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Full-Text Articles in Law

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Thirteenth Amendment optimism is the view that the Thirteenth Amendment may be used to reach doctrinal outcomes neither specifically intended by the amendment's drafters nor obvious to contemporary audiences. In prominent legal scholarship, Thirteenth Amendment optimism has supported constitutional rights to abortion and health care and constitutional powers to prohibit hate speech and domestic violence, among other things. This article examines the practical utility of Thirteenth Amendment optimism in the face of dim prospects for adoption by courts. I argue that Thirteenth Amendment optimism is most valuable, both historically and today, as a means of motivating the political process ...


Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2012

Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

States frequently administer federal law, yet scholars have largely overlooked how the practice of cooperative federalism affects the balance of power across the branches of the federal government. This article explains how states check the federal executive in an era of expansive executive power and how they do so as champions of Congress, both relying on congressionally conferred authority and casting themselves as Congress’s faithful agents. By inviting the states to carry out federal law, Congress, whether purposefully or incidentally, counteracts the tendency of statutory ambiguity and broad delegations of authority to enhance federal executive power. When states disagree ...


Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

This essay, part of a symposium on Jack Balkin's Constitutional Redemption and Sanford Levinson's Constitutional Faith, seeks to explain the curious disregard many originalists show toward the Fourteenth Amendment. On common originalist premises, analysis of the text, history, and structure of the Fourteenth Amendment should predominate in discussions of incorporated rights, in affirmative action cases, and in federalism disputes, and yet originalist interventions into such discussions tend to minimize the amendment and Reconstruction-era history more generally. This essay suggests that the Fourteenth Amendment and Reconstruction represent less usable history than the Founding for several reasons: the Reconstruction amendments ...


What The New Deal Settled, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

What The New Deal Settled, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

This brief essay, written in conjunction with a symposium comparing the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Obama presidencies, explores the absence of substantive due process arguments in the Affordable Care Act litigation and attendant public discourse. I argue that a substantive due process argument against the Act's individual mandate is at least as sound doctrinally as a federalism-based argument, but to the extent such arguments have been made, they have been rejected as frivolous. I suggest that this phenomenon may result in part from political obstacles to coalescing around and funding a substantive due process argument and in part from ...


Death In Our Life, Joseph Raz Jan 2012

Death In Our Life, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

This is the text of the Annual Lecture of the Society for Applied Philosophy, delivered in Oxford on 22-5-12. I kept the talk style of the paper. It examines a central aspect of the relations between duration and quality of life by considering the moral right to voluntary euthanasia, and some aspects of the moral case for a legal right to euthanasia. Would widespread acceptance of a right to voluntary euthanasia lead to widespread changes in attitude to life and death? Many of its advocates deny that seeing it as a narrow right enabling people to avoid ending their life ...


"Children Are Different": Constitutional Values And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2012

"Children Are Different": Constitutional Values And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This essay explores the importance of Miller and two earlier Supreme Court opinions rejecting harsh sentences for juveniles for Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and for juvenile crime regulation. It argues that the Court has broken new ground with these opinions in defining juveniles as a category of offenders who are subject to special Eighth Amendment protections. In Miller and in Graham v. Florida (2010) particularly, the Court has applied to juveniles’ non-capital sentences the rigorous proportionality review that, for adults, has been reserved for death sentences. The essay then turns to the implications of the opinions for juvenile crime policy, arguing ...


Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

In Baze v. Rees, the Supreme Court rejected a death-row inmate's claim that a state's use of a lethal injection protocol that carried risks of severe pain from improper administration violated the Constitution. Justice Thomas wrote a remarkable concurring opinion, joined by Justice Scalia, in which he argued that the plurality opinion announcing the governing standard for claims of this sort was wrong, and should have hewed more closely to the original understanding of the Eighth Amendment. Justice Thomas wrote that "the Framers intended to prohibit torturous modes of punishment akin to those that formed the historical backdrop ...


Unconstitutional Conditions: The Irrelevance Of Consent, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2012

Unconstitutional Conditions: The Irrelevance Of Consent, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

Unconstitutional conditions are a conundrum. On the one hand, if government can spend, why can't it place whatever conditions it wants on its spending? On the other hand, if it can place any conditions on spending, won't it be able to impose restrictions that evade much of the Constitution, including most constitutional rights? This enigma is notoriously complex, and unconstitutional conditions therefore are considered a sort of Gordian knot.

The standard solution is to slice through the knot with consent to conclude that consent excuses otherwise unconstitutional restrictions. This solution, however, is problematic, for it concedes that the ...


What The New Deal Settled, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

What The New Deal Settled, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Not since George H.W. Bush banned it from the menu of Air Force One did broccoli receive as much attention as during the legal and political debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). Opponents of the ACA have forcefully and repeatedly argued that if Congress has the power to require Americans to purchase health insurance as a means of reducing health care costs, then it likewise has the power to require Americans to eat broccoli. Broccoli is mentioned twelve times across the four Supreme Court opinions issued in the ACA decision – that's eleven more appearances ...


To Tax, To Spend, To Regulate, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2012

To Tax, To Spend, To Regulate, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Two very different visions of the national government underpin the ongoing battle over the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Obama and supporters of the ACA believe in the power of government to protect individuals through regulation and collective action. By contrast, the ACA's Republican and Tea Party opponents see expanded government as a fundamental threat to individual liberty and view the requirement that individuals purchase minimum health insurance (the so-called "individual mandate") as the conscription of the healthy to subsidize the sick. This conflict over the federal government's proper role is, of course, not new; it has played ...


Updating Disclosure For The New Era Of Independent Spending, Richard Briffault Jan 2012

Updating Disclosure For The New Era Of Independent Spending, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most striking developments in recent elections has been the upsurge in spending by independent committees, particularly Super PACs and 501(c) nonprofit corporations, that are not technically affiliated with specific candidates or parties but that frequently work to promote or oppose specific candidates or parties. In many elections, these committees are de facto surrogates for the candidates they are aiding. Although our disclosure laws are reasonably effective at obtaining the disclosure of the identities of donors to candidates and parties, they fail to provide effective disclosure of the identities of the donors to independent committees. The Citizens ...


Super Pacs, Richard Briffault Jan 2012

Super Pacs, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The most striking campaign finance development since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has not been an upsurge in corporate or union spending as many commentators predicted. Instead, federal election campaigns have witnessed the emergence of a new campaign finance vehicle – the Super PAC – which relies primarily on extremely large individual contributions, not corporate or union money, but which threatens to upend the federal campaign finance regime in place since 1974.

Super PACs can accept contributions in unlimited amounts and use them to engage in unlimited independent expenditures expressly supporting or opposing candidates. Non-existent before the spring of 2010 ...


The Case For Original Intent, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

The Case For Original Intent, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

This essay, written for a symposium celebrating the centennial of Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention, seeks to situate the constitutional culture's heavy reliance on the Convention debates within an academic environment that is generally hostile to original intent arguments. The essay argues that intentionalist-friendly sources like the Convention records and The Federalist remain important not because they supply evidence of original meaning but rather because the practice of advancing historical arguments is best understood as a rhetorical exercise that derives persuasive authority from the heroic character of the founding generation. This exercise fits within a long ...


Private Parties, Legislators, And The Government's Mantle: On Intervention And Article Iii Standing, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2012

Private Parties, Legislators, And The Government's Mantle: On Intervention And Article Iii Standing, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay takes up questions regarding whether initiative proponents and legislators can defend a law in federal court when the government declines to defend. Looking first at intervention under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, I argue that neither has the cognizable interest needed to enter an ongoing lawsuit as a party. Yet even if they are allowed to intervene, these would-be defenders of state or federal law cannot take on the government’s mantle to satisfy Article III because the government’s standing derives from the risk to its enforcement powers, which is an interest that cannot be delegated ...


Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Thirteenth Amendment Optimism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Thirteenth Amendment optimism is the view that the Thirteenth Amendment may be used to reach doctrinal outcomes neither specifically intended by the Amendment's drafters nor obvious to contemporary audiences. In prominent legal scholarship, Thirteenth Amendment optimism has supported constitutional rights to abortion and health care and constitutional powers to prohibit hate speech and domestic violence, among other things. This Essay examines the practical utility of Thirteenth Amendment optimism in the face of dim prospects for adaption by courts. The Essay argues that Thirteenth Amendment optimism is most valuable, both historically and today, as a means of motivating the political ...


On Avoiding Avoidance, Agenda Control, And Related Matters, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2012

On Avoiding Avoidance, Agenda Control, And Related Matters, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars have long posited that, heuristically at least, two basic adjudicatory models – the dispute resolution model and the law declaration model – compete for the Court's affection along a wide spectrum of issues. The former focuses upon judicial resolution of actual disputes between litigants. Historically, that model has been underpinned by a premise, reflected in a wide range of doctrines, that significant barriers rightly exist to judicial review of the constitutionality of governmental conduct. By contrast, the law declaration model focuses on the Court itself not the litigants. Emphasizing the judicial authority to say what the law is, it ...


Justice Stevens And The Chevron Puzzle, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2012

Justice Stevens And The Chevron Puzzle, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Justice Stevens's most famous decision – Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC – has come to stand for an institutional choice approach to agency interpretation. But there is no evidence that Justice Stevens shared this understanding. Instead, he followed an equilibrium-preserving approach, which sought to nudge agencies to reconsider decisions the Justice regarded as unreasonable. Although the equilibrium-preserving approach is consistent with what a common law judge would embrace, the institutional choice perspective is probably more consistent with the needs of the modem administrative state, and it appears the Court as a whole is gradually adopting that perspective.