Elizabeth Reese on the People’s Tenth Amendment

Elizabeth Reese has posted “Or to the People: Popular Sovereignty and the Power to Choose a Government,” published in the Cardozo Law Review, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

To protect state sovereignty, contemporary textualism has reinvigorated the Tenth Amendment as a judicially enforceable limit on federal powers. However, in casting the Tenth Amendment as the states’ rights amendment, these textualists have inexplicably glossed over the Tenth Amendment’s final four words, which reserve powers to “the people.” This Article highlights this inconsistency and argues that this omission ignores a vital structural protection against federal and state tyranny. Viewed through the same textualism that reinvigorated state sovereignty, the Tenth Amendment’s final words cannot be redundant or superfluous but rather define and protect the people as a sovereign body capable of wielding specific powers — particularly those powers that the Constitution places beyond the reach of our governments. Primarily, the Tenth Amendment protects that power which is at the heart of popular sovereignty as well as the foundation of our democracy, the power of the people to choose their government. The Tenth Amendment ought to protect popular sovereignty — as it protects state sovereignty — by serving as a source for robust judicial review of federal and state laws that infringe on popular sovereignty. Recognizing this overlooked portion of the Tenth Amendment could alter current legal doctrine surrounding voting rights by treating free, fair, and accessible elections as a matter of competing sovereign powers rather than individual voting rights. By ignoring the people in the Tenth Amendment, American jurisprudence has ignored a vital structural protection against federal and state tyranny and risked government-driven erosion of democracy in America.

Alex Pearl: “Redskins: The Property Right to Racism”

M. Alexander Pearl has published “Redskins: The Property Right to Racism” in the Cardozo Law Review.

The abstract:

Everyone has an opinion, from President Obama to Matthew McConaughey, about the Washington football team name. This Article comprehensively analyzes the legal and social issues surrounding the mascot controversy. I focus my inquiry on the interaction of trademark law and Indian law. I offer three primary contributions in this Article. First, the current mainstream conception of harm caused by the team name is subjective, and I argue that the harm caused by the team name and logo is objective, testable, and demonstrable. Psychological research shows that these images harm Native people. Second, the remedies offered by the Lanham Act are wholly inadequate. Under section 2(a) of the Act, “disparaging” trademarks are subject to cancellation of federal registration benefits. This does little to economically affect the value of the trademark, thereby having no bearing on changing the name. Finally, I suggest a legislative solution that applies real economic pressure to change the team name. Utilizing the tool of express federal preemption, I suggest an approach that directly undermines the economic value of the trademark by precluding trademark infringement suits against unlicensed users of the trademark. This creates real pressure to change the name. Ultimately, this issue directly confronts the doctrinal inquiry into the extent of property rights in intellectual property forms.

Kevin Maillard on Children as Property

Kevin Noble Maillard has published Rethinking Children as Property: The Transitive Family in the Cardozo Law Review.

Here is the abstract:

Despite the collective view in law and social practice that it is intrinsically taboo to consider human beings as chattel, the law persists in treating children as property. Applying principles of property, this Article examines paternity disputes to explain and critique the law’s view of children as property of their parents. As evidenced in these conflicts, the Article demonstrates that legal paternity exposes a rhetoric of ownership, possession, and exchange. The law presumes that a child born to a married woman is fathered by her husband, even when irrefutable proof exists that another man fathered the child. Attempts by non-marital biological fathers to assert parental rights regularly fail, as states allow only one father to “claim” the child. This approach treats the nonmarital father as a trespasser and categorically favors the fundamental due process rights of the marital father.

Cardozo Law Conference on Employment Division v. Smith — No Indian Law Scholars

Ach, hate to point this out. Here is the agenda for last week’s major conference on Employment Division v. Smith at Cardozo, with papers to be published in the Cardozo Law Review (which last published an Indian law article in 1991, as far as we can tell).

We had a great discussion on religious freedom this last weekend with Doug Laycock, Chris Lund, and Frank Ravitch.