Volume 21

Letter from the Editor

by Philip H. DeVoe
Dear Reader,  The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy is proud to present the first issue of Volume 21. This issue contains a selection of articles and notes and a se-ries of papers presented at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution’s Eighth Annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture & Faculty Colloquium.  The Salmon P. […]

Gouverneur Morris and the Drafting of the Federalist Constitution

by William Michael Treanor
The Salmon P. Chase Colloquium series has had two themes: One is great moments in constitutional law, and the other is people who have been forgotten but should not have been. This colloquium is primarily in the latter category—it is about a forgotten founder of the Constitution. But the Constitution has more than one forgotten […]

Nationalizing “the Curse of Heaven”: Gouverneur Morris on the Constitution and the Slave Power

by J. Jackson Barlow
Gouverneur Morris was the dazzling but “inconstant” Framer—the womanizing, peg-legged, irresponsible, and irrepressible one, “better known for his blunt-ness than for originality.” Recent biographers have improved our knowledge of Morris’s life, but his political orientation and outlook remain elusive: he never wrote a political treatise, his forays into elective office were few, and his arguments often […]

Gouverneur Morris and Contemporary America: The Scrivener’s Ageless Views

by Richard Brookhiser
In his classic study of the Constitutional Convention, The Grand Convention, Clinton Rossiter identified four delegates whom he judged to be indispensable: James Madison, James Wilson, George Washington, and Gouverneur Morris. Morris, Rossiter admitted, would be a surprising choice to those who find his sense of humor too close to frivolity. But, he argued, Morris’s […]

Representing the Nation: Gouverneur Morris’s Nationalist Constitutionalism

by Jonathan Gienapp
Few truisms have proved as enduring as the belief that there was little nationalism at the time of the American Founding. As one standard account goes, most citizens of the new American union thought in terms of their home states. These were their individual nations and the ultimate basis of their loyalties and identities. The […]

A Great Statesman: Reclaiming Gouverneur Morris

by Melanie Randolph Miller
In these days of cynical disillusionment with many of our long-revered Founders, Gouverneur Morris has perhaps found his moment. For the past 200 years, his virtual exclusion from the historical picture and the denigration with which he continues to be characterized has flattened our perception of that period of American history. It is very gratifying […]

Roe and the Original Meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment

by Kurt T. Lash
The current debate over Roe v. Wade as a substantive due process right has prompted scholars to investigate alternative sources for a constitutional right to abortion. One approach argues that the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition on “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” prohibits the government from denying women the right to terminate a pregnancy.1 Scholars making this argument […]

Climate Realism and a Positive Vision for American Energy

by C. Boyden Gray
Everything that is grown, made, used, or moved needs energy. We want our energy to be affordable, available, secure, and sustainable. Twentieth century America is largely a story of achieving the first three qualities, and the last fifty years has been an attempt to achieve the fourth. To that end, climate idealists have presented data […]

The Roberts Court and Compulsory Collective Bargaining: Reading the Tea Leaves after Janus

by Thomas J. Freeman, Aaron McKain, Amy J. Parrish, and Christopher Chochon
The Roberts Court has become strident in its defense of the First Amendment. If litigants can manage to frame an issue as a government infringement on their right(s) to speech, expression, or free exercise of religion, they are likely to succeed in attracting the Court’s scrutiny. As most first-year law students can tell you, the […]