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Full-Text Articles in Law

Tempering The Commerce Power, Robert G. Natelson Jan 2007

Tempering The Commerce Power, Robert G. Natelson

Faculty Law Review Articles

The Supreme Court's modern interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause in the realm of interstate commerce is textually problematic, unfaithful to the Constitution's original meaning, and contains positive incentives for Congress to over-regulate. The Necessary and Proper Clause was intended to embody the common law doctrine of principals and incidents, and the Court should employ that doctrine as its interpretive benchmark. The common law doctrine contains less, although some, bias toward over-regulation, and it is flexible enough to adapt to changing social conditions. Adherence to the common law doctrine would markedly improve Commerce Power jurisprudence and reduce incentives for …


The Balkanization Of Originalism, James E. Fleming Jan 2007

The Balkanization Of Originalism, James E. Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

Are we all originalists now? If anything would prompt that question, it would be Ronald Dworkin and Jack Balkin dressing up their theories in the garb of originalism (or, at any rate, being interpreted as originalists). For they are exemplars of two bete noires of originalism as conventionally understood: namely, the moral reading of the Constitution, and pragmatic, living constitutionalism, respectively.' Yet in recent years Dworkin has been interpreted as an abstract originalist2 and Balkin has now embraced the method of text and principle, which he presents as a form of abstract originalism.'


Lessons From The Right: Progressive Constitutionalism For The Twenty-First Century, Dawn E. Johnsen Jan 2007

Lessons From The Right: Progressive Constitutionalism For The Twenty-First Century, Dawn E. Johnsen

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Double-Consciousness In Constitutional Adjudication, Richard A. Primus Jan 2007

Double-Consciousness In Constitutional Adjudication, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theorists are familiar with epistemic and consequentialist reasons why judges might allow their decision making to be shaped by strongly held public opinion. The epistemic approach treats public opinion as an expert indicator, while the consequentialistapproach counsels judges to compromise legally correct interpretations so as not to antagonize a hostile public. But there is also a third reason, which we can think ofas constitutive. In limited circumstances, the fact that the public strongly holds a given view can be one of the factors that together constitute the correct answer to a constitutional question. In those circumstances, what the public …


Underlying Principles, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2007

Underlying Principles, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In his forthcoming article, Original Meaning and Abortion, Jack Balkin makes the startling disclosure that he is now an originalist. "[C]onstitutional interpretation," he writes, "requires fidelity to the original meaning of the Constitution and to the principles that underlie the text. The task of interpretation is to look to original meaning and underlying principle and decide how best to apply them in current circumstances. I call this the method of text and principle."

In this brief reply, the author cautions that, to remain faithful to the Constitution when referring to underlying principles, we must never forget it is a text …


Taking Text Too Seriously: Modern Textualism, Original Meaning, And The Case Of Amar's Bill Of Rights, William Michael Treanor Jan 2007

Taking Text Too Seriously: Modern Textualism, Original Meaning, And The Case Of Amar's Bill Of Rights, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Championed on the Supreme Court by Justices Scalia and Thomas and championed in academia most prominently by Professor Akhil Amar, textualism has in the past twenty years emerged as a leading school of constitutional interpretation. Textualists argue that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original public meaning and, in seeking that meaning, they closely parse the Constitution's words and grammar and the placement of clauses in the document. They have assumed that this close parsing recaptures original meaning, but, perhaps because it seems obviously correct, that assumption has neither been defended nor challenged. This article uses Professor …