The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Provides articles on constitutional law.

Articles from Vol. 23, No. 1, October

". . . Chosen by the People of the Several States . . .": Statehood for the District of Columbia
The people of the District of Columbia, although citizens of the United States, are not represented by a vote in Congress.1 The irony and injustice of this-that the people who live in the capital of the country that strives to lead the world by example...
Democratic Capital: A Voting Rights Surge in Washington Could Strengthen the Constitution for Everyone
If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost. For this is a game where principles are the stake.-Thomas Jefferson1i. dwindling...
Does the Supreme Court Ignore Standing Problems to Reach the Merits? Evidence (or Lack Thereof) from the Roberts Court
The Supreme Court is often accused of using standing doctrine to manipulate its docket. Critics frequently see dismissals for lack of standing not as legitimate decisions about jurisdiction (for example, a correct determination that a plaintiff suffered...
Governmental Sovereignty Actions
In Arizona v. United States,l the federal government sued to enjoin enforcement of Arizona's immigration laws on preemption grounds.2 And in Virginia exrel. Cuccinelli v. Sebelius,3 the state attorney general argued that the state had standing to challenge...
How to Make Sense of Supreme Court Standing Cases-A Plea for the Right Kind of Realism
It is a commonplace that the Justices of the Supreme Court routinely manipulate standing doctrine to promote their ideological goals, that the Court's pattern of decisions is therefore incoherent, and that seeking to make sense of standing doctrine is...
Retained by the People: Federalism, the Ultimate Sovereign, and Natural Limits on Government Power
substantive limitations on both federal and state powers dating back to the American Revolution. Viewed through this historic lens, federalism was not intended merely as a means of protecting the rights of states. Rather, the American conception of federalism...
Standing and the Role of Federal Courts: Triple Error Decisions in Clapper V. Amnesty International USA and City of Los Angeles V. Lyons
The question of standing is a subcategory of justiciability doctrine, which fundamentally concerns a set of questions about the role of the judiciary in U.S. constitutional democracy. What makes these questions fraught, and complex, is that among the...
Theories of Representation: For the District of Columbia, Only Statehood Will Do
INTRODUCTIONThe District of Columbia suffers uniquely for its position as the seat of the national government. Because it is not a state, it does not qualify for congressional representation and has no vote in the national legislature, even as to matters...
The Quiet Army: Felon Firearm Rights Restoration in the Fourth Circuit
IntroductionAlthough most felony convictions are imposed by state courts, they frequently embody adverse, incidental, federal consequences. Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the federal "felon in possession" statute, is a principal example. It states:It shall...
The Right to Vote: Is the Amendment Game Worth the Candle?
The Constitution doesn't guarantee Americans the right to vote. That always comes as a surprise to non-lawyers. But you will search the Constitution in vain for any such guarantee, as the Justices of the Supreme Court cheerily reminded us in Bush v....
Three Questions for the "Right to Vote" Amendment
Should the United States Constitution be amended to guarantee the right to vote? To the average citizen-and probably many lawyers-this almost certainly would be taken as an absurd question. Most people probably assume that the right to vote is, at least...
Unstable Footing: Shelby County's Misapplication of the Equal Footing Doctrine
The general government will, at all times, stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments; and these will have the same disposition towards the general government.-Alexander Hamilton1The Constitution assigns states the power to regulate...
Voided Vows: Annulment as a Full Faith and Credit Solution to the Same-Sex Divorce Conundrum
Divorces are made in heaven.1INTRODUCTIONFor same-sex couples in the United States, marriage was an absolute fantasy until 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize these unions.2 In the intervening decade, eighteen additional states...
Welcome to New Columbia: The Fiscal, Economic and Political Consequences of Statehood for D.C
Returning from work on a stormy day a few months ago, I was somewhat surprised to find the lampposts on the street covered in D.C. Statehood signs. While such campaigns ebb and flow, this level of full-street coverage was, to say the least, impressive....
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