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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 ...


Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack Jan 2017

Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Opening remarks by Justice Bridget McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court on November 6, 2015.


A Simple Theory Of Complex Valuation, Anthony J. Casey, Julia Simon-Kerr May 2015

A Simple Theory Of Complex Valuation, Anthony J. Casey, Julia Simon-Kerr

Michigan Law Review

Complex valuations of assets, companies, government programs, damages, and the like cannot be done without expertise, yet judges routinely pick an arbitrary value that falls somewhere between the extreme numbers suggested by competing experts. This creates costly uncertainty and undermines the legitimacy of the court. Proposals to remedy this well-recognized difficulty have become increasingly convoluted. As a result, no solution has been effectively adopted and the problem persists. This Article suggests that the valuation dilemma stems from a misconception of the inquiry involved. Courts have treated valuation as its own special type of inquiry distinct from traditional fact-finding. We show ...


Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper Oct 2014

Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper

Articles

This contribution uses the history of amending Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, “Summary Judgment,” to pay tribute to Mark R. Kravitz and to the Rules Enabling Act process itself. The three central examples involve discretion to deny summary judgment despite the lack of a genuine dispute as to any material fact, the choice whether to prescribe a detailed “point–counterpoint” procedure for presenting and opposing the motion, and the effect of failure to respond to a motion in one of the modes prescribed by the rule. These topics are intrinsically important. The ways in which the Civil Rules Advisory ...


Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert Feb 2014

Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert

Michigan Law Review

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of American constitutionalism. It empowers judges to check the other branches of government and resolve cases impartially and in accordance with law. Yet independence comes with a hazard. Precisely because they are independent, judges can ignore law and pursue private agendas. For two centuries, scholars have debated those ideas and the underlying tradeoff: independence versus accountability. They have achieved little consensus, in part because independence raises difficult antecedent questions. We cannot decide how independent to make a judge until we agree on what a judge is supposed to do. That depends on one’s views ...


Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

This Article presents new empirical evidence concerning the effects of United States v. Booker, which loosened the formerly mandatory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, on racial disparities in federal criminal cases. Two serious limitations pervade existing empirical literature on sentencing disparities. First, studies focus on sentencing in isolation, controlling for the “presumptive sentence” or similar measures that themselves result from discretionary charging, plea-bargaining, and fact-finding processes. Any disparities in these earlier processes are excluded from the resulting sentence-disparity estimates. Our research has shown that this exclusion matters: pre-sentencing decision-making can have substantial sentence-disparity consequences. Second, existing studies have used loose causal ...


On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

In this Essay, Professors Starr and Rehavi respond to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s empirical staff’s criticisms of their recent article, which found, contrary to the Commission’s prior work, no evidence that racial disparity in sentences increased in response to United States v. Booker. As Starr and Rehavi suggest, their differences with the Commission perhaps relate to differing objectives. The Commission staff’s reply expresses a lack of interest in identifying Booker’s causal effects; in contrast, that is Starr and Rehavi’s central objective. In addition, Starr and Rehavi’s approach also accounts for disparities arising ...


Discretionary (In)Justice: The Exercise Of Discretion In Claims For Asylum, Kate Aschenbrenner Apr 2012

Discretionary (In)Justice: The Exercise Of Discretion In Claims For Asylum, Kate Aschenbrenner

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Section 208(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that asylum may be granted to an applicant who meets the definition of a refugee-that is, someone who has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of future persecution in her own country on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Asylum is a discretionary form of relief which means that the United States government is not required to grant asylum to every refugee within the United States but instead may decide whether or not to do so. This Article sets out in ...


Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2012

Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus

Reviews

Although misdemeanors comprise an overwhelming majority of state criminal court cases, little judicial and scholarly attention has been focused on how misdemeanor courts actually operate. In her article, Misdemeanors, Alexandra Natapoff rights this wrong and explains how the low-visibility, highly discretionary decisions made by actors at the misdemeanor level often result in rampant discrimination, incredible inefficiency, and vast miscarriages of justice. Misdemeanors makes a significant contribution to the literature by refocusing attention on the importance of misdemeanor offenses and beginning an important dialogue about what steps should be taken going forward to fix our broken misdemeanor justice system.


On Dworkin And Borkin, Tom Lininger Apr 2007

On Dworkin And Borkin, Tom Lininger

Michigan Law Review

This Essay will use Dworkin's and Davis's scholarship as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the Supreme Court nomination process. I argue that while Dworkin's and Davis's books, when read together, expose a significant problem with the current nomination process, a possible solution to this predicament may lie in a change to the judicial code of ethics and the procedural rules for confirmation of judges. My analysis will proceed in four steps. Part I will address Dworkin's arguments. Part II will evaluate the analysis and evidence in Davis's book. Part III will consider ...


The Totality Of The Circumstances Of The Debtor's Financial Situation In A Post-Means Test World: Trying To Bridge The Wedoff/Culhane & White Divide, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2006

The Totality Of The Circumstances Of The Debtor's Financial Situation In A Post-Means Test World: Trying To Bridge The Wedoff/Culhane & White Divide, John A. E. Pottow

Articles

Bankruptcy Judge Eugene Wedoff and Creighton Law School professors Marianne Culhane and Michaela White engage in a spirited debate over a series of law review articles about the proper scope of motions to dismiss a debtor's petition under section 707(b) of the freshly revised Bankruptcy Code. It is an interesting and provocative dialogue, with both sides advancing their respective positions persuasively. As a result, I find myself in the unfortunate position of wanting to agree with both. Since that is impossible, however, this brief article is my attempt to find a middle ground between their two positions. It ...


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 ...


Protecting The Independence Of Administrative Law Judges: A Model Administrative Law Judge Corps Statute, Karen Y. Kauper Jan 1985

Protecting The Independence Of Administrative Law Judges: A Model Administrative Law Judge Corps Statute, Karen Y. Kauper

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note concludes that the federal government should adopt some form of central panel system to protect both the independence of the ALJs and the public interest. Part I of this Note presents several alternatives to the central panel systems that have been proposed in past years and discusses their inadequacies. Part II summarizes the arguments concerning the central panel system of administrative adjudication. Part III discusses several of the integral elements of a central panel system and analyzes the state statutes and the proposed federal legislation in light of these elements. Finally, Part IV proposes a model statute for ...


The Bankruptcy Reform Process: Maximizing Judicial Control In Wage Earners' Plans, Marjorie Girth Oct 1977

The Bankruptcy Reform Process: Maximizing Judicial Control In Wage Earners' Plans, Marjorie Girth

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This article examines the effort to maximize judicial control over the bankruptcy process and its impact on H.R. 8200's procedural requirements for the nonbusiness bankruptcy option known currently as the wage earners' plan. As background, it describes the present nonbusiness bankruptcy options and the statutory procedures for monitoring confirmed wage earners' plans. Then, using illustrative samples from three years of cases in the Buffalo region of the Western District of New York, it assesses whether present plans are being administered in accordance with the statutory formalities. The economic incentives which affect creditors' behavior in taking advantage of their ...


Has The Court Left The Attorney General Behind? The Bazelon-Katzenbach Letters On Poverty, Equality, And The Administration Of Criminal Justice, Yale Kamisar Jan 1966

Has The Court Left The Attorney General Behind? The Bazelon-Katzenbach Letters On Poverty, Equality, And The Administration Of Criminal Justice, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Distribution of the first preliminary draft of the proposed American Law Institute Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure last June touched off a brisk exchange of letters between Chief Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who maintained that the proposed code left a good deal to be desired, and Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, who, although he did not explicitly treat any provision of the preliminary draft, sharply challenged the conception of equality underlying Bazelon's criticism of it. By now, both the code, and the Bazelon-Katzenbach correspondence which it evoked ...


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 ...


Some Hints On Defects In The Jury System, James V. Campbell Dec 1877

Some Hints On Defects In The Jury System, James V. Campbell

Articles

The occasional freaks of juries have now and then led some members of the bar to speculate on the policy of doing without them entirely, and some persons no doubt think that they have strong convictions that the jury system has become useless. It is safe to say that these extreme views are altogether speculative, and not based on any careful comparison of results. Most persons who have looked into their own experience with courts and juries are ready to agree that where there is no dispute about main facts, so that the chief dispute is one of law, there ...