Robert L. Tsai

Boston University - School of Law

765 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02215

United States

http://bit.ly/37YuJZ9

SCHOLARLY PAPERS

43

DOWNLOADS
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in Total Papers Downloads

7,006

SSRN CITATIONS

6

CROSSREF CITATIONS

2

Ideas:
“  My latest book is "Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation" (W.W. Norton 2019 & 2020). In it, 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 previous books were "America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community" (Harvard 2014) and "Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture" (Yale 2008). My next book is "Demand the Impossible: One Lawyer's Pursuit of Equal Justice for All" (Norton Mar. 12, 2024). I work on a broad range of projects related to constitutional law, ideas of justice, criminal procedure, cause lawyering, presidential leadership, the institutional development of individual rights, theories of democratic culture and practice, and popular accounts of constitutionalism (on the left and the right).  ”

Scholarly Papers (43)

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 841 (54,066)

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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 Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 526 (98,908)

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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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 484 (109,490)
Citation 3

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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.

Abortion Politics and the Rise of Movement Jurists

57 UC Davis Law Review 2149 (2024), Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4492053
Number of pages: 86 Posted: 06 Jul 2023 Last Revised: 04 Mar 2024
Robert L. Tsai and Mary Ziegler
Boston University - School of Law and University of California, Davis - School of Law
Downloads 436 (123,908)

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social movement, jurisprudence, Supreme Court, constitution, constitutional law, abortion, privacy, rights, equality, legal theory

5.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 340 (163,797)

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

6.

After McCleskey

96 Southern California Law Review 1031 (2023), Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4352646
Number of pages: 70 Posted: 11 Feb 2023 Last Revised: 03 Apr 2024
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 262 (214,879)

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equality, equal protection, race, discrimination, death penalty, cause lawyering, legal change, supreme court, constitution, rights, jurisprudence

7.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 243 (231,409)

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

8.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 240 (234,261)

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

9.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 232 (242,078)

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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

10.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 184 (299,577)

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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

11.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 171 (319,627)

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12.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 169 (322,871)

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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

13.

Why Judges Can't Save Democracy

Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2022, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4164751
Number of pages: 17 Posted: 26 Jul 2022 Last Revised: 17 Oct 2022
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 151 (355,112)

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constitutional law, democracy, judicial review, comparative law, political theory, democratic decline

14.

Racial Purges

118 Michigan Law Review, 2019, Forthcoming, Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-28, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2019-27
Number of pages: 32 Posted: 07 Aug 2019 Last Revised: 10 Feb 2020
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 151 (355,112)

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purge, exclusion, Chinese, immigration, politics, xenophobia, race, ethnonationalism, migration, equality

15.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 142 (373,026)

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

16.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 140 (377,236)

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

17.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 128 (404,529)

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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

18.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 125 (411,942)

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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

19.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 125 (411,942)

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20.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 122 (419,390)

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

21.

Can Sandel Dethrone Meritocracy?

1 American Journal of Law and Equality (2021), Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 21-09
Number of pages: 11 Posted: 14 Feb 2021 Last Revised: 03 Aug 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 121 (421,902)

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moral philosophy, distributive justice, justice, university admissions, equality, meritocracy, law and emotions

22.

Legacies of Pragmatism

Drake Law Review, Vol. 69, No. 1, 2021, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper
Number of pages: 44 Posted: 08 Jun 2021 Last Revised: 11 Mar 2022
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 117 (432,713)

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pragmatism, philosophy, legal philosophy, constitutionalism, judging, William James, minimalism, jurisprudence, institutionalism, constitutional theory

23.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 115 (438,283)

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

24.

'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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 112 (446,960)

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

25.

Abandoning Animus

Alabama Law Review, Vol. 74, 2022, p. 756, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4381608
Number of pages: 26 Posted: 13 Mar 2023 Last Revised: 04 Mar 2024
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 107 (462,226)

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equality, equal protection, judge, judicial review, interpretation, hate, animus, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation

26.

Civic Education and Democracy's Flaws

LXVI Nomos (2023): 83-96
Number of pages: 18 Posted: 09 Dec 2022 Last Revised: 21 Feb 2024
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 99 (487,960)

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civic education, justice, democracy, equality, political theory, philosophy

27.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 99 (487,960)

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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

28.

Manufactured Emergencies

129 Yale Law Journal Forum, Forthcoming, Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-38, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2020-04
Number of pages: 19 Posted: 19 Nov 2019 Last Revised: 19 Mar 2020
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 90 (518,860)
Citation 1

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president, executive power, emergency power, constitution, rule of law, immigration, military, constitutional law, jurisprudence

29.

Supreme Court Precedent and the Politics of Repudiation

Austin Sarat (Ed.), Law's Infamy (NYU Press 2021)
Number of pages: 46 Posted: 24 Jan 2020 Last Revised: 26 May 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 89 (522,525)
Citation 1

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supreme court, jurisprudence, constitutional law, politics, precedent, abortion, religious freedom, free speech, privacy, dred scott, equality, internment, korematsu

30.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 87 (529,857)

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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

31.

Introduction to Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation

Robert L. Tsai, Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation (W.W. Norton 2019), Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-29, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2019-24
Number of pages: 14 Posted: 16 Sep 2019 Last Revised: 23 Oct 2019
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 85 (537,402)

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pragmatism, law, constitution, equality, equal protection, liberty

32.

The Public Defender Movement in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Georgia's Experience

1 Journal of American Constitutional History 85 (2023), Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper No. 4357454
Number of pages: 31 Posted: 15 Feb 2023 Last Revised: 04 Mar 2024
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 76 (574,128)

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right to counsel, criminal procedure, jurisprudence, cause lawyering, legal history, mass incarceration, indigent defense, 6th amendment, constitution, popular constitutionalism, localism, georgia, courts, justice

33.

Immigration Unilateralism and American Ethnonationalism

Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2019, Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-32, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2020-02
Number of pages: 33 Posted: 23 Oct 2019 Last Revised: 01 Feb 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 76 (574,128)

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immigration, civil rights, equality, family, migration, refugee, culture, population control, politics, popular sovereignty

34.

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
Boston University - School of Law and Cornell Law School
Downloads 76 (574,128)

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

35.

Considerations of History and Purpose in Constitutional Borrowing

28 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Forthcoming (2019), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2020-07
Number of pages: 25 Posted: 13 Dec 2019 Last Revised: 19 Mar 2020
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 64 (629,878)

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democracy, constitutional borrowing, interpretation, constitution, constitutional law, jurisprudence, second amendment, first amendment, equality

36.

The Place of the Presidency in Historical Time

Boston University Law Review, Vol. 101, 2021, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper
Number of pages: 26 Posted: 03 Jun 2021 Last Revised: 29 Jul 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 63 (634,810)

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democracy, democratic backsliding, constitution, social movement, presidency, american political development, institutionalism

37.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 62 (639,879)

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

38.

The Future of Materialist Constitutionalism

The New Rambler (2021), Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 21-08
Number of pages: 17 Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last Revised: 11 Mar 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 60 (650,417)

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constitution, corruption, equality, republicanism, theory, politics, law, machiavelli, arendt

39.

Equality is a Brokered Idea

George Washington Law Review Arguendo, Vol. 87, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper Forthcoming
Number of pages: 20 Posted: 13 Aug 2019 Last Revised: 13 Feb 2023
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 56 (672,251)

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Practical Equality, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, jurisprudence, law, equality, census, politics

40.

The Hidden Costs of Dissent

34 Constitutional Commentary 489 (2019), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2020-16
Number of pages: 18 Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last Revised: 16 Oct 2020
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 47 (726,583)

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constitution, constitutional law, equality, egalitarianism, pragmatism, politics, popular sovereignty, political theory, jurisprudence, legal history

41.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 45 (739,500)

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

42.

A Proper Burial

Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 74, 2021, Boston Univ. School of Law Research Paper
Number of pages: 18 Posted: 29 Apr 2021
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 41 (767,194)

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war, internment, korematsu, muslim travel ban, national security, constitutional law, constitution, supreme court

43.

Roads Not Taken on Affirmative Action

Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 54, 2024
Number of pages: 22 Posted: 22 Apr 2024
Robert L. Tsai
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 7 (1,070,305)

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affirmative action, equality, universities, college admissions, fairness, due process, first amendment, self-expression, constitutional law

Other Papers (2)

Total Downloads: 98
1.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 60

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

2.

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
Boston University - School of Law
Downloads 38

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