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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutional Interpretation Through A Global Lens, Rex D. Glensy Nov 2010

Constitutional Interpretation Through A Global Lens, Rex D. Glensy

Missouri Law Review

This Article seeks to clarify the current debate concerning the use of non-U.S. persuasive authority within the context of constitutional interpretation. It begins by noting that commentary on comparative constitutional law often fails to make any distinction between foreign domestic sources and international law used comparatively, and thus risks evoking parallels between different systems of law that lack context and plausibility. It then draws on various normative theories and underpinnings of both domestic and international legal regimes to show that a proper comparative enterprise must take this distinction into account. The Article concludes by explaining that only when those policy …


Summaries: Constitutional Law, Tova Zeff, Samuel Santistevan, Martis Mcallister, Douglas M. Buchanan Sep 2010

Summaries: Constitutional Law, Tova Zeff, Samuel Santistevan, Martis Mcallister, Douglas M. Buchanan

Golden Gate University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Law, James Gaspich, Blaise Curet Sep 2010

Constitutional Law, James Gaspich, Blaise Curet

Golden Gate University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Commerce In The Commerce Clause: A Response To Jack Balkin, Robert G. Natelson Sep 2010

Commerce In The Commerce Clause: A Response To Jack Balkin, Robert G. Natelson

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The Constitution's original meaning is its meaning to those ratifying the document during a discrete time period: from its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in late 1787 until Rhode Island's ratification on May 29, 1790. Reconstructing it requires historical skills, including a comprehensive approach to sources. Jack Balkin's article Commerce fails to consider the full range of evidence and thereby attributes to the Constitution's Commerce Clause a scope that virtually no one in the Founding Era believed it had.


Reverse Incorporation Of State Constitutional Law, Joseph Blocher Aug 2010

Reverse Incorporation Of State Constitutional Law, Joseph Blocher

Joseph Blocher

State supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court are the independent and final arbiters of their respective constitutions, and may therefore take different approaches to analogous state and federal constitutional issues. Such issues arise often, because the documents were modeled on each other and share many of the same guarantees. In answering them, state courts have, as a matter of practice, generally adopted federal constitutional doctrine as their own. Federal courts, by contrast, have largely ignored state constitutional law when interpreting the federal constitution. In McDonald v. Chicago, to take only the most recent example, the Court declined to …


When The Text Runs Out: The Role Of The Court In Constitutional Construction, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee May 2010

When The Text Runs Out: The Role Of The Court In Constitutional Construction, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

Constitutions in Westminster-style legal systems in Asia such as India, Malaysia and Singapore feature bills of rights with provisions phrased at a high level of abstraction. As a consequence, at some stage a particular constitutional text ‘runs out’ and ceases to provide a court with substantive guidance as to how fundamental liberties should be applied to specific factual scenarios. Nonetheless, as it remains the court’s duty to understand the implications of the constitutional text in order to determine the dispute before it, the judge must necessarily engage in constitutional construction. This may be described as the process of articulating rules …


The Text Through Time, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee May 2010

The Text Through Time, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

The text of a written constitution or bill of rights is prone to ‘drift’ or ‘slippage’ in the meanings of terms. Even if such meanings have not altered over time, because of changes in attitudes and values there may be disagreement with the text’s framers as to the scenarios that are covered or not covered by terms. This article submits that the distinction between the connotation and denotation of a term that has been applied in Australian jurisprudence is useful for determining the meaning of the text through time. The connotation of a term is the generally unchanging bundle of …


Taking Responsibilities As Well As Rights Seriously, James E. Fleming Apr 2010

Taking Responsibilities As Well As Rights Seriously, James E. Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

In his first book, Ronald Dworkin famously called for “taking rights seriously” by treating them as “trumps” over considerations of utility or the general welfare.1 Taking Rights Seriously (along with other works) provoked calls for taking responsibilities as well as (or instead of) rights seriously, or for engaging in “responsibility talk,” not just “rights talk.”2 In Life’s Dominion, Dworkin himself got on the responsibility bandwagon in justifying the right to procreative autonomy and the right to die.3 He countenanced that government may encourage women to take the decision whether to have an abortion responsibly, so long as it does not …


An Originalist Theory Of Precedent: The Privileged Place Of Originalist Precedent, Lee Strang Jan 2010

An Originalist Theory Of Precedent: The Privileged Place Of Originalist Precedent, Lee Strang

Lee J Strang

In this Article, I show that originalism retains a robust role for originalist precedent thereby enabling originalism to fit our legal practice and appropriate the normative attractiveness of stare decisis. This Article therefore fills a prominent gap in originalist theory.

First, I briefly review the debate in originalism over the role of constitutional precedent.

Second, I describe how participants in our legal practice can distinguish between originalist and nonoriginalist precedent using a standard called Originalism in Good Faith. Under Originalism in Good Faith, precedents that are a good faith attempt to articulate and apply the Constitution’s original meaning, are originalist …


The Constitutional Interpretation/Construction Distinction: A Useful Fiction, Laura A. Cisneros Jan 2010

The Constitutional Interpretation/Construction Distinction: A Useful Fiction, Laura A. Cisneros

Publications

Part I briefly describes the interpretation/construction distinction as an artificial construct - a fiction." The many commentaries on the subject encompass such a wide range of positions that the distinction, to the extent it truly exists at all, does so in the eye of each individual beholder. In Part II, I argue that the distinction, even if understood as a fiction, is nevertheless relevant because it can be used to bridge the expanse between originalist and nonoriginalist (or, if one prefers, between "strong" and "weak" originalist) theories of American constitutional interpretation. Put another way, the fiction is useful. In Part …


Commerce, Jack M. Balkin Jan 2010

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

This Article applies the method of text and principle to an important problem in constitutional interpretation: the constitutional legitimacy of the modem regulatory state and its expansive definition of federal commerce power Some originalists argue that the modem state cannot be justified, while others accept existing precedents as a "pragmatic exception" to originalism. Nonoriginalists, in turn, point to these difficulties as a refutation of originalist premises. Contemporary originalist readings have tended to view the commerce power through modem eyes. Originalists defending narrow readings offederal power have identified "commerce" with the trade of commodities; originalists defending broad readings of federal power …


Why Federalism And Constitutional Positivism Don't Mix, James A. Gardner Jan 2010

Why Federalism And Constitutional Positivism Don't Mix, James A. Gardner

Contributions to Books

Published as Chapter 4 in New Frontiers of State Constitutional Law: Dual Enforcement of Norms, James A. Gardner & Jim Rossi, eds.

This chapter places the book's approach in its interpretational context by linking the federal structure of constitutional norm production to the ever-present problem of interpretational methodology. It begins by arguing that previous approaches to the interpretation of subnational constitutions have failed because they improperly attempted to apply the dominant jurisprudence of national constitutional interpretation—constitutional positivism—to the constitutions of the states. Yet constitutional positivism as a technique only makes sense where subnational units are autonomous, as independent nations are. …


Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Barry Friedman's new book The Will of the People attempts to dissolve constitutional law's countermajoritariand ifficulty by showing that, in practice,t he Supreme Court does only what the public will tolerate. His account succeeds if "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the threat that courts will run the country in ways that contravene majority preference, but not if the "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the need to explain the legitimate sources of judicial authority in cases where decisions do contravene majority preference. Friedman's book does not pursue the second possibility, and may suggest that doing so is unimportant, in part because …


A Personal Note, Debra A. Livingston Jan 2010

A Personal Note, Debra A. Livingston

Faculty Scholarship

It's a pleasure to introduce this issue honoring Columbia's most lovable curmudgeon. What can I say about the Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Law? I should acknowledge, at the start, Henry's profound intellectual contribution to Columbia and to the law. There are not many of us who can say, with justification, that we've written the Greatest Hits of Public Law Scholarship over the course of our careers. And few of us have made individual contributions that equal "Constitutional Common Law," "Marbury and the Administrative State," "We the People[s]," "Stare Decisis," or "The Constitution Goes to Harvard." Henry is unusual among …


Commandeering The People: Why The Individual Health Insurance Mandate Is Unconstitutional, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2010

Commandeering The People: Why The Individual Health Insurance Mandate Is Unconstitutional, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” includes what is called an “individual responsibility requirement” or mandate that all persons buy health insurance from a private company and a separate “penalty” enforcing this requirement. In this paper, I do not critique the individual mandate on originalist grounds. Instead, I explain why the individual mandate is unconstitutional under the existing doctrine by which the Supreme Court construes the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses and the tax power. There are three principal claims.

First (Part II), since the New Deal, the Supreme Court has developed a doctrine allowing the regulation of …


The Right To Bear Arms: A Uniquely American Entitlement, Lawrence O. Gostin Jan 2010

The Right To Bear Arms: A Uniquely American Entitlement, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court held that individuals have a constitutional right to own firearms, notably to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-protection. The historic shift announced by Heller was the recognition of a personal right, rather than a collective right tied to state militias. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court – in a familiar 5-4 ideological split – held that the 2nd Amendment applies not only to the federal government, but also to state and local gun control laws. In his dissent, Justice Stevens predicted that “the consequences could prove far more …