Friday, October 02, 2015
The term “undocumented” generates a lot of heat in the current immigration debate. I understand the argument of those who feel that this word is problematic because it elides a key distinction: it’s not just that this group of people have lost their paperwork—it’s that they have no legal right to be in this country. That is, indeed, a real distinction. It is also a distinction that some, including the State of Texas, seem determined to undermine. When you take away access to crucial documents such as birth certificates from people who have a right to them, you can create new and strange categories of effectively “undocumented” people, in the literal sense of the word.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
On to the Supreme Court: Status update on Roman Catholic Archbishop, Little Sisters, and the other nonprofit contraception accommodation cases
Monday, September 28, 2015
My Puzzle About Martin Shkreli
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Eric Cantor Complains About Republicans Taking His Hostage-Taking Strategy Seriously
In his analysis of Speaker John Boehner's resignation, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor explains our current political dysfunction in explicitly constitutional terms. But he has no one to blame but himself and the Republican leadership of which he was a part:
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Doug Kendall, Patriot and Visionary
Doug Kendall, the Founder and President of the Constitutional Accountability Center, died today at the age of 51 from colon cancer. The CAC website has a tribute to Doug's life and work.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Looking for Race in a New Place
My brief in Evenwel v. Abbott -- the Supreme Court's newest one person, one vote case
I have filed this amicus brief for political scientists in Evenwel v. Abbott, the one-person, one-vote case the Court will hear this term, which poses the question whether districts must be drawn around eligible voters rather than on the basis of total population. I have discussed the case extensively on Scotusblog and earlier at Politico. The basic argument in all of these pieces is that no dataset exists that would allow for accurate, timely redistricting on the basis of eligible voters. This argument is one I made long ago in this Cardozo Law Review piece on "The Law of the Census." At the time, though, I never thought the Court would consider changing the one-person, one-vote rule in such a radical way.
Making Votes to Grant Review Public
Thursday, September 24, 2015
On Amendment Difficulty and Informal Constitutional Change
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Does Respect Require Antiperfectionism? Gaus on Liberal Neutrality
Gaus has developed the most sophisticated presentation of the
antiperfectionist idea that official neutrality between contested
conceptions of the good is demanded by mutual respect among citizens.
However, other aspects of his own political theory -- in particular, his
demonstration of the legitimacy of social coordination toward common
ends -- inadvertently strengthen the case for perfectionism.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The Future of the Party and Campaign Finance — A Response to Bob Bauer
Monday, September 21, 2015
A "stamp of animus"? Plaintiffs in Miller v. Davis ask court to order Deputy Clerks to issue unadulterated marriage licenses
The plaintiffs in the Kim Davis case have now made a motion to Judge Bunning to require the Deputy Clerks in Rowan County to go back to issuing marriage licenses in the form that Deputy Clerk Mason was issuing while Clerk Kim Davis was in federal custody--rather than the radically adulterated form that Davis directed Mason to issue once she returned to work. (For much more on the machinations that led to this motion, and the differences between the two marriage license forms, see my post from Saturday.)
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Don't be surprised if Kim Davis is remanded to the custody of the federal marshal . . . again
Just over a week ago, on September 11, Judge Bunning issued the following order when he released Kim Davis from federal custody:
Donald Trump and Constitutional Change
For those who persevered through the full 3-hour slog Wednesday night, perhaps the saddest moment in the Republican presidential debate came at the end, when moderator Jake Tapper asked what he characterized as a “lighthearted” question: which woman should the Treasury department put on the $10 bill? This question is a softball; there are lots of reasonable answers. Several participants offered some—Rosa Parks [Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz], Susan B. Anthony [Rand Paul], Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross [Scott Walker], even Abigail Adams [Chris Christie]. Oddly, Jeb Bush and John Kasich either could not come up with a deserving American woman, or are extremely cosmopolitan in their outlook on U.S. currency: they named, respectively, Margaret Thatcher and Mother Theresa. The two candidates currently at the top of the opinion polls, Ben Carson and Donald Trump, along with Mike Huckabee, suggested members of their families: Huckabee’s wife, Carson’s mother, and Trump’s daughter. On the $10 bill. Really? (Perhaps I am overthinking this, but I wondered whether perhaps some of these debaters had prepared an answer to a question calling for a woman, perhaps to talk about a woman who inspires you, something of that sort. Caught in the headlights and unable to summon up a plausible American woman worthy of being placed on the $10 bill—which by the way seems quite revealing and not in a good way—they instead offered up the women they’d talked about in debate prep.) At any rate, no harm done. It’s a very, very safe bet that Ivanka Trump’s visage is not going to be featured on the $10 bill.
Friday, September 18, 2015
The Problematic Living Constitution: The Dead Hand and the RoR Fallacy
Slavery and the Constitution
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Citizens United and the Future of the American Political Party
Stanley Fish’s Defense of Kim Davis
Richard Schragger, Micah Schwartzman, and Nelson Tebbe
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Revenge Pornography and First Amendment Exceptions
Supreme Court has recently declared that speech is protected by the
First Amendment unless it is a type of communication that has
traditionally been unprotected. If this is the law, then harms will
accumulate and the law will be helpless to remedy them. A recent
illustration is the new phenomenon of “revenge pornography,” which some
states have attempted to prohibit.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Kim Davis developments [UPDATED as of Monday evening]
Kim Davis has recently filed a couple of briefs in the Sixth Circuit, and she attached the transcript of the September 3 contempt hearing to one of them. Moreover, she made a statement this morning announcing what she's going to do now that she's back at work. Therefore it's now finally possible to figure out where things are heading, at least to a certain extent.
Friday, September 11, 2015
The Problematic Living Constitution
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Digitized Primary Sources on Race Discrimination and Foreign Relations
Mary L. Dudziak
Over at The Text Message, a blog by archivists at the U.S. National Archives, archivist David Langbart has a couple of posts that will be of interest to civil rights, constitutional law and foreign relations scholars, as well as historians. The most recent is Foreign Diplomats and Domestic Discrimination, and it includes a digitized letter from Secretary of State Dean Rusk to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, January 31, 1961. The topic is race discrimination in Washington DC against foreign diplomats. Rusk writes in part: