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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as ...


“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer Feb 2016

“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two decades after Justice Douglas coined “injury in fact” as the token of admission to federal court under Article III, Justice Scalia sealed it into the constitutional canon in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. In the two decades since Lujan, Justice Scalia has thrown increasingly pointed barbs at the permissive standing doctrine of the Warren Court, maintaining it is founded on impermissible recognition of “Psychic Injury.” Justice Scalia and his acolytes take the position that Article III requires a tough minded, common sense and practical approach. Injuries in fact must be "tangible" "direct" "concrete" "de facto" realities in time and ...


Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2014

Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today, most American workers do not have constitutional rights on the job. As The Workplace Constitution shows, this outcome was far from inevitable. Instead, American workers have a long history of fighting for such rights. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights advocates sought constitutional protections against racial discrimination by employers and unions. At the same time, a conservative right-to-work movement argued that the Constitution protected workers from having to join or support unions. Those two movements, with their shared aim of extending constitutional protections to American workers, were a potentially powerful combination. But they sought to use those protections to ...


Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward Jan 2012

Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This essay develops an institutional perspective to consider limitations on judicial authority. Rather than assume that judicial decisions put an end to disagreements about what the Constitution means, this perspective focuses on the political contests that occur after judges make disputed interpretations of constitutional law. This perspective shows that scholars both exaggerate the role of judicial review in enforcing constitutional limits and underestimate the political instability that follows from difficulty in challenging controversial judicial holdings. Together, these claims are the beginning of an argument defending a form of legislative supremacy that would allow Congress and the President to override judicial ...


All Things In Proportion? American Rights Doctrine And The Problem Of Balancing, Alec Stone Sweet Dec 2010

All Things In Proportion? American Rights Doctrine And The Problem Of Balancing, Alec Stone Sweet

Alec Stone Sweet

No abstract provided.


Deliberative Democracy And Weak Courts: Constitutional Design In Nascent Democracies, Edsel F. Tupaz Jan 2009

Deliberative Democracy And Weak Courts: Constitutional Design In Nascent Democracies, Edsel F. Tupaz

Edsel F Tupaz

This Article addresses the question of constitutional design in young and transitional democracies. It argues for the adoption of a “weak” form of judicial review, as opposed to “strong” review which typifies much of contemporary adjudication. It briefly describes how the dialogical strain of deliberative democratic theory might well constitute the normative predicate for systems of weak review. In doing so, the Article draws from various judicial practices, from European supranational tribunals to Canadian courts and even Indian jurisprudence. The Article concludes with the suggestion that no judicial apparatus other than the weak structure of judicial review can better incite ...


Sovereignty And The American Courts At The Cocktail Party Of International Law: The Dangers Of Domestic Invocations Of Foreign And International Law, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2005

Sovereignty And The American Courts At The Cocktail Party Of International Law: The Dangers Of Domestic Invocations Of Foreign And International Law, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

With increasing frequency and heightened debate, United States courts have been citing foreign and “international” law as authority for domestic decisions. This trend is inappropriate, undemocratic, and dangerous. The trend touches on fundamental concepts of sovereignty, democracy, the judicial role, and overall issues of effective governance. There are multiple problems with the judiciary’s reliance on extraterritorial and extra-constitutional foreign or international sources to guide their decisions. Perhaps the most fundamental flaw is its interference with rule of law values. To borrow from Judge Harold Levanthal, the use of international sources in judicial decision-making might be described as “the equivalent ...


The Unconstitutionality Of Class-Based Statutory Limitations On Presidential Nominations: Can A Man Head The Women's Bureau At The Department Of Labor?, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2004

The Unconstitutionality Of Class-Based Statutory Limitations On Presidential Nominations: Can A Man Head The Women's Bureau At The Department Of Labor?, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Can a man be the Director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor? According to Congress, the answer is no. Congress has stated by statute that a woman must be the nominee to head the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor. The key questions are: (1) even if it makes sense on policy grounds, is it constitutional? and (2) if we accept such a statutory limitation power what are the potential precedential consequences for other appointment matters? This Article’s case study is particularly relevant today, examining just how far Congress can go to limit ...


State Laws And The Independent Judiciary: An Analysis Of The Effects Of The Seventeenth Amendment On The Number Of Supreme Court Cases Holding State Laws Unconstitutional, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2002

State Laws And The Independent Judiciary: An Analysis Of The Effects Of The Seventeenth Amendment On The Number Of Supreme Court Cases Holding State Laws Unconstitutional, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

In recent years, the Seventeenth Amendment has been the subject of legal scholarship, congressional hearings and debate, Supreme Court opinions, popular press articles and commentary, state legislative efforts aimed at repeal, and activist repeal movements. To date, the literature on the effects of the Seventeenth Amendment has focused almost exclusively on the effects on the political production of legislation and competition between legislative bodies. Very little attention has been given to the potential adverse effects of the Seventeenth Amendment on the relationship between state legislatures and the federal courts. This Article seeks to fill part of that literature gap, applying ...


"Public Use" And The Independent Judiciary: Condemnation In An Interest-Group Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 1997

"Public Use" And The Independent Judiciary: Condemnation In An Interest-Group Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Article reexamines the doctrine of public use under the Takings Clause and its ability to impede takings for private use through an application of public choice theory. It argues that the judicial validation of interest-group capture of the condemnation power through a relaxed public use standard in Takings Clause review can be explained by interest group politics and public choice theory and by institutional tendencies inherent in the independent judiciary. Legislators can sell the eminent domain power to special interests for almost any use, promising durability in the deal given the low probability that the judiciary will invalidate it ...


Commentary: Noam Chomsky And Judicial Review, James G. Wilson Jan 1996

Commentary: Noam Chomsky And Judicial Review, James G. Wilson

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

Although Chomsky has never discussed judicial review in any detail, he recently made several interesting observations. He believes America's governmental structure remains acceptable, even desirable, even though all three federal branches have not just failed to protect us from private power's excesses but instead have devoted far too much of their energy and power to enhancing private power. The constitutional text creates a unique relationship between the Supreme Court and private power. Because the Court is staffed by unelected Justices who need not pander for money to be reelected, it is more independent of the rich and powerful ...


Are Constitutional Cases Political?, Brian Slattery Dec 1988

Are Constitutional Cases Political?, Brian Slattery

Brian Slattery

To argue that constitutional adjudication is political does not carry us very far unless we go on to specify what the pursuit of politics entails, the goals it seeks to attain, and the basic principles informing its practice. The word political has no clearly defined meaning in modern usage. Rather, it has the chameleon-like capacity to change colours so as to blend with a variety of different conceptual backgrounds. Of course, if we adopt an Aristotelian notion of politics as the pursuit of the common good of a community and the individual goods of its members, we can agree that ...