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The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton Apr 2018

The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton

Michigan Law Review

A review of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary.


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 ...


Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin May 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Articles

It is of course too early to tell whether we are in a new era of bankruptcy judge (dis)respectability. Only time will tell. But this Article performs a specific case study, on one discrete area of bankruptcy court authority, based upon a particular assumption in that regard. The assumption is this: certain high-salience judicial events-here, the recent Supreme Court bankruptcy judge decisions, coupled with earlier constitutional precedents involving the limits of Article III-can trigger overreaction and hysteria. Lower courts may read these Supreme Court decisions as calling into question the permissibility of certain bankruptcy court practices under the Constitution ...


Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin Mar 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Law & Economics Working Papers

A surprising number of courts believe that bankruptcy judges lack authority to impose criminal contempt sanctions. We attempt to rectify this misunderstanding with a march through the historical treatment of contempt-like powers in bankruptcy, the painful statutory history of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (including the exciting history of likely repealed 28 U.S.C. § 1481), and the various apposite rules of procedure. (Fans of the All Writs Act will delight in its inclusion.) But the principal service we offer to the bankruptcy community is dismantling the ubiquitous and persistent belief that there is some form of constitutional infirmity with "mere ...


Fun With Administrative Law: A Game For Lawyers And Judges, Adam Babich May 2015

Fun With Administrative Law: A Game For Lawyers And Judges, Adam Babich

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The practice of law is not a game. Administrative law in particular can implicate important issues that impact people’s health, safety, and welfare and change business’ profitability or even viability. Nonetheless, it can seem like a game. This is because courts rarely explain administrative law rulings in terms of the public purposes and policies at issue in lawsuits. Instead, the courts’ administrative law opinions tend to turn on arcane interpretive doctrines with silly names, such as the “Chevron two-step” or “Chevron step zero.” To advance doctrinal arguments, advocates and courts engage in linguistic debates that resemble a smokescreen—tending ...


The Danger Of Nonrandom Case Assignment: How The Southern District Of New York's "Related Cases" Rule Shaped Stop-And-Frisk Rulings, Katherine A. Macfarlane Jan 2014

The Danger Of Nonrandom Case Assignment: How The Southern District Of New York's "Related Cases" Rule Shaped Stop-And-Frisk Rulings, Katherine A. Macfarlane

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The Southern District of New York’s local rules are clear: “[A]ll active judges . . . shall be assigned substantially an equal share of the categories of cases of the court over a period of time.” Yet for the past fourteen years, Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin has been granted near-exclusive jurisdiction over one category of case: those involving wide-sweeping constitutional challenges to the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policies. In 1999, Judge Scheindlin was randomly assigned Daniels v. City of New York, the first in a series of high-profile and high-impact stop-and-frisk cases. Since then, she has overseen ...


Ideology 'All The Way Down'? An Empirical Study Of Establishment Clause Decisions In The Federal Courts, Gregory C. Sisk, Michael Heise May 2012

Ideology 'All The Way Down'? An Empirical Study Of Establishment Clause Decisions In The Federal Courts, Gregory C. Sisk, Michael Heise

Michigan Law Review

As part of our ongoing empirical examination of religious liberty decisions in the lower federal courts, we studied Establishment Clause rulings by federal court of appeals and district court judges from 1996 through 2005. The powerful role of political factors in Establishment Clause decisions appears undeniable and substantial, whether celebrated as the proper integration of political and moral reasoning into constitutional judging, shrugged off as mere realism about judges being motivated to promote their political attitudes, or deprecated as a troubling departure from the aspirational ideal of neutral and impartial judging. In the context of Church and State cases in ...


Fill The Bench And Empty The Docket: Filibuster Reform For District Court Nominations, Jeremy Garson Jan 2012

Fill The Bench And Empty The Docket: Filibuster Reform For District Court Nominations, Jeremy Garson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Judges are, without question, vital to our justice system. They interpret, adapt, and apply the law. They resolve disputes for the parties to the case at issue and provide guidance to others in analogous situations. They are the gears that keep the wheels of justice moving. Unfortunately, in the case of our federal courts, many of these gears are missing. Eighty-three of our 874 federal judgeships are vacant, including thirty-four that have been declared “judicial emergencies.” Our Constitution vests the President with the power to nominate federal judges and the Senate with the power to confirm or reject them, and ...


Securities Law In The Roberts Court: Agenda Or Indifference?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2011

Securities Law In The Roberts Court: Agenda Or Indifference?, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

To outsiders, securities law is not all that interesting. The body of the law consists of an interconnecting web of statutes and regulations that fit together in ways that are decidedly counter-intuitive. Securities law rivals tax law in its reputation for complexity and dreariness. Worse yet, the subject regulated-capital markets-can be mystifying to those uninitiated in modem finance. Moreover, those markets rapidly evolve, continually increasing their complexity. If you do not understand how the financial markets work, it is hard to understand how securities law affects those markets.


Bargaining In The Shadow Of Rate-Setting Courts, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2009

Bargaining In The Shadow Of Rate-Setting Courts, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Judges will tell you that they are comparatively poor rate regulators. The specialized, technical competence and supervisory capacity that public utilities commissions enjoy are usually absent from judicial chambers. Nonetheless, when granting antitrust remedies-particularly remedies for monopolistic abuse of intellectual property-courts sometimes purport to act as rate regulators for the licensing or sale of the defendant's assets. At the outset, we should distinguish between two forms ofjudicial rate setting. In one form, a court (or the FTC in its adjudicative capacity) grants a compulsory license and sets a specific rate as part of a final judgment or an order ...


How Should We Study District Judge Decision-Making?, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim, Christina L. Boyd, Andrew D. Martin Jan 2009

How Should We Study District Judge Decision-Making?, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim, Christina L. Boyd, Andrew D. Martin

Articles

Understanding judicial decision-making requires attention to the specific institutional settings in which judges operate. The choices available to judges are determined not only by the law and facts of the case but also by procedural context. The incentives and constraints shaping judges’ decision-making will vary depending on, for example, whether they have a life-appointment or are elected; whether they hear cases alone or with colleagues; and whether and under what circumstances their decisions might be altered, overturned, or undone by the actions of others. The basic insight that the institutional context matters has led to increasingly sophisticated studies of how ...


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 ...


Decline Of Title Vii Disparate Impact: The Role Of The 1991 Civil Rights Act And The Ideologies Of Federal Judges, Michael J. Songer Jan 2005

Decline Of Title Vii Disparate Impact: The Role Of The 1991 Civil Rights Act And The Ideologies Of Federal Judges, Michael J. Songer

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This study employs various statistical techniques to test the efficacy of the 1991 Civil Rights Act in moderating the highly restrictive disparate impact regime imposed by Wards Cove, and to evaluate the hypothesis that political ideology should be a more powerful predictor of case outcomes following the 1991 Act. Part I of the paper describes the evolution of disparate impact doctrine from 1971 to the present. Part II analyzes data from randomly selected disparate impact cases brought by African American plaintiffs and finds that the current disparate impact doctrine emanating from the 1991 Civil Rights Act dramatically decreases the likelihood ...


What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner Jan 1999

What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article is aimed at the general question: whether having a woman judge would make a difference in sexual harassment cases. This article is aimed at this general question, the response to which has been elusive: Does the race, gender, or other background characteristics of a judge make a difference in the outcome of cases? The effects of diversity on the bench are just becoming measurable. Many legal scholars have assumed diversity will make a difference. While this conclusion may seem commonsensical, it is important to be able to support such assertions with actual data. The supposition has been that ...


Legislatively Directed Judicial Activism: Some Reflections On The Meaning Of The Civil Justice Reform Act, Matthew R. Kipp, Paul B. Lewis Jan 1995

Legislatively Directed Judicial Activism: Some Reflections On The Meaning Of The Civil Justice Reform Act, Matthew R. Kipp, Paul B. Lewis

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

With the Civil Justice Reform Act (CJRA), Congress attempted to further a trend that the federal judiciary had undertaken largely on its own initiative. Sensing a critical need to address the mounting expense and delay of federal civil litigation, Congress, like the judiciary, sought to increase the degree of early and active involvement of judges in the adjudicatory process. The result of this mandate has been a further emphasis on the role of the judge as a case manager. As a necessary corollary, the liberty and self-determination of individual litigants-ideals that have historically been seen as philosophical cornerstones of the ...


Diluting Justice On Appeal?: An Examination Of The Use Of District Court Judges Sitting By Designation On The United States Courts Of Appeals, Richard B. Saphire, Michael E. Solimine Jan 1995

Diluting Justice On Appeal?: An Examination Of The Use Of District Court Judges Sitting By Designation On The United States Courts Of Appeals, Richard B. Saphire, Michael E. Solimine

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

According to a number of studies and commentators, a serious caseload crisis faces the federal courts. With respect to the federal courts of appeals, some have called for drastic remedial measures. Until Congress responds, the courts of appeals have been forced to adopt a range of coping measures. In this article, Professors Saphire and Solimine examine one of these measures, the utilization of designated district court judges on appellate panels. After discussing the origins and extent of this practice, they identify a number of problems it raises. They argue that extensive and routine utilization of district judges on appellate panels ...


Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1992

Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Trial by Jury or Judge: Transcending Empiricism,1 by Kevin Clermont and Theodore Eisenberg, is not only an important article, it is unique. To most Americans, trial means trial by jury. In fact, over half of all federal trials are conducted without juries2 (including 31% of trials in cases in which the parties have the right to choose a jury3), and the proportion of bench trials in state courts is even higher.4 And yet, while there is a large literature on the outcomes of jury trials and the factors that affect them,5 nobody else has systematically compared trials ...


Selecting Law Clerks, Patricia M. Wald Oct 1990

Selecting Law Clerks, Patricia M. Wald

Michigan Law Review

April may indeed have been "the cruellest month" this year for federal judges and their prospective clerks. For a decade now, federal judges have been trying - largely without success - to conduct a dignified, collegial, efficient law clerk selection process. Because each federal judge has only to choose two to three clerks each year, and there is a large universe of qualified applicants graduating each year from our law schools, this would not seem an insurmountable task. And because each federal judge has choice first-year positions to offer and has no need or ability to dicker on salary or hours or ...


Electronic Media Access To Federal Courtrooms: A Judicial Response, Laralyn M. Sasaki Jun 1990

Electronic Media Access To Federal Courtrooms: A Judicial Response, Laralyn M. Sasaki

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note examines the ongoing electronic media access dispute and suggests methods to establish access. Because reform of current law would be implemented largely at the judicial "front lines"-the 700-plus U.S. district judges' courtrooms ---the concerns and desires of district judges are of primary importance to any proposed change. The survey documented an institutional resistance to an expanded media presence in federal courtrooms; this institutional inertia may be the strongest single reason that change has not occurred. Part I of this Note presents the federal rules, canons, and resolutions comprising the current prohibition against video and audio-equipment access ...


Regulating Judicial Misconduct And Divining "Good Behavior" For Federal Judges, Harry T. Edwards Feb 1989

Regulating Judicial Misconduct And Divining "Good Behavior" For Federal Judges, Harry T. Edwards

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented number of instances in which federal judges have been accused of criminal behavior and other serious acts of misconduct. This raises major concerns regarding the scope and enforcement of canons of conduct for members of the judicial branch. It would be presumptuous for anyone to suggest a complete understanding of the notion of "good behavior" for federal judges, or to claim a fully satisfactory prescription for the problem of "judicial misconduct." That is not my object. In reflecting on these issues, however, I have come to realize that I may not share ...


An Appellate Court Dilemma And A Solution Through Subject Matter Organization, Daniel J. Meador Jan 1983

An Appellate Court Dilemma And A Solution Through Subject Matter Organization, Daniel J. Meador

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The recent litigation explosion presents a two-pronged dilemma for American appellate courts. If, on the one hand, the number of appellate judges is not expanded to keep abreast of growing case loads, there is a risk that courts will rely too heavily on professional staff, thereby watering down the decision-making process. If, on the other hand, the number of judges is proportionately increased with the growth in appellate litigation, the number of three-judge decisional units will also increase, thereby threatening predictability and uniformity in the law of the jurisdiction. This Article undertakes to explain that dilemma and to offer a ...


Justice On Appeal—One Way Or Many?, Michael E. Smith Apr 1978

Justice On Appeal—One Way Or Many?, Michael E. Smith

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

After two centuries of our nation's existence, discussions of federalism are certain to sound familiar. The ground of argument has been worked so thoroughly, there is hardly a patch left unturned. Conventional watchwords suggest the competing interests: adaptability to local circumstances contrasted with efficiencies of scale, circumscribed experimentation contrasted with prevention of forum-shopping, local self-government contrasted with the cosmopolitan perspective. The most that can be done now, absent exceptional insight, is to display these choices in a fresh context.

What follows is yet another variation on the theme. It concerns the propriety, perhaps the desirability, of diversity among the ...


Compensation Of The Federal Judiciary: A Reexamination, Elliot A. Spoon Jan 1975

Compensation Of The Federal Judiciary: A Reexamination, Elliot A. Spoon

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The compensation of the federal judiciary has been a persistent issue since the enactment of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The problem has been traditionally perceived in the context of particular proposals for salary increases, but the underlying issues are much more fundamental than the concerns of the day. The institutional arrangements by which judicial compensation is determined and the factors which shape that determination have a profound impact on the fiscal and human resources of the judiciary, on the power relationships among the three branches of the national government, and, thereby, on the independence and quality of the judicial ...


Sane Procedural Reform, Robert E. Bunker Jan 1915

Sane Procedural Reform, Robert E. Bunker

Articles

In these later days much is said about reforming the procedure of our courts, about recalllng our judges, at arbitrarily appointed times, and about reversing their decisions by popular vote. Most of what is said about these matters is said by those who have least reason to say it. It is no exaggeration to assert that those who are most severe in their criticism of the courts and of their procedure and most lavish in their suggestions of reform are they who know little, beyond the most general, about the courts and nothing about their procedure from personal contact with ...