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Structural Biases In Structural Constitutional Law, Jonathan S. Gould, David E. Pozen Jan 2022

Structural Biases In Structural Constitutional Law, Jonathan S. Gould, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Structural constitutional law regulates the workings of government and supplies the rules of the political game. Whether by design or by accident, these rules sometimes tilt the playing field for or against certain political factions – not just episodically, based on who holds power at a given moment, but systematically over time – in terms of electoral outcomes or policy objectives. In these instances, structural constitutional law is itself structurally biased.

This Article identifies and begins to develop the concept of such structural biases, with a focus on biases affecting the major political parties. Recent years have witnessed a revival …


Countering The New Election Subversion: The Democracy Principle And The Role Of State Courts, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Jan 2022

Countering The New Election Subversion: The Democracy Principle And The Role Of State Courts, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Faculty Scholarship

Among the threats to American democracy, the most serious may also be the most banal: future elections will be compromised by quiet changes to the law. State legislators across the country have introduced bills that give them power to reject the will of voters. They have established sham audits and investigations. And they have created new criminal offenses that undermine professional election administration. While power-shifting legislation, audits, and criminal penalties advertise their fealty to law, they threaten the franchise and electoral integrity, as well as nonpartisan, expert election administration. Because of its ostensibly legal, even legalistic, character, however, the new …


Discriminatory Taint, Kerrel Murray Jan 2022

Discriminatory Taint, Kerrel Murray

Faculty Scholarship

The truism that history matters can hide complexities. Consider the idea of problematic policy lineages. When may we call a policy the progeny of an earlier, discriminatory policy, especially if the policies diverge in design and designer? Does such a relationship condemn the later policy for all times and purposes, or can a later decisionmaker escape the past? It is an old problem, but its resolution hardly seems impending. Just recently, Supreme Court cases have confronted this fact pattern across subject matters as diverse as entry restrictions, nonunanimous juries, and redistricting, among others. Majority opinions seem unsure whether or why …


The Insular Cases Run Amok: Against Constitutional Exceptionalism In The Territories, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus Jan 2022

The Insular Cases Run Amok: Against Constitutional Exceptionalism In The Territories, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

The Insular Cases have been enjoying an improbable — and unfortunate — renaissance. Decided at the height of what has been called the “imperialist” period in U.S. history, this series of Supreme Court decisions handed down in the early twentieth century infamously held that the former Spanish colonies annexed by the United States in 1898 — Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam — “belong[ed] to, but [were] not a part of, the United States.” What exactly this meant has been the subject of considerable debate even as those decisions have received unanimous condemnation. According to the standard account, the …


How Federalism Built The Fbi, Sustained Local Police, And Left Out The States, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo Jan 2022

How Federalism Built The Fbi, Sustained Local Police, And Left Out The States, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the endurance of police localism amid the improbable growth of the FBI in the early twentieth century when the prospect of a centralized law enforcement agency was anathema to the ideals of American democracy. It argues that doctrinal accounts of federalism do not explain these paradoxical developments. By analyzing how the Bureau made itself indispensable to local police departments rather than encroaching on their turf, the Article elucidates an operational, or collaborative, federalism that not only enlarged the Bureau’s capacity and authority but also strengthened local autonomy at the expense of the states. Collaborative federalism is crucial …


A Theory Of Constitutional Norms, Ashraf Ahmed Jan 2022

A Theory Of Constitutional Norms, Ashraf Ahmed

Faculty Scholarship

The political convulsions of the past decade have fueled acute interest in constitutional norms or “conventions.” Despite intense scholarly attention, existing accounts are incomplete and do not answer at least one or more of three major questions: (1) What must all constitutional norms do? (2) What makes them conventional? (3) And why are they constitutional?

This Article advances an original theory of constitutional norms that answers these questions. First, it defines them and explains their general character: they are normative, contingent, and arbitrary practices that implement constitutional text and principle. Most scholars have foregone examining how norms are conventional or …


Is A Science Of Comparative Constitutionalism Possible?, Madhav Khosla Jan 2022

Is A Science Of Comparative Constitutionalism Possible?, Madhav Khosla

Faculty Scholarship

Nearly a generation ago, Justice Scalia and Justice Breyer debated the legitimacy and value of using foreign law to interpret the American Constitution. At the time, the matter was controversial and invited the interest of both judges and scholars. Foreign law had, after all, been relied on in significant cases like Roper v. Simmons and Lawrence v. Texas. Many years on, there is still much to be debated — including the purpose and potential benefits of judicial engagement with foreign law — but “comparative constitutional law” has unquestionably emerged as a field of study in its own right. We …


Federalism And Equal Citizenship: The Constitutional Case For D.C. Statehood, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2022

Federalism And Equal Citizenship: The Constitutional Case For D.C. Statehood, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

As the question of D.C. statehood commands national attention, the legal discourse remains stilted. The constitutional question we should be debating is not whether statehood is permitted but whether it is required.

Commentators have been focusing on the wrong constitutional provisions. The Founding document and the Twenty-Third Amendment do not resolve D.C.’s status. The Reconstruction Amendments — and the principle of federated, equal citizenship they articulate — do. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause, as glossed by subsequent amendments, not only establishes birthright national citizenship and decouples it from race and caste but also makes state citizenship a constitutive component of …


The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Jan 2021

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal constitution, they were drafted – and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended …


Elected-Official-Affiliated Nonprofits: Closing The Public Integrity Gap, Richard Briffault Jan 2021

Elected-Official-Affiliated Nonprofits: Closing The Public Integrity Gap, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Recent years have witnessed the growing use by elected officials, particularly state and local chief executives, of affiliated nonprofit organizations to advance their policy goals. Some of these organizations engage in public advocacy to advance a governor’s or mayor’s legislative program. Others operate more like conventional charities, raising philanthropic support for a range of governmental social welfare programs. Elected officials fundraise for these organizations, which are often staffed by close associates of those elected officials, and the organizations’ public communications frequently feature prominently the name or likeness of their elected-official sponsor. As these organizations do not engage in electioneering, they …


Delegating Or Divesting?, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2021

Delegating Or Divesting?, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

A gratifying feature of recent scholarship on administrative power is the resurgence of interest in the Founding. Even the defenders of administrative power hark back to the Constitution’s early history – most frequently to justify delegations of legislative power. But the past offers cold comfort for such delegation.

A case in point is Delegation at the Founding by Professors Julian Davis Mortenson and Nicholas Bagley. Not content to defend the Supreme Court’s current nondelegation doctrine, the article employs history to challenge the doctrine – arguing that the Constitution does not limit Congress’s delegation of legislative power. But the article’s most …


The Compensation Constraint And The Scope Of The Takings Clause, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2021

The Compensation Constraint And The Scope Of The Takings Clause, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The idea I wish to explore in this Essay is whether the established methods for determining just compensation can shed light on the meaning of other issues that arise in litigation under the Takings Clause. Specifically, is it possible to “reverse engineer” the Takings Clause by reasoning from settled understandings about how to determine just compensation in order to reach certain conclusions about when the Clause applies, what interests in private property are covered by the Clause, and what does it mean to take such property?

The proposed exercise is positive or descriptive in nature rather than normative. The hypothesis …


Slavery's Constitution: Rethinking The Federal Consensus, Maeve Glass Jan 2021

Slavery's Constitution: Rethinking The Federal Consensus, Maeve Glass

Faculty Scholarship

For at least half a century, scholars of the early American Constitution have noted the archival prominence of a doctrine known as the “federal consensus.” This doctrine instructed that Congress had no power to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it existed. Despite its ubiquity in the records, our understanding of how and why this doctrine emerged is hazy at best. Working from a conceptual map of America’s founding that features thirteen local governments coalescing into two feuding sections of North and South, commentators have tended to explain the federal consensus either as a vestige of …


The Three Permissions: Presidential Removal And The Statutory Limits Of Agency Indepence, Jane Manners, Lev Menand Jan 2021

The Three Permissions: Presidential Removal And The Statutory Limits Of Agency Indepence, Jane Manners, Lev Menand

Faculty Scholarship

Seven words stand between the President and the heads of over a dozen “independent agencies”: inefficiency, neglect of duty, and malfea­sance in office (INM). The President can remove the heads of these agencies for INM and only INM. But neither Congress nor the courts have defined INM and hence the extent of agency independence. Stepping into this void, some proponents of presidential power argue that INM allows the President to dismiss officials who do not follow presidential directives. Others contend that INM is unconstitutional because it prevents Presidents from fulfilling their duty to take care that the laws are faithfully …


The Puzzles And Possibilities Of Article V, David E. Pozen, Thomas P. Schmidt Jan 2021

The Puzzles And Possibilities Of Article V, David E. Pozen, Thomas P. Schmidt

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars describe Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth rules for amending the document, as an uncommonly stringent and specific constitutional provision. A unanimous Supreme Court has said that a “mere reading demonstrates” that “Article V is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity, and calls for no resort to rules of construction.” Although it is familiar that a small set of amendments, most notably the Reconstruction Amendments, elicited credible challenges to their validity, these episodes are seen as anomalous and unrepresentative. Americans are accustomed to disagreeing over the meaning of the constitutional text, but …


Defining Crime, Delegating Authority – How Different Are Administrative Crimes?, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2021

Defining Crime, Delegating Authority – How Different Are Administrative Crimes?, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

As the Supreme Court reconsiders whether Congress can so freely provide for criminal enforcement of agency rules, this Article assesses the critique of administrative crimes though a federal criminal law lens. It explores the extent to which this critique carries over to other instances of mostly well-accepted, delegated federal criminal lawmaking – to courts, states, foreign governments, and international institutions. By considering these other delegations through the lens of the administrative crime critique, the Article destabilizes the critique’s doctrinal foundations. It then suggests that if one really cares about liberty – not the abstract “liberty” said to be protected by …


The Uncertain Future Of Administrative Law, Jeremy K. Kessler, Charles F. Sabel Jan 2021

The Uncertain Future Of Administrative Law, Jeremy K. Kessler, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

A volatile series of presidential transitions has only intensified the century-long conflict between progressive defenders and conservative critics of the administrative state. Yet neither side has adequately confronted the fact that the growth of uncertainty and the corresponding spread of guidance – a kind of provisional “rule” that invites its own revision – mark a break in the development of the administrative state as significant as the rise of notice-and-comment rulemaking in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas rulemaking corrected social shortsightedness by enlisting science in the service of lawful administration, guidance acknowledges that both science and law are in need …


A Perfectly Empty Gift, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus Jan 2021

A Perfectly Empty Gift, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

“Almost citizens.” What does that even mean? It’s like being “kind of pregnant,” isn’t it? In other words, nonsense. Citizenship isn’t an “almost” kind of thing. It’s all or nothing. Unless, I suppose, the word “almost” is used in a simple temporal sense – as in, “Our naturalization ceremony is tomorrow. We’re almost citizens! Yay!” There, the phrase “almost citizens” makes sense. Otherwise not. Right?

Wrong. “Almost citizens,” in a sense as ambiguous as it sounds, is what Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U S Constitution, and Empire is about. “Almost citizens” describes what Puerto Ricans were from 1898, when …


Constructing Countervailing Power: Law And Organizing In An Era Of Political Inequality, Kate Andrias Jan 2021

Constructing Countervailing Power: Law And Organizing In An Era Of Political Inequality, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

This Article proposes an innovative approach to remedying the crisis of political inequality: using law to facilitate organizing by the poor and working class, not only as workers, but also as tenants, debtors, welfare beneficiaries, and others. The piece draws on the social-movements literature, and the successes and failures of labor law, to show how law can supplement the deficient regimes of campaign finance and lobbying reform and enable lower-income groups to build organizations capable of countervailing the political power of the wealthy. As such, the Article offers a new direction forward for the public-law literature on political power and …


Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha Jan 2021

Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters – the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the …


Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2021

Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Though increasingly disfavored by the Supreme Court, Chevron remains central to administrative law doctrine. This Article suggests a way for the Court to reformulate the Chevron doctrine without overruling the Chevron decision. Through careful attention to the language of Chevron itself, the Court can honor the decision’s underlying value of harnessing comparative institutional advantage in judicial review, while setting aside a highly selective reading that unduly narrows judicial review. This re-reading would put the Chevron doctrine – and with it, an entire branch of administrative law – on firmer footing.


Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2021

Towards A Law Of Inclusive Planning: A Response To “Fair Housing For A Non-Sexist City”, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Noah Kazis’s important article, Fair Housing for a Non-sexist City, shows how law shapes the contours of neighborhoods and embeds forms of inequality, and how fair housing law can provide a remedy. Kazis surfaces two dimensions of housing that generate inequality and that are sometimes invisible. Kazis highlights the role of planning and design rules – the seemingly identity-neutral zoning, code enforcement, and land-use decisions that act as a form of law. Kazis also reveals how gendered norms underlie those rules and policies. These aspects of Kazis’s project link to commentary on the often invisible, gendered norms that shape …


Taking Appropriations Seriously, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2021

Taking Appropriations Seriously, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Appropriations lie at the core of the administrative state and are be­com­ing increasingly important as deep partisan divides have stymied sub­stan­tive legislation. Both Congress and the President exploit appropria­tions to control government and advance their policy agendas, with the border wall battle being just one of several recent high-profile examples. Yet in public law doctrine, appropriations are ignored, pulled out for spe­cial legal treatment, or subjected to legal frameworks ill-suited for appro­priations realities. This Article documents how appropriations are mar­ginalized in a variety of public law contexts and assesses the reasons for this unjustified treatment. Appro­priations’ doctrinal marginalization does not …


Power Transitions In A Troubled Democracy, Peter L. Strauss, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2021

Power Transitions In A Troubled Democracy, Peter L. Strauss, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Written as our contribution to a festschrift for the noted Italian administrative law scholar Marco D’Alberti, this essay addresses transition between Presidents Trump and Biden, in the context of political power transitions in the United States more generally. Although the Trump-Biden transition was marked by extraordinary behaviors and events, we thought even the transition’s mundane elements might prove interesting to those for whom transitions occur in a parliamentary context. There, succession can happen quickly once an election’s results are known, and happens with the new political government immediately formed and in office. The layer of a new administration’s political leadership …


Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2021

Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

In Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., the Supreme Court resurrected a nineteenth-century copyright doctrine – the government edicts doctrine – and applied it to statutory annotations prepared by a legislative agency. While the substance of the decision has serious impli­cations for due process and the rule of law, the Court’s treatment of the doctrine recognized an invigorated role for courts in the development of copyright law through the use of principled reasoning. In expounding the doctrine, the Court announced a vision for the judicial role in copy­right adjudication that is at odds with the dominant approach under the Copyright …


The Big Data Regulator, Rebooted: Why And How The Fda Can And Should Disclose Confidential Data On Prescription Drugs And Vaccines, Christopher J. Morten, Amy Kapczynski Jan 2021

The Big Data Regulator, Rebooted: Why And How The Fda Can And Should Disclose Confidential Data On Prescription Drugs And Vaccines, Christopher J. Morten, Amy Kapczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Medicines and vaccines are complex products, and it is often extraordinarily difficult to know whether they help or hurt. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds an enormous reservoir of data that sheds light on that precise question, yet currently releases only a trickle to researchers, doctors, and patients. Recent examples show that data secrecy can be deadly, and existing laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cannot solve the problem. We present here a wealth of new evidence about the urgency of the problem and argue that the FDA must “reboot” its rules to proactively disclose all …


Propertied Rites, Kellen R. Funk Jan 2021

Propertied Rites, Kellen R. Funk

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay reviews Jack Rakove’s Beyond Belief, Beyond Conscience and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan’s Church State Corporation with an eye towards the complex management of religious property in U.S. constitutional doctrine. Part I summarizes Rakove’s book and highlights its value in the context of recent scholarship on early American legislative theory. Part II critiques Rakove’s turn from description towards advocacy of James Madison’s liberal protestant political theology. Part III summarizes Sullivan’s book as a particularly potent rebuttal to Rakove’s. Part IV takes up Sullivan’s method to consider the most recent crisis of religious property before the Supreme Court, that of government …


Executive Underreach, In Pandemics And Otherwise, David E. Pozen, Kim Lane Scheppele Jan 2020

Executive Underreach, In Pandemics And Otherwise, David E. Pozen, Kim Lane Scheppele

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars are familiar with the problem of executive overreach, especially in emergencies. But sometimes, instead of being too audacious or extreme, a national executive's attempts to address a true threat prove far too limited and insubstantial. In this Essay, we seek to define and clarify the phenomenon of executive underreach, with special reference to the COVID-19 crisis; to outline ways in which such underreach may compromise constitutional governance and the international legal order; and to suggest a partial remedy.


On Trust, Law, And Expecting The Worst, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2020

On Trust, Law, And Expecting The Worst, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

This Review has three parts. Part I aims to convey something of the breadth and interest of Hasday’s fascinating new book, foregrounding the role of gender and beginning to touch the subject of trust. Part II delves briefly but widely into the theme of trust, which pervades the book and invites further examination. Part III presents a framework that combines affective trust and epistemic curiosity and applies this framework to illuminate and sort Hasday’s proposals for reform; to critique a recent, dramatic change in the evidentiary treatment of marital confidences; and to devise a novel approach to prenuptial agreements. Throughout, …


Constitutional War Powers In World War I: Charles Evans Hughes And The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2020

Constitutional War Powers In World War I: Charles Evans Hughes And The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

On September 5, 1917, at the height of American participation in the Great War, Charles Evans Hughes famously argued that “the power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” This moment and those words were a collision between the onset of “total war,” Lochner-era jurisprudence, and cautious Progressive-era administrative development. This article tells the story of Hughes’s statement – including what he meant at the time and how he wrestled with some difficult questions that flowed from it. The article then concludes with some reasons why the story remains important today.