Month: August 2010
Iraqi constitutional failure and external enforcement?
A couple years ago, my co-authors and I published an examination of constitutions drafted under foreign Occupation. We wanted to ask whether constitutions drafted under such circumstances differ in quality and endurance from other constitutions (the answers were generally not). But we also identified a theoretical problem with such constitutions.
An Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment?
There has been much debate recently over a federal district court ruling that struck down part of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The ruling essentially said that the Arizona law was preempted because this is an area of federal authority. The Court did not focus on the argument that the law invited racial profiling and other problems.
A Culture of Impunity in Niger?
Last week, the interim government of Niger announced a proposed amnesty for the country’s ruling junta in its new draft constitution. State radio channels hailed the action as the best possible outcome for the majority of “social and political forces.” Although the text itself is still being finalized by the constitutional consultative council, the gist is that General Salou Djibo and his military allies would be protected from potential prosecution for their role in toppling the government of Mamadou Tandja.
Nardi on Thai Constitutional Court
Dominic Nardi has a nice short analysis here of Thailand’s constitutional court
A constitutional right to food for India?
The New York Times reports that India’s Congress Party is mulling a constitutional amendment that would guarantee a right to food. Some quick background info, not in the Times piece, to suggest that it might not be much of a surprise (or, as a practical matter, a big deal) if this were to happen: (1) The Indian Constitution is easily and frequently amended, relatively speaking.
Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina dismisses one of its judges
For better or worse, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has for a long time been recognized as one of the most important actors in the integration of post-conflict Bosnian society. The role of the Court in such complicated legal and political circumstances is complex, particularly when its decisions can, and certainly do, have significant impact on political processes in the country.
A Canadian at Guantanamo Bay
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court denied the request of Omar Khadr to block his military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr is a 23 year-old Canadian citizen whose prosecution arises from acts he is alleged to have committed as a 15 year-old in Afghanistan.
Proportionality and Justice Breyer’s New Book
The August 19, 2010 issue of the New York Review of Books contains an excerpt from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s forthcoming book, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View. The excerpt discusses his view of constitutional interpretation in relation to the Supreme Court’s famous case endorsing an individual rights approach to the Second Amendment on gun control, District of Columbia v.
Kenya says yes
With over half of ballots counted, it looks like Kenya’s constitution will indeed be approved by the public. Consistent with pre-referendum polls, the yes position seems to have well over 60% of public support. Remarkably, and surprisingly to many observers, the campaign before the referendum was carried out in a generally peaceful manner.
California’s gay marriage ban struck down as unconstitutional
American readers are likely to have heard this already, but this is sufficiently big to be of interest to readers elsewhere. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, originally appointed by George Bush Sr.,