Tag: Legal History

When Money Grew on Trees: Lucy v. Zehmer and Contracting in a Boom Market

Barak Richman & Dennis Schmelzer

As generations of law students have learned, Lucy v. Zehmer is a tale of two “doggoned drunks” drinking liquor and bantering over the sale of a farm the weekend before Christmas in 1952. Adrian Hardy Zehmer, allegedly drunk and joking, scribbled a contract for the sale of his farm on… Read More »

Dispatch from the Supreme Court Archives: Vagrancy, Abortion, and What the Links Between Them Reveal About the History of Fundamental Rights

Risa Goluboff - University of Virginia School of Law

Historians spend a lot of time in archives, and much of what they find, in its original form, would likely engage, no one but themselves. Every so often, however, they find documents—letters, memos, draft opinions—that might be of interest to a broader audience. Such discoveries are the impetus for this… Read More »

The Origins of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, Part I: “Privileges and Immunities” as an Antebellum Term of Art

Kurt T. Lash University of Illinois College of Law

Constitutional scholars generally believe that the majority of the Supreme Court in The Slaughterhouse Cases erred in their narrow construction of the Privileges or Immunities Clause. Justice Samuel Miller’s attempt to distinguish the privileges and immunities of Article IV from the privileges or immunities of Section One is particularly vilified… Read More »

Legislative Supremacy in the United States?: Rethinking the “Enrolled Bill” Doctrine

Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov - Columbia Law School

The “enrolled bill” doctrine (EBD) requires courts to accept the signatures of the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on an “enrolled bill” as unimpeachable evidence that the bill has been constitutionally enacted. This doctrine has the powerful effect of preventing judicial review of the legislative process—that is,… Read More »

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