Minnesota Law Review

Beyond One Voice

The one-voice doctrine, a mainstay of U.S. foreign relations jurisprudence, maintains that in its external relations the United States must be able to speak with one voice. The doctrine has been used to answer critical questions about the foreign affairs powers of the President, Congress, the courts, and U.S. states. Notwithstanding its prominence, the one-voice doctrine has received relatively little sustained attention. This Article offers the first comprehensive assessment of the doctrine. The assessment proves fatal.

Despite broad use and value in certain contexts, the one-voice doctrine is fundamentally flawed. The doctrine not only is used to address divergent questions concerning the allocation of foreign affairs authority, but masks different theories of constitutional interpretation; conflicts with constitutional text, structure, and history; diverges from actual practice; and fails to account for functional reasons why the United States might benefit from more than one voice in foreign affairs. In light of these failings, this Article concludes that it is time to discard the one-voice doctrine. At best, the doctrine might linger in the form of functional arguments that the need for one voice is compelling in particular cases. Unfortunately, even in this stripped down form, the one-voice notion faces steep hurdles as the courts, in contrast to the political branches, lack competence to identify the contexts in which the United States should speak with one voice in foreign affairs.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited in Al Jazeera Opinion Piece

    A recent Al Jazeera opinion piece that criticizes the Supreme Court’s Daimler decision cites to Volume 97′s lead piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the Al Jazeera piece here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Masthead for Volume 99 Board

    The masthead for the Board of Volume 99 of the Minnesota Law Review is now available. You can view the masthead here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Above the Law Post Highlights MLR‘s Jump in Journal Rankings

    A recent post on Above the Law highlights the fact that the Minnesota Law Review was ranked 11th in the most recent 2013 edition of the Washington & Lee Law Review Rankings. You can read the post here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days