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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Fatal Loss Of Balance: Dred Scott Revisited , Daniel A. Farber Aug 2012

A Fatal Loss Of Balance: Dred Scott Revisited , Daniel A. Farber

Pepperdine Law Review

This essay focuses on three aspects of the Dred Scott opinion: its effort to ensure that blacks could never be citizens, let alone equal ones; its deployment of a "limited government" argument for a narrow interpretation of Congress's enumerated power over the territories; and its path-breaking defense of property rights against government regulation. These constitutional tropes of racism, narrowing of federal power, and protection of property were to remain dominant for another seventy-five years. Apart from the failings of the opinion itself, Dred Scott also represents an extraordinary case of presidential tampering with the judicial process and a breakdown in …


Conceptualizing Constitutional Litigation As Anti-Government Expression: A Speech-Centered Theory Of Court Access, Robert L. Tsai Aug 2012

Conceptualizing Constitutional Litigation As Anti-Government Expression: A Speech-Centered Theory Of Court Access, Robert L. Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This Article proposes a speech-based right of court access. First, it finds the traditional due process approach to be analytically incoherent and of limited practical value. Second, it contends that history, constitutional structure, and theory all support conceiving of the right of access as the modern analogue to the right to petition government for redress. Third, the Article explores the ways in which the civil rights plaintiff's lawsuit tracks the behavior of the traditional dissident. Fourth, by way of a case study, the essay argues that recent restrictions - notably, a congressional limitation on the amount of fees counsel for …


Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard Apr 2012

Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard

All Faculty Scholarship

The purposes of the competency doctrine are to guarantee reliability in criminal prosecutions, to ensure that only those defendants who can appreciate punishment are subject to it, and to maintain moral dignity, both actual and apparent, in criminal proceedings. No matter his crime, the “madman” should not be forced to stand trial. Historically, courts viewed questions of competency as a binary choice, finding the defendant either competent or incompetent to stand trial. However, in Edwards v. Indiana, the Supreme Court conceded that it views competency on a spectrum and offered a new category of competency — borderline-competent. The Court held …


Cascading Constitutional Deprivation: The Right To Appointed Counsel For Mandatorily Detained Immigrants Pending Removal Proceedings, Mark Noferi Jan 2012

Cascading Constitutional Deprivation: The Right To Appointed Counsel For Mandatorily Detained Immigrants Pending Removal Proceedings, Mark Noferi

Mark L Noferi

When a Department of Homeland Security officer mandatorily detains a green card holder without bail pending his removal proceedings, for a minor crime committed perhaps long ago, the immigrant’s life takes a drastic turn. If he contests his case, he likely will remain incarcerated in substandard conditions for months or years, often longer than for his original crime, and be unable to acquire a lawyer, access family whom might assist, or access key evidence or witnesses. In these circumstances, it is all but certain he will lose his deportation case, sometimes wrongfully, and be banished abroad from work, family, and …