Category Constitutional Law

Ad Fontes: The Week in SCOTUS, Part Deux

[Ad Fontes was an early Renaissance and Reformation credo. Literally meaning “to the fountains,” the phrase embodied these movements’ emphasis on studying the original, primary sources in religious, philosophical, and scientific pursuits. This same commitment animates our efforts to follow our state and federal judiciaries’ decisionmaking in key cases being decided therein, given how these opinions shape the legal environment in which we live and work. As such, this periodic series seeks to provide quick but insightful summaries of recently issued decisions by courts across the country, with brief commentary on the potential implications or consequences of the decisions. Enjoy!

–LDB Editors]

Ad Fontes: SCOTUS’s Week in Review

A quick take on the Supreme Court’s opinions released on June 19, 2017.

Texas Bill to Protect Religious Child Welfare Service Providers

On Monday, the Texas legislature passed HB 3859, a bill affording private child welfare service providers with religious liberty protections. Like with many religious freedom issues today, supporters and opponents once again fight over the extent to which state government may offer protections for the free exercise of religion (or, as it is commonly called–”play in the […]

GUEST POST: Charlie Eastaugh on Professional Consensus in 8th Amendment Interpretation

The following guest post is by a Twitter friend of the Least Dangerous Blog from across the pond, Charlie Eastaugh. Charlie is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey (outside of London). Charlie graduated with a Ph.D. in U.S. Constitutional Law from the University of Surrey in 2016. The post contains some excerpts from […]

The Privilege or Immunities Clause, Originalism, and Gender Equality

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . . U.S. Const., amend. XIV In 1873, in The Slaughter-House Cases and Bradwell v. Illinois, the Supreme Court took a sledgehammer to the idea that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of […]

The Slaughterhouse of Judicial Nominations

As President Trump continues to roll out his nominees for various federal district and appellate court vacancies, those nominees’ academic and professional records are undergoing a new season and level of scrutiny. This is, of course, a familiar process to be both expected and welcomed. Less familiar, however–though perhaps this is the new paradigm–is the targeted […]

“…But I Play One On TV.”

There’s an old cliché about the television star who becomes so deluded in his role he begins to believe he possesses the talents of his character in real life, and so the TV doctor attempts to stop a heart attack, the TV cop intervenes to stop a robbery, the TV lawyer advises friends on their […]

Federalism 2: The Revenge

In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Among its various initiatives, it provided for the creation of a national background check system by which to screen prospective gun purchasers. This created a dilemma, however: the United States is a mess of separate and overlapping jurisdictions, and most crime is dealt with at […]

David Hume, Rubber Stamps, and Cognitive Inequality

[Today we welcome our colleague Reilly Stephens as our newest contributor here at LDB. Our agreement with him states that he will be providing insight and analysis of law, politics, and whatever else we demand, except for modern interpretive dance and ERISA, about which he knows nothing…he was particular about those last two for some […]

The Dangers of Democracy: Human Rights and Majoritarianism

Introduction Last week, on December 15, we celebrated the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. While many Americans find good reason to celebrate the first ten amendments to the Constitution, not as many pause to appreciate that it is the amendments’ anti-democratic character that makes them so effective. Democracy, after all, […]