Valid Rule Due Process Challenges: Bond v. United States and Erie’s Constitutional Source
36 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2012 Last revised: 25 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 2013
This article begins by asking what constitutional provision is violated by the enforcement of law without a lawmaker. Taking a positivist view — i.e., that law does not exist without a lawmaker — it concludes that the problem of law without a lawmaker collapses into the problem of coercion without law. Coercion without law violates the Due Process Clause in an obvious way: it is deprivation of something “without...law.” The article then explores the existence of this form of substantive due process in American law, arguing that we find it in three somewhat surprising places: Lochner-era substantive due process; modern federalism cases like Morrison, Lopez, and Bond; and Erie itself. Erie’s constitutional source, it concludes, is the Due Process Clause.
Keywords: Constitutional law, coercion, substantive due process of law, Lochner, federalism, Erie v. Tompkins, federal common law, overbreadth, third-party standing, states’ rights
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