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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.


Justice And The Bureaucratization Of Appellate Courts, Joseph Vining Jan 1982

Justice And The Bureaucratization Of Appellate Courts, Joseph Vining

Articles

The author notes the growing bureaucratization of appellate justice in the United States and, in particular, the drafting of opinions by law clerks rather than by judges. Taking the Supreme Court of the United States as an example, and comparing its internal procedure with that of large administrative agencies, he questions whether the method of analysis familiarly used by lawyers to arrive at an authoritative statement of law is applicable to legal texts bureaucratically produced. He suggests that legal method and its presuppositions are ultimately associated with the authority of law, and concludes that there may be critical losses not …


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 …


Limits To State Control Of Private Business, Thomas M. Cooley Dec 1877

Limits To State Control Of Private Business, Thomas M. Cooley

Articles

The present purpose is to inquire whether, in the matter of the regulation of property rights and of business, legislation has not of late been occupying doubtful, possibly unconstitutional grounds. The discussion in the main must be limited to fundamental.-principles, aided by such light as legal and constitutional history may throw upon them, since the express provisions of the constitutions can give little assistance. They always contain the general guaranty of due process of law to life, liberty, and property, but in other particulars they for the most part leave protection to principles which have come from the common law. …