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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Cody S. Barnett, Joshua A. Douglas Nov 2018

A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Cody S. Barnett, Joshua A. Douglas

William & Mary Law Review

Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court almost a decade ago and turned ninety-eight years old in April 2018. How should we remember his legacy on the Supreme Court? This Article places his legacy within his election law jurisprudence. Specifically, Justice Stevens provided a consistent theory, which we term “impartial governance,” that has had a lasting impact on the field. This theory undergirds Justice Stevens’s creation of the important Anderson-Burdick-Crawford balancing test that federal courts use to construe the constitutionality of laws that impact the right to vote, such as voter ID laws. It is part of ...


Protean Statutory Interpretation In The Courts Of Appeals, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum Feb 2017

Protean Statutory Interpretation In The Courts Of Appeals, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum

William & Mary Law Review

This Article is the first in-depth empirical and doctrinal analysis of differences in statutory interpretation between the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. It is also among the first to anticipate how the Supreme Court’s interpretive approach may shift with the passing of Justice Scalia.

We begin by identifying factors that may contribute to interpretive divergence between the two judicial levels, based on their different institutional structures and operational realities. In doing so, we discuss normative implications that may follow from the prospect of such interpretive divergence. We then examine how three circuit courts have used dictionaries and ...


Some Thoughts On The Study Of Judicial Behavior, Lee Epstein May 2016

Some Thoughts On The Study Of Judicial Behavior, Lee Epstein

William & Mary Law Review

Back in the 1940s the political scientist C. Herman Pritchett began tallying the votes and opinions of Supreme Court Justices. His goal was to use data to test the hypothesis that the Justices were not only following the “law,” but were also motivated by their own ideological preferences.

With the hindsight of nearly eighty years, we know that Pritchett’s seemingly small project helped to create a big field: Judicial Behavior, which I take to be the theoretical and empirical study of the choices judges make. Political scientists continue to play a central role, but they are now joined by ...


The Second Dimension Of The Supreme Court, Joshua B. Fischman, Tonja Jacobi Apr 2016

The Second Dimension Of The Supreme Court, Joshua B. Fischman, Tonja Jacobi

William & Mary Law Review

Describing the Justices of the Supreme Court as “liberals” and conservatives” has become so standard— and the left-right division on the Court is considered so entrenched— that any deviation from that pattern is treated with surprise. Attentive Court watchers know that the Justices are not just politicians in robes, deciding each case on a purely ideological basis. Yet the increasingly influential empirical legal studies literature assumes just that— that a left-right ideological dimension fully describes the Supreme Court. We show that there is a second, more legally-focused dimension of judicial decision making. A continuum between legalism and pragmatism also divides ...


Neutral Principles And Some Campaign Finance Problems, John O. Mcginnis Feb 2016

Neutral Principles And Some Campaign Finance Problems, John O. Mcginnis

William & Mary Law Review

This Article has both positive and normative objectives. As a positive matter, it shows that the Roberts Court’s campaign finance regulation jurisprudence can be best explained as a systematic effort to integrate that case law with the rest of the First Amendment, making the neutral principles refined in other social contexts govern this more politically salient one as well. It demonstrates that the typical Roberts Court majority in campaign finance cases follows precedent, doctrine, and traditional First Amendment theory, while the dissents tend to carve out exceptions at each of these levels.

As a normative matter, it argues that ...


The Supreme Court’S Quiet Revolution: Redefining The Meaning Of Jurisdiction, Erin Morrow Hawley May 2015

The Supreme Court’S Quiet Revolution: Redefining The Meaning Of Jurisdiction, Erin Morrow Hawley

William & Mary Law Review

Over the last three decades, the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts have carried out a quiet revolution in the nature and meaning of jurisdiction. Historically, federal courts generally treated procedural requirements, like filing deadlines and exhaustion prerequisites, as presumptively “jurisdictional.” In case after case, the modern Court has reversed course. The result has been an unobtrusive but seminal redefinition of what jurisdiction means to begin with: the adjudicatory authority of the federal courts. This shift is momentous, but it has been obscured by the Court’s erstwhile imposition of a clear statement requirement. For courts to find a statutory requirement jurisdictional ...


The Rhetoric Of Constitutional Absolutism, Eric Berger Feb 2015

The Rhetoric Of Constitutional Absolutism, Eric Berger

William & Mary Law Review

Though constitutional doctrine is famously unpredictable, Supreme Court Justices often imbue their constitutional opinions with a sense of inevitability. Rather than concede that evidence is sometimes equivocal, Justices insist with great certainty that they have divined the correct answer. This Article examines this rhetoric of constitutional absolutism and its place in our broader popular constitutional discourse. After considering examples of the Justices’ rhetorical performances, this Article explores strategic, institutional, and psychological explanations for the phenomenon. It then turns to the rhetoric’s implications, weighing its costs and benefits. This Article ultimately argues that the costs outweigh the benefits and proposes ...


Oasis Or Mirage: The Supreme Court's Thirst For Dictionaries In The Rehnquist And Roberts Eras, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum Nov 2013

Oasis Or Mirage: The Supreme Court's Thirst For Dictionaries In The Rehnquist And Roberts Eras, James J. Brudney, Lawrence Baum

William & Mary Law Review

The Supreme Court’s use of dictionaries, virtually non-existent before 1987, has dramatically increased during the Rehnquist and Roberts Court eras to the point where as many as one-third of statutory decisions invoke dictionary definitions. The increase is linked to the rise of textualism and its intense focus on ordinary meaning. This Article explores the Court’s new dictionary culture in depth from empirical and doctrinal perspectives. We find that while textualist justices are heavy dictionary users, purposivist justices invoke dictionary definitions with comparable frequency. Further, dictionary use overall is strikingly ad hoc and subjective. We demonstrate how the Court ...


Explaining The Supreme Court's Shrinking Docket, Ryan J. Owens, David A. Simon Mar 2012

Explaining The Supreme Court's Shrinking Docket, Ryan J. Owens, David A. Simon

William & Mary Law Review

In recent years, the United States Supreme Court has decided fewer cases than at any other time in its recent history. Scholars and practitioners alike have criticized the drop in the Court’s plenary docket. Some even believe that the Court has reneged on its duty to clarify and unify the law. A host of studies examine potential reasons for the Court’s change in docket size, but few rely on an empirical analysis of this change and no study examines the correlation between ideological homogeneity and docket size. In a comprehensive study, the authors analyze ideological and contextual factors ...


Law Versus Ideology: The Supreme Court And The Use Of Legislative History, David S. Law, David Zaring Apr 2010

Law Versus Ideology: The Supreme Court And The Use Of Legislative History, David S. Law, David Zaring

William & Mary Law Review

Much of the social science literature on judicial behavior has focused on the impact of ideology on how judges vote. For the most part, however, legal scholars have been reluctant to embrace empirical scholarship that fails to address the impact of legal constraints and the means by which judges reason their way to particular outcomes. This Article attempts to integrate and address the concerns of both audiences by way of an empirical examination of the Supreme Court’s use of a particular interpretive technique— namely, the use of legislative history to determine the purpose and meaning of a statute. We ...


The Common Law Genius Of The Warren Court, David A. Strauss Dec 2007

The Common Law Genius Of The Warren Court, David A. Strauss

William & Mary Law Review

The Warren Court's most important decisions-on school segregation, reapportionment, free speech, and criminal procedure are firmly entrenched in the law. But the idea persists, even among those who are sympathetic to the results that the Warren Court reached, that what the Warren Court was doing was somehow not really law: that the Warren Court "made it up," and that the important Warren Court decisions cannot be justified by reference to conventional legal materials.

It is true that the Warren Court's most important decisions cannot be easily justified on the basis of the text of the Constitution or the ...


The Supreme Court And Foreign Sources Of Law: Two Hundred Years Of Practice And The Juvenile Death Penalty Decision, Steven Calabresi, Stephanie Dotson Zimdahl Dec 2005

The Supreme Court And Foreign Sources Of Law: Two Hundred Years Of Practice And The Juvenile Death Penalty Decision, Steven Calabresi, Stephanie Dotson Zimdahl

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Bridging The Enforcement Gap In Constitutional Law: A Critique Of The Supreme Court's Theory That Self-Restraint Promotes Federalism, Robert J. Pushaw Jr. Feb 2005

Bridging The Enforcement Gap In Constitutional Law: A Critique Of The Supreme Court's Theory That Self-Restraint Promotes Federalism, Robert J. Pushaw Jr.

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Treating The Pen And The Sword As Constitutional Equals: How And Why The Supreme Court Should Apply Its First Amendment Expertise To The Great Second Amendment Debate, David G. Browne Apr 2003

Treating The Pen And The Sword As Constitutional Equals: How And Why The Supreme Court Should Apply Its First Amendment Expertise To The Great Second Amendment Debate, David G. Browne

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Disabiling The Ada: Essences, Better Angels, And Unprincipled Neutrality Claims, Aviam Soifer Feb 2003

Disabiling The Ada: Essences, Better Angels, And Unprincipled Neutrality Claims, Aviam Soifer

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Random Muse: Authorship And Indeterminacy, Alan R. Durham Dec 2002

The Random Muse: Authorship And Indeterminacy, Alan R. Durham

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Ties In The Supreme Court Of The United States, Edward A. Hartnett Dec 2002

Ties In The Supreme Court Of The United States, Edward A. Hartnett

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


An Outcomes Analysis Of Scope Of Review Standards, Paul R. Verkuil Dec 2002

An Outcomes Analysis Of Scope Of Review Standards, Paul R. Verkuil

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


John Marshall, Mcculloch V. Maryland, And "We The People": Revisions In Need Of Revising, Martin S. Flaherty Mar 2002

John Marshall, Mcculloch V. Maryland, And "We The People": Revisions In Need Of Revising, Martin S. Flaherty

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Some Alarming Aspects Of The Legacies Of Judicial Review And Of John Marshall, Stephen B. Presser Mar 2002

Some Alarming Aspects Of The Legacies Of Judicial Review And Of John Marshall, Stephen B. Presser

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


John Marshall: Remarks Of October 6, 2000, William H. Rehnquist Mar 2002

John Marshall: Remarks Of October 6, 2000, William H. Rehnquist

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Easing The Spring: Strict Scrutiny And Affirmative Action After The Redistricting Cases, Pamela S. Karlan Mar 2002

Easing The Spring: Strict Scrutiny And Affirmative Action After The Redistricting Cases, Pamela S. Karlan

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Use That The Future Makes Of The Past: John Marshall's Greatness And Its Lessons For Today's Supreme Court Justices, Jack M. Balkin Mar 2002

The Use That The Future Makes Of The Past: John Marshall's Greatness And Its Lessons For Today's Supreme Court Justices, Jack M. Balkin

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Lives Of John Marshall, Michael J. Gerhardt Mar 2002

The Lives Of John Marshall, Michael J. Gerhardt

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


John Marshall Through The Eyes Of An Admirer: John Quincy Adams, Michael Daly Hawkins Mar 2002

John Marshall Through The Eyes Of An Admirer: John Quincy Adams, Michael Daly Hawkins

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


A Judge For All Seasons, R. Kent Newmyer Mar 2002

A Judge For All Seasons, R. Kent Newmyer

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Theory For Criminal Procedure: Dickerson, Miranda, And The Continuing Quest For Broad-But-Shallow, Donald A. Dripps Oct 2001

Constitutional Theory For Criminal Procedure: Dickerson, Miranda, And The Continuing Quest For Broad-But-Shallow, Donald A. Dripps

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Subconsitutional Constitutional Law: Supplement, Sham, Or Substitute?, Mark Tushnet May 2001

Subconsitutional Constitutional Law: Supplement, Sham, Or Substitute?, Mark Tushnet

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Structural Review, Pseudo-Second-Look Decision Making, And The Risk Of Diluting Constitutional Liberty, Dan T. Coenen May 2001

Structural Review, Pseudo-Second-Look Decision Making, And The Risk Of Diluting Constitutional Liberty, Dan T. Coenen

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


A Constitution Of Collaboration: Protecting Fundamental Values With Second-Look Rules Of Interbranch Dialogue, Dan T. Coenen May 2001

A Constitution Of Collaboration: Protecting Fundamental Values With Second-Look Rules Of Interbranch Dialogue, Dan T. Coenen

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.