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Taking Care Of Federal Law, Leah Litman Sep 2015

Taking Care Of Federal Law, Leah Litman

Articles

Article II of the Constitution vests the “executive power” in the President and directs the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But do these provisions mean that only the President may execute federal law? Two lines of Supreme Court precedent suggest conflicting answers to that question. In several prominent separation-of-powers cases, the Court has suggested that only the President may execute federal law: “The Constitution requires that a President chosen by the entire Nation oversee the execution of the laws.” Therefore, the Court has reasoned, Congress may not create private rights of action that allow nonexecutive …


Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Barry Friedman's new book The Will of the People attempts to dissolve constitutional law's countermajoritariand ifficulty by showing that, in practice,t he Supreme Court does only what the public will tolerate. His account succeeds if "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the threat that courts will run the country in ways that contravene majority preference, but not if the "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the need to explain the legitimate sources of judicial authority in cases where decisions do contravene majority preference. Friedman's book does not pursue the second possibility, and may suggest that doing so is unimportant, in part because …


When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus Jan 2008

When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theory lacks an account of when each of the familiar sources of authority-text, original meaning, precedent, and so on-should be given weight. The dominant tendency is to regard all sources as potentially applicable in every case. In contrast, this Article proposes that each source of authority is pertinent in some categories of cases but not in others, much as a physical tool is appropriate for some but not all kinds of household tasks. The Article then applies this approach to identify the categories of cases in which original meaning is, or is not, a valid factor in constitutional decisionmaking.


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 Consent Of The Governed, Bradley M. Thompson Jan 1900

The Consent Of The Governed, Bradley M. Thompson

Articles

The acquisition of the Philippine Islands has aroused a profound interest in certain constitutional questions. This is not to be deplored. One of those questions is the meaning, the force and effect of the statement in the Declaration of Independence that "all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." That doctrine is not embodied in the constitution in those words nor in words of similar import, but some contend that the Declaration of Independence is a great beacon fire kindled by the fathers of the revolution and that in its light the constitution, afterwards adopted by …


The Guarantee Of Order And Republican Government In The States, Thomas M. Cooley Dec 1874

The Guarantee Of Order And Republican Government In The States, Thomas M. Cooley

Articles

A short time ago, the whole country was plunged into a condition of anxiety and excitement by the conflicting claims to the executive authority in one of the States, and by the preparations made, and measures set on foot, to support them.