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Full-Text Articles in Law

What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen Jan 2011

What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

November 2, 2010 is the latest milestone in the evolution of state judicial elections from sleepy, sterile affairs into meaningful political contests. Following an aggressive ouster campaign, voters in Iowa removed three supreme court justices, including the chief justice, who had joined an opinion finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Supporters of the campaign rallied around the mantra, "It's we the people, not we the courts." Voter turnout surged to unprecedented levels; the national media riveted attention on the event. No sitting Iowa justice had ever lost a retention election before.

This essay – a reply to Nicole Mansker ...


Justice Stevens And The Obligations Of Judgment, David Pozen Jan 2011

Justice Stevens And The Obligations Of Judgment, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

How to sum up a corpus of opinions that spans dozens of legal fields and four decades on the bench? How to make the most sense of a jurisprudence that has always been resistant to classification, by a jurist widely believed to have "no discernible judicial philosophy"? These questions have stirred Justice Stevens' former clerks in recent months. Since his retirement, many of us have been trying to capture in some meaningful if partial way what we found vital and praiseworthy in his approach to the law. There may be something paradoxical about the attempt to encapsulate in a formula ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...


Left, Right, And Center: Strategic Information Acquisition And Diversity In Judicial Panels, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2011

Left, Right, And Center: Strategic Information Acquisition And Diversity In Judicial Panels, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops and analyzes a hierarchical model of judicial review in multimember appellate courts. In our model, judicial panels acquire information endogenously, through the efforts of individual panelists, acting strategically. The resulting equilibria strongly resemble the empirical phenomena collectively known as "panel effects" – and in particular the observed regularity with which ideological diversity on a panel predicts greater moderation in voting behavior (even after controlling for the median voter's preferences). In our model, non-pivotal panel members with ideologies far from the median have the greatest incentive to acquire additional policy-relevant information where no one on a unified panel ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...