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

Political Science Commons

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

Selected Works

PDF

Constitutional Law

Articles 1 - 30 of 43

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Tom Delay: Popular Constitutionalist?, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke Apr 2018

Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke

Anthony O'Rourke

This is a review essay of The Two Faces of American Freedom, by Aziz Rana. The book presents a new and provocative account of the relationship between ideas of freedom and the constitutional structure of American power. Through the nineteenth century, Rana argues, America’s constitutional structure was shaped by a racially exclusionary, yet economically robust, concept that he calls “settler freedom.” Drawing on the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of settler colonial studies, as well as on the vast historical literature on civic republicanism, Rana contends that the concept of settler freedom necessitated a constitutional framework that enabled rapid territorial expansion ...


Is Suspension A Political Question, Amanda L. Tyler May 2015

Is Suspension A Political Question, Amanda L. Tyler

Amanda L Tyler

The article focuses on the Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution being a political issue. It says that once suspension is viewed as a nonjusticiable political question, it would turn as a subject on which most of the restraints imposed by the Constitution would not be subjected to judicial enforcement. It is claimed that such thought should be denied because it is at odds of writ of habeas corpus heritage and would only complicate the separation of powers and the institution of judicial reviews.


Dog Whistling, The Color-Blind Jurisprudential Regime And The Constitutional Politics Of Race, Calvin J. Terbeek Jan 2015

Dog Whistling, The Color-Blind Jurisprudential Regime And The Constitutional Politics Of Race, Calvin J. Terbeek

Calvin J TerBeek

Ian Haney Lopez’s new book, "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class", has a provocative thesis. Lopez contends that dog-whistling, that is, coded racial rhetoric, “explains how politicians backed by concentrated wealth manipulate racial appeals to win elections and also to win support for regressive policies that help corporations and the super-rich, and in the process wreck the middle class." Though this may seem plausible enough, the thesis cannot stand up to scrutiny; the relevant political science literature provides no support for this. What is more, Lopez's treatment of the ...


Avoiding The Guillotine: The Need For Balance And Purpose In Determining Fundamental Rights Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Timothy A. Campbell Jan 2015

Avoiding The Guillotine: The Need For Balance And Purpose In Determining Fundamental Rights Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Timothy A. Campbell

Timothy A Campbell

This Article examines the need to bridge the two fields of thought in fundamental rights jurisprudence. This Article argues two points. Broadly, an objective principle to determine fundamental rights is non-existent because rights by their nature are subjective. Hence, the Court must accept some subjectivity, but it needs to install guideposts to direct the judge’s discretion. The Court also needs to adopt a balanced approach that combines rationalism and traditionalism. They need to look at the purpose of the asserted right, the specificity of the asserted right, legal precedent, and history in formulating a balanced approach.


Public Reason As Higher Law, Gordon D. Ballingrud Jan 2014

Public Reason As Higher Law, Gordon D. Ballingrud

Gordon D Ballingrud

This paper presents a model of higher-law formation by employing a modified version of John Rawls’ idea of public reason. The model specifies a theory of public reason that combines the procedural and substantive aspects of public reason, and extends the concept over a third dimension, time. This concept, by virtue of its multi-generational democratic pedigree, forms a repository of political and legal concepts of justice that conform to the duty of civility, and the broad consensus on political and legal norms required of the content of public reason, which forms the overlapping consensus. Thus, public reason as higher law ...


Constitutions As Coordinating Devices, Gillian K. Hadfield, Barry R. Weingast Dec 2013

Constitutions As Coordinating Devices, Gillian K. Hadfield, Barry R. Weingast

Gillian K Hadfield

Why do successful constitutions have the attributes characteristically associated with the rule of law? Why do constitutions involve public reasoning? And, how is such a system sustained as an equilibrium? In this paper, we adapt the framework in our previous work on “what is law?” to the problem of constitutions and their enforcement (see Hadfield and Weingast 2012, 2013a,b). We present an account of constitutional law characterized by two features: a system of distinctive reasoning and process that is grounded in economic and political functionality; and a set of legal attributes such as generality, stability, publicity, clarity, non-contradictoriness, and ...


Don’T Be Silly: Lawmakers “Rarely” Read Legislation And Oftentimes Don’T Understand It . . . But That’S Okay, Brian Christopher Jones Sep 2013

Don’T Be Silly: Lawmakers “Rarely” Read Legislation And Oftentimes Don’T Understand It . . . But That’S Okay, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

During the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), the reading and understanding of legislation became one of the most controversial issues mentioned in Congress and throughout the media. This led many to state that lawmakers should “read the bill,” and led one academic to propose a read-the-bill rule for Congress, where legislators would not vote or vote “no” if they had not read the full text of the legislation. My essay argues that in contemporary legislatures such proposals are unfeasible, and would ultimately produce lower quality legislation. In doing so, the piece uses interviews with legislative ...


E Pluribus Unum: Liberalism's March To Be The Singular Influence On Civil Rights At The Supreme Court, Aaron J. Shuler Jan 2013

E Pluribus Unum: Liberalism's March To Be The Singular Influence On Civil Rights At The Supreme Court, Aaron J. Shuler

Aaron J Shuler

Rogers Smith writes that American political culture can best be understood as a blend of liberal, republican and illiberal ascriptive ideologies. The U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence has largely reflected this thesis. While the Court moved away from permitting laws that explicitly construct hierarchies in the 20th century and made tepid references to egalitarian principles during the Warren Court, liberalism has prevailed in the majority of the Court’s decisions. Gains in civil rights through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process clauses were achieved primarily through liberal notions of de-regulation, a market economy and ...


Neoliberalism And The Law Reassessing Historical Materialist Analysis Of The Law For The 21st Century, Justin Schwartz Jan 2013

Neoliberalism And The Law Reassessing Historical Materialist Analysis Of The Law For The 21st Century, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Historical materialism has been called in question by the triumph of neoliberalism and the fall of Communism. I show, by consideration of two examples, the 2008 crisis and recent Supreme Court campaign spending First Amendment jurisprudence, that neoliberalism instead vindicates the explanatory power of (non-mechanical and non-deterministic) historical materialism in accounting for a wide range of recent legal developments in legislation, executive (in)action, and judicial decision-making.


Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, And Guns: The Synergistic Constitutional Effects, David B. Kopel, Trevor Burrus Jan 2013

Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, And Guns: The Synergistic Constitutional Effects, David B. Kopel, Trevor Burrus

David B Kopel

In this Article, we discuss the synergistic relationship between the wars‖ on drugs, guns, alcohol, sex, and gambling, and how that relationship has helped illegitimately increase the power of the federal government over the past century. The Constitution never granted Congress the general police power‖ to legislate on health, safety, welfare, and morals; the police power was reserved to the States. Yet over the last century, federal laws against guns, alcohol, gambling, and some types of sex have encroached on the police powers traditionally reserved to the states.

Congress‘s infringement of the States‘ powers over the health, safety, welfare ...


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.


In Dedication To Chief Justice Christine M. Durham, Jess M. Krannich Jul 2012

In Dedication To Chief Justice Christine M. Durham, Jess M. Krannich

Jess M. Krannich

No abstract provided.


Willful [Color-] Blindness: The Supreme Court's Equal Protection Of Ascription, Aaron J. Shuler Jan 2012

Willful [Color-] Blindness: The Supreme Court's Equal Protection Of Ascription, Aaron J. Shuler

Aaron J Shuler

Rogers Smith in his "Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal and Hartz: The Multiple Traditions in America," warns of novel legal systems reconstituting ascriptive American inequality. The post-Warren Courts' approach to Equal Protection, specifically their unwillingness to consider disparate impact and the difference between invidious and benign practices, betrays an "ironic innocence" as described by James Baldwin to a history of racial discrimination and domination, and a disavowal of a hiearchy that the Court perpetuates.


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 ...


The Great Gun Control War Of The Twentieth Century--And Its Lessons For Gun Laws Today, David B. Kopel Jan 2012

The Great Gun Control War Of The Twentieth Century--And Its Lessons For Gun Laws Today, David B. Kopel

David B Kopel

A movement to ban handguns began in the 1920s in the Northeast, led by the conservative business establishment. In response, the National Rifle Association began to get involved in politics, and was able to defeat handgun prohibition. Gun control and gun rights became the subjects of intense political, social, and cultural battles for much of the rest of the 20th century, and into the 21st.

Often, the battles were a clash of absolutes: One side contended that there was absolutely no right to arms, that defensive gun ownership must be prohibited, and that gun ownership for sporting purposes could be ...


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 ...


A Tale Told By A President, Mark A. Graber Nov 2011

A Tale Told By A President, Mark A. Graber

Mark Graber

Part I of this essay makes the case for symbolic politics. Presidents often have political reasons for subjecting courts to mere words. Part II makes the case for constitutional hardball.


On Minnesota Marriage Equality Debate: Canards Lead, Sympathies Succeed, Aaron J. Shuler Jun 2011

On Minnesota Marriage Equality Debate: Canards Lead, Sympathies Succeed, Aaron J. Shuler

Aaron J Shuler

No abstract provided.


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.