Constitutional Law

When Police Volunteer to Kill

Alexandra L. Klein

Abstract The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, yet states continue to struggle with drug shortages and botched executions. Some states have authorized alternative methods of execution, including the firing squad. Utah, which has consistently carried out firing squad executions throughout its history, relies on police officers from the jurisdiction where the […]

“Shall Not Be Construed”: Reversal of Supreme Court Decisions by Constitutional Amendment

John v. Orth

Abstract This Article considers the way in which small changes of wording can signal large changes of thought in the United States Constitution (Constitution). Drawing upon examples found in the Eleventh and Sixteenth Amendments, and in the Reconstruction Amendments, the Article shows that there are two ways to reverse a U.S. Supreme Court decision by […]

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fixate on it: Gadamer, Gedicks, and Original Public Meaning

Michael C. Dorf

Abstract Response to Frederick Mark Gedicks, The “Fixation Thesis” and Other Falsehoods In The “Fixation Thesis” and Other Falsehoods, Professor Frederick Mark Gedicks argues that public meaning originalists are mistaken in their claim that the Constitution today means just what it meant when it was adopted. Unlike living constitutionalists who say that the document’s meaning […]

Testa, Crain, and the Constitutional Right to Collateral Relief

Carlos M. Vázquez & Stephen I. Vladeck

Response to Ann Woolhandler & Michael G. Collins, State Jurisdictional Independence and Federal Supremacy Abstract        In Montgomery v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that state prisoners have a constitutional right to relief from continued imprisonment if the prisoner’s conviction or sentence contravenes a new substantive rule of constitutional law. Specifically, the Court held […]

Affording The Franchise: Amendment 4 & The Senate Bill 7066 Litigation

Dalia Figueredo

Abstract Felon re-enfranchisement statutes that condition the restoration ofvoting rights on the payment of legal financial obligations have beenchallenged under the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendments to theU.S. Constitution. To date, these challenges have been unsuccessfulbecause felons are not a protected class, disenfranchised felons do nothave a fundamental right to vote under existing case law, and […]

‘Nothing Compares 2 U:’ A Response to Beyond Compare: A Codefendant’s Prison Sentence as a Mitigating Factor in Death Penalty Cases

John H. Blume & Megan E. Barnes

Abstract Response to Jeffrey Kirchmeier, Beyond Compare: A Codefendant’s Prison Sentence as a Mitigating Factor in Death Penalty Cases The argument that the Court’s desire to eliminate arbitrariness in capital sentencing should allow juries to consider co-defendant sentences applies with equal force to juveniles sentenced to life without parole—to whom the Court has applied similar […]