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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative “conscience clauses” are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Substantive due process is notoriously regarded as a textual contradiction, but it is in fact redundant. The word "due" cannot be honored except by inquiring into the relationship between the nature and scope of the deprived interest and the process-whether judicial, administrative, or legislative-that attended the deprivation. The treatment of substantive due process as an oxymoron is what this Essay calls a constitutional meme, an idea that replicates through imitation within the constitutional culture rather than (necessarily) through logical persuasion. We might even call the idea a "precedent," in the nature of other legal propositions within a common law system ...


Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen Jan 2016

Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Prescriptive legal theories have a tendency to cannibalize themselves. As they develop into schools of thought, they become not only increasingly complicated but also increasingly compromised, by their own normative lights. Maturation breeds adulteration. The theories work themselves impure.

This Article identifies and diagnoses this evolutionary phenomenon. We develop a stylized model to explain the life cycle of certain particularly influential legal theories. We illustrate this life cycle through case studies of originalism, textualism, popular constitutionalism, and cost-benefit analysis, as well as a comparison with leading accounts of organizational and theoretical change in politics and science. And we argue that ...


Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon Jan 2016

Justice And Accountability: Activist Judging In The Light Of Democratic Constitutionalism And Democratic Experimentalism, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the charge that activist judging is inconsistent with democracy in the light of two recent perspectives in legal scholarship. The perspectives – Democratic Constitutionalism and Democratic Experimentalism – suggest in convergent and complementary ways that the charge ignores or oversimplifies relevant features of both judging and democracy. In particular, the charge exaggerates the pre-emptive effect of activist judging, and it implausibly conflates democracy with electoral processes. In addition, it understands consensus as a basis for judicial legitimacy solely in terms of pre-existing agreement and ignores the contingent legitimacy that can arise from the potential for subsequent agreement.


Firearm Legislation And Firearm Mortality In The Usa: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study, Bindu Kalesan, Matthew Mobily, Olivia Keiser, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2016

Firearm Legislation And Firearm Mortality In The Usa: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study, Bindu Kalesan, Matthew Mobily, Olivia Keiser, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

In an effort to reduce firearm mortality rates in the USA, US states have enacted a range of firearm laws to either strengthen or deregulate the existing main federal gun control law, the Brady Law. We set out to determine the independent association of different firearm laws with overall firearm mortality, homicide firearm mortality, and suicide firearm mortality across all US states. We also projected the potential reduction of firearm mortality if the three most strongly associated firearm laws were enacted at the federal level.


Overcoming The Great Forgetting: A Comment On Fishkin And Forbath, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2016

Overcoming The Great Forgetting: A Comment On Fishkin And Forbath, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

Fishkin and Forbath’s (F&F’s) manuscript is a project of recovery. It portrays the present as a time marked by a “Great Forgetting” of a tradition of constitutional political economy. F&F name what has been forgotten the “democracy of opportunity” tradition. Recovering it would mean again treating the following three principles as linked elements at the core of our Constitution: (1) an anti-oligarchy principle that works to prevent wealth from producing grossly unequal political power; (2) a commitment to a broad middle class with secure, respected work; and (3) a principle of inclusion that opens participation in both citizenship and the economic middle class to all, particularly members of historically excluded groups.

This kind of recovery project is also a certain form of imaginative literature. In the spirit of Langston Hughes’s poetic call to “let America be America again” – meaning, let America become the country it has never been but always should have been – it invites us to envision and identify with a counterfactual country, also called the United ...


Constitutional Bad Faith, David E. Pozen Jan 2016

Constitutional Bad Faith, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The concepts of good faith and bad faith play a central role in many areas of private law and international law. Typically associated with honesty, loyalty, and fair dealing, good faith is said to supply the fundamental principle of every legal system, if not the foundation of all law. With limited exceptions, however, good faith and bad faith go unmentioned in constitutional cases brought by or against government institutions. This doctrinal deficit is especially striking given that the U.S. Constitution twice refers to faithfulness and that insinuations of bad faith pervade constitutional discourse.

This Article investigates these points and ...


The Age Of Scalia, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

The Age Of Scalia, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

During periods of apparent social dissolution the traditionalists, the true believers, the defenders of the status quo, turn to the past with an interest quite as obsessive as that of the radicals, the reformers, and the revolutionaries. What the true believers look for, and find, is proof that, once upon a time, things were as we should like them to be: the laws of economics worked; the streams of legal doctrine ran sweet and pure; order, tranquility, and harmony governed our society. Their message is: turn back and all will be well.


A Nonoriginalism For Originalists, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

A Nonoriginalism For Originalists, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism is an ideology, not a practice. It is a brand, an affiliation, a set of background principles, an often unstated set of restorative commitments. As James Fleming says in his book, Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution, originalism is an "ism." As an "ism," Fleming writes, originalism did not exist before the 1970s: "Constitutional interpretation in light of original understanding did exist, but original understanding was seen as merely one source of constitutional decision-making among several-not as a general theory of constitutional interpretation, much less the exclusive legitimate theory."

This brief Comment on Fleming's book takes the practice Fleming ...


Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael B. Gerrard, Jayni Foley Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes Jan 2016

Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael B. Gerrard, Jayni Foley Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes

Faculty Scholarship

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated a series of greenhouse gas emissions regulations, initiating the necessary national response to climate change. However, the United States will need to find other ways to reduce GHG emissions if it is to live up to its international emissions reduction pledges, and to ultimately lead the way to a zero-carbon energy future. This paper argues that the success of the recent climate negotiations in Paris provides a strong basis for invoking a powerful tool available to help achieve the country’s climate change goals: Section 115 of the ...


The Challenges Of Fitting Principled Modern Government – A Unified Public Law – To An Eighteenth Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2016

The Challenges Of Fitting Principled Modern Government – A Unified Public Law – To An Eighteenth Century Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The papers presented at a fall 2016 conference at Cambridge University, The Unity of Public Law?, generally addressed issues of judicial review in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, often from a comparative perspective and the view that unifying impulses in “public law” arose from the common law. Accepting what Justice Harlan Fisk Stone once characterized as the ideal of “a unified system of judge-made and statute law woven into a seamless whole by [judges],” The Common Law in the United States, 50 Harvard L Rev 4 (1936), this paper considers a variety of issues that have complicated maintaining ...


The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2016

The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

A century ago and in the midst of American involvement in World War I, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes delivered one of the most influential lectures on the Constitution in wartime. It was in that address that he uttered his famous axiom that “the power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” That statement continues to echo in modern jurisprudence, though the background and details of the lecture have not previously been explored in detail. Drawing on Hughes’s own research notes, this Article examines his 1917 formulation and shows how Hughes presciently applied it to ...


Juvenile Sentencing Reform In A Constitutional Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2016

Juvenile Sentencing Reform In A Constitutional Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the past decade, the Supreme Court has transformed the constitutional landscape of juvenile crime regulation. In three strongly worded opinions, the Court held that imposing harsh criminal sentences on juvenile offenders violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Roper v Simmons in 2005 prohibited the imposition of the death penalty for a crime committed by a juvenile. Five years later, Graham v. Florida held that no juvenile could be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for a nonhomicide offense. Then in 2012, Miller v. Alabama struck down statutes that required courts to sentence ...


Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias Jan 2016

Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

This essay begins with a puzzle: scholars have built a robust set of constitutional claims about labor rights, claims with deep roots in the labor movement’s own past struggles and its own traditions of constitutional claim-making. Yet, workers’ movements today have made no use of these claims, Andrias reports. The reason, she suggests, has to do with the deep mutual hostility between workers’ movements and the courts. If past were prologue, workers could at least use such arguments outside the courts, but, she argues, “in our [contemporary] legal culture, constitutional arguments are primarily judicial arguments,” and have a way ...


Rule Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

Rule Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional rules are norms whose application depends on an interpreter's identification of a set of facts rather than on her exercise of practical judgment. This Article argues that constitutional interpreters in the United States tend to resolve ambiguity over constitutional rules by reference to originalist sources and tend to resolve uncertainty over the scope of constitutional standards by reference to nonoriginalist sources. This positive claim unsettles the frequent assumption that the Constitution's more specifw or structural provisions support straightforward interpretive inferences. Normatively, this Article offers a partial defense of what it calls "rule originalism," grounded in the fact ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative "conscience clauses" are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath’s book-in-progress, The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution, offers a radical alternative to the constitutional histories that emerged in the 1990s to defend the New Deal synthesis. Fishkin and Forbath’s new constitutional history promises to recast the New Deal as a contingent and incomplete resolution of a centuries-long struggle to achieve the political-economic conditions that the Constitution requires – “requires” in the double sense of “demands” and “depends upon.” This struggle is still ongoing and even accelerating, Fishkin and Forbath report, yet it has become increasingly “one-sided.” First, the post-WWII economic boom dissipated, taking with it much of ...


The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1990s, constitutional history has experienced a renaissance. This revival had many causes, but three stand out: the Rehnquist Court's attack on formerly sacrosanct features of the "New Deal agenda"; Reagan-Era reassessments of American political development by political scientists, historians, and historical sociologists; and the frustration of constitutional scholars with the inability of legal process theory or political philosophy to produce "authoritative constitutional principles." Spurred by legal crisis and this mix of disciplinary innovation and stagnation, law professors began to tell new stories about our constitutional heritage. They focused on the sources and significance of the New ...


Vermeule Unbound, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2016

Vermeule Unbound, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

My book asks Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Adrian Vermeule answers “No.” In support of his position, he claims that my book does not really make arguments from the U.S. Constitution, that it foolishly denounces administrative power for lacking legislative authorization, that it grossly misunderstands this power and the underlying judicial doctrines, and ultimately that I argue “like a child.”

My book actually presents a new conception of administrative power, its history, and its unconstitutionality; as Vermeule has noted elsewhere, it offers a new paradigm. Readers therefore should take seriously the arguments against the book. They also, however, should recognize ...