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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor Jan 2017

The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In late May 1788, with the essays of the Federalist on the Congress (Article I) and the Executive (Article II) completed, Alexander Hamilton turned, finally, to Article III and the judiciary. The Federalist’s essays 78 to 83 – the essays on the judiciary - had limited effect on ratification. No newspaper outside New York reprinted them, and they appeared very late in the ratification process – after eight states had ratified. But, if these essays had little immediate impact – essentially limited to the ratification debates in New York and, perhaps, Virginia – they were a stunning intellectual achievement. Modern scholars have made Madison ...


Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Overrides should be of interest to a far larger group of scholars than statutory interpretation enthusiasts. We have, in overrides, open inter branch encounters between Congress and the Courts far more typically found in the shadows of everyday Washington politics. Interestingly, Christiansen and Eskridge posit the court-congress relationship as more triadic than dyadic given the role played by agencies. One of their more interesting conclusions is that agencie are the big winners in the override game: agencies were present in seventy percent of the override cases and the agency view prevailed with Congress and against the Supreme Court in three-quarters ...


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 ...


State Law, The Westfall Act, And The Nature Of The Bivens Question, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck Jan 2013

State Law, The Westfall Act, And The Nature Of The Bivens Question, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In a number of recent cases touching to varying degrees on national security, different courts of appeals have applied a strong presumption against recognition of a Bivens cause of action. In each of these cases, the courts’ approach was based on the belief that the creation of a cause of action is a legislative function and that the courts would be usurping Congress’s role if they recognized a Bivens action without legislative authorization. Thus, faced with a scenario where they believed that the remedial possibilities were either "Bivens or nothing," these courts of appeals chose nothing.

The concerns that ...


Narrative, Normativity, And Causation, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2010

Narrative, Normativity, And Causation, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay examines the relationship between constitutional narratives, causation, and normativity in the context of Barry Friedman’s book, The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution. In his book, Friedman provides a grand narrative of American constitutional history that emphasizes the role of public opinion in the development of American constitutional law. That narrative involves both implicit and explicit claims about the causal forces that shape constitutional doctrine and about normative constitutional theory. The aim of this essay is to identify those claims, excavate their theoretical assumptions ...


Judicial Review Before Marbury, William Michael Treanor Jan 2005

Judicial Review Before Marbury, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

While scholars have long probed the original understanding of judicial review and the early judicial review case law, this article presents a study of the judicial review case law in the United States before Marbury v. Madison that is dramatically more complete than prior work and that challenges previous scholarship on the original understanding of judicial review on the two most critical dimensions: how well judicial review was established at the time of the Founding and when it was exercised. Where prior work argues that judicial review was rarely exercised before Marbury (or that it was created in Marbury), this ...


Celebrating The 200th Anniversary Of The Federal Courts Of The District Of Columbia, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2002

Celebrating The 200th Anniversary Of The Federal Courts Of The District Of Columbia, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

February 27, 2001 marked the 200th anniversary of the Federal Courts of the District of Columbia, the courts we know today as the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The history of these courts is interesting, albeit somewhat confusing; their names changed no fewer than six times since their creation. Indeed, from 1863 until 1893, the two courts were joined and called the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. Because of their location in the nation's capital and their unusual dual jurisdiction as ...


The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue In The Supreme Court?, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2001

The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue In The Supreme Court?, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 1801, when William Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus ordering Secretary of State James Madison to deliver his commission as justice of the peace, he initiated one of the most important cases in the Court's history. But why did Marbury choose the Supreme Court? Was there a lower federal court that could have granted the writ at the time? The short answer is "yes." Rather than making an unsuccessful attempt to invoke the original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court, I have learned that he could have brought his suit in the ...


Constitutional Fictions And Meritocratic Success Stories, Robin West Jan 1996

Constitutional Fictions And Meritocratic Success Stories, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

L.H. LaRue demonstrates in his book, Constitutional Law as Fiction, that, at least in the realm of constitutional law, there is no simple correspondence between fiction and falsehood, or fact and truth. Partial or fictive accounts of our constitutional history, even when they are riddled with inaccuracies, may state deep truths about our world, and accurate recitations of historical events may be either intentionally or unintentionally misleading in the extreme. According to LaRue, the Supreme Court engages in a form of storytelling or myth-making that goes beyond the inevitably partial narratives of fact and precedent. The Supreme Court also ...


Prospective Overruling And The Revival Of ‘Unconstitutional' Statutes, William Michael Treanor, Gene B. Sperling Jan 1993

Prospective Overruling And The Revival Of ‘Unconstitutional' Statutes, William Michael Treanor, Gene B. Sperling

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court's decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey reshaped the law of abortion in this country. The Court overturned two of its previous decisions invalidating state restrictions on abortions, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, and it abandoned the trimester analytic framework established in Roe v. Wade. At the time Casey was handed down, twenty states had restrictive abortion statutes on the books that were in conflict with Akron or Thornburgh and which were unenforced. In six of these states, courts had held the statutes unconstitutional. Almost as ...


The Aspirational Constitution, Robin West Jan 1993

The Aspirational Constitution, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Firmly embedded in every theory of judicial decisionmaking lies an important set of assumptions about the way government is supposed to work. Sometimes these theories about government are made explicit. More often they are not. Moreover, deeply embedded in every theory of government is a theory of human nature. Although these assumptions about human nature generally remain latent within the larger theory, because they provide the underpinnings for our ideas about the way government is supposed to work, they drive our notions about judicial decisionmaking. For example, the theory of government reflected in the United States Constitution reveals what one ...