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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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Courts, Social Change, And Political Backlash, Michael Klarman Mar 2011

Courts, Social Change, And Political Backlash, Michael Klarman

Philip A. Hart Memorial Lecture

On March 31, 2011, Professor of Law, Michael Klarman of Harvard Law School delivered the Georgetown Law Center’s thirty-first annual Philip A. Hart Lecture: “Courts, Social Change, and Political Backlash.” Included here are the speaker's notes from this lecture.

Michael Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School. Formerly, he was the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of History, and the Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Klarman specializes in the constitutional history of race.

Klarman holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School ...


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 ...


The Refund Booth: Using The Principle Of Symmetric Information To Improve Campaign Finance Regulation, Ian Ayres, Bruce Ackerman Mar 2006

The Refund Booth: Using The Principle Of Symmetric Information To Improve Campaign Finance Regulation, Ian Ayres, Bruce Ackerman

Philip A. Hart Memorial Lecture

On March 22, 2006, Professor of Law, Ian Ayres of Yale Law School, delivered the Georgetown Law Center’s twenty-sixth Annual Philip A. Hart Memorial Lecture: "The Refund Booth: Using the Principle of Symmetric Information to Improve Campaign Finance Regulation." The article, The Secret Refund Booth, was co-authored with Professor Bruce Ackerman of Yale University.

Ian Ayres is a lawyer and an economist. He is the William K. Townsend Professor of Law and Anne Urowsky Professorial Fellow in Law at Yale Law School and a Professor at Yale's School of Management. He is the editor of the Journal of ...


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 ...


Democracy's Discontent In A Complex World: Can Avalanches, Sandpiles, And Finches Optimize Michael Sandel's Civic Republican Community?, Hope M. Babcock Jan 1997

Democracy's Discontent In A Complex World: Can Avalanches, Sandpiles, And Finches Optimize Michael Sandel's Civic Republican Community?, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy, Michael Sandel looks about him and finds a vast and complex world governed by impersonal institutions and structures, in which discontented, anxious, and frustrated individuals are losing control over the forces that govern their lives, and in which the moral fabric of community is unraveling. His solution is to revitalize the civic strand of freedom found in republican politics and thus equip individuals to govern themselves. Sandel wonders how civic republicanism can exist in today's world. Historically, republicanism has found a home in small, bounded places, which were ...