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King V Burwell: Subsidizing Us Health Insurance For Low- And Middle-Income Individuals, Lawrence O. Gostin, Mary C. Debartolo, Daniel Hougendobler Jul 2015

King V Burwell: Subsidizing Us Health Insurance For Low- And Middle-Income Individuals, Lawrence O. Gostin, Mary C. Debartolo, Daniel Hougendobler

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In King v. Burwell, the U.S. Supreme Court once again saved the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by upholding subsidies (tax credits) offered to low- and middle-income individuals for insurance bought on federal exchanges. A contrary opinion would have put at risk health insurance for 6.4 million Americans and threatened to destabilize insurance markets for millions more.

The ACA is supported by four interlocking reforms, each of which are necessary to realize its promise of expanding health care coverage: (1) guaranteed issue (prohibiting discrimination based on pre-existing conditions), (2) community rating (barring insurers from imposing higher premiums based on ...


Disappearing Claims And The Erosion Of Substantive Law, J. Maria Glover Jan 2015

Disappearing Claims And The Erosion Of Substantive Law, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court’s arbitration jurisprudence from the last five years represents the culmination of a three-decade-long expansion of the use of private arbitration as an alternative to court adjudication in the resolution of disputes of virtually every type of justiciable claim. Because privatizing disputes that would otherwise be public may well erode public confidence in public institutions and the judicial process, many observers have linked this decades-long privatization of dispute resolution to an erosion of the public realm. Here, I argue that the Court’s recent arbitration jurisprudence undermines the substantive law itself.

While this shift from dispute resolution ...


Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the last weeks in June, 2015, as the present term of the U.S. Supreme Court drew to a close, many controversial and important decisions were handed down by the Court. The substance of the decisions has been written about extensively. Two of the decisions in particular, though, caught my eye as a teacher of legal techniques, not for the importance of the subject of the particular decision, but for what they may illustrate in a teachable fashion about at least some opinion writing. The two cases are Ohio v. Clark (June 18, 2015) interpreting the Confrontation Clause of ...


A Deer In Headlights: The Supreme Court, Lgbt Rights, And Equal Protection, Nan D. Hunter Jan 2015

A Deer In Headlights: The Supreme Court, Lgbt Rights, And Equal Protection, Nan D. Hunter

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this essay, I argue that the problems with how courts apply Equal Protection principles to classifications not already recognized as suspect reach beyond the most immediate example of sexual orientation. Three structural weaknesses drive the juridical reluctance to bring coherence to this body of law: two doctrinal and one theoretical. The first doctrinal problem is that the socio-political assumptions that the 1938 Supreme Court relied on in United States v. Carolene Products, Inc. to justify strict scrutiny for “discrete and insular minorities” have lost their validity. In part because of Roe v. Wade-induced PTSD, the courts have not ...


Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse Jan 2014

Overrides: The Super-Study, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Overrides should be of interest to a far larger group of scholars than statutory interpretation enthusiasts. We have, in overrides, open inter branch encounters between Congress and the Courts far more typically found in the shadows of everyday Washington politics. Interestingly, Christiansen and Eskridge posit the court-congress relationship as more triadic than dyadic given the role played by agencies. One of their more interesting conclusions is that agencie are the big winners in the override game: agencies were present in seventy percent of the override cases and the agency view prevailed with Congress and against the Supreme Court in three-quarters ...


Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2014

Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Bond v. United States presented the deep constitutional question of whether a treaty can increase the legislative power of Congress. Unfortunately, a majority of the Court managed to sidestep the constitutional issue by dodgy statutory interpretation. But the other three Justices—Scalia, Thomas, and Alito—all wrote important concurrences in the judgment, grappling with the constitutional issues presented. In particular, Justice Scalia’s opinion (joined by Justice Thomas), is a masterpiece, eloquently demonstrating that Missouri v. Holland is wrong and should be overruled: a treaty cannot increase the legislative power of Congress.


Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. V. Bartlett And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Anne King Nov 2013

Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. V. Bartlett And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Anne King

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The authors state that the U.S. Supreme Court’s preemption ruling in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, which generally shields generic drug manufacturers from state-law damages liability for design-defect claims, may also have broader implications for preemption jurisprudence. In this article they describe the Supreme Court’s decision in Mutual and evaluate how it may affect future products-liability litigation.

Part I provides an overview of the case’s factual background and of federal generic drug regulation, while Part II discusses the Court’s majority opinion and the dissents. Part III analyzes the implications of the decision, offering ideas on ...


Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse May 2013

Decision Theory And Babbitt V. Sweet Home: Skepticism About Norms, Discretion, And The Virtues Of Purposivism, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this writing, the author applies a “decision theory” of statutory interpretation, elaborated recently in the Yale Law Journal, to Professor William Eskridge’s illustrative case, Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon. In the course of this application, she takes issue with the conventional wisdom that purposivism, as a method of statutory interpretation, is inevitably a more virtuous model of statutory interpretation. First, the author questions whether we have a clear enough jurisprudential picture both of judicial discretion and legal as opposed to political normativity. Second, she argues that, under decision theory, Sweet Home is ...


State Law, The Westfall Act, And The Nature Of The Bivens Question, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck Jan 2013

State Law, The Westfall Act, And The Nature Of The Bivens Question, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In a number of recent cases touching to varying degrees on national security, different courts of appeals have applied a strong presumption against recognition of a Bivens cause of action. In each of these cases, the courts’ approach was based on the belief that the creation of a cause of action is a legislative function and that the courts would be usurping Congress’s role if they recognized a Bivens action without legislative authorization. Thus, faced with a scenario where they believed that the remedial possibilities were either "Bivens or nothing," these courts of appeals chose nothing.

The concerns that ...


The Gravitational Force Of Originalism, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2013

The Gravitational Force Of Originalism, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In part I of this essay, prepared for the Fordham conference on “The New Originalism and Constitutional Law,” I describe four aspects of the New Originalism: (1) The New Originalism is about identifying the original public meaning of the Constitution rather than the original framers intent; (2) The interpretive activity of identifying the original public meaning of the text is a purely descriptive empirical inquiry; (3) But there is also a normative tenet of the New Originalism that contends that the original public meaning of the text should be followed; (4) Distinguishing between the activities of interpretation and construction identifies ...


“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2013

“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

William Cary’s opinion for the SEC in In re Cady, Roberts & Co. built the foundation on which the modern law of insider trading rests. This paper—a contribution to Columbia Law School’s recent celebration of Cary’s Cady Roberts opinion, explores some of these—particularly the emergence of a doctrine of “reckless” insider trading. Historically, the crucial question is this: how or why did the insider trading prohibition survive the retrenchment that happened to so many other elements of Rule 10b-5? It argues that the Supreme Court embraced the continuing existence of the “abstain or disclose” rule, and ...


Foreword: Academic Influence On The Court, Neal K. Katyal Oct 2012

Foreword: Academic Influence On The Court, Neal K. Katyal

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The months leading up to the Supreme Court’s blockbuster decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were characterized by a prodigious amount of media coverage that purported to analyze how the legal challenge to Obamacare went mainstream. The nation’s major newspapers each had a prominent story describing how conservative academics, led by Professor Randy Barnett, had a long-term strategy to make the case appear credible. In the first weeks after the ACA’s passage, the storyline went, the lawsuit’s prospects of success were thought to be virtually nil. Professor (and former Solicitor General) Charles Fried stated that ...


Judulang V. Holder And The Future Of 212(C) Relief, Patrick J. Glen Jan 2012

Judulang V. Holder And The Future Of 212(C) Relief, Patrick J. Glen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On December 12, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Judulang v. Holder, a case addressing the Board of Immigration Appeals’ use of the comparable grounds approach for determining eligibility for relief under former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Court held that this approach was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act, and remanded for the agency to determine a new way for determining the eligibility of deportable aliens for 212(c) relief. The purpose of this article is to place the Court’s decision in its proper historical context and to ...


The Disdain Campaign, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2012

The Disdain Campaign, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A response to Pamela S. Karlan, The Supreme Court 2011 Term Forward: Democracy and Disdain, 126 Harv. L. Rev. 1 (2012).

In her Foreword, Professor Pamela Karlan offers a quite remarkable critique of the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court. She faults them not so much for the doctrines they purport to follow, or outcomes they reach, but for the attitude they allegedly manifest toward Congress and the people. “My focus here is not so much on the content of the doctrine but on the character of the analysis.” She describes Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion of the Court as ...


Advisory Adjudication, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2012

Advisory Adjudication, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court decision in Camreta v. Greene is revealing. The Court first issues an opinion authorizing appeals by prevailing parties in qualified immunity cases, even though doing so entails the issuance of an advisory opinion that is not necessary to resolution of the dispute between the parties. And the Court then declines to reach the merits of the underlying constitutional claim in the case, because doing so would entail the issuance of an advisory opinion that was not necessary to the resolution of the dispute between the parties. The Court's decision, therefore, has the paradoxical effect of both ...


Fisher V. Grutter, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2012

Fisher V. Grutter, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is no reason for the Supreme Court to have granted certiorari in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Unless, of course, the Court plans to overrule Grutter v. Bollinger—the case on which the Texas affirmative action plan at issue in Fisher was based. If that is its plan, the Court can invalidate the Texas program on some narrow ground that masks the magnitude of what it is doing. Or it can explicitly overrule Grutter—a case that no longer commands majority support on a Supreme Court whose politics of affirmative action has now been refashioned by ...


Whatever, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2012

Whatever, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author cannot say that she disagrees with any of the analytical observations made by her co-contributors to this roundtable discussion of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. They all agree that the Supreme Court plans to use the case as an occasion to do something noteworthy to the constitutionality of affirmative action. And they all agree that the Court’s actions are likely to provide more comfort to opponents than to proponents of racial diversity. Their views diverge only with respect to doctrinal details about what the Court could or should do. But in translating the racial tensions ...


Pliva V. Mensing And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Dena Feldman Sep 2011

Pliva V. Mensing And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Dena Feldman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing will immunize generic drug manufacturers facing failure-to-warn claims from state-law liability, and may also have implications for preemption jurisprudence more generally, says attorney Brian Wolfman and co-author Dena Feldman in this BNA Insight. The authors analyze the ruling, and offer their views on the questions that PLIVA raises about the ongoing vitality of the presumption against preemption, the standard for determining ‘‘impossibility’’ preemption, and the propriety of deference to an agency’s views on preemption.


Remarks By Dean William M. Treanor, William Michael Treanor Jan 2011

Remarks By Dean William M. Treanor, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Attorney General Levy produced a list of candidates for President Ford and it seems clear he particularly highlighted then-Judge Stevens. President Ford took the list, he read some of then-Judge Stevens’s opinions which he pronounced concise, persuasive, and legally sound. He slept on his decision and the following day he nominated Justice Stevens, who was confirmed within three weeks ninety-eight to nothing. So it was a very different world, but it’s also a testament to Justice Stevens and the respect that he held in the bench and the bar at that time.

Justice Stevens’s legacy on the ...


Buck V. Bell: A Constitutional Tragedy From A Lost World, Victoria Nourse Jan 2011

Buck V. Bell: A Constitutional Tragedy From A Lost World, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Some constitutional tragedies are well known: Plessy v. Ferguson and Korematsu v. United States are taught to every first-year law student. Buck v. Bell is not. Decided in 1927 by the Taft Court, the case is known for its shocking remedy--sterilization--and Justice Holmes's dramatic rhetoric: "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." A mere five paragraphs long, Buck v. Bell could represent the highest ratio of injustice per word ever signed on to by eight Supreme Court Justices, progressive and conservative alike.

Buck v. Bell is not a tragedy as some others might define tragedy: it is not a well-known ...


Skilling: More Blind Monks Examining The Elephant, Julie R. O'Sullivan Jan 2011

Skilling: More Blind Monks Examining The Elephant, Julie R. O'Sullivan

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Most academics and practitioners with whom the author has discussed the result in Skilling v. United States believe that it is a sensible decision. That is, the Supreme Court did the best it could to limit the reach of 18 U.S.C. § 1346, which all nine justices apparently believed—correctly—was, on its face, unconstitutionally vague. Congress responded quickly and with little consideration with the supremely under-defined § 1346. In the over twenty years since the statute's enactment, the Courts of Appeals have been unable to come up with any unified limiting principles to contain its reach. The Skilling ...


Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2011

Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the pilot episode of the hit television show CSI, Grissom says to Warrick: "Concentrate on what cannot lie. The evidence." Although Grissom is a beloved figure in U.S. popular culture, the U.S. is currently unwilling to accept that evidence never lies. In stark contrast to Grissom's statement, the common law has a long history of allowing criminal defendants to cross-examine and question witnesses providing evidence against them. The right to confront an accusatory witness is reflected in the historical legal documents of Great Britain, in Shakespearean writing, and even in the Bible. In the United States ...


Wyeth V. Levine And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman May 2009

Wyeth V. Levine And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wyeth v. Levine sharply limited the availability of implied preemption as a defense in pharmaceutical cases. In this Analysis & Perspective, attorney Brian Wolfman discusses the decision and its implications for prescription drug litigation as well as litigation in other areas that are regulated by the federal government.

After Wyeth, Wolfman says, a defendant in a prescription drug case must demonstrate a ‘‘tight fit between the labeling change proposed by the manufacturer (and rejected by the FDA) and the labeling change that the plaintiff contends would have prevented her injuries.’’ Moreover, he says ...


Celebrating Thurgood Marshall: The Prophetic Dissenter, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2009

Celebrating Thurgood Marshall: The Prophetic Dissenter, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Thurgood Marshall was born 100 years ago into a country substantially divided along color lines. Marshall could not attend the University of Maryland School of Law because he was a Negro; he had trouble locating bathrooms that were not for “whites only.” Today, by contrast, we celebrate his life and accomplishments. Broadway has a play called Thurgood devoted to him; Baltimore/Washington International Airport is now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport; even the University of Maryland renamed its law library in his honor. How did we come this far? How far do we still have to go? This article will consider ...


Why Preemption Proponents Are Wrong, Brian Wolfman Mar 2007

Why Preemption Proponents Are Wrong, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The basic idea of federal preemption is easily stated: It is a constitutionally mandated principle that demands that federal law trumps state law when the two conflict or in the rare instances when a federal law is so comprehensive that there’s no role left for state law to fill. But in practice, courts have often had difficulty applying the principle.

For plaintiff lawyers, preemption is an ever-present worry. When your client has been injured by a defective car, truck, medical device, boat, tobacco product, pesticide, or mislabeled drug, or has been victimized by a bank or other lending institution ...


The Story Of Upjohn Co. V. United States: One Man's Journey To Extend Lawyer-Client Confidentiality, And The Social Forces That Affected It, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2006

The Story Of Upjohn Co. V. United States: One Man's Journey To Extend Lawyer-Client Confidentiality, And The Social Forces That Affected It, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The attorney-client privilege protects information a client provides an attorney in confidence for the purpose of securing legal advice. But suppose the client is not a person but a corporation and can only speak through its agents and employees. What then are the contours of the privilege? If the corporation's attorney asks an employee for information relating to pending litigation or other legal matters, is the conversation privileged? Some courts said that no communications to a corporate attorney were privileged unless they came from members of the corporate control group, loosely those people who had authority to direct the ...


Preventing The Subversion Of Devlin V. Scardelletti, Brian Wolfman Jun 2005

Preventing The Subversion Of Devlin V. Scardelletti, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Devlin v. Scardelletti that objecting class members could appeal a federal district court’s approval of a class settlement without first intervening in the litigation. Public interest lawyer Brian Wolfman says the ruling was a victory for both objectors and the integrity of class action procedure: Objectors, he argues, help keep fairness hearings fair.

But a number of courts are now ruling that Devlin only applies to non-opt-out class actions, rather than the much more numerous ones that give class members opt-out rights. In this article, Wolfman details the exact wording ...


Constitutionalization, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2005

Constitutionalization, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Students of constitutional law tend to suspect pretty early on that the Constitution simply means whatever the Supreme Court says that it means. Rather than fight that intuition, I think it is best to treat the student insight as one of the basic starting assumptions when teaching a course in Constitutional Law. The goal then becomes to help students figure out how best to maneuver and feel comfortable in a legal universe where the Constitution has only contingent meaning.

What the Supreme Court does when it clothes its political policy preferences in the garb of constitutional law can be described ...


Altmann V. Austria And The Retroactivity Of The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2005

Altmann V. Austria And The Retroactivity Of The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Republic of Austria v. Altmann, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) generally applies to claims based on events that occurred before the Statute's enactment. To decide the retroactivity question, the Court had occasion to consider the essential nature of foreign sovereign immunity: is it merely a procedural immunity providing foreign states with present protection from the inconvenience and indignity of a lawsuit, or is it something more than that? The Court's examination of this question was brief and unsatisfying. Its analysis would have been enriched by a recognition ...


Judicial Review Before Marbury, William Michael Treanor Jan 2005

Judicial Review Before Marbury, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

While scholars have long probed the original understanding of judicial review and the early judicial review case law, this article presents a study of the judicial review case law in the United States before Marbury v. Madison that is dramatically more complete than prior work and that challenges previous scholarship on the original understanding of judicial review on the two most critical dimensions: how well judicial review was established at the time of the Founding and when it was exercised. Where prior work argues that judicial review was rarely exercised before Marbury (or that it was created in Marbury), this ...