Constitutional Law

Animus and its Discontents

William D. Araiza

Abstract The concept of “animus” has taken center stage in high-stakes constitutional rights adjudication. Both in major equal protection cases and, more recently, in litigation over President Trump’s immigration bans and religion-based denials of commercial services to lesbians and gays, animus has emerged as a favored doctrinal tool of courts committed to protecting individual rights […]

A Statutory National Security President

Amy L. Stein

Abstract Not all presidential power to address national security threats stems from the Constitution. Some presidential national security powers stem from statute, creating complicated questions about the limits of these powers delegated to the President by Congress. Scholars who have explored ways to achieve the proper balance between responsiveness and accountability have generally focused on […]

Can the State Proclaim Life After Death? Hellerstedt and Regulating the Disposition of Fetal Remains

Written by: Thomas J. Molony

Abstract The United States Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to abortion opponents in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, but the 2016 ruling did not dampen their resolve. Just days after Texas lost the Hellerstedt battle, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) returned to the fight and proposed regulations requiring health care facilities […]

“Revenge Porn” Reform: A View From the Front Lines

Written by: Mary Anne Franks

Abstract The legal and social landscape of “revenge porn” has changed dramatically in the last few years. Before 2013, only three states criminalized the unauthorized disclosure of sexually explicit images of adults and few people had ever heard the term “revenge porn.” As of July 2017, thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C. had criminalized the conduct; […]

Sweet Child O’ Mine: Adult Adoption & Same-Sex Marriage in the Post-Obergefell Era

Written by: Robert Keefe

Abstract Gay and lesbian partners used adult adoption to create family relationships and to ensure inheritance and property rights in the decades before the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Same-sex partners who chose adult adoption as an alternative to marriage before the Obergefell decision must now dissolve the adoption […]

By Any Other Name: Rational Basis Inquiry and the Federal Government’s Fiduciary Duty of Care

Written by: Gary Lawson & Guy I. Seidman

Abstract Under modern law, federal legislation is subject to “rational basis review” under the doctrinal rubric of “substantive due process.” That construction of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process of Law Clause is notoriously difficult to justify as a matter of original constitutional meaning. Something functionally very similar to substantive due process, however, is easily justifiable […]