Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


This Article demonstrates that the exclusive political control thesis is incompatible with the original understanding of the Founders. The Article does not defend originalism as a method of constitutional interpretation; it merely shows that the exclusive political control thesis is inconsistent with an originalist approach.

The Article examines the implementation of U.S. neutrality policy in the period from 1793 to 1797. Other scholars have analyzed the initial formulation of U.S. neutrality policy in 1793. Scholars who focus narrowly on the year 1793, when the United States first articulated its neutrality policy, have concluded that "the federal courts played a relatively minor role in resolvingthe nation' s foreign affairs problems." However, if one expands the time frame of the analysis to include the years 1794 to 1797, when the United States confronted a series of issues related to implementation of its neutrality policy, a different constitutional picture emerges. This Article shows that the federal judiciary played a very significant role in implementing U.S. neutrality policy during this period.



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