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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Oasis Or Mirage: The Supreme Court's Thirst For Dictionaries In The Rehnquist And Roberts Eras, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum Jan 2013

Oasis Or Mirage: The Supreme Court's Thirst For Dictionaries In The Rehnquist And Roberts Eras, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s use of dictionaries, virtually non-existent before 1987, has dramatically increased during the Rehnquist and Roberts Court eras to the point where as many as one-third of statutory decisions invoke dictionary definitions. The increase is linked to the rise of textualism and its intense focus on ordinary meaning. This Article explores the Court’s new dictionary culture in depth from empirical and doctrinal perspectives. We find that while textualist justices are heavy dictionary users, purposivist justices invoke dictionary definitions with comparable frequency. Further, dictionary use overall is strikingly ad hoc and subjective. We demonstrate how the Court ...


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 ...


Discontinuous Tradition Of Sentencing Discretion: Koon's Failure To Recognize The Reshaping Of Judicial Discretion Under The Guidelines, The, Ian Weinstein Jan 1999

Discontinuous Tradition Of Sentencing Discretion: Koon's Failure To Recognize The Reshaping Of Judicial Discretion Under The Guidelines, The, Ian Weinstein

Faculty Scholarship

Can a judge exercise discretion and follow the law? Some think it impossible, seeing discretion as the opposite of law. Others have harmonized the two ideas, viewing discretion as the exercise of judgment according to and within the bounds of the law. Those who decry judicial discretion urge legislatures to enact more specific laws and leave less room for the vice of inconsistent results. Those who defend discretion would channel it to achieve the virtue of individualized justice. The tension between individualization and uniformity in the law is often unnecessarily heightened by an inadequate analysis of judicial discretion. The exercise ...


Tragic Irony Of American Federalism: National Sovereignty Versus State Sovereignty In Slavery And In Freedom, The Federalism In The 21st Century: Historical Perspectives, Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 1996

Tragic Irony Of American Federalism: National Sovereignty Versus State Sovereignty In Slavery And In Freedom, The Federalism In The 21st Century: Historical Perspectives, Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

A plurality on the Supreme Court seeks to establish a state-sovereignty based theory of federalism that imposes sharp limitations on Congress's legislative powers. Using history as authority, they admonish a return to the constitutional "first principles" of the Founders. These "first principles," in their view, attribute all governmental authority to "the consent of the people of each individual state, not the consent of the undifferentiated people of the Nation as a whole." Because the people of each state are the source of all governmental power, they maintain, "where the Constitution is silent about the exercise of a particular power-that ...


By Reason Of Their Sex: Feminist Theory Postmodernism And Justice , Tracy E. Higgins Jan 1994

By Reason Of Their Sex: Feminist Theory Postmodernism And Justice , Tracy E. Higgins

Faculty Scholarship

Both the Supreme Court's jurisprudence of gender and feminist legal theory have generally assumed that some identifiable and describable category of woman exists prior to the construction of legal categories. For the Court, this woman-whose characteristics admittedly have changed over time-serves as the standard against which gendered legal classifications are measured. For feminism, her existence has served a different but equally important purpose as the subject for whom political goals are pursued. To the extent that the definitions of the category diverge, the differences among definitions are played out in feminist critiques of the Court's gender jurisprudence, and ...


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 ...