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Full-Text Articles in Law

Delegation At The Founding: A Response To Critics, Julian Davis Mortenson, Nicholas Bagley Dec 2022

Delegation At The Founding: A Response To Critics, Julian Davis Mortenson, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

This essay responds to the wide range of commentary on Delegation at the Founding, published previously in the Columbia Law Review. The critics’ arguments deserve thoughtful consideration and a careful response. We’re happy to supply both. As a matter of eighteenth-century legal and political theory, “rulemaking” could not be neatly described as either legislative or executive based on analysis of its scope, subject, or substantive effect. To the contrary: Depending on the relationships you chose to emphasize, a given act could properly be classified as both legislative (from the perspective of the immediate actor) and also executive (from the perspective …


Delegation At The Founding, Julian Davis Mortenson, Nicholas Bagley Mar 2021

Delegation At The Founding, Julian Davis Mortenson, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

This article refutes the claim that the Constitution was originally understood to contain a nondelegation doctrine. The founding generation didn’t share anything remotely approaching a belief that the constitutional settlement imposed restrictions on the delegation of legislative power---let alone by empowering the judiciary to police legalized limits. To the contrary, the overwhelming majority of Founders didn’t see anything wrong with delegations as a matter of legal theory. The formal account just wasn’t that complicated: Any particular use of coercive rulemaking authority could readily be characterized as the exercise of either executive or legislative power, and was thus formally valid regardless …


Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson Jun 2019

Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson

Articles

Article II of the United States Constitution vests “the executive power” in the President. For more than two hundred years, advocates of presidential power have claimed that this phrase was originally understood to include a bundle of national security and foreign affairs authorities. Their efforts have been highly successful. Among constitutional originalists, this so-called “Vesting Clause Thesis” is now conventional wisdom. But it is also demonstrably wrong. Based on an exhaustive review of the eighteenth-century bookshelf, this Article shows that the ordinary meaning of “executive power” referred unambiguously to a single, discrete, and potent authority: the power to execute law. …


The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley Mar 2014

The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

The presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action is a cornerstone of administrative law, accepted by courts and commentators alike as both legally appropriate and obviously desirable. Yet the presumption is puzzling. As with any canon of statutory construction that serves a substantive end, it should find a source in history, positive law, the Constitution, or sound policy considerations. None of these, however, offers a plausible justification for the presumption. As for history, the sort of judicial review that the presumption favors - appellate-style arbitrariness review - was not only unheard of prior to the twentieth century, but …


The Functions Of Ethical Originalism, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

The Functions Of Ethical Originalism, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Supreme Court Justices frequently divide on questions of original meaning, and the divisions have a way of mapping what we might suspect are the Justices’ leanings about the merits of cases irrespective of originalist considerations. The same is true for law professors and other participants in constitutional discourse: people’s views of original constitutional meaning tend to align well with their (nonoriginalist) preferences for how present constitutional controversies should be resolved. To be sure, there are exceptions. Some people are better than others at suspending presentist considerations when examining historical materials, and some people are better than others at recognizing when …


The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In 1870, a black man named Hiram Revels was named to represent Mississippi in the Senate. Senate Democrats objected to seating him and pointed out that the Constitution specifies that no person may be a senator who has not been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Democrats argued, Revels had not been a citizen on account of the Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Thus, even if Revels were a citizen in 1870, he had held that status for only two years. …


Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus

Articles

One contribution that law professors can make to constitutional discourse, I suggest, is the nurturing of new mobilizable histories. A "mobilizable history," as I will use the term, is a narrative, image, or other historical source that is sufficiently well-known to the community of constitutional decisionmakers so as to be able to support a credible argument in the discourse of constitutional law. It draws upon materials that are within the collective memory of constitutional interpreters; indeed, a necessary step in nurturing a new mobilizable history is to introduce new information into that collective memory or to raise the prominence of …


Grados De Libertad: Democracia Y Antidemocracia En Cuby Y Luisiana, 1898-1900, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2006

Grados De Libertad: Democracia Y Antidemocracia En Cuby Y Luisiana, 1898-1900, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

This comparative study between the quest for political racial inclusivity in 1890s Louisiana and the fight against state-sanctioned racialized violence in Cuba in the early 1900s exposes similarities, tensions, and differences between the two systems. The article traces the evolving contests for citizenship and suffrage in each climate at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the twentieth, juxtaposing the expression of race, suffrage, and citizenship in the constitution and political climate of each locale. In 1898, the new Louisiana state constitution disenfranchised African-Americans, while in 1900 Cuba was positioning itself for a grant of universal …


Free-Standing Due Process And Criminal Procedure: The Supreme Court's Search For Interpretive Guidelines, Jerold H. Israel Jan 2001

Free-Standing Due Process And Criminal Procedure: The Supreme Court's Search For Interpretive Guidelines, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

When I was first introduced to the constitutional regulation of criminal procedure in the mid-1950s, a single issue dominated the field: To what extent did the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment impose upon states the same constitutional restraints that the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments imposed upon the federal government? While those Bill of Rights provisions, as even then construed, imposed a broad range of constitutional restraints upon the federal criminal justice system, the federal system was (and still is) minuscule as compared to the combined systems of the fifty states. With the Bill of Rights provisions …


Chief Justice Hughes' Letter On Court-Packing, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1997

Chief Justice Hughes' Letter On Court-Packing, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

After one of the great landslides in American presidential history, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office for the second time on January 20, 1937. As he had four years before, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, like Roosevelt a former governor of New York, administered the oath. Torrents of rain drenched the inauguration, and Hughes’ damp whiskers waved in the biting wind. When the skullcapped Chief Justice reached the promise to defend the Constitution, he “spoke slowly and with special emphasis.” The President responded in kind, though he felt like saying, as he later told his aide Sam Rosenman: …


Theorists' Belief: A Comment On The Moral Tradition Of American Constitutionalism, Jospeh Vining Jan 1996

Theorists' Belief: A Comment On The Moral Tradition Of American Constitutionalism, Jospeh Vining

Articles

The Moral Tradition of American Constitutionalism is one of those rare works that leads us to face, at the center of law and legal thought, the largest questions about human life and human purpose. There is a special reader's shudder, a certain gestural shift in the chair, reserved for that moment of realizing where one is being led-not to the edge, but to the center, so that the questions become insistent, and whatever we and others say and do in the face of them becomes our response to them.


Constitutional Interpretation, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1981

Constitutional Interpretation, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

"[We] must never forget," Chief Justice Marshall admonished us in a statement pregnant with more than one meaning, "that it is a constitution we are expounding."' Marshall meant that the Constitution should be read as a document "intended to endure for ages.to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs."'2 But he meant also that the construction placed upon the document must have regard for its "great outlines" and "important objects."'3 Limits are implied by the very nature of the task. There is not the same freedom in construing the Constitution as in constructing a …


The Distrust Of Politics, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1981

The Distrust Of Politics, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

In this Article, Dean Sandalow considers the justifications advanced by those who favor the removal of certain political issues from the political process by extending the reach of judicial review. He begins by examining the distrust of politics in a different context, discussing the proposals made by the Progressives for reforming municipal government, as a vehicle to expose the assumptions underlying the current debate. His comparison of the two historical settings reveals many similarities between the Progressives' reform proposals and the contemporary justiflcations.[or the displacement of politics with constitutional law. Dean Sandalow concludes that the distrust of politics rests not …


Are Too Many Executive Officers Elective?, Bradley M. Thompson Jan 1908

Are Too Many Executive Officers Elective?, Bradley M. Thompson

Articles

We propose very briefly to call attention, to so much of the present constitution of Michigan as has to do with the executive department, and to consider the methods which the people have adopted for selecting those public servants whose official duty it is to enforce the law, to maintain public order and protect private rights.


The Method Of Electing The President, Thomas M. Cooley, Abram S. Hewitt Dec 1877

The Method Of Electing The President, Thomas M. Cooley, Abram S. Hewitt

Articles

Twice in the history of the United States the nation has been brought to the verge of civil war by difficulties growing out of presidential elections. And yet no system was ever devised with more care to preclude any reasonable complaint.