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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 ...


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 ...


The Shrinking Constitution Of Settlement, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

The Shrinking Constitution Of Settlement, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Sanford Levinson has famously distinguished between the "Constitution of Settlement" and the "Constitution of Conversation." The former comprises those aspects of the Constitution that are clear, well established, and resistant to creative interpretation. The latter comprises those aspects that are subject to ongoing litigation and debate. Although Americans tend to fixate on the Constitution of Conversation, Levinson argues that much of what ails our republic is attributable, at least in part, to the grossly undemocratic and "decidedly nonadaptive" Constitution of Settlement.

This short Article, prepared for a symposium on Levinson's coauthored book Democracy and Dysfunction, explains that the ...


Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many have argued that the United States' two major political parties have experienced "asymmetric polarization" in recent decades: The Republican Party has moved significantly further to the right than the Democratic Party has moved to the left. The practice of constitutional hardball, this Essay argues, has followed a similar – and causally related – trajectory. Since at least the mid-1990s, Republican officeholders have been more likely than their Democratic counterparts to push the constitutional envelope, straining unwritten norms of governance or disrupting established constitutional understandings. Both sides have done these things. But contrary to the apparent assumption of some legal scholars, they ...


The Democratic Deficit, Joseph Raz Jan 2018

The Democratic Deficit, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Why democracy? Institutions of government and others must meet conditions of legitimacy. Why? and what are they? what are principles of legitimacy, like the principle of subsidiarity? and how does democracy fit in a theory of legitimacy? The paper surveys what it takes to be the seven most important advantages of democratic government: civil and political rights, more extensive opportunities for people to engage in public affairs, responsiveness to the expressed preferences of the people, stability, peaceful transfer of power, loyalty and solidarity. It then considers the role of legitimation in securing these advantages. These reflection lead to the question ...


The Challenge Of The New Preemption, Richard Briffault Jan 2018

The Challenge Of The New Preemption, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The past decade has witnessed the emergence and rapid spread of a new and aggressive form of state preemption of local government action across a wide range of subjects, including inter alia firearms, workplace conditions, sanctuary cities, anti-discrimination laws, plastic bag bans, and menu labeling. Particularly striking are punitive measures that do not just preempt local ordinances but hit local officials or governments with criminal or civil fines, state aid cut-offs, or liability for damages, and broad preemption proposals that would virtually end local initiative over a wide range of subjects. The rise of the new preemption is closely linked ...


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 ...


How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From the moment Donald Trump was elected President, critics have anguished over a breakdown in constitutional norms. History demonstrates, however, that constitutional norms are perpetually in flux. The principal source of instability is not that these unwritten rules can be destroyed by politicians who deny their legitimacy, their validity, or their value. Rather, the principal source of instability is that constitutional norms can be decomposed – dynamically interpreted and applied in ways that are held out as compliant but end up limiting their capacity to constrain the conduct of government officials.

This Article calls attention to that latent instability and, in ...


The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of rulings that demonstrate the degree to which the First Amendment can be used to thwart economic and social welfare regulation – generating widespread accusations that the Court has created a "new Lochner." This introduction to the Columbia Law Review's Symposium on Free Expression in an Age of Inequality takes up three questions raised by these developments: Why has First Amendment law become such a prominent site for struggles over socioeconomic inequality? Does the First Amendment tradition contain egalitarian elements that could be recovered? And what might a ...


Introduction: Troubling Transparency, David E. Pozen, Michael Schudson Jan 2018

Introduction: Troubling Transparency, David E. Pozen, Michael Schudson

Faculty Scholarship

Transparency is a value in the ascendance. Across the globe, the past several decades have witnessed a spectacular explosion of legislative reforms and judicial decisions calling for greater disclosure about the workings of public institutions. Freedom of information laws have proliferated, claims of a constitutional or supra-constitutional "right to know" have become commonplace, and an international transparency lobby has emerged as a civil society powerhouse. Open government is seen today in many quarters as a foundation of, if not synonymous with, good government.

At the same time, a growing number of scholars, advocates, and regulators have begun to raise hard ...


Federalism All The Way Up: State Standing And 'The New Process Federalism', Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2017

Federalism All The Way Up: State Standing And 'The New Process Federalism', Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This short essay, responding to the Brennan Center Jorde Lecture, considers state challenges to the allocation of authority within the federal government and addresses state standing to bring such challenges.


Freedom Of Information Beyond The Freedom Of Information Act, David Pozen Jan 2017

Freedom Of Information Beyond The Freedom Of Information Act, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows any person to request any agency record for any reason. This model has been copied worldwide and celebrated as a structural necessity in a real democracy. Yet in practice, this Article argues, FOIA embodies a distinctively “reactionary” form of transparency. FOIA is reactionary in a straightforward, procedural sense in that disclosure responds to ad hoc demands for information. Partly because of this very feature, FOIA can also be seen as reactionary in a more substantive, political sense insofar as it saps regulatory capacity; distributes government goods in an inegalitarian fashion; and ...


Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack

Faculty Scholarship

For years, administrative law has been identified as the external review of agency action, primarily by courts. Following in the footsteps of pioneering administrative law scholars, a growing body of recent scholarship has begun to attend to the role of internal norms and structures in controlling agency action. This Article offers a conceptual and historical account of these internal forces as internal administrative law. Internal administrative law consists of the internal directives, guidance, and organizational forms through which agencies structure the discretion of their employees and presidents control the workings of the executive branch. It is the critical means for ...


The Abortion Closet (With A Note On Rules And Standards), David Pozen Jan 2017

The Abortion Closet (With A Note On Rules And Standards), David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This brief essay responds to Carol Sanger's book "About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First Century America." It draws out some implications of Sanger's arguments concerning abortion secrecy, abortion discourse, and the use of standards in constitutional abortion law.


The Future Of State Sovereignty, Joseph Raz Jan 2017

The Future Of State Sovereignty, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Advances in the legalisation of international relations, and the growing number of international organisations raise the question whether state sovereignty had its day. The paper defines sovereignty in a way that allows for degrees of sovereignty. Its analysis assumes that while sovereignty has become more limited, a trend which may continue, there is no sign that it is likely to disappear. The paper offers thoughts towards a normative analysis of these developments and the prospects they offer. Advocates of progress towards world government, while wise to many of current defects, are blind to the evils that a world government will ...


Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen Jan 2016

Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Prescriptive legal theories have a tendency to cannibalize themselves. As they develop into schools of thought, they become not only increasingly complicated but also increasingly compromised, by their own normative lights. Maturation breeds adulteration. The theories work themselves impure.

This Article identifies and diagnoses this evolutionary phenomenon. We develop a stylized model to explain the life cycle of certain particularly influential legal theories. We illustrate this life cycle through case studies of originalism, textualism, popular constitutionalism, and cost-benefit analysis, as well as a comparison with leading accounts of organizational and theoretical change in politics and science. And we argue that ...


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.


The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Substantive due process is notoriously regarded as a textual contradiction, but it is in fact redundant. The word “due” cannot be honored except by inquiring into the relationship between the nature and scope of the deprived interest and the process — whether judicial, administrative, or legislative — that attended the deprivation. The treatment of substantive due process as an oxymoron is what this Essay calls a constitutional meme, an idea that replicates through imitation within the constitutional culture rather than (necessarily) through logical persuasion. We might even call the idea a “precedent,” in the nature of other legal propositions within a common ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative “conscience clauses” are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath’s book-in-progress, The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution, offers a radical alternative to the constitutional histories that emerged in the 1990s to defend the New Deal synthesis. Fishkin and Forbath’s new constitutional history promises to recast the New Deal as a contingent and incomplete resolution of a centuries-long struggle to achieve the political-economic conditions that the Constitution requires – “requires” in the double sense of “demands” and “depends upon.” This struggle is still ongoing and even accelerating, Fishkin and Forbath report, yet it has become increasingly “one-sided.” First, the post-WWII economic boom dissipated, taking with it much of ...


The Challenges Of Fitting Principled Modern Government – A Unified Public Law – To An Eighteenth Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2016

The Challenges Of Fitting Principled Modern Government – A Unified Public Law – To An Eighteenth Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The papers presented at a fall 2016 conference at Cambridge University, The Unity of Public Law?, generally addressed issues of judicial review in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, often from a comparative perspective and the view that unifying impulses in “public law” arose from the common law. Accepting what Justice Harlan Fisk Stone once characterized as the ideal of “a unified system of judge-made and statute law woven into a seamless whole by [judges],” The Common Law in the United States, 50 Harvard L Rev 4 (1936), this paper considers a variety of issues that have complicated maintaining ...


The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2016

The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

A century ago and in the midst of American involvement in World War I, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes delivered one of the most influential lectures on the Constitution in wartime. It was in that address that he uttered his famous axiom that “the power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” That statement continues to echo in modern jurisprudence, though the background and details of the lecture have not previously been explored in detail. Drawing on Hughes’s own research notes, this Article examines his 1917 formulation and shows how Hughes presciently applied it to ...


Firearm Legislation And Firearm Mortality In The Usa: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study, Bindu Kalesan, Matthew Mobily, Olivia Keiser, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2016

Firearm Legislation And Firearm Mortality In The Usa: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study, Bindu Kalesan, Matthew Mobily, Olivia Keiser, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

In an effort to reduce firearm mortality rates in the USA, US states have enacted a range of firearm laws to either strengthen or deregulate the existing main federal gun control law, the Brady Law. We set out to determine the independent association of different firearm laws with overall firearm mortality, homicide firearm mortality, and suicide firearm mortality across all US states. We also projected the potential reduction of firearm mortality if the three most strongly associated firearm laws were enacted at the federal level.


Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2015

Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

A judicial decision striking down formalized discrimination marks a crucial moment for those it affects and, in some instances, for the surrounding society as well. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was unquestionably one of those instances. This essay considers the distinct ways in which the civil rights and social movements for marriage equality gave rise to this durable socio-political transformation. While some scholarship is skeptical about whether rights-focused advocacy can bring meaningful change to people’s day-to-day lives, I argue that the marriage equality movements demonstrate a synergistic relationship between law reform and social change efforts ...


Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law and financial regulation might be thought closely connected, sharing a focus on federal regulation and intertwined at key historical junctures such as the birth of the New Deal administrative state. Yet, oddly, in many ways these two fields stand today poles apart, divided not simply by their separation in law school curricula and faculty, but even more by opposite precepts and framing principles. Modern U.S. administrative law takes notice-and-comment rulemaking as the paradigmatic example of administrative action, with the goal of such regulation often being to compensate for market deficiencies. Accountability, particularly political accountability through presidential and ...


The President And The Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2015

The President And The Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Controversies surrounding President Obama’s use of his office, no less than his immediate predecessors, heighten the interest of two recently published books, Harold Bruff’s “Untrodden Ground: How Presidents Interpret the Constitution” and Heidi Kitrosser’s “Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency, Executive Power, and the U.S. Constitution.” This paper, written for a symposium held at Case Western University’s Law School shortly before either manuscript was finally published, draws on both in the service of a perception that the presidency exemplifies a tension that animates all of administrative law, between the worlds of law and politics. The aspiration to a ...


Article Ix: The Promise And Limits Of Home Rule, Richard Briffault Jan 2015

Article Ix: The Promise And Limits Of Home Rule, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Article IX of New York State’s constitution establishes the basic constitutional framework for addressing questions of local power, local government organization, and state-local and interlocal relations in the Empire State. Premised on a commitment to “[e]ffective local self-government,” the “home rule amendment” added to the state constitution in 1963 and unamended since then, has bolstered local control over local government organization and personnel and has provided a firmer foundation for local law-making in New York. But it has not succeeded in enabling New York’s local units – its counties, cities, towns and villages – to function as efficient, effective ...


Constitutional Bad Faith, David Pozen Jan 2015

Constitutional Bad Faith, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The concepts of good faith and bad faith play a central role in many areas of private law and international law. Typically associated with honesty, loyalty, and fair dealing, good faith is said to supply the fundamental principle of every legal system, if not the foundation of all law. With limited exceptions, however, good faith and bad faith go unmentioned in constitutional cases brought by or against government institutions. This doctrinal deficit is especially striking given that the U.S. Constitution twice refers to faithfulness and that insinuations of bad faith pervade constitutional discourse.

This Article investigates these points and ...


Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2015

Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From healthcare to marijuana to climate change, negotiations among federal and state executive branch actors increasingly set national policy in the United States. This executive federalism fits uneasily into existing understandings: it departs from expectations that Congress formulates national policy and mediates state-federal relationships; it poses a challenge to popular suggestions that the president is engaged in unilateral action; and it comes as a surprise to those who have studied executive federalism but insist it is the peculiar province of parliamentary federations. In an age of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and state initiative, executive federalism has come to America. After ...


Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This is one of two complementary essays for a symposium honoring the work of Peter L. Strauss. Also included is the joint introduction. (The second essay is Gillian Metzger, Agencies, Polarization, and the States.) These essays engage one of Strauss’s most germinal writings, “The Place of Agencies in Government: Separation of Powers and the Fourth Branch” to consider whether contemporary polarized politics spells the end of the intricate system of multi-branch control and accountability which, Strauss argued, legitimates administrative agencies. Political polarization has become a major focus in contemporary discussions on congressional activity and governance. The tone of these ...