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Full-Text Articles in Judges

The Supreme Court's Legitimacy Dilemma, Tara Leigh Grove Jun 2019

The Supreme Court's Legitimacy Dilemma, Tara Leigh Grove

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Judges And Their Editors, Douglas E. Abrams Jul 2018

Judges And Their Editors, Douglas E. Abrams

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Power Of "So-Called Judges", Tara Leigh Grove Apr 2018

The Power Of "So-Called Judges", Tara Leigh Grove

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Origins (And Fragility) Of Judicial Independence, Tara Leigh Grove Mar 2018

The Origins (And Fragility) Of Judicial Independence, Tara Leigh Grove

Faculty Publications

The federal judiciary today takes certain things for granted. Political actors will not attempt to remove Article III judges outside the impeachment process; they will not obstruct federal court orders; and they will not tinker with the Supreme Court’s size in order to pack it with like-minded Justices. And yet a closer look reveals that these “self-evident truths” of judicial independence are neither self-evident nor necessary implications of our constitutional text, structure, and history. This Article demonstrates that many government officials once viewed these court-curbing measures as not only constitutionally permissible but also desirable (and politically viable) methods of ...


Judicial Fact-Finding In An Age Of Rapid Change: Creative Reforms From Abroad, Allison Orr Larsen Jun 2017

Judicial Fact-Finding In An Age Of Rapid Change: Creative Reforms From Abroad, Allison Orr Larsen

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Vanishing Common Law Judge, Neal Devins, David Klein Feb 2017

The Vanishing Common Law Judge, Neal Devins, David Klein

Faculty Publications

The common law style of judging appears to be on its way out. Trial courts rarely shape legal policymaking by asserting decisional autonomy through distinguishing, limiting, or criticizing higher court precedent. In an earlier study, we demonstrated the reluctance of lower court judges to assert decisional autonomy by invoking the holding–dicta dichotomy. In this Article, we make use of original empirical research to study the level of deference U.S. district court judges exhibit toward higher courts and whether the level of deference has changed over time. Our analysis of citation behavior over an eighty-year period reveals a dramatic ...


Seen And Heard: A Defense Of Judicial Speech, Dmitry Bam Jan 2017

Seen And Heard: A Defense Of Judicial Speech, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

Judicial ethics largely prohibits judges from engaging in political activities, including endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. These restrictions on judicial politicking, intended to preserve both the reality and the appearance of judicial integrity, independence, and impartiality, have been in place for decades. Although the Code of Conduct for United States Judges does not apply to the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Justices have long followed the norm that they do not take sides, at least publicly, in partisan political elections. And while elected state judges have some leeway to engage in limited political activities associated with their own candidacy ...


Tailored Judicial Selection, Dmitry Bam Jan 2017

Tailored Judicial Selection, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

American states have experimented with different methods of judicial selection for two centuries, creating uniquely American models of selection, like judicial elections, rarely used throughout the rest of the world. But despite the wide range of selection methods in existence throughout the nation, neither the American people nor legal scholars have given much thought to tailoring the selection method to particular levels of the judiciary. To the contrary, the most common approach to judicial selection in the United States is what I call a unilocular, “a judge is a judge,” approach. For most of our nation’s history, all judges ...


Partisan Judicial Speech And Recusal Procedure, Dmitry Bam Jan 2017

Partisan Judicial Speech And Recusal Procedure, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

This article discusses Associate Professor Appleby’s thoughtful comment criticizing the Supreme Court’s self-recusal procedure in light of Justice Ginsberg’s critical remarks about then-Presidential Candidate Trump.


Crafting Precedent, Richard C. Chen Jan 2017

Crafting Precedent, Richard C. Chen

Faculty Publications

(with the Hon. Paul J. Watford & Marco Basile)

How does the law of judicial precedent work in practice? That is the question at the heart of The Law of Judicial Precedent, a recent treatise by Bryan Garner and twelve distinguished appellate judges. The treatise sets aside more theoretical and familiar questions about whether and why earlier decisions (especially wrong ones) should bind courts in new cases. Instead, it offers an exhaustive how-to guide for practicing lawyers and judges: how to identify relevant precedents, how to weigh them, and how to interpret them. This Review takes up the treatise on its ...


Invisible Error, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2017

Invisible Error, Cassandra Burke Robertson

Faculty Publications

When trial becomes a luxury, retrial can start to look downright decadent. Scholars have documented the “vanishing trial” in recent decades, exploring the various causes and effects of declining trial rates. Retrial, if mentioned at all, is portrayed as a relatively inefficient vehicle for error correction at best. At worst, it is seen as a threat to the sanctity of the ever-rarer jury verdict.

But the jury trial is only endangered, not yet extinct. And continuing to protect the constitutional right to a jury requires appreciating the role of retrial within the due-process framework. When the jury’s verdict contradicts ...


Now Is The Time: Experts Vs. The Uninitiated As Future Nominees To The U.S. Court Of Appeals For Veterans Claims, Bradley W. Hennings, David E. Boelzner, Jennifer Rickman White Apr 2016

Now Is The Time: Experts Vs. The Uninitiated As Future Nominees To The U.S. Court Of Appeals For Veterans Claims, Bradley W. Hennings, David E. Boelzner, Jennifer Rickman White

Faculty Publications

Two-thirds of judges appointed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ("CAVC" or "Court") could and should be drawn from among lawyers experienced in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") benefits claims adjudication system. It is a specialty court, and like other such courts, its judges would benefit from specialized experience. All stakeholders in the claims system and the Court's work, and most importantly, veterans, would benefit from a Court that has appointees steeped in VA law and adjudication.


Restoring The Civil Jury In A World Without Trials, Dmitry Bam Jan 2016

Restoring The Civil Jury In A World Without Trials, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

Early in this nation’s history, the civil jury was the most important institutional check on biased and corrupt judges. Recently, concerns about judicial bias, especially in elected state judiciaries, have intensified as new studies demonstrate the extent of that bias. But the jury of Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson is nowhere to be found. In fact, the civil jury is virtually dead. It is used in less than 1% of all civil cases, and even when it makes a rare appearance, the jury’s powers have been significantly curtailed.

This article argues that we must reimagine the civil jury to ...


'"Ideology" Or "Situation Sense"? An Experimental Investigation Of Motivated Reasoning And Professional Judgment, Dan M. Kahan, David Hoffman, Danieli Evans, Neal Devins, Eugene Lucci, Katherine Cheng Jan 2016

'"Ideology" Or "Situation Sense"? An Experimental Investigation Of Motivated Reasoning And Professional Judgment, Dan M. Kahan, David Hoffman, Danieli Evans, Neal Devins, Eugene Lucci, Katherine Cheng

Faculty Publications

This Article reports the results of a study on whether political predispositions influence judicial decisionmaking. The study was designed to overcome the two principal limitations on existing empirical studies that purport to find such an influence: the use of nonexperimental methods to assess the decisions of actual judges; and the failure to use actual judges in ideologically-biased-reasoning experiments. The study involved a sample of sitting judges (n = 253), who, like members of a general public sample (n = 800), were culturally polarized on climate change, marijuana legalization and other contested issues. When the study subjects were assigned to analyze statutory interpretation ...


Recusal Failure, Dmitry Bam Jan 2015

Recusal Failure, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

The American judiciary is suffering from a terrible affliction: biased judges. I am not talking about the subconscious or unconscious biases — stemming from different backgrounds, experiences, ideologies, etc. — that everyone, including judges, harbors. Rather, I am describing invidious, improper biases that lead judges to favor one litigant over another for reasons that almost everyone would agree should play no role in judicial decision-making: the desire to repay a debt of gratitude to those who helped the judge get elected and be reelected.

In this article, I argue that that recusal has failed to prevent biased judges from rendering judicial decisions ...


Remarks: Caperton's Next Generation -- Beyond The Bank, Dmitry Bam Jan 2015

Remarks: Caperton's Next Generation -- Beyond The Bank, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

On November 14, 2014, a symposium entitled, "Courts, Campaigns, and Corruption: Judicial Recusal Five Years After Caperton," was held at New York University. The symposium was sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice, the American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility, and NYU's Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. This document contains the transcript starting from Dmitry Bam's remarks from one of the four panels, and is entitled "Caperton's Next Generation: Beyond the Bank." The panel members included Professors Jed Shugerman, Debra Lyn Bassett, Gregory S. Parks, Dmitry Bam, and Rex Perschbacher.


Our Unconstitutional Recusal Procedure, Dmitry Bam Jan 2015

Our Unconstitutional Recusal Procedure, Dmitry Bam

Faculty Publications

In this article, I argue that the recusal procedure used in state and federal courts for nearly all of American history is unconstitutional. For centuries, recusal procedure in the United States has largely resembled that of England before American independence. To this day, in most American courtrooms, the judge hearing the case decides whether recusal is required under the applicable substantive recusal rules. If the judge determines that she can act impartially, or that her impartiality could not reasonably be questioned, the judge remains on the case. And although the judge’s decision is typically subject to appellate review — with ...


Understanding The Judicial Conference Committee On International Judicial Relations, Sam F. Halabi, Nanette K. Laughrey Jan 2015

Understanding The Judicial Conference Committee On International Judicial Relations, Sam F. Halabi, Nanette K. Laughrey

Faculty Publications

Since 1993, the Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations has coordinated outreach and exchange activities of the federal judiciary in support of rule-of-law initiatives. While the Federal Judicial Center has endeavored to publicize the Committee’s work, and members of the Committee have on occasion written and spoken about their work for the Committee, the scholarly treatment of the Committee remains sparse. What discussion does exist in the academic literature tends to depict the Committee in one of two ways. First, the Committee formed in response to the emergence of newly independent states after the 1991 Soviet collapse. Those ...


Following Lower-Court Precedent, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Jul 2014

Following Lower-Court Precedent, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the role of lower-court precedent in the US Supreme Court’s decisions. The Supreme Court is rarely the first court to consider a legal question, and therefore the Court has the opportunity to be informed by and perhaps even persuaded by the views of the various lower courts that have previously addressed the issue. This Article considers whether the Court should give weight to lower-court precedent as a matter of normative theory and whether the Court in fact does so as a matter of practice. To answer the normative question, this Article analyzes a variety of potential ...


Judge Posner, Judge Wilkinson, And Judicial Critique Of Constitutional Theory, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh Jan 2014

Judge Posner, Judge Wilkinson, And Judicial Critique Of Constitutional Theory, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh

Faculty Publications

Judge Richard Posner’s well-known view is that constitutional theory is useless. And Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III has lambasted constitutional theory for the way in which its “cosmic” aspirations threaten democratic self-governance. Many other judges hold similar views. And yet both Posner and Wilkinson — in the popular press, in law review articles, and in books — have advocated what appear to be their own theories of how to judge in constitutional cases. Judicial pragmatism for Posner and judicial restraint for Wilkinson seem to be substitutes for originalism, living constitutionalism, political process theory, and so on. But both Posner and Wilkinson ...


Presumed Imminence: Judicial Risk Assessment In The Post-9/11 World, Avidan Y. Cover Jan 2014

Presumed Imminence: Judicial Risk Assessment In The Post-9/11 World, Avidan Y. Cover

Faculty Publications

Court opinions in the terrorism context are often distinguished by fact-finding that relates to risk assessment. These risk assessments — inherently policy decisions — are influenced by cultural cognition and by cognitive errors common to probability determinations, particularly those made regarding highly dangerous and emotional events. In a post-9/11 world, in which prevention and intelligence are prioritized over prosecution, courts are more likely to overstate the potential harm, neglect the probability, and presume the imminence of terrorist attacks. As a result, courts are apt to defer to the government and require less evidence in support of measures that curtail civil liberties ...


Hierarchically Variable Deference To Agency Interpretations, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Dec 2013

Hierarchically Variable Deference To Agency Interpretations, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

When courts review agency action, they typically accord agency decisions a degree of deference. As many courts and commentators have recognized, the law in this area is complicated because it features numerous standards of review, including several distinct regimes for evaluating agencies’ legal interpretations. There is, however, at least one important respect in which uniformity rather than variety prevails: the applicable standards of review do not vary depending on which court is reviewing the agency. Whichever standard governs a particular case—Chevron, Skidmore, or something else—all courts in the judicial hierarchy are supposed to apply that same standard.

This ...


Judicial Activism And The Problem Of Induction, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Jul 2013

Judicial Activism And The Problem Of Induction, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

A comment on Suzanna Sherry’s "Why We Need More Judicial Activism."


Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl, Ethan J. Leib Oct 2012

Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Publications

This Article considers whether differences in methods of judicial selection should influence how judges approach statutory interpretation. Courts and scholars have not given this question much sustained attention, but most would probably embrace the “unified model,” according to which appointed judges (such as federal judges) and elected judges (such as many state judges) are supposed to approach statutory text in identical ways. There is much to be said for the unified model—and we offer the first systematic defense of it. But the Article also attempts to make the best case for the more controversial but also plausible contrary view ...


The Supremacy Clause As Structural Safeguard Of Federalism: State Judges And International Law In The Post-Erie Era, Sam F. Halabi Oct 2012

The Supremacy Clause As Structural Safeguard Of Federalism: State Judges And International Law In The Post-Erie Era, Sam F. Halabi

Faculty Publications

Against a backdrop of state constitutional and legislative initiatives aimed at limiting judicial use of international law, this Article argues that state judges have, by and large, interpreted treaties and customary international law so as to narrow their effect on state law-making prerogatives. Where state judges have used international law more liberally, they have done so to give effect to state executive and legislative objectives. Not only does this thesis suggest that the trend among state legislatures to limit state judges' use of international law is self-defeating, it also gives substance to a relatively unexplored structural safeguard of federalism: state ...


Hierarchy And Heterogeneity: How To Read A Statute In A Lower Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Mar 2012

Hierarchy And Heterogeneity: How To Read A Statute In A Lower Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

Is statutory interpretation an activity that all courts should perform the same way? Courts and commentators implicitly so conclude. I believe that conclusion is wrong. Statutory interpretation is a court-specific activity that should differ according to the institutional circumstances of the interpreting court. The U.S. Supreme Court is not the model all other courts should emulate.

I identify three kinds of institutional differences between courts that bear on which interpretive methods are appropriate: (1) the court’s place in the hierarchical structure of appellate review, (2) the court’s technical capacity and resources, and (3) the court’s democratic ...


Bringing Nuremberg Home: Justice Jackson's Path Back To Buffalo, October 4, 1946, John Q. Barrett Jan 2012

Bringing Nuremberg Home: Justice Jackson's Path Back To Buffalo, October 4, 1946, John Q. Barrett

Faculty Publications

During one permanently consequential decade in the history of the United States and the world, United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson delivered three major lectures at the University of Buffalo. The last of these was Jackson's May 9, 1951, James McCormick Mitchell Lecture, "Wartime Security and Liberty under Law," which inaugurated this distinguished lecture series. Justice Jackson's first formal lecture at the University of Buffalo occurred on February 23, 1942, halfway through his first year as a Supreme Court Justice and just twelve weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World ...


The Anti-Messiness Principle In Statutory Interpretation, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2012

The Anti-Messiness Principle In Statutory Interpretation, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

Many of the Supreme Court's statutory interpretation opinions reflect a juisprudential aversion to interpreting statutes in a manner that will prove "messy" for implementing courts to administer. Yet the practice of construing statutes to avoid "messiness" has gone largely unnoticed in the statutory interpretation literature. This Article seeks to illuminate the Court's use of "anti-messiness" arguments to interpret statutes and to bring theoretical attention to the principle of "messiness" avoidance. The Article begins by defining the concept of anti-messiness and providing a typology of common anti-messiness arguments used by the Supreme Court. It then considers some dangers inherent ...


Rehnquist's Missing Letter: A Former Law Clerk's 1955 Thoughts On Justice Jackson And Brown, John Q. Barrett, Brad Snyder Jan 2012

Rehnquist's Missing Letter: A Former Law Clerk's 1955 Thoughts On Justice Jackson And Brown, John Q. Barrett, Brad Snyder

Faculty Publications

"I think that Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed." That's what Supreme Court law clerk William H. Rehnquist wrote privately in December 1952 to his boss, Justice Robert H. Jackson. When the memorandum was made public in 1971 and Rehnquist's Supreme Court confirmation hung in the balance, he claimed that the memorandum reflected Jackson's views, not Rehnquist's. Rehnquist was confirmed, but his explanation triggered charges that he had lied and smeared the memory of one of the Court's most revered justices. This Essay analyzes a newly discovered document—a letter Rehnquist wrote ...


Interpretive Divergence All The Way Down: A Response To Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl And Ethan J. Leib, Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, 79 U Chi L Rev 1215 (2012), Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2012

Interpretive Divergence All The Way Down: A Response To Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl And Ethan J. Leib, Elected Judges And Statutory Interpretation, 79 U Chi L Rev 1215 (2012), Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

This article is a response to the law review article cited in its title. It focuses on a corollary question raised by the article's analysis: if one takes seriously the proposition that it may make sense for elected judges to interpret statutes differently than do appointed judges, should judicial opinions written by elected judges look substantially different from those written by appointed judges? Part I examines the relative roles of judicial opinions written by elected versus appointed judges in a world in which divergence is practiced. Part II explores specific ways in which we might want or expect an ...