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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lest We Be Lemmings, Claire Wright Jan 2024

Lest We Be Lemmings, Claire Wright

Faculty Articles

Lest We Be Lemmings concerns global warming, which is the most grave threat facing humanity today. In this article, I first: (1) discuss how the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Executive Branch, for decades, have been aware of the existence of global warming and its main cause – the burning of fossil fuels and emission of CO2 - but have consistently failed to regulate the fossil fuel industry, reduce the lucrative subsidies that they provide to the fossil fuel industry, and hold the fossil fuel industry responsible for global warming; (2) explain how the fossil fuel industry, for decades, …


The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro Jan 2024

The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro

Faculty Articles

For more than a century, the Supreme Court has applied the unconstitutional conditions doctrine in many contexts, scrutinizing government efforts to condition the tradeoff of rights for benefits with regard to speech, funding, and takings, among others. The Court has declined, however, to invoke the doctrine in the area of criminal procedure, where people accused of crime are often asked to—and often do—surrender their constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments in return for some benefit. Despite its insistence that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine applies broadly across the Bill of Rights, the Court’s jurisprudence demonstrates that the doctrine …


Rethinking Eisner V. Macomber, And The Future Of Structural Tax Reform, Alex Zhang Jan 2024

Rethinking Eisner V. Macomber, And The Future Of Structural Tax Reform, Alex Zhang

Faculty Articles

In June 2023, the Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Moore v. United States, ostensibly a challenge to an obscure provision of the 2017 tax legislation. Moore’s real target is the constitutionality of federal wealth and accrual taxation, which policymakers have proposed to combat record inequality and raise revenue for social-welfare reform. At the center of the doctrinal dispute in Moore is a century-old case, Eisner v. Macomber, on which the Moore petitioners and other commentators have relied to argue that Congress has no power to tax wealth or unrealized gains—e.g., appreciation …


Thinly Rooted: Dobbs, Tradition, And Reproductive Justice, Darren L. Hutchinson Jan 2023

Thinly Rooted: Dobbs, Tradition, And Reproductive Justice, Darren L. Hutchinson

Faculty Articles

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. These two cases held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment encompassed a right of women to terminate a pregnancy. Roe reflected over 60 years of substantive due process precedent finding and reaffirming a constitutional right of privacy with several animating themes, including bodily integrity, equality, and dignity. The Court’s substantive due process doctrine had established that the analysis in such cases would involve multiple points of inquiry, such as tradition, contemporary practices, and …


Climate Change And The Law Of National Security Adaptation, Mark P. Nevitt Jan 2023

Climate Change And The Law Of National Security Adaptation, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Articles

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer in the world, owns and operates an enormous global real estate portfolio, and emits more Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) than many nations. Entrusted with the national security, the DoD is now threatened by a new enemy—climate change. Climate change imperils national security infrastructure while undermining the military’s capacity to respond to climate-driven disasters at home and abroad. However, legal scholarship has yet to address what I call “the law of national security adaptation” and related questions. For example, how do environmental and climate change laws apply to the U.S. military? What laws …


Addiction And Liberty, Matthew B. Lawrence Jan 2023

Addiction And Liberty, Matthew B. Lawrence

Faculty Articles

This Article explores the interaction between addiction and liberty and identifies a firm legal basis for recognition of a fundamental constitutional right to freedom from addiction. Government interferes with freedom from addiction when it causes addiction or restricts addiction treatment, and government may protect freedom from addiction through legislation empowering individuals against private actors’ efforts to addict them without their consent. This Article motivates and tests the boundaries of this right through case studies of emergent threats to liberty made possible or exacerbated by new technologies and scientific understandings. These include certain state lottery programs, addiction treatment restrictions, and smartphone …


Originalism And The Meaning Of "Twenty Dollars", Michael L. Smith Jan 2023

Originalism And The Meaning Of "Twenty Dollars", Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Originalism claims to provide answers, or at least assistance, for those hoping to interpret a Constitution filled with wide-ranging, morally loaded terminology. Originalists claim that looking to the original public meaning of the Constitution will constrain interpreters, maintain consistency and predictability in judicial decisions, and is faithful to ideals like democratic legitimacy. This essay responds with the inevitable, tough question: whether originalism can tell interpreters what the Seventh Amendment's reference to "twenty dollars" means--both as a matter of original meaning and for interpreters today.

While this appears to be an easy question, I demonstrate that rather than telling modern legal …


Response To Professor Dinner, Martha Albertson Fineman Jan 2023

Response To Professor Dinner, Martha Albertson Fineman

Faculty Articles

I want to thank the Texas A&M Law Review for including my work in this special Issue and express my appreciation to Professor Dinner for her thoughtful comments concerning the evolution of my scholarship. Professor Dinner raises the question of whether that earlier work is relevant to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion, specifically, and to broader issues of reproductive justice, more generally. For me, Dobbs illustrates—once again—how our American obsession with both individual rights and Supreme Court jurisprudence can distort our sense of the possibilities for achieving social (or reproductive) justice. I see my work as an …


Deities’ Rights?, Deepa Das Acevedo Jan 2023

Deities’ Rights?, Deepa Das Acevedo

Faculty Articles

A brief commotion arose during the hearings for one of twenty-first-century India’s most widely discussed legal disputes, when a dynamic young attorney suggested that deities, too, had constitutional rights. The suggestion was not absurd. Like a human being or a corporation, Hindu temple deities can participate in litigation, incur financial obligations, and own property. There was nothing to suggest, said the attorney, that the same deity who enjoyed many of the rights and obligations accorded to human persons could not also lay claim to some of their constitutional freedoms. The lone justice to consider this claim blandly and briefly observed …


Protecting State Constitutional Rights From Unconstitutional Conditions, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro Jan 2022

Protecting State Constitutional Rights From Unconstitutional Conditions, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro

Faculty Articles

The unconstitutional conditions doctrine limits the ability of governments to force individuals to choose between retaining a right and enjoying a government benefit. The doctrine has primarily remained a creature of federal law, with neither courts nor commentators focusing on the potentially important role of state doctrines of unconstitutional conditions. This omission has become especially significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, as actions by state and local governments have presented unconstitutional conditions questions in a range of novel contexts. The overruling of Roe v. Wade and the resulting focus on state constitutional rights to abortion will offer additional new settings for …


Back To The Sources? What’S Clear And Not So Clear About The Original Intent Of The First Amendment, John Witte Jr. Jan 2022

Back To The Sources? What’S Clear And Not So Clear About The Original Intent Of The First Amendment, John Witte Jr.

Faculty Articles

This Article peels through these layers of founding documents before exploring the final sixteen words of the First Amendment religion clauses. Part I explores the founding generation’s main teachings on religious freedom, identifying the major principles that they held in common. Part II sets out a few representative state constitutional provisions on religious freedom created from 1776 to 1784. Part III reviews briefly the actions by the Continental Congress on religion and religious freedom issued between 1774 and 1789. Part IV touches on the deprecated place of religious freedom in the drafting of the 1787 United States Constitution. Part V …


Constitutional Rights As Human Rights: Freedom Of Speech, Equal Protection, And The Right Of Privacy, Michael J. Perry Jan 2022

Constitutional Rights As Human Rights: Freedom Of Speech, Equal Protection, And The Right Of Privacy, Michael J. Perry

Faculty Articles

Much of my recent scholarly work has addressed questions concerning the political morality - the global political morality of human rights. This essay continues in that vein; I focus on a relationship I began to discuss almost forty years ago, in my first book: the relationship between (some) constitutional rights and (some) human rights. My overarching claim here: There is a significant interface between the constitutional law of the United States and the political morality of human rights. My principal aim in this Essay is to defend (and illustrate) that broad claim by defending three narrower claims:

1. The constitutional …


When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein

Faculty Articles

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, yet states continue to struggle with drug shortages and botched executions. Some states have authorized alternative methods of execution, including the firing squad. Utah, which has consistently carried out firing squad executions throughout its history, relies on police officers from the jurisdiction where the crime took place to volunteer to carry out these executions. This represents a plausible-and probable method for other states in conducting firing squad executions.

Public and academic discussion of the firing squad has centered on questions of pain and suffering. It has not engaged with the …


Originalism's Implementation Problem, Michael L. Smith, Alexander S. Hiland Jan 2022

Originalism's Implementation Problem, Michael L. Smith, Alexander S. Hiland

Faculty Articles

Originalism has received a great deal of recent, mainstream attention. President Donald Trump's nomination of three justices to the Supreme Court amplified discussions of their judicial philosophies during and following their confirmation proceedings. Supporters of these nominations highlighted the nominees' originalist credentials, arguing that originalism was the dominant approach to constitutional interpretation.

In the academic sphere, volumes of articles and books set forth originalist theories and methodology. Its academic proponents also refer to it as the dominant form of constitutional interpretation—often asserting that opponents of originalism have failed to enunciate a coherent alternative theory. Some argue that originalism (at least, …


Originalism And The Inseparability Of Decision Procedures From Interpretive Standards, Michael L. Smith Jan 2022

Originalism And The Inseparability Of Decision Procedures From Interpretive Standards, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

In his article, Originalism: Standard and Procedure, Professor Stephen E. Sachs describes a never-ending debate between originalism's advocates and critics. Originalists argue that certain historical facts determine the Constitution's meaning. But determining these facts is difficult, if not impossible for judges, attorneys, and the public. Sachs seeks to rise above this debate, arguing that the legal community should not expect originalism to offer a procedure for interpreting the Constitution. Instead, the legal community should treat originalism as a

standard to judge interpretations.

This Article takes issue with this approach. Originalism is not like other instances in law where statutes or …


The Third Amendment In 2020, Michael L. Smith Jan 2022

The Third Amendment In 2020, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Compared with other Amendments in the Bill of Rights, the Third Amendment does not get much attention. Its prohibition on the quartering of soldiers in houses during peacetime, along with its prohibition on similar quartering during times of war absent legal prescription, is rarely the subject of litigation or scholarship. Indeed, most people—and likely most attorneys—probably cannot tell you what the Third Amendment covers if put on the spot. This Article aims to fix this by giving the Third Amendment the respect that one of the Constitution's original amendments deserves. This Article surveys and analyzes caselaw, scholarship, and popular media …


Media Paratext And Constitutional Interpretation, Benjamin J. Priester Dec 2021

Media Paratext And Constitutional Interpretation, Benjamin J. Priester

Faculty Articles

In the fields of media studies and fan studies, the concept of paratext is an analytical paradigm for understanding how audiences consume and interpret media texts, such as a novel or movie. Amid today's media-rich society, it is all but impossible to encounter a media text in isolation. Rather, we also invariably interact with a wide variety of associated paratexts, from official materials like trailers or marketing to unofficial materials like reviews or fan reactions, which play a role in shaping our interpretation of the core media text. This concept of media paratext provides a compelling analogy for constitutional interpretation. …


Ostracism And Democracy, Alex Zhang Jan 2021

Ostracism And Democracy, Alex Zhang

Faculty Articles

The 2020 Presidential Election featured an unprecedented attempt to undermine our democratic institutions: allegations of voter fraud and litigation about mail-in ballots culminated in a mob storming of the Capitol as Congress certified President Biden’s victory. Former President Trump now faces social-media bans and potential disqualification from future federal office, but his allies have criticized those efforts as the witch-hunt of a cancel culture that is symptomatic of the unique ills of contemporary liberal politics.

This Article defends recent efforts to remove Trump from the public eye, with reference to an ancient Greek electoral mechanism: ostracism. In the world’s first …


Evolution Of Legal Topics, Rights And Obligations In The United States, Roberto Rosas Jan 2021

Evolution Of Legal Topics, Rights And Obligations In The United States, Roberto Rosas

Faculty Articles

What new constitutional rights does the American Legal system have to offer? The United States Constitution is a document that continues to be interpreted every year. The Supreme Court hears recent cases with the purpose of interpreting the meaning of the Constitution. Since the creation of the Supreme Court, the Constitution has been analyzed in different ways – some interpretations lasting decades and some amendments going through changes depending on the different ideologies of the Justices on the Court.

This article discusses some of the rights established by the Supreme Court from 2016 to 2019 and provides the background as …


Two Constitutional Rights, Two Constitutional Controversies, Michael J. Perry Jan 2021

Two Constitutional Rights, Two Constitutional Controversies, Michael J. Perry

Faculty Articles

My overarching aim in the Article is to defend a particular understanding of two constitutional rights and, relatedly, a particular resolution of two constitutional controversies. The two rights I discuss are among the most important rights protected by the constitutional law of the United States: the right to equal protection and the right of privacy. As I explain in the Article, the constitutional right to equal protection is, at its core, the human right to moral equality, and the constitutional right to privacy is best understood as a version of the human right to moral freedom. The two controversies I …


The 14th Amendment And Me: How I Learned Not To Give Up On The 14th Amendment, Robert Chang Oct 2020

The 14th Amendment And Me: How I Learned Not To Give Up On The 14th Amendment, Robert Chang

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


The Wealth Tax: Apportionment, Federalism, And Constitutionality, Alex Zhang Jan 2020

The Wealth Tax: Apportionment, Federalism, And Constitutionality, Alex Zhang

Faculty Articles

Proposals of wealth taxation as a mechanism to combat economic inequality and raise revenue for welfare programs have dominated recent political debate. Despite extensive academic commentary, questions surrounding the constitutionality of a wealth tax remain unresolved. Previous scholarly approaches have drawn a dichotomy between two key cases. Supporters of the wealth tax emphasize Hylton's functional rule for identifying direct taxes, which must be apportioned under the Constitution, and reject Pollock, which invalidated the federal income tax on the grounds that it was a direct tax. Opponents of the wealth tax, in contrast, argue that Pollock, rather than …


Speech Inequality After Janus V. Afscme, Charlotte Garden Jan 2020

Speech Inequality After Janus V. Afscme, Charlotte Garden

Faculty Articles

This Article explores the growing divide between the Roberts Court’s treatment of the free speech rights of wealthy individuals and corporations in campaign finance cases as compared to its treatment of the rights of public-sector labor unions and their members. First, it highlights some internal contradictions in the Janus Court’s analysis. Then, it discusses the growing—yet mostly ignored—divergence in the Court’s treatment of corporate and labor speakers with respect to the use of market influence to achieve political influence.The Article has two Parts. In Part I, I explain how the Court reached its decision in Janus before critiquing the decision’s …


Historical Foundations And Enduring Fundamentals Of American Religious Freedom, John Witte Jr. Jan 2020

Historical Foundations And Enduring Fundamentals Of American Religious Freedom, John Witte Jr.

Faculty Articles

For all of their failures and shortcomings, the eighteenth-century founders did indeed begin on the right “path” toward a free society, and today, Americans enjoy a good deal of religious, civil, and political freedom as a consequence. American principles of religious freedom have had a profound influence around the globe, and they now figure prominently in a number of national constitutions and international human rights instruments issued by political and religious bodies.

To be sure, as Adams predicted, there has always been a “glorious uncertainty of the law” of religious liberty and a noble diversity of understandings of its details. …


Disappropriation, Matthew B. Lawrence Jan 2020

Disappropriation, Matthew B. Lawrence

Faculty Articles

In recent years, Congress has repeatedly failed to appropriate funds necessary to honor legal commitments (or entitlements) that are themselves enacted in permanent law. The Appropriations Clause has forced the government to defy legislative command and break such commitments, with destructive results for recipients and the rule of law. This Article is the first to address this poorly understood phenomenon, which it labels a form of “disappropriation.”

The Article theorizes recent high-profile disappropriations as one probabilistic consequence of Congress’s decision to create permanent legislative payment commitments that the government cannot honor without periodic, temporary appropriations. Such partially temporary programs include …


The Trump Travel Ban: Rhetoric Vs Reality, Jeffrey F. Addicott Jul 2019

The Trump Travel Ban: Rhetoric Vs Reality, Jeffrey F. Addicott

Faculty Articles

President Trump's "Muslim ban" set the nation afire with debate. Opponents to the ban were motivated by the President's underlying motivations. Three iterations of the travel ban were struck down by lower courts. Before the Supreme Court, however, the travel ban was upheld. First, the plain language of § 1182(f) granted broad discretion to the President. Second, it did not violate the prohibition of discrimination against selected categories in § 1152(a)(1)(A). Finally, it failed to violate the Establishment Clause because it is facially legitimate, satisfying rational basis review. The Court found no facial evidence demonstrating discriminatory bias.


Reshaping American Jurisprudence In The Trump Era - The Rise Of Originalist Judges, Jeffrey F. Addicott Apr 2019

Reshaping American Jurisprudence In The Trump Era - The Rise Of Originalist Judges, Jeffrey F. Addicott

Faculty Articles

One of the factors that is often cited as a key reason why President Donald J. Trump was elected as the forty-fifth president, was his pledge to the American people to "make America great again" by appointing "conservative judges" to the bench, particularly when it came to filling any vacancies that might open on the United States Supreme Court. Since the never ending fight for securing an ideological majority on the Supreme Court is always viewed with great concern by both political parties, many wondered whether then candidate Trump was simply telling potential voters what they wanted to hear, or …


Rules To Impeach By - What It Takes To Remove A President, David Dittfurth Mar 2019

Rules To Impeach By - What It Takes To Remove A President, David Dittfurth

Faculty Articles

Professor David Dittfurth explains the steps that must be taken by Congress to impeach a president or other official.


Constitutional Shapeshifting: Giving The Fourth Amendment Substance In The Technology Driven World Of Criminal Investigation, Gerald S. Reamey Jun 2018

Constitutional Shapeshifting: Giving The Fourth Amendment Substance In The Technology Driven World Of Criminal Investigation, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

For the first hundred years of the Fourth Amendment's life, gains in the technology of surveillance were modest. With the advent of miniaturization and ever-increasing sophistication and capability of surveillance and detection devices, the Supreme Court has struggled to adapt its understanding of "search" to the constantly evolving devices and methods that challenge contemporary understanding of privacy. In response to surveillance innovations, the Court has taken varying positions, focusing first on property-based intrusions by government, then shifting to privacy expectations, and, more recently, resurrecting the view that a trespass to property can define search.

This article surveys this constitutional odyssey, …


The (Mis)Application Of Rule 404(B) Heuristics, Dora W. Klein Apr 2018

The (Mis)Application Of Rule 404(B) Heuristics, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

In all of the federal circuit courts of appeals, application of Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence has been distorted by judicially-created "tests" that, while intended to assist trial courts in properly admitting or excluding evidence, do not actually test for the kind of evidence prohibited by this rule. Rule 404(b) prohibits evidence of "crimes, wrongs, or other acts" if the purpose for admitting the evidence is to prove action in accordance with a character trait. This evidence is commonly referred to as "propensity" evidence, or "once a drug dealer, always a drug dealer" evidence.

This Article examines …