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Vanderbilt University Law School

2017

Constitutional Law

Constitutional law

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

"Plausible Cause": Explanatory Standards In The Age Of Powerful Machines, Kiel Brennan-Marquez May 2017

"Plausible Cause": Explanatory Standards In The Age Of Powerful Machines, Kiel Brennan-Marquez

Vanderbilt Law Review

Much scholarship in law and political science has long understood the U.S. Supreme Court to be the "apex" court in the federal judicial system, and so to relate hierarchically to "lower" federal courts. On that top-down view, exemplified by the work of Alexander Bickel and many subsequent scholars, the Court is the principal, and lower federal courts are its faithful agents. Other scholarship takes a bottom-up approach, viewing lower federal courts as faithless agents or analyzing the "percolation" of issues in those courts before the Court decides. This Article identifies circumstances in which the relationship between the Court and other …


The Jurisdiction Canon, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Mar 2017

The Jurisdiction Canon, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article concerns the interpretation of jurisdictional statutes. The fundamental postulate of the law of the federal courts is that the federal courts are courts of limited subject-matter jurisdiction. That principle is reinforced by a canon of statutory interpretation according to which statutes conferring federal subject-matter jurisdiction are to be construed narrowly, with ambiguities resolved against the availability of federal jurisdiction. This interpretive canon is over a century old and has been recited in thousands of federal cases, but its future has become uncertain. The Supreme Court recently stated that the canon does not apply to many of today's most …


The Free Exercise Of Religious Identity, Lauren Sudeall Jan 2017

The Free Exercise Of Religious Identity, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In recent years, a particular strain of argument has arisen in response to decisions by courts or the government to extend certain rights to others. Grounded in religious freedom, these arguments suggest that individuals have a right to operate businesses or conduct their professional roles in a manner that conforms to their religious identity. For example, as courts and legislatures have extended the right to marry to same-sex couples, court clerks have refused to issue marriage certificates to such couples, claiming that to do so would violate their religious beliefs. Similarly, corporations have refused, for reasons grounded in religious identity, …


Scalia In The Casebooks, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Paulson K. Varghese Jan 2017

Scalia In The Casebooks, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Paulson K. Varghese

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the time since Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death, much has been written about what his influence has been and what his influence will be. In this Essay, we try to quantify Scalia’s influence in law school constitutional-law curricula by studying how often his ideas are explored in constitutional-law casebooks. In particular, relative to other justices, we look at how often Scalia’s opinions (for the Court, or his separate opinions) are excerpted in the principal cases and how often he is referred to by name in the notes preceding and following the principal cases. We find that Scalia is at …


Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2017

Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Congressional preemption constitutes perhaps the single greatest threat to state power and to the values served thereby. Given the structural incentives now in place, there is little to deter Congress from preempting state law, even when the state interests Congress displaces far exceed its own. The threat of preemption has raised alarms across the political spectrum, but no one has yet devised a satisfactory way to balance state and federal interests in preemption disputes. This Article devises a novel solution: state poison pill legislation. Borrowing a page from corporate law, poison pill legislation would enable the states to make preemption …