What's a Constitution Among Friends?

Craig A. Stern, What's a Constitution Among Friends? - Unbalancing Article III, 146 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1043 (1998).

Professor Stern deals with the modern view that Article III of the United States Constitution cannot be read literally. The experts say that “[s]uch a reading . . . would doom the District of Columbia courts, courts-martial, the welfare state, and more.” As a result, “[C]ourts and commentators have sought to escape the constitutional text by drafting exceptions, striking balances, or proposing Pickwickian readings of Section 1 of Article III.” Stern’s article suggests that “Section 1 of Article III does work, and that Chief Justice Marshall was the vanguard not for escaping the text, but for reading it carefully. Section 1 does not threaten life as we know it in the United States, nor does it threaten even most of the developments thought to run afoul of the Section. Read carefully, Section 1 does provide principled answers for some troublesome questions.” In the process, Stern uses techniques such as reading the actual text of the Constitution and discussing the original meaning of “judicial power.”

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