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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2018

Constitutional Law

Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...