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Constitutional law

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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 ...


Sustaining Collective Self-Governance And Collective Action: A Constitutional Role Morality For Presidents And Members Of Congress, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2018

Sustaining Collective Self-Governance And Collective Action: A Constitutional Role Morality For Presidents And Members Of Congress, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

In the United States today, the behavior of the political branches is generally viewed as more damaging to the American constitutional system than is the behavior of the federal courts. Yet constitutional law scholarship continues to focus primarily on judges and judging. This Article suggests that such scholarship should develop for presidents and members of Congress what it has long advocated for judges: a role morality that imposes normative limits on the exercise of official discretion over and above strictly legal limits. The Article first grounds a role morality for federal elected officials in two purposes of the U.S ...


Political Norms, Constitutional Conventions, And President Donald Trump, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2018

Political Norms, Constitutional Conventions, And President Donald Trump, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium Essay argues that what is most troubling about the conduct of President Trump during and since the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law. There likely have been some such violations, and there may be more. But what is most troubling about President Trump is his disregard of political norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and Presidents, and his flouting of nonlegal but obligatory “constitutional conventions” that had previously guided and disciplined occupants of the White House. These norms and conventions, although not “in” the Constitution ...


From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sometimes the United States makes international commitments in the manner set forth in the Treaty Clause. But far more often it uses congressional-executive agreements, sole executive agreements, and soft law commitments. Foreign relations law scholars typically approach these other processes from the perspective of constitutional law, seeking to determine the extent to which they are constitutionally permissible. In contrast, this Article situates the myriad ways in which the United States enters into international commitments as the product not only of constitutional law, but also of international law and administrative law. Drawing on all three strands of law provides a rich ...


Making Treaty Implementation More Like Statutory Implementation, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

Making Treaty Implementation More Like Statutory Implementation, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Both statutes and treaties are the “supreme law of the land,” and yet quite different practices have developed with respect to their implementation. For statutes, all three branches have embraced the development of administrative law, which allows the executive branch to translate broad statutory directives into enforceable obligations. But for treaties, there is a far more cumbersome process. Unless a treaty provision contains language that courts interpret to be directly enforceable, they will deem it to require implementing legislation from Congress. This Article explores and challenges the perplexing disparity between the administration of statutes and treaties. It shows that the ...


The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2016

The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What are the proper bounds of executive discretion in the regulatory state, especially over administrative decisions not to take enforcement actions? This question, which, just by asking it, would seem to cast into some doubt the seemingly absolute discretion the executive branch has until now been thought to possess, has become the focal point of the latest debate to emerge over the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. That ever‐growing, heated debate is what motivated more than two dozen distinguished scholars to gather for a two‐day conference held late last year at the University of Pennsylvania Law ...


Daca/Dapa And The Relational Conception: An Assessment Of Inter-Branch Conflict Over Constitutional Authority In Immigration, Yessenia Moreno Mar 2016

Daca/Dapa And The Relational Conception: An Assessment Of Inter-Branch Conflict Over Constitutional Authority In Immigration, Yessenia Moreno

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In the history of the American republic, no branch of government has increased its powers more than the Executive Branch and no area of policy, arguably, has caused as much intense inter-branch conflict in recent years as immigration. Since the last major bipartisan immigration reform in 1986, Presidents have time and again exercised their executive powers to make immigration policy. Most of these exercises of power have been in the form of executive orders and actions granting reprieve from deportation to groups of undocumented immigrants. With the rise of illegal immigration in the 90s and steady decline in recent years ...


The History, Means, And Effects Of Structural Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Feb 2016

The History, Means, And Effects Of Structural Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The focus on the technology of surveillance, while important, has had the unfortunate side effect of obscuring the study of surveillance generally, and tends to minimize the exploration of other, less technical means of surveillance that are both ubiquitous and self-reinforcing—what I refer to as structural surveillance— and their effects on marginalized and disenfranchised populations. This Article proposes a theoretical framework for the study of structural surveillance which will act as a foundation for follow-on research in its effects on political participation.


“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 ...


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 ...


The Distinctive Role Of Justice Samuel Alito: From A Politics Of Restoration To A Politics Of Dissent, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2016

The Distinctive Role Of Justice Samuel Alito: From A Politics Of Restoration To A Politics Of Dissent, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

Justice Samuel Alito is regarded by both his champions and his critics as the most consistently conservative member of the current Supreme Court. Both groups seem to agree that he has become the most important conservative voice on the Court. Chief Justice John Roberts has a Court to lead; Justice Antonin Scalia and his particular brand of originalism have passed on; Justice Clarence Thomas is a stricter originalist and so writes opinions that other Justices do not join; and Justice Anthony Kennedy can be ideologically unreliable. Justice Alito, by contrast, is unburdened by the perceived responsibilities of being Chief Justice ...


The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars, lawyers, and, indeed, the public at large increasingly worry about what purposive presidential inaction in enforcing statutory programs means for the rule of law and how such discretionary inaction can fit within a constitutional structure that compels Presidents to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Yet those who have recognized the problem have been hesitant to assign a role for the court in policing the constitutional limits they articulate, mostly because of the strain on judicial capacity that any formulation of Take Care Clause review would cause. In this Article, I argue that courts still can and ...


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 ...


Presidential War Powers As A Two-Level Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith Jan 2016

Presidential War Powers As A Two-Level Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship

There is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the United Nations Charter or specific Security Council resolutions authorize nations to use force abroad, and there is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the U.S. Constitution and statutory law allows the President to use force abroad. These are largely separate areas of scholarship, addressing what are generally perceived to be two distinct levels of legal doctrine. This Article, by contrast, considers these two levels of doctrine together as they relate to the United States. In doing so, it makes three main contributions. First, it demonstrates striking ...


The Supreme Court As A Filter Between International Law And American Constitutionalism, Curtis A. Bradley Jan 2016

The Supreme Court As A Filter Between International Law And American Constitutionalism, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

As part of a symposium on Justice Stephen Breyer’s book, “The Court and the World,” this essay describes and defends the Supreme Court’s role as a filter between international law and the American constitutional system. In this role, the Court ensures that when international law passes into the U.S. legal system, it does so in a manner consistent with domestic constitutional values. This filtering role is appropriate, the Essay explains, in light of the different processes used to generate international law and domestic law and the different functions served by these bodies of law. The Essay provides ...


Magna Carta Then And Now: A Symbol Of Freedom And Equal Rights For All, Eugene K. B. Tan, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee Nov 2015

Magna Carta Then And Now: A Symbol Of Freedom And Equal Rights For All, Eugene K. B. Tan, Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Research Collection School Of Law

Magna Carta became applicable to Singapore in 1826 when a court system administering English law was established in the Straits Settlements. This remained the case through Singapore’s evolution from Crown colony to independent republic. The Great Charter only ceased to apply in 1993, when Parliament enacted the Application of English Law Act to clarify which colonial laws were still part of Singapore law. Nonetheless, Magna Carta’s legacy in Singapore continues in a number of ways. Principles such as due process of law and the supremacy of law are cornerstones of the rule of law, vital to the success ...


Good Enough For Government Work: Two Cheers For Content Neutrality, Seth F. Kreimer Jul 2014

Good Enough For Government Work: Two Cheers For Content Neutrality, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When then-Professor Elena Kagan emerged on the public stage in the mid-1990s, she declared “the distinction between content-based and content-neutral regulations of speech serves as the keystone of First Amendment law.” In the last decade and a half, commentators and Supreme Court opinions regularly echoed that declaration. Yet the First Amendment does not mention “content neutrality.” It is an artifact of modern constitutional doctrine–a doctrine subject to a sustained barrage of judicial and academic criticism.

Most scholarly critiques of content neutrality focus on First Amendment theory and Supreme Court opinions. After surveying these critiques, along with the incomplete defenses ...


Public Assistance, Drug Testing, And The Law: The Limits Of Population-Based Legal Analysis, Candice T. Player Jan 2014

Public Assistance, Drug Testing, And The Law: The Limits Of Population-Based Legal Analysis, Candice T. Player

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Populations, Public Health and the Law, legal scholar Wendy Parmet urges courts to embrace population-based legal analysis, a public health inspired approach to legal reasoning. Parmet contends that population-based legal analysis offers a way to analyze legal issues—not unlike law and economics—as well as a set of values from which to critique contemporary legal discourse. Population-based analysis has been warmly embraced by the health law community as a bold new way of analyzing legal issues. Still, population-based analysis is not without its problems. At times, Parmet claims too much territory for the population perspective. Moreover, Parmet urges ...


None Of The Laws But One, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2014

None Of The Laws But One, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

This Symposium contribution explores differences in how congressional Republicans responded to Medicare and how they responded to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Given the narrowness of the constitutional challenges to the ACA that congressional Republicans promoted and the many federal taxes, expenditures, and regulations that they support, this Article rejects the suggestion that today's Republicans in Congress generally possess a narrow view of the constitutional scope of federal power. The Article instead argues that congressional Republicans then and now-and the two parties in Congress today-fracture less over the constitutional expanse of congressional authority and more over ...


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 ...


Treaty Termination And Historical Gloss, Curtis A. Bradley Jan 2014

Treaty Termination And Historical Gloss, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

The termination of U.S. treaties provides an especially rich example of how governmental practices can provide a “gloss” on the Constitution’s separation of powers. The authority to terminate treaties is not addressed specifically in the constitutional text and instead has been worked out over time through political-branch practice. This practice, moreover, has developed largely without judicial review. Despite these features, Congress and the President—and the lawyers who advise them—have generally treated this issue as a matter of constitutional law rather than merely political happenstance. Importantly, the example of treaty termination illustrates not only how historical practice ...


From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde Mar 2011

From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde

Faculty Publications

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States was widely considered to be a world leader in matters of child protection and welfare, a reputation lost by the century’s end. This paper suggests that the United States’ loss of international esteem concerning child welfare was directly related to its practice of executing juvenile offenders. The paper analyzes why the United States continued to carry out the juvenile death penalty after the establishment of juvenile courts and other protections for child criminals. Two factors allowed the United States to continue the juvenile death penalty after most states ...


Is Hong Kong Democratizing, Dexter S. Boniface, Ilan Alon Jul 2010

Is Hong Kong Democratizing, Dexter S. Boniface, Ilan Alon

Faculty Publications

We argue that the transition to Chinese authority has not undermined democratic governance in Hong Kong and that voice and accountability have improved since the handover. We seek to explain this surprising result and conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for China, Taiwan, and cross-strait relations.


Presidential Power In Historical Perspective: Reflections' On Calabresi And Yoo's The Unitary Executive, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2010

Presidential Power In Historical Perspective: Reflections' On Calabresi And Yoo's The Unitary Executive, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

On February 6 and 7, 2009, more than three dozen of the nation’s most distinguished commentators on presidential power gathered in Philadelphia to explore themes raised by a book authored by Steven Calabresi and I co-authored reviewing the history of presidential practices with respect to the unitary executive. The conference honoring our book and the special journal issue bringing together the articles presented there provide a welcome opportunity both to look backwards on the history of our project and to look forwards at the questions yet to be answered.


Constitution-Making: A Process Filled With Constraint, Donald L. Horowitz Jan 2006

Constitution-Making: A Process Filled With Constraint, Donald L. Horowitz

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutions are generally made by people with no previous experience in constitution making. The assistance they receive from outsiders is often less useful than it may appear. The most pertinent foreign experience may reside in distant countries, whose lessons are unknown or inaccessible. Moreover, although constitutions are intended to endure, they are often products of the particular crisis that forced their creation. Drafters are usually heavily affected by a desire to avoid repeating unpleasant historical experiences or to emulate what seem to be successful constitutional models. Theirs is a heavily constrained environment, made even more so by distrust and dissensus ...


Just Blowing Smoke? Politics, Doctrine, And The Federalist Revival After Gonzales V. Raich, Ernest A. Young Jan 2005

Just Blowing Smoke? Politics, Doctrine, And The Federalist Revival After Gonzales V. Raich, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Design: Proposals Versus Processes, Donald L. Horowitz Jan 2002

Constitutional Design: Proposals Versus Processes, Donald L. Horowitz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Supreme Court As A Strategic National Policymaker, Lee Epstein, Jack Knight, Andrew D. Martin Jan 2001

The Supreme Court As A Strategic National Policymaker, Lee Epstein, Jack Knight, Andrew D. Martin

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Design: An Oxymoron?, Donald L. Horowitz Jan 2000

Constitutional Design: An Oxymoron?, Donald L. Horowitz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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 ...