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Courts

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2010

Southern Methodist University

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Law, Facts, And Power, Elizabeth G. Thornburg Jan 2010

Law, Facts, And Power, Elizabeth G. Thornburg

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Ashcroft v. Iqbal is wrong in many ways. This essay is about only one of them: the Court’s single-handed return to a pleading system that requires lawyers and judges to distinguish between pleading facts and pleading law. This move not only resuscitates a distinction purposely abandoned by the generation that drafted the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but also serves as an example of the very difficulties created by the distinction. The chinks in the law-fact divide are evident in Iqbal itself - both in the already notorious pleading section of the opinion, and ...