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Full-Text Articles in Judges

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 ...


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 ...


Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Apr 2015

Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Michigan Law Review

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, for judges to achieve “sensible” resolutions of real-world disputes—by which Judge Posner means “in a way that can be explained in ordinary language and justified as consistent with the expectations of normal people” (p. 354)—they must be able to navigate the world’s complexity successfully. To apply legal rules correctly and (where judicial lawmaking is called for) to formulate legal rules prudently, judges must understand the causal mechanisms and processes that undergird complex systems, and they must be able to ...


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 ...


A Conversation With Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States, University Of Michigan Law School Jan 2015

A Conversation With Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States, University Of Michigan Law School

Event Materials

Program for the 2015 Tanner Lecture on Human Values on February 6, 2015, sponsored by the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan LSA Department of Philosophy.


Jury Voting Paradoxes, Jason Iuliano Dec 2014

Jury Voting Paradoxes, Jason Iuliano

Michigan Law Review

The special verdict is plagued by two philosophical paradoxes: the discursive dilemma and the lottery paradox. Although widely discussed in the philosophical literature, these paradoxes have never been applied to jury decision making. In this Essay, I use the paradoxes to show that the special verdict’s vote-reporting procedures can lead judges to render verdicts that the jurors themselves would reject. This outcome constitutes a systemic breakdown that should not be tolerated in a legal system that prides itself on the fairness of its jury decision-making process. Ultimately, I argue that, because the general verdict with answers to written questions ...


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 Diversity After Shelby County V. Holder, William Roth Sep 2014

Judicial Diversity After Shelby County V. Holder, William Roth

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In 2014, voters in ten of the fifteen states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") preclearance formula-including six of the nine states covered in their entirety-will go to the polls to elect or retain state supreme court justices. Yet despite the endemic underrepresentation of minorities on state benches and the judiciary's traditional role in fighting discrimination, scholars have seemingly paid little attention to how Shelby County v. Holder's suspension of the coverage formula in section 4(b) has left racial minorities vulnerable to retrogressive changes to judicial-election laws. The first election year following Shelby County thus ...


Judicial Capacities And Patent Claim Construction: An Ordinary Reader Standard, Greg Reilly May 2014

Judicial Capacities And Patent Claim Construction: An Ordinary Reader Standard, Greg Reilly

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Patent claim construction is a mess. The Federal Circuit’s failure to provide adequate guidance has created significant problems for the patent system. The problems with claim construction result from the Federal Circuit’s inability to resolve whether claim terms should be given (1) the general, acontextual meaning they would have to a skilled person in the field; (2) the specific meaning they have in the context of the patent; or (3) some combination of the two. The claim construction debate largely overlooks the generalist judges who must implement claim construction. This Article fills that gap, concluding that existing approaches ...


Some Kind Of Judge: Henry Friendly And The Law Of Federal Courts, Aaron P. Brecher Apr 2014

Some Kind Of Judge: Henry Friendly And The Law Of Federal Courts, Aaron P. Brecher

Michigan Law Review

Uberfans of the federal judiciary owe a lot to David Dorsen. His illuminating biography of Judge Henry Friendly is a fitting tribute to the contributions of a jurist that many consider to be among the finest judges never to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judicial biography is a difficult genre to do well, and most authors choose to focus on Supreme Court justices. But Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era is an excellent source of information on Friendly’s life and, far more important, his views on the law and his relationships with some of the most ...


What Books On Law Should Be, Richard A. Posner Apr 2014

What Books On Law Should Be, Richard A. Posner

Michigan Law Review

I have thought it might be useful to our profession, and appropriate to a foreword to a collection of reviews of newly published books on law, to set forth some ideas on how books can best serve members of the different branches of the legal profession — specifically judges, practicing lawyers, law students, and academic lawyers — plus persons outside the legal profession who are interested in law. I am not interested in which already published books should be retained and which discarded, but in what type of book about law should be written from this day forward. I will mention a ...


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 ...


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 ...


Reflections On The End Of The Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, Aaron L. Nielson Aug 2013

Reflections On The End Of The Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, Aaron L. Nielson

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

As applicants, federal judges, and law school career counselors everywhere frantically come to terms with the new clerkship landscape, one truth is inescapable: the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan ("the Plan") is dead. On January 29, 2013, the D.C. Circuit-the Plan's last and best defender-announced that it would no longer follow the Plan. The consequences of that announcement have been swift. For the last several months, months earlier than almost anyone expected, untold numbers of federal judges across the country have been rushing to hire law clerks. For these judges, the unregulated clerkship market of the pre-Plan era ...


Justice Brennan: Legacy Of A Champion, Dawn Johnsen Apr 2013

Justice Brennan: Legacy Of A Champion, Dawn Johnsen

Michigan Law Review

During the 1980s, when the Court's approval rating was relatively high, commentators from both ends of the ideological spectrum remarked on the importance of Justices' values and views, and bemoaned the public's utter lack of attention to the Court and judicial appointments. President Ronald Reagan's Department of Justice prefaced an extensive analysis of the momentous issues at stake for the Court and the Constitution with a call for attention to the "critical" yet "often overlooked" "values and philosophies" of federal judges. Professor Laurence Tribe similarly introduced a historical analysis of the Court's vital role by describing ...


John C.H. Wu And His Comparative Law Pursuit, Xiaomeng Zhang Jan 2013

John C.H. Wu And His Comparative Law Pursuit, Xiaomeng Zhang

Law Librarian Scholarship

In this paper, I will focus on exploring Wu's accomplishments in comparative law from four different aspects. After a brief introduction to the historical and societal background of Wu' s life and research in Part II, I will examine his comparative law research and methodologies in Part III. In Part IV, I will elaborate his contributions to the development of Chinese legal education in the Republican China era at the Comparative Law School of China. I will then analyze how his jurisprudence was further reflected in his judicial rulings, which helped shape the contemporary Chinese judicial system in Part ...


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 ...


Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Although commentators frequently debate how judges should decide antitrust cases substantively, little attention has been paid to theories of judicial virtue in antitrust decision making. This essay considers four pairings of virtues: (1) striving for substantive purity versus conceding to institutional realism; (2) incrementalism versus generalism; (3) presenting a unified face versus candidly conceding differences among judges on an appellate panel; and (4) adhering strictly to stare decisis versus freely updating precedents to reflect evolving economic learning or conditions. While recognizing the complexities that sometimes pull judges in the opposite direction, this Article gives the nod to institutional realism, incrementalism ...


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 ...


Stare Decisis And The Rule Of Law: A Layered Approach, Jeremy Waldron Oct 2012

Stare Decisis And The Rule Of Law: A Layered Approach, Jeremy Waldron

Michigan Law Review

Stare decisis remains a controversial feature of the legal systems that recognize it. Some jurists argue that the doctrine is at odds with the rule of law; others argue that there are good rule-of-law arguments in favor of stare decisis. This Article considers one possible good rule-of-law argument. It suggests that we should approach stare decisis in a layered way, looking at what the rule of law requires of the various judges involved in the development of a precedent. One rule-of-law principle, the principle of constancy, counsels against lightly overturning such precedents as there are. But that is not in ...


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 ...


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 ...


When Good Enough Is Not Good Enough, Karl Stampfl Apr 2012

When Good Enough Is Not Good Enough, Karl Stampfl

Michigan Law Review

According to conventional wisdom, the state of statutory interpretation is not strong. Its canons of construction-noscitur a sociis, ejusdem generis, expressio unius est exclusio alterius, reddendo singula singulis, and more than a few others-are a morass of Latin into which many law students and even judges have sunk. Its practitioners are unprincipled. Its doctrines are muddied. Its victims are many. In short, the system is broken-unless, of course, it is not. In The Language of Statutes: Laws and Their Interpretation, Lawrence M. Solan slices through the rhetoric, the fighting, and the law-review-article histrionics in an attempt to show that the ...


Text(Plus-Other-Stuff)Ualism:Textualists' Perplexing Use Of The Attorney General's Manual On The Administrative Procedure Act, K. M. Lewis Jan 2012

Text(Plus-Other-Stuff)Ualism:Textualists' Perplexing Use Of The Attorney General's Manual On The Administrative Procedure Act, K. M. Lewis

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Textualist judges, such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, are well known for their outspoken, adamant refusal to consult legislative history and its analogues when interpreting ambiguous provisions of statutory terms. Nevertheless, in administrative law cases, textualist judges regularly quote the Attorney General’s Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act, an unenacted Department of Justice document that shares all the characteristics of legislative history that textualists find odious: unreliability, bias, and failure to pass through the bicameralism and presentment processes mandated by the U.S. Constitution. As a result, judges that rely on the Manual in administrative law ...


Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman Jan 2012

Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

I represent a national non-profit consumer rights organization, as an amicus, in a federal appeal challenging a district court’s approval of a class-action settlement of claims under the federal Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). My client maintains that the district court erred in finding that the settlement was “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” which is the standard for class-action settlement approval under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In particular, we argue that the district court committed a reversible legal error when it deferred to the class-action lawyers’ recommendation to approve the settlement because, in those lawyers’ view, it was ...


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 ...


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.


The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar Jan 2012

The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar

Articles

There has been a good deal of talk lately to the effect that Miranda1 is dead or dying-or might as well be dead.2 Even liberals have indicated that the death of Miranda might not be a bad thing. This brings to mind a saying by G.K. Chesterton: "Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up."4


Beyond Common Sense: A Social Psychological Study Of Iqbal's Effect On Claims Of Race Discrimination, Victor D. Quintanilla Sep 2011

Beyond Common Sense: A Social Psychological Study Of Iqbal's Effect On Claims Of Race Discrimination, Victor D. Quintanilla

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) once operated as a notice pleading rule, requiring plaintiffs to set forth only a "short and plain" statement of their claim. In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, and then Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the United States Supreme Court recast Rule 8(a) into a plausibility pleading standard. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Iqbal requires federal courts, when deciding whether a complaint is plausible, to draw on their "judicial experience and common sense." Courts apply ...


The Real Formalists, The Real Realists, And What They Tell Us About Judicial Decision And Legal Education, Edward Rubin Apr 2011

The Real Formalists, The Real Realists, And What They Tell Us About Judicial Decision And Legal Education, Edward Rubin

Michigan Law Review

The periodization of history, like chocolate cake, can have some bad effects on us, but it is hard to resist. We realize, of course, that Julius Caesar didn’t think of himself as “Classical” and Richard the Lionhearted didn’t regard the time in which he lived as the Middle Ages. Placing historical figures in subsequently defined periods separates us from them and impairs our ability to understand them on their own terms. But it is difficult to understand anything about them at all if we try to envision history as continuous and undifferentiated. We need periodization to organize events ...