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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor Jan 2017

The Genius Of Hamilton And The Birth Of The Modern Theory Of The Judiciary, William M. Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In late May 1788, with the essays of the Federalist on the Congress (Article I) and the Executive (Article II) completed, Alexander Hamilton turned, finally, to Article III and the judiciary. The Federalist’s essays 78 to 83 – the essays on the judiciary - had limited effect on ratification. No newspaper outside New York reprinted them, and they appeared very late in the ratification process – after eight states had ratified. But, if these essays had little immediate impact – essentially limited to the ratification debates in New York and, perhaps, Virginia – they were a stunning intellectual achievement. Modern scholars have made Madison ...


Roe V. Wade: The Case That Changed Democracy, Adam Lamparello Dec 2015

Roe V. Wade: The Case That Changed Democracy, Adam Lamparello

Adam Lamparello

No abstract provided.


Gandhi’S Prophecy: Corporate Violence And A Mindful Law For Bhopal, Nehal A. Patel Dec 2015

Gandhi’S Prophecy: Corporate Violence And A Mindful Law For Bhopal, Nehal A. Patel

Nehal A. Patel

AbstractOver thirty years have passed since the Bhopal chemical disaster began,and in that time scholars of corporate social responsibility (CSR) havediscussed and debated several frameworks for improving corporate responseto social and environmental problems. However, CSR discourse rarelydelves into the fundamental architecture of legal thought that oftenbuttresses corporate dominance in the global economy. Moreover, CSRdiscourse does little to challenge the ontological and epistemologicalassumptions that form the foundation for modern economics and the role ofcorporations in the world.I explore methods of transforming CSR by employing the thought ofMohandas Gandhi. I pay particular attention to Gandhi’s critique ofindustrialization and principle ...


Democracy And Torture, Patrick A. Maurer Oct 2015

Democracy And Torture, Patrick A. Maurer

Patrick A Maurer

September 11th spawned an era of political changes to fundamental rights. The focus of this discussion is to highlight Guantanamo Bay torture incidents. This analysis will explore the usages of torture from a legal standpoint in the United States.


Trust And Good-Faith Taken To A New Level: An Analysis Of Inconsistent Behavior In The Brazilian Legal Order, Thiago Luis Sombra Jul 2015

Trust And Good-Faith Taken To A New Level: An Analysis Of Inconsistent Behavior In The Brazilian Legal Order, Thiago Luis Sombra

Thiago Luís Santos Sombra

With the changes in the paradigm of voluntarism developed under the protection of liberalism, the bases for legal acts have reached an objective dimension, resulting in the birth of a number of mechanisms of control of private autonomy. Among these mechanisms, we can point out the relevance of those reinforced by the Roman Law, whose high ethical value underlines one of its biggest virtues in the control of the exercise of subjective rights. The prohibition of inconsistent behavior, conceived in the brocard venire contra factum proprium, constitutes one of the concepts from the Roman Law renown for the protection of ...


Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Santos Sombra Jul 2015

Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Santos Sombra

Thiago Luís Santos Sombra

This essay propose an analysis about how Warren Court became one of the most particular in American History by confronting Jim Crow law, especially by applying the Bill of Rights. In this essay, we propose an analysis of how complex the unwritten Constitution is. Cases like Brown vs. Board of Education will be analyzed from a different point of view to understand the methods of the Court.


The Hypocrisy Of "Equal But Separate" In The Courtroom: A Lens For The Civil Rights Era, Jaimie K. Mcfarlin Apr 2015

The Hypocrisy Of "Equal But Separate" In The Courtroom: A Lens For The Civil Rights Era, Jaimie K. Mcfarlin

Jaimie K. McFarlin

This article serves to examine the role of the courthouse during the Jim Crow Era and the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement, as courthouses fulfilled their dual function of minstreling Plessy’s call for “equality under the law” and orchestrating overt segregation.


Vetoing Wetland Permits Under Section 404(C) Of The Clean Water Act: A History Of Inter-Federal Agency Controversy And Reform, Michael Blumm, Elisabeth D. Mering Jan 2015

Vetoing Wetland Permits Under Section 404(C) Of The Clean Water Act: A History Of Inter-Federal Agency Controversy And Reform, Michael Blumm, Elisabeth D. Mering

Michael Blumm

For most of its four-decade history, section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act could have been considered to be a sleeper provision of environmental law. The proviso authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overrule permits for discharges of dredged or fill material issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) where necessary to ensure protection of fish and wildlife habitat, municipal water supplies, and recreational areas against unacceptable adverse effects. This authority of one federal agency to veto the decisions of another federal agency is quite unusual, perhaps unprecedented in environmental law. The exceptional nature ...


A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner Jan 2015

A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner

James R Maxeiner

Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a common law country of precedents where, until the 20th century (the “Age of Statutes”), statutes had little role. Digitization by Google and others of previously hard to find legal works of the 19th century challenges this common law myth. At the Centennial in 1876 Americans celebrated that “The great fact in the progress of American jurisprudence … is its tendency towards organic statute law and towards the systematizing of law; in other words, towards written constitutions and codification.” This article tests the claim of the Centennial Writers of 1876 and finds it ...


Three Arguments About War, Robert Tsai Dec 2014

Three Arguments About War, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

The rise of the United States as a military power capable of mounting global warfare and subduing domestic rebellions has helped produce a corresponding shift in the language of liberal constitutionalism. Arguments invoking war have become prevalent, increasingly creative and far-reaching, and therefore an emerging threat to rule of law values. It is not only legal limits on the capacity to wage war that have been influenced by the ascendance of war-inspired discourse; seemingly unrelated areas of law have also been reshaped by talk of war, from the constitutional rules of criminal procedure to the promise of racial and sexual ...


Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper Jul 2014

Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper

Casey J Cooper

The right to freedom of expression and free press is recognized under almost all major human rights instruments and domestic legal systems—common and civil—in the world. However, what do you do when a fundamental right conflicts with another equally fundamental right, like the right to a fair trial? In the United States, the freedom of speech, encompassing the freedom of the press, goes nearly unfettered: the case is not the same for other common law countries. In light of cultural and historic facts, institutional factors, modern realities, and case-law, this Article contends that current American jurisprudence does not ...


It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean May 2014

It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean

Adam Lamparello

Living constitutionalism may achieve “good” results, but with each Roe v. Wade, and Bush v. Gore, the Constitution’s vision takes more shallow breaths, and democracy fades into elitism’s shadow. The debate over constitutional interpretation is, in many ways, reducible to this question: if a particular outcome is desirable, and the Constitution’s text is silent or ambiguous, should the United States Supreme Court (or any court) disregard constitutional constraints to achieve that outcome? If the answer is yes, nine unelected judges have the power to choose outcomes that are desirable. If the answer is no, then the focus ...


It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean May 2014

It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean

Adam Lamparello

Living constitutionalism may achieve “good” results, but with each Roe v. Wade, and Bush v. Gore, the Constitution’s vision takes more shallow breaths, and democracy fades into elitism’s shadow. The debate over constitutional interpretation is, in many ways, reducible to this question: if a particular outcome is desirable, and the Constitution’s text is silent or ambiguous, should the United States Supreme Court (or any court) disregard constitutional constraints to achieve that outcome? If the answer is yes, nine unelected judges have the power to choose outcomes that are desirable. If the answer is no, then the focus ...


Tell Us A Story, But Don't Make It A Good One: Resolving The Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories And Federal Rule Of Evidence 403, Cathren Page Feb 2014

Tell Us A Story, But Don't Make It A Good One: Resolving The Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories And Federal Rule Of Evidence 403, Cathren Page

Cathren Page

Abstract: Tell Us a Story, But Don’t Make It A Good One: Resolving the Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories and Federal Rule of Evidence 403 by Cathren Koehlert-Page Courts need to reword their opinions regarding Rule 403 to address the tension between the advice to tell an emotionally evocative story at trial and the notion that evidence can be excluded if it is too emotional. In the murder mystery Mystic River, Dave Boyle is kidnapped in the beginning. The audience feels empathy for Dave who as an adult becomes one of the main suspects in the murder of his friend ...


The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson Jan 2014

The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson

Hillary A Henderson

Copyright law rewards an artificial monopoly to individual authors for their creations. This reward is based on the belief that, by granting authors the exclusive right to reproduce their works, they receive an incentive and means to create, which in turn advances the welfare of the general public by “promoting the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device . . . . In no ...


Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser Jan 2014

Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Taming A Dragon: Legislative History In Legal Analysis, Mark Deforrest Aug 2013

Taming A Dragon: Legislative History In Legal Analysis, Mark Deforrest

Mark DeForrest

ARTICLE ABSTRACT

TAMING A DRAGON:

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN LEGAL ANALYSIS

Mark DeForrest

The use of legislative history in statutory interpretation and analysis has been an area of intensive inquiry since the 1980’s. The debate has been vigorous and has led to the development of sophisticated arguments by both the advocates of the use of legislative history and textualists critical of its use. While the debate has been ongoing, changes in technology have made it easier than ever to access detailed legislative history for both state and federal statutes. This article discusses the impact of both the debate and the ...


Antimonopoly And The Radical Lochean Origins Of Western Water Law, Michael Blumm Jul 2013

Antimonopoly And The Radical Lochean Origins Of Western Water Law, Michael Blumm

Michael Blumm

This review of David Schorr's book, The Colorado Doctrine: Water Rights, Corporations, and Distributive Justice on the American Frontier, maintains that the book is a therapeutic corrective to the standard history of the origins of western water law as celebration of economic efficiency and wealth maximization. Schorr's account convincingly contends that the roots of prior appropriation water law--the "Colorado Doctrine"--lie in distributional justice concerns, not in the supposed efficiency advantages of private property over common property. The goals of the founders of the Colorado doctrine, according to Schorr, were to advance Radical Lochean principles such as widespread ...


Wasting The Corporate Waste Doctrine: Why Waste Claims Are Obsolete In Delaware Corporate Law And Why The Waste Doctrine Is The Wrong Solution To The Problem Of Executive Compensation, Kris S. Swift May 2013

Wasting The Corporate Waste Doctrine: Why Waste Claims Are Obsolete In Delaware Corporate Law And Why The Waste Doctrine Is The Wrong Solution To The Problem Of Executive Compensation, Kris S. Swift

Kris S. Swift

Abstract

Kristen S. Swift

This Note makes several points, drawn from Delaware litigation history, on the futility of pleading corporate waste in Delaware. At inception, the waste doctrine was a tool for shareholder protection and empowerment; however, as calculated business risk became encouraged and later formally protected by the business judgment rule, the waste doctrine evolved to protect officers and boards and now sets a nearly impossible benchmark for misconduct that would allow shareholders to recover on a waste claim. The waste doctrine is inextricably tied to how business risk-taking is perceived by Delaware courts and shifting attitudes toward risk ...


Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline Mar 2013

Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline

Matthew P Cline

The notion of a small group of peers whose responsibility it is to play a part in determining the outcome of a trial is central to the common conception of the American legal system. Memorialized in the Constitution of the United States as a fundamental right, and in the national consciousness as the proud, if begrudged, duty of all citizens, juries are often discussed, but perhaps not always understood. Whatever misunderstandings have come to be, certainly many of them sprang from the juxtaposition of jury and judge. Why do we have both? How are their responsibilities divided? Who truly decides ...


Cause Judging, Justin Hansford Mar 2013

Cause Judging, Justin Hansford

Justin Hansford

Building on the framework of “cause lawyering” scholarship, this Article explores the fact that, in a similar tradition as a “cause lawyering” law practice animated by dedication to a cause, “cause judging” exists as well. This insight has implications for judicial ethics norms. The hyper-partisan nature of modern American life has already cast doubt on the possibility that politically appointed judges can ever truly attain the “appearance of impartiality” demanded by judicial recusal standards. Instead, judicial ethics norms should embrace the fact that judges have moral and political ideals that inform their rulings when they exercise judicial discretion, and that ...


At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson Mar 2013

At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson

Lisa Tripp

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T v. Concepcion is the first case where the Supreme Court explores the interplay between state law unconscionability doctrine and the vast preemptive power of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Although it is considered by many to be a landmark decision which has the potential for greatly expanding the already impressive preemptive power of the FAA, something is amiss with Concepcion.

AT&T v. Concepcion is ostensibly a 5-4 majority decision with a concurring opinion. However, the differences in the majority and concurring opinions are so profound that it appears that Justice Thomas actually concurred in the judgment only, even though he joined the putative majority opinion. This raises serious philosophical questions about jurisprudence, what is necessary to create a rule of law in the American legal system, and the precedential value of Concepcion itself.

Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion and provided the fifth vote, but wrote a concurring opinion that explicitly rejected the legal reasoning of the majority opinion in its entirety. The putative majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia allows that unconscionability can be a valid defense to the enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate, but in Concepcion, allowing California to apply its unconscionability doctrine (the Discover Bank rule) would frustrate the purposes and objectives of Congress in enacting the FAA. For these reasons the Scalia opinion found the law was preempted.

Justice Thomas, in contrast, does not believe that unconscionability can ever be a basis to invalidate an agreement to arbitrate and he reaffirmed his emphatic position articulated in Wyeth v. Levine that “[t]his Court’s entire body of purposes and objectives preemption jurisprudence is inherently flawed. The cases improperly rely on legislative history, broad atextual notions of congressional purpose, and even congressional inaction in order to pre-empt state law.”

Justice Thomas’s conclusion that the law was preempted turned on the text of the statute which he interprets as not allowing unconscionability-based defenses to preemption. Justice Thomas has reaffirmed his rejection of purposes and objectives preemption in cases decided after Concepcion. This means, looking at the substance of the opinions, that there are but four votes for the deciding rationale articulated in the Scalia opinion and there is not a single common denominator that the Scalia and Thomas opinions share, except that they agree on the result.

The Concepcion Court is, in substance, equally divided. Four members found that California’s unconscionability doctrine frustrated the purposes and objectives of the FAA, four in the dissent thought the law did not frustrate the purposes and objectives of the FAA, and one found that the purposes and objectives of Congress were immaterial to the resolution of the case.

How should lower courts react to an equally divided court in this situation? Does a Justice’s decision to join an opinion create a governing rule of law under these unusual circumstances? Can governing rules of law be created in the absence of a majority for the deciding rationale? Is a Justice’s labeling of an opinion as a regular concurrence dispositive or does its substance dictate the precedential value it is given?

The authors’ argue that the Supreme Court provided the answer to these questions over 100 years ago in Hertz v. Woodman:

Under the precedents of this court, and, as seems justified by reason as well as by authority, an affirmance by an equally divided court is, as between the parties, a conclusive determination and adjudication of the matter adjudged; but the principles of law involved not having been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting prevents the case from becoming an authority for the determination of other cases, either in this or in inferior courts.

Under any rational reading of the opinions, there can be no doubt that “the principles of law involved [have not] been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting” and this should “prevent[] the case from becoming authority for the determination of other cases, either in [the Supreme Court] or in inferior courts ...


Three-Dimensional Sovereign Immunity, Sarah L. Brinton Mar 2013

Three-Dimensional Sovereign Immunity, Sarah L. Brinton

Sarah L Brinton

The Supreme Court has erred on sovereign immunity. The current federal immunity doctrine wrongly gives Congress the exclusive authority to waive immunity (“exclusive congressional waiver”), but the Constitution mandates that Congress share the waiver power with the Court. This Article develops the doctrine of a two-way shared waiver and then explores a third possibility: the sharing of the immunity waiver power among all three branches of government.


Ideological Voting Applied To The School Desegregation Cases In The Federal Courts Of Appeals From The 1960’S And 70’S, Joe Custer Feb 2013

Ideological Voting Applied To The School Desegregation Cases In The Federal Courts Of Appeals From The 1960’S And 70’S, Joe Custer

Joe Custer

This paper considers a research suggestion from Cass Sunstein to analyze segregation cases from the 1960's and 1970's and whether three hypothesis he projected in the article "Ideological Voting on Federal Courts of Appeals: A Preliminary Investigation," 90 Va. L. Rev. 301 (2004), involving various models of judicial ideology, would pertain. My paper considers Sunstein’s three hypotheses in addition to other judicial ideologies to try to empirically determine what was influencing Federal Court of Appeals Judges in regard to Civil Rights issues, specifically school desegregation, in the 1960’s and 1970’s.


In Defense Of Implied Injunctive Relief In Constitutional Cases, John F. Preis Feb 2013

In Defense Of Implied Injunctive Relief In Constitutional Cases, John F. Preis

John F. Preis

If Congress has neither authorized nor prohibited a suit to enforce the Constitution, may the federal courts create one nonetheless? At present, the answer mostly turns on the form of relief sought: if the plaintiff seeks damages, the Supreme Court will normally refuse relief unless Congress has specifically authorized it; in contrast, if the plaintiff seeks an injunction, the Court will refuse relief only if Congress has specifi- cally barred it. These contradictory approaches naturally invite arguments for reform. Two common arguments—one based on the historical relationship between law and equity and the other based on separation of powers ...


Costs Of Codification, Dru Stevenson Feb 2013

Costs Of Codification, Dru Stevenson

Dru Stevenson

Between the Civil War and World War II, every state and the federal government shifted toward codified versions of their statutes. Academia has so far ignored the systemic effects of this dramatic change. For example, the consensus view in the academic literature about rules and standards has been that precise rules present higher enactment costs for legislatures than would general standards, while vague standards present higher information costs for courts and citizens than do rules. Systematic codification – featuring hierarchical format and numbering, topical arrangement, and cross-references – inverts this relationship, lowering transaction costs for legislatures and increasing information costs for courts ...


The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun Jan 2013

The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

The rise of modern mass tort litigation in the U.S. has transformed punitive damages into something of a “hot button” issue. Since the size of punitive damage awards grew so dramatically in the past half century, this private law remedy has begun to involve issues of constitutional rights that traditionally pertained to criminal proceedings. This has created a risky interplay between tort and criminal law, and courts have thus been trying to find ways to properly manage punitive damage awards. The once rapidly expanding universe of punitive damages is therefore beginning to contract. There remain, however, very serious difficulties ...


"Simple" Takes On The Supreme Court, Robert Tsai Dec 2012

"Simple" Takes On The Supreme Court, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This essay assesses black literature as a medium for working out popular understandings of America’s Constitution and laws. Starting in the 1940s, Langston Hughes’s fictional character, Jesse B. Semple, began appearing in the prominent black newspaper, the Chicago Defender. The figure affectionately known as “Simple” was undereducated, unsophisticated, and plain spoken - certainly to a fault according to prevailing standards of civility, race relations, and professional attainment. Butthese very traits, along with a gritty experience under Jim Crow, made him not only a sympathetic figure but also an armchair legal theorist. In a series of barroom conversations, Simple ably ...


Bush V. Gore: The Worst (Or At Least Second-To-The-Worst) Supreme Court Decision Ever, Mark S. Brodin May 2012

Bush V. Gore: The Worst (Or At Least Second-To-The-Worst) Supreme Court Decision Ever, Mark S. Brodin

Mark S. Brodin

In the stiff competition for worst Supreme Court decision ever, two candidates stand heads above the others for the simple reason that they precipitated actual fighting wars in their times. By holding that slaves, as mere chattels, could not sue in court and could never be American citizens, and further invalidating the Missouri Compromise, which had prohibited slavery in new territories, Dred Scott v. Sanford charted the course to secession and Civil War four years later. By disenfranchising Florida voters and thereby appointing popular-vote loser George W. Bush as President, Bush v. Gore set in motion events which would lead ...


Expounding The Law: Law And Judicial Duty, Mary Sarah Bilder Sep 2011

Expounding The Law: Law And Judicial Duty, Mary Sarah Bilder

Mary Sarah Bilder

Written as a comment on Philip Hamburger's book, Law and Judicial Duty, this essay explains why the history of judicial review remains a difficult area for scholarship. American judicial tradition espoused that judges had an obligation to declare as void laws repugnant to the constitution. The essay suggests that the source of this duty, as well as the meaning of both the constitution and laws of the land, changed over time. The essay proposes that scholars perceived American judicial review as problematic only when this tradition conflicted with an increasingly rigid belief in separation of powers. The essay concludes ...