Connecticut Law Review Volume 43 - Issue 4

“Too Big To Fail” States

This Essay explores the constitutional implications of a threatened default by a large state. Much like the huge financial institutions that became distressed in 2008, a large state might well be deemed too big to fail. If that kind of state seeks a federal bailout, it would hold most of the cards in any negotiation [...]

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If It Quacks Like a Lame Duck, Can It Lead the Free World?: The Case for Relaxing Presidential Term Limits

This Essay explains why the post-war constitutional amendment limiting Presidents to two terms has been bad for our country. Since the amendment’s adoption, presidential second terms have been ineffective and plagued by scandal. Leading the country has become more difficult because the President’s political opponents and the broader citizenry understand the President’s days are officially [...]

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A Skeptical View of a Skeptical View of Presidential Term Limits

Dean Jeremy Paul is concerned that the presidency has been weakened and that the Twenty-Second Amendment’s limitation on presidential service is at least partly to blame. He proposes replacing the Twenty-Second Amendment with a new Amendment limiting Presidents to three consecutive terms, after which the President would be required to sit out a term before [...]

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One Person, One Vote, 435 Seats: Interstate Malapportionment and Constitutional Requirements

Beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, the Supreme Court began to establish and enforce a constitutional requirement for the apportionment of legislative districts at the national, state, and local levels. This requirement, the “one person, one vote” principle, has become a benchmark of the constitutional jurisprudence as well as a conceptualization of the fundamental democratic [...]

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Looking for a Few Good Philosopher Kings: Political Gerrymandering as a Question of Institutional Competence

The redistricting season is about to begin in full swing, and with it will come renewed calls for the federal courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, to aggressively review the work of the political branches. This is an intriguing puzzle. Since the early 1960s, the federal courts have regulated questions of politics aggressively. They have [...]

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Leading by Example: A Comparison Of New Zealand’s and the United States’ Invasive Species Policies

Invasive species pose a threat to native ecosystems and to the economy. It is estimated that the United States spends $138 billion annually in agricultural losses, infrastructure damage, and management costs stemming from invasive species. The United States’ invasive species management policy is a conglomeration of federal and state statutes that do not coalesce into [...]

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The Intersex Community and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Members of the intersex community have largely been absent from the civil rights legal discourse and do not constitute a protected class. Consequently, such individuals often face varying levels of discrimination such as stereotyping, medicalizing, pathologizing, and societal misunderstandings. With the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Congress significantly expanded the statute. Under [...]

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Has the Obama Presidency Vitiated the “Dysfunctional Constitution” Thesis?

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The Unconstitutionality of the Filibuster

This Article argues that the filibuster, as currently practiced, is unconstitutional. After a brief introduction in Part I, Part II describes the current operation of the filibuster. Although the filibuster is often discussed in terms of “unlimited debate,” this Part argues that its current operation is best understood in terms of a sixty-vote requirement to [...]

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The Senate: Out of Order?

Due to the routine use of the filibuster and related devices, today’s Senate operates as a supermajoritarian body. This Symposium Article considers whether this supermajoritarian aspect of the Senate renders it dysfunctional and, if so, what can be done about it. I contend that the Senate is indeed broken. Its current supermajoritarian features have pernicious [...]

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