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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Original Meaning Of The Constitution's “Executive Vesting Clause”—Evidence From Eighteenth Century Drafting Practice, Robert G. Natelson Jan 2009

The Original Meaning Of The Constitution's “Executive Vesting Clause”—Evidence From Eighteenth Century Drafting Practice, Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

Advocates of presidential power from the days of George Washington at least to the time of George W. Bush have claimed that the Constitution’s so-called “Executive Vesting Clause,” the first sentence of Article II, not only designates the President as chief executive, but also confers broad authority. Some commentators support that view, while others maintain that the President’s powers are limited to those enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution. This study addresses the previously-overlooked question of which interpretation is more consistent with contemporaneous drafting customs. It concludes that treating the “Executive Vesting Clause” as a mere designation is consistent ...


The Original Meaning Of The Privileges And Immunities Clause, Robert G. Natelson Jan 2009

The Original Meaning Of The Privileges And Immunities Clause, Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

This article explains the meaning of the U.S. Constitution's Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, as the Founders understood it. It explains that the terms "privileges" and "immunities" had well-understood content in 18th century law---as benefits created by government. The Clause protects states from discriminating against visitors as to the benefits of citizenship (such as access to the courts), but does not address "natural rights" such as freedom of speech and religion.


Full Faith And Credit In The Early Congress, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2009

Full Faith And Credit In The Early Congress, Stephen E. Sachs

Stephen E. Sachs

After more than 200 years, the Full Faith and Credit Clause remains poorly understood. The Clause first issues a self-executing command (that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given"), and then empowers Congress to prescribe the manner of proof and the "Effect" of state records in other states. But if states must accord each other full faith and credit-and if nothing could be more than full-then what "Effect" could Congress give state records that they wouldn't have already? And conversely, how could Congress in any way reduce or alter the faith and credit that is due? This Article seeks ...