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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Due Process Supreme Court Appellate Division Third Department Jul 2019

Due Process Supreme Court Appellate Division Third Department

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Mccleskey V. Kemp: Field Notes From 1977-1991, John Charles Boger Jun 2018

Mccleskey V. Kemp: Field Notes From 1977-1991, John Charles Boger

Northwestern University Law Review

The litigation campaign that led to McCleskey v. Kemp did not begin as an anti-death-penalty effort. It grew in soil long washed in the blood of African-Americans, lynched or executed following rude semblances of trials and hasty appeals, which had prompted the NAACP from its very founding to demand “simple justice” in individual criminal cases. When the Warren Court signaled, in the early 1960s, that it might be open to reflection on broader patterns of racial discrimination in capital sentencing, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) began to gather empirical evidence and craft appropriate constitutional responses. As that effort built, other deficiencies in state capital states became apparent, and LDF eventually asserted a broader constitutional critique of state capital structures and processes. By 1967, LDF and its allies had developed a nationwide “moratorium” campaign that challenged death sentencing statutes in virtually every state.

Though the campaign appeared poised for partial success in 1969, changes in Court personnel and shifts in the nation’s mood dashed LDF’s initial hopes. Yet unexpectedly, in 1972, five Justices ruled in Furman v. Georgia that all death sentences and all capital statutes nationwide would fall under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. Each of the nine Furman Justices wrote separately, without a single governing rationale beyond their expressed uneasiness that the death penalty was being imposed infrequently, capriciously, and in an arbitrary manner. Thirty-five states promptly enacted new and revised capital statutes. Four years later, a majority of the Court held that three of those new state statutes met Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment standards. The 1976 Court majority expressed confidence that the states’ newly revised procedures should work to curb the arbitrariness and capriciousness that had earlier troubled the Furman majority.

The McCleskey case emerged from subsequent review of post-Furman sentencing patterns in the State of Georgia. A brilliant and exhaustive study by Professor David Baldus and his colleagues demonstrated that the Court’s assumptions in 1976 were wrong; strong racial disparities in capital sentencing continued to persist statewide in Georgia—especially in cases in ...


Justice Blackmun And Individual Rights, Diane P. Wood Oct 2017

Justice Blackmun And Individual Rights, Diane P. Wood

Dickinson Law Review

Of the many contributions Justice Blackmun has made to American jurisprudence, surely his record in the area of individual rights stands out for its importance. Throughout his career on the Supreme Court, he has displayed concern for a wide variety of individual and civil rights. He has rendered decisions on matters ranging from the most personal interests in autonomy and freedom from interference from government in life’s private realms, to the increasingly complex problems posed by discrimination based upon race, sex, national origin, alienage, illegitimacy, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. As his views have become well known to the ...


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 ...


Nineteenth Century Interpretations Of The Federal Contract Clause: The Transformation From Vested To Substantive Rights Against The State , James L. Kainen Aug 2014

Nineteenth Century Interpretations Of The Federal Contract Clause: The Transformation From Vested To Substantive Rights Against The State , James L. Kainen

James L. Kainen

During the early nineteenth century, the contract clause served as the fundamental source of federally protected rights against the state. Yet the Supreme Court gradually eased many of the restrictions on state power enforced in the contract clause cases while developing the doctrine of substantive due process after the Civil War. By the end of the nineteenth century, the due process clause had usurped the place of the contract clause as the centerpiece in litigation about individual rights. Most analyses of the history of federally protected rights against the state have emphasized the rise of substantive due process to the ...


The Importance Of Interpretation: How The Language Of The Constitution Allows For Differing Opinions, Christina J. Banfield May 2014

The Importance Of Interpretation: How The Language Of The Constitution Allows For Differing Opinions, Christina J. Banfield

Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

No abstract provided.


Due Process And Social Legislation In The Supreme Court--A Post Mortem, Robert Rodes Nov 2013

Due Process And Social Legislation In The Supreme Court--A Post Mortem, Robert Rodes

Robert Rodes

No abstract provided.


Reforming Affirmative Action For The Future: A Constitutional And Consequentialist Approach, Quinn Chasan Jan 2013

Reforming Affirmative Action For The Future: A Constitutional And Consequentialist Approach, Quinn Chasan

CMC Senior Theses

In my analysis of affirmative action policy, I began the search without having formed any opinion whatsoever. The topic was interesting to me, and after reading a mass of news editorials and their op-eds, I decided to take up the argument for myself. Other than the fact that I am a student, I have no stake in affirmative action policy. This paper relies primarily on the foremost half-dozen or so notable mismatch theory scholars, a close reading of an innumerable number of Supreme Court opinions, affirmative action related studies from higher education academics and policy institutes, and how historical executive ...


Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 2005

Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Robert Kaczorowski argues for an expansive originalist interpretation of Congressional power under the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Civil War Congress actually exercised, and the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld plenary Congressional power to enforce the constitutional rights of slaveholders. After the Civil War, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment copied the antebellum statutes and exercised plenary power to enforce the constitutional rights of all American citizens when they enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then incorporated the Act into the Fourteenth Amendment. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment thereby exercised the plenary power the Rehnquist Court claims the ...


Nineteenth Century Interpretations Of The Federal Contract Clause: The Transformation From Vested To Substantive Rights Against The State , James L. Kainen Jan 1982

Nineteenth Century Interpretations Of The Federal Contract Clause: The Transformation From Vested To Substantive Rights Against The State , James L. Kainen

Faculty Scholarship

During the early nineteenth century, the contract clause served as the fundamental source of federally protected rights against the state. Yet the Supreme Court gradually eased many of the restrictions on state power enforced in the contract clause cases while developing the doctrine of substantive due process after the Civil War. By the end of the nineteenth century, the due process clause had usurped the place of the contract clause as the centerpiece in litigation about individual rights. Most analyses of the history of federally protected rights against the state have emphasized the rise of substantive due process to the ...


Searching For The Intent Of The Framers Of Fourteenth Amendment , Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 1972

Searching For The Intent Of The Framers Of Fourteenth Amendment , Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

IN 1946 JUSTICE HUGO BLACK DECLARED that one of the objects of the fourteenth amendment was to apply the Bill of Rights to the States. He was confident that an analysis of the intent of the framers of the amendment would support his assertion. A few years later the Supreme Court requested such an investigation, but when the analysis was made and the results presented to it, the Supreme Court concluded that the framers' intent could not be determined. The uncertainty surrounding the intent of the framers of the fourteenth amendment has had profound implications on the application of that ...


Due Process And Social Legislation In The Supreme Court--A Post Mortem, Robert E. Rodes Jan 1957

Due Process And Social Legislation In The Supreme Court--A Post Mortem, Robert E. Rodes

Journal Articles

Nowadays, there is no more discredited era in our judicial history than that represented by such cases as Lochner v. New York.' During this era, we are told, our ancestors were so benighted economically as to embrace economic principles incapable of producing the good life, and so benighted judicially as to read their economics into the Constitution. We have barely left behind us the bulk of the advocates and judges whose role in history it was to slay the giant laissez-faire, so it is not surprising that we should have no picture of their adversary but the dne that was ...