Volume 2013, Number 5

The Board of Editors is pleased to present Issue 5 of the 2013 Volume of the Illinois Law Review.

In this annual symposium issue the University of Illinois Law Review presents the speaker contributions to the symposium on Akhil Amar’s latest book America’s Unwritten Constitution.

Contributions to this issue include:

  • Professor Hasday asking why sex equality is outside the constitutional canon.
  • Professor Samaha examining a few techniques for reaching preferred conclusions about constitutional stories without falling outside the boundary of conventional constitutional argument.
  • Professor LaCroix using a 1830 exchange between James Madison and Martin Van Buren as a case study to discuss the significance of the period between 1815 and 1850 as an era of constitutional change.
  • Professor Prakash offering a short and vigorous critique of America’s Unwritten Constitution.
  • Professor Sachs arguing that America’s Unwritten Constitution is a prod to the profession to look for legal rules outside the Constitution’s text.
  • Professor Whittington examining one feature of unwritten constitutions, the idea of constitutional conventions, by comparing the U.S. and British systems.
  • Professor Mazzone correcting the tendency of accounts of unwritten constitutional principles to overlook unwritten principles of federalism.
  • Professor Solum arguing that contemporary originalist constitutional theory is consistent with reliance on extraconstitutional sources in certain circumstances.
  • Professor McConnell examining the most common use of the term “unwritten” constitution—the practice of striking down state and federal laws on the grounds that they violate “fundamental rights” not directly mentioned in the Constitution.

The issue concludes with notes by Samuel Chase Means, Katherine Robillard, and John Tully.

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