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Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer Nov 2017

Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have heralded corpus linguistics—the study of language through collections of spoken or written texts—as a novel tool for statutory interpretation that will help provide an answer in the occasionally ambiguous search for “ordinary meaning” using dictionaries. In the spring of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court became the first to use corpus linguistics in a majority opinion. The dissent also used it, however, and the two opinions reached different conclusions. In the first true test for corpus linguistics, the answer seemed to be just as ambiguous as before.

This result calls into question the utility of ...


Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg Nov 2017

Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Federal sentencing enhancements force federal courts to delve into the world of substantive state criminal law. Does a state assault statute require violent force or just offensive touching? Does a state burglary statute that criminalizes breaking into a car or a house require prosecutors to charge the location entered as an element? Whether a person with prior convictions convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum of life imprisonment rather than a maximum sentence of ten years turns upon the answers to these questions. Yet, state law often does ...


Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield Nov 2016

Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield

Michigan Law Review

To most lawyers and judges, constitutional amendment rules are nothing more than the technical guidelines for changing a constitution’s text. But amendment rules contain a great deal of substance that can be relevant to deciding myriad constitutional issues. Indeed, judges have explicitly drawn on amendment rules when deciding issues as far afield as immigration, criminal procedure, free speech, and education policy. The Supreme Court, for example, has reasoned that, because Article V of the U.S. Constitution places no substantive limitations on formal amendment, the First Amendment must protect even the most revolutionary political viewpoints. At the state level ...


To Elect Or Not To Elect: A Case Study Ofjudicial Selection In New York City 1977-2002, Steven Zeidman Apr 2004

To Elect Or Not To Elect: A Case Study Ofjudicial Selection In New York City 1977-2002, Steven Zeidman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article examines the process of judicial selection in New York State in light of the recent court decisions in White and Spargo, which have paved the way for increased campaign speech in judicial elections. Relying on empirical data to compare judicial elections and appointments in New York City between 1977 and 2002, the Article finds that elections produce a judiciary that is more beholden to interest groups than one generated through appointments. The consequence of this greater special interest involvement is an erosion of public trust and confidence in the judiciary. Moreover while elections arguably have increased diversity in ...


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 ...


Trying To Make Peace With Bush V. Gore (Symposium: Bush V. Gore Issue 2001), Richard D. Friedman Jan 2001

Trying To Make Peace With Bush V. Gore (Symposium: Bush V. Gore Issue 2001), Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, shutting down the recounts of Florida's vote in the 2000 presidential election and effectively awarding the election to George W. Bush, has struck many observers, including myself, as outrageous.' Decisions of the Supreme Court should be more than mere reflections of ideological or partisan preference thinly camouflaged behind legalistic language. It would therefore be pleasant to be able to believe that they are more than that. Accordingly, Judge Richard Posner's analysis,2 in which he defends the result reached by the Court-though not the path by which it got ...


Judicial Selection In Michigan - Time For A Change?, John W. Reed Jan 1996

Judicial Selection In Michigan - Time For A Change?, John W. Reed

Articles

How are we to choose those who judge us? To whom do we entrust the responsibility of protecting our liberties and the power to determine our rights and liabilities? We look for men and women of integrity, diligence, legal ability, and judicial temperament, chosen by methods that balance judicial independence and public accountability.1


Electing Justice, Sol Wachtler May 1991

Electing Justice, Sol Wachtler

Michigan Law Review

A Review of In Pursuit of Justice: Reflections of a State Supreme Court Justice by Joseph R. Grodin


Safeguarding The Litigant's Constitutional Right To A Fair And Impartial Forum: A Due Process Approach To Improprieties Arising From Judicial Campaign Contributions From Lawyers, Mark Andrew Grannis Nov 1987

Safeguarding The Litigant's Constitutional Right To A Fair And Impartial Forum: A Due Process Approach To Improprieties Arising From Judicial Campaign Contributions From Lawyers, Mark Andrew Grannis

Michigan Law Review

This Note will argue that the improprieties arising from some campaign contributions are so egregious that they offend the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. Consequently, states must either reform judicial campaigns to eliminate such improprieties, or, through mandatory judicial recusal or disqualification, respect the absolute constitutional right to an impartial forum. Part I of this Note will examine the history of disqualification at common law and in American practice, focusing on the extent to which it has been held to be a requirement of due process. Part II will argue that under the applicable due process standards, a ...


Individual And Community: An Appreciation Of Mr. Justice Powell, Christina B. Whitman Jan 1982

Individual And Community: An Appreciation Of Mr. Justice Powell, Christina B. Whitman

Articles

When the nomination of Lewis F. Powell, Jr., to the Supreme Court of the United States was submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee ten years ago, much was made of his extraordinary record of service to his city, his state, and his profession.1 Justice Powell's career has been a model of individual responsibility to society. His belief in the value of civic life, and in the desirability of making such a life available to everyone, has been a dominant influence in his work on the Supreme Court. In what follows, I shall attempt to define some of the ...