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United States Supreme Court

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Depoliticizing The Supreme Court Through Term Limits: A Worthwhile Reform Effort, Kara King Nov 2022

Depoliticizing The Supreme Court Through Term Limits: A Worthwhile Reform Effort, Kara King

Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

The United States Supreme Court is in a legitimacy crisis. Americans are losing faith in the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government. As a result, policymakers and academics have put forth several proposals to reform the Court. The concept of an eighteen-year term limit maintains some bipartisan support and stands out as the most likely reform. This Article argues that term limits could help depoliticize the nomination process, bring greater stability to the Court, and restore confidence in the Court.


Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2022

Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Qualified immunity has become a central target of the movement for police reform and racial justice since George Floyd’s murder. And rightly so. Qualified immunity, which shields government officials from damages for constitutional violations even in many egregious cases, should have no place in federal law. But in critical respects, qualified immunity has become too much a focus of the conversation about constitutional-enforcement reform. The recent reappraisal offers unique opportunities to explore deeper problems and seek deeper solutions.

This Article argues that the public and policymakers should reconsider other aspects of the constitutional-tort system—especially sovereign immunity and related protections for …


Fraud On Any Market, Gregory Day, John T. Holden, Brian M. Mills Apr 2022

Fraud On Any Market, Gregory Day, John T. Holden, Brian M. Mills

Indiana Law Journal

Claims of securities fraud had historically failed because investors seldom rely on false or misleading statements when transacting securities. To bolster confidence in securities markets, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a doctrine called “fraud-on-the-market” so that duped investors can show detrimental reliance without ever encountering the fraudulent statements. The doctrine assumes that a stock’s price reflects all material information, meaning that an investor who bought tainted stock has constructively relied on the fraud.

Fraud-on-the-market is not only unavailable in other markets but is also embattled within securities law. The doctrine has endured volleys of criticisms about whether markets actually absorb …


Religious Freedom Amid The Tumult, Thomas C. Berg Feb 2022

Religious Freedom Amid The Tumult, Thomas C. Berg

University of St. Thomas Law Journal

No abstract provided.


The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs & The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, Steven A. Ramirez, Andre Douglas Pond Cummings Jan 2022

The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs & The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, Steven A. Ramirez, Andre Douglas Pond Cummings

Faculty Publications & Other Works

By 2021, the costs and pain arising from the propagation of the American racial hierarchy reached such heights that calls for anti-racism and criminal justice reform dramatically expanded. The brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police vividly proved that the social construction of race in America directly conflicted with supposed American values of equal protection under law and notions of basic justice. The racially-driven War on Drugs (WOD) fuels much of the dissonance between American legal mythology—such as the non-discrimination principle and the impartial administration of the rule of law—and the reality of race in the United States. …


First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage. Then Comes A Baby In A Baby Carriage: An Application Of Protective Surrogacy Laws To The Tarheel State, Justin Lo Jan 2022

First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage. Then Comes A Baby In A Baby Carriage: An Application Of Protective Surrogacy Laws To The Tarheel State, Justin Lo

Seattle University Law Review

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and determining parentage have a common feature: each is governed by state law or the lack of such laws. This lack of statutory regulations presents significant legal challenges to gay men who wish to start a family. Because same-sex male couples seeking to become fathers through ART and surrogacy are the most likely demographic to be impacted when determining parentage, laws that influence the direction of surrogacy will undeniably facilitate whether both males will be deemed a father. To provide same-sex male couples with a pathway to parenthood, North Carolina should (1) develop robust, protective surrogacy …


Uzuegbunam V. Preczewski, Nominal Damages, And The Roberts Stratagem, Michael Wells Jan 2022

Uzuegbunam V. Preczewski, Nominal Damages, And The Roberts Stratagem, Michael Wells

Georgia Law Review

In Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski the Supreme Court held for the first time that federal-court jurisdiction exists over a § 1983 case that presents only a claim for nominal damages. As a result, such claims remain subject to adjudication even when the plaintiff’s request for prospective relief, targeting an allegedly unlawful practice, has been mooted by the government’s discontinuance of the thus-challenged behavior. In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts maintained that the majority’s ruling clashed with Article III’s “personal stake” requirement and also unwisely permitted plaintiffs to sidestep controlling jurisdictional rules by adding a meaningless claim for nominal damages to a complaint …


Comparative Limitations On Abortions: The United States Supreme Court V. The European Court Of Human Rights, Sunaya Padmanabhan Oct 2021

Comparative Limitations On Abortions: The United States Supreme Court V. The European Court Of Human Rights, Sunaya Padmanabhan

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Note compares the balancing tests implemented by the United States Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights to determine the legal status of abortion within their jurisdictions. This Note will argue that the Supreme Court’s balancing test better protects a woman’s legal path to an abortion because it A) limits states’ restrictions to specific categories and B) regulates the extent to which states can restrict a woman’s pre-viability abortion.

This Note will also examine the ways in which each court’s abortion jurisprudence substantively restricts a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion, even where legal avenues to the …


The Supreme Court's Reticent Qualified Immunity Retreat, Katherine Mims Crocker Sep 2021

The Supreme Court's Reticent Qualified Immunity Retreat, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

The recent outcry against qualified immunity, a doctrine that disallows damages actions against government officials for a wide swath of constitutional claims, has been deafening. But when the Supreme Court in November 2020 and February 2021 invalidated grants of qualified immunity based on reasoning at the heart of the doctrine for the first time since John Roberts became Chief Justice, the response was muted. With initial evaluations and competing understandings coming from legal commentators in the months since, this Essay explores what these cases appear to say about qualified immunity for today and tomorrow.

The Essay traces idealistic, pessimistic, and …


The Founders' Multi-Purpose Chief Justice: The English Origins Of The American Chief Justiceship, Justin W. Aimonetti, Jackson A. Myers Sep 2021

The Founders' Multi-Purpose Chief Justice: The English Origins Of The American Chief Justiceship, Justin W. Aimonetti, Jackson A. Myers

West Virginia Law Review

During the founding era, the American Chief Justice was nearly unrecognizable to modern eyes. Rather than a purely judicial officer, the Chief Justice was a multi-purpose minister, serving as a judge, an administrator, a diplomat, and an advisor. He was what we call the “multi-purpose Chief Justice.” The multi-purpose Chief Justice of the Early Republic originated with the ancient English office of the Lord Chief Justice. English judges historically served as multi-purpose ministers to the king, engaging in administrative and even political tasks. This was especially true for the Lord Chief Justice. Even as other English judges settled into more …


The Doomed Constitutional Case Against Exclusive Representation, Michael M. Oswalt Jun 2021

The Doomed Constitutional Case Against Exclusive Representation, Michael M. Oswalt

College of Law Faculty Publications

When the Supreme Court decided Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in 2018, the decision not only made it unconstitutional for public sector unions to require “fair share fees” for negotiating contracts and defending workers, it also set off a litigation landslide. Literally hundreds of cases have waded through the courts urging various theoretical extensions of Janus that—boiled down—seek to starve unions and their members of even more funding


The Need For An Established Senate Rule On Election-Year And Lame Duck Session Supreme Court Nominations, Jacob R. Weaver May 2021

The Need For An Established Senate Rule On Election-Year And Lame Duck Session Supreme Court Nominations, Jacob R. Weaver

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

In 2016, the Republican-held Senate refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, sparking outrage among the Democratic Party. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified his party’s actions based on what became known as the “McConnell Rule.” This controversial rule holds that during years of presidential elections, when the president and the Senate majority are of different parties, the Senate is not expected to confirm the president’s Supreme Court nominees; but, when the president and Senate majority are of the same party, vacancies may be filled.

When the Senate applied this rule in 2020, the …


A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2021

A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Some scapegoats are innocent. Some warrant blame, but not the amount they are made to bear. Either way, scapegoating can allow in-groups to sidestep social problems by casting blame onto out-groups instead of confronting such problems--and the in-groups' complicity in perpetuating them--directly.

This Essay suggests that it may be productive to view the Bivens regime's rise as countering various exercises in scapegoating and its retrenchment as constituting an exercise in scapegoating. The earlier cases can be seen as responding to social structures that have scapegoated racial, economic, and other groups through overaggressive policing, mass incarceration, and inequitable government conduct more …


Reconsidering Section 1983'S Nonabrogation Of Sovereign Immunity, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2021

Reconsidering Section 1983'S Nonabrogation Of Sovereign Immunity, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Motivated by civil unrest and the police conduct that prompted it, Americans have embarked on a major reexamination of how constitutional enforcement works. One important component is 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which allows civil suits against any "person" who violates federal rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that "person" excludes states because Section 1983 flunks a condition of crystal clarity.

This Article reconsiders that conclusion--in legalese, Section 1983's nonabrogation of sovereign immunity--along multiple dimensions. Beginning with a negative critique, this Article argues that because the Court invented the crystal-clarity standard so long after Section 1983's enactment, the caselaw …


The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries May 2021

The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries

Michigan Law Review

The meaning of sex matters. The interpretive methodology by which the meaning of sex is determined matters Both of these were at issue in the Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, where the Court held that Title VII protects lesbians, gay men, transgender persons, and other sexual and gender minorities against workplace discrimination. Despite unanimously agreeing that Title VII should be interpreted in accordance with its original public meaning in 1964, the opinions in Bostock failed to properly define sex or offer a coherent theory of how long-standing statutes like Title VII should be interpreted over …


Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr. May 2021

Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Despite longstanding orthodoxy, the Constitution’s enumeration of congressional powers does virtually nothing to limit federal lawmaking. That’s not because of some bizarrely persistent judicial failure to read the Constitution correctly. It’s because the enumeration of congressional powers is not a well-designed technology for limiting federal legislation. Rather than trying to make the enumeration do work that it will not do, decisionmakers should find better ways of thinking about what lawmaking should be done locally rather than nationally. This Article suggests such a rubric, one that asks not whether Congress has permission to do a certain thing but whether a certain …


Unduly Burdening Abortion Jurisprudence, Mark Strasser Apr 2021

Unduly Burdening Abortion Jurisprudence, Mark Strasser

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

The undue burden standard is the current test to determine whether abortion regulations pass constitutional muster. But the function, meaning, and application of that test have varied over time, which undercuts the test’s usefulness and the ability of legislatures to know which regulations pass constitutional muster. Even more confusing, the Court has refused to apply the test in light of its express terms, which cannot fail to yield surprising conclusions and undercut confidence in the Court. The Court must not only clarify what the test means and how it is to be used, but must also formulate that test so …


How The Supreme Court Can Improve Educational Opportunities For African American And Hispanic Students By Ruling Against Harvard College’S Use Of Race Data, Genevieve Kelly Apr 2021

How The Supreme Court Can Improve Educational Opportunities For African American And Hispanic Students By Ruling Against Harvard College’S Use Of Race Data, Genevieve Kelly

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard has not only exposed ways in which Harvard College’s admissions office unfairly assesses Asian American applicants, but it has also revealed that Harvard’s fixation on race per se can disadvantage the very African American and Hispanic students best positioned to bring instructive and underrepresented perspectives to the college. The facts show that Harvard’s “tips” and “one-pager” system values African American and Hispanic students for their ability to boost Harvard’s racial profile more than for their actual experiences confronting racial discrimination. This Comment explains how, by ruling against Harvard (and without overruling Grutter or Fisher …


Intolerable Asymmetry And Uncertainty: Congress Should Right The Wrongs Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1991, William R. Corbett Apr 2021

Intolerable Asymmetry And Uncertainty: Congress Should Right The Wrongs Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1991, William R. Corbett

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Racial Revisionism, Shaun Ossei-Owusu Apr 2021

Racial Revisionism, Shaun Ossei-Owusu

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas. by Corey Robin.


The Rule Of Five Guys, Lisa Heinzerling Apr 2021

The Rule Of Five Guys, Lisa Heinzerling

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court. by Richard J. Lazarus.


Recent Developments, Clinton T. Summers Mar 2021

Recent Developments, Clinton T. Summers

Arkansas Law Review

The United States Supreme Court upheld an Arkansas law regulating how pharmacies are reimbursed by pharmacy benefit managers. In Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Ass’n, a unanimous Court decided that Arkansas Act 900, passed in 2015, was not pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).


The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier Mar 2021

The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

Many firms require consumers, employees, and suppliers to sign class action waivers as a condition of doing business with the firm, and the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed companies’ ability to block class actions through mandatory individual arbitration clauses. Are class action waivers serving the interests of society or are they facilitating socially harmful business practices? This paper synthesizes and extends the existing law and economics literature by analyzing the firms’ incentive to impose class action waivers. While in many settings the firms’ incentive to block class actions may be aligned with maximizing social welfare, in many other settings it …


“Remarkable Influence”: The Unexpected Importance Of Justice Scalia's Deceptively Unanimous And Contested Majority Opinions, Linda L. Berger, Eric C. Nystrom Feb 2021

“Remarkable Influence”: The Unexpected Importance Of Justice Scalia's Deceptively Unanimous And Contested Majority Opinions, Linda L. Berger, Eric C. Nystrom

The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

No abstract provided.


Predicting Supreme Court Behavior In Indian Law Cases, Grant Christensen Feb 2021

Predicting Supreme Court Behavior In Indian Law Cases, Grant Christensen

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This piece builds upon Matthew Fletcher’s call for additional empirical work in Indian law by creating a new dataset of Indian law opinions. The piece takes every Indian law case decided by the Supreme Court from the beginning of the Warren Court until the end of the 2019-2020 term. The scholarship first produces an Indian law scorecard that measures how often each Justice voted for the “pro- Indian” outcome. It then compares those results to the Justice’s political ideology to suggest that while there is a general trend that a more “liberal” Justice is more likely to favor the pro-Indian …


The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell Feb 2021

The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell

Michigan Law Review

Clarifications are a longstanding but little-studied concept in statutory interpretation. Most courts have found that clarifying amendments to preexisting statutes bypass retroactivity limitations. Therein lies their power. Because clarifications simply restate the law, they do not implicate the presumption against retroactivity that Landgraf v. USI Film Products embedded in civil-statute interpretation. The problem that courts have yet to address is how exactly clarifying legislation can be distinguished from legislation that substantively changes the law. What exactly is a clarification? The courts’ answers implicate many of the entrenched debates in statutory interpretation. This Note offers three primary contributions. First, it summarizes …


Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski Feb 2021

Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski

Michigan Law Review

Nearly five million individuals are admitted to America’s jails each year, and at any given time, two-thirds of those held in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Under current Supreme Court doctrine, these pretrial detainees are functionally protected by the same standard as convicted prisoners, despite the fact that they are formally protected by different constitutional amendments. A 2015 decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, declared that a different standard would apply to pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners in the context of use of force: consistent with the Constitution’s mandate that they not be punished at all, pretrial detainees …


The Role Of Trust Law Principles In Defining Public Trust Duties For Natural Resources, John C. Dernbach Jan 2021

The Role Of Trust Law Principles In Defining Public Trust Duties For Natural Resources, John C. Dernbach

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Public trusts for natural resources incorporate both limits and duties on governments in their stewardship of those natural resources. They exist in every state in the United States—in constitutional provisions, statutes, and in common law. Yet the law recognizing public trusts for natural resources may contain only the most basic provisions—often just a sentence or two. The purpose and terms of these public trusts certainly answer some questions about the limits and duties of trustees, but they do not answer all questions. When questions arise that the body of law creating or recognizing a public trust for natural resources does …


Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley Jan 2021

Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA or the Act) exempts “seamen, railroad employees, [and] any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” from arbitration. In 2019, the Supreme Court held in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that this provision exempted independent contractors as well as employees. This decision expanded the reach of the section 1 exemption and may affect the relationship between ridesharing companies, such as Uber, and their drivers. Previously, ridesharing companies argued that courts must enforce the arbitration clauses in their employment contracts because their workers were independent contractors and, therefore, section 1 …


Abortion Rights In The Supreme Court: A Tale Of Three Wedges, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2021

Abortion Rights In The Supreme Court: A Tale Of Three Wedges, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Publications

No abstract provided.