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Racial Disproportionality In Child Welfare: False Logic And Dangerous Misunderstandings, Jesse Russell Oct 2010

Racial Disproportionality In Child Welfare: False Logic And Dangerous Misunderstandings, Jesse Russell

Jesse Russell

Disproportionality and disparities in child welfare appear to be widely recognized, if not fully understood, phenomena. There is often disagreement on how to interpret or find meaning in the empirical evidence that supports the existence of disproportionality and disparities—some the result of fertile and valuable discussion, some stemming from misunderstanding. Several potential paths of misinterpretation are examined here: the ecological fallacy concept, the fallacy of hidden assumptions, the lessons from different measures of disproportionality, the difficulty in understanding how probabilities relate to each other, and the effect that multicolinearity can have on statistical findings. Ultimately, better understanding of empirical ...


Does The Readability Of Your Brief Affect Your Chance Of Winning An Appeal?--An Analysis Of Readability In Appellate Briefs And Its Correlation With Success On Appeal, Lance N. Long, William F. Christensen Oct 2010

Does The Readability Of Your Brief Affect Your Chance Of Winning An Appeal?--An Analysis Of Readability In Appellate Briefs And Its Correlation With Success On Appeal, Lance N. Long, William F. Christensen

Lance N. Long

The study described in this article suggests that the length of sentences and words, which is “readability” for our purposes, probably does not make much difference in appellate brief writing. First, we found that most briefs are written at about the same level of readability; there simply is not much difference in how lawyers write appellate briefs when it comes to the length of sentences and words. Furthermore, the readability of most appellate briefs is well within the reading ability of the highly educated audience of appellate judges and justices. Second, the relatively small differences in readability are not related ...


International Law And Domestic Judicial Procedure: Implementing The Hague Convention On Choice Of Court Agreements In The American Federal System, Carolyn Dubay Sep 2010

International Law And Domestic Judicial Procedure: Implementing The Hague Convention On Choice Of Court Agreements In The American Federal System, Carolyn Dubay

Carolyn Dubay

In 2009, the United States became a signatory to the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (COCCA), drafted under the auspices of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The stated objective of the Convention was to "promote international trade and investment through enhanced judicial co-operation." Despite these broad goals, COCCA is narrowly drawn to relate only to international commercial disputes subject to a negotiated choice of court agreement. With respect to forum selection clauses in international business-to-business contracts, COCCA creates uniform procedural rules for the enforcement of such clauses in both the courts designated in such clauses (“chosen courts ...


Iqbal's Retro Revolution, Benjamin P. Cooper Sep 2010

Iqbal's Retro Revolution, Benjamin P. Cooper

Benjamin P Cooper

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ascroft v. Iqbal have revolutionized the law on pleading, by shifting from a liberal notice pleading standard to a new heightened “plausibility” regime. The abundant scholarship about these cases consistently posits that Iqbal’s plausibility standard is completely novel with no historical precedent in the modern era. This Article argues that, contrary to this conventional wisdom, although Iqbal is revolutionary (in the sense that it marks a sharp break with what immediately preceded it), the post-Iqbal era is not entirely new. Rather, the current pleading regime ...


Pleading Their Case: How Ashcroft V. Iqbal Extinguishes Prisoners’ Rights, Maureen Brocco Sep 2010

Pleading Their Case: How Ashcroft V. Iqbal Extinguishes Prisoners’ Rights, Maureen Brocco

Maureen Brocco

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, decided on May 18, 2009, increased the evidentiary burden required to survive a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (“Rule 12(b)(6)”) motion to dismiss to a strict plausibility standard. While this decision affects almost all civil claims in the federal court system, its impact is particularly troublesome in the realm of prisoners’ rights litigation. For a prisoner, such onerous pre-litigation fact-finding requirements can turn the administration of justice into an unattainable goal. Since prisoners’ claims are often against their captors, government officials, this heightened pleading burden may leave victims of egregious unconstitutional actions ...


Deferring To The Assertion Of National Security: The Creation Of A National Security Exemption Under The National Environmental Policy Act Of 1969, Emily Donovan Sep 2010

Deferring To The Assertion Of National Security: The Creation Of A National Security Exemption Under The National Environmental Policy Act Of 1969, Emily Donovan

Emily Donovan

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) aims to ensure that agencies consider the potential environmental impacts of their actions before engaging in them. In contrast to other major environmental legislation, Congress did not include a national security exemption under NEPA, meaning that, in theory, agencies in the business of national security must comply with NEPA just as any other agency, by considering mitigation measures and alternatives, and preparing environmental impact statements when necessary. The courts, however, in deciding NEPA noncompliance cases, have created a national security exemption that the legislature never intended. They have done so by failing ...


The Pinkerton Problem, Bruce A. Antkowiak Sep 2010

The Pinkerton Problem, Bruce A. Antkowiak

Bruce A Antkowiak

Pinkerton is a longstanding principle of criminal law that holds a conspirator liable for the substantive crimes of his confederates as long as they were committed during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy, and as long as they were objectively and reasonably foreseeable to a defendant. This leads to liability being imposed on individuals who did not personally have the mens rea required to commit the crime for which they are sentenced. The article argues that the use of such conspirator liability rules in many jurisdictions (federal and state) violates both due process and separation of powers ...


The Florida Beach Case And The Road To Judicial Takings, Michael Blumm Aug 2010

The Florida Beach Case And The Road To Judicial Takings, Michael Blumm

Michael Blumm

In Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a state beach restoration project against landowner claims of an unconstitutional taking of the property. This result was not nearly as surprising as the fact that the Court granted certiorari on a case that turned on an obscure aspect of Florida property law: whether landowners adjacent to a beach had the right to maintain contact with the water and the right to future accretions of sand.

The Court’s curious interest in the case was piqued by the landowners’ recasting the case ...


Rationing Justice?: The Effect Of Caseload Pressures On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals In Immigration Cases, Anna O. Law Aug 2010

Rationing Justice?: The Effect Of Caseload Pressures On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals In Immigration Cases, Anna O. Law

Anna O. Law

Beginning in late 2003, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits experienced a deluge of immigration cases caused by changes in another part of the immigration bureaucracy. How did these two circuits, especially the Ninth circuit and its personnel, which handle more than 50% of all immigration appeals nationwide, respond to the "immigration surge" as it came to be called? Using interview data from 25% of the active judges on the court and some central staff, the article examines the series of internal experiments in case management that the Ninth Circuit was forced to undertake ...


War Courts: Terror's Distorting Effects On Federal Courts, Collin P. Wedel Aug 2010

War Courts: Terror's Distorting Effects On Federal Courts, Collin P. Wedel

Collin P Wedel

In recent years, federal courts have tried an increasing number of suspected terrorists. In fact, since 2001, federal courts have convicted over 403 people for terrorism-related crimes. Although much has been written about the normative question of where terrorists should be tried, scant research exists about the impact these recent trials have had upon the Article III court system. The debate, rather, has focused almost exclusively upon the proper venue for these trials and the hypothetical problems and advantages that might inhere in each venue. The war in Afghanistan, presenting a host of thorny legal issues, is now the longest ...


May It Please The Senate: An Empirical Analysis Of The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings Of Supreme Court Nominees, 1939-2009, Lori A. Ringhand, Paul M. Collins Aug 2010

May It Please The Senate: An Empirical Analysis Of The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings Of Supreme Court Nominees, 1939-2009, Lori A. Ringhand, Paul M. Collins

Lori A. Ringhand

This paper examines the questions asked and answers given by every Supreme Court nominee who has appeared to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee since 1939. In doing so, it uses a new dataset developed by the authors. This dataset, which provides a much-needed empirical foundation for scholarship in emerging areas of constitutional law and political science, captures all of the statements made at the hearings and codes these comments by issue area, subissue area, party of the appointing president, and party of the questioning senator. The dataset allows us to quantify for the fist time such things as which ...


The Path Of Posner's Pragmatism, Edward Cantu Aug 2010

The Path Of Posner's Pragmatism, Edward Cantu

Edward Cantu

It is no secret that formalist methodologies like originalism are not nearly as scientific as they pretend to be. Banking on this fact, pragmatism offers a prescriptive alternative: instead of expending intellectual energy attempting “fidelity” to antecedent “authority” (precedent, Framers’ intent, etc.) judges should embrace their inevitable roles as de facto policy makers, and focus on producing the best social results they can through the cases they decide. The article discusses the current state of legal pragmatism in the form espoused by its chief proponent Judge Richard Posner, and asks whether it has proven itself capable of contributing anything useful ...


Perpetuating Ageism Via Adoption Standards And Practices, Sara C. Mills Aug 2010

Perpetuating Ageism Via Adoption Standards And Practices, Sara C. Mills

Sara C Mills

More than a quarter of Americans consider adoption at some point in their lives. During the adoption process, courts strive to promote and foster the children’s best interests, but this often involves discriminatory decisions that deprive older adoptive parents of the same opportunities as younger adoptive parents. Discrimination in adoption proceedings is nothing new, and legislators, courts, and scholars have explored how it impacts minorities, same-sex couples, single parents, and divorcees. However, age discrimination in adoption also exists, and courts condone it by approving placements that are dictated by private agencies’ discriminatory ideologies. This article thus provides the first ...


Lessons In Price Stability From The U.S. Real Estate Market Collapse, Andrea J. Boyack Aug 2010

Lessons In Price Stability From The U.S. Real Estate Market Collapse, Andrea J. Boyack

Andrea J Boyack

The U.S. residential housing market collapse illustrates the consequences of ignoring risk while funding mortgage borrowing. Collateral over-valuation was a foundational piece of the crisis. Over the past few decades, secondary markets, securitization, policy and psychology increased the flow of funds into real estate. At the same time, financial market segmentation divorced risk from reward. Increased mortgage capital availability, unmitigated by proper risk allocation, led to real estate price inflation. Social trends and government policies exacerbated both the mortgage capital over-supply and the risk-valuation disconnect.

The Dodd-Frank Act inadequately addresses the underlying asset valuation problem. Federal regulation may support ...


Resurrecting The Argument For Judicial Empathy: Can A Dead Duck Be Successfully Repackaged For Sale To A Skeptical Public?, Tobin Sparling Aug 2010

Resurrecting The Argument For Judicial Empathy: Can A Dead Duck Be Successfully Repackaged For Sale To A Skeptical Public?, Tobin Sparling

Tobin Sparling

President Obama's campaign to promote judicial empathy has proved a failure, rejected by his own judicial nominees and the public at large. Based on an examination of current popular conceptions of justice and a survey of scientific understanding of what empathy is and how it works, this article examines whether judicial empathy is a cause worth saving and, if so, whether it can, indeed, be saved. It argues that the advocacy of judicial empathy can and should be revived and suggests a strategy for politicians, judges, and others who desire to promote it. This strategy operates from two basic ...


Linguistic Colonialism: Law, Independence, And Language Rights In Puerto Rico, Andrea Freeman Aug 2010

Linguistic Colonialism: Law, Independence, And Language Rights In Puerto Rico, Andrea Freeman

Andrea Freeman

Events surrounding Puerto Rico’s 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial elections highlight two of the problems that exemplify the current state of linguistic colonialism that characterizes the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. One arose from the requirement that federal jurors be proficient in English, a mandate that conflicts with the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a jury representing a fair cross-section of the community. The other stemmed from a lack of anticipation of the existence of an English-speaking minority in a territory ruled by the United States, compelling the district court to struggle for authority to order bilingual ...


Ending The Korematsu Era: A Modern Approach, Craig Green Aug 2010

Ending The Korematsu Era: A Modern Approach, Craig Green

Roger Craig Green

This Article seeks to transform how readers think of Korematsu v. United States, thereby offering a more accurate view of the past and stronger barriers against presidential abuse. Korematsu is conventionally listed among the worst cases in American law, but its wrongness is understood far too narrowly. If Korematsu were just a case about racist internments, it would be a truly unique blot in Supreme Court history: powerfully mistaken but almost completely irrelevant to modern legal disputes.

Despite Korematsu’s extraordinary facts, the case stands in a thematic cluster of cases from World War II that I will call the ...


A Kind Of Judgment: Searching For Judicial Narratives After Death, Timothy W. Waters Aug 2010

A Kind Of Judgment: Searching For Judicial Narratives After Death, Timothy W. Waters

Timothy W Waters

This Article is a work of original research interrogating the relationship between international criminal law and post-conflict reconciliation. Much of international criminal law’s attraction rests on the authoritative narrative theory: the claim that law’s authoritative judgments create incontestable narratives, which form the foundation for reconciliation in divided societies. So what happens when there is no judgment? By turning scholarship’s attention towards a terminated trial, this Article develops an indirect but powerful challenge to one of the dominant views about what international criminal law is for, with interdisciplinary implications for international law, international relations, diplomacy and political science ...


Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade's Trimester Framework, Randy Beck Aug 2010

Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade's Trimester Framework, Randy Beck

Randy Beck

One of the controversies arising from Roe v. Wade (1973) has concerned whether the conclusions undergirding the opinion's “trimester framework” should be considered part of the holding of the case, or instead classified as dicta. Different Supreme Court opinions have spoken to this question in different ways. This article reviews materials from the files of Justices who participated in Roe, seeking insight as to what the Court thought about the issue at the time.

The article concludes that Justices in the Roe majority understood the opinion’s trimester framework to consist largely of dicta, unnecessary to a ruling on ...


Democracy At The Corner Of First And Fourteenth: Judicial Campaign Spending And Equality, James Sample Aug 2010

Democracy At The Corner Of First And Fourteenth: Judicial Campaign Spending And Equality, James Sample

James Sample

This Article posits that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., which recognized that substantial independent expenditures in support of a judicial candidate present threats to judicial impartiality similar to those posed by direct contributions, suggests that guaranteeing due process of law in state courts presents a compelling state interest justifying the regulation of spending in judicial elections.

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo is understood to hold that only an “anti-corruption” rationale can justify campaign finance regulations, and to draw a rigid distinction between political campaign “expenditures ...


The Extent To Which "Yellowstonre Injunctions" Apply In Favor Of Residential Tenants: Who Will See Red, Who May Earn Green, And Who May Feel Blue?, Hon. Mark Dillon Aug 2010

The Extent To Which "Yellowstonre Injunctions" Apply In Favor Of Residential Tenants: Who Will See Red, Who May Earn Green, And Who May Feel Blue?, Hon. Mark Dillon

Hon. Mark C. Dillon

Difficulties in the residential and commercial real estate markets have caused an influx of cases in the New York State courts by which banks seek the foreclosure of delinquent mortgages and landlords seek the eviction of tenants that are in default of rent payment obligations.

New York State has long recognized "Yellowstone injunctions" in the context of commercial leases, where tenants preemptively obtain court orders enjoining their landlords from terminating their breached leases. The concept is named after its case of origin, First Nat. Stores, Inc. v. Yellowstone Shopping Center, Inc., which was decided by the state's Court of ...


Pleading Their Case: How Ashcroft V. Iqbal Extinguishes Prisoners’ Rights, Maureen Brocco Aug 2010

Pleading Their Case: How Ashcroft V. Iqbal Extinguishes Prisoners’ Rights, Maureen Brocco

Maureen Brocco

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, decided on May 18, 2009, increased the evidentiary burden required to survive a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (“Rule 12(b)(6)”) motion to dismiss to a strict plausibility standard. While this decision affects almost all civil claims in the federal court system, its impact is particularly troublesome in the realm of prisoners’ rights litigation. For a prisoner, such onerous pre-litigation fact-finding requirements can turn the administration of justice into an unattainable goal. Since prisoners’ claims are often against their captors, government officials, this heightened pleading burden may leave victims of egregious unconstitutional actions ...


The Extent To Which "Yellowstone Injunctions" Apply In Favor Of Residential Tenants: Who Will See Red, Who May Earn Green, And Who May Feel Blue?, Hon. Mark Dillon Aug 2010

The Extent To Which "Yellowstone Injunctions" Apply In Favor Of Residential Tenants: Who Will See Red, Who May Earn Green, And Who May Feel Blue?, Hon. Mark Dillon

Hon. Mark C. Dillon

Difficulties in the residential and commercial real estate markets have caused an influx of cases in the New York State courts by which banks seek the foreclosure of delinquent mortgages and landlords seek the eviction of tenants that are in default of rent payment obligations.

New York State has long recognized "Yellowstone injunctions" in the context of commercial leases, where tenants preemptively obtain court orders enjoining their landlords from terminating their breached leases. The concept is named after its case of origin, First Nat. Stores, Inc. v. Yellowstone Shopping Center, Inc., which was decided by the state's Court of ...


The Rhetoric Of Originalism, David Finkelstein Aug 2010

The Rhetoric Of Originalism, David Finkelstein

David Finkelstein

Justice Stevens has recently observed that originalism "holds out objectivity and restraint as its cardinal and, it seems, only virtues." McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S.Ct. 3020, 3118 (2010) (Stevens, J., dissenting). This article critically examines the notion that non-originalist methods of interpretation invite subjectivity into the process and are therefore insufficient to constrain. I suggest that the originalist's dissatisfaction with ordinary methods of interpretation rests of bad philosophy of language, and that properly thought through, Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations point to a better way of thinking about meaning in general, and legal interpretation in particular.


Saying “I’M Sorry” Is Not So Simple: Embracing The Complexity Of The Apology With A New Evidentiary Rule, Amy Poyer Aug 2010

Saying “I’M Sorry” Is Not So Simple: Embracing The Complexity Of The Apology With A New Evidentiary Rule, Amy Poyer

Amy Poyer

Apologies are everywhere. In day-to-day life, when a person apologizes, they must deal with a myriad of consequences for that apology. These may include vulnerability to the victim, embarrassment, a bruised ago, or even rejection of the apology by the victim. However, when the wrong one apologizes for turns into a lawsuit, the one apologizing has an additional penalty. Piled on to the emotional consequences that accompany any apology, a potential defendant must also worry about his apology’s use against him in court to prove that he is liable. Recently, a debate has developed over whether or not the ...


Limiting Legislative Courts: Protecting Article Iii From Congressional Evisceration, Kenneth G. Coffin Aug 2010

Limiting Legislative Courts: Protecting Article Iii From Congressional Evisceration, Kenneth G. Coffin

Kenneth G. Coffin

As with the notion of a unitary executive or a limited commerce clause, hope for a single federal judiciary has fallen by the wayside. Since 1828, the Supreme Court has recognized a separate class of “legislative courts.” Judges of these legislative, or Article I, courts fall outside the guarantees of Article III. Congress may therefore provide for limited terms of office, disparate methods of appointment and reduction of salaries. Currently there are over 2,000 Article I judges, including Bankruptcy, Magistrate, and Administrative Law judges, just to name a few. In contrast, only 829 United States judges can claim Article ...


In The Name Of Watergate -- Returning Ferpa To Its Original Design, Meg Penrose Jul 2010

In The Name Of Watergate -- Returning Ferpa To Its Original Design, Meg Penrose

Meg Penrose

The attached article, entitled "In the Name of Watergate: Returning FERPA to its Original Design" details the Watergate effect on federal privacy legislation, particularly the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Senator James L. Buckley, a one-term Senator from New York, served as the architect for what remains the most important education privacy law in existence. However, Senator Buckley recently discussed the reasons that this law should be "clarified" and returned to its original design. I wholeheartedly agree. In the digital era, we must zealously protect privacy with effective legislation that guards both the collection and release of personal ...


Cleaning Up Bankruptcy: Limiting The Dischargeability Of Environmental Cleanup Costs, Sonali P. Chitre Jul 2010

Cleaning Up Bankruptcy: Limiting The Dischargeability Of Environmental Cleanup Costs, Sonali P. Chitre

Sonali P Chitre

This article reconciles the joint aims of environmental and bankruptcy law after Judge Posner’s myopic opinion in the Seventh Circuit’s resolution of U.S. v. Apex Oil. These two areas of law represent alternative means to the same end—the equitable distribution of limited resources—and share equity’s traditional emphasis of function over form. Ignoring these principles, Judge Posner ruled in Apex that a cleanup order constitutes a dischargeable “claim” when styled as a legal judgment but not when styled as an equitable injunction. This despite the fact that in either case the liability amounts to the ...


Serious Disagreement: Same-Sex Marriage, Judicial Review, And The Quality Of Debate, Rob Goodman Jul 2010

Serious Disagreement: Same-Sex Marriage, Judicial Review, And The Quality Of Debate, Rob Goodman

Rob Goodman

Both defenders and critics of strong judicial review have relied on claims about the quality of debate in courts: the former, such as Ronald Dworkin, have characterized it as more principled than legislative debate, while the later, such as Jeremy Waldron, have called it overly-focused on text and precedent, to the detriment of substantive moral argument. The question can and should be studied empirically. To begin to do so, I compare American legislative and judicial debates, on the federal and state levels, on same-sex marriage. While legislatures and courts often heard similar arguments, the marriage debate in the courts took ...


Polarized Circuits: Party Affiliation Of Appointing Presidents, Ideology And Circuit Court Voting In Race And Gender Civil Rights Cases, Christopher R. Smith Jul 2010

Polarized Circuits: Party Affiliation Of Appointing Presidents, Ideology And Circuit Court Voting In Race And Gender Civil Rights Cases, Christopher R. Smith

Christopher R Smith

ABSTRACT Polarized Circuits: Party Affiliation of Appointing Presidents, Ideology and Circuit Court Voting in Race and Gender Civil Rights Cases This article seeks to examine the impact of Presidential party affiliation on the ideological voting patterns of Circuit Court judicial appointments within the context of race and gender civil rights cases. The article assesses two hypotheses regarding Circuit Court judicial voting patterns in race and gender civil rights cases: 1) That the ideological voting gap between Democratic appointed Circuit Court judges and Republican appointed Circuit Court judges has widened over time within the context of race and gender civil rights ...