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Full Faith And Credit In The Early Congress, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2009

Full Faith And Credit In The Early Congress, Stephen E. Sachs

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After more than 200 years, the Full Faith and Credit Clause remains poorly understood. The Clause first issues a self-executing command (that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given"), and then empowers Congress to prescribe the manner of proof and the "Effect" of state records in other states. But if states must accord each other full faith and credit-and if nothing could be more than full-then what "Effect" could Congress give state records that they wouldn't have already? And conversely, how could Congress in any way reduce or alter the faith and credit that is due?

This Article seeks ...