Texas Review of Law & Politics, 2015/10/01, Vol: 20, p79
civil procedure, computer internet law, governments, and healthcare law
I. Introduction A. Congress-Court Relations During the Rehnquist Court The Rehnquist Court (OT1986-OT2005) has been described as an ideologically divided Court with two blocs of "stalwarts" (a conservative bloc and a liberal bloc) and with Justice O'Connor as the pivotal swing vote. 1 The Rehnquist Court was also known for its (conservative) activism. 2 Professor Cass Sunstein noted that "In its first seventy-five years, the Supreme Court struck down only two acts of Congress. In the eighteen years since Ronald Reagan nominated William H. Rehnquist as Chief Justice, the Court has invalidated more than three dozen. Under Rehnquist, the Court has compiled a record of judicial activism that is, in some ways, without parallel in the nation's history." 3 Professor Mark Tushnet argued that on the Rehnquist Court: Everyone is a judicial activist. The Rehnquist Court has invalidated laws whose constitutionality was clear under long-established doctrine, using novel analyses that it has sometimes acknowledged cannot be tied closely to the Constitution's text or original understandings. In addition, the Rehnquist Court has asserted, more strongly than the Warren Court, a primary role in enforcing the legal boundaries Congress has to respect, so much so that two respected scholars have written an important article with the accurate title "Dissing Congress." 4 During the "Second Rehnquist Court," the Court pursued a federalism agenda and was active in striking down congressional statutes. 5 Professor Thomas Keck concluded, "In its view toward federal legislative power ... the later Rehnquist Court has been the ...
Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy, 2015/04/01, Vol: 21, p31
constitutional law, criminal law procedure, governments, international law, international trade law, military veterans law, and pensions benefits law
Introduction After more than a century under U.S. rule, the political status of Puerto Rico remains unresolved. A constitutional law scholar has advanced the proposition that, "Puerto Rico and the United States are truly at the crossroads, in a situation of crisis, at a time when a critical decision must be made." 1 A Spanish colony for 400 years, it came under the sovereignty of the United States in 1898. By then, Puerto Rico had developed its own identity as a Spanish-speaking Latin American nation of the Caribbean. Since then, three major pieces of legislation enacted under congressional powers to "make all needful rules and regulations" regarding the territories are of special significance. 2 First, the Foraker Act of 1900 3 ordained a civil government to replace military rule, set the conditions for relations between local and federal governments, and provided for an elected, non-voting delegate, a "resident commissioner," to the U.S. Congress, which continues to exist to this day. The second organic act, the Jones Act of 1917, 4 added, among other provisions, an elected Senate, extended U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans (in spite of vigorous opposition by the sole elective body, the House of Delegates, 5 now renamed "House of Representatives"). The third important congressional enactment was Public Law 600 of 1950, authorizing a process whereby the people of Puerto Rico could draft and approve a constitution for a strictly local government. 6 Public Law 600 amended the provisions of the 1917 Jones Act establishing the ...