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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Does The Second Amendment Protect Firearms Commerce?, David B. Kopel Apr 2104

Does The Second Amendment Protect Firearms Commerce?, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

The Second Amendment protects the operation of businesses which provide Second Amendment services, including gun stores. Although lower federal courts have split on the issue, the right of firearms commerce is demonstrated by the original history of the Second Amendment, confirmed by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, and consistent with the Court's precedents on other individual rights.


The Three Waves Of Married Women’S Property Acts In The Nineteenth Century With A Focus On Mississippi, New York And Oregon, Joe Custer Aug 2013

The Three Waves Of Married Women’S Property Acts In The Nineteenth Century With A Focus On Mississippi, New York And Oregon, Joe Custer

Joe Custer

Paper starts with a brief section on early America and social reform that provides a background on why married women's property acts (MWPA's) passed when they did in nineteenth century America. After laying the foundation, the paper delves into the three waves in which the MWPA's were passed in the nineteenth century focusing for the first time in the literature on one specific state for each wave. The three states; Mississippi, New York and Oregon, are examined leading up to passage. Next, the paper will look into the judicial reaction of each State’s highest court. Were ...


Overcoming Obstacles To Religious Exercise In K-12 Education, Lewis M. Wasserman Aug 2013

Overcoming Obstacles To Religious Exercise In K-12 Education, Lewis M. Wasserman

Lewis M. Wasserman

Overcoming Obstacles to Religious Exercise in K-12 Education Lewis M. Wasserman Abstract Judicial decisions rendered during the last half-century have overwhelmingly favored educational agencies over claims by parents for religious accommodations to public education requirements, no matter what constitutional or statutory rights were pressed at the tribunal, or when the conflict arose. These claim failures are especially striking in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (“RFRAs”) passed by Congress in 1993 and, to date, by eighteen state legislatures thereafter, since the RFRAs were intended to (1) insulate religious adherents from injuries inflicted by the United States Supreme Court ...


E Pluribus Unum: Liberalism's March To Be The Singular Influence On Civil Rights At The Supreme Court, Aaron J. Shuler Jan 2013

E Pluribus Unum: Liberalism's March To Be The Singular Influence On Civil Rights At The Supreme Court, Aaron J. Shuler

Aaron J Shuler

Rogers Smith writes that American political culture can best be understood as a blend of liberal, republican and illiberal ascriptive ideologies. The U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence has largely reflected this thesis. While the Court moved away from permitting laws that explicitly construct hierarchies in the 20th century and made tepid references to egalitarian principles during the Warren Court, liberalism has prevailed in the majority of the Court’s decisions. Gains in civil rights through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process clauses were achieved primarily through liberal notions of de-regulation, a market economy and ...


Knives And The Second Amendment, David B. Kopel, Claytom E. Cramer, Joseph P. Olson Jan 2013

Knives And The Second Amendment, David B. Kopel, Claytom E. Cramer, Joseph P. Olson

David B Kopel

This Article is the first scholarly analysis of knives and the Second Amendment. Under the Supreme Court’s standard in District of Columbia v. Heller, knives are Second Amendment “arms” because they are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” including self-defense.

There is no knife that is more dangerous than a modern handgun; to the contrary, knives are much less dangerous. Therefore, restrictions on carrying handguns set the upper limit for restrictions on carrying knives.

Prohibitions on carrying knives in general, or of particular knives, are unconstitutional. For example, bans of knives that open in a convenient way ...


University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal Jan 2012

University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal

Zena Denise Crenshaw-Logal

On the first of each two day symposium of the Fogg symposia, lawyers representing NGOs in the civil rights, judicial reform, and whistleblower advocacy fields are to share relevant work of featured legal scholars in lay terms; relate the underlying principles to real life cases; and propose appropriate reform efforts. Four (4) of the scholars spend the next day relating their featured articles to views on the vitality of stare decisis. Specifically, the combined panels of public interest attorneys and law professors consider whether compliance with the doctrine is reasonably assured in America given the: 1. considerable discretion vested in ...


The Great Gun Control War Of The Twentieth Century--And Its Lessons For Gun Laws Today, David B. Kopel Jan 2012

The Great Gun Control War Of The Twentieth Century--And Its Lessons For Gun Laws Today, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

A movement to ban handguns began in the 1920s in the Northeast, led by the conservative business establishment. In response, the National Rifle Association began to get involved in politics, and was able to defeat handgun prohibition. Gun control and gun rights became the subjects of intense political, social, and cultural battles for much of the rest of the 20th century, and into the 21st.

Often, the battles were a clash of absolutes: One side contended that there was absolutely no right to arms, that defensive gun ownership must be prohibited, and that gun ownership for sporting purposes could be ...


A Modest Proposal: To Deport The Children Of Gay Citizens, & Etc: Immigration Law, The Defense Of Marriage Act And The Children Of Same-Sex Couples, Scott Titshaw Jan 2011

A Modest Proposal: To Deport The Children Of Gay Citizens, & Etc: Immigration Law, The Defense Of Marriage Act And The Children Of Same-Sex Couples, Scott Titshaw

Scott Titshaw

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines the terms “marriage” and “spouse” for federal purposes, clearly prevents the recognition of same-sex spouses under U.S. immigration law. Unless judges and immigration officials are careful to limit it as Congress intended, DOMA might also have a tragic unintended effect on some parent-child relationships. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) employs terms like “born in wedlock” and “stepparent” to define parent-child relationships for various immigration and citizenship purposes. One could argue, therefore, that DOMA prevents INA recognition of parent-child relationships stemming from a same-sex marriage. These relationships determine whether a person ...


Constitutional Rights And Judicial Independence: Lessons From Iowa, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2011

Constitutional Rights And Judicial Independence: Lessons From Iowa, Ian C. Bartrum

Ian C Bartrum

Iowa held its 2010 judicial retention elections in the shadow of Varnum v. Brien, the 2009 Supreme Court opinion recognizing same sex marriage. As the result of highly politicized campaign, three talented jurists lost their seats on the Court.

This commentary examines that election and offers a structural solution that might better protect constitutional rights against majoritarian intimidation.


Personae Non Suspect: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under The Supreme Court’S New Anticlassification Regime, Chris R. Copeland Jan 2011

Personae Non Suspect: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under The Supreme Court’S New Anticlassification Regime, Chris R. Copeland

Chris R Copeland

As Perry v. Schwarzenegger seemingly makes its way to the Supreme Court, LGBT advocates are staking their legal claims around the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause – arguing for the designation of LGBTs as a suspect or quasi-suspect group. The desire for suspect class designation is in vain though. In the late 1970s, the Supreme Court closed the set of suspect and quasi-classifications, and the set will likely remain closed. Around the same time, the Court faced a series of affirmative action cases in which it was forced to choose between two approaches to equal protection: antisubordination and anticlassification. It ...


Pearson, Iqbal, And Procedural Judicial Activism, Goutam U. Jois Jan 2010

Pearson, Iqbal, And Procedural Judicial Activism, Goutam U. Jois

Goutam U Jois

In its most recent term, the Supreme Court decided Pearson v. Callahan and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, two cases that, even at this early date, can safely be called “game-changers.” What is fairly well known is that Iqbal and Pearson, on their own terms, will hurt civil rights plaintiffs. A point that has not been explored is how the interaction between Iqbal and Pearson will also hurt civil rights plaintiffs. First, the cases threaten to catch plaintiffs on the horns of a dilemma: Iqbal says, in effect, that greater detail is required to get allegations past the motion to dismiss stage ...


The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2010

The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum

Ian C Bartrum

This article builds on Philip Bobbitt's Wittgensteinian insights into constitutional argument and law. I examine the way that we interact with canonical texts as we construct arguments in the forms that Bobbitt has described. I contend that these texts serve as metonyms for larger sets of associated principles and values, and that their invocation usually is not meant to point to the literal meaning of the text itself. This conception helps explain how a canonical text's meaning in constitutional argument can evolve over time, and hopefully offers the creative practitioner some insight into the kinds of arguments that ...


The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel Jan 2010

The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This Article presents a brief history of the Second Amendment as part of the living Constitution. From the Early Republic through the present, the American public has always understood the Second Amendment as guaranteeing a right to own firearms for self-defense. That view has been in accordance with élite legal opinion, except for a period in part of the twentieth century.

"Living constitutionalism" should be distinguished from "dead constitutionalism." Under the former, courts looks to objective referents of shared public understanding of constitutional values. Examples of objective referents include state constitutions, as well as federal or state laws to protect ...


Color-Blind: Procedure's Quiet But Crucial Role In Achieving Racial Justice, Benjamin V. Madison Iii Jan 2010

Color-Blind: Procedure's Quiet But Crucial Role In Achieving Racial Justice, Benjamin V. Madison Iii

Benjamin V Madison, III

This article explores the role of procedural institutions, both in the Constitution and in other laws related to the judicial system, that promote impartial justice. The article explores the twin principles of human fallibility and the equality of all human beings as the fundamental bases of the judicial system. The role of procedure in enabling federal courts to enforce the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education is a featured part of the article.


Is Resisting Genocide A Human Right?, David B. Kopel, Joanne D. Eisen, Paul Gallant Jan 2006

Is Resisting Genocide A Human Right?, David B. Kopel, Joanne D. Eisen, Paul Gallant

David B Kopel

Closely examining the Darfur, Sudan, genocide, and making reference to other genocides, this Article argues that the genocide prevention strategies which are currently favored by the United Nations are ineffective. This Article details the failures of targeted sanctions, United Nations peacekeepers, and other antigenocide programs. Then, this Article analyzes the Genocide Convention and other sources of international human rights law. Because the very strong language of the Genocide Convention forbids any form of complicity in genocide, and because the Genocide Convention is jus cogens (meaning that it prevails over any conflicting national or international law), this Article concludes that the ...


The Catholic Second Amendment, David B. Kopel Jan 2006

The Catholic Second Amendment, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

At the beginning of the second millennium, there was no separation of church and state, and kings ruled the church. Tyrannicide was considered sinful. By the end of the thirteenth century, however, everything had changed. The Little Renaissance that began in the eleventh century led to a revolution in political and moral philosophy, so that using force to overthrow a tyrannical government became a positive moral duty. The intellectual revolution was an essential step in the evolution of Western political philosophy that eventually led to the American Revolution.


The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel Jan 2005

The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This article examines the religious background of the American Revolution. The article details how the particular religious beliefs of the American colonists developed so that the American people eventually came to believe that overthrowing King George and Parliament was a sacred obligation. The religious attitudes which impelled the Americans to armed revolution are an essential component of the American ideology of the right to keep and bear arms.


The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds Jan 2000

The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds

David B Kopel

A review of state and federal courts decisions on the scope of state police powers suggests that the shift from the more restrictive sic utere principle to the more open salus populi principle may be reversing, with courts -- at least in cases involving sex and marriage -- taking a much more skeptical view of government objectives and justifications.


All The Way Down The Slippery Slope: Gun Prohibition In England And Some Lessons For Civil Liberties In America, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson Jan 1999

All The Way Down The Slippery Slope: Gun Prohibition In England And Some Lessons For Civil Liberties In America, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson

David B Kopel

Whenever civil liberties issues are contested, proponents of greater restrictions often chide civil liberties defenders for being unwilling to offer moderate concessions. Frequently, persons advocating restrictions on civil liberties claim that the "moderate" restriction will not infringe the core civil liberty. When rights advocates raise the "slippery slope" argument, they are criticized for being excessively fearful. The goal of the article is to refine our understanding of "slippery slopes" by examining a case in which a civil liberty really did slide all the way down the slippery slope.

The right to arms in Great Britain was entirely unrestricted at the ...


Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz Jan 1997

Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

THIS PAPER IS THE CO-WINNER OF THE FRED BERGER PRIZE IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW FOR THE 1999 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE BEST PUBLISHED PAPER IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS.

The conflict between liberal legal theory and critical legal studies (CLS) is often framed as a matter of whether there is a theory of justice that the law should embody which all rational people could or must accept. In a divided society, the CLS critique of this view is overwhelming: there is no such justice that can command universal assent. But the liberal critique of CLS, that it degenerates into ...


Taking Federalism Seriously: Lopez And The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds Jan 1997

Taking Federalism Seriously: Lopez And The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds

David B Kopel

In United States v. Lopez, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Gun Free School Zones law as not within congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. This article examines post-Lopez jurisprudence regarding the permissible scope of federal criminal law. Analyzing a wide variety of federal criminal laws challenged in post-Lopez cases (including arson, robbery, gun possession, drugs, violence against women, and abortion clinic disruption), the article shows how courts have followed or evaded Lopez. Studying the proposed federal ban on partial birth abortions, the article suggests that the ban is not a lawful exercise of Congress' interstate commerce ...


Preventing A Reign Of Terror: Civil Liberties Implications Of Terrorism Legislation, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson Jan 1996

Preventing A Reign Of Terror: Civil Liberties Implications Of Terrorism Legislation, David B. Kopel, Joseph Olson

David B Kopel

Domestic terrorism is not a reason to abrogate constitutional rights, argues this 101-page paper, which discusses the 1996 omnibus federal terrorism bill, and other terror proposals. Topics include: scope of the terrorism problem; Britain's mistaken response to terror; use of the military in law enforcement; the Internet; militias; wiretapping; the FBI; and federalizing local crime.