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University of Michigan Law School

United States Supreme Court

Law and Society

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Full-Text Articles in Judges

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 ...


The Color Of Perspective: Affirmative Action And The Constitutional Rhetoric Of White Innocence, Cecil J. Hunt Ii Jan 2006

The Color Of Perspective: Affirmative Action And The Constitutional Rhetoric Of White Innocence, Cecil J. Hunt Ii

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article discusses the Supreme Court's use of the rhetoric of White innocence in deciding racially-inflected claims of constitutional shelter. It argues that the Court's use of this rhetoric reveals its adoption of a distinctly White-centered perspective, representing a one-sided view of racial reality that distorts the Court's ability to accurately appreciate the true nature of racial reality in contemporary America. This Article examines the Court's habit of using a White-centered perspective in constitutional race cases. Specifically, it looks at the Court's use of the rhetoric of White innocence in the context of the Court ...


Brown And Lawrence (And Goodridge), Michael J. Klarman Dec 2005

Brown And Lawrence (And Goodridge), Michael J. Klarman

Michigan Law Review

One year shy of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Justices issued another equality ruling that is likely to become a historical landmark. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Court invalidated a state law that criminalized same-sex sodomy. This article contrasts these historic rulings along several dimensions, with the aim of shedding light on how Supreme Court Justices decide cases and how Court decisions influence social reform movements. Part I juxtaposes Brown and Lawrence to illustrate how judicial decisionmaking often involves an uneasy reconciliation of traditional legal sources with broader social and political mores and the personal ...


Through The Lens Of Diversity: The Fight For Judicial Elections After Republic Party Of Minnesota V. White, Sherrilyn A. Ifill Jan 2004

Through The Lens Of Diversity: The Fight For Judicial Elections After Republic Party Of Minnesota V. White, Sherrilyn A. Ifill

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article is directed at the ongoing discussion taking place in many states and among members of the bench and bar about whether states that elect judges should switch to appointment in light of White. The author argues that states should resist what he regards as the Court's heavy-handed dicta denouncing judicial elections in White. Rather than accede to the pressure to shift from an elective to an appointive system-pressure that is being felt in several states- the author contends that states should regard the White decision as an opportunity to engage in a thorough and far-reaching review of ...


Does A Diverse Judiciary Attain A Rule Of Law That Is Inclusive?: What Grutter V. Bollinger Has To Say About Diversity On The Bench, Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas Jan 2004

Does A Diverse Judiciary Attain A Rule Of Law That Is Inclusive?: What Grutter V. Bollinger Has To Say About Diversity On The Bench, Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article concludes that political dialogue engendered by controversial minority judicial nominations, like those of Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown, could be an avenue to educating the polity as to why it is important to achieve greater minority representation on the bench. The pluralistic process-based model of judging advocates that a critical mass of diverse judges be achieved, not that the minority judges be liberal rather than conservative, communitarian rather than individualist, or Democrat rather than Republican. The goal is that there be a critical mass of minority judges on benches that make decisions as a group, like circuit ...


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 ...