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Full-Text Articles in United States History

The Royal Proclamation Of 1763 And The Aboriginal Constitution, Brian Slattery Dec 2014

The Royal Proclamation Of 1763 And The Aboriginal Constitution, Brian Slattery

Brian Slattery

In Manitoba Metis Federation, the Supreme Court of Canada makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of Aboriginal law. Building on the foundations laid down in the Haida Nation case, the Court identifies three major pillars of the subject: the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Honour of the Crown, and Aboriginal Treaties. These three, taken together, make up the framework of the Aboriginal Constitution, which parallels the Federal Pact between the Provinces and provides the Constitution of Canada with its most ancient roots.


Founding-Era Conventions And The Meaning Of The Constitution’S “Convention For Proposing Amendments”, Robert G. Natelson Jan 2013

Founding-Era Conventions And The Meaning Of The Constitution’S “Convention For Proposing Amendments”, Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, two thirds of state legislatures may require Congress to call a “Convention for proposing Amendments.” Because this procedure has never been used, commentators frequently debate the composition of the convention and the rules governing the application and convention process. However, the debate has proceeded almost entirely without knowledge of the many multi-colony and multi-state conventions held during the eighteenth century, of which the Constitutional Convention was only one. These conventions were governed by universally-accepted convention practices and protocols. This Article surveys those conventions and shows how their practices and protocols shaped the ...


Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn Jan 2013

Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn

Akron Law Publications

People have a fundamental need to think of themselves as “good people.” To achieve this we tell each other stories – we create myths – about ourselves and our society. These myths may be true or they may be false. The more discordant a myth is with reality, the more difficult it is to convince people to embrace it. In such cases to sustain the illusion of truth it may be necessary to develop an entire mythology – an integrated web of mutually supporting stories. This paper explores the system of myths that sustained the institution of slavery in the antebellum United States.


Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn Dec 2012

Slaves To Contradictions: 13 Myths That Sustained Slavery, Wilson Huhn

Wilson R. Huhn

People have a fundamental need to think of themselves as “good people.” To achieve this we tell each other stories – we create myths – about ourselves and our society. These myths may be true or they may be false. The more discordant a myth is with reality, the more difficult it is to convince people to embrace it. In such cases to sustain the illusion of truth it may be necessary to develop an entire mythology – an integrated web of mutually supporting stories. This paper explores the system of myths that sustained the institution of slavery in the antebellum United States.


How Bad Were The Official Records Of The Federal Convention?, Mary Sarah Bilder Oct 2012

How Bad Were The Official Records Of The Federal Convention?, Mary Sarah Bilder

Mary Sarah Bilder

The official records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 have been neglected and dismissed by scholars for the last century, largely to due to Max Farrand’s criticisms of both the records and the man responsible for keeping them - Secretary of the Convention William Jackson. This Article disagrees with Farrand’s conclusion that the Convention records were bad, and aims to resurrect the records and Jackson’s reputation. The Article suggests that the endurance of Farrand’s critique arises in part from misinterpretations of certain procedural components of the Convention and failure to appreciate the significance of others, understandable considering ...


How The British Gun Control Program Precipitated The American Revolution, David B. Kopel Jan 2012

How The British Gun Control Program Precipitated The American Revolution, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

Abstract: This Article chronologically reviews the British gun control which precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gun powder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gun powder, from individuals and from local governments; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events which changed a situation of rising political tension into a shooting war. Each of these British abuses provides insights into the scope of the modern Second Amendment.

From the events of 1774-75, we can discern that import restrictions or bans on firearms or ammunition are constitutionally suspect — at least if ...


Bad News For John Marshall, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson Dec 2011

Bad News For John Marshall, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson

David B Kopel

In Bad News for Professor Koppelman: The Incidental Unconstitutionality of the Individual Mandate, we demonstrated that the individual mandate’s forced participation in commercial transactions cannot be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause as the Clause was interpreted in McCulloch v. Maryland. Professor Andrew Koppelman’s response, Bad News for Everybody, wrongly conflates that argument with a wide range of interpretative and substantive positions that are not logically entailed by taking seriously the requirement that laws enacted under the Necessary and Proper Clause must be incidental to an enumerated power. His response is thus largely unresponsive to our actual ...


“Health Laws Of Every Description”: John Marshall’S Ruling On A Federal Health Care Law, David B. Kopel, Robert G. Natelson Jun 2011

“Health Laws Of Every Description”: John Marshall’S Ruling On A Federal Health Care Law, David B. Kopel, Robert G. Natelson

David B Kopel

If John Marshall, the greatest of Chief Justices, were to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, how would he rule? Would the nationalist justice who, according to the New Deal Supreme Court, “described the Federal commerce power with a breadth never yet exceeded,” agree that federal control of health care was within that power?

In the fictional opinion below, Marshall rules on the constitutionality of a bill similar to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

We constructed this opinion chiefly from direct quotation and paraphrases of Marshall’s own ...


Bad News For Professor Koppelman: The Incidental Unconstitutionality Of The Individual Mandate, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson Jan 2011

Bad News For Professor Koppelman: The Incidental Unconstitutionality Of The Individual Mandate, David B. Kopel, Gary Lawson

David B Kopel

In "Bad News for Mail Robbers: The Obvious Constitutionality of Health Care Reform," Professor Andrew Koppelman concludes that the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is constitutionally authorized as a law "necessary and proper for carrying into Execution" other aspects of the PPACA. However, the Necessary and Proper Clause rather plainly does not authorize the individual mandate. The Necessary and Proper Clause incorporates basic norms drawn from eighteenth-century agency law, administrative law, and corporate law. From agency law, the clause embodies the venerable doctrine of principals and incidents: a law enacted under the clause must ...


The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel Jan 2010

The Right To Arms In The Living Constitution, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This Article presents a brief history of the Second Amendment as part of the living Constitution. From the Early Republic through the present, the American public has always understood the Second Amendment as guaranteeing a right to own firearms for self-defense. That view has been in accordance with élite legal opinion, except for a period in part of the twentieth century.

"Living constitutionalism" should be distinguished from "dead constitutionalism." Under the former, courts looks to objective referents of shared public understanding of constitutional values. Examples of objective referents include state constitutions, as well as federal or state laws to protect ...


State Court Standards Of Review For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel, Clayton Cramer Jan 2010

State Court Standards Of Review For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel, Clayton Cramer

David B Kopel

Cases on the right to arms in state constitutions can provide useful guidance for courts addressing Second Amendment issues. Although some people have claimed that state courts always use a highly deferential version of "reasonableness," this article shows that many courts have employed rigorous standards, including the tools of strict scrutiny, such as overbreadth, narrow tailoring, and less restrictive means. Courts have also used categoricalism (deciding whether something is inside or outside the right) and narrow construction (to prevent criminal laws from conflicting with the right to arms). Even when formally applying "reasonableness," many courts have used reasonableness as a ...


Commerce In The Commerce Clause: A Response To Jack Balkin, David B. Kopel, Robert G. Natelson Jan 2010

Commerce In The Commerce Clause: A Response To Jack Balkin, David B. Kopel, Robert G. Natelson

David B Kopel

The Constitution’s original meaning is its meaning to those ratifying the document during a discrete time period: from its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in late 1787 until Rhode Island’s ratification on May 29, 1790. Reconstructing it requires historical skills, including a comprehensive approach to sources. Jack Balkin’s article Commerce fails to consider the full range of evidence and thereby attributes to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause a scope that virtually no one in the Founding Era believed it had.


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

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

Stephen E. Sachs

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 ...


James Wilson And The Drafting Of The Constitution, William Ewald Jun 2008

James Wilson And The Drafting Of The Constitution, William Ewald

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Natural Right Of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson For The World, David B. Kopel Jan 2008

The Natural Right Of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson For The World, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller constitutionalized the right of self-defense, and described self-defense as a natural, inherent right. Analysis of natural law in Heller shows why Justice Stevens' dissent is clearly incorrect, and illuminates a crucial weakness in Justice Breyer's dissent. The constitutional recognition of the natural law right of self-defense has important implications for American law, and for foreign and international law.


The Catholic Second Amendment, David B. Kopel Jan 2006

The Catholic Second Amendment, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

At the beginning of the second millennium, there was no separation of church and state, and kings ruled the church. Tyrannicide was considered sinful. By the end of the thirteenth century, however, everything had changed. The Little Renaissance that began in the eleventh century led to a revolution in political and moral philosophy, so that using force to overthrow a tyrannical government became a positive moral duty. The intellectual revolution was an essential step in the evolution of Western political philosophy that eventually led to the American Revolution.


The Scottish And English Religious Roots Of The American Right To Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, And The Duty To Overthrow Tyranny, David B. Kopel Jan 2005

The Scottish And English Religious Roots Of The American Right To Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, And The Duty To Overthrow Tyranny, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

Many twenty-first century Americans believe that they have a God-given right to possess arms as a last resort against tyranny. One of the most important sources of that belief is the struggle for freedom of conscience in the United Kingdom during the reigns of Elizabeth I and the Stuarts. A moral right and duty to use force against tyranny was explicated by the Scottish Presbyterians George Buchanan and Samuel Rutherford. The free-thinking English Christians John Locke and Algernon Sidney broadened and deepened the ideas of Buchanan and Rutherford. The result was a sophisticated defense of religious freedom, which was to ...


The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel Jan 2005

The Religious Roots Of The American Revolution And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

This article examines the religious background of the American Revolution. The article details how the particular religious beliefs of the American colonists developed so that the American people eventually came to believe that overthrowing King George and Parliament was a sacred obligation. The religious attitudes which impelled the Americans to armed revolution are an essential component of the American ideology of the right to keep and bear arms.


The Unitary Executive During The Third Half-Century, 1889-1945, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi, Laurence D. Nee Jan 2005

The Unitary Executive During The Third Half-Century, 1889-1945, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi, Laurence D. Nee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent Supreme Court decisions and the impeachment of President Clinton has reinvigorated the debate over Congress's authority to employ devices such as special counsels and independent agencies to restrict the President's control over the administration of the law. The initial debate focused on whether the Constitution rejected the executive by committee employed by the Articles of the Confederation in favor of a unitary executive, in which all administrative authority is centralized in the President. More recently, the debate has begun to turn towards historical practices. Some scholars have suggested that independent agencies and special counsels have become such ...


The Unitary Executive During The Second Half-Century, Steven G. Calabresi, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2003

The Unitary Executive During The Second Half-Century, Steven G. Calabresi, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent Supreme Court decisions and political events have reinvigorated the debate over Congress's authority to restrict the President's control over the administration of the law. The initial debate focused on whether the Constitutional Convention rejected the executive by committee employed by the Articles of the Confederation in favor of a unitary executive in which all administrative authority is centralized in the President. More recently, the debate has turned towards historical practices. Some scholars have suggested that independent agencies and special counsels have become such established features of the constitutional landscape as to preempt arguments in favor of the ...


The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds Jan 2000

The Evolving Police Power: Some Observations For A New Century, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds

David B Kopel

A review of state and federal courts decisions on the scope of state police powers suggests that the shift from the more restrictive sic utere principle to the more open salus populi principle may be reversing, with courts -- at least in cases involving sex and marriage -- taking a much more skeptical view of government objectives and justifications.


Tench Coxe And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, 1787-1823, David B. Kopel Jan 1999

Tench Coxe And The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, 1787-1823, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

Tench Coxe, a member of the second rank of this nation's Founders and a leading proponent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, wrote prolifically about the right to keep and bear arms. In this Article, the authors trace Coxe's story, from his early writings in support of the Constitution, through his years of public service, to his political writings in opposition to the presidential campaigns of John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The authors note that Coxe described the Second Amendment as guaranteeing an individual right, and believed that an individual right to bear arms was ...


The Legalization Of The Presidencey: A Twenty-Five Year Watergate Retrospective, Michael A. Fitts Jan 1999

The Legalization Of The Presidencey: A Twenty-Five Year Watergate Retrospective, Michael A. Fitts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Little Rock Crisis And Foreign Affairs: Race, Resistance, And The Image Of American Democracy, Mary L. Dudziak Sep 1997

The Little Rock Crisis And Foreign Affairs: Race, Resistance, And The Image Of American Democracy, Mary L. Dudziak

Mary L. Dudziak

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce a school desegregation order at Central High School in the fall of 1957, more than racial equality was at issue. The image of American democracy was at stake. The Little Rock crisis played out on a world stage, as news media around the world covered the crisis. During the weeks of impasse leading up to Eisenhower's dramatic intervention, foreign critics questioned how the United States could argue that its democratic system of government was a model for others to follow when racial segregation was tolerated ...


Taking Federalism Seriously: Lopez And The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds Jan 1997

Taking Federalism Seriously: Lopez And The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, David B. Kopel, Glenn Harlan Reynolds

David B Kopel

In United States v. Lopez, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Gun Free School Zones law as not within congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. This article examines post-Lopez jurisprudence regarding the permissible scope of federal criminal law. Analyzing a wide variety of federal criminal laws challenged in post-Lopez cases (including arson, robbery, gun possession, drugs, violence against women, and abortion clinic disruption), the article shows how courts have followed or evaded Lopez. Studying the proposed federal ban on partial birth abortions, the article suggests that the ban is not a lawful exercise of Congress' interstate commerce ...


The Doctrine Of Accommodation In The Jurisprudence Of The Religion Clauses, Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams Jan 1988

The Doctrine Of Accommodation In The Jurisprudence Of The Religion Clauses, Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.