The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Provides articles on constitutional law.

Articles from Vol. 14, No. 3, February

A Child-Centered Approach to Parentage Law
This symposium issue of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal collects the papers from the second in a set of conferences devoted to the topic of state control over children's family relationships. In the first conference, held in spring 2002,...
A Proposal: Codification by Statute of the Judicial Confirmation Process
INTRODUCTIONThere are few issues in modern day politics upon which there is little to no disagreement among members of Congress, political commentators, the media, and the public at large. One such issue relates to the confirmation of judges to the federal...
Bringing Up Baby: Adoption, Marriage, and the Best Interests of the Child
INTRODUCTIONWho should care for children when their biological parents cannot? This is a question of potentially explosive dimensions under the proposals considered in this journal as to who the first (and hopefully last) legal parents will be for newborn...
Congressional Striptease: How the Failures of the 108th Congress's Jurisdiction-Stripping Bills Were Used for Political Success
INTRODUCTION[L]egal scholars and commentators . . . have rendered a near-unanimous judgment . . . [that proposals to make exceptions to Supreme Court jurisdiction] are ill-conceived and unconstitutional. But that consensus judgment has failed to deter...
Is Economic Exclusion a Legitimate State Interest? Four Recent Cases Test the Boundaries
INTRODUCTIONFor most people, economic opportunity defines the American Dream.1 For centuries, immigrants have struggled to reach the United States for a chance to find a better job or open a business to support themselves and their families. Within the...
Justice O'connor and the "Right to Die": Constitutional Promises Unfulfilled
INTRODUCTIONThere will be much written about Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her legacy. If nothing else, after all, she was the first woman ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court. But there is far more to Justice O'Connor's place in the American...
Majority Rights, Minority Freedoms: Protestant Culture, Personal Autonomy, and Civil Liberties in Nineteenth-Century America
INTRODUCTIONThe landscape of nineteenth-century civil rights law would seem alien to someone steeped in the concepts of our own time. Bible readings were commonplace in the public schools; Sunday laws prohibited labor and commerce on the Lord's day;...
Parentage at Birth: Birthfathers and Social Fatherhood
INTRODUCTIONDeciding who should be a child's legal parents at birth seems a simple task. Instinctively, the answer is the child's biological mother and father. Historically, the answer would have been different depending on whether the child was born...
Protecting Children by Preserving Parenthood
INTRODUCTIONEstablishing legal parentage, once a relatively straightforward matter of marriage and biology, has become increasingly complex. The determination of legal status as mother may now involve several women making claims based on genetic contribution,...
The Constitutionality of "Best Interests" Parentage
INTRODUCTIONThe premise of this Symposium is unabashedly radical: to imagine a new law of parentage focused exclusively on the needs and interests of children. Participants were invited to set aside questions of political feasibility and the constraints...
The Year of Leaking Dangerously: Shadowy Sources, Jailed Journalists, and the Uncertain Future of the Federal Journalist's Privilege
INTRODUCTIONAfter the Washington Post revealed in November 2005 that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) maintains a series of secret prisons in foreign countries where terrorist suspects are held and interrogated,1 members of Congress and the CIA...
To Protect and Defend: Assigning Parental Rights When Parents Are Living in Poverty
INTRODUCTIONProfessor Dwyer asked participants in this symposium to imagine a new way to identify parents at the birth of a child. His particular request to me was to imagine a system that puts the interests of the child first in the context of the many...
Use of the Drug Pavulon in Lethal Injections: Cruel and Unusual?
INTRODUCTIONThe standard methods of execution used by American states have changed over time as technological and medical advances have revealed more "humane" ways of executing death row inmates. At various times in the history of this country, states...