19 research outputs found

    \u3ci\u3eBond v. United States\u3c/i\u3e: Concurring in the Judgment

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    Bond v. United States presented the deep constitutional question of whether a treaty can increase the legislative power of Congress. Unfortunately, a majority of the Court managed to sidestep the constitutional issue by dodgy statutory interpretation. But the other three Justices—Scalia, Thomas, and Alito—all wrote important concurrences in the judgment, grappling with the constitutional issues presented. In particular, Justice Scalia’s opinion (joined by Justice Thomas), is a masterpiece, eloquently demonstrating that Missouri v. Holland is wrong and should be overruled: a treaty cannot increase the legislative power of Congress

    Intellectual Diversity in the Legal Academy

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    Elite law faculties are overwhelmingly liberal. Jim Lindgren has proven the point empirically. The author adds his impressions from Georgetown Law School to reinforce the point. Georgetown Law School is a faculty of 120, and, to the author\u27s knowledge, the number of professors who are openly conservative, or libertarian, or Republican or, in any sense, to the right of the American center, is three—three out of 120. There are more conservatives on the nine-member United States Supreme Court than there are on this 120-member faculty. Moreover, the ideological median of the other 117 seems to lie not just left of center, but closer to the left edge of the Democratic Party. Many are further left than that. But at least there are three. And the good news is that this number has tripled in the last decade. The bad news, though, is that, at Georgetown, the consensus seems to be that three is plenty—and perhaps even one or two too many

    “Settling the Question: Did Bank Settlement Agreements Subvert Congressional Appropriations Powers?” : Hearing Before The United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 114th Congress

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    The Constitution provides: ―No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law . . . . This is not a mere technical provision but rather a fundamental element of constitutional structure. It sounds, first, in democracy, reflecting the deep constitutional principle that the power of the purse should be vested in the most representative branch. Every dollar appropriated from the Treasury may represent a dollar of taxes, and so this principle applies to both taxing and spending

    The Subjects of the Constitution

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    Two centuries after Marbury v. Madison, there remains a deep confusion about quite what a court is reviewing when it engages in judicial review. Conventional wisdom has it that judicial review is the review of certain legal objects: statutes, regulations. But strictly speaking, this is not quite right. The Constitution prohibits not objects but actions. Judicial review is the review of such actions. And actions require actors: verbs require subjects. So before judicial review focuses on verbs, let alone objects, it should begin at the beginning, with subjects. Every constitutional inquiry should begin with a basic question that has been almost universally overlooked. The fundamental question, from which all else follows, is the who question: who has violated the Constitution? As judicial review is practiced today, courts skip over this bedrock question to get to the more familiar question: how was the Constitution violated? But it makes no sense to ask how, until there is an answer to who. Indeed, in countless muddled lines of doctrine, puzzlement about the predicates of constitutional violation follows directly from more fundamental confusion about the subjects. Confusion about the who (and, relatedly, the when) of constitutional violation has been the root cause of many of the deepest puzzles of federal jurisdiction—puzzles of ripeness, of standing, of severability, of “facial” and “as-applied” challenges. Simply by focusing attention on this crucial constitutional feature, the subjects of the Constitution, these puzzles may be solved once and for all. And as they are solved, it becomes clear that this approach constitutes a new model of judicial review. But the implications of this new paradigm are not limited to federal jurisdiction. It turns out that confusion over the deep puzzles of federal jurisdiction has had subtle but profound feedback effects on substantive constitutional doctrine as well. Once these jurisdictional puzzles are solved, the scope of constitutional rights and powers comes into new focus as well. These implications ripple through the most important and controversial doctrines of constitutional law, from the scope of the Commerce Clause to the reach of the First Amendment, from the meaning of equal protection to the content of privileges and immunities, from the nature of due process to the shape of abortion rights. And all of it derives from nothing more complicated than asking the right first question: who has violated the Constitution

    \u3ci\u3eBond v. United States\u3c/i\u3e: Can the President Increase Congress\u27s Legislative Power by Entering into a Treaty?

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    The proposition that treaties can increase the power of Congress is inconsistent with the text of the Treaty Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Tenth Amendment. It is inconsistent with the fundamental structural principle that [t]he powers of the legislature are defined, and limited. S It implies, insidiously, that that the President and the Senate can increase their own power by treaty. And it implies, bizarrely, that the President alone--or a foreign government alone--can decrease Congress\u27s power and render federal statutes unconstitutional. Finally, it creates a doubly perverse incentive: an incentive to enter into foreign entanglements simply to increase domestic legislative power