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Civil rights

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Jurisprudence

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Defending Korematsu?: Reflections On Civil Liberties In Wartime, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2003

Defending Korematsu?: Reflections On Civil Liberties In Wartime, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

According to Justice William J. Brennan, "After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realized that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis came along." This Article examines that observation, using Korematsu as a vehicle for refining the claim and, I think, reducing it to a more defensible one. Part I opens my discussion, providing some qualifications to the broad claim about threats to civil liberties in wartime. Part II then deals with Korematsu and other historical examples of civil liberties ...


The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West Jan 1990

The Meaning Of Equality And The Interpretive Turn, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The turn to hermeneutics and interpretation in contemporary legal theory has contributed at least two central ideas to modern jurisprudential thought: first, that the "meaning" of a text is invariably indeterminate -- what might be called the indeterminacy claim -- and second, that the unavoidably malleable essence of texts -- their essential inessentiality -- entails that interpreting a text is a necessary part of the process of creating the text's meaning. These insights have generated both considerable angst, and considerable excitement among traditional constitutional scholars, primarily because at least on first blush these two claims seem to inescapably imply a third: that the ...