Michael Stokes Paulsen teaches constitutional law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is a brilliant constitutional scholar of the younger generation of constitutional scholars, often exploring incredibly exotic byways both to please and instruct. Mike has a sense of humor and a first-class mind.
A classic law review article that he co-authored with Vasan Kesevan exhibiting all these traits is one exploring the intriguing question: “Is West Virginia unconstitutional?” (The link is to a two-paragraph abstract of the article.) If you’ve ever read a law review article, you know that the category of serious, readable, and entertaining articles is extremely small, but this one falls within it. It could easily be turned into a worthy book.
Today’s Wall Street Journal carries a condensed version of a more practical but equally scholarly Kesevan-Paulsen production, given the mischievous headline “Austin Powers” by the Journal. In the article, Kesavan and Paulsen explore the legality of subdividing Texas into five states in order to enhance Republican representation in the United States Senate.
The Journal article is condensed from an article in the current Texas Law Review. TLR has made the first five pages of the article available online as an abstract, but the first five pages only approach the heart of the matter. We’ll come back to this when the Journal makes the condensed version of the article available online. In the meantime, the TLR abstract is “Let’s mess with Texas.”
HINDROCKET adds: Are we on the cutting edge, or what? Here’s another thought: what if we split South Dakota in half, East River and West River? That’s a de facto division already, kind of like Northern California and Southern California, only more so. But what if South Dakota–or, better yet, both Dakotas–had four Senators and two Congressmen? In geographic terms, the Red States tend to be really, really big. I mean, consider Alaska alone, plus, of course, Texas. Whereas many blue states–Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware–are so puny as hardly to deserve statehood at all. It’s kind of like Roosevelt’s Court packing scheme–we could divide the red states, expand the Senate to 140 or so, and dominate. You heard it here first!
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