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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.


Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun Jan 2019

Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun

Samuel W. Calhoun

This Essay argues that it’s perfectly fine for religious citizens to openly bring their faith-based values to public policy disputes. Part II demonstrates that the Founders, exemplified by Thomas Jefferson, never intended to separate religion from politics. Part III, focusing upon Abraham Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, shows that religion and politics have been continuously intermixed ever since the Founding. Part IV, emphasizing the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., argues that no other reasons justify barring faith-based arguments from the public square.


The Recent Unpleasantness: Understanding The Cycles Of Constitutional Time, Jack M. Balkin Jan 2019

The Recent Unpleasantness: Understanding The Cycles Of Constitutional Time, Jack M. Balkin

Indiana Law Journal

In this Article, I will talk about what I expect is going to happen in the next five to ten years. Unlike eclipses, however, one can’t be entirely sure of the future. Politics is not astronomy, and human affairs do not operate like clockwork. Moreover, we can’t assume that everything is already foreordained: that if people simply sit on their hands and do nothing, the cycles I describe in this lecture will take care of themselves. Quite the contrary. I am telling a story about what happens in the long run, but it is not a deterministic story ...


Where The Constitution Falls Short: Confession Admissibility And Police Regulation, Courtney E. Lewis Jan 2019

Where The Constitution Falls Short: Confession Admissibility And Police Regulation, Courtney E. Lewis

Dickinson Law Review

A confession presented at trial is one of the most damning pieces of evidence against a criminal defendant, which means that the rules governing its admissibility are critical. At the outset of confession admissibility in the United States, the judiciary focused on a confession’s truthfulness. Culminating in the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, judicial concern with the reliability of confessions shifted away from whether a confession was true and towards curtailing unconstitutional police misconduct. Post-hoc constitutionality review, however, is arguably inappropriate. Such review is inappropriate largely because the reviewing court must find that the confession was voluntary only by ...


Why Robert Mueller’S Appointment As Special Counsel Was Unlawful, Gary Lawson, Steven Calabresi Jan 2019

Why Robert Mueller’S Appointment As Special Counsel Was Unlawful, Gary Lawson, Steven Calabresi

Faculty Scholarship

Since 1999, when the independent counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act expired, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has had in place regulations providing for the appointment of Special Counsels who possess “the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney.” Appointments under these regulations, such as the May 17,2017 appointment of Robert S. Mueller to investigate the Trump campaign, are patently unlawful, for three distinct reasons.

First, all federal offices must be “established by Law,” and there is no statute authorizing such an office in the DOJ. We ...


Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism And Second-Order Ipse Dixit Reasoning In Chisholm V. Georgia, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


This Article presents a new perspective on the Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence during the Early Republic.  It focuses on what I am calling second-order ipse dixit reasoning, which occurs when Justices have to decide between two incommensurable interpretive modalities.  If first-order ipse dixit is unreasoned decision-making, second-order ipse dixit involves an unreasoned choice between or among two or more equally valid interpretive options.  The early Court often had recourse to second-order ipse dixit because methodological eclecticism characterized its constitutional jurisprudence, and the early Court established no fixed hierarchy among interpretive modalities.
Chisholm, the pre-Marshall Court’s most important constitutional ...


All That Is Liquidated Melts Into Air: Five Meta-Interpretive Issues, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

All That Is Liquidated Melts Into Air: Five Meta-Interpretive Issues, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


The promise of originalism is that it helps us to fix constitutional meaning and constrain constitutional decision-makers.  There are significant constitutional questions that originalism can help resolve, at least to the extent that constitutional decision-makers buy in to originalism. However, even assuming that originalism is normatively desirable, there are certain issues that are fundamental to constitutional decision-making but that originalism cannot help us resolve. The Framers were hopelessly divided on them, and they may not be susceptible to Madisonian “liquidation.”  That is, at least some of these issues still generate live controversies even though they some of them seem to ...


Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman Dec 2018

Originalism As Fable, D. A. Jeremy Telman

D. A. Jeremy Telman


Eric Segall’s Originalism as Faith provides both a history of the originalist movement in constitutional interpretation and a critique of that movement from the perspective of legal realism.This Review Essay summarizes Segall’s main argument: as originalism has abandoned deference to the political branches, it has become indistinguishable from its nemesis, living constitutionalism. Emptied of substance, originalism becomes nothing more than an expression of faith. Segall makes his argument very convincingly, evidencing both his knowledge of originalism, in all its variants and his mastery of constitutional doctrine.
This Essay offers two ways in which Segall’s exemplary work ...


Church History, Liberty, And Political Morality: A Response To Professor Calhoun, Ian Huyett Oct 2018

Church History, Liberty, And Political Morality: A Response To Professor Calhoun, Ian Huyett

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

In his address, Professor Calhoun used American Christian abolitionism to illustrate the beneficial role that religion can play in political debate. Surveying the past two millennia, I argue that Christian political thought has protected liberty in every era of the church’s dramatic history. Along the way, I rebut critics—from the left and right—who urge that Christianity’s political influence has been unhelpful or harmful. I also seek to show that statements like “religion has no place in politics” are best understood as expressions of arbitrary bias.


Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun Aug 2018

Separation Of Church And State: Jefferson, Lincoln, And The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Show It Was Never Intended To Separate Religion From Politics, Samuel W. Calhoun

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

This Essay argues that it’s perfectly fine for religious citizens to openly bring their faith-based values to public policy disputes. Part II demonstrates that the Founders, exemplified by Thomas Jefferson, never intended to separate religion from politics. Part III, focusing upon Abraham Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, shows that religion and politics have been continuously intermixed ever since the Founding. Part IV, emphasizing the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., argues that no other reasons justify barring faith-based arguments from the public square.


The Jeffersonian Republicans Vs. The Federalist Courts, Kevin R. C. Gutzman May 2018

The Jeffersonian Republicans Vs. The Federalist Courts, Kevin R. C. Gutzman

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


The Supreme Court Before John Marshall, Scott Douglas Gerber May 2018

The Supreme Court Before John Marshall, Scott Douglas Gerber

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Race, Slavery, And Federal Law, 1789-1804: The Creation Of Proslavery Constitutional Law Before Marbury, Paul Finkelman May 2018

Race, Slavery, And Federal Law, 1789-1804: The Creation Of Proslavery Constitutional Law Before Marbury, Paul Finkelman

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Being Seen Like A State: How Americans (And Britons) Built The Constitutional Infrastructure Of A Developing Nation, Daniel J. Hulsebosch Mar 2018

Being Seen Like A State: How Americans (And Britons) Built The Constitutional Infrastructure Of A Developing Nation, Daniel J. Hulsebosch

William & Mary Law Review

This Article develops the argument that the Federal Constitution of 1787 was conceptualized, drafted, and put into operation not only for American citizens but also for foreign audiences. In a world without supranational governing institutions, a constitution—at least, the Federal Constitution—might serve to promote peaceable international relations based on reciprocal trade and open credit. That at least was the Enlightenment-inflected hope.

Did it work? If early Americans engaged in constitution-making in large part to demonstrate their capacity for self-government, selfdiscipline, and commercial openness to foreign audiences, did anyone notice? Or was it all, regardless of diplomatic purposes and ...


The Abraham Lincoln Lecture On Constitutional Law, Steven G. Calabresi Sep 2017

The Abraham Lincoln Lecture On Constitutional Law, Steven G. Calabresi

Northwestern University Law Review

These introductory remarks to the Inaugural Abraham Lincoln Lecture on Constitutional Law were delivered at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law on April 6, 2017.


The Vice Presidency In The Twenty-First Century, Jody C. Baumgartner Apr 2017

The Vice Presidency In The Twenty-First Century, Jody C. Baumgartner

Pepperdine Law Review

The vice presidency has undergone almost revolutionary change since its inception 227 years ago. Conceived as a convenient solution to a problem created by the Electoral College, the Vice President has only two constitutional functions—to serve as a successor to the President and as the President of the Senate. However, over the past sixty years, vice presidents have become increasingly part of and integral to American governance, and the last three (Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden) have been exceptionally active executive actors. What was once an all-but forgotten office is now an essential part of a president ...


The Vice President-More Than An Afterthought?, Richard B. Cheney, Edwin Meese Iii, Douglas W. Kmiec Apr 2017

The Vice President-More Than An Afterthought?, Richard B. Cheney, Edwin Meese Iii, Douglas W. Kmiec

Pepperdine Law Review

A round-table discussion among former U.S. Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Caruso Family Professor of Law and retired U.S. Ambassador Douglas Kmiec, and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III considered the practical implications of conceiving the Vice President as a legislative officer, an executive officer, or both. It was noted that until the second half of the twentieth century, the Office of the Vice President was conceived as legislative. Funding for the Office appeared in budget lines relating to Congress and physically, the Vice President’s office was in the Capitol. Beginning with Walter Mondale’s ...


A Constitutional Afterthought: The Origins Of The Vice Presidency, 1787 To 1804, Edward J. Larson Apr 2017

A Constitutional Afterthought: The Origins Of The Vice Presidency, 1787 To 1804, Edward J. Larson

Pepperdine Law Review

At the origins of the office, even though the Vice President was, as its first occupant John Adams declared, “only one breath” away from the presidency, the Office of the Vice President was an afterthought of the Constitutional Convention. Never discussed during the first three months of the four-month long Convention, the Committee of Eleven introduced the vice presidency as a byproduct of how it resolved to fix the presidential selection process. Under this process, the Electoral College emerged, with each state assigned the same number of electors as its members in the House of Representatives and Senate. Each elector ...


Justice Antonin Scalia’S Flawed Originalist Justification For Brown V. Board Of Education, Ronald Turner Jan 2017

Justice Antonin Scalia’S Flawed Originalist Justification For Brown V. Board Of Education, Ronald Turner

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This article examines Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner’s originalist justification of Brown v. Board of Education in Reading Law, concluding that their analysis is flawed in at least three respects: (1) their interpretation that the texts of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibited all white-supremacist and separationist laws is atextual, acontextual, and ahistorical; (2) their invocation of Justice Harlan and his Plessy dissent does not support, but actually cuts against their understanding of the original understanding; and (3) relying on a single and critiqued article, with no reference to that criticism, they fail to support their conclusion that ...


The Return Of The Self, Or Whatever Happened To Postmodern Jurisprudence, Stephen M. Feldman Jan 2017

The Return Of The Self, Or Whatever Happened To Postmodern Jurisprudence, Stephen M. Feldman

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

Postmodern jurisprudence was all the rage in the 1990s. Two of the most renowned postmodernists, Stanley Fish and Pierre Schlag, both persistently criticized mainstream legal scholars for believing they were modernist selves—independent, sovereign, and autonomous agents who could remake the social and legal world merely by writing a law review article. Then Fish and Schlag turned on each other. Each attacked the other for making the same mistake: harboring a modernist self. I revisit this skirmish for two reasons. First, it helps explain the current moribund state of postmodern jurisprudence. If two of the leading postmodernists could not avoid ...


Render Unto Caesar: How Misunderstanding A Century Of Free Exercise Jurisprudence Forged And Then Fractured The Rfra Coalition, John S. Blattner Jan 2017

Render Unto Caesar: How Misunderstanding A Century Of Free Exercise Jurisprudence Forged And Then Fractured The Rfra Coalition, John S. Blattner

CMC Senior Theses

This thesis provides a comprehensive history of Supreme Court Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence from 1879 until the present day. It describes how a jurisdictional approach to free exercise dominated the Court’s rulings from its first Free Exercise Clause case in 1879 until Sherbert v. Verner in 1963, and how Sherbert introduced an accommodationist precedent which was ineffectively, incompletely, and inconsistently defined by the Court. This thesis shows how proponents of accommodationism furthered a false narrative overstating the scope and consistency of Sherbert’s precedent following the Court’s repudiation of accommodationism and return to full jurisdictionalism with Employment Division ...


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 ...


Interest And Irritation: Brown V. Maryland And The Making Of A National Economy, Henry P. Callegary Nov 2016

Interest And Irritation: Brown V. Maryland And The Making Of A National Economy, Henry P. Callegary

Legal History Publications

This paper examines the United States Supreme Court case Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419 (1827), which struck down Maryland’s licensing fee on wholesalers of imported goods. In doing so, the Court reaffirmed its commitment to a national economic policy, instead of a state-centric system. This paper explores the context of the decision, including profiles of the parties involved, the attorneys for both sides, the lower court decisions, and the majority opinion and dissent from the United States Supreme Court. Additionally, this paper follows the lineage of the case through to the present day, examining its ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative "conscience clauses" are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


Targeted Killing: A Legal And Political History, Markus Gunneflo Dec 2015

Targeted Killing: A Legal And Political History, Markus Gunneflo

Markus Gunneflo

Looking beyond the current debate’s preoccupation with the situations of insecurity of the second intifada and 9/11, this book reveals how targeted killing is intimately embedded in both Israeli and US statecraft and in the problematic relation of sovereign authority and lawful violence underpinning the modern state system. The book details the legal and political issues raised in targeted killing as it has emerged in practice including questions of domestic constitutional authority, the norms on the use of force in international law, the law of targeting and human rights. The distinctiveness of Israeli and US targeted killing is ...


The Commander In Chief's Authority To Combat Climate Change, Mark P. Nevitt Dec 2015

The Commander In Chief's Authority To Combat Climate Change, Mark P. Nevitt

Mark P Nevitt

Climate change is the world’s greatest environmental threat. And it is increasingly understood as a threat to domestic and international peace and security. In recognition of this threat, the President has taken the initiative to prepare for climate change’s impact – in some cases drawing sharp objections from Congress. While both the President and Congress have certain constitutional authorities to address the national security threat posed by climate change, the precise contours of their overlapping powers are unclear. As Commander in Chief, the President has the constitutional authority to repel sudden attacks and take care that the laws are ...


Book Review: The Once And Future King: The Rise Of Crown Government In America, Ronald D. Rotunda Oct 2015

Book Review: The Once And Future King: The Rise Of Crown Government In America, Ronald D. Rotunda

Ronald D. Rotunda

If you want to understand your own language, learn a foreign tongue. Similarly, if you want to understand the American system of government, learn what our intellectual kin—Great Britain and Canada—have done. As Professor F.H. Buckley notes, “He who knows only his own country knows little enough of that.” He is one of the few people who has thoroughly mastered the legal structure and history of all three countries.


Ex Post Modernism: How The First Amendment Framed Nonrepresentational Art, Sonya G. Bonneau Aug 2015

Ex Post Modernism: How The First Amendment Framed Nonrepresentational Art, Sonya G. Bonneau

Sonya G Bonneau

Nonrepresentational art repeatedly surfaces in legal discourse as an example of highly valued First Amendment speech. It is also systematically described in constitutionally valueless terms: nonlinguistic, noncognitive, and apolitical. Why does law talk about nonrepresentational art at all, much less treat it as a constitutional precept? What are the implications for conceptualizing artistic expression as free speech?

This article contends that the source of nonrepresentational art’s presumptive First Amendment value is the same source of its utter lack thereof: modernism. Specifically, a symbolic alliance between abstraction and freedom of expression was forged in the mid-twentieth century, informed by social ...


The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert Hovenkamp Aug 2015

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert Hovenkamp

Herbert Hovenkamp

The Emergence of Classical Patent Law

Abstract

One enduring historical debate concerns whether the American Constitution was intended to be "classical" -- referring to a theory of statecraft that maximizes the role of private markets and minimizes the role of government in economic affairs. The most central and powerful proposition of classical constitutionalism is that the government's role in economic development should be minimal. First, private rights in property and contract exist prior to any community needs for development. Second, if a particular project is worthwhile the market itself will make it occur. Third, when the government attempts to induce ...


Hegelian Dialectical Analysis Of United States Election Laws, Charles E. A. Lincoln Iv Aug 2015

Hegelian Dialectical Analysis Of United States Election Laws, Charles E. A. Lincoln Iv

Charles E. A. Lincoln IV

This Article uses the dialectical ideas of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1833) in application to the progression of United States voting laws since the founding. This analysis can be used to interpret past progression of voting rights in the US as well as a provoking way to predict the future trends in US voting rights. First, Hegel’s dialectical method is established as a major premise. Second, the general accepted history of United States voting laws from the 1770s to the current day is laid out as a minor premise. Third, the major premise of Hegel’s dialectical ...