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University of Michigan Law School

Constitutional Law

Judicial review

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But How Will The People Know? Public Opinion As A Meager Influence In Shaping Contemporary Supreme Court Decision Making, Tom Goldstein, Amy Howe Apr 2011

But How Will The People Know? Public Opinion As A Meager Influence In Shaping Contemporary Supreme Court Decision Making, Tom Goldstein, Amy Howe

Michigan Law Review

Chief Justice John Roberts famously described the ideal Supreme Court Justice as analogous to a baseball umpire, who simply "applies" the rules, rather than making them. Roberts promised to "remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat." At her own recent confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan demurred, opining that Roberts's metaphor might erroneously suggest that "everything is clear-cut, and that there's no judgment in the process." Based on his 2009 book, The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the ...


From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

In his Dunwody Lecture, Professor Akhil Amar invites us to revisit the Bush v. Gore controversy and consider what went wrong. This short essay responds to Professor Amar by taking up his invitation and looking at the decision through a seemingly improbable lens, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder. Among its many surprises, NAMUDNO helps illuminate the Court’s fundamental error nine years ago. Professor Amar forcefully argues that the mistrust with which the Justices in the Bush v. Gore majority viewed the Florida Supreme Court ...


Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin Jan 2008

Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin

Articles

In Judging the Voting Rights Act, Professors Adam B. Cox and Thomas J. Miles report that judges are more likely to find liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) when they are African American, appointed by a Democratic president, or sit on an appellate panel with a judge who is African American or a Democratic appointee. Cox and Miles posit that their findings “contrast” and “cast doubt” on much of the “conventional wisdom” about the Voting Rights Act, by which they mean the core findings we reported in Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 ...


Against Interpretive Supremacy, Saikrishna Prakash, John Yoo May 2005

Against Interpretive Supremacy, Saikrishna Prakash, John Yoo

Michigan Law Review

Many constitutional scholars are obsessed with judicial review and the many questions surrounding it. One perennial favorite is whether the Constitution even authorizes judicial review. Another is whether the other branches of the federal government must obey the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution and what, if anything, the other branches must do to execute the judiciary's judgments. Marbury v. Madison has been a full-employment program for many constitutional law scholars, including ourselves. Larry Kramer, the new Dean of Stanford Law School, shares this passion. He has devoted roughly the last decade of his career, with two lengthy ...


Why Europe Rejected American Judicial Review - And Why It May Not Matter, Alec Stone Sweet Aug 2003

Why Europe Rejected American Judicial Review - And Why It May Not Matter, Alec Stone Sweet

Michigan Law Review

In this Article, I explore the question of why constitutional review, but not American judicial review, spread across Europe. I will also argue that, despite obvious organic differences between the American and European systems of review, there is an increasing convergence in how review actually operates. I proceed as follows. In Part I, I examine the debate on establishing judicial review in Europe, focusing on the French. In Parts II and III, I contrast the European and the American models of review, and briefly discuss why the Kelsenian constitutional court diffused across Europe. In Part IV, I argue that despite ...


Terry Firma: Background Democracy And Constitutional Foundations, Frank I. Michelman Jan 2001

Terry Firma: Background Democracy And Constitutional Foundations, Frank I. Michelman

Michigan Law Review

Ages ago, I had the excellent luck to fall into a collaboration with Terrance Sandalow to produce a casebook now long forgotten. There could have been no more bracing or beneficial learning experience for a fledgling legal scholar (meaning me). What brought us together indeed was luck from my standpoint, but it was enterprise, too - the brokerage of an alert West Publishing Company editor picking up on a casual remark of mine as he made one of his regular sweeps through Harvard Law School. A novice law professor, I mentioned to him how much I admired a new essay in ...


Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky May 2000

Losing Faith: America Without Judicial Review?, Erwin Chemerinsky

Michigan Law Review

In the last decade, it has become increasingly trendy to question whether the Supreme Court and constitutional judicial review really can make a difference. Gerald Rosenberg, for example, in The Hollow Hope, expressly questions whether judicial review achieves effective social change. Similarly, Michael Klarman explores whether the Supreme Court's desegregation decisions were effective, except insofar as they produced a right-wing backlash that induced action to desegregate. In Taking the Constitution Away from the Courts, Mark Tushnet approvingly invokes these arguments (pp. 137, 145), but he goes much further. Professor Tushnet contends that, on balance, constitutional judicial review is harmful ...


Choosing Justices: A Political Appointments Process And The Wages Of Judicial Supremacy, John C. Yoo May 2000

Choosing Justices: A Political Appointments Process And The Wages Of Judicial Supremacy, John C. Yoo

Michigan Law Review

William H. Rehnquist is not going to be Chief Justice forever - much to the chagrin of Republicans, no doubt. In the last century, Supreme Court Justices have retired, on average, at the age of seventy-one after approximately fourteen years on the bench. By the end of the term of the President we elect this November, Chief Justice Rehnquist will have served on the Supreme Court for thirty-two years and reached the age of eighty. The law of averages suggests that Chief Justice Rehnquist is likely to retire in the next presidential term. In addition to replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist, the ...


Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki Jan 1999

Finding The Constitution: An Economic Analysis Of Tradition's Role In Constitutional Interpretation, Adam C. Pritchard, Todd J. Zywicki

Articles

In this Article, Professor Pritchard and Professor Zywicki examine the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation, a topic that has received significant attention in recent years. After outlining the current debate over the use of tradition, the authors discuss the efficiency purposes of constitutionalism--precommitment and the reduction of agency costs--and demonstrate how the use of tradition in constitutional interpretation can serve these purposes. Rejecting both Justice Scalia's majoritarian model, which focuses on legislative sources of tradition, and Justice Souter's common-law model, which focuses on Supreme Court precedent as a source of tradition, the authors propose an alternative model--the ...


The Eighteenth-Century Background Of John Marshall's Constitutional Jurisprudence, William E. Nelson May 1978

The Eighteenth-Century Background Of John Marshall's Constitutional Jurisprudence, William E. Nelson

Michigan Law Review

This analysis of Marshall's constitutional jurisprudence avoids the pitfalls of previous theories. It does not see the Federalist political program as the source of Marshall's constitutional doctrines and thus does not need to explain how Marshall qualified his political principles or how he convinced non-Federalist judges to accept them. Instead, this essay argues that legal, not political, principles underlay Marshall's jurisprudence, but it attempts to understand those principles in a manner consistent with the unavoidable twentieth-century assumption that law is a body of flexible rules responsive to social reality rather than a series of immutable, unambiguous doctrines ...


Judicial Protection Of Minorities, Terrance Sandalow May 1977

Judicial Protection Of Minorities, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

In United States v. Carolene Products Co., Justice Stone suggested by indirection that there "may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality" when courts are called upon to determine the validity "of statutes directed at particular religious . . . or national . . . or racial minorities."' In such cases, he explained, "prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry."' Forty years later, that cautious suggestion has ripened into ...