Walker v. Cheney: Politics, Posturing, and Executive Privilege – Note by Jeffrey P. Carlin

From Volume 76, Number 1 (November 2002)

On February 22, 2002 the General Accounting Office (“GAO”) filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Vice President Richard Cheney, seeking an injunction requiring him to produce certain records relating to the National Energy Policy Development Group (“NEPDG”), which he chaired at the behest of President George W. Bush. For the first time in its eighty-one year history, the GAO has filed suit against a federal official in relation to records access.

The suit is the result of a GAO inquiry begun at the request of Representatives Henry Waxman and John Dingell, who were concerned about the potential influence Enron and other special interest groups had over the NEPDG’s activities. The Vice President has so far refused to meaningfully acquiesce to any of the GAO’s information requests or attempts at accommodation, and has argued that the GAO does not have the statutory authority to obtain the records requested. More significantly, he has hinted at—though not formally asserted—executive privilege, setting the stage for a legal showdown that could make its way to the Supreme Court.



The Rehnquist Court, Structural Due Process, and Semisubstantive Constitutional Review – Article by Dan T. Coenen

From Volume 75, Number 6 (September 2002)DOWNLOAD PDF

In 1976, Professor Hans A. Linde published his pathbreaking paper, Due Process of Lawmaking. That article focused attention on a subject of subtlety and importance: To what extent should the processes by which laws are enacted affect their validity under seemingly substantive constitutional provisions like the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause? Anticipating a flurry of recent scholarship, Justice Linde took particular interest in whether the absence of legislative findings offered in support of an otherwise duly enacted law should bear upon that law’s constitutionality.

Drawing in part on Justice Linde’s work, Professor Laurence Tribe began in the same time frame to advocate a style of judicial review that combines both process-centered and substance-centered components. In doing so, he documented the pre-Rehnquist Court’s use of this technique in high-profile cases—such as New York Times Co. v. United States, Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, and Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan—to invalidate statutes and rules. Professor Tribe also gave this approach to constitutional decisionmaking a name, calling it “structural due process.” For a variety of reasons, I prefer the more encompassing term “semisubstantive review.”



A Haven for Hate: The Foreign and Domestic Implications of Protecting Internet Hate Speech Under the First Amendment – Note by Peter J. Breckheimer

From Volume 75, Number 6 (September 2002)

The U.S. Constitution is unique even among democratic nations for the guarantees it grants to U.S. citizens. The interpretation of the Constitution further distinguishes American notions of freedom and liberty from every other country in the world. The Internet Age, however, has ushered in a period where national boundaries and guarantees are blurred among the many intersections of the World Wide Web. This uncertainty has raised serious questions relating to the fundamental rights and liberties established by our forefathers: Can the United States maintain its guarantee of freedom of speech for the Internet? Who profits from such a guarantee? What are the implications for other nations if the United States ignores their pleas to rein in such guarantees?

Given the nearly unanimous international institution of regulations restricting online hate speech, the United States stands alone in its support of free speech—including Internet hate speech. Because of such a stance, however, the United States may become a beacon of hope for hate-mongers around the world whose views are stifled by the restrictions on speech in their homelands. Will the United States become a haven for online hate speech by continuing to guarantee such speech near-absolute protection? This Note attempts to answer the above questions and examines the desirability of U.S. protection of hate speech on the Internet.