TRAMMELING AND TRENCHING: LEGISLATIVE ENTRENCHMENT AND THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE

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Title: TRAMMELING AND TRENCHING: LEGISLATIVE ENTRENCHMENT AND THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE
Author: Bruce, Gavin William
Abstract: Legislative entrenchment refers to the procedure by which one legislature insulates its acts from repeal or emendation through binding requirements on a subsequent legislature. It is commonly viewed as a tenet of U.S. Constitutional thought that legislative entrenchment is an unconstitutional legislative procedure. Although this principle appears clear to many academics, recent scholarship has surfaced that questions this commonly held belief. This thesis will reaffirm the validity of anti-entrenchment principles through examining the framerâ s opposition to supermajoritarian requirements and key Supreme Court opinions. The study will introduce the area of substantive entrenchment, which tackles the ambiguity that surrounds some policy issues that effectively become entrenched in the law, an area that has seen little research. Further discussion investigates the public trust doctrine, a theory with its foundation in anti-entrenchment philosophy that allows the current legislature to act freely when dealing with some private contracts. The conclusion will be reached that although a few issues are beyond the government action, the public trust doctrine is a legitimate tool for legislatures and courts to use that will shrink the areas where substantive entrenchment is valid.
Description: A Thesis Presented to the Department of Political Science and the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon in partial fulfillment of the requirements for degree of Bachelor of Arts, Spring 2008.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/6896
Date: 2008-07-22


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