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Constitutional Law

2019

Vanderbilt University Law School

Contract clause

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Still In Exile? The Current Status Of The Contract Clause, James W. Ely Jan 2019

Still In Exile? The Current Status Of The Contract Clause, James W. Ely

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Contract Clause is no longer the subject of much judicial solicitude or academic interest.' Since the 1930s the once potent Contract Clause has been largely relegated to the outer reaches of constitutional law.2 This, of course, was not always the case. On the contrary, throughout the nineteenth century the Contract Clause was one of the most litigated provisions of the Constitution. In 1896, Justice George Shiras astutely commented: "No provision of the constitution of the United States has received more frequent consideration by this court than that which provides that no state shall pass any law impairing the obligation …