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Constitutional Law

Bill of Rights

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The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson Jan 2023

The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson

Articles

The home enjoys omnipresent status in American constitutional law. The Bill of Rights, peculiarly, has served as the central refuge for special protections to the home. This constitutional sanctuary has elicited an intriguing textual and doctrinal puzzle. A distinct thread has emerged that runs through the first five amendments delineating the home as a zone where rights emanating from speech, smut, gods, guns, soldiers, searches, sex, and self-incrimination enjoy special protections. However, the thread inexplicably unravels upon arriving at takings. There, the constitutional text omits and the Supreme Court’s doctrine excludes a special zone of safeguards to the home. This …


The Third Amendment In 2020, Michael L. Smith Jan 2022

The Third Amendment In 2020, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Compared with other Amendments in the Bill of Rights, the Third Amendment does not get much attention. Its prohibition on the quartering of soldiers in houses during peacetime, along with its prohibition on similar quartering during times of war absent legal prescription, is rarely the subject of litigation or scholarship. Indeed, most people—and likely most attorneys—probably cannot tell you what the Third Amendment covers if put on the spot. This Article aims to fix this by giving the Third Amendment the respect that one of the Constitution's original amendments deserves. This Article surveys and analyzes caselaw, scholarship, and popular media …


Reconceptualizing Hybrid Rights, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2020

Reconceptualizing Hybrid Rights, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

In landmark decisions on religious liberty and same-sex marriage, and many other cases as well, the Supreme Court has placed its imprimatur on so called “hybrid rights.” These rights spring from the interaction of two or more constitutional clauses, none of which alone suffices to give rise to the operative protection. Controversy surrounds hybrid rights in part because there exists no judicial account of their justifiability. To be sure, some scholarly treatments suggest that these rights emanate from the “structures” or “penumbras” of the Constitution. But critics respond that hybrid rights lack legitimacy for that very reason because structural and …


The Supreme Court’S Two Constitutions: A First Look At The “Reverse Polarity” Cases, Arthur D. Hellman Jan 2020

The Supreme Court’S Two Constitutions: A First Look At The “Reverse Polarity” Cases, Arthur D. Hellman

Articles

In the traditional approach to ideological classification, “liberal” judicial decisions are those that support civil liberties claims; “conservative” decisions are those that reject them. That view – particularly associated with the Warren Court era – is reflected in numerous academic writings and even an article by a prominent liberal judge. Today, however, there is mounting evidence that the traditional assumptions about the liberal-conservative divide are incorrect or at best incomplete. In at least some areas of constitutional law, the traditional characterizations have been reversed. Across a wide variety of constitutional issues, support for claims under the Bill of Rights or …


The Role Of Fault In § 1983 Municipal Liability, Michael Wells Jan 2019

The Role Of Fault In § 1983 Municipal Liability, Michael Wells

Scholarly Works

Under Monell v. Department of Social Services, local governments are not vicariously liable for constitutional violations committed by their employees. Those governments, however, are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations committed by "policymaking" officials. In the face of these two principles, courts have struggled with cases in which an underling commits a constitutional violation and the claim of municipal liability is based on a policymaker's failure to prevent it. The government can be liable in these "indirect-effect" cases for a policymaker's "deliberate indifference" to safeguarding constitutional rights, a standard that demands an even greater showing of culpability than …


The Diverging Right(S) To Bear Arms: Private Armament And The Second And Fourteenth Amendments In Historical Context, Alexander Gouzoules Jan 2019

The Diverging Right(S) To Bear Arms: Private Armament And The Second And Fourteenth Amendments In Historical Context, Alexander Gouzoules

Faculty Publications

This article compares the historical evolution of the social understanding of private armament with contemporary legal doctrine on the right to bear arms. The District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which held that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to self-defense, and the McDonald v. City of Chicago decision, which held the Second Amendment to be incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment, both turned on extensive historical analysis. But by reading a broad “individual right to self-defense” into both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, the Court assumed continuity between the social understandings at the time of these amendments’ respective ratifications. …


Judicial Review And The Enumeration Of Rights, Jud Campbell Jan 2017

Judicial Review And The Enumeration Of Rights, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

When introducing the Bill of Rights in Congress, James Madison explained that judges would "consider themselves in a peculiar manner the guardians" of those enumerated rights. This famous passage, often treated as authoritative, is conventionally understood to endorse the judicial enforceability of enumerated rights and deny the judicial enforceability of unenumerated rights. Enumeration, in other words, is considered as both a necessary and a sufficient condition for the judicial enforcement of rights against contrary legislation. This Essay disputes each of these orthodox views. Instead, it argues, Madison was commenting on judicial psychology and judicial politics, not judicial duty. Enumeration, in …


The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

The Meming Of Substantive Due Process, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Substantive due process is notoriously regarded as a textual contradiction, but it is in fact redundant. The word "due" cannot be honored except by inquiring into the relationship between the nature and scope of the deprived interest and the process-whether judicial, administrative, or legislative-that attended the deprivation. The treatment of substantive due process as an oxymoron is what this Essay calls a constitutional meme, an idea that replicates through imitation within the constitutional culture rather than (necessarily) through logical persuasion. We might even call the idea a "precedent," in the nature of other legal propositions within a common law system. …


Student Press Exceptionalism, Sonja R. West Jan 2015

Student Press Exceptionalism, Sonja R. West

Scholarly Works

Constitutional protection for student speakers is an issue that has been hotly contested for almost 50 years. Several commentators have made powerful arguments that theCourt has failed to sufficiently protect the First Amendment rights of all students. But this debate has overlooked an even more troubling reality about the current state ofexpressive protection for student — the especially harmful effect of the Court’s precedents on student journalists. Under the Court’s jurisprudence, schools may regulate with far greater breadth and ease the speech of student journalists than of their non-press classmates. Schools are essentially free to censor the student press even …


Keynote Address: 14th Annual Conference On Litigating Takings Challenges To Land Use And Environmental Regulations, William Michael Treanor Jan 2012

Keynote Address: 14th Annual Conference On Litigating Takings Challenges To Land Use And Environmental Regulations, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Keynote address to the 14th Annual Annual Conference on Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations, November 18, 2011 at Georgetown University Law School.

This conference explores the regulatory takings issue as it relates to land use and environmental regulation. The conference brings together a diverse group of leading scholars and experienced practitioners to discuss cutting-edge issues raised by recent decisions and pending court cases. Some of the topics to be discussed include takings claims generated by major flooding events in the Mississippi River, including Hurricane Katrina and the Mississippi floods of 2011, the takings issues raised by …


Preventive Detention, Character Evidence, And The New Criminal Law, Ted Sampsell-Jones Jan 2010

Preventive Detention, Character Evidence, And The New Criminal Law, Ted Sampsell-Jones

Faculty Scholarship

A new criminal law has emerged in the last quarter century. The dominant goal of the new criminal law is preventive detention-incarceration to incapacitate dangerous persons. The emergence of the new criminal law has remade both sentencing law and definitions of crimes themselves. The new criminal law has also begun to remake the law of evidence. As incapacitation has become an accepted goal of criminal punishment, the rationale of the character rule has become less compelling, and the rule itself has begun to wane in criminal practice. These changes have been subtle, but they have also been both radical and …


Commentary: Was The Bill Of Rights Irrelevant To Nineteenth-Century State Criminal Procedure?, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2009

Commentary: Was The Bill Of Rights Irrelevant To Nineteenth-Century State Criminal Procedure?, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Publications

No abstract provided.


Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2009

Heller High Water? The Future Of Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Has originalism won? It's easy to think so, judging from some of the reaction to the Supreme Court's recent decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. The Heller Court held that the District of Columbia could neither ban possession of handguns nor require that all other firearms be either unloaded and disassembled or guarded by a trigger lock. In finding for the first time in the Court's history that a gun control law violated the Second Amendment, Justice Scalia's opinion for the 5-4 majority appeared to be a sterling exemplar of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that he …


Incorporation And Originalist Theory, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2008

Incorporation And Originalist Theory, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Does the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution incorporate the Bill of Rights contained in the first eight amendments? And how should an originalist answer that question? This paper focuses on the latter question--the issues of originalist theory that are raised by judicial and scholarly debates over what is called "incorporation."

The inquiry proceeds in six parts. Part I answers the questions: "What is incorporation?" and "What is originalism?" Part II examines the theoretical framework for an investigation of incorporation that operates within the narrow confines of interpretation of the linguistic meaning text based on the assumption that the …


Congress Has The Power To Enforce The Bill Of Rights Against The Federal Government: Therefore Fisa Is Constitutional And The President's Terrorist Surveillance Program Is Illegal, Wilson R. Huhn Jan 2007

Congress Has The Power To Enforce The Bill Of Rights Against The Federal Government: Therefore Fisa Is Constitutional And The President's Terrorist Surveillance Program Is Illegal, Wilson R. Huhn

Akron Law Faculty Publications

The principal point of this Article is that Congress has plenary authority to enforce the Bill of Rights against the federal government. Although this precept is a fundamental one, neither the Supreme Court nor legal scholars have articulated this point in clear, simple, and direct terms. The Supreme Court does not have a monopoly on the Bill of Rights. Congress, too, has constitutional authority to interpret our rights and to enforce or enlarge them as against the actions of the federal government.

Congress exercised its power to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens when it enacted the Foreign Intelligence …


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 …


Preserving The Foundation Of Liberty, Elizabeth Brandt Jan 2005

Preserving The Foundation Of Liberty, Elizabeth Brandt

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Lost Original Meaning Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash Jan 2004

The Lost Original Meaning Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash

Law Faculty Publications

This article presents previously unrecognized evidence regarding the original meaning of the Ninth Amendment. Obscured by the contemporary assumption that the Ninth Amendment is about rights while the Tenth Amendment is about powers, the historical roots of the Ninth Amendment can be found in the state ratification convention demands for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the constructive enlargement of federal power. James Madison's initial draft of the Ninth Amendment expressly adopted the language suggested by the state conventions and he insisted the final draft expressed the same rule of construction desired by the states. In an episode previously unnoticed by scholars, …


Speech: The Bill Of Rights, Garrett Epps Jul 2003

Speech: The Bill Of Rights, Garrett Epps

All Faculty Scholarship

The Bill of Rights is a much more fortuitous addition to the Constitution than many people imagine. The tired delegates at Philadelphia were unable to make the final effort to frame a bill of rights, and their failure nearly caused the collapse of ratification. When the First Congress met, James Madison took responsibility for making the new government live up to the implied pledge made during ratification to provide a partial list, drawn from the historic rights on English subjects. Not all Madison's proposed amendments were adopted however. The work of adumbrating the full scope of liberty under the Constitution …


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 …


Does The Federal Constitution Incorporate The Declaration Of Independence?, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 2001

Does The Federal Constitution Incorporate The Declaration Of Independence?, Thomas B. Mcaffee

Scholarly Works

A standard view at the time of the adoption of the Constitution was that “a constitution does not in itself imply any more than a declaration of the relation which the different parts of the government have to each other, but does not imply security for the rights of individuals.” The drafters of the state constitutions had “assumed that government had all power except for specific prohibitions contained in a bill of rights.” When the federal Constitution was transmitted to the states by Congress, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts defended the omission of a bill of rights based on the federal …


Inalienable Rights, Legal Enforceability, And American Constitutions: The Fourteenth Amendment And The Concept Of Unenumerated Rights, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 2001

Inalienable Rights, Legal Enforceability, And American Constitutions: The Fourteenth Amendment And The Concept Of Unenumerated Rights, Thomas B. Mcaffee

Scholarly Works

It has become common to believe that those who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporated” not only the specific guarantees of the federal Bill of Rights, but also the other fundamental rights “retained by the people” in the Ninth Amendment. Even among those who acknowledge that the Ninth Amendment was originally a “federalism” provision that simply “retained” all that had not been granted as “powers” to the federal government are those who contend that, in light of the adoption of similar provisions in the state constitutions, by 1866 this language had become a free-floating affirmation of unenumerated rights. This Article attempts …


Two Movements Of A Constitutional Symphony: Akhil Amar’S The Bill Of Rights, Kurt T. Lash Jan 1999

Two Movements Of A Constitutional Symphony: Akhil Amar’S The Bill Of Rights, Kurt T. Lash

Law Faculty Publications

A remarkable effort is afoot to justify American constitutional law at the end of the twentieth century. Ground zero in this effort is Yale Law School, and the principle architects are professors Akhil Reed Amar and Bruce Ackerman. Together, these scholars are calling for a reevaluation of commonly accepted doctrines with the goal of grounding judicial review and constitutional interpretation on the principles of popular sovereignty. What makes the effort remarkable is its emphasis on political morality, as opposed to the attainment of a particular doctrinal end. Take, for example, Amar's explanation of his purpose in writing The Bill of …


Constitutions And Spontaneous Orders: A Response To Professor Mcginnis, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki Jan 1999

Constitutions And Spontaneous Orders: A Response To Professor Mcginnis, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki

Articles

Professor John McGinnis has written a perceptive and provocative comment on our economic analysis of the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation.1 A brief summary of our areas of agreement and disagreement may help set the stage for this response. It appears that Professor McGinnis substantially agrees with the two central propositions of our article. First, he appears to agree with our definition of efficient traditions as those evolving over long periods of time from decentralized processes.2 Second, he explicitly agrees that Justices Scalia and Souter have adopted sub-optimal models of tradition because they rely on sources that lack the …


Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki Jan 1999

Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki

Articles

In this Article, Professor Pritchard and Professor Zywicki examine the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation, a topic that has received significant attention in recent years. After outlining the current debate over the use of tradition, the authors discuss the efficiency purposes of constitutionalism--precommitment and the reduction of agency costs--and demonstrate how the use of tradition in constitutional interpretation can serve these purposes. Rejecting both Justice Scalia's majoritarian model, which focuses on legislative sources of tradition, and Justice Souter's common-law model, which focuses on Supreme Court precedent as a source of tradition, the authors propose an alternative model--the "finding model"-- …


The Hidden History Of The Second Amendment, Carl Bogus Jan 1998

The Hidden History Of The Second Amendment, Carl Bogus

Law Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Federal System As Bill Of Rights: Original Understandings, Modern Misreadings, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1998

The Federal System As Bill Of Rights: Original Understandings, Modern Misreadings, Thomas B. Mcaffee

Scholarly Works

In the modern era, we have almost completely lost track of the relationship that the Framers of the United States Constitution perceived between the structure of our federal system and the protection of popular rights. At least two obvious components of this confusion persist. First, as we have come to think of rights almost exclusively in terms of the claims of individuals against the government, we have lost the ability to hear the Framers' voices referring to rights held by the people in their collective capacity, including the rights of the people within each of the sovereign states to be …


Claims For Damages For Violations Of State Constitutional Rights – Analysis Of The Recent Court Of Appeals Decision In Brown V. New York; The Resolved And Unresolved Issues, Martin A. Schwartz Jan 1998

Claims For Damages For Violations Of State Constitutional Rights – Analysis Of The Recent Court Of Appeals Decision In Brown V. New York; The Resolved And Unresolved Issues, Martin A. Schwartz

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Judicial Review As A Tool For The Safeguard Of Human Rights: Prospects And Problems Of The U.S. Model In Malawi, Janet Laura Banda Jan 1997

Judicial Review As A Tool For The Safeguard Of Human Rights: Prospects And Problems Of The U.S. Model In Malawi, Janet Laura Banda

LLM Theses and Essays

Judicial review is a judicial action that involves the review of an inferior legislative or executive act for conformity with a higher legal norm, with the possibility that the inferior norm may be invalidated or suspended if necessary. Although judicial review has been explicitly provided for in some written post-independence African constitutions, such review has not developed into a significant principle of African juridical democracy. This lack of development can be attributed to the emergence of dictatorships in the post-colonial era. However, Malawi’s weak judiciary system was remedied by the 1994 Constitution which gave the Malawian judiciary a central position, …


A Critical Guide To The Ninth Amendment, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1996

A Critical Guide To The Ninth Amendment, Thomas B. Mcaffee

Scholarly Works

Since the Supreme Court's decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, thousands of law students each year have confronted a confusing debate over the meaning of the Ninth Amendment. Writing for the majority in Griswold, Justice Douglas included the Ninth Amendment among the sources for deriving the “penumbral” right of privacy. More central to this article, in a separate concurrence Justice Goldberg contended that the Amendment provided a basis for the discovery of fundamental human rights beyond those included in the text of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In response, the dissenting Justices, Stewart and Black, argued that …