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The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

This paper is an empirical analysis of the Supreme Court's recently-ended 2005 term, including an examination of the issues raised by, and the ideological direction of, the decisions issued by the Court. In addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, the paper also separately examines the jurisprudence of new Justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it raises the possibility that these justices may have more in common with each other than with the Court's more established conservative members. The paper also demonstrates that the Court, pursuant to one of Justice Roberts' frequently stated ...


International Law And Rehnquist-Era Reversals, Diane Marie Amann Jun 2006

International Law And Rehnquist-Era Reversals, Diane Marie Amann

Scholarly Works

In the last years of Chief Justice Rehnquist's tenure, the Supreme Court held that due process bars criminal prosecution of same-sex intimacy and that it is cruel and unusual to execute mentally retarded persons or juveniles. Each of the later decisions not only overruled precedents set earlier in Rehnquist's tenure, but also consulted international law as an aid to construing the U.S. Constitution. Analyzing that phenomenon, the article first discusses the underlying cases, then traces the role that international law played in Atkins, Lawrence, and Simmons. It next examines backlash to consultation, and demonstrates that critics tended ...


Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson Mar 2006

Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson

Popular Media

In the world of modern trials, expert witnesses are the coin of the realm. Lawyers know that most of the time, experts are case-breakers. Their demeanor, knowledge, and presentation ability are key qualities. Accordingly, their persuasive effect on modern lay jurors makes it incumbent on judges to ensure that an expert's opinions are appropriately directed. That means not allowing an economist to testify about the medical dynamics of bone disease, for example.


John Paul Stevens, Human Rights Judge, Diane Marie Amann Mar 2006

John Paul Stevens, Human Rights Judge, Diane Marie Amann

Scholarly Works

This article explores the nature and origins of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' engagement with international and foreign law and norms. It first discusses Stevens' pivotal role in the revived use of such norms to aid constitutional interpretation, as well as 1990s opinions testing the extent to which constitutional protections reach beyond the water's edge and 2004 opinions on post-September 11 detention. It then turns to mid-century experiences that appear to have contributed to Stevens' willingness to consult foreign context. The article reveals that as a code breaker Stevens played a role in the downing of the Japanese ...


Is There A Bias Against Education In The Jury Selection Process?, Hillel Y. Levin, John W. Emerson Feb 2006

Is There A Bias Against Education In The Jury Selection Process?, Hillel Y. Levin, John W. Emerson

Scholarly Works

Herbert Spencer famously said that a jury is “a group of twelve people of average ignorance.” That is not a particularly rosy picture of juror competence, but it presents a far better view than the one held by many -- if not most -- modern commentators. The more common contemporary sentiment was captured by Mark Twain when he wrote, in his inimitable style, “[w]e have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve [people] every day who don't know anything and can't read ...


The Under-Appreciated Value Of Advisory Guidelines, Erica J. Hashimoto Jan 2006

The Under-Appreciated Value Of Advisory Guidelines, Erica J. Hashimoto

Scholarly Works

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 provided that the trial court "shall impose a sentence of the kind, and within the range" set forth in the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("Guidelines") issued by the Sentencing Commission. With that one phrase, the Act created a system of guidelines that was binding upon judges, rather than simply advisory. Concerns about excessive disparity and undue leniency in sentencing unquestionably drove the political coalition that passed the Act. It is not clear, however, why Congress believed that mandatory-as opposed to advisory-guidelines were necessary to address those concerns. With the benefit of hindsight, it is ...


Supremacy And Diplomacy: The International Law Of The U.S. Supreme Court, Harlan G. Cohen Jan 2006

Supremacy And Diplomacy: The International Law Of The U.S. Supreme Court, Harlan G. Cohen

Scholarly Works

In 2003-2004, a Presidential campaign year dominated by debates about international affairs and international law, the U.S. Supreme Court took an unusual number of cases of international import. The Court considered the Alien Tort Claims Act and the future of human rights suits in U.S. courts, the applicability of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act to claims involving Nazi-stolen artwork, the applicability of American antitrust law to foreign anticompetitive activity, and the legality of the Guantanamo detentions. A great deal of ink has been spilled analyzing the individual impacts of each of these cases. What has been less considered ...