Language lives in the present, though we often approach it as though it was settled in the past. But those yearning for the meanings of some bygone era, like those endeavoring to deduce a single, correct meaning from the words on a page, are deluded. The intractable problem of induction scuttles these projects, and reveals that we cannot ask “What does it mean?” without also asking, “To whom?”
This essay explores interpretive debates over constitutional powers and rights. It aims to explain how opposing viewpoints about power/rights and moral reading/originalism could both accurately reflect the theories on which the nation was founded. The essay proposes that the Constitution itself is a bifurcated text created by the existence of America’s two foundings establishing state governments and the federal or national government.
This Article looks to local California jurisdictions’ experiences in regulating electronic smoking devices to examine the mechanisms by which state and local policies converge. It concludes that, over time, California jurisdictions tended to adopt broader and more effective regulations of such devices, and that the experiences of localities may have shaped policy at the state level as well.
This article illustrates the present-day impact of racialization of U.S. immigration law through a critical analysis of Section 240A(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Immigration scholars have discussed the amorphous, unworkable nature of this provision, but the article delves a step further to consider its secondary cultural impact.
In State v. McPhaul, the North Carolina appellate panel found error in admitting expert testimony on latent fingerprinting based on the lack of evidence of reliability. The panel did not reverse the defendant’s conviction, finding the error to be harmless. This essay describes the scientific status of fingerprint evidence, the facts and the judicial reasoning in McPhaul, and the implications of the decision.
The article posits that the proper interpretation of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act includes breast cancer-suffering women’s right to insurance coverage for reconstruction after partial, as well as full, mastectomies. Additionally, the article argues that the question of whether the Act contains a private right of action separate from ERISA should be revisited.
Prompted by the violent events at the August 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, this article argues that state and local officials have significant latitude to enact and enforce laws that restrict the intimidating display of firearms at public demonstrations and protect people’s rights to speak freely and to peaceably assemble.
In the last twenty years, the concept of legitimate expectations has come to play a very prominent role in international investment treaty-based arbitration. This article explores what insights investment law scholars can gain from authors in the fields of critical race theory and settler colonial studies, who have examined the use, and implications of the use, of the concept of expectations in particular contexts.