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Re-Examining Customary International Law And The Federal Courts: An Introduction, Anthony J. Bellia Aug 2016

Re-Examining Customary International Law And The Federal Courts: An Introduction, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

Legal scholars have debated intensely the role of customary international law in the American federal system. The debate involves serious questions surrounding the United States's constitutional structure, foreign relations, and human rights. Despite an impressive body of scholarship, the debate has stood at an impasse in recent years, without either side garnering a consensus. This symposium–Re-examining Customary International Law and the Federal Courts–aspires to help advance the debate over the status of customary international law in the federal courts.

The symposium received thoughtful and constructive contributions from Professors Curtis A. Bradley, Bradford R. Clark, Andrew Kent, Carlos M. Vizquez, and …


The Political Branches And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia Aug 2016

The Political Branches And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court went out of its way to follow background rules of the law of nations, particularly the law of state-state relations. As we have recently argued, the Court followed the law of nations because adherence to such law preserved the constitutional prerogatives of the political branches to conduct foreign relations and decide momentous questions of war and peace. Although we focused primarily on the extent to which the Constitution obligated courts to follow the law of nations in the early republic, the explanation we offered rested on an important, …


The Law Of Nations As Constitutional Law, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Oct 2013

The Law Of Nations As Constitutional Law, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Anthony J. Bellia

Courts and scholars continue to debate the status of customary international law in U.S. courts, but have paid insufficient attention to the role that such law plays in interpreting and upholding several specific provisions of the Constitution. The modern position argues that courts should treat customary international law as federal common law. The revisionist position contends that customary international law applies only to the extent that positive federal or state law has adopted it. Neither approach adequately takes account of the Constitution’s allocation of powers to the federal political branches in Articles I and II or the effect of these …


Federal Regulation Of State Court Procedures, Anthony J. Bellia Oct 2013

Federal Regulation Of State Court Procedures, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

May Congress regulate the procedures by which state courts adjudicate claims arising under state law? Recently, Congress not only has considered several bills that would do so, but has enacted a few of them. This Article concludes that such laws exceed Congress's constitutional authority. There are serious questions as to whether a regulation of court procedures qualifies as a regulation of interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause. Even assuming, however, that it does qualify as such, the Tenth Amendment reserves the power to regulate court procedures to the states. Members of the Founding generation used conflict-of-laws language to describe a …


The Origins Of Article Iii "Arising Under" Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia Oct 2013

The Origins Of Article Iii "Arising Under" Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

Article III of the Constitution provides that the judicial Power of the United States extends to all cases arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States. What the phrase arising under imports in Article III has long confounded courts and scholars. This Article examines the historical origins of Article III arising under jurisdiction. First, it describes English legal principles that governed the jurisdiction of courts of general and limited jurisdiction--principles that animated early American jurisprudence regarding the scope of arising under jurisdiction. Second, it explains how participants in the framing and ratification of the Constitution understood arising …