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Constitutional Law

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Articles 31 - 60 of 64

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Is Reform Inevitable In Iran? An Evolutionary Analysis, Atin Basu Choudhary, Laura Razzolini, Dixon Josh Jan 2011

Is Reform Inevitable In Iran? An Evolutionary Analysis, Atin Basu Choudhary, Laura Razzolini, Dixon Josh

Atin Basu Choudhary

A persistent, if somewhat violent, reformist movement in Iran has many observers believing that reform is inevitable in Iran. We suggest that such optimism is misplaced. We use an evolutionary game theory approach to a standard assurance game to show that even when the gains to reform are obvious, the reformists may not succeed. We show further that as long as hardliners hold the levers of government they can stymie the success of reformists. Thus, from a policy perspective we believe that a gradual evolutionary path to reformist success is plausible but it depends crucially on the initial proportion of ...


Cognitive Dissonance In A Recession: Minnesota Gop Attacks Marriage Equality In Land Of "Gayest City In America", Aaron J. Shuler Jan 2011

Cognitive Dissonance In A Recession: Minnesota Gop Attacks Marriage Equality In Land Of "Gayest City In America", Aaron J. Shuler

Aaron J Shuler

Despite a tradition of progressive thinking on civil rights and recent specific gains for gays in Minnesota, the State's Republican party is trying to place an anti-marriage equality amendment on the 2012 ballot.


Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz Jan 2011

Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

This short nontechnical article reviews the Arrow Impossibility Theorem and its implications for rational democratic decisionmaking. In the 1950s, economist Kenneth J. Arrow proved that no method for producing a unique social choice involving at least three choices and three actors could satisfy four seemingly obvious constraints that are practically constitutive of democratic decisionmaking. Any such method must violate such a constraint and risks leading to disturbingly irrational results such and Condorcet cycling. I explain the theorem in plain, nonmathematical language, and discuss the history, range, and prospects of avoiding what seems like a fundamental theoretical challenge to the possibility ...


Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz Jan 2011

Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

This short nontechnical article reviews the Arrow Impossibility Theorem and its implications for rational democratic decisionmaking. In the 1950s, economist Kenneth J. Arrow proved that no method for producing a unique social choice involving at least three choices and three actors could satisfy four seemingly obvious constraints that are practically constitutive of democratic decisionmaking. Any such method must violate such a constraint and risks leading to disturbingly irrational results such and Condorcet cycling. I explain the theorem in plain, nonmathematical language, and discuss the history, range, and prospects of avoiding what seems like a fundamental theoretical challenge to the possibility ...


On The Evasion Of Executive Term Limits, Tom Ginsburg Jan 2011

On The Evasion Of Executive Term Limits, Tom Ginsburg

Tom Ginsburg

Executive term limits are pre-commitments through which the polity restricts its ability to retain a popular executive down the road. But in recent years, many presidents around the world have chosen to remain in office even after their initial maximum term in office has expired. They have largely done so by amending the constitution, or sometimes by replacing it entirely. The practice of revising higher law for the sake of a particular incumbent raises intriguing issues that touch ultimately on the normative justification for term limits in the first place. This article reviews the normative debate over term limits and ...


Race, Colorblindness And Equality In Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence: Assessing An Evolving Standard, Steven V. Mazie Jan 2011

Race, Colorblindness And Equality In Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence: Assessing An Evolving Standard, Steven V. Mazie

Steven V. Mazie

This essay weighs the merits of the ascendant interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment: a colorblind reading of equality that received a boost in the Court’s Ricci v. DeStefano decision of 2009. In Ricci, the Court concluded that the City of New Haven had acted illegally when it scrapped a promotion exam for firefighters on which whites had vastly outperformed black and Hispanic candidates. The article opens by surveying the major twists and turns of the Supreme Court’s view of racial classifications since the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868. It updates that history ...


Constituent Authority, Richard Kay Dec 2010

Constituent Authority, Richard Kay

Richard Kay

The force of a constitution, like the force of all enacted law, derives, in significant part, from the circumstances of its enactment. Legal and political theory have long recognized the logical necessity of a “constituent power.” That recognition, however, tells us little about what is necessary for the successful enactment of an enduring constitution. Long term acceptance of a constitution requires a continuing regard for the process that brought it into being. There must be, that is, recognition of the “constituent authority” of the constitution-makers. This paper is a consideration of the idea of “constituent authority” drawing on a comparison ...


Don’T’ Know Much About History: Constitutional Text, Practice, And Presidential Power, David A. Schultz Dec 2010

Don’T’ Know Much About History: Constitutional Text, Practice, And Presidential Power, David A. Schultz

David A Schultz

Assertions of presidential supremacy and power in affairs often invoke history, including events during the administration of George Washington, to defend their assertions. This article raises some questions regarding what we can learn from history for constitutional argument. It concedes generally that historical facts can support or buttress constitution argument, but more specifically it contends that acts undertaken by George Washington are problematic assertions for presidential power, especially those that assert “supremacist” or broad if not exclusive claims for presidential foreign policy authority. To do that, this article first describes how history is employed as constitutional argument for presidential power ...


The U.N. Security Council Ad Hoc Rwanda Tribunal: International Justice, Or Judicially-Constructed “Victor’S Impunity”?, C. Peter Erlinder Dec 2009

The U.N. Security Council Ad Hoc Rwanda Tribunal: International Justice, Or Judicially-Constructed “Victor’S Impunity”?, C. Peter Erlinder

C. Peter Erlinder

ABSTRACT The U.N. Security Council Ad Hoc Rwanda Tribunal: International Justice, or Juridically-Constructed “Victor’s Impunity”? Prof. Peter Erlinder [1] ________________________ “…if the Japanese had won the war, those of us who planned the fire-bombing of Tokyo would have been the war criminals….” [2] Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of State “…and so it goes…” [3] Billy Pilgrim (alter ego of an American prisoner of war, held in the cellar of a Dresden abattoir, who survived firebombing by his own troops, author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.) Introduction Unlike the postWW- II Tribunals, the U.N. Security Council tribunals for ...


Equality, Race And Gifted Education: An Egalitarian Critique Of Admission To New York City's Specialized High Schools, Steven V. Mazie Apr 2009

Equality, Race And Gifted Education: An Egalitarian Critique Of Admission To New York City's Specialized High Schools, Steven V. Mazie

Steven V. Mazie

Educational programs for gifted students face both philosophical and practical challenges from egalitarians. Some object that gifted schools inherently undermine a commitment to equality in education, while others observe that schools for talented students cater to privileged youth and effectively discriminate against disadvantaged minorities. This article taps into recent theorizing on equality to explore an illuminating case study: admissions policies at New York City’s so-called ‘specialized’ high schools. After dismissing less nuanced proposals on both ends of the spectrum, I draw upon Elizabeth Anderson’s theory of ‘democratic egalitarianism’ to argue that, while schools devoted to talented students could ...


Thick And Thin: Interdisciplinary Conversations On Populism, Law, Political Science, And Constitutional Change, Mark A. Graber Jul 2008

Thick And Thin: Interdisciplinary Conversations On Populism, Law, Political Science, And Constitutional Change, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

No abstract provided.


Bush V. Boumediene: The Court Is Back, Jay Dratler Jun 2008

Bush V. Boumediene: The Court Is Back, Jay Dratler

Akron Law Publications

This short article is a follow-up to a piece I wrote two years ago on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, SSRN No. 913822. While applauding the result in Hamdan, I critiqued the Supreme Court for missing a “teachable moment” and obscuring the great issues at stake in prolixity and mind-numbing technical detail.

In this article, I applaud the Boumediene v. Bush Court not only for its result—that the Constitution’s Suspension Clause can require habeas corpus for aliens held abroad under certain circumstances—but for its reasoning and style as well. This time, the majority of five did not miss its ...


Bush V. Boumediene: The Court Is Back, Jay Dratler Jun 2008

Bush V. Boumediene: The Court Is Back, Jay Dratler

Jay Dratler

This short article is a follow-up to a piece I wrote two years ago on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, SSRN No. 913822. While applauding the result in Hamdan, I critiqued the Supreme Court for missing a “teachable moment” and obscuring the great issues at stake in prolixity and mind-numbing technical detail.In this article, I applaud the Boumediene v. Bush Court not only for its result—that the Constitution’s Suspension Clause can require habeas corpus for aliens held abroad under certain circumstances—but for its reasoning and style as well. This time, the majority of five did not miss its ...


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.


Less Than Fundamental: The Myth Of Voter Fraudand The Coming Of The Second Great Disenfranchisement, David A. Schultz Jan 2008

Less Than Fundamental: The Myth Of Voter Fraudand The Coming Of The Second Great Disenfranchisement, David A. Schultz

David A Schultz

This article examines the issue of voter fraud and efforts to regulate it through new photo identification requirements. The overall thesis is that voting fraud is a pretext for a broader agenda to disenfranchise Americans and rig elections. However, the more specific focus of this article is both to examine the evidence of fraud and the litigation around voter IDs thus far, and what supporters of voting rights can learn from both as they move forward and challenge these laws in the future. The Article will argue that the evidence being offered for the photo IDs does not justify the ...


Assisted Suicide: An Interest Not A Right., Eric G. Roscoe Mar 2007

Assisted Suicide: An Interest Not A Right., Eric G. Roscoe

Eric G. Roscoe

This paper examines the right to privacy and its role in recent debate over the rights of terminally ill patients to receive assistance in dying. It examines the history of suicide from John Donne up to the recent Supreme Court decisions in Washington v. Glucksberg. The Court came to the proper conclusion in Glucksberg by leaving the decisions up to state legislatures because the right itself does not reach the level of a fundamentally protected right to privacy. However, in some states it does reach the level of a state created liberty interest, and in those states a legitimate argument ...


Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins Jul 2006

Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


"One Person, One Vote, And The Constitutionality Of The Winner-Take-All Allocation Of Electoral Votes", David A. Schultz Apr 2006

"One Person, One Vote, And The Constitutionality Of The Winner-Take-All Allocation Of Electoral Votes", David A. Schultz

David A Schultz

The winner-take-all method of allocating electoral votes in presidential races is the norm among states, yet nowhere in the Constitution is this practice mandated. This article contends that the winner-take-all allocation of electors unconstitutionally magnifies the battleground states' influence on the final Electoral College tally and that these inequities cannot be reconciled with the principle of one-person, one-vote that the US Supreme Court articulated in the landmark Reynolds v. Sims. In 1966 the Supreme Court declined to hear a case contesting the constitutionality of the winner-take-all system based on the one person, one vote, principle. It is time for the ...


Alternative Career Resolution Ii: Changing The Tenure Of Supreme Court Justices, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2006

Alternative Career Resolution Ii: Changing The Tenure Of Supreme Court Justices, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2005

Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

From Grotius to Hobbes to Locke to an unconventional modern pop-culture manifestation in Ali G, the concept of “respect” has always been understood as important in human interaction and human agreements. The concept of mutual understanding and obligation pervades human interaction, and, for purposes of this Article, international relations. Almost all basic principles in English, United States, and other country’s laws that value human and individual rights have based, over time, the development of their laws on the philosophical principle of respect. So much of common and statutory law is designed to enforce respect for others. The principle question ...


Agenda Setting, Issue Priorities, And Organizational Maintenance: The U.S. Supreme Court, 1955 To 1994, Jeff L. Yates, Andrew B. Whitford, William Gillespie Jan 2005

Agenda Setting, Issue Priorities, And Organizational Maintenance: The U.S. Supreme Court, 1955 To 1994, Jeff L. Yates, Andrew B. Whitford, William Gillespie

Jeff L Yates

In this study, we examine agenda setting by the U.S. Supreme Court, and ask the question of why the Court allocates more or less of its valuable agenda space to one policy issue over others. Our study environment is the policy issue composition of the Court's docket: the Court's attention to criminal justice policy issues relative to other issues. We model the Court's allocation of this agenda space as a function of internal organizational demands and external political signals. We find that this agenda responds to the issue priorities of the other branches of the federal ...


Torture Lite, Full-Bodied Torture, And The Insulation Of Legal Conscience, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2005

Torture Lite, Full-Bodied Torture, And The Insulation Of Legal Conscience, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Book Review Essay: Canada's Constitutional Cul De Sac, Richard Kay Dec 2004

Book Review Essay: Canada's Constitutional Cul De Sac, Richard Kay

Richard Kay

Book reivew of 'Constitutional Odyssey: Can Canadians Become a Sovereign People?', by Peter H. Russell (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2004).


The Opacity Of Transparency, Mark Fenster Dec 2004

The Opacity Of Transparency, Mark Fenster

Mark Fenster

The normative concept of transparency, along with the open government laws that purport to create a transparent public system of governance promise the world—a democratic and accountable state above all, and a peaceful, prosperous, and efficient one as well. But transparency, in its role as the theoretical justification for a set of legal commands, frustrates all parties affected by its ambiguities and abstractions. The public’s engagement with transparency in practice yields denials of reasonable requests for essential government information, as well as government meetings that occur behind closed doors. Meanwhile, state officials bemoan the significantly impaired decision-making processes ...


Watching The Watchers: Surveillance, Transparency, And Political Freedom In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer Sep 2004

Watching The Watchers: Surveillance, Transparency, And Political Freedom In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Secession Reference And The Limits Of Law, Richard Kay Dec 2002

The Secession Reference And The Limits Of Law, Richard Kay

Richard Kay

When the Supreme Court of Canada issued its judgment on the legality of "unilateral" Quebec secession in August 1998 many Canadians did not know what to make of it. The Court held that the only lawful way in which Quebec might depart the Canadian federation was through one of the amendment mechanisms provided in the Constitution Act 1982. It thus affirmed that Quebec could not secede without the agreement of at least the Houses of the federal Parliament and some number of provincial legislative assemblies. Prime Minister Chretien declared the next day that the judgement was a "victory for all ...


Rights Of Inequality: Rawlsian Justice, Equal Opportunity, And The Status Of The Family, Justin Schwartz Jan 2001

Rights Of Inequality: Rawlsian Justice, Equal Opportunity, And The Status Of The Family, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Is the family subject to principles of justice? In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls includes the (monogamous) family along with the market and the government as among the "basic institutions of society" to which principles of justice apply. Justice, he famously insists, is primary in politics as truth is in science: the only excuse for tolerating injustice is that no lesser injustice is possible. The point of the present paper is that Rawls doesn't actually mean this. When it comes to the family, and in particular its impact on fair equal opportunity (the first part of the the ...


Expressive Liberty, Moral Pluralism, Political Pluralism: Three Sources Of Liberal Theory, William A. Galston Mar 1999

Expressive Liberty, Moral Pluralism, Political Pluralism: Three Sources Of Liberal Theory, William A. Galston

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz Jan 1997

Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

THIS PAPER IS THE CO-WINNER OF THE FRED BERGER PRIZE IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW FOR THE 1999 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE BEST PUBLISHED PAPER IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS.

The conflict between liberal legal theory and critical legal studies (CLS) is often framed as a matter of whether there is a theory of justice that the law should embody which all rational people could or must accept. In a divided society, the CLS critique of this view is overwhelming: there is no such justice that can command universal assent. But the liberal critique of CLS, that it degenerates into ...