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Full-Text Articles in Law

Contra Scalia, Thomas, And Gorsuch: Originalists Should Adopt A Living Constitution, R. Randall Kelso Nov 2017

Contra Scalia, Thomas, And Gorsuch: Originalists Should Adopt A Living Constitution, R. Randall Kelso

University of Miami Law Review

Two main approaches appear in the popular literature on constitutional interpretation: originalism and non-originalism. An originalist approach refers back to some aspect of the framers’ and ratifiers’ intent or action to justify a decision. A non-originalist approach bases the goal of constitutional interpretation in part on consideration of some justification independent of the framers’ and ratifiers’ intent or action.

What is often unappreciated in addressing the question of whether to adopt an originalist or non-originalist approach to constitutional interpretation is the complication that emerges if one concludes that the framing and ratifying generation believed in the model of a living …


Competing Accounts Of Interpretation And Practical Reasoning In The Debate Over Originalism, André Leduc Nov 2017

Competing Accounts Of Interpretation And Practical Reasoning In The Debate Over Originalism, André Leduc

The University of New Hampshire Law Review

This article explores two assumptions about constitutional law and the form of practical reasoning inherent in constitutional argument and decision that have shaped the debate over originalism. The first assumption—adopted by originalists—is that constitutional reasoning is a formalistic process. Originalism’s critics tacitly describe a very different and less formalistic model. The second assumption—shared by originalists and most of its critics alike—is that the central task of constitutional decision is to interpret the Constitution. Both of these assumptions are wrong. Constitutional argument is not, and cannot be, reduced to the formal model of reasoning tacitly employed in originalism. The critics of …


Reverse Political Process Theory, Aaron Tang Oct 2017

Reverse Political Process Theory, Aaron Tang

Vanderbilt Law Review

Despite occasional suggestions to the contrary, the Supreme Court has long since stopped interpreting the Constitution to afford special protection to certain groups on the ground that they are powerless to defend their own interests in the political process. From a series of decisions reviewing laws that burden whites under the same strict scrutiny as laws that burden racial minorities, to the more recent same-sex marriage decision based principally on the fundamental nature of marriage (rather than the political status of gays and lesbians), it is now an uncontroversial observation that when it comes to applying the open-textured provisions of …


Debating Is The Constitution Special?, Richard Primus, Kevin M. Stack, Christopher Serkin, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Debating Is The Constitution Special?, Richard Primus, Kevin M. Stack, Christopher Serkin, Nelson Tebbe

Articles

In 1890, Louis Brandeis wrote The Right to Privacy. Within a matter of years, the courts began adopting his theory, creating a newly articulated legal right. This article likely represented the high-water mark of legal academia in terms of real world impact. In recent years, the academy has lost much of its relevance. Chief Justice Roberts ridiculed academic work, suggesting that legal scholarship has become esoteric and irrelevant. This should not be the case. The quality of legal scholars is higher than it has ever been—young scholars now often enter the academy with doctoral degrees in related fields. Likewise, technology …


The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus Mar 2017

The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote that "the enumeration presupposes something not enumerated." Modern courts use that phrase to mean that the Constitutions enumeration of congressional powers indicates that those powers are, as a whole, less than a grant of general legislative authority. But Marshall wasn't saying that. He wasn't talking about the Constitution's overall enumeration of congressional powers at all. He was writing about a different enumeration - the enumeration of three classes of commerce within the Commerce Clause. And Marshall's analysis of the Commerce Clause in Gibbons does not imply that the enumerated …


The Inference From Authority To Interpretive Method In Constitutional And Statutory Domains, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

The Inference From Authority To Interpretive Method In Constitutional And Statutory Domains, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Should courts interpret the Constitution as they interpret statutes? This question has been answered in a wide variety of ways. On the one hand, many scholars and jurists understand constitutional and statutory interpretation as largely overlapping, continuous, or converging. For some, this overlap follows directly from the Constitution's status as a form of legislated law. In this way of thinking, because the Constitution, like a statute, was bargained over and formally adopted, it should be interpreted in accordance with general principles applicable to legislated law. Proponents of this view argue that if constitutional interpretation appears distinctive in practice, that is …


The Constitutional Ratchet Effect, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

The Constitutional Ratchet Effect, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Fidelity To Our Imperfect Constitution: A Response To Five Views, James E. Fleming Jan 2017

Fidelity To Our Imperfect Constitution: A Response To Five Views, James E. Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

En mi libro reciente, Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution, adelanto una crí-tica sostenida al originalismo en todas sus formas y defiendo tanto lo que Ronald Dworkin llamó una “lectura moral” de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América como lo que, junto a Sotirios A. Barber, he llamado una “aproximación filosófica” a la interpretación constitucional. En este ensayo para el Simposio sobre el libro, respondo a cinco comentarios muy pensa-dos. Primero, en contra del comentario de Sot Barber, justifico el responder a la “resurgencia persistente del originalismo” y el tratar de “salvar al ori-ginalismo nuevo de sí mismo” al …


Conservatives And The Court, Robert F. Nagel Jan 2017

Conservatives And The Court, Robert F. Nagel

Publications

No abstract provided.