Robert L. Tsai

American University - Washington College of Law

Professor of Law

4300 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20016

United States

http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/rtsai/

SCHOLARLY PAPERS

23

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Ideas:
“  My latest book is "America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community" (Harvard 2014). My next book, "Practical Equality," will be published by W.W. Norton in 2019. I argue that we have a duty to pursue second-best solutions when we find it difficult to agree on the meaning of equality as a first principle. My first book examined the development of free speech language and belief systems in America, "Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture" (Yale 2008). I work on a broad range of projects related to constitutional law, ideas of justice, criminal procedure, presidential leadership, the institutional development of individual rights, theories of democratic culture and practice, and popular theories of constitutionalism (on the left and the right).  ”

Scholarly Papers (23)

1.

The Politics of Hate

Journal of Hate Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2012), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2012-48
Number of pages: 241 Posted: 04 Dec 2012 Last Revised: 06 Dec 2012
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 543 (48,894)

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hate, hate crime, evolutionary psychology, blood libel, lynching, jurisprudence, rationalism, islam, english defence league, fascism, communism

2.

Constitutional Borrowing

Michigan Law Review, Vol. 108, 2010, Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 145, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 09-36
Number of pages: 66 Posted: 20 Apr 2009 Last Revised: 23 Nov 2009
Nelson Tebbe and Robert L. Tsai
Cornell Law School and American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 442 (63,299)

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constitution, borrowing, First Amendment, Equal Protection, culture, minimalism, living constitutionalism, originalism, liberty, equality

3.

Fire, Metaphor, and Constitutional Myth-Making

Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 93, p. 181, 2004
Number of pages: 59 Posted: 09 Apr 2004 Last Revised: 06 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 422 (66,922)

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Supreme court, cognitive theory, cognitive linguistics, first amendment, constitutional law, metaphor, culture, language, linguistics, rhetoric, institutionalism, anthropology, internet, speech, expression, judicial power, courts, myth, folklore, script, performance

4.

Reconsidering Gobitis: An Exercise in Presidential Leadership

Washington University Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 2, pp. 363-443, 2008, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 09-31
Number of pages: 82 Posted: 31 Mar 2008 Last Revised: 06 Nov 2009
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 303 (97,922)

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constitution, religion, first amendment, jehovah's witness, conscience, president, executive branch, supreme court, war, gobitis, barnette

5.

The Ethics of Melancholy Citizenship

Oregon Law Review, Vol. 89, p. 557, 2010, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2010-13
Number of pages: 25 Posted: 15 Jul 2009 Last Revised: 30 Dec 2010
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 207 (144,372)

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citizen, war, fdr, roosevelt, popular constitutionalism, langston hughes, poetry, ethics, melancholy, democracy, politics

6.

Sacred Visions of Law

Iowa Law Review, Vol. 90, p. 1095, 2005
Number of pages: 67 Posted: 21 Sep 2004 Last Revised: 06 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 205 (145,660)

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religion, semiotics, symbol, culture, anthropology, interpretation, interpretive, iconography, constitution, ritual theory, realism, communitas, performance, performative, theater, humanities, judicial appointment, institutionalism, myth, parable, civil rights, marbury, madison, brown, education

7.

John Brown's Constitution

Boston College Law Review, Vol. 51, 2010, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 09-35
Number of pages: 57 Posted: 24 Apr 2009 Last Revised: 08 Jun 2010
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 167 (175,380)

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constitution, radical, popular constitutionalism, slavery, equality, terrorism, citizenship, culture

8.

Speech and Strife

Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 67, p. 83, 2004
Number of pages: 22 Posted: 19 Nov 2003 Last Revised: 06 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 155 (186,758)

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Constitutional law, language, linguistics, culture, new institutionalism, first amendment, cultural anthropology, rhetoric, free speech, jurisprudence, supreme court, metaphor, cognitive theory, cognitive linguistics

9.

Obama's Conversion on Same-Sex Marriage: The Social Foundations of Individual Rights

Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 50, 2018, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2017-16
Number of pages: 60 Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last Revised: 26 Mar 2018
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 136 (207,803)

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DOMA, Obama, gay rights, equality, equal protection, marriage, same-sex marriage, constitution, constitutional law, jurisprudence, president, courts, executive, Congress, Supreme Court, Eric Holder, Department of Justice

10.

Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture

ELOQUENCE AND REASON: CREATING A FIRST AMENDMENT CULTURE, Yale University Press, 2008, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 09-32
Number of pages: 10 Posted: 01 Nov 2008 Last Revised: 02 Nov 2009
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 121 (227,514)

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First Amendment, constitution, culture, language, rhetoric, civil rights, president, social movement, linguistic, metaphor, religion, speech, assembly

11.

Democracy's Handmaid

Boston University Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 1, 2006
Number of pages: 64 Posted: 13 Dec 2005 Last Revised: 06 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 119 (230,343)

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constitution, democracy, jurisprudence, theory, civil rights, metaphor, language, sexual orientation, rhetoric

12.

Three Arguments About War

30 Constitutional Commentary 1 (2014), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2012-37
Number of pages: 59 Posted: 25 Jun 2014 Last Revised: 03 Mar 2015
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 118 (231,815)

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13.

'Simple' Takes on the Supreme Court

5 Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review 35 (2013), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2013-07
Number of pages: 39 Posted: 20 Sep 2012 Last Revised: 03 Mar 2015
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 99 (262,250)

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equality, first amendment, adjudication, humanities, fiction, literature, Langston Hughes, justice, first amendment, equal protection, democracy, segregation

14.

Book Review of Beau Breslin, 'From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality'

Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 1226-1228, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2010-26
Number of pages: 4 Posted: 13 Aug 2010 Last Revised: 21 Oct 2010
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 97 (265,715)

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Constitution, Comparative Law, Politics, Social Conflict, Culture, Liberalism, Rights, Institutional Design

15.

Legal Language in Nineteenth-Century America

Nan Goodman & Simon Stern (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (2015), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2014-51
Number of pages: 29 Posted: 26 Dec 2014
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 93 (273,035)

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legal language, humanities, constitutional law, political discourse, slavery, abolition, emancipation, lincoln, law and literature, democratic culture, revolution, walt whitman, uncle tom's cabin, seneca falls, mark twain, civil war, five civilized tribes, okmulgee constitution, confederacy

16.

Aryans, Gender, and American Politics

Sexuality and Politics, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 16, 2011, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2011-24
Number of pages: 6 Posted: 23 Aug 2011 Last Revised: 02 Jul 2013
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 90 (278,764)

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Politics, Aryan, Right-Wing, Nazi, Race, Constitution, Richard Butler, Northwest, Gender, separatism, terrorism

17.

Sovereignty as Discourse

Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 25, p. 157, 2008 , American University, WCL Research Paper No. 09-33
Number of pages: 14 Posted: 06 Feb 2009 Last Revised: 02 Nov 2009
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 90 (278,764)

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18.

Conclusion — The Migration of Legal Ideas: Legislative Design and the Lawmaking Process

N. Lupo & L. Scaffardi, Comparative Law in Legislative Drafting: The Increasing Importance of Dialogue Amongst Parliaments (Eleven Int’l Publish’g 2014), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2014-15
Number of pages: 12 Posted: 31 Mar 2014 Last Revised: 27 Jul 2014
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 89 (280,771)

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borrowing, transplant, comparative law, parliament, legislature, lawmaking, procedure, formalism, institutionalism, Brazil, Namibia, Australia, South Africa, Spain, European Union, China, Canada, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States, colonialism

19.

Conceptualizing Constitutional Litigation as Anti-Government Expression: a Speech-Centered Theory of Court Access

American University Law Review, Vol. 51, pp. 835, June 2002
Number of pages: 70 Posted: 02 Sep 2003 Last Revised: 03 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 79 (301,867)

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court access, first amendment, constitutional litigation, public law, constitutional law, due process, litigation, civil rights, prisoner's right, prison litigation, attorney fees, right to petition, redress

20.

Prologue to America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community

America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community (Harvard Univ. Press 2014), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2014-31
Number of pages: 19 Posted: 10 Jun 2014 Last Revised: 26 Jun 2014
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 61 (347,405)

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constitution, constitutional law, republicanism, liberalism, convention, popular sovereignty, native americans, pioneer, black sovereignty, john brown, slavery, confederacy, confederate states of america, sequoyah, oklahoma, five civilized tribes, world federalism, aryan, republic of new afrika

21.

Notes on Borrowing and Convergence

Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Vol. 111, pp. 140-150, 2011, Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 256, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2011-29
Number of pages: 13 Posted: 01 Nov 2011
Robert L. Tsai and Nelson Tebbe
American University - Washington College of Law and Cornell Law School
Downloads 54 (368,486)

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Fourth Amendment, exclusionary rule, criminal procedure, tort, remedies, borrowing, constitutional law, supreme court

22.

The System Worked: Our Schizophrenic Stance on Welfare

Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 929, 1996
Number of pages: 6 Posted: 08 May 2008 Last Revised: 14 May 2008
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 40 (416,667)

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welfare, public policy, democracy, politics, elites, public opinion, law, rights, judicial review

23.

A Tradition at War with Itself: A Reply to Professor Rana's Review of America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community

Texas Law Review, Vol. 94, No. 60, 2016, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2018-02
Number of pages: 11 Posted: 06 Oct 2017 Last Revised: 30 Apr 2018
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 28 (468,328)

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constitution, america, comparative jurisprudence, rights, tradition, constitutional law, constitutional history, culture, norms

Other Papers (2)

Total Downloads: 27    Citations: 0
1.

Book Review of Zephyr Teachout, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United (Harvard 2014)

102 Journal of American History 503 (2015)
Number of pages: 1 Posted: 12 Sep 2015
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 18

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corruption, constitutional law, American founding, U.S. constitution, campaign finance

2.

Review of Nicholas Guyatt, ‘Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation’ (Basic 2016)

Journal of American History, Vol. 104, Issue 1, p. 179, June 2017
Number of pages: 2 Posted: 27 Oct 2017
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
Downloads 9

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Segregation, Race, Constitution, Politics, American History, Legal History, Native American