Schraub on Doctrinal Sunsets

David H. Schraub (University of California, Berkeley – School of Law) has posted Doctrinal Sunsets on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: Sunset provisions — timed expirations of an announced legal or policy rule — occupy a prominent place in the toolkit of legislative policymakers. In the judiciary, by contrast, their presence is far more obscure. This disjuncture is intriguing: The United States’ constitutional text contains several sunset provisions, and an apparent doctrinal sunset appeared in one of the most high-profile and hot-button Supreme Court decisions in recent memory: Grutter v. Bollinger’s famous declaration that while affirmative action programs in pursuit of diversity ends were currently constitutional, “25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” Yet despite voluminous literature debating the merits of sunset clauses as a legislative practice,…

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