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Vanderbilt University Law School

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Vanderbilt Law Review

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Introduction: Is The Supreme Court Failing At Its Job, Or Are We Failing At Ours?, Suzanna Sherry May 2016

Introduction: Is The Supreme Court Failing At Its Job, Or Are We Failing At Ours?, Suzanna Sherry

Vanderbilt Law Review

It is a pleasure and a privilege to write an introduction to this Symposium celebrating Dean Erwin Chemerinsky's important new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court. Chemerinsky is one of the leading constitutional scholars of our time and a frequent advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court. If he thinks there is a case to be made against the Court, we should all take it very seriously indeed. Chemerinsky's thesis may be stated in a few sentences. The primary role of the Supreme Court, in his view, is to "protect the rights of minorities who cannot rely on the political …


Thinking About The Supreme Court's Successes And Failures, Erwin Chemerinsky May 2016

Thinking About The Supreme Court's Successes And Failures, Erwin Chemerinsky

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Supreme Court often has failed at its most important tasks and at the most important times. I set out this thesis at the beginning the book:

To be clear, I am not saying that the Supreme Court has failed at these crucial tasks every time. Making a case against the Supreme Court does not require taking such an extreme position. I also will talk about areas where the Court has succeeded in protecting minorities and in enforcing the limits of the Constitution. My claim is that the Court has often failed where and when it has been most needed. …


The Court, The Constitution, And The History Of Ideas, Scott D. Gerber May 2008

The Court, The Constitution, And The History Of Ideas, Scott D. Gerber

Vanderbilt Law Review

Several of the nation's most influential constitutional law scholars have been arguing for the better part of a decade that judicial review should be sharply limited, or eliminated altogether. The list includes such prominent thinkers as Professor Mark V. Tushnet of Harvard Law School, Professor Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, and Dean Larry D. Kramer of Stanford Law School. In place of the doctrine made famous by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, these leading voices of the legal academy call for "popular constitutionalism": a constitutional law that is defined outside of the …


Quasi-Constitutional Law: Clear Statement Rules As Constitu, William N. Eskridge, Jr., Philip P. Frickey Apr 1992

Quasi-Constitutional Law: Clear Statement Rules As Constitu, William N. Eskridge, Jr., Philip P. Frickey

Vanderbilt Law Review

In one of the most celebrated law review articles of all time, Karl Llewellyn argued that the traditional canons of statutory construction are not reliable guides to predicting judicial interpretations, because for every canon supporting one interpretation there is a counter-canon cutting against that interpretation. He accomplished his tour de force in large part by focusing upon the "referential" canons-rules referring the Court to an outside or preexisting source to determine statutory meaning'-and upon the "linguistic" canons-general conventions of language, grammar, and syntax. Llewellyn did not explore in any detail the "substantive" canons, the clear statement rules or presumptions of …


Democracy And Distrust: A Theory Of Judicial Review, Michael Conant Jan 1981

Democracy And Distrust: A Theory Of Judicial Review, Michael Conant

Vanderbilt Law Review

This review is a critique of the major themes in Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review,' by Professor John Hart Ely of Harvard Law School. Ely primarily addresses the amount of discretion exercised by Supreme Court justices in deciding constitutional cases, a fundamental issue since few scholars today would contest the actual existence of the judicial review power of the Court. Ely's thorough scholarship presents a fine discussion of the Court's legitimacy when it extends its discretion beyond the base of the actual constitutional language. Professor Ely misses the mark, however, in his argument that certain open-ended constitutional …


The Less Restrictive Alternative In Constitutional Adjudication: An Analysis, A Justification, And Some Criteria, Robert M. Bastress, Jr. Oct 1974

The Less Restrictive Alternative In Constitutional Adjudication: An Analysis, A Justification, And Some Criteria, Robert M. Bastress, Jr.

Vanderbilt Law Review

The past two decades have witnessed enormous changes in both substantive constitutional law and the courts' approach to constitutional questions. The frequent application of the doctrine of less restrictive alternatives has been a factor of increasingly significant proportions in effecting these changes. Although the doctrine has long been part of our jurisprudence,' it did not begin to have a serious impact until the Warren Court years, and, despite its widely diversified use today, the concept is almost always applied without discussion. Succinctly and broadly stated, the doctrine requires that a state not employ a specific means to accomplish an admittedly …


Constitutional Law -- 1958 Tennessee Survey, Elvin E. Overton Oct 1958

Constitutional Law -- 1958 Tennessee Survey, Elvin E. Overton

Vanderbilt Law Review

State constitutional law decisions, lacking the universality of application of many other fields of the law, are vital and of significance frequently only to the local bar and local public officials. There is another difference between state constitutional law decisions, and federal constitutional law decisions: state courts are inclined to deal with state constitutional issues with an emphasis on the pragmatic problem of deciding the case and getting it out of the way,rather than with an emphasis on completing the blue print-of seeking to establish the general principle which reflects the conflicting policies struggling for recognition. In most United States …


The Role Of The Privy Council In Judicial Review Of The Canadian Constitution--A Post-Script, Edward Mcwhinney Jun 1952

The Role Of The Privy Council In Judicial Review Of The Canadian Constitution--A Post-Script, Edward Mcwhinney

Vanderbilt Law Review

In its Preamble, the Constitution of Canada speaks of the desire of the Provinces of Canada to be "federally united into one Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom." Historically, then, the Constitution of Canada like the Constitution of the United States, stems from a compact between a number of different territorial units: the Provinces of Lower Canada (Quebec), Upper Canada (Ontario), and the two eastern maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brtnswick, joined together in 1867 to form the new …