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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Structural Constitutional Principle Of Republican Legitimacy, Mark D. Rosen Dec 2012

The Structural Constitutional Principle Of Republican Legitimacy, Mark D. Rosen

William & Mary Law Review

Democracy does not spontaneously occur by citizens gathering to choose laws. Instead, representative democracy takes place within an extensive legal framework that determines such matters as who gets to vote, how campaigns are conducted, and what conditions must be met for representatives to make valid law. Many of the “rules of the road” that operationalize republicanism have been subject to constitutional challenges in recent decades. For example, lawsuits have been brought against partisan gerrymandering—which is partly responsible for the fact that most congressional districts are no longer party competitive, but instead are either safely Republican or safely Democratic—and ...


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 ...


Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke Jan 2012

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

Book Reviews

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 ...


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 ...