign Language Anymore' 11/24/2020, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Vertical Stare Decisis And Three-Judge District Courts, Michael T. Morley Feb 2020

Vertical Stare Decisis And Three-Judge District Courts, Michael T. Morley

Scholarly Publications

Three-judge federal district courts have jurisdiction over many issues central to our democratic system, including constitutional challenges to congressional and legislative districts, as well as to certain federal campaign-finance statutes. They are similarly responsible for enforcing key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Litigants often have the right to appeal their rulings directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of this unusual appellate process, courts and commentators disagree on whether such three-judge district court panels are bound by circuit precedent or instead are free to adjudicate these critical issues constrained only by U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

The applicability ...


Beholding Law: Amadeo On The Argentine Constitution, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, Erin F. Delaney Jan 2020

Beholding Law: Amadeo On The Argentine Constitution, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, Erin F. Delaney

Faculty Scholarship

This essay introduces an online edition of Santos P. Amadeo’s Argentine Constitutional Law to be published by the Academia Puertorriqueña de Jurisprudencia y Legislación. Tracing the book to its origins in a paper Amadeo wrote for a seminar in comparative constitutional law at Columbia Law School in the 1930s, we discuss the intellectual context that gave rise to the book and assess its author’s methodological choices. We then examine one particular substantive choice: Whereas the paper specifically draws attention to the importance of understanding every form of political subdivision in a federalist system – identifying Argentina’s as the ...


Rwu First Amendement Blog: Jared Goldstein's Blog: The First Amendment And The Foxy Lady 01-08-2019, Jared A. Goldstein Jan 2019

Rwu First Amendement Blog: Jared Goldstein's Blog: The First Amendment And The Foxy Lady 01-08-2019, Jared A. Goldstein

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn Jan 2019

Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn

Journal Articles

Courtroom sentencing, as part of the judicial process, is a long-standing norm in the justice system of the United States. But this basic criminal law precept is currently under quiet attack. This is because some states are now allowing parole boards to step in to decide criminal penalties without first affording defendants lawful judicial branch sentencing proceedings and sentences. These outside-of-court punishment decisions are occurring in the cases of youthful offenders entitled to sentencing relief under Miller v. Alabama, which outlawed automatic life-without-parole sentences for children. Thus, some Miller-impacted defendants are being sentenced by paroleboards as executive branch agents, rather ...


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 ...


Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Oct 2018

Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this essay is to leverage archival research, data and theoretical perspectives presented in our book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, as a means to illuminate the prospects for retrenchment in the current political landscape. We follow the scheme of the book by separately considering the prospects for federal litigation retrenchment in three lawmaking sites: Congress, federal court rulemaking under the Rules Enabling Act, and the Supreme Court. Although pertinent data on current retrenchment initiatives are limited, our historical data and comparative institutional perspectives should afford a basis for informed prediction. Of course, little in ...


Rwu First Amendment Blog: Jared Goldstein's Blog: Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling: No Constitutional Right To Discriminate (For Now) 06-05-2018, Jared A. Goldstein Jun 2018

Rwu First Amendment Blog: Jared Goldstein's Blog: Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling: No Constitutional Right To Discriminate (For Now) 06-05-2018, Jared A. Goldstein

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


Newsroom: Have We Outgrown Brown? 02-06-2018, Michael M. Bowden Feb 2018

Newsroom: Have We Outgrown Brown? 02-06-2018, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew Jan 2018

Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew

Faculty Scholarship

An historical approach to constitutional interpretation draws upon original intentions or understandings of the meaning or application of a constitutional provision. Comparing the ways in which courts in different jurisdictions use history is a complex exercise. In recent years, academic and judicial discussion of “originalism” has obscured both the global prevalence of resorting to historical materials as an interpretive resource and the impressive diversity of approaches courts may take to deploying those materials. This chapter seeks, in Section B, to develop a basic taxonomy of historical approaches. Section C explores in greater depth the practices of eight jurisdictions with constitutional ...


To Speak With One Voice: The Political Effects Of Centralizing The International Legal Defense Of The State, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Nov 2017

To Speak With One Voice: The Political Effects Of Centralizing The International Legal Defense Of The State, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

When a government official defends a case before an international court, whose interest should he/she be representing? In today’s era of expanding international treaties that give standing to individual claimants, international courts review the actions of different government actors through the yardsticks of international law. The state is not unitary; alleged victims can bring international claims against various government entities including the executive, the legislature, the administrative branch, and the judiciary. Yet, the international legal defense of government actions is in the hands of the executive power. This paper focuses on the consequences of this centralization for inter-branch ...


Reciprocal Legitimation In The Federal Courts System, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2017

Reciprocal Legitimation In The Federal Courts System, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

Much scholarship in law and political science has long understood the U.S. Supreme Court to be the “apex” court in the federal judicial system, and so to relate hierarchically to “lower” federal courts. On that top-down view, exemplified by the work of Alexander Bickel and many subsequent scholars, the Court is the principal, and lower federal courts are its faithful agents. Other scholarship takes a bottom-up approach, viewing lower federal courts as faithless agents or analyzing the “percolation” of issues in those courts before the Court decides. This Article identifies circumstances in which the relationship between the Court and ...


Historical Gloss, Constitutional Convention, And The Judicial Separation Of Powers, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2017

Historical Gloss, Constitutional Convention, And The Judicial Separation Of Powers, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have increasingly focused on the relevance of post-Founding historical practice to discern the separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch, and the Supreme Court has recently endorsed the relevance of such practice. Much less attention has been paid, however, to the relevance of historical practice to discerning the separation of powers between the political branches and the federal judiciary — what this Article calls the “judicial separation of powers.” As the Article explains, there are two ways that historical practice might be relevant to the judicial separation of powers. First, such practice might be invoked as an appeal ...


Rethinking Judicial Minimalism: Abortion Politics, Party Polarization, And The Consequences Of Returning The Constitution To Elected Government, Neal Devins May 2016

Rethinking Judicial Minimalism: Abortion Politics, Party Polarization, And The Consequences Of Returning The Constitution To Elected Government, Neal Devins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Our Prescriptive Judicial Power: Constitutive And Entrenchment Effects Of Historical Practice In Federal Courts Law, Ernest A. Young Jan 2016

Our Prescriptive Judicial Power: Constitutive And Entrenchment Effects Of Historical Practice In Federal Courts Law, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars examining the use of historical practice in constitutional adjudication have focused on a few high-profile separation-of-powers disputes, such as the recent decisions in NLRB v. Noel Canning and Zivotofsky v. Kerry. This essay argues that “big cases make bad theory” — that the focus on high-profile cases of this type distorts our understanding of how historical practice figures in constitutional adjudication more generally. I shift focus here to the more prosaic terrain of federal courts law, in which practice plays a pervasive role. That shift reveals two important insights: First, while historical practice plays an important constitutive role, structuring and ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae Federal Courts Scholars And Southeastern Legal Foundation In Support Of Respondents, Kimberly S. Hermann, Ernest A. Young Jan 2016

Brief Of Amici Curiae Federal Courts Scholars And Southeastern Legal Foundation In Support Of Respondents, Kimberly S. Hermann, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Spelling Out Spokeo, Craig Konnoth, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2016

Spelling Out Spokeo, Craig Konnoth, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For almost five decades, the injury-in-fact requirement has been a mainstay of Article III standing doctrine. Critics have attacked the requirement as incoherent and unduly malleable. But the Supreme Court has continued to announce “injury in fact” as the bedrock of justiciability. In Spokeo v. Robins, the Supreme Court confronted a high profile and recurrent conflict regarding the standing of plaintiffs claiming statutory damages. It clarified some matters, but remanded the case for final resolution. This Essay derives from the cryptic language of Spokeo a six stage process (complete with flowchart) that represents the Court’s current equilibrium. We put ...


Reverse Nullification And Executive Discretion, Michael T. Morley May 2015

Reverse Nullification And Executive Discretion, Michael T. Morley

Scholarly Publications

The President has broad discretion to refrain from enforcing many civil and criminal laws, either in general or under certain circumstances. The Supreme Court has not only affirmed the constitutionality of such under-enforcement, but extolled its virtues. Most recently, in Arizona v. United States, it deployed the judicially created doctrines of obstacle and field preemption to invalidate state restrictions on illegal immigrants that mirrored federal law, in large part to ensure that states do not undermine the effects of the President’s decision to refrain from fully enforcing federal immigration provisions.

Such a broad application of obstacle and field preemption ...


Courtroom To Classroom: Judicial Policymaking And Affirmative Action, Dylan Britton Saul Apr 2015

Courtroom To Classroom: Judicial Policymaking And Affirmative Action, Dylan Britton Saul

Political Science Honors Projects

The judicial branch, by exercising judicial review, can replace public policies with ones of their own creation. To test the hypothesis that judicial policymaking is desirable only when courts possess high capacity and necessity, I propose an original model incorporating six variables: generalism, bi-polarity, minimalism, legitimization, structural impediments, and public support. Applying the model to a comparative case study of court-sanctioned affirmative action policies in higher education and K-12 public schools, I find that a lack of structural impediments and bi-polarity limits the desirability of judicial race-based remedies in education. Courts must restrain themselves when engaging in such policymaking.


The Future Of The Foreign Commerce Clause, Scott Sullivan Mar 2015

The Future Of The Foreign Commerce Clause, Scott Sullivan

Journal Articles

The Foreign Commerce Clause has been lost, subsumed by its interstate cousin, and overshadowed in foreign relations by the treaty power. Consistent with its original purpose and the implied, but unrefined view asserted by the judiciary, this Article articulates a broader and deeper Foreign Commerce power than is popularly understood. It reframes doctrinal considerations for a reinvigorated Foreign Commerce Clause--both as an independent power and in alliance with other coordinate foreign affairs powers--and demonstrates that increasing global complexity and interdependence makes broad and deep federal authority under this power crucial to effective and efficient action in matters of national concern.


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range ...


Reconceptualizing Non-Article Iii Tribunals, Jaime Dodge Jan 2015

Reconceptualizing Non-Article Iii Tribunals, Jaime Dodge

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court’s Article III doctrine is built upon an explicit assumption that Article III must accommodate non-Article III tribunals in order to allow Congress to “innovate” by creating new procedural structures to further its substantive regulatory goals. In this Article, I challenge that fundamental assumption. I argue that each of the types of non-Article III innovation and the underlying procedural goals cited by the Court can be obtained through our Article III courts. The Article then demonstrates that these are not theoretical or hypothetical solutions, but instead are existing structures already in place within Article III. Demonstrating that ...


Retaliation And The Reasonable Person, Sandra F. Sperino Jan 2015

Retaliation And The Reasonable Person, Sandra F. Sperino

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

When a worker complains about discrimination, federal law is supposed to protect that worker from later retaliation. Recent scholarly attention focuses on how courts limit retaliation claims by narrowly framing the causation inquiry. A larger threat to retaliation law is developing in the lower courts. Courts are declaring a wide swath of conduct as insufficiently serious to constitute retaliation.

Many courts hold that it is legal for an employer to threaten to fire a worker, to place the worker on administrative leave, or to negatively evaluate the worker because she complained about discriminatory conduct. Even if the worker has evidence ...


Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2015

Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman

All Faculty Scholarship

With the advent of DNA testing, numerous issues have arisen with regard to obtaining and using evidence developed from such testing. As courts have come to regard DNA testing as a reliable method for linking some people to crimes and for exonerating others, these issues are especially significant. The federal government and most states have enacted statutes that permit or direct the testing of those convicted of at least certain crimes. Courts have almost universally approved such testing, rejecting arguments that obtaining and using such evidence violates the Fourth Amendment.

More recently governments have enacted laws permitting or directing the ...


Inferiority Complex: Should State Courts Follow Lower Federal Court Precedent On The Meaning Of Federal Law?, Amanda Frost Jan 2015

Inferiority Complex: Should State Courts Follow Lower Federal Court Precedent On The Meaning Of Federal Law?, Amanda Frost

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The conventional wisdom is that state courts need not follow lower federal court precedent when interpreting federal law. Upon closer inspection, however, the question of how state courts should treat lower federal court precedent is not so clear. Although most state courts now take the conventional approach, a few contend that they are obligated to follow the lower federal courts, and two federal courts of appeals have declared that their decisions are binding on state courts. The Constitution’s text and structure send mixed messages about the relationship between state and lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court has never ...


The Right To Vote Under State Constitutions, Joshua A. Douglas Jan 2014

The Right To Vote Under State Constitutions, Joshua A. Douglas

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This Article provides the first comprehensive look at state constitutional provisions explicitly granting the right to vote. We hear that the right to vote is "fundamental," the "essence of a democratic society," and "preservative of all rights." But courts and scholars are still searching for a solution to the puzzle of how best to protect voting rights, especially because the U.S. Supreme Court has underenforced the right to vote. The answer, however, is right in front of us: state constitutions. Virtually every state constitution includes direct, explicit language granting the right to vote, as contrasted with the U.S ...


Factual Precedents, Allison Orr Larsen Dec 2013

Factual Precedents, Allison Orr Larsen

Faculty Publications

Lawyers and judges speak to each other in a language of precedents—decisions from cases that have come before. The most persuasive precedent to cite, of course, is an on-point decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. But Supreme Court opinions are changing. They contain more factual claims about the world than ever before, and those claims are now rich with empirical data. This Supreme Court factfinding is also highly accessible; fast digital research leads directly to factual language in old cases that is perfect for arguments in new ones. An unacknowledged consequence of all this is the rise of ...


Eyes In The Sky: Constitutional And Regulatory Approaches To Domestic Drone Deployment, Hillary B. Farber Jan 2013

Eyes In The Sky: Constitutional And Regulatory Approaches To Domestic Drone Deployment, Hillary B. Farber

Faculty Publications

This article begins with a current look at the deployment of drones domestically, both in terms of their use and the procedure for attaining approval for flight. Part II examines the capabilities of drones. Part III considers the Supreme Court's current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and its application to law enforcement's use of drones. Part IV reviews existing and proposed federal and state regulation of drones. Part V offers constitutional and legislative prescriptions for regulating drones.


Institutional Choice In An Economic Crisis, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2013

Institutional Choice In An Economic Crisis, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Neil Komesar’s work has transformed our understanding of how institutional analysis should be done. There is one very surprising omission from the breathtaking range of Komesar’s oeuvre, however: he has never directly applied his framework to crises. My aim in this Article is to advance, at least in a small way, our understanding of institutional choice during and after an economic crisis. Part I very briefly revisits the recent crisis, emphasizing its institutional dimensions. Part II identifies three puzzles posed by a crisis for standard Komesarian analysis. Part III then shows how Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule’s ...


New Technologies And Constitutional Law, Thomas Fetzer, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2012

New Technologies And Constitutional Law, Thomas Fetzer, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.