Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Myth And The Reality Of American Constitutional Exceptionalism, Stephen Gardbaum Dec 2008

The Myth And The Reality Of American Constitutional Exceptionalism, Stephen Gardbaum

Michigan Law Review

This Article critically evaluates the widely held view inside and outside the United States that American constitutional rights jurisprudence is exceptional. There are two dimensions to this perceived American exceptionalism: the content and the structure of constitutional rights. On content, the claim focuses mainly on the age, brevity, and terseness of the text and on the unusually high value attributed to free speech. On structure, the claim is primarily threefold. First, the United States has a more categorical conception of constitutional rights than other countries. Second, the United States has an exceptionally sharp public/private division in the scope of constitutional …


Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters Oct 2008

Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters

All Faculty Scholarship

In this contribution to a Wayne Law Review symposium on the first three years of the Roberts Court, the author normatively assesses the Court's practice of "under-the-table overruling," or "underruling," in high-profile constitutional cases involving abortion, campaign-finance reform, and affirmative action. The Court "underrules" when it renders a decision that undercuts a recent precedent without admitting that it is doing so. The author contends that underruling either is not supported by, or is directly incompatible with, three common rationales for constitutional stare decisis: the noninstrumental rationale, the predictability rationale, and the legitimacy rationale. In particular, while the latter rationale - …


The Jacksonian Makings Of The Taney Court, Mark A. Graber Jul 2008

The Jacksonian Makings Of The Taney Court, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

Many twentieth century commentators regard the willingness of Taney Court majorities to declare laws unconstitutional as proof that the justices on that tribunal adjured Jacksonian partisanship upon taking the bench. Old Republicans during the 1820s fulminated against judicial review of state legislation and sought to repeal Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1787, but they were apparently frustrated by a Taney Court which continued imposing contract clause and dormant commerce clause limits on state power. This paper demonstrates that Jacksonians in office supported judicial power. Jacksonian animus was more directed at McCulloch v. Maryland than either Marbury v. Madison …


Does It Really Matter? Conservative Courts In A Conservative Era, Mark A. Graber Jul 2008

Does It Really Matter? Conservative Courts In A Conservative Era, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

This essay explores the likelihood that conservative federal courts in the near future will be agents of conservative social change. In particular, the paper assesses whether conservative justices on some issues will support more conservative policies than conservative elected officials are presently willing to enact and whether such judicial decisions will influence public policy. My primary conclusion is that, as long as conservatives remain politically ascendant in the elected branches of government, the Roberts Court is likely to influence American politics at the margins. The new conservative judicial majority is likely to be more libertarian than conservative majorities in the …


Mistretta Versus Marbury: The Foundations Of Judicial Review, Maxwell L. Stearns Jul 2008

Mistretta Versus Marbury: The Foundations Of Judicial Review, Maxwell L. Stearns

Maxwell L. Stearns

No abstract provided.


Judicial Review And American Constitutional Exceptionalism, Miguel Schor Jul 2008

Judicial Review And American Constitutional Exceptionalism, Miguel Schor

Osgoode Hall Law Journal

This article challenges the conventional view of the pervasiveness of American-style judicial review. It questions why social movements contest constitutional meaning by fighting over judicial appointments in the United States, and why this strategy makes little sense in democracies that constitutionalized rights in the late twentieth century. The United States has been both a model and an anti-model in the global spread of judicial review, as the hope of Marbury (constitutionalized rights) has been tempered by the fear of Lochner [courts run amok). In reconciling Marbury and Lochner, other polities have adopted stronger mechanisms of judicial accountability that make it …


The Court, The Constitution, And The History Of Ideas, Scott D. Gerber May 2008

The Court, The Constitution, And The History Of Ideas, Scott D. Gerber

Vanderbilt Law Review

Several of the nation's most influential constitutional law scholars have been arguing for the better part of a decade that judicial review should be sharply limited, or eliminated altogether. The list includes such prominent thinkers as Professor Mark V. Tushnet of Harvard Law School, Professor Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, and Dean Larry D. Kramer of Stanford Law School. In place of the doctrine made famous by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, these leading voices of the legal academy call for "popular constitutionalism": a constitutional law that is defined outside of the …


A Textual-Historical Theory Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash Jan 2008

A Textual-Historical Theory Of The Ninth Amendment, Kurt T. Lash

Law Faculty Publications

Despite the lavish attention paid to the Ninth Amendment as supporting judicial enforcement of unenumerated rights, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the Amendment's actual text. Doing so reveals a number of interpretive conundrums. For example, although often cited in support of broad readings of the Fourteenth Amendment, the text of the Ninth says nothing about how to interpret enumerated rights such as those contained in the Fourteenth. The Ninth merely demands that such enumerated rights not be construed to deny or disparage other nonenumerated rights retained by the people. The standard use of the Ninth Amendment, in other …


Originalism And The Natural Born Citizen Clause, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2008

Originalism And The Natural Born Citizen Clause, Lawrence B. Solum

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The enigmatic phrase “natural born citizen” poses a series of problems for contemporary originalism. New Originalists, like Justice Scalia, focus on the original public meaning of the constitutional text. The notion of a “natural born citizen” was likely a term of art derived from the idea of a “natural born subject” in English law—a category that most likely did not extend to persons, like Senator McCain, who were born outside sovereign territory. But the Constitution speaks of “citizens” and not “subjects,” introducing uncertainties and ambiguities that might (or might not) make McCain eligible for the presidency.


The Countermajoritarian Difficulty: From Courts To Congress To Constitutional Order, Mark A. Graber Jan 2008

The Countermajoritarian Difficulty: From Courts To Congress To Constitutional Order, Mark A. Graber

Faculty Scholarship

This review documents how scholarly concern with democratic deficits in American constitutionalism has shifted from the courts to electoral institutions. Prominent political scientists are increasingly rejecting the countermajoritarian difficulty as the proper framework for studying and evaluating judicial power. Political scientists, who study Congress and the presidency, however, have recently emphasized countermajoritarian difficulties with electoral institutions. Realistic normative appraisals of American political institutions, this emerging literature on constitutional politics in the United States maintains, should begin by postulating a set of democratic and constitutional goods, determine the extent to which American institutions as a whole are delivering those goods, and …


Why Senator John Mccain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months And A Hundred Yards Short Of Citizenship, Gabriel Chin Jan 2008

Why Senator John Mccain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months And A Hundred Yards Short Of Citizenship, Gabriel Chin

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Article II, section 1 of the Constitution provides that “No Person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President . . . .” A person must be a citizen at birth to be a natural born citizen. Senator McCain was born in the Canal Zone in 1936. Although he is now a U.S. citizen, the law in effect in 1936 did not grant him citizenship at birth. Because he was not born a citizen, he is not eligible to the office of president.


Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin Jan 2008

Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin

Articles

In Judging the Voting Rights Act, Professors Adam B. Cox and Thomas J. Miles report that judges are more likely to find liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) when they are African American, appointed by a Democratic president, or sit on an appellate panel with a judge who is African American or a Democratic appointee. Cox and Miles posit that their findings “contrast” and “cast doubt” on much of the “conventional wisdom” about the Voting Rights Act, by which they mean the core findings we reported in Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 …


Mccain’S Citizenship And Constitutional Method, Peter J. Spiro Jan 2008

Mccain’S Citizenship And Constitutional Method, Peter J. Spiro

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Many things may obstruct John McCain’s path to the White House, but his citizenship status is not among them. The question of his eligibility, given the circumstances of his birth, has already been resolved. That outcome has been produced by actors outside the courts. . . . If non-judicial actors—including Congress, editorialists, leading members of the bar, and the People themselves—manage to generate a constitutional consensus, there isn’t much that the courts can do about it. In cases such as this one, at least, that seems to be an acceptable method of constitutional determination.


Constitutional Clichés, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2008

Constitutional Clichés, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Popular discourse on constitutional interpretation and judicial review tend to employ a series of catch phrases that have become constitutional clichés. Phrases such as “judicial activism,” “judicial restraint,” “strict construction,” “not legislating from the bench,” “Framers’ intent,” the “dead hand of the past,” and “stare decisis” so dominate public commentary on the Constitution and the courts that quite often that is all one hears. Unfortunately, even law professors are not immune. There was a time when each of these catch phrases meant something and, although each could mean something again, in current debates all have become trite and largely devoid …


Judicial Enforcement Of The Establishment Clause, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2008

Judicial Enforcement Of The Establishment Clause, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

This paper is the author’s contribution to a roundtable conference, held in October of 2008 at Notre Dame Law School, devoted to Prof. Kent Greenawalt’s book, Religion and the Constitution: Establishment and Fairness. It is suggested that Greenawalt’s admirably context-sensitive approach to church-and-state questions might lead us to think that the best course for judges is to find (somehow) some bright-line, on-off “rules” and “tests”, constructed to identify and forbid the most obvious violations of the Religion Clause’s core (whatever that is), and to give up on -- or, perhaps, “underenforce” -- the rest.


No Reason To Believe: Radical Skepticism, Emergency Power, And Constitutional Constraint, David Cole Jan 2008

No Reason To Believe: Radical Skepticism, Emergency Power, And Constitutional Constraint, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay reviews Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule’s Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts, which I consider the most serious, sustained, and thoughtful effort to defend the Bush administration’s aggressive tactics in the war on terror yet written. That the book is ultimately deeply flawed only underscores the failure of the Bush administration’s approach.

Where most historians view with regret the excesses of past security crises, from the criminalization of speech during World War I to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Posner and Vermeule advance the contrarian view that the system worked exactly …


Giving The Constitution To The Courts, Jamal Greene Jan 2008

Giving The Constitution To The Courts, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Judicial supremacy is the new judicial review. From the time Alexander Bickel introduced the term "countermajoritarian difficulty" in 1962 until very recently, justifying judicial authority to strike down legislation in a nation committed to democratic self-government was the central problem of constitutional theory. But many who had satisfied themselves as to the legitimacy of judicial review have since taken up the related but distinct question of whether, though legitimate, constitutional interpretation should be the exclusive province of the judiciary. That is, is it ever appropriate to locate constitutional interpretive authority outside of constitutional courts, whether within the coordinate branches of …