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Full-Text Articles in Law

The American Law Of Overruling Necessity: The Exceptional Origins Of State Police Power, William J. Novak Nov 2020

The American Law Of Overruling Necessity: The Exceptional Origins Of State Police Power, William J. Novak

Book Chapters

One of the most significant legal-constitutional moments in the history of the American republic occurred in the Confederation Congress on September 26 and 27, 1787. On those dates, the handiwork of the historic Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was now "laid before the United States in Congress assembled." And the momentous question for the extant official lawmaking body of the US government was what to do next. Under Article 1 3 of the Articles of Confederation, any alteration of the articles had to be agreed to by Congress and confirmed by the legislatures of every state. Notably, the Philadelphia convention had …


Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts Nov 2020

Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts

Michigan Law Review

The writ of habeas corpus presents the last chance for innocent defendants to obtain relief from invalid convictions and sentences. The writ constitutes a limited exception to the finality of judgments. Given the role finality plays in conserving judicial resources and deterring criminal conduct, exceptions created by habeas must be principally circumscribed. Since the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause in Johnson v. United States, the federal courts of appeals have attempted to develop a test that protects the writ from abuse by Johnson claimants.

This Note first contributes a new understanding of the …


Lin-Manuel Miranda And The Future Of Originalism, Richard A. Primus Oct 2020

Lin-Manuel Miranda And The Future Of Originalism, Richard A. Primus

Book Chapters

This chapter discusses how Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical is changing the future of originalism. Originalism in constitutional law has recently had a generally conservative valence not because the Founders were an eighteenth-century version of the Federalist Society, but because readings of Founding era sources that favored right-leaning causes were generally predominant in the community of constitutional lawyers. Since 2015, however, the millions of Americans who have listened obsessively to Hamilton's cast album or packed theaters to see the show in person have been absorbing a new vision of the Founding. The blockbuster musical narrative has retold America's …


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge …


Herein Of 'Herein Granted': Why Article I'S Vesting Clause Does Not Support The Doctrine Of Enumerated Powers, Richard A. Primus Sep 2020

Herein Of 'Herein Granted': Why Article I'S Vesting Clause Does Not Support The Doctrine Of Enumerated Powers, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Article I of the United States Constitution begins as follows: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States[.]” That text is sometimes called the Vesting Clause, or, more precisely, the Article I Vesting Clause, because Articles II and III also begin with Vesting Clauses. And there is a feature of those three clauses, when compared, to which twenty-first century constitutional lawyers commonly attribute considerable significance. Although the three Clauses are similar in other ways, the syntax of Article I’s Vesting Clause is not fully parallel to that of the other two. The Vesting …


The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson Sep 2020

The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Recent presidential reliance on acting agency officials, including an acting Attorney General, acting Secretaries of Defense, and an acting Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as numerous below-Cabinet officials, has drawn significant criticism from scholars, the media, and members of Congress. They worry that the President may be pursuing illegitimate goals and seeking to bypass the critical Senate role under the Appointments Clause. But Congress has authorized—and Presidents have called upon—such individuals from the early years of the Republic to the present. Meanwhile, neither formalist approaches to the constitutional issue, which seem to permit no flexibility, nor current Supreme Court …


Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus Aug 2020

Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus

Reviews

David Schwartz’s terrific new book is subtitled John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the book is about much more than Marshall and McCulloch. It’s bout the long struggle over the scope of national power. Marshall and McCulloch are characters in the story, but the story isn’t centrally about them. Indeed, an important part of Schwartz’s narrative is that McCulloch has mattered relatively little in that struggle, except as a protean symbol.


Discerning A Dignitary Offense: The Concept Of Equal 'Public Rights' During Reconstruction, Rebecca J. Scott Aug 2020

Discerning A Dignitary Offense: The Concept Of Equal 'Public Rights' During Reconstruction, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

The mountain of modern interpretation to which the language of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution has been subjected tends to overshadow the multiple concepts of antidiscrimination that were actually circulating at the time of its drafting. Moreover, as authors on race and law have pointed out, Congress itself lacked any African American representatives during the 1866–68 moment of transitional justice. The subsequent development of a “state action doctrine” limiting the reach of federal civil rights enforcement, in turn, eclipsed important contemporary understandings of the harms that Reconstruction-era initiatives sought to combat. In contrast to the oblique language …


Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman Jul 2020

Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This Article, prepared for a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the Nineteenth Amendment’s one-hundred-year anniversary, explores and defends a “thick” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment right to vote and Congress’s power to enforce it. A “thin” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that the Amendment merely prohibits states from enacting laws that prohibit women from voting once the state decides to hold an election. And a “thin” conception of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that Congress may only supply remedies for official acts that violate the Amendment’s substantive guarantees. This Article argues the Nineteenth Amendment does more. …


Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus Jun 2020

Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

For years, experts have blamed Strickland v. Washington’s lax standard for assessing trial attorney effectiveness for many of the criminal justice system’s problems. But the conventional understanding of Strickland as a problem for ineffectiveness claims gives the decision too much prominence because it treats Strickland as the test for all such claims. That is a mistake. Properly understood, the Supreme Court has recognized four different constitutional forms of trial attorney ineffectiveness, and Strickland’s two pronged test applies to only one of the four. If litigants and courts would notice this complexity and relegate Strickland to its proper place, it would …


Pub. L. No. 86-272 And The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine: Is This Anachronism Constitutionally Vulnerable After Murphy V. Ncaa?, Matthew A. Melone Jun 2020

Pub. L. No. 86-272 And The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine: Is This Anachronism Constitutionally Vulnerable After Murphy V. Ncaa?, Matthew A. Melone

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

State taxing authority suffers from little of the structural impediments that the Constitution imposes on the federal government’s taxing power but the states’ power to tax is subject to the restrictions imposed on the exercise of any state action by the Constitution. The most significant obstacles to the states’ assertion of their taxing authority have been the Due Process Clause and the Commerce Clause. The Due Process Clause concerns itself with fairness while the Commerce Clause concerns itself with a functioning national economy. Although the two restrictions have different objectives, for quite some time both restrictions shared one attribute—a taxpayer …


Resolving Alj Removal Protections Problem Following Lucia, Spencer Davenport May 2020

Resolving Alj Removal Protections Problem Following Lucia, Spencer Davenport

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

When the Supreme Court decided Lucia v. SEC and held that administrative law judges (ALJs) are Officers under the Constitution, the Court opened a flood of constitutional issues around the status of ALJs and related government positions. One central issue relates to ALJs’ removal protections. ALJs currently have two layers of protection between them and the President. In an earlier Supreme Court decision, the Court held that two layers of tenure protection between an “Officer of the United States” and the President was unconstitutional as it deprived the President the power to hold his officers accountable. As impartial adjudicators, ALJs …


The Right To A Well-Rested Jury, Caroline Howe May 2020

The Right To A Well-Rested Jury, Caroline Howe

Michigan Law Review

The vast amount of control that state trial judges exercise over the dynamics of their courtrooms is well established. The length of trial days and jury deliberations, however, has received little scholarly attention. Longstanding research has conclusively established the disruptive effects of sleep deprivation on many of the mental facilities necessary for juries to competently fulfill their duties. By depriving juries of sleep, trial judges may be compromising the fair rights of criminal defendants for the sake of efficiency. This Note argues that trial judges must use their discretion to ensure juries are well-rested, keeping jurors’ needs in mind. Further, …


Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass May 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jonathan Gienapp's The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era.


Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin May 2020

Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

Review of Lawrence Lessig's Fidelity and Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution.


Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz May 2020

Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

Review of Eric Lomazoff's Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic.


A Constitutional Wealth Tax, Ari Glogower Apr 2020

A Constitutional Wealth Tax, Ari Glogower

Michigan Law Review

Policymakers and scholars are giving serious consideration to a federal wealth tax. Wealth taxation could address the harms from rising economic inequality, promote equality of social and economic opportunity, and raise the revenue needed to fund critical government programs. These reasons for taxing wealth may not matter, however, if a federal wealth tax is unconstitutional.

Scholars debate whether a tax on a wealth base (a “traditional wealth tax”) would be a “direct tax” subject to apportionment among the states by population. This Article argues, in contrast, that this possible constitutional restriction on a traditional wealth tax may not matter. If …


May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos Mar 2020

May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Law & Economics Working Papers

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of medical rationing is now clear and present. Hospitals faced with a crush of patients must now seriously confront questions of how to allocate scarce resources—notably life-saving ventilators—at a time of severe shortage. In their protocols for addressing this situation, hospitals and state agencies often employ explicitly disability-based distinctions. For example, Alabama’s crisis standards of care provide that “people with severe or profound intellectual disability ‘are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’” This essay, written as this crisis unfolds, argues that disability-based distinctions like these violate the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the …


The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd Mar 2020

The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Note analyzes recent litigation concerning the constitutionality of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar environmental legislation designed to promote clean energy. It begins with a discussion of the current state of both federal and state responses to climate change. From there, it analyzes several legal challenges to state RPSs and other climate-related laws that focus on potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause. It concludes with a brief exploration of how these cases fit the history and purpose of the dormant Commerce Clause. The Note argues that a narrow view of the doctrine is consistent with the purpose …


Segregation In The Galleries: A Reconsideration, Richard Primus Feb 2020

Segregation In The Galleries: A Reconsideration, Richard Primus

Michigan Law Review Online

When constitutional lawyers talk about the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to questions of race, they often men-tion that the spectators’ galleries in Congress were racially segregated when Congress debated the Amendment.1 If the Thirty-Ninth Congress practiced racial segregation, the thinking goes, then it probably did not mean to prohibit racial segregation.2 As an argument about constitutional interpretation, this line of thinking has both strengths and weaknesses. But this brief Essay is not about the interpretive consequences, if any, of segregation in the congressional galleries during the 1860s. It is about the factual claim that the galleries …


A Suspended Death Sentence: Habeas Review Of Expedited Removal Decisions, Lauren Schusterman Feb 2020

A Suspended Death Sentence: Habeas Review Of Expedited Removal Decisions, Lauren Schusterman

Michigan Law Review

Expedited removal allows low-level immigration officers to summarily order the deportation of certain noncitizens, frequently with little to no judicial oversight. Noncitizens with legitimate asylum claims should not find themselves in expedited removal. When picked up by immigration authorities, they should be referred for a credible fear interview and then for more thorough proceedings.

Although there is clear congressional intent that asylum seekers not be subjected to expedited removal, mounting evidence suggests that expedited removal fails to identify bona fide asylum seekers. Consequently, many of them are sent back to persecution. Such decisions have weighty consequences, but they have remained …


Is Obamacare Really Unconstitutional?, Nicholas Bagley Jan 2020

Is Obamacare Really Unconstitutional?, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

On December 18, 2019, just 3 days after the close of open enrollment on the exchanges and on the same day the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump, a conservative appeals court handed the President a major victory in his crusade against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over a stern dissent, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the entire rest of the law might therefore be invalid.


Eighteen Is Not A Magic Number: Why The Eighth Amendment Requires Protection For Youth Aged Eighteen To Twenty-Five, Tirza A. Mullin Jan 2020

Eighteen Is Not A Magic Number: Why The Eighth Amendment Requires Protection For Youth Aged Eighteen To Twenty-Five, Tirza A. Mullin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Eighth Amendment protects a criminal defendant’s right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. This Note argues that any punishment of eighteen- to twenty-five-year-olds is cruel and unusual without considering their youthfulness at every stage of the criminal process, and that it is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment for these youths to be automatically treated as fully-developed adults. This Note will explore in depth how juveniles differ from adults, both socially and scientifically, and how the criminal justice system fails every youth aged eighteen- to twenty-five by subjecting them to criminal, rather than juvenile, court without considering their …


Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles Jan 2020

Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note argues that it is harmful and unnecessary to require women to obtain prescriptions for access to hormonal birth control. Requiring a prescription is necessarily a barrier to access which hurts women and hamstrings the ability to dictate their own reproductive plans. It is also an irrational regulation in light of the relative safety of hormonal birth control pills, particularly progestin-only formulations, compared to other drugs readily available on the shelves.

Leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, advocate for over-the-counter access to hormonal birth control. While acknowledging that not every woman will have positive …


“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt Jan 2020

“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

First, we discuss the background of the development of counsel adequacy in death penalty cases. Next, we look carefully at Strickland, and the subsequent Supreme Court cases that appear—on the surface—to bolster it in this context. We then consider multiple jurisprudential filters that we believe must be taken seriously if this area of the law is to be given any authentic meaning. Next, we will examine and interpret the data that we have developed. Finally, we will look at this entire area of law through the filter of therapeutic jurisprudence, and then explain why and how the charade of “adequacy …


Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle Jan 2020

Symbolism And The Thirteenth Amendment: The Injury Of Exposure To Governmentally Endorsed Symbols Of Racial Superiority, Edward H. Kyle

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

One of the debates often encountered by native southerners centers around our historical symbols. There are heated opinions on both sides of the issue as to what these symbols mean and whether they should be allowed to be displayed. The latter question has begun making its way into the courts, with many southern symbols and memorials being accused of promoting the philosophy of racial supremacy. Despite the growing public concern, modern courts refuse to rule on the question. They claim they are forestalled by Article III’s standing requirement that plaintiffs must have suffered a concrete injury in fact. They state …


Eighty Years Of Federalism Forbearance: Rationing, Resignation, And The Rule Of Law, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2020

Eighty Years Of Federalism Forbearance: Rationing, Resignation, And The Rule Of Law, Gil Seinfeld

Reviews

Andrew Coan’s book, Rationing the Constitution, offers a novel account of the forces that drive Supreme Court decisions across a wide array of highly controversial, vitally important areas of law. The project is ambitious. It endeavors to improve our understanding of forces that constrain the form and, ultimately, the substance of our constitutional law along each of its major axes: federalism, the separation of powers, and individual rights. I think it succeeds. The book’s central claim—that familiar (but underexplored) institutional constraints and background norms sharply limit the range of choices available to the Court when it is called upon to …


The Law And Policy Of Child Maltreatment, Frank Vandervort Jan 2020

The Law And Policy Of Child Maltreatment, Frank Vandervort

Book Chapters

Each year in the United States some four million children are reported to child protective services and hundreds of thousands of children are confirmed victims of maltreatment. This chapter provides a brief overview of the civil and criminal law’s response to child abuse and neglect. It summarizes the major federal statutes that provide funding to the states to support both civil and criminal law responses to maltreatment. It discusses the division of responsible for responding to child maltreatment between the federal and state governments (federalism). It also provides a summary of the constitutional framework for handling both civil and criminal …