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Unwrapping The Box The Supreme Court Justices Have Gotten Themselves Into: Internal Confrontations Over Confronting The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Unwrapping The Box The Supreme Court Justices Have Gotten Themselves Into: Internal Confrontations Over Confronting The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Williams v. Illinois, handed down in 2012, is the latest in a new and revolutionary line of U.S. Supreme Court cases beginning with the 2004 decision of Crawford v. Washington which radically altered the Court's former approach to the Constitutional Confrontation Clause. That clause generally requires persons who make written or oral statements outside the trial, that may constitute evidence against a criminal defendant, to take the witness stand for cross-examination rather than those statements being presented at the trial only by the writing or by another person who heard the statement.

Previous to Crawford, under Ohio v ...


Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the last weeks in June, 2015, as the present term of the U.S. Supreme Court drew to a close, many controversial and important decisions were handed down by the Court. The substance of the decisions has been written about extensively. Two of the decisions in particular, though, caught my eye as a teacher of legal techniques, not for the importance of the subject of the particular decision, but for what they may illustrate in a teachable fashion about at least some opinion writing. The two cases are Ohio v. Clark (June 18, 2015) interpreting the Confrontation Clause of ...


Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2014

Bond V. United States: Concurring In The Judgment, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Bond v. United States presented the deep constitutional question of whether a treaty can increase the legislative power of Congress. Unfortunately, a majority of the Court managed to sidestep the constitutional issue by dodgy statutory interpretation. But the other three Justices—Scalia, Thomas, and Alito—all wrote important concurrences in the judgment, grappling with the constitutional issues presented. In particular, Justice Scalia’s opinion (joined by Justice Thomas), is a masterpiece, eloquently demonstrating that Missouri v. Holland is wrong and should be overruled: a treaty cannot increase the legislative power of Congress.


Decarceration Courts: Possibilities And Perils Of A Shifting Criminal Law, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2012

Decarceration Courts: Possibilities And Perils Of A Shifting Criminal Law, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A widely decried crisis confronts U.S. criminal law. Jails and prisons are overcrowded and violence plagued. Additional causes for alarm include the rate of increase of incarcerated populations, their historically and internationally unprecedented size, their racial disproportionality, and exorbitant associated costs. Although disagreement remains over the precise degree by which incarceration ought to be reduced, there is a growing consensus that some measure of decarceration is desirable.

With hopes of reducing reliance on conventional criminal supervision and incarceration, specialized criminal courts proliferated dramatically over the past two decades. There are approximately 3,000 specialized criminal courts in the United ...


Defense-Oriented Judges, Abbe Smith Jan 2004

Defense-Oriented Judges, Abbe Smith

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this essay, I argue in favor of so-called "defense-oriented judges." Instead of the increasingly prosecution-oriented judicial aspirants who ascend to the bench, we need more judges who care about protecting the rights of the accused, who will put the government to the test, and who have some compassion for those who come before them. Instead of judges who are nothing more than rubber-stamps for prosecutors, deferring to prosecutors at every step because they believe most defendants are in fact guilty, or because they dislike defense lawyers, we need judges who are truly neutral and disinterested. Instead of judges who ...


Constitutional Dignity And The Criminal Law, James E. Baker Nov 2002

Constitutional Dignity And The Criminal Law, James E. Baker

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Criminal law is important because it helps to define who we are as a constitutional democracy. There is much that distinguishes our form of government from others, but certainly much of that distinction is found in the Bill of Rights and in two simple words: due process. All of which help to affirm the value and sanctity of the individual in our society. Broadly then, criminal law helps to define who we are as a nation that values both order and liberty.

That is what many of the greatest judicial debates are about, like those involving Holmes, Hand, Jackson, and ...