October 27, 2008 |
At the beginning of a recent constitutional law seminar, Sen. Joseph Biden - Professor Biden on this day - emphasized, "It's all about power. " It was, on the surface, an unremarkable assertion. A course examining the separation of powers in our constitutional system had to be "about power," didn't it? But Biden promised to share a "practical conception" of power - a real-world understanding of how it's accumulated and how its exercise affects ordinary people. He delivered.
May 8, 1986
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on President Reagan's nomination of Daniel A. Manion to be a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The nomination should be rejected. Mr. Manion is not qualified to sit as a federal judge, especially on the appellate bench. The argument is often made that presidents should be granted wide latitude in selecting federal judges. Because presidential elections are the best mechanisms this democracy has for registering broad shifts in public values, there is wisdom in that - up to a point.
July 19, 1988 |
Paul W. Bruton, 84, a former professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania and the first chairman of the Philadelphia Tax Review Board, died Saturday at Abington Memorial Hospital. Mr. Bruton began his teaching career at Penn Law School in 1937 as a visiting associate professor, specializing in constitutional law and federal taxation. He was named a full professor in 1939 and served as the school's acting dean in 1951-52. By the time he retired in 1974, Mr. Bruton had held two endowed chairs - the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubell chair and the Algernon Sidney Biddle chair - and he was the author, with two other scholars, of a major textbook on constitutional law. John Honnold, a former colleague at Penn Law, recalled Mr. Bruton for his intelligence, judgment and, above all, his sense of fairness.
June 16, 2012 |
Only weeks after the indictment of State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on campaign-finance law violations, a legislative bid to end the partisan election of appellate judges has come to an abrupt halt because of opposition by trial lawyers, anti-abortion activists, and others. The proposed constitutional amendment, introduced last year by State Rep. Bryan Cutler (R., Lancaster), would have replaced the current system of electing appellate judges with a commission appointed by the governor, legislative leaders, and various interest groups.
October 5, 2005 |
President Bush stepped to the plate Monday to nominate a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He leads a party with 55 votes in the Senate and has just appointed to the Supreme Court a conservative chief justice widely hailed as one of the most qualified nominees in recent memory. The President swung and missed. His choice of his counsel, Harriet Miers, passes up a rare opportunity to change the direction of the Supreme Court. O'Connor provided decisive votes for affirmative action in colleges and universities, against bans on partial-birth abortion, against posting of the Ten Commandments in public spaces, and for the legal recognition of gay rights.
April 8, 2012 |
Despite 40 years of practicing law, I am no expert when it comes to arguing appeals. But I do know enough not to gratuitously insult and try to humiliate the appellate judges who will decide my client's case. Apparently they don't teach those fundamentals at Harvard Law School. How else to explain the absolutely boneheaded attempts by President Obama, a past president of the Harvard Law Review, to intimidate the U.S. Supreme Court as it decides the constitutional fate of Obamacare?
December 29, 1991 |
The Ninth Amendment has had almost no role to play in our constitutional history up to now because it was meant to eliminate a fear on the part of the drafters of the Constitution that has proven groundless. That is, no one has suggested that because certain rights are enumerated, other rights can be "denied or disparaged. " Nonetheless, the Ninth Amendment has recently become a subject of intense interest by constitutional theorists. The reason is the desperate need of liberal theorists for a constitutional provision that they can claim provides support for controversial Supreme Court "constitutional" decisions that are, in fact, without basis in the Constitution.
May 11, 2010 |
Mattei Ion Radu, 28, of Radnor, a legal scholar, died of complications from asthma and heart disease Friday, May 7, in New York City after dining with friends. Mr. Radu was to receive a master's degree in law from New York University later this month. He earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Villanova University and a master's degree in international history from the London School of Economics. From 2007 to 2009, he taught history and jurisprudence at Villanova. He wrote articles on topics including the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and post-World War II German constitutional law, and they were published in the Villanova Law Review, the Southern University Law Review, the Campbell Law Review, and the University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy.
May 11, 2010 |
Mattei Ion Radu, 28, of Radnor, a legal scholar, died of complications from asthma and heart disease Friday, May 7, in New York City after dining with friends. Mr. Radu was to receive a master's degree in law from New York University later this month. He earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Villanova University and a master's degree in international history from the London School of Economics. From 2007 to 2009, he taught history and jurisprudence at Villanova.
September 9, 1986 |
When Burton Caine, a Temple University School of Law professor, arrived in Liberia in mid-June, the country was in its sixth year of rule by an ex- sergeant who, among other things, had slain his predecessor, jailed hundreds of dissidents, and allegedly rigged ballots in his re-election campaign. You would think, under such circumstances, that discussions of constitutional law and civil rights might be as commonplace in that African nation as snowdrifts. Yet Caine, who heads the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, spent six days in Liberia discussing such matters with lawyers, journalists, students, jurists and legislators.