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Full-Text Articles in Law

Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose Jan 2018

Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose

Faculty Scholarship

The link between courts and the public is the written word. With rare exceptions, it is through judicial opinions that courts communicate with litigants, lawyers, other courts, and the community. Whatever the court’s statutory and constitutional status, the written word, in the end, is the source and the measure of the court’s authority.

It is therefore not enough that a decision be correct—it must also be fair and reasonable and readily understood. The burden of the judicial opinion is to explain and to persuade and to satisfy the world that the decision is principled and sound. What ...


How Much Has The Supreme Court Changed Patent Law?, Paul Gugliuzza Jan 2017

How Much Has The Supreme Court Changed Patent Law?, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided a remarkable number of patent cases in the past decade, particularly as compared to the first twenty years of the Federal Circuit’s existence. No longer is the Federal Circuit “the de facto Supreme Court of patents,” as Mark Janis wrote in 2001. Rather, it seems the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of patents. In the article at the center of this symposium, Judge Timothy Dyk of the Federal Circuit writes that the Supreme Court’s decisions “have had a major impact on patent law,” citing, among other evidence, the Court’s ...


Cognitive Bias, The 'Band Of Experts,' And The Anti-Litigation Narrative, Elizabeth G. Thornburg Jan 2016

Cognitive Bias, The 'Band Of Experts,' And The Anti-Litigation Narrative, Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Faculty Scholarship

In December of 2015, yet another set of discovery rule amendments that are designed to limit discovery will go into effect. This article argues that the consistent pattern of discovery retrenchment is no accident. Rather, a combination of forces is at work. The Supreme Court consistently signals its contempt for the discovery process, and the Chief Justice’s pattern of appointments to the Rules Committees skews toward Big Law defense-side lawyers and judges appointed by Republican Presidents. In addition, longstanding corporate media campaigns have created and reinforced an anti-litigation narrative that, through the power of repetition, dominates public discourse. Further ...


Taking Section 10(B) Seriously: Criminal Enforcement Of Sec Rules, Steve Thel Jan 2014

Taking Section 10(B) Seriously: Criminal Enforcement Of Sec Rules, Steve Thel

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court has determined the scope of federal securities laws in a series of cases in which it has read section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act as either prohibiting certain misconduct or authorizing the SEC to regulate that conduct and only that conduct. Judging by the language, structure and history of the Exchange Act, the Court’s reading is wrong. Section 10(b) does not prohibit anything, and it neither grants the SEC rulemaking power nor limits the rulemaking power granted to the SEC elsewhere in the Exchange Act. Instead, section 10(b) simply triggers criminal sanctions ...


The Puzzling Persistence Of Dual Federalism, Ernest A. Young Jan 2014

The Puzzling Persistence Of Dual Federalism, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

This essay began life as a response to Sotirios Barber’s essay (soon to be a book) entitled “Defending Dual Federalism: A Self-Defeating Act.” Professor Barber’s essay reflects a widespread tendency to associate any judicially-enforceable principle of federalism with the “dual federalism” regime that dominated our jurisprudence from the Founding down to the New Deal. That regime divided the world into separate and exclusive spheres of federal and state regulatory authority, and it tasked courts with defining and policing the boundary between them. “Dual federalism” largely died, however, in the judicial revolution of 1937, and it generally has not ...


The Right To Plea Bargain With Competent Counsel After Cooper And Frye: Is The Supreme Court Making The Ordinary Criminal Process Too Long, Too Expensive, And Unpredictable In Pursuit Of Perfect Justice, Bruce A. Green Jan 2013

The Right To Plea Bargain With Competent Counsel After Cooper And Frye: Is The Supreme Court Making The Ordinary Criminal Process Too Long, Too Expensive, And Unpredictable In Pursuit Of Perfect Justice, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

In Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of criminal defendants who were deprived of a favorable plea offer because of their lawyers’ professional lapses. In dissent, Justice Scalia complained that “[t]he ordinary criminal process has become too long, too expensive, and unpredictable,” because of the Court’s criminal procedure jurisprudence; that plea bargaining is “the alternative in which...defendants have sought relief,” and that the two new decisions on the Sixth Amendment right to effective representation in plea bargaining would add to the burden on the criminal process. This essay examines ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship

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 ...


The New Textualism, Progressive Constitutionalism, And Abortion Rights: A Reply To Jeffrey Rosen, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2013

The New Textualism, Progressive Constitutionalism, And Abortion Rights: A Reply To Jeffrey Rosen, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Judging The Flood Of Litigation, Marin K. Levy Jan 2013

Judging The Flood Of Litigation, Marin K. Levy

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court has increasingly considered a particular kind of argument: that it should avoid reaching decisions that would “open the floodgates of litigation.” Despite its frequent invocation, there has been little scholarly exploration of what a floodgates argument truly means, and even less discussion of its normative basis. This Article addresses both subjects, demonstrating for the first time the scope and surprising variation of floodgates arguments, as well as uncovering their sometimes-shaky foundations. Relying on in-depth case studies from a wide array of issue areas, the Article shows that floodgates arguments primarily have been used to protect three institutions ...


Equality Arguments For Abortion Rights, Neil S. Siegel, Reva B. Siegel Jan 2013

Equality Arguments For Abortion Rights, Neil S. Siegel, Reva B. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

Roe v. Wade grounds constitutional protections for women’s decision wheth­er to end a pregnancy in the Due Process Clauses. But in the four decades since Roe, the U.S. Supreme Court has come to recognize the abortion right as an equality right as well as a liberty right. In this Essay, we describe some distinctive features of equality arguments for abortion rights. We then show how, over time, the Court and individual Justices have begun to employ equal­ity arguments in analyzing the constitutionality of abortion restrictions. These arguments first appear inside of substantive due process case law ...


Brief Of Professor Stephen E. Sachs As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2013

Brief Of Professor Stephen E. Sachs As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

The parties in this case defend two sides of a many-sided circuit split. This brief argues that a third view is correct.

If a contract requires suit in a particular forum, and the plaintiff sues somewhere else, how may the defendant raise the issue? Petitioner Atlantic Marine Construction Company suggests a motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) or 28 U.S.C. § 1406, on the theory that the contract renders venue improper. Respondent J-Crew Management, Inc. contends that venue remains proper, and that the defendant¹s only remedy is a transfer motion under § 1404.

Both sides are ...


United States V. Windsor And The Role Of State Law In Defining Rights Claims, Ernest A. Young Jan 2013

United States V. Windsor And The Role Of State Law In Defining Rights Claims, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor is best understood from a Legal Process perspective. Windsor struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law. Much early commentary, including Professor Neomi Rao’s essay in these pages, has found Justice Kennedy’s opinion for the Court to be “muddled” and unclear as to its actual rationale. But the trouble with Windsor is not that the opinion is muddled or vague; the rationale is actually quite evident on ...


More Law Than Politics: The Chief, The “Mandate,” Legality, And Statesmanship, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2013

More Law Than Politics: The Chief, The “Mandate,” Legality, And Statesmanship, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter in a forthcoming book on NFIB v. Sebelius asks whether the various parts of Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion on the minimum coverage provision are legally justifiable. I focus on what Roberts decided, not why he decided it that way.

Law is fully adequate to explain the Chief Justice’s vote to uphold the minimum coverage provision as within the scope of Congress’s tax power. Roberts embraced the soundest constitutional understanding of the Taxing Clause. He also showed fidelity to the law by applying—and not just giving lip service to—the deeply entrenched presumption of constitutionality ...


‘The Ordinary Diet Of The Law’: The Presumption Against Preemption In The Roberts Court, Ernest A. Young Jan 2012

‘The Ordinary Diet Of The Law’: The Presumption Against Preemption In The Roberts Court, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

In a preemption case decided over a decade ago, Justice Breyer wrote that “in today’s world, filled with legal complexity, the true test of federalist principle may lie . . . in those many statutory cases where courts interpret the mass of technical detail that is the ordinary diet of the law.” This article surveys the Roberts Court’s preemption jurisprudence, focusing on five cases decided in OT 2010. Young argues that Justice Breyer was right — that is, that because current federalism jurisprudence largely eschews any effort to define exclusive spheres of state and federal regulatory jurisdiction, the most important federalism cases ...


Sorrell V. Ims Health And The End Of The Constitutional Double Standard, Ernest A. Young Jan 2012

Sorrell V. Ims Health And The End Of The Constitutional Double Standard, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Slavery In The United States: Persons Or Property?, Paul Finkelman Jan 2012

Slavery In The United States: Persons Or Property?, Paul Finkelman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Its Hour Come Round At Last? State Sovereign Immunity And The Great State Debt Crisis Of The Early Twenty-First Century, Ernest A. Young Jan 2012

Its Hour Come Round At Last? State Sovereign Immunity And The Great State Debt Crisis Of The Early Twenty-First Century, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

State sovereign immunity is a sort of constitutional comet, streaking across the sky once a century to the amazement and consternation of legal commentators. The comet’s appearance has usually coincided with major state debt crises: The Revolutionary War debts brought us Chisholm v. Georgia and the Eleventh Amendment, and the Reconstruction debts brought us Hans v. Louisiana and the Amendment’s extension to federal question cases. This essay argues that much of our law of state sovereign immunity, including its odd fictions and otherwise-incongruous exceptions, can be understood as an effort to maintain immunity’s core purpose — protecting the ...


Reasoning About The Irrational: The Roberts Court And The Future Of Constitutional Law, H. Jefferson Powell Jan 2011

Reasoning About The Irrational: The Roberts Court And The Future Of Constitutional Law, H. Jefferson Powell

Faculty Scholarship

Commentary on the future direction of the Roberts Court generally falls along lines that correlate with the commentators' political views on the desirability of the Court's recent decisions. A more informative approach is to look for opinions suggesting changes in the presuppositions with which the Justices approach constitutional decision making. In footnote 27 in his opinion for the Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller Second Amendment decision, Justice Scalia suggested a fundamental revision of the Court's assumptions about the role of judicial doctrine, and the concept of rationality, in constitutional law. Justice Scalia would eliminate the ...


Roberts’ Rules: The Assertiveness Of Rules-Based Jurisprudence, Joseph Blocher Jan 2011

Roberts’ Rules: The Assertiveness Of Rules-Based Jurisprudence, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


A Coase Theorem For Constitutional Theory, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2010

A Coase Theorem For Constitutional Theory, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

There is much to admire about Barry Friedman’s new book, The Will of the People. Explaining how the institution of judicial review was made safe for democracy in America, Friedman’s story is extensively researched, beautifully written, scrupulously nonpartisan about the modern Court, and frequently humorous. What is more, his primary claim—that the Supreme Court of the United States is very much a democratic institution because judicial review always has been responsive to public opinion—is, to a large extent, convincing. I have taught The Will of the People in my first-year constitutional law course, and I plan ...


The Consequences Of Congress’S Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos Jan 2010

The Consequences Of Congress’S Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos

Faculty Scholarship

Although Congress delegates lawmaking authority to both courts and agencies, we know remarkably little about the determinants-and even less about the consequences-of the choice between judicial and administrative process. The few scholars who have sought to understand the choice of delegate have used formal modeling to illuminate various aspects of the decision from the perspective of the enacting Congress. That approach yields useful insight into the likely preferences of rational legislators, but tells us nothing about how (or whether) those preferences play out in the behavior of courts and agencies. Without such knowledge, we have no way of testing the ...


Further Reflections On Not Being “Not An Originalist”, H. Jefferson Powell Jan 2010

Further Reflections On Not Being “Not An Originalist”, H. Jefferson Powell

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


On Not Being “Not An Originalist”, H. Jefferson Powell Jan 2010

On Not Being “Not An Originalist”, H. Jefferson Powell

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Constitution And The Laws Of War During The Civil War, The Federal Courts, Practice & Procedure, Andrew Kent Jan 2009

Constitution And The Laws Of War During The Civil War, The Federal Courts, Practice & Procedure, Andrew Kent

Faculty Scholarship

This Article uncovers the forgotten complex of relationships between the U.S. Constitution, citizenship and the laws of war. The Supreme Court today believes that both noncitizens and citizens who are military enemies in a congressionally-authorized war are entitled to judicially-enforceable rights under the Constitution. The older view was that the U.S. government’s military actions against noncitizen enemies were not limited by the Constitution, but only by the international laws of war. On the other hand, in the antebellum period, the prevailing view was U.S. citizenship should carry with it protection from ever being treated as a ...


The Solicitor General As Mediator Between Court And Agency, Margaret H. Lemos Jan 2009

The Solicitor General As Mediator Between Court And Agency, Margaret H. Lemos

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Imagining Gun Control In America: Understanding The Remainder Problem Article And Essay, Nicholas J. Johnson Jan 2008

Imagining Gun Control In America: Understanding The Remainder Problem Article And Essay, Nicholas J. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Gun control in the United States generally has meant some type of supply regulation. Supply restrictions ranging from one-gun-a-month schemes to flat gun bans cannot work without a willingness and ability to reduce total inventory to levels approaching zero ("the supply-side ideal"). This is an impossible feat in a country that already has 300 million guns tightly held by people who think they are uniquely important tools. The average defiance ratio in places that have attempted gun confiscation and registration is 2.6 illegal guns for every legal one. In many countries defiance is far higher. None of those countries ...


The Other Delegate: Judicially Administered Statutes And The Nondelegation Doctrine, Margaret H. Lemos Jan 2008

The Other Delegate: Judicially Administered Statutes And The Nondelegation Doctrine, Margaret H. Lemos

Faculty Scholarship

The nondelegation doctrine is the subject of a vast and everexpanding body of scholarship. But nondelegation literature, like nondelegation law, focuses almost exclusively on delegations of power to administrative agencies. It ignores Congress's other delegate-the federal judiciary.

This Article brings courts into the delegation picture. It demonstrates that, just as agencies exercise a lawmaking function when they fill in the gaps left by broad statutory delegations of power, so too do courts. The nondelegation doctrine purports to limit the amount of lawmaking authority Congress can cede to another institution without violating the separation of powers. Although typically considered only ...


The Federal Judicial Power And The International Legal Order, Curtis A. Bradley Jan 2007

The Federal Judicial Power And The International Legal Order, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Checks And Balances: Congress And The Federal Court, Paul D. Carrington Jan 2006

Checks And Balances: Congress And The Federal Court, Paul D. Carrington

Faculty Scholarship

This essay was published as a chapter in Reforming the Supreme Court: Term Limits for Justices (Paul D. Carrington & Roger Cramton eds, Carolina Academic Press 2006). Its point is that Congress has long neglected its duty implicit in the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers to constrain the tendency of the Court, the academy and the legal profession to inflate the Court's status and power. The term "life tenure" is a significant source of a sense of royal status having not only the adverse cultural effects noted by Nagel, but also doleful effects on the administration and enforcement of ...


Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 2005

Congress's Power To Enforce Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Lessons From Federal Remedies The Framers Enacted , Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Robert Kaczorowski argues for an expansive originalist interpretation of Congressional power under the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Civil War Congress actually exercised, and the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld plenary Congressional power to enforce the constitutional rights of slaveholders. After the Civil War, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment copied the antebellum statutes and exercised plenary power to enforce the constitutional rights of all American citizens when they enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then incorporated the Act into the Fourteenth Amendment. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment thereby exercised the plenary power the Rehnquist Court claims the ...