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Article

Perspectives on Comparative Federalism

The American Experience in the Pre-incorporation Era

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords 14th amendment, anti-federalists, Barron v. Baltimore (1833), Board of Education and other Cases (1954), Civil Rights Cases (1883), Bill of Rights, Brown v. Constitutional Convention (1787), Federalists, Holmes v. Jennsion (1840), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), The Federalist (1787-1788)
Authors Kenneth R. Stevens
AbstractAuthor's information

    Today the Bill of Rights is understood to limit not only the federal government but also the power of the states to infringe on the civil liberties of citizens. This was not always the case. In the early days of the republic, most Americans feared federal authority far more than the states. This remained the case until passage of the 14th amendment to the Constitution followed by a series of interpretations over the years by the Supreme Court that broadened its scope. Some delegates at the convention of 1787 and other critics during ratification complained that the Constitution did not include a bill of rights, but others objected that the people needed such protections from government power. It became clear, however, that ratification could not be attained without inclusion of a Bill of Rights, which were adopted as amendments in 1791. In 1833, the Supreme Court ruled, in Barron v. Baltimore, that the provisions of the Bill of Rights imposed restrictions only on the federal government and not on the states. Passage of the 14th amendment in 1868 made the Bill of Rights restrictions on the states. Over the years, federal courts increasingly broadened the authority of the Bill of Rights as limitations on the states.


Kenneth R. Stevens
Professor, AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Texas Christian University. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Editorial

The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States

Comparative Perspectives of Europe’s Human Rights Deficit

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Authors Csongor István Nagy
Author's information

Csongor István Nagy
Professor of law and head of the Department of Private International Law at the University of Szeged, research chair and the head of the Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and an attorney-at-law admitted to the Budapest Bar. He serves as a recurrent visiting Professor at the Central European University (Budapest/New York), the Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia) and the Sapientia University of Transylvania (Romania). This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Article

Incorporation Doctrine’s Federalism Costs

A Cautionary Note for the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords Bill of Rights, Charter of Fundamental Rights, diversity of human flourishing, federalism, incorporation, individual liberty, jurisdictional competition
Authors Lee J. Strang
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, I first briefly describe the U.S. Supreme Court’s decades-long process of incorporating the federal Bill of Rights against the states. Second, I argue that incorporation of the Bill of Rights has come with significant costs to federalism in the United States. Third, I suggest that the American experience provides a cautionary note for the European Union as it grapples with the question of whether and to what extent to apply the Charter of Fundamental Rights to its constituent nations. I end by identifying options available to the European Union to avoid at least some of this harm to federalism while, at the same time, securing some of the benefit that might be occasioned by incorporating the Charter.


Lee J. Strang
John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values, University of Toledo College of Law. Thank you to Csongor Istvan Nagy for organizing and hosting this conference, and to the conference participants for their thoughtful comments and criticisms. Thank you as well to Michael Stahl for his valuable research assistance. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
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