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Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Judges

Deliberation And Decision-Making Process In The Inter-American Court Of Human Rights: Do Individual Opinions Matter?, Ranieri L. Resende May 2019

Deliberation And Decision-Making Process In The Inter-American Court Of Human Rights: Do Individual Opinions Matter?, Ranieri L. Resende

Northwestern Journal of Human Rights

The work is focused on the adjudicatory nature of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and investigates its model of deliberation, considering three basic schemes: per curiam, seriatim and hybrid. In order to identify an institutional pattern, the importance of individual opinions is analyzed through the quantitative performance of each category of judge (ad hoc and regular), as well as each type of adjudicative activity (judgments and advisory opinions). The quantitative data is also useful to better understand the explicit assimilation of separate opinions to the core reasoning of future cases. As a result, it has been possible to identify ...


Artificial Intelligence And Role-Reversible Judgment, Kiel Brennan-Marquez, Stephen Henderson Jan 2019

Artificial Intelligence And Role-Reversible Judgment, Kiel Brennan-Marquez, Stephen Henderson

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Intelligent machines increasingly outperform human experts, raising the question of when (and why) humans should remain ‘in the loop’ of decision-making. One common answer focuses on outcomes: relying on intuition and experience, humans are capable of identifying interpretive errors—sometimes disastrous errors—that elude machines. Though plausible today, this argument will wear thin as technology evolves.

In this Article, we seek out sturdier ground: a defense of human judgment that focuses on the normative integrity of decision-making. Specifically, we propose an account of democratic equality as ‘role-reversibility.’ In a democracy, those tasked with making decisions should be susceptible, reciprocally, to ...


Managing Digital Discovery In Criminal Cases, Jenia I. Turner Jan 2019

Managing Digital Discovery In Criminal Cases, Jenia I. Turner

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The burdens and challenges of discovery—especially electronic discovery—are usually associated with civil, not criminal cases. This is beginning to change. Already common in white-collar crime cases, voluminous digital discovery is increasingly a feature of ordinary criminal prosecutions.

This Article examines the explosive growth of digital evidence in criminal cases and the efforts to manage its challenges. It then advances three claims about criminal case discovery in the digital age. First, the volume, complexity, and cost of digital discovery will incentivize the prosecution and the defense to cooperate more closely in cases with significant amounts of electronically stored information ...


If An Interpreter Mistranslates In A Courtroom And There Is No Recording, Does Anyone Care?: The Case For Protecting Lep Defendants’ Constitutional Rights, Lisa Santaniello Nov 2018

If An Interpreter Mistranslates In A Courtroom And There Is No Recording, Does Anyone Care?: The Case For Protecting Lep Defendants’ Constitutional Rights, Lisa Santaniello

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Policy Considerations And Implications In United States V. Bryant, Jessica Larsen May 2018

Policy Considerations And Implications In United States V. Bryant, Jessica Larsen

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Punishing On A Curve, Adi Leibovitch Aug 2017

Punishing On A Curve, Adi Leibovitch

Northwestern University Law Review

Does the punishment of one defendant depend on how she fares in comparison to the other defendants on the judge’s docket? This Article demonstrates that the troubling answer is yes. Judges sentence a given offense more harshly when their caseloads contain relatively milder offenses and more leniently when their caseloads contain more serious crimes. I call this phenomenon “punishing on a curve.”

Consequently, this Article shows how such relative sentencing patterns put into question the prevailing practice of establishing specialized courts and courts of limited jurisdiction. Because judges punish on a curve, a court’s jurisdictional scope systematically shapes ...


Clarence Thomas The Questioner, Ronnell Andersen Jones, Aaron L. Nielson Jun 2017

Clarence Thomas The Questioner, Ronnell Andersen Jones, Aaron L. Nielson

Northwestern University Law Review

One of Justice Clarence Thomas’s most remarked upon characteristics is his reluctance to ask questions during oral argument. Observers have criticized him for his silence, with some suggesting that it reflects disrespect for his colleagues and the advocates appearing before the Supreme Court. Others defend his silence, noting, for instance, that historically oral argument played a much less significant role and that Justice Thomas’s written opinions speak for themselves. What has been overlooked in this debate, however, is the fact that Justice Thomas is very talented at asking questions. Indeed, in many ways, he is a model questioner ...


The Scrivener’S Error, Ryan D. Doerfler Jun 2016

The Scrivener’S Error, Ryan D. Doerfler

Northwestern University Law Review

It is widely accepted that courts may correct legislative drafting mistakes, i.e., so-called scrivener’s errors, if and only if such mistakes are “absolutely clear.” The rationale is that if a court were to recognize a less clear error, it might be “rewriting” the statute rather than correcting a technical mistake.

This Article argues that the standard is much too strict. The current rationale ignores that courts can “rewrite,” i.e., misinterpret, a statute both by recognizing an error and by failing to do so. Accordingly, because the current doctrine is designed to protect against one type of mistake ...


Not All Plea Breaches Are Equal: Examining Heredia’S Extension Of Implicit Breach Analysis, Kevin Arns Apr 2016

Not All Plea Breaches Are Equal: Examining Heredia’S Extension Of Implicit Breach Analysis, Kevin Arns

Northwestern University Law Review

When the government enters into a plea agreement with a criminal defendant that stipulates that the government will give a specific sentence recommendation in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea, it can implicitly breach that agreement by clearly distancing itself from the recommendation at the sentencing hearing. In most circuits, the implicit breach of a non-court-binding plea agreement—an agreement where the defendant is bound to the guilty plea even if the court rejects the sentence recommendation—entitles defendants to a remedy. However, in 2014, the Ninth Circuit was the first circuit to hold that a defendant is entitled ...


Opinions I Should Have Written, Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.) Feb 2016

Opinions I Should Have Written, Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.)

Northwestern University Law Review

In 1991, the Chicago law firm of Pope & John Ltd. established a lecture series at Northwestern University School of Law. The Pope & John Lecture on Professionalism focuses on the many dimensions of a lawyer’s professional responsibility, including legal ethics, public service, professional civility, pro bono representation, and standards of conduct. The Northwestern University Law Review is pleased to present the November 12, 2014 Pope & John Lecture by Judge Nancy Gertner.


When Rules Are Made To Be Broken, Zev J. Eigen, David S. Sherwyn, Nicholas F. Menillo Mar 2015

When Rules Are Made To Be Broken, Zev J. Eigen, David S. Sherwyn, Nicholas F. Menillo

Northwestern University Law Review

When do judges follow rules expected to produce unjust results, and when do they intentionally misapply such rules to avoid injustice? Judicial rule-breaking is commonly observed when national dignity and morality are at stake, such as abolitionist judges charged with applying federal fugitive slave laws, or when lives hang in the balance, such as applications of criminal sentencing rules. Much less is understood about judicial rule-breaking in quotidian civil litigation, in spite of the sizeable impact on litigants and potential litigants, as well as the frequency with which judges face such decisions. This Article is the first to theoretically assess ...


The New Old Legal Realism, Tracey E. George, Mitu Gulati, Ann C. Mcginley Jan 2015

The New Old Legal Realism, Tracey E. George, Mitu Gulati, Ann C. Mcginley

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Diversifying The Federal Bench: Is Universal Legitimacy For The U.S. Justice System Possible?, Nancy Scherer Jan 2015

Diversifying The Federal Bench: Is Universal Legitimacy For The U.S. Justice System Possible?, Nancy Scherer

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Realism About Judges, Richard A. Posner Jan 2015

Realism About Judges, Richard A. Posner

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Beyond Principal-Agent Theories: Law And The Judicial Hierarchy, Pauline T. Kim Jan 2015

Beyond Principal-Agent Theories: Law And The Judicial Hierarchy, Pauline T. Kim

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Chief Justice, The Appointment Of Inferior Officers, And The "Court Of Law" Requirement, James E. Pfander Jan 2015

The Chief Justice, The Appointment Of Inferior Officers, And The "Court Of Law" Requirement, James E. Pfander

Northwestern University Law Review

In addition to his judicial duties, the Chief Justice presides over a sprawling judicial bureaucracy. Each year, the Chief fills positions within that bureaucracy, designating Article III judges to various specialty courts and appointing such officers as the director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Although critics worry that the Chief may use his appointment role to shape Third Branch policy unduly, scholars view the role as constitutionally benign. This Article questions the Chief’s role. The Constitution authorizes Congress to vest the appointment of inferior officers in the “courts of law” but not the Chief Justice ...


A Typology Of Judging Styles, Corey Rayburn Yung Jan 2015

A Typology Of Judging Styles, Corey Rayburn Yung

Northwestern University Law Review

This Article calls into question the fundamental premises of models of judicial decisionmaking utilized by legal and political science scholars. In the place of the predominant theories, I offer a new approach to understanding judicial behavior which recognizes judicial heterogeneity, multidimensional behavior, and interconnectedness among judges at different levels within the judiciary. The study utilizes a unique dataset of over 30,000 judicial votes from eleven courts of appeals in 2008, yielding statistically independent measures for judicial activism, ideology, independence, and partisanship. Based upon those four metrics, statistical cluster analysis is used to identify nine statistically distinct judging styles: Trailblazing ...


Trial By Google: Judicial Notice In The Information Age, Jeffrey Bellin, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson Jan 2015

Trial By Google: Judicial Notice In The Information Age, Jeffrey Bellin, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Northwestern University Law Review

This Article presents a theory of judicial notice for the information age. It argues that the ease of accessing factual data on the Internet allows judges and litigants to expand the use of judicial notice in ways that raise significant concerns about admissibility, reliability, and fair process. State and federal courts are already applying the surprisingly pliant judicial notice rules to bring websites ranging from Google Maps to Wikipedia into the courtroom, and these decisions will only increase in frequency in coming years. This rapidly emerging judicial phenomenon is notable for its ad hoc and conclusory nature—attributes that have ...


Is Resistance To Foreign Law Rooted In Racism?, Sheldon Bernard Lyke Aug 2014

Is Resistance To Foreign Law Rooted In Racism?, Sheldon Bernard Lyke

NULR Online

No abstract provided.


To “Advice And C̶O̶N̶S̶E̶N̶T̶Delay”: The Role Of Interest Groups In The Confirmation Of Judges To The Federal Courts Of Appeal, Donald E. Campbell Nov 2012

To “Advice And C̶O̶N̶S̶E̶N̶T̶Delay”: The Role Of Interest Groups In The Confirmation Of Judges To The Federal Courts Of Appeal, Donald E. Campbell

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Political and partisan battles over nominees to the federal courts of appeal have reached unprecedented levels. This article considers the reasons for this change in the process. Using evidence from law and political science, this article proposes that current confirmation struggles are greatly influenced by increased involvement of interest groups in the process. The article tests the role of interest groups through an in-depth examination of George W. Bush’s nomination of Leslie H. Southwick to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Utilizing the Southwick case study, the article provides evidence of how interest groups impact the confirmation process by ...


The Art Of Legal Reasoning And The Angst Of Judging: Of Balls, Strikes, And Moments Of Truth, Timothy P. Terrell Nov 2012

The Art Of Legal Reasoning And The Angst Of Judging: Of Balls, Strikes, And Moments Of Truth, Timothy P. Terrell

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

An essay of only five short paragraphs published several years ago by the noted Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould about a controversial call by baseball umpire Babe Pinelli provides all the foundation necessary for a thorough investigation of the phenomenon of legal reasoning. The present article contrasts Gould’s analysis of a “strike” with the comment by then-Judge John Roberts at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings that he just wanted to “call [the] balls and strikes,” and through this exchange develops a new approach toward identifying—and teaching—the basic elements of sophisticated legal thinking. This article divides legal reasoning ...


May It Please The Court: Questions About Policy At Oral Argument, Cynthia K. Conlon, Julie M. Karaba Nov 2012

May It Please The Court: Questions About Policy At Oral Argument, Cynthia K. Conlon, Julie M. Karaba

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article examines the questions that Supreme Court Justices ask during oral argument. The authors content-coded questions asked in fifty-three cases argued during the October 2009, 2010, and 2011 terms—a total of 5,115 questions. They found that the Justices vary significantly in the extent to which they ask about different aspects of a case, including threshold issues, precedent, facts, external actors, legal argument, and policy. They also found that the Justices were more likely to ask policy-oriented questions in education cases than in constitutional cases that did not arise in a school setting. The authors included a case ...


An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo Jan 2011

An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo

Faculty Working Papers

This essay summarizes high points in torts scholarship and case law over a period of two generations, highlighting the "states of argument" that have characterized tort law over that period. It intertwines doctrine and policy. Its doctrinal features include the tradtional spectrum of tort liability, the duty question, problems of proof, and the relative incoherency of damages rules. Noting the cross-doctrinal role of tort as a solver of functional problems, it focuses on major issues in products liability and medical malpractice. The essay discusses such elements of policy as the role of power in tort law, the tension between communitarianism ...


Hearings, Mark Spottswood Jan 2010

Hearings, Mark Spottswood

Faculty Working Papers

This article explores a constantly recurring procedural question: When is fact-finding improved by a live hearing, and when would it be better to rely on a written record? Unfortunately, when judges, lawyers, and rulemakers consider this issue, they are led astray by the widely shared—but false—assumption that a judge can best determine issues of credibility by viewing the demeanor of witnesses while they are testifying. In fact, a large body of scientific evidence indicates that judges are more likely to be deceived by lying or mistaken witnesses when observing their testimony in person than if the judges were ...


Federal Circuit Patent Precedent: An Empirical Study Of Institutional Authority And Ip Ideology, David Pekarek-Krohn, Emerson H. Tiller Jan 2010

Federal Circuit Patent Precedent: An Empirical Study Of Institutional Authority And Ip Ideology, David Pekarek-Krohn, Emerson H. Tiller

Faculty Working Papers

In this paper, we aim to better understand the institutional authority of the Federal Circuit as a source of law as well as the influence of pro-patent and anti-patent ideological forces at play between the Supreme Court, Federal Circuit, and the district courts. Our specific focus is on the district courts and how they cite Federal Circuit precedent relative to Supreme Court precedent to support their decisions, whether they be pro-patent or anti-patent. Using a variety of citation approaches and statistical tests, we find that federal district courts treat the Federal Circuit as more authoritative (compared to the Supreme Court ...


The Macroeconomic Court: Rhetoric And Implications Of New Deal Decision-Making, Nancy Staudt, Yilei He Jan 2010

The Macroeconomic Court: Rhetoric And Implications Of New Deal Decision-Making, Nancy Staudt, Yilei He

Faculty Working Papers

Supreme Court scholars have long discussed and debated the dramatic shift in constitutional decision-making that took place in the late 1930s—a shift that led the Justices to presume the constitutionality of any and all commercial statutes no matter how "preposterous" they might seem. The conventional wisdom holds that the Supreme Court altered its decision-making calculus to avoid the consequences of President Roosevelt's "court-packing plan," but various other explanations have also emerged in the literature over time. In this Article, Professor Staudt and Ms. He investigate an explanation that scholars and commentators have largely ignored: the role of the ...


Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele Jan 2010

Methodological Advances And Empirical Legal Scholarship: A Note On The Cox And Miles' Voting Rights Act Study, Nancy Staudt, Tyler Vanderweele

Faculty Working Papers

In this Response, we use Professors Cox and Miles' recent study of judicial decision-making to explore what is at stake when legal scholars present empirical findings without fully investigating the structural relationships of their data or without explicitly stating the assumptions being made to draw causal inferences. We then introduce a new methodology that is intuitive, easy to use, and, most importantly, allows scholars systematically to assess problems of bias and confounding. This methodology—known as causal directed acyclic graphs—will help empirical researchers to identify true cause and effect relationships when they exist and, at the same time, posit ...


Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt Jan 2010

Economic Trends And Judicial Outcomes: A Macrotheory Of The Court, Thomas Brennan, Lee Epstein, Nancy Staudt

Faculty Working Papers

In this symposium essay, we investigate the effect of economic conditions on the voting behavior of U.S. Supreme Court Justices. We theorize that Justices are akin to voters in political elections; specifically, we posit that the Justices will view short-term and relatively minor economic downturns—recessions—as attributable to the failures of elected officials, but will consider long-term and extreme economic contractions—depressions—as the result of exogenous shocks largely beyond the control of the government. Accordingly, we predict two patterns of behavior in economic-related cases that come before the Court: (1) in typical times, when the economy cycles ...


A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2008

A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Holmes's famous 1897 theory that law is a prediction of what courts will do in fact slowly changed the way law schools taught law until, by the mid-1920s legal realism took over the curriculum. The legal realists argued that judges decide cases on all kinds of objective and subjective reasons including precedents. If law schools wanted to train future lawyers to be effective, they should be exposed to collateral subjects that might influence judges: law and society, law and literature, and so forth. But the standard interpretation has been a huge mistake. It treats law as analogous to weather ...


Memo To The President (And His Opponents): Ideology Still Counts, David A. Strauss Aug 2007

Memo To The President (And His Opponents): Ideology Still Counts, David A. Strauss

NULR Online

No abstract provided.