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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

An Evolutionary Theory Of Administrative Law, Karrigan S. Bork May 2019

An Evolutionary Theory Of Administrative Law, Karrigan S. Bork

SMU Law Review

Law evolves to accommodate change—this is axiomatic in most academic legal traditions. But in the era of the administrative state, with congressional gridlock and a judiciary hesitant to address policy questions, evolution of statutory law has become much more difficult. This leads to pent up demand for change in legal regimes. If the legislature and the courts cannot provide an outlet for this pressure, where does it go? How does the law continue to change? Although other scholars have looked to agencies as engines of legal change, we lack a theoretical framework to understand how that change happens. I ...


Policing Narrative, Tal Kastner Jan 2019

Policing Narrative, Tal Kastner

SMU Law Review

Counter narrative, a story that calls attention to and rebuts the presumptions of a dominant narrative framework, functions as an essential tool to reshape the bounds of the law. It has the potential to shape the collective notion of what constitutes legal authority. Black Lives Matter offers a counter narrative that challenges the characterization of the shared public space, among other aspects of contemporary society, as the space of law. Using the concept of necropower—the mobilization and prioritization of the state’s power to kill—I analyze the contested physical and conceptual space of law exposed by the counter ...


Richard Posner: A Class Of One, Robert C. Farrell Jan 2019

Richard Posner: A Class Of One, Robert C. Farrell

SMU Law Review

Judge Richard Posner, best known for his contributions to the field of law and economics, has also made an outsized contribution to another area of the law—the equal protection class-of-one claim. By some combination of happenstance and design, Posner was able to shape the class-of-one doctrine even where his views were inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent. The Supreme Court’s initial exposition of the doctrine had identified an equal protection violation when there was intentionally different treatment of similarly situated persons without a rational basis for the difference in treatment. Posner insisted that this language included within it a ...


Is Miranda Good News Or Bad News For The Police: The Usefulness Of Empirical Evidence, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2017

Is Miranda Good News Or Bad News For The Police: The Usefulness Of Empirical Evidence, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona created a culture in which police officers regularly warn arrestees that they have a right to remain silent, that anything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law, that they have the right to an attorney, and that if they cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed to them. These Miranda warnings have a number of possible effects. The warnings are meant to inform suspects about negative consequences associated with speaking to the police without the assistance of counsel. In this ...


Cherokee Freedmen And The Color Of Belonging, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 2015

Cherokee Freedmen And The Color Of Belonging, Lolita Buckner Inniss

Faculty Scholarship

This article addresses the Cherokee tribe and their historic conflict with the descendants of their former black slaves, designated Cherokee Freedmen. This article specifically addresses how historic discussions of black, red and white skin colors, designating the African-ancestored, aboriginal (Native American) and European-ancestored people of the United States, have helped to shape the contours of color-based national belonging among the Cherokee. This article also suggests that Homi K. Bhabha’s notion of postcolonial mimicry offers a potent source for analyzing the Cherokee’s historic use of skin color as a marker of Cherokee membership. The Cherokee past practice of black ...


Perpetuities And The Genius Of A Free State, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2014

Perpetuities And The Genius Of A Free State, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

The recent rise of perpetual trusts has brought new attention to previously obscure state constitutional prohibitions of perpetuities. This symposium commentary examines the historical origins of the first such prohibition, Clause 23 of the 1776 North Carolina Constitution and Declaration of Rights, which provided that “perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free State, and ought not to be allowed.” Although many good reasons can be offered for the provision, it is curiously absent from the constitutions of the twelve other original states. Why did this provision emerge only in North Carolina, and not in Virginia, Massachusetts ...


The Missing Jury: The Neglected Role Of Juries In Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Determinations, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2012

The Missing Jury: The Neglected Role Of Juries In Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Determinations, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Scholarship

A recent study of death penalty cases has revealed that judges, who are ordinarily thought of as the guardians of criminal defendants’ constitutional rights, are more likely to impose harsher punishments than jurors. This may be unsettling in its own right, but it is especially concerning because judges are the individuals charged with determining whether punishments are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment, and these determinations are supposed to be based on “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” The study suggests that judges are out of step with society’s moral ...


The Extraordinary Mrs. Shipley: How The United States Controlled International Travel Before The Age Of Terrorism, Jeffrey Kahn Jan 2011

The Extraordinary Mrs. Shipley: How The United States Controlled International Travel Before The Age Of Terrorism, Jeffrey Kahn

Faculty Scholarship

Terrorist watchlists used to restrict travel into and out of the United States owe their conceptual origins to Mrs. Ruth B. Shipley, the Chief of the State Department’s Passport Division from 1928 to 1955. Mrs. Shipley was one of the most powerful people in the federal government for almost thirty years, but she is virtually unknown today. She had the unreviewable discretion to determine who could leave the United States, for how long, and under what conditions.

This article examines how Mrs. Shipley exercised her power through a detailed study of original documents obtained from the National Archives. It ...


A Critical Legal Rhetoric Approach To In Re African-American Slave Descendants Litigation, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 2010

A Critical Legal Rhetoric Approach To In Re African-American Slave Descendants Litigation, Lolita Buckner Inniss

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Inheritance Rights Of Nonmarital Children In Late Roman Law, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2008

Inheritance Rights Of Nonmarital Children In Late Roman Law, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

Late Roman legislation regarding the inheritance rights of nonmarital children is a tangled web of seemingly conflicting constitutions. Focusing on the period 371-428 AD, this Article argues that, when two particular Western laws from that era are considered alongside others issued at the same time, it is possible to discern some wider legislative trends that may help to contextualize the different attitudes shown toward nonmarital children. C.Th. 4.6.4 (371), a Western law beneficial to nonmarital children, can arguably be linked with another Western law issued shortly afterward granting a privilege to the daughters of actresses, another disfavored ...


Christianity And The Legal Status Of Abandoned Children In The Later Roman Empire, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2008

Christianity And The Legal Status Of Abandoned Children In The Later Roman Empire, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

Late Roman imperial legislation relating to abandoned or exposed children has been the subject of much debate. Some have argued that the constitutions of Constantine relating to abandoned children marked a new Christian influence, and that the years between Constantine and Justinian merely refined and explained Constantine's legislation. This paper argues that the legislation of Constantine was not distinctly Christian in content, but that some Christian influence can be seen in the rhetoric of imperial constitutions beginning in the fifth century, and that Christian ideas seem to have affected both the substance and the rhetoric of Justinian's legislation ...


Codification Of Late Roman Inheritance Law: Fideicommissa And The Theodosian Code, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2008

Codification Of Late Roman Inheritance Law: Fideicommissa And The Theodosian Code, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

It has long been known that most of the private law content of the Theodosian Code has not been preserved independently of the Lex Romana Visigothorum, or Breviary of Alaric. Certain constitutions, not contained in the Breviary but dating to the period covered by the Theodosian Code, have survived in the Code of Justinian. There has been debate, however, as to whether all of these constitutions were contained in the Theodosian Code.

This Article discusses this problem with respect to a particular topic: fideicommissa. The Article considers whether a particular constitution, CJ 6.37.21, might have been included in ...


Gambling, Commodity Speculation, And The 'Victorian Compromise', Joshua C. Tate Jan 2007

Gambling, Commodity Speculation, And The 'Victorian Compromise', Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay examines two major strands of nineteenth-century jurisprudence related to gambling: Southern cases defining public and private space for the purpose of state gambling statutes, and Northern cases applying the intent to deliver test to speculative contracts. The Essay argues that both lines of cases reflect what Lawrence Friedman has termed the Victorian compromise: A strong official stance against immoral behavior is conjoined with de facto acceptance of many questionable practices, provided that they are conducted in a manner acceptable to the elite. The Essay concludes that nineteenth-century judges sought to preserve the semblance of a strict prohibition against ...


Gambling And The Law In The Nineteenth Century South: Evidence From Nacogdoches County, Texas, 1838-1839, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2007

Gambling And The Law In The Nineteenth Century South: Evidence From Nacogdoches County, Texas, 1838-1839, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Just Say 'No Fishing': The Lure Of Metaphor, Elizabeth G. Thornburg Jan 2006

Just Say 'No Fishing': The Lure Of Metaphor, Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Faculty Scholarship

The phrase "fishing expedition" is widely used in popular culture and in the law. In the case of metaphorical "fishing" in the law, reliance on the metaphor can act as a substitute for rigorous analysis, disguising the factors that influence a result. When used by the court, it is uninformative. Worse, the fishing metaphor may itself shape the way the court thinks about the kind of issue or claim involved. Accusations of "fishing" also affect the language and position of the litigants. Parties arguing against pleadings or discovery use the metaphor as a rhetorical weapon, stigmatizing their opponents, instead of ...


Ownership And Possession In The Early Common Law, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2006

Ownership And Possession In The Early Common Law, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

Much has been written on the possible influence of Roman or canon law on the early English common law of property. Maitland thought that the canonist's actio spolii was the inspiration for the assize of novel disseisin. Sutherland argued that the assize borrowed from the Roman interdict unde vi. Milsom, by contrast, thinks that the early common-law writs must be understood within a feudal framework, and that the early common law took nothing from Roman law than the Latin language.

This Article offers a new perspective on ownership and possession in the early common law. It examines the theoretical ...


The Unitary Executive In The Modern Era, 1945-2004, Anthony J. Colangelo, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi Jan 2005

The Unitary Executive In The Modern Era, 1945-2004, Anthony J. Colangelo, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi

Faculty Scholarship

Since the impeachment of President Clinton, there has been renewed debate over whether Congress can create institutions such as special counsels and independent agencies that restrict the president's control over the administration of the law. Initially, debate centered on whether the Constitution rejected the executive by committee used by the Articles of Confederation in favor of a unitary executive, in which all administrative authority is centralized in the president. More recently, the debate has focused on historical practices. Some scholars suggest that independent agencies and special counsels are such established features of the constitutional landscape that any argument in ...


The Origins Of Quare Impedit, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2004

The Origins Of Quare Impedit, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Scholarship

The writ of quare impedit was, until the mid-nineteenth century, a standard real action for the recovery of advowsons. This article argues that the writ was most likely created between 1187 and 1196, and that it was, at least in part, a response to pressure from religious houses that acquired advowsons by charter of gift and were precluded from bringing the writ of right of advowson or the assize of darrein presentment.


Karl Llewellyn In Rome, Peter Winship Jan 1998

Karl Llewellyn In Rome, Peter Winship

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


California's Proposition 187 - Does It Mean What It Says - Does It Say What It Means - A Textual And Constitutional Analysis, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 1996

California's Proposition 187 - Does It Mean What It Says - Does It Say What It Means - A Textual And Constitutional Analysis, Lolita Buckner Inniss

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.