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Full-Text Articles in Law

Chevron And Stare Decisis, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Mar 2024

Chevron And Stare Decisis, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Articles

This Term, in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, the Supreme Court will expressly consider whether to overrule Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.—a bedrock precedent in administrative law that a reviewing court must defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute that the agency administers. In our contribution to this Chevron on Trial Symposium, we argue that the Court should decline this invitation because the pull of statutory stare decisis is too strong to overcome.


States’ Duty Under The Federal Elections Clause And A Federal Right To Education, Evan Caminker Dec 2023

States’ Duty Under The Federal Elections Clause And A Federal Right To Education, Evan Caminker

Articles

Fifty years ago, in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court failed to address one of the preeminent civil rights issues of our generation—substandard and inequitable public education—by holding that the federal Constitution does not protect a general right to education. The Court didn’t completely close the door on a narrower argument that the Constitution guarantees “an opportunity to acquire the basic minimal skills necessary for the enjoyment of the rights of speech and of full participation in the political process.” Both litigants and scholars have been trying ever since to push that door open, pressing …


Due Process And Equal Protection In Michigan Anishinaabe Courts, Matthew Fletcher Jan 2023

Due Process And Equal Protection In Michigan Anishinaabe Courts, Matthew Fletcher

Articles

In 1968, largely because the United States Constitution does not apply to tribal government activity, Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act–a federal law that requires tribal governments to guarantee due process and equal protection to persons under tribal jurisdiction. In 1978, the Supreme Court held that persons seeking to enforce those federal rights may do so in tribal forums only; federal and state courts are unavailable. Moreover, the Court held that tribes may choose to interpret the meanings of “due process” and “equal protection” in line with tribal laws, including customary laws. Since the advent of the self-determination era …


The Not-So-Standard Model: Reconsidering Agency-Head Review Of Administrative Adjudication Decisions, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2023

The Not-So-Standard Model: Reconsidering Agency-Head Review Of Administrative Adjudication Decisions, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

The Supreme Court has invalidated multiple legislative design choices for independent agency structures in recent years, citing Article II and the need for political accountability through presidential control of agencies. In United States v. Arthrex, Inc., the Court turned to administrative adjudication, finding an Appointments Clause violation in the assignment of certain final patent adjudication decisions to appellate panels of unconfirmed administrative patent judges. As a remedy, a different majority declared unenforceable a statutory provision that had insulated Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) administrative adjudication decisions from political review for almost a century. The Court thereby enabled the politically appointed …


Responding To The New Major Questions Doctrine, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2023

Responding To The New Major Questions Doctrine, Christopher J. Walker

Articles

The new major questions doctrine has been a focal point in administrative law scholarship and litigation over the past year. One overarching theme is that the doctrine is a deregulatory judicial power grab from both the executive and legislative branches. It limits the president’s ability to pursue a major policy agenda through regulation. And in the current era of political polarization, Congress is unlikely to have the capacity to pass legislation to provide the judicially required clear authorization for agencies to regulate major questions. Especially considering the various “vetogates” imposed by Senate and House rules, it is fair to conclude …


Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey Jan 2023

Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey

Articles

What does the Constitution mean when it says that “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” (U.S. Const. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1)?

The definition of “tax” for constitutional purposes has become important considering the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (“NFIB”), in which Chief Justice Roberts for the Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) under the taxing …


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 …


Is Corporate Law Nonpartisan?, Ofer Eldar, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Jun 2022

Is Corporate Law Nonpartisan?, Ofer Eldar, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

Only rarely does the United States Supreme Court hear a case with fundamental implications for corporate law. In Carney v. Adams, however, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to address whether the State of Delaware’s requirement of partisan balance for its judiciary violates the First Amendment. Although the Court disposed of the case on other grounds, Justice Sotomayor acknowledged that the issue “will likely be raised again.” The stakes are high because most large businesses are incorporated in Delaware and thus are governed by its corporate law. Former Delaware governors and chief justices lined up to defend the state’s “nonpartisan” …


The New Major Questions Doctrine, Daniel Deacon, Leah Litman Jan 2022

The New Major Questions Doctrine, Daniel Deacon, Leah Litman

Law & Economics Working Papers

This article critically analyzes significant recent developments in the major questions doctrine. It highlights important shifts in what role the majorness of an agency policy plays in statutory interpretation, as well as changes in how the Court determines whether an agency policy is major. After the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, the “new” major questions doctrine operates as a clear statement rule that directs courts not to discern the plain meaning of a statute using the normal tools of statutory interpretation, but to require explicit and specific congressional authorization for certain agency policies. Even broadly worded, otherwise unambiguous statutes do …


To Participate And Elect: Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act At 40, Ellen D. Katz, Brian Remlinger, Andrew Dziedzic, Brooke Simone, Jordan Schuler Jan 2022

To Participate And Elect: Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act At 40, Ellen D. Katz, Brian Remlinger, Andrew Dziedzic, Brooke Simone, Jordan Schuler

Other Publications

This paper provides an overview of cases decided under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act between September 1, 1982 and December 31, 2021. It updates our 2006 study documenting Section 2 litigation through 2005. Of note is the substantial decline in the number of Section 2 cases decided and diminished success for the plaintiffs who bring them. While recent litigation (including Brnovich and Merrill v. Milligan) suggests that Section 2 is likely to occupy, at best, a diminished role in future electoral disputes, this paper shows that Section 2’s reach had already declined significantly prior to recent disputes. …


Not A Suicide Pact: Urgent Strategic Recommendations For Reducing Domestic Terrorism In The United States, Barbara L. Mcquade Jan 2022

Not A Suicide Pact: Urgent Strategic Recommendations For Reducing Domestic Terrorism In The United States, Barbara L. Mcquade

Articles

America’s Bill of Rights protects U.S. citizens’ rights to free speech, to bear arms, and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, among other things. But, as the Supreme Court has consistently held, no right is absolute. All rights must be balanced against other societal needs, including and especially public safety. As the threat of domestic terrorism metastasizes in the United States, Americans need to use the practical wisdom that Justice Robert L. Jackson advised in 1949 to ensure the survival of the republic.

In recognition of this growing threat, the Biden administration issued the nation’s first National Strategy …


Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah Litman, Katherine Shaw Jan 2022

Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah Litman, Katherine Shaw

Articles

This piece offers an extended critique of one aspect of the so-called “independent state legislature” theory. That theory, in brief, holds that the federal Constitution gives state legislatures, and withholds from any other state entity, the power to regulate federal elections. Proponents ground their theory in two provisions of the federal Constitution: Article I’s Elections Clause, which provides that “[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof,” and Article II’s Presidential Electors Clause, which provides that “[e]ach State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature …


The Dubious Constitutional Origins Of Treaty Overrides: A Response To Rosenbloom And Shaheen, Reuven Avi-Yonah Jan 2022

The Dubious Constitutional Origins Of Treaty Overrides: A Response To Rosenbloom And Shaheen, Reuven Avi-Yonah

Articles

In 1888, the Supreme Court decided a case called Whitney v. Robert- son, which is generally considered to be the source of the proposition that, under the Constitution, later-in-time statutes can override earlier treaties (the Rule). The Rule is highly controversial because it violates articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), which the United States has accepted as binding on it as cus- tomary international law (CIL). Despite that, the United States has since Whitney routinely engaged in treaty overrides, and the Court has repeatedly endorsed the Rule even while narrowing its application …


Reframing Article I, Section 8, Richard Primus Apr 2021

Reframing Article I, Section 8, Richard Primus

Articles

Constitutional lawyers usually think of the Constitution's enumeration of congressional powers as a device for limiting the federal government's legislative jurisdiction. And there's something to that. But considered from the point of view of the Constitution's drafters, it makes more sense to think of the enumeration of congressional powers as primarily a device for empowering Congress, not limiting it. The Framers wanted both to empower and to limit the general government, and the Constitution's enumeration of congressional powers makes more sense as a means of empowerment than as a means of limitation. The major exception--that is, the one significant way …


The Federalist Constitution: Foreword, David S. Schwartz, Jonathan Gienapp, John Mikhail, Richard A. Primus Apr 2021

The Federalist Constitution: Foreword, David S. Schwartz, Jonathan Gienapp, John Mikhail, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Over the past twenty years, constitutional law has taken a decidedly historical turn, both in academia and in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions are increasingly filled with extended historical inquiries, and not just by self-described originalists. Yet much of this historical inquiry is severely distorted. Twenty-first-century lawyers and judges enjoy improved and ever-widening access to a rich array of primary sources from the founding era and the early republic, but the ability of modern interpreters to make sense of these materials is pervasively affected by present biases. Many of these biases stem directly from long-standing received narratives …


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 …


Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey Jan 2021

Constitutional Review Of Federal Tax Legislation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yoseph M. Edrey

Law & Economics Working Papers

What does the Constitution mean when it says that “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” (US Const. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1)? The definition of “tax” for constitutional purposes has become important in light of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, in which Chief Justice Roberts for the Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act under the taxing power. This has led to commentators questioning …


Democracy, Distrust, And Presidential Immunities, Evan H. Caminker Jan 2021

Democracy, Distrust, And Presidential Immunities, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

This Essay sketches how Ely's representation-reinforcement theory of judicial interpretation might frame presidential immunity doctrines and compares that frame to the Court's current approach. To what extent might various forms of presidential immunity, or exceptions thereto, be grounded in principles of democratic accountability rather than presidential efficacy? I conclude that a plausibly constructed Elyan paradigm provides an argument for immunity in many settings but also for exceptions to that immunity in narrow but important circumstances. More specifically: immunity can protect the President's ability to focus on serving her view of the national interest, without being unduly chilled or sidetracked by …


Understanding National Remedies And The Principle Of National Procedural Autonomy: A Constitutional Approach, Daniel H. Halberstam Jan 2021

Understanding National Remedies And The Principle Of National Procedural Autonomy: A Constitutional Approach, Daniel H. Halberstam

Articles

This article provides a constitutionally grounded understanding of the vexing principle of ‘national procedural autonomy’ that haunts the vindication of EU law in national court. After identifying tensions and confusion in the debate surrounding this purported principle of ‘autonomy’, the Article turns to the foundational text and structure of Union law to reconstruct the proper constitutional basis for deploying or supplanting national procedures and remedies. It further argues that much of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union may be considered through the lens of ‘prudential avoidance’, ie the decision to avoid difficult constitutional questions …


Persuasion About/Without International Law: The Case Of Cybersecurity Norms, Steven R. Ratner Jan 2021

Persuasion About/Without International Law: The Case Of Cybersecurity Norms, Steven R. Ratner

Book Chapters

International law on cybersecurity is characterized by at best a thin consensus on the existence of rules, their meaning, and the desirability and content of new rules. This legal landscape results in a unique pattern of argumentation and persuasion by states and non-state actors both in advocating for a regulatory scheme for cyber activity and in reacting to malicious cyber acts. By examining argumentation in the absence of a generally agreed legal framework, this chapter seeks to provide new insights into the motivations for and effects of international legal argumentation in shaping debates and behavior. After describing the legal landscape …


The American Law Of Overruling Necessity: The Exceptional Origins Of State Police Power, William J. Novak Nov 2020

The American Law Of Overruling Necessity: The Exceptional Origins Of State Police Power, William J. Novak

Book Chapters

One of the most significant legal-constitutional moments in the history of the American republic occurred in the Confederation Congress on September 26 and 27, 1787. On those dates, the handiwork of the historic Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was now "laid before the United States in Congress assembled." And the momentous question for the extant official lawmaking body of the US government was what to do next. Under Article 1 3 of the Articles of Confederation, any alteration of the articles had to be agreed to by Congress and confirmed by the legislatures of every state. Notably, the Philadelphia convention had …


Lin-Manuel Miranda And The Future Of Originalism, Richard A. Primus Oct 2020

Lin-Manuel Miranda And The Future Of Originalism, Richard A. Primus

Book Chapters

This chapter discusses how Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical is changing the future of originalism. Originalism in constitutional law has recently had a generally conservative valence not because the Founders were an eighteenth-century version of the Federalist Society, but because readings of Founding era sources that favored right-leaning causes were generally predominant in the community of constitutional lawyers. Since 2015, however, the millions of Americans who have listened obsessively to Hamilton's cast album or packed theaters to see the show in person have been absorbing a new vision of the Founding. The blockbuster musical narrative has retold America's …


Herein Of 'Herein Granted': Why Article I'S Vesting Clause Does Not Support The Doctrine Of Enumerated Powers, Richard A. Primus Sep 2020

Herein Of 'Herein Granted': Why Article I'S Vesting Clause Does Not Support The Doctrine Of Enumerated Powers, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Article I of the United States Constitution begins as follows: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States[.]” That text is sometimes called the Vesting Clause, or, more precisely, the Article I Vesting Clause, because Articles II and III also begin with Vesting Clauses. And there is a feature of those three clauses, when compared, to which twenty-first century constitutional lawyers commonly attribute considerable significance. Although the three Clauses are similar in other ways, the syntax of Article I’s Vesting Clause is not fully parallel to that of the other two. The Vesting …


The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson Sep 2020

The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Recent presidential reliance on acting agency officials, including an acting Attorney General, acting Secretaries of Defense, and an acting Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as numerous below-Cabinet officials, has drawn significant criticism from scholars, the media, and members of Congress. They worry that the President may be pursuing illegitimate goals and seeking to bypass the critical Senate role under the Appointments Clause. But Congress has authorized—and Presidents have called upon—such individuals from the early years of the Republic to the present. Meanwhile, neither formalist approaches to the constitutional issue, which seem to permit no flexibility, nor current Supreme Court …


Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus Aug 2020

Marshaling Mcculloch, Richard A. Primus

Reviews

David Schwartz’s terrific new book is subtitled John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the book is about much more than Marshall and McCulloch. It’s bout the long struggle over the scope of national power. Marshall and McCulloch are characters in the story, but the story isn’t centrally about them. Indeed, an important part of Schwartz’s narrative is that McCulloch has mattered relatively little in that struggle, except as a protean symbol.


Discerning A Dignitary Offense: The Concept Of Equal 'Public Rights' During Reconstruction, Rebecca J. Scott Aug 2020

Discerning A Dignitary Offense: The Concept Of Equal 'Public Rights' During Reconstruction, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

The mountain of modern interpretation to which the language of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution has been subjected tends to overshadow the multiple concepts of antidiscrimination that were actually circulating at the time of its drafting. Moreover, as authors on race and law have pointed out, Congress itself lacked any African American representatives during the 1866–68 moment of transitional justice. The subsequent development of a “state action doctrine” limiting the reach of federal civil rights enforcement, in turn, eclipsed important contemporary understandings of the harms that Reconstruction-era initiatives sought to combat. In contrast to the oblique language …


Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman Jul 2020

Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This Article, prepared for a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the Nineteenth Amendment’s one-hundred-year anniversary, explores and defends a “thick” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment right to vote and Congress’s power to enforce it. A “thin” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that the Amendment merely prohibits states from enacting laws that prohibit women from voting once the state decides to hold an election. And a “thin” conception of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that Congress may only supply remedies for official acts that violate the Amendment’s substantive guarantees. This Article argues the Nineteenth Amendment does more. …


Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus Jun 2020

Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

For years, experts have blamed Strickland v. Washington’s lax standard for assessing trial attorney effectiveness for many of the criminal justice system’s problems. But the conventional understanding of Strickland as a problem for ineffectiveness claims gives the decision too much prominence because it treats Strickland as the test for all such claims. That is a mistake. Properly understood, the Supreme Court has recognized four different constitutional forms of trial attorney ineffectiveness, and Strickland’s two pronged test applies to only one of the four. If litigants and courts would notice this complexity and relegate Strickland to its proper place, it would …


May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos Mar 2020

May Hospitals Withhold Ventilators From Covid-19 Patients With Pre-Existing Disabilities? Notes On The Law And Ethics Of Disability-Based Medical Rationing, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Law & Economics Working Papers

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of medical rationing is now clear and present. Hospitals faced with a crush of patients must now seriously confront questions of how to allocate scarce resources—notably life-saving ventilators—at a time of severe shortage. In their protocols for addressing this situation, hospitals and state agencies often employ explicitly disability-based distinctions. For example, Alabama’s crisis standards of care provide that “people with severe or profound intellectual disability ‘are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’” This essay, written as this crisis unfolds, argues that disability-based distinctions like these violate the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the …


Is Obamacare Really Unconstitutional?, Nicholas Bagley Jan 2020

Is Obamacare Really Unconstitutional?, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

On December 18, 2019, just 3 days after the close of open enrollment on the exchanges and on the same day the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump, a conservative appeals court handed the President a major victory in his crusade against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over a stern dissent, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the entire rest of the law might therefore be invalid.