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2006

Constitutional Law

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Articles 1 - 30 of 84

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Making Law, Making War, Making America (Revised 12/6/06), Mary Dudziak Dec 2006

Making Law, Making War, Making America (Revised 12/6/06), Mary Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

It is often said that “in times of war, law is silent,” but this essay argues that the experience of the twentieth century provides a sharp contrast to this old saying. It is not just that law was not silent during warfare, but that law provided a language within which war could be seen. War is not a natural category outside the law, but is in part produced by it. Across decades of conflict, law was a marker that defined for the nation some of those times when conflict would be contemplated as a “war,” and helped cabin other uses ...


The Constitution's Political Deficit, Robin West Dec 2006

The Constitution's Political Deficit, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professor Levinson has wisely called for an extended conversation regarding the possibility and desirability of a new Constitutional Convention, which might be called so as to correct some of the more glaring failings of our current governing document. Chief among those, in his view, are a handful of doctrines that belie our commitment to democratic self-government, such as the two-senators-per-state makeup of the United States Senate and the Electoral College. Perhaps these provisions once had some rhyme or reason to them, but, as Levinson suggests, it is not at all clear that they do now. They assure that our legislative ...


Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette Meyler Dec 2006

Towards A Common Law Originalism, Bernadette Meyler

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Originalists' emphasis upon William Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" tends to suggest that the common law of the Founding era consisted in a set of determinate rules that can be mined for the purposes of constitutional interpretation. This Article argues instead that disparate strands of the common law, some emanating from the colonies and others from England, some more archaic and others more innovative, co-existed at the time of the Founding. Furthermore, jurists and politicians of the Founding generation were not unaware that the common law constituted a disunified field; indeed, the jurisprudence of the common law ...


The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


Working Toward Democracy: Thurgood Marshall And The Constitution Of Kenya, Mary L. Dudziak Dec 2006

Working Toward Democracy: Thurgood Marshall And The Constitution Of Kenya, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This Article is a work of transnational legal history. Drawing upon new research in foreign archives, it sheds new light on the life of Thurgood Marshall, exploring for the first time an episode that he cared very deeply about: his work with African nationalists on an independence constitution for Kenya. The story is paradoxical, for Marshall, a civil rights legend in America, would seek to protect the rights of white landholders in Kenya who had gained their land through discriminatory land laws, but were soon to lose political power. In order to understand why Marshall would take pride in entrenching ...


Religião, Direitos Humanos E Educação, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha Nov 2006

Religião, Direitos Humanos E Educação, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha

Paulo Ferreira da Cunha

Não admira que haja atritos, incompreensões, entre as religiões e os poderes. Porque, antes de mais, foi preciso a uns e a outros comprimirem-se para darem lugar (espaço, mesmo) ao outro tipo de normatividade e de poder. Em muitos casos históricos se terá começado com um poder de índole teocrática. E só com o tempo e o progresso social e político se passaria a admitir a cisão do mando, num ramo secular e num ramo sacral. O grande problema do tratamento da questão religiosa do ponto de vista dos Direitos Humanos, é que se trata, no limite, de pôr uma ...


The Founders And Slavery, Arthur R. Landever Nov 2006

The Founders And Slavery, Arthur R. Landever

Law Faculty Presentations and Testimony

The point of my talk is that our founders, who our tradition praises profusely of course, as men on Mount Olympus, had moral blinders on. I'm going to talk about key founders. Then I'm going to talk about the key English case, decided in 1772, Somerset v. Stuart. Then I'm going to talk about the Compromises of the 1770s and 1780s. Then I'm going to talk about what we can and can't learn from history. Then I'm going to consider what our generation is doing in the 21st century, considering what might shock our ...


Original Intent In The First Congress, Louis J. Sirico Jr. Nov 2006

Original Intent In The First Congress, Louis J. Sirico Jr.

Working Paper Series

Most of the literature on this country’s Founding Era concludes that at least in the very early years, the Founders did not look to original intent to construe the Constitution. However, this study looks not at what the Founders said they believed, but how they acted. In the First Federal Congress, the members did use arguments based on original intent. This study identifies their originalist arguments and categorizes them into five rhetorical categories. It concludes that these arguments did not dominate the debates, but were one type of argument among many.


The Rhetoric For Ratification: The Argument Of "The Federalist" And Its Impact On Constitutional Interpretation, Dan T. Coenen Nov 2006

The Rhetoric For Ratification: The Argument Of "The Federalist" And Its Impact On Constitutional Interpretation, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Courts, lawyers, and scholars have long assumed that The Federalist Papers supply important information for use in constitutional argument and interpretation. In recent years, commentators have questioned this view. Their skepticism grows out of two major concerns. First, Justice Scalia's challenge to the use of legislative history in the statutory context casts a cloud over judicial use of background texts such as The Federalist in seeking the meaning of the Constitution. Second, even if courts may rely on some background materials in interpreting the Constitution, there is reason to conclude that The Federalist does not qualify as the sort ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


St. George Tucker’S Second Amendment: Deconstructing ‘The True Palladium Of Liberty’, Stephen P. Halbrook Oct 2006

St. George Tucker’S Second Amendment: Deconstructing ‘The True Palladium Of Liberty’, Stephen P. Halbrook

ExpressO

St. George Tucker, known as “America’s Blackstone” and author of the first commentary on the Constitution in 1803, described the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms as “the true palladium of liberty.” In a recent symposium at the William and Mary College of Law, Prof. Saul Cornell presented Tucker as an adherent of the view that the Amendment guarantees a collective or civic right to bear arms in the militia, not an individual right to have arms for self defense or as a dissuasion to tyranny. In response, my article scrutinizes Tucker’s work ...


Uncivil Religion: "Judeo-Christianity" And The Ten Commandments, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Roger Hendrix Oct 2006

Uncivil Religion: "Judeo-Christianity" And The Ten Commandments, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Roger Hendrix

ExpressO

In the recent Decalogue Cases, Justice Scalia argued that when it comes to “public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our Nation's historical practices that the Establishment Clause permits th[e] disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout atheists.” Justice Scalia's argument represents the latest attempt to insulate American civil religion from Establishment Clause attack. A “civil religion” is a set of nondenominational values, symbols, rituals, and assumptions which create both reverence of national history and formation of a communal national bond. The most recent incarnation ...


Function Over Form: Reviving The Criminal Jury's Historical Role As A Sentencing Body, Chris Kemmitt Oct 2006

Function Over Form: Reviving The Criminal Jury's Historical Role As A Sentencing Body, Chris Kemmitt

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article argues that the Supreme Court, as evinced by its recent spate of criminal jury decisions, has abandoned the criminal jury known to the Founders and, in so doing, has severely eroded the protections intended to inhere in the Sixth Amendment jury trial right. It then proposes one potential solution to this problem.

According to the Supreme Court, this recent line of cases has been motivated by the need to preserve the "ancient guarantee" articulated in the Sixth Amendment under a new set of legal circumstances. Unfortunately, the Court misinterprets the ancient guarantee that it is ostensibly attempting to ...


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


A New Clean Water Act, Paul Boudreaux Sep 2006

A New Clean Water Act, Paul Boudreaux

ExpressO

The Supreme Court’s new federalism has struck its strongest blows so far on the Clean Water Act. This summer, in Rapanos v. United States, a sharply divided Court nearly struck down a large chunk of the Act’s protection of wetlands and other small waterways – five years after an earlier decision had narrowed the reach of the Act because of its supposed overreaching into state prerogative. Why has the Clean Water Act been the Court’s favorite target? One reason is that the statute was fatally flawed when enacted. Congress chose to cover “navigable waters,” but its practical definition ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


Commercial Law In The Cracks Of Judicial Federalism, Donald J. Smythe Aug 2006

Commercial Law In The Cracks Of Judicial Federalism, Donald J. Smythe

ExpressO

Almost seventy years after the Supreme Court sought to rationalize the American system of judicial federalism in Erie, sales law remains trapped in a pattern more reminiscent of the Swift v. Tyson era. The extraordinarily wide separation of powers in the NCCUSL-ALI uniform law-making process has entrenched Article 2 of the UCC in the status quo. Concurrently, an imbalance between the federal and state courts in the American system of judicial federalism has conferred an unusually wide range of discretion over state commercial law on the federal courts. Ironically, therefore, state sales statutes are being reinterpreted and revised by the ...


The Pocahontas Exception: The Exemption Of American Indian Ancestry From Racial Purity Law, Kevin Noble Maillard Aug 2006

The Pocahontas Exception: The Exemption Of American Indian Ancestry From Racial Purity Law, Kevin Noble Maillard

ExpressO

“The Pocahontas Exception” confronts the legal existence and cultural fascination with the eponymous “Indian Grandmother.” Laws existed in many states that prohibited marriage between whites and nonwhites to prevent the “quagmire of mongrelization.” Yet, this racial protectionism, as ingrained in law, blatantly exempted Indian blood from the threat to white racial purity. In Virginia, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 made exceptions for whites of mixed descent who proudly claimed Native American ancestry from Pocahontas. This paper questions the juridical exceptions made for Native American ancestry in antimiscegenation statues, and analyzes the concomitant exemptions in contemporary social practice. With increasing ...


A Race Or A Nation? Cherokee National Identity And The Status Of Freedmen's Descendents, S. Alan Ray Aug 2006

A Race Or A Nation? Cherokee National Identity And The Status Of Freedmen's Descendents, S. Alan Ray

ExpressO

The Cherokee Nation today faces the challenge of determining its citizenship criteria in the context of race. The article focuses on the Cherokee Freedmen. As former slaves of Cherokee citizens, the Freedmen were adopted into the Cherokee Nation after the Civil War pursuant to a treaty with the United States, and given unqualified rights of citizenship. The incorporation of the Freedmen into the tribe was resisted from the start, and now, faced with a decision of the Cherokee Nation’s highest court affirming the descendents’ citizenship rights, the Nation prepares to vote on a constitutional amendment which would impose an ...


Searches And The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion And Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Aug 2006

Searches And The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion And Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


The Origin Of The Compelling State Interest Test And Strict Scrutiny, Stephen A. Siegel Aug 2006

The Origin Of The Compelling State Interest Test And Strict Scrutiny, Stephen A. Siegel

ExpressO

This article argues that strict scrutiny did not originate in equal protection cases. Rather, it originated in the First Amendment in the late 1950s and early 1960s and migrated from there to the Equal Protection Clause in the late-1960s. The Article begins by discussing strict scrutiny analytically, situating it as one of many doctrines through which the Supreme Court gives heightened protection to favored constitutional interests. It then traces the origin of strict scrutiny’s compelling state interest requirement to the First Amendment. It shows that the compelling state interest test initially appeared in First Amendment litigation in 1957 and ...


Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court: Part I-A English Stories, Marc L. Roark Aug 2006

Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court: Part I-A English Stories, Marc L. Roark

ExpressO

This is part I-A of a Book I am working towards on the narratives and fictions of sovereign immunity. The goal in this part is to look before the American republic and towards the background in which American Sovereignty came to be shaped by -- the feudal notion of the sovereign; the Lockean response, and the Blackstonean doctrine. The first part looks at the legal fictions surrounding the kingship, their sources and their effects. The Second part looks to the specific ways of treating the sovereign in law, namely viewing King as Property owner or patriarch, Trustee, and Constitution.


Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court, Marc L. Roark Aug 2006

Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court, Marc L. Roark

ExpressO

This is the introduction to a book I am preparing on the Normative and Narrative aspects of the U.S. Sovereign Immunity Doctrine. The introduction sets up the problem of a doctrine that is not exactly coherent with the national narrative.


Justice Thomas' Kelo Dissent, Or, "History As A Grab Bag Of Principles", David L. Breau Aug 2006

Justice Thomas' Kelo Dissent, Or, "History As A Grab Bag Of Principles", David L. Breau

ExpressO

In Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court held 5-4 that creating jobs and increasing tax revenues satisfy the Fifth Amendment’s requirement that property be "taken for public use." Justice Thomas joined the dissenters, but authored a separate opinion arguing that the Public Use Clause was originally understood as a substantive limitation that allowed the government to take property only if the government owns, or the public actually uses, the taken property. This article demonstrates that much of the historical evidence that Justice Thomas provides in his dissent to support a narrow original understanding of public use ...


Constitutional Law—Commerce Clause—California Takes A Hit: The Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Authority Over The State-Approved Use Of Medicinal Marijuana. Gonzales V. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)., Rick Behring Jr. Jul 2006

Constitutional Law—Commerce Clause—California Takes A Hit: The Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Authority Over The State-Approved Use Of Medicinal Marijuana. Gonzales V. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)., Rick Behring Jr.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Legislative Delegation And Two Conceptions Of The Legislative Power, Robert C. Sarvis Jun 2006

Legislative Delegation And Two Conceptions Of The Legislative Power, Robert C. Sarvis

The University of New Hampshire Law Review

[Excerpt] "The current federal government, with its burgeoning administrative agencies, does not embody what most Americans would recognize as the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. This is, in part, due to the Congress’s frequent practice of delegating legislative powers to the executive branch, i.e., giving administrative agencies the power to promulgate rules regulating private behavior and having the force of law. Legislative delegation has been the subject of academic, legal, and political wrangling since the early congresses and clearly calls into question whether modern practice adheres to constitutional norms. This article discusses legislative delegation in terms of ...


The Democratic Prosecutor: Explaining The Constitutional Function Of The Federal Grand Jury, Niki Kuckes Jun 2006

The Democratic Prosecutor: Explaining The Constitutional Function Of The Federal Grand Jury, Niki Kuckes

Law Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Lion In Winter – Tomás Moro Na Nossa Estação. Diálogos Com O Direito Constitucional, O Cristianismo E A Utopia Social, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha May 2006

Lion In Winter – Tomás Moro Na Nossa Estação. Diálogos Com O Direito Constitucional, O Cristianismo E A Utopia Social, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha

Paulo Ferreira da Cunha

Três tópicos sintetizam as preocupações da presente leitura de Tomás Moro: antes de mais, o direito constitucional e a polémica constitucional que acabou em crime político sob forma penal – a decapitação de Moro por traição; depois (mas apenas por comodidade depois, porque está antes de tudo em Moro), o cristianismo, mola propulsora da vida, do pensamento e da obra desta figura; finalmente, a utopia social, o seu contributo para a filosofia política, numa clave que normalmente não é a da maioria dos expoentes recentes do pensamento cristão – e daí, também, a sua originalidade.