117 Yale L.J. 1568 (2008).
Jacksonian America was a country in rapid transition. Intensified sectional divisions, exponential increases in urbanization and immigration, the rise of factory production, and repeated cycles of economic boom and bust helped to fuel an anxious desire for political reform. For Jacksonian Democrats the answer to this popular yearning was the reconstruction of American democracy—including a broadened electorate, offices open to all, and the elimination of monopoly and other special privileges. Government at the national level was to be kept small and returned to the people. But as is often the case, the institutionalization of democracy demanded a corresponding increase in governmental capacities. Destroying the power of the “Monster Bank” gave new powers and capacities to the Treasury for the management of monetary policy and fiscal transfers. Offices open to all through the new system of “rotation in office” created the need for bureaucratic systems of control that replaced status-based restraints and personal loyalties. And the side effects of technological development, in particular the human carnage that accompanied the rapid expansion of steamboat travel, generated public demand for protection that prompted the creation of a recognizably modern system of health and safety regulation. “The Democracy” established by the Jacksonians both furthered the building of an American administrative state and solidified an emerging nineteenth-century model of American administration law. In that model administrative accountability was preeminently a matter of (1) political oversight and direction and (2) internal hierarchical control. Judicial control of administration featured a cramped vision of mandamus review combined with almost unlimited personal liability of officials for erroneous action. Although administrative law structured in this fashion seems peculiar, indeed almost invisible, to the twenty-first-century legal imagination, it fit comfortably within Jacksonian democratic ideology.
117 Yale L.J. 1694 (2008).
This essay on the law and politics of abortion analyzes the constitutional principles governing new challenges to Roe. The essay situates the Court’s recent decision in Gonzales v. Carhart in debates of the antiabortion movement over the reach and rationale of statutes designed to overturn Roe—exploring strategic considerations that lead advocates to favor incremental restrictions over bans, and to supplement fetal-protective justifications with womanprotective justifications for regulating abortion. The essay argues that a multi-faceted commitment to dignity links Carhart and the Casey decision on which it centrally relies. Dignity is a value that bridges communities divided in the abortion debate, as well as diverse bodies of constitutional and human rights law. Carhart invokes dignity as a reason for regulating abortion, while Casey invokes dignity as a reason for protecting women’s abortion decisions from government regulation. This dignity-based analysis of Casey/Carhart offers principles for determining the constitutionality of woman-protective abortion restrictions that are grounded in a large body of substantive due process and equal protection case law. Protecting women can violate women’s dignity if protection is based on stereotypical assumptions about women’s capacities and women’s roles, as many of the new woman-protective abortion restrictions are. Like old forms of gender paternalism, the new forms of gender paternalism remedy harm to women through the control of women. The new woman-protective abortion restrictions do not provide women in need what they need: they do not alleviate the social conditions that contribute to unwanted pregnancies, nor do they provide social resources to help women who choose to end pregnancies they otherwise might bring to term. The essay concludes by reflecting on alternative—and constitutional—modes of protecting women who are making decisions about motherhood.
117 Yale L.J. 1802 (2008).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been widely celebrated for providing millions of disabled children with broader educational and life opportunities. This Note seeks to improve the implementation of the IDEA by questioning one of its key assumptions: that parents possess the tools to advocate for their children in special education matters. This Note argues that many parents need assistance to achieve optimal outcomes for their children because of the complexity of both the disabilities involved and the formal rules of the system itself. Several policy options are considered in the hope that local educational agencies will implement pilot programs to further explore the issue of external advocacy in special education.
117 Yale L.J. 1947 (2008).