Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Legal History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Resisting In Process: Human Beings Ensnared In The Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850 (A Working Collection), Daniel Farbman Oct 2019

Resisting In Process: Human Beings Ensnared In The Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850 (A Working Collection), Daniel Farbman

Dan Farbman

No abstract provided.


Correspondence: The Stuff Of Constitutional Law, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Correspondence: The Stuff Of Constitutional Law, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


Government Lawyers And The New Deal, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Government Lawyers And The New Deal, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


The Paradox Of Auxiliary Rights: The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

The Paradox Of Auxiliary Rights: The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

According to Locke's theory of the social contract, which was widely accepted by the Founders, political authority is limited by those natural moral rights that individuals reserve against the government. In this Article, I argue that Locke's theory generates paradoxical conclusions concerning the government's authority over civil disobedients, that is, people who resist the government because they believe it is violating reserved moral rights. If the government lacks the authority to compel the civil disobedient to abide by its laws, the result is anarchism: The limits on governmental authority are whatever each individual says they are. If ...


Congress As Culprit: How Lawmakers Spurred On The Court's Anti-Congress Crusade, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Congress As Culprit: How Lawmakers Spurred On The Court's Anti-Congress Crusade, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


The Rhetorical Uses Of Marbury V. Madison: The Emergence Of A "Great Case", Davison M. Douglas Sep 2019

The Rhetorical Uses Of Marbury V. Madison: The Emergence Of A "Great Case", Davison M. Douglas

Davison M. Douglas

Marbury v. Madison is today indisputably one of the "great cases" of American constitutional law because of its association with the principle of judicial review. But for much of its history, Marbury has not been regarded as a seminal decision. Between 1803 and 1887, the Supreme Court never once cited Marbury for the principle of judicial review, and nineteenth century constitutional law treatises were far more likely to cite Marbury for the decision's discussion of writs of mandamus or the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction than for its discussion of judicial review. During the late nineteenth century, however, the ...


How Should Elected Judges Interpret Statutes?, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Sep 2019

How Should Elected Judges Interpret Statutes?, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

No abstract provided.


Think You Know A Lot About Our Constitution?, Jesse Rutledge, Allison Orr Larsen Sep 2019

Think You Know A Lot About Our Constitution?, Jesse Rutledge, Allison Orr Larsen

Allison Orr Larsen

You may know that it was signed in Philadelphia in 1787, that the oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin and that it doesn’t include the word “democracy.” William & Mary Law Professor Allison Orr Larsen, an expert in constitutional law, can tell you a lot more about it. With Constitution Day (Sept. 17, 2018) upon us, Professor Larsen talks about the document’s strengths and weaknesses and its major misconceptions. And she discusses what she thinks will have to happen before it is amended again.


The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber Aug 2019

The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A Farber

At the end of the summer of 1787, the Philadelphia Convention issued two documents. One was the Constitution itself. The other document, now almost forgotten even by constitutional historians, was an official letter to Congress, signed by George Washington on behalf of the Convention. Congress responded with a resolution that the Constitution and "letter accompanying the same" be sent to the state legislatures for submission to conventions in each state.

The Washington letter lacks the detail and depth of some other evidence of original intent. Being a cover letter, it was designed only to introduce the accompanying document rather than ...


Consequences Of Supreme Court Decisions Upholding Individual Constitutional Rights, Jesse H. Choper Aug 2019

Consequences Of Supreme Court Decisions Upholding Individual Constitutional Rights, Jesse H. Choper

Jesse H Choper

The thrust of this Article is to attempt to ascertain just what differences the Court's judgments upholding individual constitutional rights have made for those who fall within the ambit of their protection. It seeks to address such questions as: What were the conditions that existed before the Court's ruling? How many people were subject to the regime that was invalidated by the Justices? Was the Court's mandate successfully implemented? What were the consequences for those affected? At a subjective level, were the repercussions perceived as salutary by those (or at least most of those) who were the ...


The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis Jun 2019

The Declaration Of Independence And Constitutional Interpretation, Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis

This Article argues that the Reconstruction Amendments incorporated the human dignity values of the Declaration of Independence. The original Constitution contained clauses, which protected the institution of slavery, that were irreconcilable with the normative commitments the nation had undertaken at independence. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments set the country aright by formally incorporating the Declaration of Independence's principles for representative governance into the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence provides valuable insights into matters of human dignity, privacy, and self-government. Its statements about human rights, equality, and popular sovereignty establish a foundational rule of interpretation. While the Supreme Court ...


What's A Judge To Do? Remedying The Remedy In Institutional Reform Litigation, Susan Poser Jun 2019

What's A Judge To Do? Remedying The Remedy In Institutional Reform Litigation, Susan Poser

Susan Poser

Democracy by Decree is the latest contribution to a scholarly literature, now nearly thirty-years old, which questions whether judges have the legitimacy and the capacity to oversee the remedial phase of institutional reform litigation. Previous contributors to this literature have come out on one side or the other of the legitimacy and capacity debate. Abram Chayes, Owen Fiss, and more recently, Malcolm Feeley and Edward Rubin, have all argued that the proper role of judges is to remedy rights violations and that judges possess the legitimate institutional authority to order structural injunctions. Lon Fuller, Donald Horowitz, William Fletcher, and Gerald ...


The "Guarantee" Clause, Ryan C. Williams Apr 2019

The "Guarantee" Clause, Ryan C. Williams

Ryan Williams

Article IV’s command that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government” stands as one of the few remaining lacunae in the judicially enforced Constitution. For well over a century, federal courts have viewed the provision — traditionally known as the Guarantee Clause but now referred to by some as the “Republican Form of Government” Clause — as a paradigmatic example of a nonjusticiable political question. In recent years, however, both the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have signaled a new willingness to reconsider this much-criticized jurisdictional barrier in an appropriate case ...


Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun Jan 2019

Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun

Samuel W. Calhoun

This Essay argues that it’s perfectly fine for religious citizens to openly bring their faith-based values to public policy disputes. Part II demonstrates that the Founders, exemplified by Thomas Jefferson, never intended to separate religion from politics. Part III, focusing upon Abraham Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, shows that religion and politics have been continuously intermixed ever since the Founding. Part IV, emphasizing the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., argues that no other reasons justify barring faith-based arguments from the public square.


Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


This Article presents a new perspective on the Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence during the Early Republic.  It focuses on what I am calling second-order ipse dixit reasoning, which occurs when Justices have to decide between two incommensurable interpretive modalities.  If first-order ipse dixit is unreasoned decision-making, second-order ipse dixit involves an unreasoned choice between or among two or more equally valid interpretive options.  The early Court often had recourse to second-order ipse dixit because methodological eclecticism characterized its constitutional jurisprudence, and the early Court established no fixed hierarchy among interpretive modalities.
Chisholm, the pre-Marshall Court’s most important constitutional ...


All That Is Liquidated Melts Into Air: Five Meta-Interpretive Issues, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

All That Is Liquidated Melts Into Air: Five Meta-Interpretive Issues, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


The promise of originalism is that it helps us to fix constitutional meaning and constrain constitutional decision-makers.  There are significant constitutional questions that originalism can help resolve, at least to the extent that constitutional decision-makers buy in to originalism. However, even assuming that originalism is normatively desirable, there are certain issues that are fundamental to constitutional decision-making but that originalism cannot help us resolve. The Framers were hopelessly divided on them, and they may not be susceptible to Madisonian “liquidation.”  That is, at least some of these issues still generate live controversies even though they some of them seem to ...


Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


Eric Segall’s Originalism as Faith provides both a history of the originalist movement in constitutional interpretation and a critique of that movement from the perspective of legal realism.This Review Essay summarizes Segall’s main argument: as originalism has abandoned deference to the political branches, it has become indistinguishable from its nemesis, living constitutionalism. Emptied of substance, originalism becomes nothing more than an expression of faith. Segall makes his argument very convincingly, evidencing both his knowledge of originalism, in all its variants and his mastery of constitutional doctrine.
This Essay offers two ways in which Segall’s exemplary work ...