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Legal History Commons

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Yale Law School

Constitutional Law

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum May 2009

The Constitutional Canon As Argumentative Metonymy, Ian C. Bartrum

Faculty Scholarship Series

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 ...


Liquor Laws And Constitutional Conventions: A Legal History Of The Twenty-First Amendment, Ethan P. Davis Apr 2008

Liquor Laws And Constitutional Conventions: A Legal History Of The Twenty-First Amendment, Ethan P. Davis

Student Scholarship Papers

In 1933 America decisively ended its ill-fated experiment in national prohibition by enacting the Twenty-first Amendment. This article tells the tale of America’s return to liquor from a legal perspective. It recounts the ebb and flow of the prohibitionist movements in the nineteenth century, the congressional debates over the Twenty-first Amendment, the state laws, popular votes, and constitutional conventions that followed, and the state liquor regulatory systems adopted afterwards. A legal approach to prohibition illuminates intriguing, largely overlooked topics, including the constitutional questions activated by Congress’s unprecedented decision to submit the amendment to state conventions rather than legislatures ...