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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The Aretaic Turn In Constitutional Theory, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2004

The Aretaic Turn In Constitutional Theory, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author argues that the aretaic turn in constitutional theory is an institutional approach to theories of constitutional interpretation ought to be supplemented by explicit focus on the virtues and vices of constitutional adjudicators. Part I, The Most Dysfunctional Branch, advances the speculative hypothesis that politicization of the judiciary has led the political branches to exclude consideration of virtue from the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justices and to select Justices on the basis of the strength of their commitment to particular positions on particular issues and the fervor of their ideological passions.

Part II, Institutionalism and Constitutional Interpretation ...


Sunsetting Judicial Opinions, Neal K. Katyal Jan 2004

Sunsetting Judicial Opinions, Neal K. Katyal

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Contemporary constitutional law, in its quest for judicial restraint, has primarily focused on "the how" of judging - what interpretive methods will constrain the decisionmaker? This Article, by contrast, focuses on the "when"- if there are reasons to think that today's judicial decisions might later prove to be problematic, then are there methods that alter the timing of those decisions' impact to produce better outcomes? This Article outlines one new method for judicial decisionmaking in the post-9/11 world. Informed by pervasive legislative practices, I contend that the Supreme Court should prospectively declare that some of its national security opinions ...


The Secret Life Of The Political Question Doctrine, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2004

The Secret Life Of The Political Question Doctrine, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

"Questions, in their nature political, or which are, by the constitution and laws, submitted to the executive, can never be made in this court."

The irony, of course, is that Marbury v. Madison, itself, "made" a political question, and the answer the Court gave was deeply political as well. As everyone reading this essay knows, the case arose out of a bitter political controversy, and the opinion for the Court was a carefully crafted political document - "a masterwork of indirection," according to Robert McCloskey's well-known characterization, "a brilliant example of Chief Justice Marshall's capacity to sidestep danger while ...


The Dark Side Of Grutter, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2004

The Dark Side Of Grutter, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Liberals have generally cheered the Supreme Court's decision in Grutter v. Bollinger as validating the continued use of affirmative action in the struggle against racial injustice. But the Supreme Court's modern race cases rest on a misunderstanding of the nature of contemporary racial discrimination. From Brown, to Bakke, to Grutter, the Court has advanced a colorblind conception of racial equality that treats race-conscious affirmative action as constitutionally suspect, because it deviates from an aspirational baseline of race neutrality that lies at the core of the equal protection clause. However, race neutrality is a hopelessly artificial concept in a ...


Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2004

Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Nelson Lund's article is entitled The Rehnquist Court's Pragmatic Approach to Civil Rights.' I raise three questions about his analysis, two of which take off from the phrasing of his title. First, calling the present Court the Rehnquist Court is obviously easy, and I do it myself in the subtitle of my forthcoming book. Professor Lund has of course taken his charge from the conveners of this Symposium, and I do not mean to criticize him for doing so. Still, it may be worth pointing out that convening a symposium that encourages people to think in terms of ...


Procedural Justice, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2004

Procedural Justice, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article begins in part I, Introduction, with two observations. First, the function of procedure is to particularize general substantive norms so that they can guide action. Second, the hard problem of procedural justice corresponds to the following question: How can we regard ourselves as obligated by legitimate authority to comply with a judgment that we believe (or even know) to be in error with respect to the substantive merits?

The theory of procedural justice is developed in several stages, beginning with some preliminary questions and problems. The first question--what is procedure?--is the most difficult and requires an extensive ...


Response To State Action And A New Birth Of Freedom, Robin West Jan 2004

Response To State Action And A New Birth Of Freedom, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

I have just a few comments. The first comment is a contribution to the ''analytic" question posed by Professor Black's work and made explicit by Professors Peller and Tushnet's paper. To make the case for the constitutional status of welfare rights, I do not think it is sufficient-although it may well be necessary-to show that the "state action" problem is merely a pseudo-problem, whatever the reason for finding it not to be a problem. I do not agree with one of the claims put forward by Peller and Tushnet,' that Black's perceptive analysis of the state action ...


The Moral Foundations Of Modern Libertarianism, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2004

The Moral Foundations Of Modern Libertarianism, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Libertarians no longer argue, as they once did in the 1970s, about whether libertarianism must be grounded on moral rights or on consequences; they no longer act as though they must choose between these two moral views. In this paper, the author contends that libertarians need not choose between moral rights and consequences because theirs is a political, not a moral, philosophy, one that can be shown to be compatible with various moral theories, which is one source of its appeal.

Moral theories based on either moral rights or on consequentialism purport to be comprehensive, insofar as they apply to ...