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2006

College of William & Mary Law School

Federalism

Family Law

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Constitutional Thematics And The Peculiar Federal Marriage Amendment, Scott Dodson Jan 2006

Constitutional Thematics And The Peculiar Federal Marriage Amendment, Scott Dodson

Faculty Publications

These symposium remarks are a discussion of themes running through the Constitution, how the FMA, if adopted, might affect those themes, and why we ought to care. I first demonstrate that our Constitution is a thematic document, filled with broad, recognizable, and (mostly) coherent concepts. Separation of powers, representative democracy, federalism, individual liberty, and equality come readily to mind. I then explain that the thematic nature and the inter-coherence of these themes is critical in two ways: to identify those values held to be fundamental in our society, and to assist in the interpretation of the Constitution. The themes in ...