Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 26 of 26

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


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 …


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, …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Political Ripples Ahead For Supreme Court Confirmation, Michael S. Ariens Feb 2017

Political Ripples Ahead For Supreme Court Confirmation, Michael S. Ariens

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


Exemplary And Exceptional Confusion Under The Federal Rules Of Evidence, Dora W. Klein Jan 2017

Exemplary And Exceptional Confusion Under The Federal Rules Of Evidence, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

This Article proposes that the final provisions of Rule 407 and 411, which provide a list of examples of permitted purposes for which a court may admit evidence, are asking for trouble--specifically, the trouble that courts will interpret the list not as examples, but as a specially enumerated, exhaustive list of exceptions.


The Development Of Chinese Constitutionalism, Chenglin Liu Jan 2016

The Development Of Chinese Constitutionalism, Chenglin Liu

Faculty Articles

Since the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the country has enacted four constitutions. This Article provides a historical analysis of how the Communist Party of China (the Party) and its paramount leaders shaped each constitution, influenced the public perception of the law, and determined the method individual constitutional rights should be permitted. Through examining leading incidents that defined the PRC's history, this Article provides a detailed examination of how the Party used a constitutional framework to achieve its specific agenda of the time.


Prior Sexual Misconduct Evidence In State Courts: Constitutional And Common Law Challenges, Michael L. Smith Jan 2015

Prior Sexual Misconduct Evidence In State Courts: Constitutional And Common Law Challenges, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Prosecuting sex crimes is a sensitive, challenging process, and many who commit these crimes end up going unpunished. While a defendant may have a history of prior sexual misconduct, the rules of evidence in most states and at the federal level generally prohibit the introduction of prior misconduct to show a defendant's propensity to commit a present crime. In response, the federal government and numerous state legislatures have adopted rules of evidence that permit the introduction of prior sexual misconduct in cases where a defendant is charged with a sexual crime.

While commentators have written in great detail about federal …


A Case For The Electoral College And For Its Faithless Elector, Stephen M. Sheppard Jan 2015

A Case For The Electoral College And For Its Faithless Elector, Stephen M. Sheppard

Faculty Articles

Every four years, the cry goes up to destroy the Electoral College. That cry is especially loud in years when a candidate is elected president who receives a minority of the votes. The election of a "minority president" happened with the election of 2000, but it had happened before. The Electoral College has elected three presidents whom a majority of the voters voted against: Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000. (A fourth president was also elected with a minority of the popular vote—John Quincy Adams in 1824—through that election was by …


Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith Jan 2015

Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

The recent rise of domestic drone technology has prompted privacy advocates and members of the public to call for the regulation of the use of drones by law enforcement officers. Numerous states have proposed legislation to regulate government drone use, and thirteen have passed laws that restrict the use of drones by law enforcement agencies. Despite the activity in state legislatures, commentary on drones tends to focus on how courts, rather than legislative bodies, can restrict the government's use of drones. Commentators call for wider Fourth Amendment protections that would limit government surveillance. In the process, in-depth analysis of state …


Developing Environmental Law For All Citizens, Patricia W. Moore, Eliana S. Pereira, Gillian Duggin Jan 2015

Developing Environmental Law For All Citizens, Patricia W. Moore, Eliana S. Pereira, Gillian Duggin

Faculty Articles

On 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste became a country. Its Constitution, which came into force on 20 May 2002, is based on civil law, with many similarities to Portugal's legal system. The Constitution also laid the foundation for environmental law, which the government has been developing ever since. This overview of the development of environmental law in Timor-Leste describes the constitutional provisions that are the source of environmental law in the country; presents the policy basis for environmental law; reviews the legal instruments governing the environment that the government has adopted since 2002; introduces draft laws under consideration at the end …


Universities As Constitutional Law Makers (And Other Hidden Actors In Our Constitutional Orders), Adam J. Macleod Jan 2014

Universities As Constitutional Law Makers (And Other Hidden Actors In Our Constitutional Orders), Adam J. Macleod

Faculty Articles

In the stories told by opinion makers and many law professors, American constitutional law is concerned with two things-individual rights and the powers of government-and it is settled by the Court, which was established by Article III of our national Constitution. In those now-familiar tales, the United States Supreme Court creates constitutional law when heroic individuals assert their fundamental rights against an overreaching state and when Congress, state legislatures, and executive agencies are called upon to justify their expert enactments to an overreaching judiciary. To settle these constitutional disputes the Court looks either to the text of the written Constitution …


The Second Amendment Implications Of Regulating 3d Printed Firearms, Michael L. Smith Jan 2014

The Second Amendment Implications Of Regulating 3d Printed Firearms, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

3D printed firearms have arrived, and commentators are beginning to ask whether and how this new technology can be regulated. An inevitable question that governments and courts will need to confront when considering restrictions on 3D printed firearms is whether these restrictions violate the Second Amendment. In this paper, I argue that most restrictions on 3D printed firearms would survive Second Amendment challenges. In carrying out this argument, I consider a complete ban on the manufacturing and possession of 3D printed firearms and conclude that even this complete ban would be likely to survive Second Amendment challenges. Because these particularly …


Second Amendment Challenges To Student Housing Firearms Bans: The Strength Of The Home Analogy, Michael L. Smith Jan 2013

Second Amendment Challenges To Student Housing Firearms Bans: The Strength Of The Home Analogy, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Public colleges and universities or state governments often ban the possession of firearms on public university or college property. These bans typically extend to student housing. While much has been written about campus bans on the carrying of concealed firearms, the topic of gun bans in the student housing context has been largely unaddressed in Second Amendment literature. This Comment seeks to fill that gap by evaluating potential student challenges to firearms bans in the student housing context in light of potential standards of review courts may apply and in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in District of …


Catholicism And Constitutional Law: More Than Privacy In The Penumbras, Bill Piatt Jan 2010

Catholicism And Constitutional Law: More Than Privacy In The Penumbras, Bill Piatt

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


Church-State Constitutional Issues: Making Sense Of The Establishment Clause And That Godless Court?: Supreme Court Decision On Church-State Relationships (Book Reviews), Michael Ariens Jan 2001

Church-State Constitutional Issues: Making Sense Of The Establishment Clause And That Godless Court?: Supreme Court Decision On Church-State Relationships (Book Reviews), Michael Ariens

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


Writing In The Margins: Brennan, Marshall, And The Inherent Weaknesses Of Liberal Judicial Decision-Making (Essay), Donna F. Coltharp Jan 1997

Writing In The Margins: Brennan, Marshall, And The Inherent Weaknesses Of Liberal Judicial Decision-Making (Essay), Donna F. Coltharp

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Law And The Myth Of The Great Judge, Michael S. Ariens Jan 1993

Constitutional Law And The Myth Of The Great Judge, Michael S. Ariens

Faculty Articles

One of the enduring myths of American history, including constitutional history, is that of the “Great Man” or “Great Woman.” The idea is that, to understand the history of America, one needs to understand the impact made by Great Men and Women whose actions affected the course of history. In political history, one assays the development of the United States through the lives of great Americans, from the “Founders” to Abraham Lincoln to John F. Kennedy. Similarly, in constitutional history, the story is told through key figures, the “Great Judges,” from John Marshall to Oliver Wendell Holmes to Earl Warren. …


When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey Jan 1992

When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

Removing laws to pursue the lawbreaker may be well intentioned, but the result is that society is susceptible to the evils those laws protect against. The traditional Fourth Amendment safeguards--probable cause and warrants--have been abandoned due to the development of a reasonableness standard because of the presence of “special needs” that were used to justify searches. The adoption of this alternative approach to Fourth Amendment interpretation was signalled by the truly landmark case of Terry v. Ohio.

By adopting the “reasonableness” analysis, the Supreme Court altered the impact of the exclusionary rule without directly modifying the rule. After Griffin v. …