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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Separation Of Powers Legitimacy: An Empirical Inquiry Into Norms About Executive Power, Cary Coglianese, Kristin Firth Jan 2016

Separation Of Powers Legitimacy: An Empirical Inquiry Into Norms About Executive Power, Cary Coglianese, Kristin Firth

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The continuing debate over the President’s directive authority is but one of the many separation-of-powers issues that have confronted courts, scholars, government officials, and the public in recent years. The Supreme Court, for instance, has considered whether the President possesses the power to make appointments of agency heads without Senate confirmation during certain congressional recesses. The Court has passed judgment recently, but has yet to resolve fully, questions about Congress’s authority to constrain the President’s power to remove the heads of administrative agencies. And the Court has considered the limits on Congress’s ability to delegate legislative ...


Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new perspective on Presidents’ use of signing statements. Following the dichotomy reflected in the literature, I will analyze signing statements raising constitutional objections and those offering interpretive guidance for ambiguous provisions separately. With respect to constitutional interpretation of statutes by the executive branch, Presidents have long asserted the authority and obligation to consider constitutionality when executing statutes. The widespread acceptance of the President’s power to construe statutes to avoid constitutional problems and to refuse to defend the constitutionality of or to enforce statutes in appropriate cases confirms the propriety of this conclusion. If these fairly ...


The Constitutive Paradox Of Modern Law: A Comment On Tully, Ruth Buchanan Feb 2015

The Constitutive Paradox Of Modern Law: A Comment On Tully, Ruth Buchanan

Ruth Buchanan

This commentary draws out and elaborates upon some of the more challenging aspects of Professor Tully's sophisticated taxonomy of the relationship between modern constitutional forms and constituent powers. Tully's article reveals the historical particularities of these formations, and at the same time encourages the reader to think beyond them, towards the potentially uncategorizable realm of democratic constitutionalism. Yet, how is it possible to use a taxonomy of modern constitutional democracy as a means of understanding what ties in the uncharted territory beyond? This commentary further explores to what extent this paradoxical modern configuration of constituent powers and constitutional ...


America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions Of Power And Community, Robert Tsai Mar 2014

America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions Of Power And Community, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

The U.S. Constitution opens by proclaiming the sovereignty of all citizens: "We the People." Robert Tsai's gripping history of alternative constitutions invites readers into the circle of those who have rejected this ringing assertion--the defiant groups that refused to accept the Constitution's definition of who "the people" are and how their authority should be exercised. America's Forgotten Constitutions is the story of America as told by dissenters: squatters, Native Americans, abolitionists, socialists, internationalists, and racial nationalists. Beginning in the nineteenth century, Tsai chronicles eight episodes in which discontented citizens took the extraordinary step of drafting a ...


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 ...


The Constitutive Paradox Of Modern Law: A Comment On Tully, Ruth Buchanan Jul 2008

The Constitutive Paradox Of Modern Law: A Comment On Tully, Ruth Buchanan

Osgoode Hall Law Journal

This commentary draws out and elaborates upon some of the more challenging aspects of Professor Tully's sophisticated taxonomy of the relationship between modern constitutional forms and constituent powers. Tully's article reveals the historical particularities of these formations, and at the same time encourages the reader to think beyond them, towards the potentially uncategorizable realm of democratic constitutionalism. Yet, how is it possible to use a taxonomy of modern constitutional democracy as a means of understanding what ties in the uncharted territory beyond? This commentary further explores to what extent this paradoxical modern configuration of constituent powers and constitutional ...


Modern Constitutional Democracy And Imperialism, James Tully Jul 2008

Modern Constitutional Democracy And Imperialism, James Tully

Osgoode Hall Law Journal

To what extent is the development of modern constitutional democracy as a state form in the West and its spread around the world implicated in western imperialism? This has been a leading question of legal scholarship over the last thirty years. James Tully draws on this scholarship to present a preliminary answer. Part I sets out seven central features of modern constitutional democracy and its corresponding international institutions of law and government. Part II sets out three major imperial roles that these legal and political institutions have played, and continue to play. And finally, Part III surveys ways in which ...


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 ...