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Personal Rights And Rule Dependence: Can The Two Co-Exist?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2000

Personal Rights And Rule Dependence: Can The Two Co-Exist?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional doctrine is typically "rule-dependent." Typically, a constitutional litigant will not prevail unless she can show that a particular kind of legal rule is in force, e.g., a rule that discriminates against "suspect classes" in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, or that targets speech in violation of the First Amendment, or that is motivated by a religious purpose in violation of the Establishment Clause. Further, the litigant must typically establish a violation of her "personal rights." The Supreme Court has consistently stated that a reviewing court should not invalidate an unconstitutional governmental action at the instance of a ...