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Full-Text Articles in Law

Textualism And The Future Of The Chevron Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

Textualism And The Future Of The Chevron Doctrine, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The last decade has been a remarkable one for statutory interpretation. For most of our history, American judges have been pragmatists when it comes to interpreting statutes. They have drawn on various conventions – the plain meaning rule, legislative history, considerations of statutory purpose, canons of construction – "much as a golfer selects the proper club when he gauges the distance to the pin and the contours of the course." The arrival of Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court has changed this. Justice Scalia is a foundationalist, insisting that certain interpretational tools should be permanently banned from judicial use. What is more ...


A Modest Proposal For A Political Court, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

A Modest Proposal For A Political Court, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

I offer a modest proposal. You can decide for yourself whether it is offered in the spirit of Jonathan Swift, or whether I mean it to be taken seriously.


Brecht V. Abrahamson: Harmful Error In Habeas Corpus Law, James S. Liebman, Randy Hertz Jan 1994

Brecht V. Abrahamson: Harmful Error In Habeas Corpus Law, James S. Liebman, Randy Hertz

Faculty Scholarship

For the past two and one-half decades, the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts have applied the same rule for assessing the harmlessness of constitutional error in habeas corpus proceedings as they have applied on direct appeal of both state and federal convictions. Under that rule, which applied to all constitutional errors except those deemed per se prejudicial or per se reversible, the state could avoid reversal upon a finding of error only by proving that the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court adopted this stringent standard in Chapman v. California to fulfill the federal ...


Of Laws And Men: An Essay On Justice Marshall's View Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel C. Richman, Bruce A. Green Jan 1994

Of Laws And Men: An Essay On Justice Marshall's View Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel C. Richman, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

As a general rule, criminal defendants whose cases made it to the Supreme Court between 1967 and 1991 must have thought that, as long as Justice Thurgood Marshall occupied one of the nine seats, they had one vote for sure. And Justice Marshall rarely disappointed them – certainly not in cases of any broad constitutional significance. From his votes and opinions, particularly his dissents, many were quick to conclude that the Justice was another of those "bleeding heart liberals," hostile to the mission of law enforcement officers and ready to overlook the gravity of the crimes of which the defendants before ...