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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Mar 2021

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal Constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal Constitution, they were drafted—and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended— to ...


The Liar’S Mark: Character And Forfeiture In Federal Rule Of Evidence 609(A)(2), Jesse Schupack Mar 2021

The Liar’S Mark: Character And Forfeiture In Federal Rule Of Evidence 609(A)(2), Jesse Schupack

Michigan Law Review

Rule 609(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Evidence is an outlier. The Rule mandates admission of impeaching evidence of a witness’s past convictions for crimes of dishonesty. It is the only place in the Rules where judges are denied their usual discretion to exclude evidence on the grounds that its admission would be more prejudicial than probative. This Note analyzes three assumptions underlying this unusual Rule: (1) that there is a coherently definable category of crimes of dishonesty, (2) that convictions for crimes of dishonesty are uniquely probative of a person’s character, and (3) that an ...


The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj Mar 2021

The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj

Michigan Law Review

Children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable students in public schools. They are the most likely to be bullied, harassed, restrained, or segregated. For these and other reasons, they also have the poorest academic outcomes. Overcoming these challenges requires full use of the laws enacted to protect these students’ affirmative right to equal access and an environment free from discrimination. Yet, courts routinely deny their access to two such laws—the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504).

Courts too often overlook the affirmative obligations contained in these two disability ...


Affirmative Inaction: A Quantitative Analysis Of Progress Toward “Critical Mass” In U.S. Legal Education, Loren M. Lee Mar 2021

Affirmative Inaction: A Quantitative Analysis Of Progress Toward “Critical Mass” In U.S. Legal Education, Loren M. Lee

Michigan Law Review

Since 1978, the Supreme Court has recognized diversity as a compelling government interest to uphold the use of affirmative action in higher education. Yet the constitutionality of the practice has been challenged many times. In Grutter v. Bollinger, for example, the Court denied its use in perpetuity and suggested a twenty-five-year time limit for its application in law school admissions. Almost two decades have passed, so where do we stand? This Note’s quantitative analysis of the matriculation of and degrees awarded to Black and Latinx students at twenty-nine accredited law schools across the United States illuminates a stark lack ...


Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz Feb 2021

Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz

Michigan Law Review

American labor law was designed to ensure equal bargaining power between workers and employers. But workers’ collective power against increasingly dominant employers has disintegrated. With union density at an abysmal 6.2 percent in the private sector—a level unequaled since the Great Depression— the vast majority of workers depend only on individual negotiations with employers to lift stagnant wages and ensure upward economic mobility. But decentralized, individual bargaining is not enough. Economists and legal scholars increasingly agree that, absent regulation to protect workers’ collective rights, labor markets naturally strengthen employers’ bargaining power over workers. Existing labor and antitrust law ...


The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell Feb 2021

The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell

Michigan Law Review

Clarifications are a longstanding but little-studied concept in statutory interpretation. Most courts have found that clarifying amendments to preexisting statutes bypass retroactivity limitations. Therein lies their power. Because clarifications simply restate the law, they do not implicate the presumption against retroactivity that Landgraf v. USI Film Products embedded in civil-statute interpretation. The problem that courts have yet to address is how exactly clarifying legislation can be distinguished from legislation that substantively changes the law. What exactly is a clarification? The courts’ answers implicate many of the entrenched debates in statutory interpretation. This Note offers three primary contributions. First, it summarizes ...


Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski Feb 2021

Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski

Michigan Law Review

Nearly five million individuals are admitted to America’s jails each year, and at any given time, two-thirds of those held in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Under current Supreme Court doctrine, these pretrial detainees are functionally protected by the same standard as convicted prisoners, despite the fact that they are formally protected by different constitutional amendments. A 2015 decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, declared that a different standard would apply to pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners in the context of use of force: consistent with the Constitution’s mandate that they not be punished at all, pretrial ...


Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam M. Samaha Feb 2021

Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam M. Samaha

Michigan Law Review

Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters—the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the “anti-modalities ...


Restoring The Power Of The Convening Authority To Adjust Sentences, Jacob R. Weaver Dec 2020

Restoring The Power Of The Convening Authority To Adjust Sentences, Jacob R. Weaver

Michigan Law Review

In 2013, Congress abrogated the power of certain military officers to reduce court-martial sentences, thereby eliminating a military defendant’s best hope for efficient and effective relief from common legal errors in the military justice system. While the overhaul of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 2016 promised significant reform, it ultimately failed to substantially reduce common legal errors. This Note analyzes how the 2013 and 2016 reforms have combined to prevent military defendants from receiving timely and adequate relief. In light of this analysis, this Note suggests an amendment to the UCMJ that would restore to certain ...


Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters Dec 2020

Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters

Michigan Law Review

Recent years have seen the rise of pointed and influential critiques of deference doctrines in administrative law. What many of these critiques have in common is a view that judges, not agencies, should resolve interpretive disputes over the meaning of statutes—disputes the critics take to be purely legal and almost always resolvable using lawyerly tools of statutory construction. In this Article, I take these critiques, and the relatively formalist assumptions behind them, seriously and show that the critics have not acknowledged or advocated the full reform vision implied by their theoretical premises. Specifically, critics have extended their critique of ...


Arbitration Waiver And Prejudice, Timothy Leake Nov 2020

Arbitration Waiver And Prejudice, Timothy Leake

Michigan Law Review

Arbitration agreements are common in commercial and consumer contracts. But two parties can litigate an arbitrable dispute in court if neither party seeks arbitration. That presents a problem if one party changes its mind and invokes its arbitration rights months or years after the lawsuit was filed and substantial litigation activity has taken place. Federal and state courts agree that a party can waive its arbitration rights by engaging in sufficient litigation activity without seeking arbitration, but they take different approaches to deciding how much litigation is too much. Two basic methods exist. Some courts say waiver requires the party ...


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Nov 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Michigan Law Review

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts Nov 2020

Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts

Michigan Law Review

The writ of habeas corpus presents the last chance for innocent defendants to obtain relief from invalid convictions and sentences. The writ constitutes a limited exception to the finality of judgments. Given the role finality plays in conserving judicial resources and deterring criminal conduct, exceptions created by habeas must be principally circumscribed. Since the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause in Johnson v. United States, the federal courts of appeals have attempted to develop a test that protects the writ from abuse by Johnson claimants.

This Note first contributes a new understanding of ...


Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie Nov 2020

Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie

Michigan Law Review

In this Article, we provide a new statistical and legal framework to understand the legality and fairness of predictive algorithms under the Equal Protection Clause. We begin by reviewing the main legal concerns regarding the use of protected characteristics such as race and the correlates of protected characteristics such as criminal history. The use of race and nonrace correlates in predictive algorithms generates direct and proxy effects of race, respectively, that can lead to racial disparities that many view as unwarranted and discriminatory. These effects have led to the mainstream legal consensus that the use of race and nonrace correlates ...


Reclaiming Access To Truth In Reproductive Healthcare After National Institute Of Family & Life Advocates V. Becerra, Diane Kee Oct 2020

Reclaiming Access To Truth In Reproductive Healthcare After National Institute Of Family & Life Advocates V. Becerra, Diane Kee

Michigan Law Review

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are antiabortion organizations that seek to “intercept” people with unintended pregnancies to convince them to forego abortion. It is well documented that CPCs intentionally present themselves as medical professionals even when they lack licensure, while also providing medically inaccurate information on abortion. To combat the blatant deception committed by CPCs, California passed the Reproductive FACT Act in 2015. The Act required CPCs to post notices that disclosed their licensure status and informed potential clients that the state provided subsidized abortion and contraceptives. Soon after, CPCs brought First Amendment challenges to these disclosure requirements, claiming that the ...


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge ...


Discovery As Regulation, Diego A. Zambrano Oct 2020

Discovery As Regulation, Diego A. Zambrano

Michigan Law Review

This article develops an approach to discovery that is grounded in regulatory theory and administrative subpoena power. The conventional judicial and scholarly view about discovery is that it promotes fair and accurate outcomes and nudges the parties toward settlement. While commonly held, however, this belief is increasingly outdated and suffers from limitations. Among them, it has generated endless controversy about the problem of discovery costs. Indeed, a growing chorus of scholars and courts has offered an avalanche of reforms, from cost shifting and bespoke discovery contracts to outright elimination. Recently, Judge Thomas Hardiman quipped that if he had absolute power ...


Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison Oct 2020

Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison

Michigan Law Review

Technology regulations succeed or fail based upon their ability to regulate an idea. Constant innovation forces legislators to draft statutes aimed at prohibiting the idea of a device, rather than a specific device itself, because new devices with new capacities emerge every day. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal statute that imposes liability based on the idea of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). But the statute’s definition of the device is ambiguous. The FCC struggles to coherently apply the definition to new technologies, and courts interpret the definition inconsistently. Federal circuit courts have split over ...


Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell Oct 2020

Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell

Michigan Law Review

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)—as part of its dual goals of cleaning up hazardous-waste sites and ensuring that the polluter pays for that cleanup—gives private parties two mutually exclusive causes of action: cost recovery and contribution. Contribution is available in limited circumstances, including if the party has “resolved” its liability with the government. But CERCLA does not define this operative term. Federal courts are split over how the structure of a settlement resolves liability. Several courts follow Bernstein v. Bankert, which held that any conditions precedent and nonadmissions of liability strongly suggest that a ...


Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy Jun 2020

Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy

Michigan Law Review

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is widely regarded as one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. Among its requirements, Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals. Many questions about the scope of the reasonable-accommodation mandate remain, however, as federal circuit courts disagree over whether extended medical leave may be considered a reasonable accommodation and whether an employee on leave is a qualified individual. This Note argues that courts should presume finite unpaid medical leaves of absence are ...


Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz Jun 2020

Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

The Philadelphia and Houston Police Departments are similarly sized, but over a recent two-year period, ten times more civil rights suits were filed against Philadelphia and its officers than were filed against Houston and its officers. Plaintiffs in cases brought against Philadelphia and its officers were awarded one hundred times more in settlements and judgments. What accounts for these differences? Although the frequency and severity of misconduct and injury may play some role, I contend that the volume and outcome of civil rights litigation against any given jurisdiction should be understood as a product of what I call its civil ...


International Megan's Law As Compelled Speech, Alexandra R. Genord Jun 2020

International Megan's Law As Compelled Speech, Alexandra R. Genord

Michigan Law Review

“The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).” International Megan’s Law (IML), passed in 2016, prohibits the State Department from issuing passports to individuals convicted of a sex offense against a minor unless those passports are branded with this phrase. The federal government's decision to brand its citizens’ passports with this stigmatizing message is novel and jarring, but the sole federal district court to consider a constitutional challenge to the passport identifier dismissed the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, deeming ...


Making Sense Of Customary International Law, Monica Hakimi Jun 2020

Making Sense Of Customary International Law, Monica Hakimi

Michigan Law Review

This Article addresses a longstanding puzzle about customary international law (CIL): How can it be, at once, so central to the practice of international law—routinely invoked and applied in a broad range of settings—and the source of such persistent confusion and derision? The centrality of CIL suggests that, for the many people who use it, it is not only comprehensible but worthwhile. They presumably use it for a reason. But then, what accounts for all the muddle and disdain?

The Article argues that the problem lies less in the everyday operation of CIL than in the conceptual baggage ...


Editors' Note, Michigan Law Review May 2020

Editors' Note, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A reflection on the origins of the Michigan Law Review book review issue.


Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz May 2020

Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

Review of Eric Lomazoff's Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic.


This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Title Ix And The Legitimacy Of The Administrative State, Samuel R. Bagentos May 2020

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Title Ix And The Legitimacy Of The Administrative State, Samuel R. Bagentos

Michigan Law Review

Review of R. Shep Melnick's The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education.


Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, And Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (And As It Should Be), Danielle Keats Citron May 2020

Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, And Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (And As It Should Be), Danielle Keats Citron

Michigan Law Review

Review of Nick Drnaso's Sabrina.


Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass May 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jonathan Gienapp's The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era.


The Misplaced Trust In The Doj's Expertise On Criminal Justice Policy, Shon Hopwood May 2020

The Misplaced Trust In The Doj's Expertise On Criminal Justice Policy, Shon Hopwood

Michigan Law Review

Review of Rachel Elise Barkow's Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration.


Ordinary People And The Rationalization Of Wrongdoing, Janice Nadler May 2020

Ordinary People And The Rationalization Of Wrongdoing, Janice Nadler

Michigan Law Review

Review of Yuval Feldman's The Law of Good People: Challenging States' Ability to Regulate Human Behavior.