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Full-Text Articles in Law

Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack Dec 2012

Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack

Michigan Law Review

The age of statutes has given way to an era of regulations, but our jurisprudence has fallen behind. Despite the centrality of regulations to law, courts have no intelligible approach to regulatory interpretation. The neglect of regulatory interpretation is not only a shortcoming in interpretive theory but also a practical problem for administrative law. Canonical doctrines of administrative law - Chevron, Seminole Rock/Auer, and Accardi - involve interpreting regulations, and yet courts lack a consistent approach. This Article develops a method for interpreting regulations and, more generally, situates regulatory interpretation within debates over legal interpretation. It argues that a purposive approach ...


Judicial Limitation Of The Epa's Oversight Authority In Clean Water Act Permitting Of Mountaintop Mining Valley Fills , Christopher D. Eaton Sep 2012

Judicial Limitation Of The Epa's Oversight Authority In Clean Water Act Permitting Of Mountaintop Mining Valley Fills , Christopher D. Eaton

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Mountaintop removal mining operations in the Appalachian region have expanded significantly in recent decades. The practice decimates the mountain ecosystems by leveling forests, filling headwater streams, and producing significant runoff of heavy metals, sediment, and other pollutants that impair the aquatic environment of entire watersheds. Yet environmental permitting of the practice is relatively limited. A recent trend in litigation aimed at halting mining operations has involved challenging permits that authorize the discharge of mining overburden into headwater streams pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Army Corps of Engineers has assumed jurisdiction over such discharges under section 404 of ...


Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler Jun 2012

Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler

Michigan Law Review

When courts analyze whether a defendant's prior conviction qualifies as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act's "residual clause," they use a "categorical approach," looking only to the statutory language of the prior offense, rather than the facts disclosed by the record of conviction. But when a defendant is convicted under a "divisible" statute, which encompasses a broader range of conduct, only some of which would qualify as a predicate offense, courts may employ the "modified categorical approach." This approach allows courts to view additional documents to determine whether the jury convicted the defendant of the ...


Towards A Balanced Approach For The Protection Of Native American Sacred Sites, Alex Tallchief Skibine Apr 2012

Towards A Balanced Approach For The Protection Of Native American Sacred Sites, Alex Tallchief Skibine

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Protection of "sacred sites" is very important to Native American religious practitioners because it is intrinsically tied to the survival of their cultures, and therefore to their survival as distinct peoples. The Supreme Court in Oregon v. Smith held that rational basis review, and not strict scrutiny, was the appropriate level of judicial review when evaluating the constitutionality of neutral laws of general applicability even when these laws impacted one's ability to practice a religion. Reacting to the decision, Congress enacted the Relgious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which reinstated the strict scrutiny test for challenges to neutral laws of ...


Yick Wo At 125: Four Simple Lessons For The Contemporary Supreme Court, Marie A. Failinger Apr 2012

Yick Wo At 125: Four Simple Lessons For The Contemporary Supreme Court, Marie A. Failinger

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The 125th anniversary of Yick Wo v. Hopkins is an important opportunity to recognize the pervasive role of law in oppressive treatment of Chinese immigrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is also a good opportunity for the Supreme Court to reflect on four important lessons gleaned from Yick Wo. First, the Court should never lend justification to the evil of class discrimination, even if it has to decline to rule in a case. Second, where there is persistent discrimination against a minority group, the Court must be similarly persistent in fighting it. Third, the Court needs to take ...


The Justiciability Of Fair Balance Under The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward A Deliberative Process Approach, Daniel E. Walters Feb 2012

The Justiciability Of Fair Balance Under The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward A Deliberative Process Approach, Daniel E. Walters

Michigan Law Review

The Federal Advisory Committee Act's requirement that advisory committees be "fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed" is generally considered either nonjusticiable under the Administrative Procedure Act or justiciable but subject to highly deferential review. These approaches stem from courts' purported inability to discern from the text of the statute any meaningful legal standards for policing representational balance. Thus, the Federal Advisory Committee Act's most important substantive limitation on institutional pathologies such as committee "capture" or domination is generally unused despite the ubiquity of federal advisory committees in the ...


The Tangled Thicket Of Health Care Reform: The Judicial System In Action, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

The Tangled Thicket Of Health Care Reform: The Judicial System In Action, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

On March 23, 2010, after a lengthy political debate on health care reform, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law. A week later, he signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which amended certain provisions of PPACA. But far from ending the intense national debate on the issue, these enactments opened a new front of battle in the federal courts that will almost certainly make its way to the United States Supreme Court. Much of this litigation focuses on § 1501 of PPACA, which contains the controversial individual mandate requiring every ...


Tax Exceptionalism: Wanted Dead Or Alive, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

Tax Exceptionalism: Wanted Dead Or Alive, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Tax law has just not been the same since January 2011. Did Congress pass earthshaking legislation affecting the Internal Revenue Code? Did the IRS dramatically change regulations? If only it were that exciting. Instead, eight jurists sitting at One First Street in our nation’s capital transformed tax law in a less bloody, but no less profound, way. The thought must have gone through many a tax mind – is tax exceptionalism dead?