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

Political Science Commons

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

Articles 1 - 21 of 21

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Making Of A Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, But Self-Identified Jew, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2015

The Making Of A Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, But Self-Identified Jew, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Many academics are unaware that I am Jewish, no doubt due, in part, to my last name as well as to my politics, Yet growing up as a Jew in Polish-Catholic Calumet City, Illinois and as a kid from Calumet City attending Temple in Hammond, Indiana made me quite conscious of the tyranny of the majority. This environment, together with the influence of my father, had a deep affect on my views of liberty, justice, individual rights, and the U.S. Constitution. In this brief essay, prepared for a symposium on “Judaism and Constitutional Law: People of the Book,” held ...


The Abiding Exceptionalism Of Foreign Relations Doctrine, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2015

The Abiding Exceptionalism Of Foreign Relations Doctrine, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In their article The Normalization of Foreign Relations Law, Professors Ganesh Sitaraman and Ingrid Wuerth argue that “[foreign affairs] exceptionalism . . . is now exceptional,” and that this is a good thing. I agree with much of the authors’ normative argument for “normalization” of foreign affairs doctrine (as they define the term). But the authors overstate the extent to which such normalization has already occurred. There have indeed been some recent Supreme Court decisions that seem to lack the exceptional deference to the Executive that had characterized judicial decisionmaking in the foreign affairs area in previous years. But foreign affairs doctrine remains ...


Pluralism And Its Perils: Navigating The Tension Between Gay Rights And Religious Expression, Nan D. Hunter Jan 2015

Pluralism And Its Perils: Navigating The Tension Between Gay Rights And Religious Expression, Nan D. Hunter

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The conflict between gay equality claims and religious liberty claims permeates debates over marriage equality and LGBT civil rights. Using as its centerpiece a decision that forced Georgetown University to provide benefits for a gay student organization, this article examines both the doctrinal underpinnings of how courts resolve the tension between gay rights and religion and the principles of pluralism that are at stake.

The Georgetown case is rightly understood as an exemplar of judicial minimalism. This article argues that the values of learning things undecided, while real, may be outweighed by lost opportunities for advancing principles that also foster ...


Afterword: The Libertarian Middle Way, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2013

Afterword: The Libertarian Middle Way, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Libertarianism is sometimes portrayed as radical and even extreme. In this Afterword to a symposium on "Libertarianism and the Law" in the Chapman Law Review, I explain why, though it may be radical, libertarianism is far from extreme in comparison with its principal alternatives: the social justice of the Left or legal moralism of the Right. Social justice posits that everyone should get a certain amount of stuff; legal moralism posits that everyone should act in a certain way. But because there is no consensus about how much stuff each person should have or how exactly everyone should act, both ...


Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores Jan 2013

Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Praising wishful thinking is a serious risk that the author is willing to run not only in this article commenting of Natalie Stoljar’s work but also elsewhere in his scholarship. The author will analyze her claims and will agree mostly with them, he will also criticize her for stopping one step short adopting the desirability or weaker claim, when in it is not merely possible but necessary to go one step beyond arguing for the necessity or stronger claim. The author intends to present further grounds for endorsing “conceptual (legal) analysis pluralism” by distinguishing the three different inquiry or ...


Libya: A Multilateral Constitutional Moment?, Catherine Powell Apr 2012

Libya: A Multilateral Constitutional Moment?, Catherine Powell

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Libya intervention of 2011 marked the first time that the UN Security Council invoked the “responsibility to protect” principle (RtoP) to authorize use of force by UN member states. In this comment the author argues that the Security Council’s invocation of RtoP in the midst of the Libyan crisis significantly deepens the broader, ongoing transformation in the international law system’s approach to sovereignty and civilian protection. This transformation away from the traditional Westphalian notion of sovereignty has been unfolding for decades, but the Libyan case represents a further normative shift from sovereignty as a right to sovereignty ...


A Decision Theory Of Statutory Interpretation: Legislative History By The Rules, Victoria Nourse Jan 2012

A Decision Theory Of Statutory Interpretation: Legislative History By The Rules, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

We have a law of civil procedure, criminal procedure, and administrative procedure, but we have no law of legislative procedure. This failure has serious consequences in the field of statutory interpretation. Using simple rules garnered from Congress itself, this Article argues that those rules are capable of transforming the field of statutory interpretation. Addressing canonical cases in the field, from Holy Trinity to Bock Laundry, from Weber to Public Citizen, this article shows how cases studied by vast numbers of law students are made substantially more manageable, and in some cases quite simple, through knowledge of congressional procedure. No longer ...


Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2012

Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Virtue jurisprudence is an approach to legal theory that develops the implications of virtue ethics and virtue politics for the law. Recent work on virtue jurisprudence has emphasized a NeoAristotelian approach. This essay develops a virtue jurisprudence in the Confucian tradition. The title of this essay, “Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence,” reflects the central aim of our work, to build a contemporary theory of law that is both virtue-centered and that provides a contemporary reconstruction of the central ideas of the early Confucian intellectual tradition.

This essay provides a sketch of our contemporary version of Confucian virtue jurisprudence, including a view of ...


The Advance Democracy Act And The Future Of United States Democracy Promotion Efforts, Patrick J. Glen Jan 2011

The Advance Democracy Act And The Future Of United States Democracy Promotion Efforts, Patrick J. Glen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article addresses whether and to what extent the Obama administration should continue the Bush administration policies relating to democracy promotion. The focus of the article is on the ADVANCE Act of 2007, a legislative enactment that institutionalized democracy promotion in the State Department. After explicating the key provisions of this Act, as well as their implementation status, the article addresses key critiques leveled at democracy promotion, as well as areas where the Obama administration can expand on what has been accomplished thus far in this field. In the end, democracy promotion should continue to be an integral component of ...


Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban Jan 2011

Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper addresses two questions about the morality of warfare: (1) how much risk must soldiers take to minimize unintended civilian casualties caused by their own actions (“collateral damage”), and (2) whether it is the same for the enemy's civilians as for one's own.

The questions take on special importance in warfare where one side is able to attack the other side from a safe distance, but at the cost of civilian lives, while safeguarding civilians may require soldiers to take precautions that expose them to greater risk. In a well-known article, Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin argue ...


Iowa’S 2010 Judicial Election: Appropriate Accountability Or Rampant Passion?, Roy A. Schotland Jan 2011

Iowa’S 2010 Judicial Election: Appropriate Accountability Or Rampant Passion?, Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Although 89% of state judges (appellate and general-jurisdiction trial judges) face some type of election, judicial elections are rarely thought of even by academics interested in elections. Iowa’s 2010 election, in which three Justices were defeated, is one of the most significant judicial elections ever. The Justices lost their seats because they participated in a unanimous 2009 decision upholding gay marriage. That decision stirred intense opposition among “social conservatives”, in Iowa a substantial proportion of the population and actively led by more than 100 ministers.

That active opposition was one of eight elements that created a perfect storm against ...


The Post-Citizens United Fantasy-Land, Roy A. Schotland Jan 2011

The Post-Citizens United Fantasy-Land, Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

First, a bouquet for the illuminating facts presented by Professors Wert, Gaddie, and Bullock. They make dramatically clear how minuscule independent spending by corporate PACs has been (that is, those PACs’ direct spending as distinct from support by those PACs or their corporate sponsors for spending by intermediaries like the Chamber of Commerce). Their showing is borne out by experience this year: corporate support for campaigns is almost all hidden, flowing through intermediaries, which is why getting effective disclosure is more important than ever, as the Court clearly recognizes (We probably owe much to Justice Kennedy for the fact that ...


Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse Jan 2011

Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Every lawyer's theory of statutory interpretation carries with it an idea of Congress, and every idea of Congress, in turn, carries with it an idea of the separation of powers. In this article, the author critiques three dominant academic theories of statutory interpretation--textualism, purposivism, and game theory--for their assumptions about Congress and the separation of powers. She argues that each academic theory fails to account for Congress's dominant institutional features: "the electoral connection," the "supermajoritarian difficulty," and the "principle of structure-induced ambiguity." This critique yields surprising conclusions, rejecting both standard liberal and conservative views on statutory interpretation.

"Plain ...


The Closed Rule, Michael Doran Jan 2010

The Closed Rule, Michael Doran

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The closed rule constitutes a critical component of managerial power in the contemporary House of Representatives and an increasingly important element of the legislative process. Subject to the approval of the full membership, the closed rule allows managers to block all amendments to a measure when bringing that measure to the floor. Despite objections from the minority, both Republicans and Democrats regularly use the closed rule when in the majority, and rank-and-file members ordinarily approve any closed rule put to a floor vote. Once rarely used, the closed rule has become managers’ preferred instrument for controlling the House floor agenda ...


A Plea For Reality, Roy A. Schotland Jan 2009

A Plea For Reality, Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Legend has it that a long-ago Chief Justice of Texas said, “No judicial selection system is worth a damn.” This view has been all but proven by American experience; nothing else in American law matches this subject in terms of the volume of written debate and endless sweat spent working for change. The selection system for federal judges is unchanged but far from untroubled, and

the States have never used a common method . . . . [O]ne can identify almost as many different methods . . . as there are States in the Union . . . . Moreover, most States have changed the way they choose judges at ...


Toward A New Constitutional Anatomy, Victoria Nourse Feb 2004

Toward A New Constitutional Anatomy, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is an important sense in which our Constitution's structure is not what it appears to be--a set of activities or functions or geographies, the 'judicial" or the "executive" or the "legislative" power, the "truly local and the truly national. "Indeed, it is only if we put these notions to the side that we can come to grips with the importance of the generative provisions of the Constitution: the provisions that actually create our federal government; that bind citizens, through voting, to a House of Representatives, to a Senate, to a President, and even, indirectly, to a Supreme Court ...


Rethinking Crime Legislation: History And Harshness, Victoria Nourse Jan 2004

Rethinking Crime Legislation: History And Harshness, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is a truth about the criminal law that scholars evade as much as they criticize: the criminal law is produced by legislators (rather than the experts). The author states she does not know of any way to make law in a democracy other than through the voters' representatives. And, yet, it is the standard pose of the criminal law scholar to denigrate legislatures and politicians as vindictive, hysterical, or stupid. All of these things may be true but name-calling is a poor substitute for analysis. As in constitutional law, so too in criminal law, it is time to put ...


Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse Jan 2003

Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 1933, one of the leading theorists of the criminal law, Jerome Michael, wrote openly of the criminal law "as an instrument of the state." Today, criminal law is largely allergic to claims of political theory; commentators obsess about theories of deterrence and retribution, and the technical details of model codes and sentencing grids, but rarely speak of institutional effects or political commitments. In this article, the author aims to change that emphasis and to examine the criminal law as a tool for governance. Her approach is explicitly constructive: it accepts the criminal law that we have, places it in ...


Democracy And Legitimation: A Response To Professor Guinier, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2002

Democracy And Legitimation: A Response To Professor Guinier, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay is a response to Supreme Democracy: Bush v. Gore Redux, an essay by Lani Guinier (2002).

The author critiques Professor Lani Guinier’s essay through a discussion of the maldistribution of wealth in American society, which he argues is accepted by American people thanks to the existence complex structures that allow them to distance themselves from it. He discusses four legitimation structures as he critiques this essay.

Professor Guinier focuses on the belief in meritocracy. For our purposes, we might define a believer in meritocracy as someone who thinks that, in a given society, people get more or ...


W(H)Ither Zschernig?, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2001

W(H)Ither Zschernig?, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author argues here that a declaration of victory by the critics of the dormant foreign affairs doctrine would be premature. Notwithstanding the Court's citation of Ashwander v. TVA, the actual grounds of the decision in Crosby were in no meaningful sense less "constitutional" in nature than a decision based on the dormant foreign affairs power would have been. Moreover, even though the Court said that its decision was based on a straightforward application of "settled ... implied preemption doctrine," the Court's preemption analysis was anything but ordinary. Indeed, Crosby's version of preemption analysis is subject to the ...


The “Self-Executing” Character Of The Refugee Protocol’S Nonrefoulement Obligation, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 1993

The “Self-Executing” Character Of The Refugee Protocol’S Nonrefoulement Obligation, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

When the United States ratified the 1967 U.N. Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (Protocol), it undertook not to "expel or return (refouler) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened" on specified grounds. On May 24, 1992, President Bush issued an executive order, known as the Kennebunkport Order, authorizing the United States Coast Guard to interdict vessels on the high seas suspected of containing Haitians destined for U.S. shores and to return such persons to Haiti without regard to whether their lives or freedom would ...