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Judicial review

Judges

Georgetown University Law Center

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Against Textualism, William Michael Treanor Jan 2009

Against Textualism, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Modern textualists have assumed that careful attention to constitutional text is the key to the recovery of the Constitution's original public meaning. This article challenges that assumption by showing the importance of nontextual factors in early constitutional interpretation. The Founding generation consistently relied on structural concerns, policy, ratifiers' and drafters' intent, and broad principles of government. To exclude such nontextual factors from constitutional interpretation is to depart from original public meaning because the Founders gave these factors great weight in ascertaining meaning. Moreover, for a modern judge seeking to apply original public meaning, the threshold question is not simply ...


Process Theory, Majoritarianism, And The Original Understanding, William Michael Treanor Jan 2007

Process Theory, Majoritarianism, And The Original Understanding, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Radicals in Robes, Cass Sunstein posits that there are four primary approaches to constitutional interpretation: perfectionism, majoritarianism, minimalism, and fundamentalism.' The purpose of his eloquent and compelling book is twofold: Sunstein argues for minimalism, an approach that he contends makes most sense for America today; and with even greater force, Sunstein argues against fundamentalism, which he finds "wrong, dangerous, radical, and occasionally hypocritical."' The "Radicals in Robes" who are the targets of Sunstein's book are judges who embrace fundamentalism, which, in his view, embodies "the views of the extreme wing of [the] Republican Party."'

In Securing Constitutional Democracy ...


Beyond Coercion: Justice Kennedy's Aversion To Animus, Steven Goldberg Jan 2006

Beyond Coercion: Justice Kennedy's Aversion To Animus, Steven Goldberg

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In evaluating the constitutionality of religious displays, Justice Kennedy adheres to the coercion test. A crèche on the courthouse steps is acceptable because it does not coerce anyone to support or participate in a religious exercise. He rejects the endorsement test, which asks whether the display makes reasonable nonadherents feel like outsiders, finding it to be “flawed in its fundamentals and unworkable in practice.” Yet in the free exercise context, Kennedy has focused on whether a community shows hostility to minority faiths, and his opinions in Romer and Lawrence stress that legislatures acted unconstitutionally in showing animus to gays. Suppose ...


Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2004

Pragmatism And Judgment: A Comment On Lund, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Nelson Lund's article is entitled The Rehnquist Court's Pragmatic Approach to Civil Rights.' I raise three questions about his analysis, two of which take off from the phrasing of his title. First, calling the present Court the Rehnquist Court is obviously easy, and I do it myself in the subtitle of my forthcoming book. Professor Lund has of course taken his charge from the conveners of this Symposium, and I do not mean to criticize him for doing so. Still, it may be worth pointing out that convening a symposium that encourages people to think in terms of ...


The Original Meaning Of The Judicial Power, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2004

The Original Meaning Of The Judicial Power, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper, the author refutes any claim that judicial review was invented in Marbury v. Madison, or that, because it is contrary to the original meaning of the Constitution, it must be justified by some nonoriginalist interpretive methodology. He will do so, not by discerning the shadowy and often counterfactual "intentions" of the founding generation, but by presenting as comprehensively as he can what the founders actually said during the constitutional convention, in state ratification conventions, and immediately after ratification. These statements, taken cumulatively, leave no doubt that the founders contemplated judicial nullification of legislation enacted by the states ...


Judging Environmental Law, Richard J. Lazarus Jan 2004

Judging Environmental Law, Richard J. Lazarus

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The title of this Essay, "Judging Environmental Law," evokes several different themes. On the one hand, the title presents an occasion to discuss the role of judges in environmental law. On the other hand, it offers an opportunity to judge environmental law itself: whether environmental law is guilty, as charged by some in industry, of overreaching in its regulatory requirements; or, whether environmental law is instead guilty, as charged by some environmentalists, of underreaching, by failing to address pressing pollution control and natural resource management concerns. Finally, the title of the Essay possibly presents an occasion for a more theoretical ...


"Sir, Yes, Sir!": The Courts, Congress And Structural Injunctions, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2003

"Sir, Yes, Sir!": The Courts, Congress And Structural Injunctions, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This is a deeply confused book. Not that the authors' stance is unclear: They have seen federal courts in action, and they don't like what they see. Their subject is federal judicial supervision of state and local governments through injunctive decrees. The authors' position wouldn't be confused - or at least would be confused in a different way - if they dealt with injunctive decrees aimed at enforcing what the judges took to be constitutional requirements. In such cases there's at least something coherent that can be said about judges displacing democratic decision-making. Sandler and Schoenbrod, though, don't ...


Are Judges Motivated To Create "Good" Securities Fraud Doctrine?, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2002

Are Judges Motivated To Create "Good" Securities Fraud Doctrine?, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

‘How Do Judges Maximize? (The Same Way Everybody Else Does – Boundedly): Rules of Thumb in Securities Fraud Opinions’, by Stephen M. Bainbridge and G. Mitu Gulati, confronts the reader with a theory about judicial behavior in the face of complex, "unexciting" cases such as those involving securities fraud. The story is simple: few judges find any opportunity for personal satisfaction or enhanced reputation here, so they simply try to minimize cognitive effort, off-loading much of the work that has to be done to their clerks. The evidence that Bainbridge and Gulati offer is the creation of some ten or so ...


A Goldilocks Account Of Judicial Review?, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2002

A Goldilocks Account Of Judicial Review?, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

According to Professor Christopher Eisgruber, judicial review of the sort embedded in United States constitutional practice is a practical mechanism for implementing the Constitution's commitment to self-government. "The justices ... make a distinctive contribution to representative democracy" because they are "better positioned [than elected officials] to represent the people's convictions about what is right." Judges can articulate "a conception of justice with which Americans in general [can] plausibly identify themselves. "

I will focus here on two themes in Professor Eisgruber's argument. The first theme can be found in many works of constitutional theory - the construction of a strong ...


Regulatory Takings And "Judicial Supremacy", J. Peter Byrne Jan 2000

Regulatory Takings And "Judicial Supremacy", J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The thesis of this Article is that the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have become exposed to this classic critique of constitutional decision-making through the recent expansions of the regulatory takings doctrine. Though the chief agent for this expansion has been the Supreme Court, these lower courts have made their own prominent contributions to broadening regulatory takings, and they are far more vulnerable to political reprisals. Like the Due Process Clause in the gilded age, the Takings Clause today can easily be and has been seen as an avenue for inappropriate judicial ...


The Case Of The Prisoners And The Origins Of Judicial Review, William Michael Treanor Jan 1994

The Case Of The Prisoners And The Origins Of Judicial Review, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For over one hundred years, scholars have closely studied the handful of cases in which state courts, in the years before the Federal Constitutional Convention, confronted the question whether they had the power to declare laws invalid. Interest in these early cases began in the late nineteenth century as one aspect of the larger debate about the legitimacy of judicial review, a debate triggered by the increasing frequency with which the Supreme Court and state courts were invalidating economic and social legislation. The lawyers, political scientists, and historians who initially unearthed the case law from the 1770s and 1780s used ...