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Constitutional interpretation

Constitutional Law

Michigan Law Review

1978

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Eighteenth-Century Background Of John Marshall's Constitutional Jurisprudence, William E. Nelson May 1978

The Eighteenth-Century Background Of John Marshall's Constitutional Jurisprudence, William E. Nelson

Michigan Law Review

This analysis of Marshall's constitutional jurisprudence avoids the pitfalls of previous theories. It does not see the Federalist political program as the source of Marshall's constitutional doctrines and thus does not need to explain how Marshall qualified his political principles or how he convinced non-Federalist judges to accept them. Instead, this essay argues that legal, not political, principles underlay Marshall's jurisprudence, but it attempts to understand those principles in a manner consistent with the unavoidable twentieth-century assumption that law is a body of flexible rules responsive to social reality rather than a series of immutable, unambiguous doctrines derived from a …


Equal Protection: A Closer Look At Closer Scrutiny, Michigan Law Review Apr 1978

Equal Protection: A Closer Look At Closer Scrutiny, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note proposes to restore means-end analysis to legal respectability through a comprehensive integrated approach to purpose, misfit, and balancing. The search for a rational basis is meaningless if there are no constraints on the kind of purpose which may justify a classification. Therefore, this Note initially explores ways in which a court can more rigorously scrutinize statutory purpose. The next significant question is how a court should evaluate the degree of coincidence between the class picked out by the law and the class which would be picked out if the law were to achieve its goals. Such "misfit" analysis …