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Civil rights

2008

Alexander Tsesis

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Safeguarding Fundamental Rights: Judicial Incursion Into Legislative Authority, Alexander Tsesis Mar 2008

Safeguarding Fundamental Rights: Judicial Incursion Into Legislative Authority, Alexander Tsesis

Alexander Tsesis

The Supreme Court recently limited Congress’s ability to pass civil rights statutes for the protection of fundamental rights. Decisions striking sections of the Violence Against Women Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act focused on states’ sovereign immunity. These holdings inadequately analyzed how the Reconstruction Amendments altered federalism by making the federal government primarily responsible for protecting civil rights. The Supreme Court also overlooked principles of liberty and equality lying at the foundation of American governance. The Court’s restrictions on legislative authority to identify fundamental rights and to safeguard them runs counter to the central credo of American ...