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Constitutional Law

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Articles 31 - 56 of 56

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

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 ...


Book Review Of Beau Breslin, "From Words To Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality", Robert Tsai Dec 2009

Book Review Of Beau Breslin, "From Words To Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality", Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This is a review of Beau Breslin's book, "From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality" (Johns Hopkins, 2009). As an antidote to what he believes to be scholarly marginalization of the "unique" aspects of a written constitution, Breslin focuses attention on seven functions of such a legal text: transforming existing orders, conveying collective aspirations, designing institutions, mediating conflict, recognizing claims of subnational communities, empowering social actors, and constraining governmental authority. This review briefly critiques Breslin's functional approach and discusses two of the more pressing goals of modern constitutionalism: managing social conflict and preserving cultural heritage.


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 ...


Eloquence And Reason: Creating A First Amendment Culture, Robert L. Tsai Oct 2008

Eloquence And Reason: Creating A First Amendment Culture, Robert L. Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This book presents a general theory to explain how the words in the Constitution become culturally salient ideas, inscribed in the habits and outlooks of ordinary Americans. "Eloquence and Reason" employs the First Amendment as a case study to illustrate that liberty is achieved through the formation of a common language and a set of organizing beliefs. The book explicates the structure of First Amendment language as a distinctive discourse and illustrates how activists, lawyers, and even presidents help to sustain our First Amendment belief system. When significant changes to constitutional law occur, they are best understood as the results ...


Settling The West: The Annexation Of Texas, The Louisiana Purchase, And Bush V. Gore, Mark Graber Jul 2008

Settling The West: The Annexation Of Texas, The Louisiana Purchase, And Bush V. Gore, Mark Graber

Mark Graber

No abstract provided.


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 ...


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 ...


Sovereignty As Discourse, Robert Tsai Dec 2007

Sovereignty As Discourse, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This is a review of Howard Schweber's book, "The Language of Liberal Constitutionalism" (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Schweber argues that "the creation of a legitimate constitutional regime depends on a prior commitment to employ constitutional language, and that such a commitment is both the necessary and sufficient condition for constitution making." I critique the power and limits of this reformulated Lockean thesis, as well as Schweber's secondary claims that, for constitutional language to remain legitimate, it must increasingly become autonomous, specialized, and secular.


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 ...


"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 ...


Democracy's Handmaid, Robert Tsai Jan 2006

Democracy's Handmaid, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

Democratic theory presupposes open channels of dialogue, but focuses almost exclusively on matters of institutional design writ large. The philosophy of language explicates linguistic infrastructure, but often avoids exploring the political significance of its findings. In this Article, Professor Tsai draws from the two disciplines to reach new insights about the democracy-enhancing qualities of popular constitutional language. Employing examples from the founding era, the struggle for black civil rights, the religious awakening of the last two decades, and the search for gay equality, he presents a model of constitutional dialogue that emphasizes common modalities and mobilized vernacular. According to this ...


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 ...


Sacred Visions Of Law, Robert Tsai Feb 2005

Sacred Visions Of Law, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

Around the time of the Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Constitution’s framing, Sanford Levinson called upon Americans to renew our “constitutional faith.” This Article answers the call by explicating the ways in which two landmark constitutional law decisions—Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. Board of Education—have been used by jurists over the years to tend the American community of faith. Blending constitutional theory and the study of religious form, the Article argues that the legal symbols have become increasingly linked in the legal imagination even as they have come to signify very different sacred visions of ...


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 ...


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 ...


Fire, Metaphor, And Constitutional Myth-Making, Robert Tsai Oct 2004

Fire, Metaphor, And Constitutional Myth-Making, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

From the standpoint of traditional legal thought, metaphor is at best a dash of poetry adorning lawyerly analysis, and at worst an unjustifiable distraction from what is actually at stake in a legal contest. By contrast, in the eyes of those who view law as a close relative of ordinary language, metaphor is a basic building block of human understanding. This article accepts that metaphor helps us to comprehend a court’s decision. At the same time, it contends that metaphor plays a special role in the realm of constitutional discourse. Metaphor in constitutional law not only reinforces doctrinal categories ...


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 ...


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 ...


The System Worked: Our Schizophrenic Stance On Welfare, Robert Tsai Dec 1995

The System Worked: Our Schizophrenic Stance On Welfare, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This is a review of Steven M. Teles's book, Whose Welfare? AFDC and Elite Politics (University Press of Kansas, 1996), which argues that welfare policy reflects a dynamic of elite dissensus, in which public policy fails to reflect popular opinion. I make two central points in the review: first, there are reasons to believe that welfare policy does, in fact, reflect a deeply conflicted American electorate; and second, such a conflict may reveal a healthy deliberative order struggling to reconcile changing priorities with enduring values.


How To Limit Gerrymandering, Michael E Lewyn Jul 1993

How To Limit Gerrymandering, Michael E Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

An extensive discussion of constitutional issues related to partisan gerrymandering.