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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2019

Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court ordinarily supports its establishment of major constitutional principles with detailed justifications in its opinions. On occasion, however, the Court proceeds in a very different way, issuing landmark pronouncements without giving any supportive reasons at all. This Article documents the recurring character and deep importance of these “quietrevolution rulings” in constitutional law. It shows that—however surprising it might seem—rulings of this sort have played key roles in shaping incorporation; reverse incorporation; congressional power; federal courts; and freedom-ofspeech, freedom-of-religion, and equal-protection law. According to the synthesis offered here, these rulings fall into two categories. One set of ...


Law Library Blog (January 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2018

Law Library Blog (January 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Artis V. District Of Columbia—What Did The Court Actually Say?, Doron M. Kalir Jan 2018

Artis V. District Of Columbia—What Did The Court Actually Say?, Doron M. Kalir

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

On January 22, 2018, the Supreme Court issued Artis v. District of Columbia. A true "clash of the titans," this 5-4 decision featured colorful comments on both sides, claims of "absurdities," uncited use of Alice in Wonderland vocabulary ("curiouser," anyone?), and an especially harsh accusation by the dissent that "we’ve wandered so far from the idea of a federal government of limited and enumerated powers that we’ve begun to lose sight of what it looked like in the first place."

One might assume that the issue in question was a complex constitutional provision, or a dense, technical federal ...


Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards Jan 2017

Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards

Scholarly Works

On January 4, 2016, over 112 women lawyers, law professors, and former judges told the world that they had had an abortion. In a daring amicus brief that captured national media attention, the women “came out” to their clients; to the lawyers with or against whom they practice; to the judges before whom they appear; and to the Justices of the Supreme Court.

The past three years have seen an explosion of such “voices briefs,” 16 in Obergefell and 17 in Whole Woman’s Health. The briefs can be powerful, but their use is controversial. They tell the stories of ...


Judicial Activism’S Effect On Judicial Elections, Nick Fernandes May 2015

Judicial Activism’S Effect On Judicial Elections, Nick Fernandes

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

High profile Supreme Court cases have become increasingly commonplace, particularly with the Citizens United court decision granting unprecedented rights to corporations. Many in the media have decried these as examples of increasing “judicial activism”. This trend has trickled down to the state supreme courts as justices have increasingly played a more active role in developing policy. Gay marriage has become legalized in numerous states due to this trend. While public sentiment is unlikely to affect the appointed Supreme Court, it could have a substantial impact on state judicial elections.

This paper will specifically be looking at judicial elections in Kentucky ...


The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson Apr 2015

The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson

All Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s attempt to create a standard for evaluating whether the Establishment Clause is violated by religious governmental speech, such as the public display of the Ten Commandments or the Pledge of Allegiance, is a total failure. The Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence has been termed “convoluted,” “a muddled mess,” and “a polite lie.” Unwilling to either allow all governmental religious speech or ban it entirely, the Court is in need of a coherent standard for distinguishing the permissible from the unconstitutional. Thus far, no Justice has offered such a standard.

A careful reading of the history of ...


Disappearing Claims And The Erosion Of Substantive Law, J. Maria Glover Jan 2015

Disappearing Claims And The Erosion Of Substantive Law, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court’s arbitration jurisprudence from the last five years represents the culmination of a three-decade-long expansion of the use of private arbitration as an alternative to court adjudication in the resolution of disputes of virtually every type of justiciable claim. Because privatizing disputes that would otherwise be public may well erode public confidence in public institutions and the judicial process, many observers have linked this decades-long privatization of dispute resolution to an erosion of the public realm. Here, I argue that the Court’s recent arbitration jurisprudence undermines the substantive law itself.

While this shift from dispute resolution ...


A Deer In Headlights: The Supreme Court, Lgbt Rights, And Equal Protection, Nan D. Hunter Jan 2015

A Deer In Headlights: The Supreme Court, Lgbt Rights, And Equal Protection, Nan D. Hunter

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this essay, I argue that the problems with how courts apply Equal Protection principles to classifications not already recognized as suspect reach beyond the most immediate example of sexual orientation. Three structural weaknesses drive the juridical reluctance to bring coherence to this body of law: two doctrinal and one theoretical. The first doctrinal problem is that the socio-political assumptions that the 1938 Supreme Court relied on in United States v. Carolene Products, Inc. to justify strict scrutiny for “discrete and insular minorities” have lost their validity. In part because of Roe v. Wade-induced PTSD, the courts have not ...


Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the last weeks in June, 2015, as the present term of the U.S. Supreme Court drew to a close, many controversial and important decisions were handed down by the Court. The substance of the decisions has been written about extensively. Two of the decisions in particular, though, caught my eye as a teacher of legal techniques, not for the importance of the subject of the particular decision, but for what they may illustrate in a teachable fashion about at least some opinion writing. The two cases are Ohio v. Clark (June 18, 2015) interpreting the Confrontation Clause of ...


Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the title suggests, the article examines Morrison’s creation of the rule that the Section Five power cannot be used to regulate private individuals. This is one of the most meaningful and, thus far, durable constraints that the Court has placed on federal power. It is the more surprising, then, that it turns out to be based on essentially nothing at all. The Morrison Court asserted that its rule was derived by—indeed, “controlled by”—precedent, but a closer reading of the Reconstruction-era decisions it cites shows that this is simply not the case. An independent evaluation of the ...


Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse May 2013

Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this writing, the author applies a “decision theory” of statutory interpretation, elaborated recently in the Yale Law Journal, to Professor William Eskridge’s illustrative case, Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon. In the course of this application, she takes issue with the conventional wisdom that purposivism, as a method of statutory interpretation, is inevitably a more virtuous model of statutory interpretation. First, the author questions whether we have a clear enough jurisprudential picture both of judicial discretion and legal as opposed to political normativity. Second, she argues that, under decision theory, Sweet Home is ...


The New Textualism, Progressive Constitutionalism, And Abortion Rights: A Reply To Jeffrey Rosen, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2013

The New Textualism, Progressive Constitutionalism, And Abortion Rights: A Reply To Jeffrey Rosen, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Bond V. United States: Can The President Increase Congress's Legislative Power By Entering Into A Treaty?, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2013

Bond V. United States: Can The President Increase Congress's Legislative Power By Entering Into A Treaty?, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The proposition that treaties can increase the power of Congress is inconsistent with the text of the Treaty Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Tenth Amendment. It is inconsistent with the fundamental structural principle that "[t]he powers of the legislature are defined, and limited."S It implies, insidiously, that that the President and the Senate can increase their own power by treaty. And it implies, bizarrely, that the President alone--or a foreign government alone--can decrease Congress's power and render federal statutes unconstitutional. Finally, it creates a doubly perverse incentive: an incentive to enter into foreign entanglements ...


The Last Common Law Justice: The Personal Jurisdiction Jurisprudence Of Justice John Paul Stevens, Rodger D. Citron Apr 2011

The Last Common Law Justice: The Personal Jurisdiction Jurisprudence Of Justice John Paul Stevens, Rodger D. Citron

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Supreme Court Criminal Law Jurisprudence: Fair Trials, Cruel Punishment, And Ethical Lawyering—October 2009 Term, Richard Klein Jan 2011

Supreme Court Criminal Law Jurisprudence: Fair Trials, Cruel Punishment, And Ethical Lawyering—October 2009 Term, Richard Klein

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Roberts’ Rules: The Assertiveness Of Rules-Based Jurisprudence, Joseph Blocher Jan 2011

Roberts’ Rules: The Assertiveness Of Rules-Based Jurisprudence, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2011

Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the pilot episode of the hit television show CSI, Grissom says to Warrick: "Concentrate on what cannot lie. The evidence." Although Grissom is a beloved figure in U.S. popular culture, the U.S. is currently unwilling to accept that evidence never lies. In stark contrast to Grissom's statement, the common law has a long history of allowing criminal defendants to cross-examine and question witnesses providing evidence against them. The right to confront an accusatory witness is reflected in the historical legal documents of Great Britain, in Shakespearean writing, and even in the Bible. In the United States ...


Converging Trajectories: Interest Convergence, Justice Kennedy, And Jeannie Suk's "The Trajectory Of Trauma", Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2010

Converging Trajectories: Interest Convergence, Justice Kennedy, And Jeannie Suk's "The Trajectory Of Trauma", Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

This essay responds to Jeannie Suk's recent article in the Columbia Law Review, The Trajectory of Trauma: Bodies and Minds of Abortion Discourse. Suk argues that feminists are responsible for legitimizing a paternalistic attitude towards women that came home to roost in Gonzales v. Carhart. This essay argues that Suk's critique of feminist paternalism needs to be supplemented with a discussion of traditional paternalism and its influence on how feminist advocacy enters the law. In particular, it suggests that Derrick Bell's theory of interest convergence provides a useful framework for understanding the cultural, legal, and rhetorical evidence ...


Disparate Impact, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2010

Disparate Impact, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There has been a lot of talk about post-racialism since the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States. Some have argued that the Obama election illustrates the evolution of the United States from its unfortunate racist past to a more admirable post-racial present in which the problem of invidious racial discrimination has largely been overcome. Others have argued that the Obama election illustrates only that an extraordinarily gifted, mixed-race, multiple Ivy League graduate, Harvard Law Review President was able to overcome the persistent discriminatory racial practices that continue to disadvantage the bulk of ...


Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters Oct 2008

Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters

All Faculty Scholarship

In this contribution to a Wayne Law Review symposium on the first three years of the Roberts Court, the author normatively assesses the Court's practice of "under-the-table overruling," or "underruling," in high-profile constitutional cases involving abortion, campaign-finance reform, and affirmative action. The Court "underrules" when it renders a decision that undercuts a recent precedent without admitting that it is doing so. The author contends that underruling either is not supported by, or is directly incompatible with, three common rationales for constitutional stare decisis: the noninstrumental rationale, the predictability rationale, and the legitimacy rationale. In particular, while the latter rationale ...


Checks And Balances: Congress And The Federal Court, Paul D. Carrington Jan 2006

Checks And Balances: Congress And The Federal Court, Paul D. Carrington

Faculty Scholarship

This essay was published as a chapter in Reforming the Supreme Court: Term Limits for Justices (Paul D. Carrington & Roger Cramton eds, Carolina Academic Press 2006). Its point is that Congress has long neglected its duty implicit in the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers to constrain the tendency of the Court, the academy and the legal profession to inflate the Court's status and power. The term "life tenure" is a significant source of a sense of royal status having not only the adverse cultural effects noted by Nagel, but also doleful effects on the administration and enforcement of ...


Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 2005

Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Robert Kaczorowski argues for an expansive originalist interpretation of Congressional power under the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Civil War Congress actually exercised, and the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld plenary Congressional power to enforce the constitutional rights of slaveholders. After the Civil War, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment copied the antebellum statutes and exercised plenary power to enforce the constitutional rights of all American citizens when they enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then incorporated the Act into the Fourteenth Amendment. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment thereby exercised the plenary power the Rehnquist Court claims the ...


Constitutionalization, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2005

Constitutionalization, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Students of constitutional law tend to suspect pretty early on that the Constitution simply means whatever the Supreme Court says that it means. Rather than fight that intuition, I think it is best to treat the student insight as one of the basic starting assumptions when teaching a course in Constitutional Law. The goal then becomes to help students figure out how best to maneuver and feel comfortable in a legal universe where the Constitution has only contingent meaning.

What the Supreme Court does when it clothes its political policy preferences in the garb of constitutional law can be described ...


Resorting To External Norms And Principles In Constitutional Decision-Making, Alvin L. Goldman Jan 2004

Resorting To External Norms And Principles In Constitutional Decision-Making, Alvin L. Goldman

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Given the very significant role of constitutional law in the American political system and the fact that Supreme Court Justices are appointed through a political process, it is understandable that the appropriate judicial approach to resolving constitutional issues often is the subject of political commentary. Unfortunately, discourse by politicians concerning this issue seldom rises to the deserved level of wisdom. One of President George W. Bush's public mantras is illustrative of political commentary respecting federal judicial appointments: "I'm going to put strict constructionists on the bench." On its face, and as understood by politically naive audiences, the statement ...


The Effect Of The Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence On Environmental Citizen Suits: Gotcha!, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2003

The Effect Of The Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence On Environmental Citizen Suits: Gotcha!, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The current Supreme Court has substantially expanded the scope of protection from lawsuits accorded to states by the Eleventh Amendment and narrowed the exceptions to its application. As a result, many people are finding they are unable to vindicate federal rights in any court when the defendant is a state or a state agency. The most recent example of this is the Court's decision in South Carolina State Ports Authority v. Federal Maritime Commission, in which the Court extended the reach of the Eleventh Amendment to private administrative enforcement actions against states, thus forsaking completely any connection to the ...


Treaties And The Eleventh Amendment, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2002

Treaties And The Eleventh Amendment, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court's recent invigoration of federalism doctrine has revived a question that had long lain dormant in constitutional law: whether and to what extent federalism limits apply to exercises of the Treaty Power. In the days before the famous switch in time that saved nine, the Court in Missouri v. Holland upheld a statute passed by Congress to implement a treaty even though it assumed that the statute would exceed Congress's legislative power under Article I in the absence of the treaty. The significance of this holding abated considerably when the Court embraced a broader interpretation of ...


When The Wall Has Fallen: Decades Of Failure In The Supervision Of Capital Juries, José F. Anderson Jan 2000

When The Wall Has Fallen: Decades Of Failure In The Supervision Of Capital Juries, José F. Anderson

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the return of capital punishment after Furman v. Georgia nearly three decades ago, the Supreme Court of the United States has struggled to control the administration of capital punishment when those decisions are made or recommended by a citizen jury. Although there is no constitutional requirement that a jury participate in the death penalty process, most states do provide, through their capital punishment statutes, that a jury will participate in the decision. The preference for jury sentencing in these circumstances reflects a reluctance to leave power over life solely in the hands of one judge. Still, some scholars have ...


Agency, Equality, And Antidiscrimination Law , Tracy E. Higgins, Laura A. Rosenbury Jan 1999

Agency, Equality, And Antidiscrimination Law , Tracy E. Higgins, Laura A. Rosenbury

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court increasingly has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause as a mandate for the state to treat citizens as if they were equal-as a limitation on the state's ability to draw distinctions on the basis of characteristics such as race and, to a lesser extent, gender. In the context of race, the Court has struck down not only race-specific policies designed to harm the historically oppressed, but race conscious policies designed to foster racial equality. Although in theory the Court has left open the possibility that benign uses of race may be constitutional under some set of facts ...


Understanding Mahon In Historical Context, William Michael Treanor Jan 1998

Understanding Mahon In Historical Context, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Despite its enormous influence on constitutional law, Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon is just such an opinion; the primary purpose of the author’s article Jam for Justice Holmes: Reassessing the Significance of Mahon is to clarify Holmes's intent by placing the opinion in historical context and in the context of Holmes's other opinions. While other scholars have also sought to place Mahon in context, his account differs in large part because of its recognition, as part of the background of Mahon, of a separate line of cases involving businesses affected with a public interest.

The author argues ...


Whose Federalism, S. Elizabeth Malloy Jan 1998

Whose Federalism, S. Elizabeth Malloy

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Article examines briefly the Seminole Tribe and City of Boerne decisions. Part II then focuses on the ADA and the reasons why Congress made it applicable to government conduct as well as private conduct. Finally, Part III examines the argument, based on the new federalism, that the ADA should not apply to state entities. It does not appear that the Court's new federalism has had a liberty-enhancing effect for some of the most vulnerable persons in our society. The Court's revitalized federalism jurisprudence has led to questions about the continuing validity of many of our civil rights ...