Constitutional Commentary

Faculty-edited law journal provides articles, review essays and book reviews on constitutional law and history.

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 3, Winter

Defending Judicial Supremacy: A Reply
In On Extrajudicial Constitutional Interpretation,(1) we put forth and defended the position that the Supreme Court's interpretations of the Constitution should be taken by all other officials, judicial and non-judicial, as having an authoritative...
Fictional Documentaries and Truthful Fictions: The Death Penalty in Recent American Film
When it comes to death, most Hollywood movies cheat. They cheat by tinkering with the truth, because the truth as it actually is is too complex or too disturbing to confront honestly. (The so-called happy ending is the most famous form of such cheating.)...
Necromancing the Equal Rights Amendment
In 1972, fifty years after an earlier version was first introduced, both houses of Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by the necessary two-thirds vote, and, in accordance with the Constitution's amendment procedure, sent it to state...
Presidential Impeachment: The Original Misunderstanding
We must never forget that it is a[n eighteenth-century] constitution we are expounding. John Marshall Presidential impeachment and removal from office undoes the result of the last presidential election. So much is indubitably true. What is not...
Rational Basis Revue
Constitutional Commentary is no stranger to legal analysis of music(1) or to musings on legal analysis.(2) "Seven years [have] disappear[ed] below [our] feet"(3) since this journal last exercised its quasiconstitutional right to make bad parodies of...
Shrink Missouri, Campaign Finance, and "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave"
During one of the first seasons of Saturday Night Live, perhaps in 1976, the "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" satirized trailers for horror movies. Along with "The Island of Lost Luggage," the skit featured a trailer for "The Thing That Wouldn't...
The Fourteenth Amendment and Native American Citizenship
Studies of the federal government's treatment of racial discrimination during the immediate post-Civil War era have dealt almost exclusively with problems related to the status of free blacks. This focus is in many respects entirely understandable....
Unnatural Born Citizens and Acting Presidents
No Person except a natural born Citizen... shall be eligible to the Office of President.(1) No matter who wins the White House this November, I--and millions of other Americans like me(2)--once again will have suffered a certain measure of exclusion...