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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.


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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...