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Full-Text Articles in Law

Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr. May 2021

Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Despite longstanding orthodoxy, the Constitution’s enumeration of congressional powers does virtually nothing to limit federal lawmaking. That’s not because of some bizarrely persistent judicial failure to read the Constitution correctly. It’s because the enumeration of congressional powers is not a well-designed technology for limiting federal legislation. Rather than trying to make the enumeration do work that it will not do, decisionmakers should find better ways of thinking about what lawmaking should be done locally rather than nationally. This Article suggests such a rubric, one that asks not whether Congress has permission to do a certain thing but whether a certain …


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge …


Qualified Immunity And Constitutional Structure, Katherine Mims Crocker Jan 2019

Qualified Immunity And Constitutional Structure, Katherine Mims Crocker

Michigan Law Review

A range of scholars has subjected qualified immunity to a wave of criticism— and for good reasons. But the Supreme Court continues to apply the doctrine in ever more aggressive ways. By advancing two claims, this Article seeks to make some sense of this conflict and to suggest some thoughts toward a resolution.

First, while the Court has offered and scholars have rejected several rationales for the doctrine, layering in an account grounded in structural constitutional concerns provides a historically richer and analytically thicker understanding of the current qualified-immunity regime. For suits against federal officials, qualified immunity acts as a …


State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2018

State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman

Michigan Law Review

On conventional accounts, the state action doctrine is dichotomous. When the government acts, constitutional limits take hold and the government action is invalid if those limits are exceeded. When the government fails to act, the state action doctrine leaves decisions to individuals, who are permitted to violate what would otherwise be constitutional constraints.

It turns out though that the modern state action doctrine creates three rather than two domains. There is indeed a private, inner band where there is thought to be insufficient government action to trigger constitutional constraints, but often there is also a public, outer band where there …


Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jan 2016

Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

Though the Constitution conspicuously bars some state involvement in foreign affairs, the states clearly retain some authority in foreign affairs. Correctly supposing that state participation may unnecessarily complicate or embarrass our nation’s foreign relations, the Supreme Court has embraced aggressive preemption doctrines that sporadically oust the states from discrete areas in foreign affairs. These doctrines are unprincipled, supply little guidance, and generate capricious results. Fortunately, there is a better way. While the Constitution permits the states a limited and continuing role, it never goes so far as guaranteeing them any foreign affairs authority. Furthermore, the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact …


Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein Jan 2016

Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein

Michigan Law Review

In Immigration Outside the Law, Hiroshi Motomura confronts the three hardest questions in immigration today: what to do about our undocumented population, who should decide, and by what legal process. Motomura’s treatment is characteristically visionary, analytically rich, and eminently fair to competing views. The book’s intellectual arc begins with its title: “Immigration Outside the Law.” As the narrative unfolds, however, Motomura explains that undocumented immigrants are “Americans in waiting,” with moral and legal claims to societal integration.


Pinholster's Hostility To Victims Of Ineffective State Habeas Counsel, Jennifer Utrecht Oct 2015

Pinholster's Hostility To Victims Of Ineffective State Habeas Counsel, Jennifer Utrecht

Michigan Law Review

Cullen v. Pinholster foreclosed federal courts from considering new evidence when reviewing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) petitions for claims previously adjudicated on the merits in state court. This decision has a particularly adverse effect on petitioners whose state habeas counsel left an incomplete or undeveloped record. This Note discusses strategies for victims of ineffective state habeas counsel to avoid the hostile mandate of Pinholster. It argues that, in light of Martinez v. Ryan’s recognition of the importance of counsel in initialreview collateral proceedings, courts should be wary of dismissing claims left un- or underdeveloped by ineffective state habeas counsel. It …


The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt Oct 2014

The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt

Michigan Law Review

For decades, we have debated whether “political safeguards” preserve healthy relations between the states and the federal government and thus reduce or eliminate the need for judges to referee state–federal tussles. No one has made such an argument about relations among the states, however, and the few scholars to have considered the question insist that such safeguards don’t exist. This Article takes the opposite view and lays down the intellectual foundations for the political safeguards of horizontal federalism. If you want to know what unites the burgeoning work on horizontal federalism and illuminates the hidden logic of its doctrine, you …


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social …


Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein Mar 2013

Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein

Michigan Law Review

The doctrine treating federal preemption of state law has been plagued by uncertainty and confusion. Part of the problem is that courts purport to interpret congressional intent when often Congress has never considered the particular preemption question at issue. This Article suggests that courts deciding preemption cases should take seriously a commonly articulated rationale for the federalization of law: the need to coordinate applicable legal standards in order to facilitate a national market or to otherwise provide clear guidance to parties regarding the laws that apply to their conduct. In situations where federal law can serve a coordinating function but …


Assessing The State Of The State Constitutionalism, Jim Rossi Apr 2011

Assessing The State Of The State Constitutionalism, Jim Rossi

Michigan Law Review

Robert Williams's The Law of American State Constitutions is an impressive career accomplishment for one of the leading academic lawyers writing on state constitutions. Given the need for a comprehensive, treatise-like treatment of state constitutions that transcends individual jurisdictions, Williams's book will almost certainly become the go-to treatise for the next generation of state constitutional law practitioners and scholars. The U.S. Constitution has a grip on how the American legal mind approaches issues in American constitutionalism, but an important recurring theme in Williams's work (as well as that of others) is how state constitutions present unique interpretive challenges. More than …


Looking Backward: Richard Epstein Ponders The "Progressive" Peril, Michael Allan Wolf Apr 2007

Looking Backward: Richard Epstein Ponders The "Progressive" Peril, Michael Allan Wolf

Michigan Law Review

In the 1888 novel Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy dreamed up a twentieth century America that was a socialist utopia, a vision invoked four years later by the conservative Justice David J. Brewer as a warning against government regulation. In How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution, Richard Epstein, looking back at the twentieth century through an interpretive lens much more similar to Brewer's than Bellamy's, sees and bemoans the growth of a dominant big government of which the novelist could only dream. Epstein pulls no punches in his attack on those he deems responsible for the shift in the American …


Formalism, Pragmatism, And The Conservative Critique Of The Eleventh Amendment, Michael E. Solimine May 2003

Formalism, Pragmatism, And The Conservative Critique Of The Eleventh Amendment, Michael E. Solimine

Michigan Law Review

For many years the Second Amendment to the constitution was construed by most authorities to grant a communal right to bear arms, through state militias and the like. Some years ago Sanford Levinson labeled this interpretation "embarrassing" to liberal scholars. That characterization was deserved, Levinson argued, since liberal academics had been eager to defend expansive interpretations of other rights-granting provisions of the Constitution. But they failed to do so when it came to language in the Second Amendment, which could be plausibly construed to grant an individual right to bear arms. The failure might be attributed, in part, to the …


Section Five Overbreadth: The Facial Approach To Adjudicating Challenges Under Section Five Of The Fourteenth Amendment, Catherine Carroll Feb 2003

Section Five Overbreadth: The Facial Approach To Adjudicating Challenges Under Section Five Of The Fourteenth Amendment, Catherine Carroll

Michigan Law Review

In February 1996, the New York State Department of Transportation fired Joseph Kilcullen from his position as a snowplow driver in the Department's Highway Maintenance training program. Alleging that the state discharged him because of his epilepsy and learning disability, Kilcullen sued his former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which abrogated states' sovereign immunity and permitted private suits for damages against states in a federal court. Kilcullen asserted only that he was not treated the same as similarly situated non-disabled employees; his claim did not implicate the ADA's requirement that employers provide "reasonable accommodation" to disabled employees. …


Medicaid And The Unconstitutional Dimensions Of Prior Authorization, Jagan Nicholas Ranjan Nov 2002

Medicaid And The Unconstitutional Dimensions Of Prior Authorization, Jagan Nicholas Ranjan

Michigan Law Review

The political outcry over prescription drug costs has been one of the most vociferous in recent memory. From tales depicting renegade seniors sneaking cheap prescriptions of Vioxx out of Tijuana across the border, to the promises of reduced prices made by front-runners during the 2000 Presidential election, the calls for lower drug prices have been forceful and demanding. This war for lower-priced pharmaceuticals fought by consumers, interest groups and politicians against the pharmaceutical industry itself has recently developed yet another front. The latest battle is over Medicaid. The new victims are the poor. Presently, federal statutory provisions in the Medicaid …


Suspecting The States: Supreme Court Review Of State-Court State-Law Judgments, Laura S. Fitzgerald Oct 2002

Suspecting The States: Supreme Court Review Of State-Court State-Law Judgments, Laura S. Fitzgerald

Michigan Law Review

At the Supreme Court these days, it is unfashionable to second-guess states' fealty to federal law without real proof that they are ignoring it. As the Court declared in Alden v. Maine: "We are unwilling to assume the States will refuse to honor the Constitution or obey the binding laws of the United States. The good faith of the States thus provides an important assurance that 'this Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land.'" Accordingly, without proof that a state has "systematic[ally]" …


The Second Amendment: Structure, History, And Constitutional Change, David Yassky Dec 2000

The Second Amendment: Structure, History, And Constitutional Change, David Yassky

Michigan Law Review

A fierce debate about the Second Amendment has been percolating in academia for two decades, and has now bubbled through to the courts. The question at the heart of this debate is whether the Amendment restricts the government's ability to regulate the private possession of firearms. Since at least 1939 - when the Supreme Court decided United States v. Miller, its only decision squarely addressing the scope of the right to "keep and bear Arms" - the answer to that question has been an unqualified "no." Courts have brushed aside Second Amendment challenges to gun control legislation, reading the Amendment …


The Racial Origins Of Modern Criminal Procedure, Michael J. Klarman Oct 2000

The Racial Origins Of Modern Criminal Procedure, Michael J. Klarman

Michigan Law Review

The constitutional law of state criminal procedure was born between the First and Second World Wars. Prior to 1920, the Supreme Court had upset the results of the state criminal justice system in just a handful of cases, all involving race discrimination in jury selection. By 1940, however, the Court had interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to invalidate state criminal convictions in a wide variety of settings: mob-dominated trials, violation of the right to counsel, coerced confessions, financially-biased judges, and knowingly perjured testimony by prosecution witnesses. In addition, the Court had broadened its earlier decisions forbidding …


Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky May 2000

Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky

Michigan Law Review

In the last decade, it has become increasingly trendy to question whether the Supreme Court and constitutional judicial review really can make a difference. Gerald Rosenberg, for example, in The Hollow Hope, expressly questions whether judicial review achieves effective social change. Similarly, Michael Klarman explores whether the Supreme Court's desegregation decisions were effective, except insofar as they produced a right-wing backlash that induced action to desegregate. In Taking the Constitution Away from the Courts, Mark Tushnet approvingly invokes these arguments (pp. 137, 145), but he goes much further. Professor Tushnet contends that, on balance, constitutional judicial review is harmful. He …


Treaty-Making And The Nation: The Historical Foundations Of The Nationalist Conception Of The Treaty Power, David M. Golove Mar 2000

Treaty-Making And The Nation: The Historical Foundations Of The Nationalist Conception Of The Treaty Power, David M. Golove

Michigan Law Review

Characteristic of the most enduring constitutional controversies is a clash between fundamental but ultimately irreconcilable principles. Unable to synthesize opposing precepts, we visit and revisit certain issues in an endless cycle. Each generation marches forward heedless, and sometimes only dimly aware, of how many times the battle has already been fought. Even the peace of exhaustion achieves only a temporary respite. The abiding controversy over the relationship between the treaty power of the national government and the legislative powers of the states is paradigmatic in this respect. Beginning as early as in the first debate over ratification of the Articles …


Staking Out The Border Between Comandeering And Conditional Preemption: Is The Driver's Privacy Protection Act Constitutional Under The Tenth Amendment?, Rachel F. Preiser Nov 1999

Staking Out The Border Between Comandeering And Conditional Preemption: Is The Driver's Privacy Protection Act Constitutional Under The Tenth Amendment?, Rachel F. Preiser

Michigan Law Review

Congress passed the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 ("DPPA") in response to state sales of personal information contained in motor vehicle records to individuals and to direct marketing companies who use it to identify select groups of prospective customers for particular products. Thirty-four states sell their department of motor vehicles ("DMV") records to individual citizens and to direct marketers, essentially allowing their unregulated distribution to any party seeking them. This practice of selling and distributing personal information has serious implications for the privacy and safety of individual citizens. In considering the DPP A, Congress dwelt in particular on the …


Dissecting The State: The Use Of Federal Law To Free State And Local Officials From State Legislatures' Control, Roderick M. Hills Jr. Mar 1999

Dissecting The State: The Use Of Federal Law To Free State And Local Officials From State Legislatures' Control, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

In discussions about American federalism, it is common to speak of a "state government" as if it were a black box, an individual speaking with a single voice. State governments are, of course, no such thing. Rather, a "state" actually incorporates a bundle of different subdivisions, branches, and agencies controlled by politicians who often compete with each other for electoral success and governmental power. In particular, these institutions compete with each other for the power to control federal funds and implement federal programs. This article explores one aspect of this intrastate competition - the extent to which federal law can …


Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath Jan 1999

Caste, Class, And Equal Citizenship, William E. Forbath

Michigan Law Review

There is a familiar egalitarian constitutional tradition and another we have largely forgotten. The familiar one springs from Brown v. Board of Education; its roots lie in the Reconstruction era. Court-centered and countermajoritarian, it takes aim at caste and racial subordination. The forgotten one also originated with Reconstruction, but it was a majoritarian tradition, addressing its arguments to lawmakers and citizens, not to courts. Aimed against harsh class inequalities, it centered on decent work and livelihoods, social provision, and a measure of economic independence and democracy. Borrowing a phrase from its Progressive Era proponents, I will call it the social …


Civics 2000: Process Constitutionalism At Yale, Daniel J. Hulsebosch Jan 1999

Civics 2000: Process Constitutionalism At Yale, Daniel J. Hulsebosch

Michigan Law Review

One or another form of historical fidelity has long been in the repetoire of constitutional interpretation, and during the last two decades conservative jurists have searched for the "original intent" of various clauses. Increasingly, however, it is liberal law professors who are turning to history to make sense of American constitutionalism. What they find there is not a document listing eternal rights or duties but rather a multidimensional structure of government, captured as much in practice as on paper, that has metamorphosed over time. It seems we have, in that familiar phrase, a living Constitution. But interest is shifting from …


The Treaty Power And American Federalism, Curtis A. Bradley Nov 1998

The Treaty Power And American Federalism, Curtis A. Bradley

Michigan Law Review

For much of this century, American foreign affairs law has assumed that there is a sharp distinction between what is foreign and what is domestic, between what is external and what is internal. This assumption underlies a dual regime of constitutional law, in which federal regulation of foreign affairs is subject to a different, and generally more relaxed, set of constitutional restraints than federal regulation of domestic affairs. In what is perhaps its most famous endorsement of this proposition, the Supreme Court stated in 1936 that "the federal power over external affairs [is] in origin and essential character different from …


The Political Economy Of Cooperative Federalism: Why State Autonomy Makes Sense And "Dual Sovereignty" Doesn't, Roderick M. Hills Jr. Feb 1998

The Political Economy Of Cooperative Federalism: Why State Autonomy Makes Sense And "Dual Sovereignty" Doesn't, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

It is commonplace to observe that "dual federalism" is dead, replaced by something variously called "cooperative federalism," "intergovernmental relations," or "marble-cake federalism." According to this conventional wisdom, state and local officials do not enforce merely their own laws in their distinct policymaking sphere. Rather, as analyzed in a voluminous literature, state and local governments also cooperate with the federal government in many policymaking areas, ranging from unemployment insurance to historic preservation. These nonfederal governments help implement federal policy in a variety of ways: by submitting implementation plans to federal agencies, by promulgating regulations, and by bringing administrative actions to enforce …


Antidisestablishmentarianism: Why Rfra Really Was Unconstitutional, Jed Rubenfeld Aug 1997

Antidisestablishmentarianism: Why Rfra Really Was Unconstitutional, Jed Rubenfeld

Michigan Law Review

Two months ago, the Supreme Court struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), handing down its most important church-state decision, and one of its most important federalism decisions, in fifty years. Through RFRA, Congress had prohibited any state actor from "substantially burden[ing] a person's exercise of religion" unless imposing that burden was the "least restrictive means" of furthering "a compelling governmental interest." RFRA was a response to Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, in which the Supreme Court abandoned the very same compelling interest test that RFRA mandated. Smith, overturning decades-old precedent, held …


David Shapiro's Adversary Statement On Federalism, Patrick E. Higginbotham May 1996

David Shapiro's Adversary Statement On Federalism, Patrick E. Higginbotham

Michigan Law Review

A Review of David L. Shapiro, Federalism: A Dialogue


The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber Dec 1995

The Constitution's Forgotten Cover Letter: An Essay On The New Federalism And The Original Understanding, Daniel A. Farber

Michigan Law Review

At the end of the summer of 1787, the Philadelphia Convention issued two documents. One was the Constitution itself. The other document, now almost forgotten even by constitutional historians, was an official letter to Congress, signed by George Washington on behalf of the Convention. Congress responded with a resolution that the Constitution and "letter accompanying the same" be sent to the state legislatures for submission to conventions in each state.

The Washington letter lacks the detail and depth of some other evidence of original intent. Being a cover letter, it was designed only to introduce the accompanying document rather than …


Rehabilitating Federalism, Erwin Chemerinsky May 1994

Rehabilitating Federalism, Erwin Chemerinsky

Michigan Law Review

A Review of To Make a Nation: The Rediscovery of American Federalism by Samuel H. Beer