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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

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


James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo Jul 2018

James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For decades, James Wilson has been something of a “forgotten founder.” The area where commentators generally recognize Wilson’s influence at the Convention is with respect to Article II, which establishes the executive and defines its powers. Most scholars characterize him as a resolute advocate of an independent, energetic, and unitary presidency, and a particularly successful one at that. In this regard, some scholars have generally characterized Wilson’s thinking as overly rigid. Yet a close examination of the Convention reveals Wilson to be more flexible than sometimes characterized. With respect to many aspects of the presidency, including the appointment ...


African Courts And Separation Of Powers: A Comparative Study Of Judicial Review In Uganda & South, Joseph M. Isanga Mar 2018

African Courts And Separation Of Powers: A Comparative Study Of Judicial Review In Uganda & South, Joseph M. Isanga

Joseph Isanga

Achieving political stability in a transitional democracy is a fundamental goal, the resoluteness of which is in part maintained by courts of judicial review that are independent from political bias and devoid of deference to traditionally more powerful branches of government. The recent democratic transitions occurring in the African nations of South Africa and Uganda provide a unique, contemporary insight into the formation of a constitutional jurisprudence. This study is an examination of pivotal cases decided by the Constitutional Courts of South Africa and Uganda, the roles that these decisions play in political stability, and the potential for political bias ...


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...


Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2018

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The administrative state is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy. Many have questioned the legality of the myriad commissions, boards, and agencies through which much of our modern governance occurs. Scholars such as Jerry Mashaw, Theda Skocpol, and Michele Dauber, among others, have provided compelling institutional histories, illustrating that administrative lawmaking has roots in the early American republic. Others have attempted to assuage concerns through interpretive theory, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 implicitly amended our Constitution. Solutions offered thus far, however, have yet to provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of the administrative state ...