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University of Michigan Law School

Constitutional Law

United States Supreme Court

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Six Overrulings, Andrew Koppelman Apr 2015

Six Overrulings, Andrew Koppelman

Michigan Law Review

John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010 at the age of ninety after more than thirty-four years on the Supreme Court, has capped his astoundingly distinguished career by becoming an important public intellectual. He reviews books, gives high-profile interviews, wrote a memoir of the chief justices he has known, and has now written a second book. Six Amendments revisits half a dozen old, lost battles. Stevens appeals over the heads of his colleagues to a higher authority: the public. Now that he is off the Court, Stevens explains why six decisions in which he dissented should be overruled by constitutional ...


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 ...


Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The inauguration of Barack Obama was marred by one of the smallest constitutional crises in American history. As we all remember, the President did not quite recite his oath as it appears in the Constitution. The error bothered enough people that the White House redid the ceremony a day later, taking care to get the constitutional text exactly right. Or that, at least, is what everyone thinks happened. What actually happened is more interesting. The second time through, the President again departed from the Constitution's text. But the second time, nobody minded. Or even noticed. In that unremarked feature ...


Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus Jan 2009

Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Justice Stephen Markman sits on the Supreme Court of my home state of Michigan. In that capacity, he says, he is involved in a struggle between two kinds of judging. On one side are judges like him. They follow the rules. On the other side are unconstrained judges who decide cases on the basis of what they think the law ought to be. This picture is relatively simple, and Justice Markman apparently approves of its simplicity. But matters may in fact be a good deal more complex.


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 ...


When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus Jan 2008

When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theory lacks an account of when each of the familiar sources of authority-text, original meaning, precedent, and so on-should be given weight. The dominant tendency is to regard all sources as potentially applicable in every case. In contrast, this Article proposes that each source of authority is pertinent in some categories of cases but not in others, much as a physical tool is appropriate for some but not all kinds of household tasks. The Article then applies this approach to identify the categories of cases in which original meaning is, or is not, a valid factor in constitutional decisionmaking.


Judicial Compensation And The Definition Of Judicial Power In The Early Republic, James E. Pfander Jan 2008

Judicial Compensation And The Definition Of Judicial Power In The Early Republic, James E. Pfander

Michigan Law Review

Article III's provision for the compensation of federal judges has been much celebrated for the no-diminution provision that forecloses judicial pay cuts. But other features of Article Ill's compensation provision have largely escaped notice. In particular, little attention has been paid to the framers' apparent expectation that Congress would compensate federal judges with salaries alone, payable from the treasury at stated times. Article III's presumption in favor of salary-based compensation may rule out fee-based compensation, which was a common form of judicial compensation in England and the colonies but had grown controversial by the time of the ...


Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus

Articles

One contribution that law professors can make to constitutional discourse, I suggest, is the nurturing of new mobilizable histories. A "mobilizable history," as I will use the term, is a narrative, image, or other historical source that is sufficiently well-known to the community of constitutional decisionmakers so as to be able to support a credible argument in the discourse of constitutional law. It draws upon materials that are within the collective memory of constitutional interpreters; indeed, a necessary step in nurturing a new mobilizable history is to introduce new information into that collective memory or to raise the prominence of ...


Constitutional Sunsetting?: Justice O'Connor's Closing Comments On Grutter, Evan H. Caminker, Vikram David Amar Jan 2003

Constitutional Sunsetting?: Justice O'Connor's Closing Comments On Grutter, Evan H. Caminker, Vikram David Amar

Articles

Most Supreme Court watchers were unsurprised that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's vote proved pivotal in resolving the University of Michigan affirmative action cases; indeed, Justice O'Connor has been in the majority in almost every case involving race over the past decade, and was in the majority in each and every one of the 5-4 decisions the Court handed down across a broad range of difficult issues last Term. Some smaller number of observers were unsurprised that Justice O'Connor decided (along with the four Justices who in the past have voted to allow latitude with regard to ...


Free-Standing Due Process And Criminal Procedure: The Supreme Court's Search For Interpretive Guidelines, Jerold H. Israel Jan 2001

Free-Standing Due Process And Criminal Procedure: The Supreme Court's Search For Interpretive Guidelines, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

When I was first introduced to the constitutional regulation of criminal procedure in the mid-1950s, a single issue dominated the field: To what extent did the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment impose upon states the same constitutional restraints that the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments imposed upon the federal government? While those Bill of Rights provisions, as even then construed, imposed a broad range of constitutional restraints upon the federal criminal justice system, the federal system was (and still is) minuscule as compared to the combined systems of the fifty states. With the Bill of Rights provisions ...


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 ...


Pragmatism And Parity In Appointments, Yxta Maya Murray Jan 1996

Pragmatism And Parity In Appointments, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This review uses Carter's two foci as a springboard for analyzing the Article II, Section II appointment process. First, Carter's discussion of indecency in modern appointments may be a valuable theoretical insight into the process instead of a mere sociological observation. "Indecency" in appointments, or what is known as "borking" in Carter parlance, may also be a symptom of race and gender bias in the administration of the Article II, Section II power. To ameliorate the effects of this bias, I suggest the incorporation of pragmatism (a thread of philosophical and legal thought) and parity concepts into the ...


On The 'Fruits' Of Miranda Violations, Coerced Confessions, And Compelled Testimony, Yale Kamisar Mar 1995

On The 'Fruits' Of Miranda Violations, Coerced Confessions, And Compelled Testimony, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Professor Akhil Reed Amar and Ms. Renee B. Lettow have written a lively, provocative article that will keep many of us who teach constitutional-criminal procedure busy for years to come. They present a reconception of the "first principles" of the Fifth Amendment, and they suggest a dramatic reconstruction of criminal procedure. As a part of that reconstruction, they propose, inter alia, that at a pretrial hearing presided over by a judicial officer, the government should be empowered to compel a suspect, under penalty of contempt, to provide links in the chain of evidence needed to convict him.


Reply: Self-Incrimination And The Constitution: A Brief Rejoinder To Professor Kamisar, Akhil Reed Amar, Renée B. Lettow Mar 1995

Reply: Self-Incrimination And The Constitution: A Brief Rejoinder To Professor Kamisar, Akhil Reed Amar, Renée B. Lettow

Michigan Law Review

A Reply to Yale Kamisar's Response to the "Fifth Amendment Principles: The Self-Incrimination Clause"


Fifth Amendment First Principles: The Self-Incrimination Clause, Akhil Reed Amar, Renée B. Lettow Mar 1995

Fifth Amendment First Principles: The Self-Incrimination Clause, Akhil Reed Amar, Renée B. Lettow

Michigan Law Review

In Part I of this article, we examine the global puzzle of the Self-Incrimination Clause and the local confusion or perversion lurking behind virtually every key word and phrase in the clause as now construed. In Part II we elaborate our reading of the clause and show how it clears up the local problems and solves the overall puzzle.


Is The Burger Court Really Like The Warren Court?, Paul Bender Feb 1984

Is The Burger Court Really Like The Warren Court?, Paul Bender

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Burger Court: The Counter-Revolution That Wasn't by Vincent Blasi


Does Doctrine Matter?, Frederick Schauer Feb 1984

Does Doctrine Matter?, Frederick Schauer

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Burger Court: The Counter-Revolution That Wasn't by Vincent Blasi


Toward Increased Judicial Activism: The Political Role Of The Supreme Court, Michigan Law Review Feb 1984

Toward Increased Judicial Activism: The Political Role Of The Supreme Court, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Toward Increased Judicial Activism: The Political Role of the Supreme Court by Arthur Selwyn Miller


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 ...