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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath Jan 1999

Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath

Michigan Law Review

There is a familiar egalitarian constitutional tradition and another we have largely forgotten. The familiar one springs from Brown v. Board of Education; its roots lie in the Reconstruction era. Court-centered and countermajoritarian, it takes aim at caste and racial subordination. The forgotten one also originated with Reconstruction, but it was a majoritarian tradition, addressing its arguments to lawmakers and citizens, not to courts. Aimed against harsh class inequalities, it centered on decent work and livelihoods, social provision, and a measure of economic independence and democracy. Borrowing a phrase from its Progressive Era proponents, I will call it the social ...


Civics 2000: Process Constitutionalism At Yale, Daniel J. Hulsebosch Jan 1999

Civics 2000: Process Constitutionalism At Yale, Daniel J. Hulsebosch

Michigan Law Review

One or another form of historical fidelity has long been in the repetoire of constitutional interpretation, and during the last two decades conservative jurists have searched for the "original intent" of various clauses. Increasingly, however, it is liberal law professors who are turning to history to make sense of American constitutionalism. What they find there is not a document listing eternal rights or duties but rather a multidimensional structure of government, captured as much in practice as on paper, that has metamorphosed over time. It seems we have, in that familiar phrase, a living Constitution. But interest is shifting from ...