Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Notre Dame Law Review

Discipline
Keyword
Publication Year

Articles 1 - 30 of 3028

Full-Text Articles in Law

Mischief Managed? The Unconstitutionality Of Sec Aljs Under The Appointments Clause, Jackson C. Blais Aug 2018

Mischief Managed? The Unconstitutionality Of Sec Aljs Under The Appointments Clause, Jackson C. Blais

Notre Dame Law Review

This Note argues that SEC ALJs are inferior officers of the United States and, as a result, are unconstitutional under the Appointments Clause. Part I examines the current state of ALJs and the jurisprudence of the Appointments Clause. Part II provides an analysis of the circuit split between the Tenth and D.C. Circuits over the question of SEC ALJs and the Appointments Clause. Part III argues that the Tenth Circuit in Bandimere v. SEC correctly decided the question presented. This Part further urges the Supreme Court to reverse the D.C. Circuit’s holding in Lucia and, in so ...


Appraisal Arbitrage: In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass, Malaina J. Weldy Aug 2018

Appraisal Arbitrage: In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass, Malaina J. Weldy

Notre Dame Law Review

Part I of this Note introduces the appraisal remedy, outlining its history, purpose, and modern justifications. It also details the procedural process for bringing an appraisal claim. Part II examines the rise of appraisal in its current arbitrage form, delving into the various reasons set forth to explain its rise, as well as how the recent amendments to the Delaware appraisal statute have addressed these issues. This Part also analyzes Delaware’s recent merger price “presumption” trend. Part III puts forth several arguments in light of this trend, with the intent that such arguments will both justify and protect the ...


Non-Merit-Based Tests Have No Merit: Restoring District Court Discretion Under § 1915(E)(1), John R. Fitzgerald Aug 2018

Non-Merit-Based Tests Have No Merit: Restoring District Court Discretion Under § 1915(E)(1), John R. Fitzgerald

Notre Dame Law Review

This Note evaluates the circuit split regarding the provision of counsel in prisoner civil rights cases and proposes a uniform test. Part I describes the historical background of the right to counsel and prisoner litigation in the United States. Part II outlines the current circuit split regarding § 1915(e)(1). Part III explains why all district courts should consider merit and substance, using a case study to illustrate the deficiencies of non-merit-based tests. Part IV demonstrates why merit and substance are the best metrics for deciding when to provide counsel. Ultimately, this Note asserts that all district judges should consider ...


The Future Of State Blaine Amendments In Light Of Trinity Lutheran: Strengthening The Nondiscrimination Argument, Margo A. Borders Aug 2018

The Future Of State Blaine Amendments In Light Of Trinity Lutheran: Strengthening The Nondiscrimination Argument, Margo A. Borders

Notre Dame Law Review

In Part I, this Note will examine a brief history of the proposed federal Blaine Amendment, and the subsequent adoption of many State Blaines across the nation. Next, in Part II, the Note will discuss why the State Blaines are frequently debated, specifically in the context of the issue of school choice. The Note will then examine two of the main arguments against the constitutionality of State Blaines—the animus arguments and the First Amendment arguments—and will examine the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. In Part III, the Note will discuss the culmination of recent caselaw in the ...


Foreword: The Future Of Qualified Immunity, Samuel L. Bray Aug 2018

Foreword: The Future Of Qualified Immunity, Samuel L. Bray

Notre Dame Law Review

Qualified immunity is not an unqualified success. This defense, which protects officers from liability for damages unless they violate clearly established law, has attracted many critics. Some object to its weak historical foundations, while others find its policy effects to be perverse. Yet the doctrine is shown a special solicitude by the Supreme Court. The Court issues many summary reversals in qualified immunity cases, and the effect of these reversals is all in one direction: they protect, entrench, and extend the defense of qualified immunity. There have been calls for a reconsideration of the doctrine, including in a recent opinion ...


The Case Against Qualified Immunity, Joanna C. Schwartz Aug 2018

The Case Against Qualified Immunity, Joanna C. Schwartz

Notre Dame Law Review

If the Court did find an appropriate case to reconsider qualified immunity, and took seriously available evidence about qualified immunity’s historical precedents and current operation, the Court could not justify the continued existence of the doctrine in its current form. Ample evidence undermines the purported common-law foundations for qualified immunity. Research examining contemporary civil rights litigation against state and local law enforcement shows that qualified immunity also fails to achieve its intended policy aims. Qualified immunity does not shield individual officers from financial liability. It almost never shields government officials from costs and burdens associated with discovery and trial ...


A Qualified Defense Of Qualified Immunity, Aaron L. Nielson, Christopher J. Walker Aug 2018

A Qualified Defense Of Qualified Immunity, Aaron L. Nielson, Christopher J. Walker

Notre Dame Law Review

In recent years, two new fronts of attack on qualified immunity have emerged. This Essay responds to both and provides a qualified defense of qualified immunity. Part I addresses Will Baude’s argument that qualified immunity finds no support in positive law. Part II turns to Joanna Schwartz’s pioneering empirical work that has been marshaled to question qualified immunity’s effectiveness as a matter of policy.

These two sets of criticisms—a one-two punch that qualified immunity is both unlawful and ineffective—merit serious consideration and further investigation. Neither, however, is dispositive; there are important counterpoints that merit further ...


Qualified Immunity: Time To Change The Message, Karen M. Blum Aug 2018

Qualified Immunity: Time To Change The Message, Karen M. Blum

Notre Dame Law Review

This Essay will proceed in four parts. Parts I, II, and III will highlight, through some recent illustrative cases, areas where the qualified immunity defense has been especially ineffective and inefficient by: (Part I) hampering the development of constitutional law and impeding the redress of constitutional wrongs; (Part II) draining resources of litigants and courts through interlocutory appeals that are frequently without merit and often jurisdictionally suspect; and (Part III) breeding confusion into the roles of the judge and the jury in our judicial system, effectively enhancing the judge’s role at the expense of the constitutional right to jury ...


The Intractability Of Qualified Immunity, Alan K. Chen Aug 2018

The Intractability Of Qualified Immunity, Alan K. Chen

Notre Dame Law Review

This Essay offers an internal critique of qualified immunity law that explains why these problems remain intractable and why, unfortunately, there is little hope for resolution of the doctrine’s central dilemmas, short of either abandoning immunity or making it absolute. The Essay breaks down its discussion of qualified immunity into three distinct, but related, categories, and argues that the challenges presented within each category are difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. First, it addresses what can best be described as qualified immunity’s foundational jurisprudential tensions. Embedded in the doctrine are several first-level legal theory problems that can be ...


Qualified Immunity And Fault, John F. Preis Aug 2018

Qualified Immunity And Fault, John F. Preis

Notre Dame Law Review

This Essay describes, critiques, and attempts to reform the role of fault in the defense of qualified immunity. It first argues, in Part I, that the defense does not properly assess fault because it immunizes persons who are at fault and holds liable persons who are not. The chief cause of this problem is that the defense is focused on an exceedingly narrow source of law: appellate judicial opinions. Appellate opinions are, not surprisingly, rarely read by government officers and, even when their substance is communicated to officers, they only comprise one of many factors that affect the blameworthiness of ...


Qualified Immunity At Trial, Alexander A. Reinert Aug 2018

Qualified Immunity At Trial, Alexander A. Reinert

Notre Dame Law Review

Qualified immunity doctrine is complex and important, and for many years it was assumed to have an outsize impact on civil rights cases by imposing significant barriers to success for plaintiffs. Recent empirical work has cast that assumption into doubt, at least as to the impact qualified immunity has at pretrial stages of litigation. This Essay adds to this empirical work by evaluating the impact of qualified immunity at trial, a subject that to date has not been empirically tested. The results reported here suggest that juries are rarely asked to answer questions that bear on the qualified immunity defense ...


The Branch Best Qualified To Abolish Immunity, Scott Michelman Aug 2018

The Branch Best Qualified To Abolish Immunity, Scott Michelman

Notre Dame Law Review

Qualified immunity—the legal doctrine that shields government officials from suit for constitutional violations unless the right they violate “is sufficiently clear that every reasonable official would have understood that what he is doing violates that right”—has come under increasing judicial and scholarly criticism from diverse ideological viewpoints. This Essay considers the question of which branch of government should fix it. I take as a starting point the many critiques of qualified immunity and then turn to the question of whether courts should wait for Congress to reform this problematic doctrine. Do considerations of stare decisis or institutional competence ...


The Horror Chamber: Unqualified Impunity In Prison, David M. Shapiro, Charles Hogle Aug 2018

The Horror Chamber: Unqualified Impunity In Prison, David M. Shapiro, Charles Hogle

Notre Dame Law Review

The federal courts have been open to prisoners’ constitutional claims for half a century, but to this day, the availability of federal litigation has not stopped prisoners from being tortured, maimed, killed, or otherwise made to suffer chilling abuse. The failure of litigation as a deterrent is due in part to a confluence of legal and situational factors—doctrinal deference, statutory hurdles, and the many difficulties associated with litigating a civil rights case against one’s jailers—that make prison-conditions cases virtually impossible to win. We call this combination of factors “practical immunity.” Practical immunity amounts to a formidable barrier ...


Formalism, Ferguson, And The Future Of Qualified Immunity, Fred O. Smith Jr. Aug 2018

Formalism, Ferguson, And The Future Of Qualified Immunity, Fred O. Smith Jr.

Notre Dame Law Review

This Essay explores whether formalism and accountability are compatible lodestars as we steer toward a new future for qualified immunity. Ultimately, I argue that two existing proposals would bring the doctrine closer to its text and history, mitigate against fragmentation in the law of constitutional torts, and narrow the rights-remedies gap when government officials violate the Constitution. One proposal, by John Jeffries, would create a fault-based system, where government officials and entities alike would be liable for constitutional violations that are both unreasonable and unconstitutional. Another proposal would render governmental employers’ liable for the acts of their agents.


The American Deep State, Jon D. Michaels Mar 2018

The American Deep State, Jon D. Michaels

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article, written for the Notre Dame Law Review Symposium on Administrative Lawmaking in the Twenty-First Century, considers the notion of bureaucratic depth and what it means in the American context. In what follows, I argue that the American deep state has very little in common with those regimes usually understood to harbor deep states; that, far from being shadowy or elitist, the American bureaucracy is very much a demotic institution, demographically diverse, highly accountable, and lacking financial incentives or caste proclivities to subvert popular will; that demotic bureaucratic depth of the American variety should be celebrated, not feared; and ...


Originalism, Cass R. Sunstein Mar 2018

Originalism, Cass R. Sunstein

Notre Dame Law Review

Originalism might be defended on two very different grounds. The first is that it is in some sense mandatory—for example, that it follows from the very idea of interpretation, from having a written Constitution, or from the only legitimate justifications for judicial review. The second is that originalism is best on broadly consequentialist grounds. While the first kind of defense is not convincing, the second cannot be ruled off limits. In an imaginable world, it is right; in our world, it is usually not. But in the context of impeachment, originalism is indeed best, because there are no sufficiently ...


How Agencies Choose Whether To Enforce The Law: A Preliminary Investigation, Aaron L. Nielson Mar 2018

How Agencies Choose Whether To Enforce The Law: A Preliminary Investigation, Aaron L. Nielson

Notre Dame Law Review

One of the most controversial aspects of administrative law in recent years concerns agency decisions not to enforce the law. Such nonenforcement is often beneficial or, in any event, inevitable. A particular violation may be so distant from what Congress or the agency had in mind when the general prohibition was put on the books that enforcement makes little sense. Likewise, because agencies have finite resources, they cannot enforce the law in all situations. At the same time, however, nonenforcement can also raise difficult questions about basic notions of fairness and administrative regularity, as well as separation of powers concerns ...


The Attorney General And Early Appointments Clause Practice, Aditya Bamzai Mar 2018

The Attorney General And Early Appointments Clause Practice, Aditya Bamzai

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article proceeds as follows. In Part I, I provide an overview of the Appointments Clause and the officer-employee line as it currently stands in caselaw and in executive branch practice. I also summarize the Appointments Clause practices of the First Congress. In Part II, I address the opinions of the Attorneys General, and their attempt to rationalize and to explain the statutes enacted by the First Congress and the appointments practices of the nation. In Part III, I derive some implications and conclusions, generally for the Appointments Clause and specifically for the Administrative Law Judge controversy that is currently ...


18 U.S.C. § 922(G)(1) Under Attack: The Case For As-Applied Challenges To The Felon-In-Possession Ban, Kari Lorentson Mar 2018

18 U.S.C. § 922(G)(1) Under Attack: The Case For As-Applied Challenges To The Felon-In-Possession Ban, Kari Lorentson

Notre Dame Law Review

Part I of this Note outlines the relevant statutory scheme governing the felon-in-possession ban, along with its applicable exceptions. Part II surveys landmark Supreme Court precedent related to the Second Amendment— namely, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. In Part III, this Note conducts an overview of the current circuit split percolating in the courts of appeals. Part IV presents a rationale and justification for permitting judicial review of as-applied challenges to § 922(g)(1). Finally, Part V provides a critique of the Binderup analysis and puts forth an alternative standard to analyze similar cases.


Symbolism And Separation Of Powers In Agency Design, Kristin E. Hickman Mar 2018

Symbolism And Separation Of Powers In Agency Design, Kristin E. Hickman

Notre Dame Law Review

My goal with this Essay is a modest one: to raise a few reservations regarding judicial refashioning of agency design via this severance remedy for separation of powers violations. To that end, the Essay will proceed fairly straightforwardly. I will describe three cases or sets of cases in which the Supreme Court or the D.C. Circuit has employed the severance remedy: Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a series of D.C. Circuit cases brought by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System against the Copyright Royalty Board, and PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Then I will ...


King's Domain, Mila Sohoni Mar 2018

King's Domain, Mila Sohoni

Notre Dame Law Review

In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court called the tax-credit provision of the Affordable Care Act ambiguous—but then invoked the major questions exception to Chevron deference and proceeded to resolve the provision’s meaning for itself. Litigants and commentators quickly recognized that King had the potential to destabilize Chevron. If King exempts from Chevron deference anything that is “major,” then Chevron’s significance will necessarily be diminished, as agencies will only enjoy deference on their answers to questions of “minor” import; the major questions exception may swallow Chevron’s rule.

This Essay, prepared for a symposium held by the ...


The Current Predatory Nature Of Land Contracts And How To Implement Reforms, Stacy Purcell Mar 2018

The Current Predatory Nature Of Land Contracts And How To Implement Reforms, Stacy Purcell

Notre Dame Law Review

Because land contracts are frequently inequitable, advocates and legislators have called for enhanced regulation. This Note examines the imbalance of power between sellers and buyers during the formation of land contracts, the ways the law has attempted to lessen the inequality, and how to implement potential reforms. Part II discusses the history of land contracts and their recent resurgence since the 2008 housing crash. Part III explains that while current land contracts are often predatory, land contracts could potentially be a useful way for low-income individuals to become homeowners. Part IV outlines proposed national and state reforms. Part V makes ...


Illegitimate Overprescription: How Burrage V. United States Is Hindering Punishment Of Physicians And Bolstering The Opioid Epidemic, Alyssa M. Mcclure Mar 2018

Illegitimate Overprescription: How Burrage V. United States Is Hindering Punishment Of Physicians And Bolstering The Opioid Epidemic, Alyssa M. Mcclure

Notre Dame Law Review

Due to the concerns Burrage raises and its implications for the nation’s current opioid crisis, this Note proposes that Congress should broaden the circumstances in which the penalty enhancement of section 841(b) may be applied. Part I of this Note discusses the opioid crisis and the role physicians play in it. Part II explores the section of the Controlled Substances Act used to criminally charge physicians and the exception the Act provides for physicians prescribing opioids within the scope of relevant medical conduct and professional practice. Part III analyzes Burrage v. United States and examines the immediate legal ...


Solitary Troubles, Alexander A. Reinert Mar 2018

Solitary Troubles, Alexander A. Reinert

Notre Dame Law Review

Solitary confinement is one of the most severe forms of punishment that can be inflicted on human beings. In recent years, the use of extreme isolation in our prisons and jails has been questioned by correctional officials, medical experts, and reform advocates alike. Yet for nearly the entirety of American history, judicial regulation of the practice has been extremely limited. This Article explains why judges hesitate to question the use of solitary confinement, while also providing a path forward for greater scrutiny of the practice.


Introduction: Administrative Lawmaking In The Twenty-First Century, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Mar 2018

Introduction: Administrative Lawmaking In The Twenty-First Century, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Notre Dame Law Review

It is always hard to map a river while sailing midstream, but the current state of administrative law is particularly resistant to neat tracing. Until the past few years, administrative law and scholarship was marked by pragmatic compromise: judicial deference on questions of law (but not too much and not all the time) and freedom for agencies on questions of politics and policy (but not to an unseemly degree). There was disagreement around the edges—and some voices in the wilderness calling for radical change—but they operated within a shared framework of admittedly unstated, and perhaps conflicting, assumptions about ...


Chevron Step Two's Domain, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Mar 2018

Chevron Step Two's Domain, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Notre Dame Law Review

An increasing number of judges, policymakers, and scholars have advocated eliminating or narrowing Chevron deference—a two-step inquiry under which courts defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes the agencies administer. Much of the debate centers on either Chevron’s domain (i.e., when Chevron should apply at all) or how courts ascertain statutory ambiguity at Chevron’s first step. Largely lost in this debate on constraining agency discretion is the role of Chevron’s second step: whether the agency’s resolution of a statutory ambiguity is reasonable. Drawing on the most comprehensive study of Chevron in the ...


Accountability For Nonenforcement, Urska Velikonja Mar 2018

Accountability For Nonenforcement, Urska Velikonja

Notre Dame Law Review

Changes in enforcement can move in more than one direction: enforcement can increase significantly as the Securities and Exchange Commission saw in the aftermath of the accounting scandals or the Madoff Ponzi scheme, and decrease precipitously, as evidenced at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. There is no reason in constitutional or administrative law to treat changes in enforcement policy differently depending on whether enforcement increases or decreases. Policy choices raise similar questions about reviewability and accountability, regardless of whether they increase or decrease enforcement. They also raise symmetrical questions about fair notice and due process ...


Executive Orders As Lawful Limits On Agency Policymaking Discretion, Adam J. White Mar 2018

Executive Orders As Lawful Limits On Agency Policymaking Discretion, Adam J. White

Notre Dame Law Review

After briefly retracing previous Presidents’ general uses of executive orders and debates over presidential power more generally, culminating with the late twentieth century executive orders on White House regulatory oversight, I review the case of Sherley v. Sebelius, in which the D.C. Circuit held that when an agency receives an executive order lawfully cabining or directing the its regulatory discretion, it is excused from its otherwise general duty to respond to rulemaking comments challenging its policy choice. Then, examining this general duty of agencies to respond to rulemaking comments, I consider whether the D.C. Circuit’s approach comports ...


The Never-Ending Assault On The Administrative State, Jack M. Beermann Mar 2018

The Never-Ending Assault On The Administrative State, Jack M. Beermann

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article is an exploration of the twists and turns of the never-ending assault on the administrative state. Without attempting to resolve all of the separation of powers controversies that have existed since the beginning of the Republic, this Article examines and analyzes the fundamental constitutional challenges to the administrative state as well as the more peripheral constitutional difficulties involving the administrative state and the nonconstitutional legal challenges that have arisen over the decades. In my view, the legal and political arguments made in favor of major structural changes to the administrative state do not provide sufficient normative bases for ...


Rejecting The De Minimis Defense To Infringement Of Sound Recording Copyrights, Michael G. Kubik Mar 2018

Rejecting The De Minimis Defense To Infringement Of Sound Recording Copyrights, Michael G. Kubik

Notre Dame Law Review

Part I of this Note examines the history of sound recording copyrights, the role of digital sampling in the music industry, and the basic principles and functions of the de minimis defense. Part II carefully dissects the Bridgeport and VMG opinions. Part III then considers the merits of each opinion and concludes that Bridgeport reached the correct conclusion. This argument rests on the statutory scheme of Title 17 of the U.S. Code and the plain text of its applicable provisions, bolstered by their legislative history, giving life to a unique statutory creature that thrives in a manner inconsistent with ...