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Georgetown University Law Center

Fourteenth Amendment

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Who's Afraid Of Unenumerated Rights?, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2006

Who's Afraid Of Unenumerated Rights?, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Unenumerated rights are expressly protected against federal infringement by the original meaning of the Ninth Amendment and against state infringement by the original meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Despite this textual recognition, unenumerated rights have received inconsistent and hesitant protection ever since these provisions were enacted, and what protection they do receive is subject to intense criticism. In this essay, the author examines why some are afraid to enforce unenumerated rights. While this reluctance seems most obviously to stem from the uncertainty of ascertaining the content of unenumerated rights, he contends that underlying this ...


Are There Nothing But Texts In This Class? Interpreting The Interpretive Turns In Legal Thought, Robin West Jan 2000

Are There Nothing But Texts In This Class? Interpreting The Interpretive Turns In Legal Thought, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Allan Hutchinson remarks at the beginning of his interesting article that Gadamer's writings have had only a peripheral influence on legal scholarship -- only occasionally cited, and then begrudgingly so, and never given the serious attention they deserve or require. Nevertheless, Hutchinson acknowledges, Gadamerian influences can be noted -- particularly in the now widely shared understanding that adjudication is, fundamentally, an interpretive exercise. Even with this qualification, though, I think Hutchinson understates Gadamer's impact. Whatever may be true of Gadamer's influence in other disciplines, his influence in law has been unambiguously both broad and deep -- although it has come ...


Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West Jan 1997

Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Ronald Dworkin has done more than any other constitutional lawyer, past or present, to impress upon us the importance of integrity to constitutional law, and hence to our shared public life. Far from being merely a private virtue, Dworkin has shown that integrity imposes constraints upon and provides guidance to the work of judges in constitutional cases: Every constitutional case that comes before a court must be decided by recourse to the same moral principles that have dictated results in relevant similar cases in the past. Any group or individual challenging the constitutionality of legislation which adversely affects his or ...


The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West Jan 1990

The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The turn to hermeneutics and interpretation in contemporary legal theory has contributed at least two central ideas to modern jurisprudential thought: first, that the "meaning" of a text is invariably indeterminate -- what might be called the indeterminacy claim -- and second, that the unavoidably malleable essence of texts -- their essential inessentiality -- entails that interpreting a text is a necessary part of the process of creating the text's meaning. These insights have generated both considerable angst, and considerable excitement among traditional constitutional scholars, primarily because at least on first blush these two claims seem to inescapably imply a third: that the ...