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First Women Lawyers In Rhode Island: Dedication First Women Of The Rhode Island Bar (1920-1979) 04-11-2019, Roger Williams University School Of Law Apr 2019

First Women Lawyers In Rhode Island: Dedication First Women Of The Rhode Island Bar (1920-1979) 04-11-2019, Roger Williams University School Of Law

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Santos Sombra Jul 2015

Beyond The Written Constitution: A Short Analysis Of Warren Court, Thiago Luis Santos Sombra

Thiago Luís Santos Sombra

This essay propose an analysis about how Warren Court became one of the most particular in American History by confronting Jim Crow law, especially by applying the Bill of Rights. In this essay, we propose an analysis of how complex the unwritten Constitution is. Cases like Brown vs. Board of Education will be analyzed from a different point of view to understand the methods of the Court.


Courtroom To Classroom: Judicial Policymaking And Affirmative Action, Dylan Britton Saul Apr 2015

Courtroom To Classroom: Judicial Policymaking And Affirmative Action, Dylan Britton Saul

Political Science Honors Projects

The judicial branch, by exercising judicial review, can replace public policies with ones of their own creation. To test the hypothesis that judicial policymaking is desirable only when courts possess high capacity and necessity, I propose an original model incorporating six variables: generalism, bi-polarity, minimalism, legitimization, structural impediments, and public support. Applying the model to a comparative case study of court-sanctioned affirmative action policies in higher education and K-12 public schools, I find that a lack of structural impediments and bi-polarity limits the desirability of judicial race-based remedies in education. Courts must restrain themselves when engaging in such policymaking.


The Hypocrisy Of "Equal But Separate" In The Courtroom: A Lens For The Civil Rights Era, Jaimie K. Mcfarlin Apr 2015

The Hypocrisy Of "Equal But Separate" In The Courtroom: A Lens For The Civil Rights Era, Jaimie K. Mcfarlin

Jaimie K. McFarlin

This article serves to examine the role of the courthouse during the Jim Crow Era and the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement, as courthouses fulfilled their dual function of minstreling Plessy’s call for “equality under the law” and orchestrating overt segregation.


A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner Jan 2015

A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner

James R Maxeiner

Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a common law country of precedents where, until the 20th century (the “Age of Statutes”), statutes had little role. Digitization by Google and others of previously hard to find legal works of the 19th century challenges this common law myth. At the Centennial in 1876 Americans celebrated that “The great fact in the progress of American jurisprudence … is its tendency towards organic statute law and towards the systematizing of law; in other words, towards written constitutions and codification.” This article tests the claim of the Centennial Writers of 1876 and finds it ...


Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper Jul 2014

Balancing The Scales: Adhuc Sub Judice Li Est Or Trial By Media, Casey J. Cooper

Casey J Cooper

The right to freedom of expression and free press is recognized under almost all major human rights instruments and domestic legal systems—common and civil—in the world. However, what do you do when a fundamental right conflicts with another equally fundamental right, like the right to a fair trial? In the United States, the freedom of speech, encompassing the freedom of the press, goes nearly unfettered: the case is not the same for other common law countries. In light of cultural and historic facts, institutional factors, modern realities, and case-law, this Article contends that current American jurisprudence does not ...


It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean May 2014

It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean

Adam Lamparello

Living constitutionalism may achieve “good” results, but with each Roe v. Wade, and Bush v. Gore, the Constitution’s vision takes more shallow breaths, and democracy fades into elitism’s shadow. The debate over constitutional interpretation is, in many ways, reducible to this question: if a particular outcome is desirable, and the Constitution’s text is silent or ambiguous, should the United States Supreme Court (or any court) disregard constitutional constraints to achieve that outcome? If the answer is yes, nine unelected judges have the power to choose outcomes that are desirable. If the answer is no, then the focus ...


It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean May 2014

It's The Constitution, Stupid: Two Liberals Pay Tribute To Antonin Scalia's Legacy, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean

Adam Lamparello

Living constitutionalism may achieve “good” results, but with each Roe v. Wade, and Bush v. Gore, the Constitution’s vision takes more shallow breaths, and democracy fades into elitism’s shadow. The debate over constitutional interpretation is, in many ways, reducible to this question: if a particular outcome is desirable, and the Constitution’s text is silent or ambiguous, should the United States Supreme Court (or any court) disregard constitutional constraints to achieve that outcome? If the answer is yes, nine unelected judges have the power to choose outcomes that are desirable. If the answer is no, then the focus ...


Tell Us A Story, But Don't Make It A Good One: Resolving The Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories And Federal Rule Of Evidence 403, Cathren Page Feb 2014

Tell Us A Story, But Don't Make It A Good One: Resolving The Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories And Federal Rule Of Evidence 403, Cathren Page

Cathren Page

Abstract: Tell Us a Story, But Don’t Make It A Good One: Resolving the Confusion Regarding Emotional Stories and Federal Rule of Evidence 403 by Cathren Koehlert-Page Courts need to reword their opinions regarding Rule 403 to address the tension between the advice to tell an emotionally evocative story at trial and the notion that evidence can be excluded if it is too emotional. In the murder mystery Mystic River, Dave Boyle is kidnapped in the beginning. The audience feels empathy for Dave who as an adult becomes one of the main suspects in the murder of his friend ...


Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser Jan 2014

Putting Progress Back Into Progressive: Reclaiming A Philosophy Of History For The Constitution, David Aram Kaiser

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii Jan 2014

Holding The Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives, John L. Warren Iii

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Antimonopoly And The Radical Lochean Origins Of Western Water Law, Michael Blumm Jul 2013

Antimonopoly And The Radical Lochean Origins Of Western Water Law, Michael Blumm

Michael Blumm

This review of David Schorr's book, The Colorado Doctrine: Water Rights, Corporations, and Distributive Justice on the American Frontier, maintains that the book is a therapeutic corrective to the standard history of the origins of western water law as celebration of economic efficiency and wealth maximization. Schorr's account convincingly contends that the roots of prior appropriation water law--the "Colorado Doctrine"--lie in distributional justice concerns, not in the supposed efficiency advantages of private property over common property. The goals of the founders of the Colorado doctrine, according to Schorr, were to advance Radical Lochean principles such as widespread ...


Similarities And Differences Between Judges In The Judicial Branch And The Executive Branch: The Further Evolution Of Executive Adjudications Under The Administrative Central Panel, Christopher B. Mcneil Apr 2013

Similarities And Differences Between Judges In The Judicial Branch And The Executive Branch: The Further Evolution Of Executive Adjudications Under The Administrative Central Panel, Christopher B. Mcneil

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

No abstract provided.


Reaching Out Or Overreaching: Judicial Ethics And Self-Represented Litigants , Cynthia Gray Apr 2013

Reaching Out Or Overreaching: Judicial Ethics And Self-Represented Litigants , Cynthia Gray

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

No abstract provided.


Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline Mar 2013

Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline

Matthew P Cline

The notion of a small group of peers whose responsibility it is to play a part in determining the outcome of a trial is central to the common conception of the American legal system. Memorialized in the Constitution of the United States as a fundamental right, and in the national consciousness as the proud, if begrudged, duty of all citizens, juries are often discussed, but perhaps not always understood. Whatever misunderstandings have come to be, certainly many of them sprang from the juxtaposition of jury and judge. Why do we have both? How are their responsibilities divided? Who truly decides ...


Cause Judging, Justin Hansford Mar 2013

Cause Judging, Justin Hansford

Justin Hansford

Building on the framework of “cause lawyering” scholarship, this Article explores the fact that, in a similar tradition as a “cause lawyering” law practice animated by dedication to a cause, “cause judging” exists as well. This insight has implications for judicial ethics norms. The hyper-partisan nature of modern American life has already cast doubt on the possibility that politically appointed judges can ever truly attain the “appearance of impartiality” demanded by judicial recusal standards. Instead, judicial ethics norms should embrace the fact that judges have moral and political ideals that inform their rulings when they exercise judicial discretion, and that ...


At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson Mar 2013

At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson

Lisa Tripp

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T v. Concepcion is the first case where the Supreme Court explores the interplay between state law unconscionability doctrine and the vast preemptive power of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Although it is considered by many to be a landmark decision which has the potential for greatly expanding the already impressive preemptive power of the FAA, something is amiss with Concepcion.

AT&T v. Concepcion is ostensibly a 5-4 majority decision with a concurring opinion. However, the differences in the majority and concurring opinions are so profound that it appears that Justice Thomas actually concurred in the judgment only, even though he joined the putative majority opinion. This raises serious philosophical questions about jurisprudence, what is necessary to create a rule of law in the American legal system, and the precedential value of Concepcion itself.

Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion and provided the fifth vote, but wrote a concurring opinion that explicitly rejected the legal reasoning of the majority opinion in its entirety. The putative majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia allows that unconscionability can be a valid defense to the enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate, but in Concepcion, allowing California to apply its unconscionability doctrine (the Discover Bank rule) would frustrate the purposes and objectives of Congress in enacting the FAA. For these reasons the Scalia opinion found the law was preempted.

Justice Thomas, in contrast, does not believe that unconscionability can ever be a basis to invalidate an agreement to arbitrate and he reaffirmed his emphatic position articulated in Wyeth v. Levine that “[t]his Court’s entire body of purposes and objectives preemption jurisprudence is inherently flawed. The cases improperly rely on legislative history, broad atextual notions of congressional purpose, and even congressional inaction in order to pre-empt state law.”

Justice Thomas’s conclusion that the law was preempted turned on the text of the statute which he interprets as not allowing unconscionability-based defenses to preemption. Justice Thomas has reaffirmed his rejection of purposes and objectives preemption in cases decided after Concepcion. This means, looking at the substance of the opinions, that there are but four votes for the deciding rationale articulated in the Scalia opinion and there is not a single common denominator that the Scalia and Thomas opinions share, except that they agree on the result.

The Concepcion Court is, in substance, equally divided. Four members found that California’s unconscionability doctrine frustrated the purposes and objectives of the FAA, four in the dissent thought the law did not frustrate the purposes and objectives of the FAA, and one found that the purposes and objectives of Congress were immaterial to the resolution of the case.

How should lower courts react to an equally divided court in this situation? Does a Justice’s decision to join an opinion create a governing rule of law under these unusual circumstances? Can governing rules of law be created in the absence of a majority for the deciding rationale? Is a Justice’s labeling of an opinion as a regular concurrence dispositive or does its substance dictate the precedential value it is given?

The authors’ argue that the Supreme Court provided the answer to these questions over 100 years ago in Hertz v. Woodman:

Under the precedents of this court, and, as seems justified by reason as well as by authority, an affirmance by an equally divided court is, as between the parties, a conclusive determination and adjudication of the matter adjudged; but the principles of law involved not having been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting prevents the case from becoming an authority for the determination of other cases, either in this or in inferior courts.

Under any rational reading of the opinions, there can be no doubt that “the principles of law involved [have not] been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting” and this should “prevent[] the case from becoming authority for the determination of other cases, either in [the Supreme Court] or in inferior courts ...


Three-Dimensional Sovereign Immunity, Sarah L. Brinton Mar 2013

Three-Dimensional Sovereign Immunity, Sarah L. Brinton

Sarah L Brinton

The Supreme Court has erred on sovereign immunity. The current federal immunity doctrine wrongly gives Congress the exclusive authority to waive immunity (“exclusive congressional waiver”), but the Constitution mandates that Congress share the waiver power with the Court. This Article develops the doctrine of a two-way shared waiver and then explores a third possibility: the sharing of the immunity waiver power among all three branches of government.


The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun Jan 2013

The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

The rise of modern mass tort litigation in the U.S. has transformed punitive damages into something of a “hot button” issue. Since the size of punitive damage awards grew so dramatically in the past half century, this private law remedy has begun to involve issues of constitutional rights that traditionally pertained to criminal proceedings. This has created a risky interplay between tort and criminal law, and courts have thus been trying to find ways to properly manage punitive damage awards. The once rapidly expanding universe of punitive damages is therefore beginning to contract. There remain, however, very serious difficulties ...


Post-Crisis Reconsideration Of Federal Court Reform, David R. Cleveland Jan 2013

Post-Crisis Reconsideration Of Federal Court Reform, David R. Cleveland

Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee Nov 2012

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith Bybee

Keith J. Bybee

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...


University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal Jan 2012

University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal

Zena Denise Crenshaw-Logal

On the first of each two day symposium of the Fogg symposia, lawyers representing NGOs in the civil rights, judicial reform, and whistleblower advocacy fields are to share relevant work of featured legal scholars in lay terms; relate the underlying principles to real life cases; and propose appropriate reform efforts. Four (4) of the scholars spend the next day relating their featured articles to views on the vitality of stare decisis. Specifically, the combined panels of public interest attorneys and law professors consider whether compliance with the doctrine is reasonably assured in America given the: 1. considerable discretion vested in ...


Constitution Day 2012: The American Judiciary, Robert Berry Jan 2012

Constitution Day 2012: The American Judiciary, Robert Berry

Library Publications

Robert Berry, research librarian for the social sciences at the Sacred Heart University Library, has written an essay about the role of the American Judiciary in interpreting laws of the United States government. The essay was written for the occasion of Constitution Day 2012 at Sacred Heart University.


Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward Jan 2012

Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This essay develops an institutional perspective to consider limitations on judicial authority. Rather than assume that judicial decisions put an end to disagreements about what the Constitution means, this perspective focuses on the political contests that occur after judges make disputed interpretations of constitutional law. This perspective shows that scholars both exaggerate the role of judicial review in enforcing constitutional limits and underestimate the political instability that follows from difficulty in challenging controversial judicial holdings. Together, these claims are the beginning of an argument defending a form of legislative supremacy that would allow Congress and the President to override judicial ...


An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo Jan 2011

An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo

Faculty Working Papers

This essay summarizes high points in torts scholarship and case law over a period of two generations, highlighting the "states of argument" that have characterized tort law over that period. It intertwines doctrine and policy. Its doctrinal features include the tradtional spectrum of tort liability, the duty question, problems of proof, and the relative incoherency of damages rules. Noting the cross-doctrinal role of tort as a solver of functional problems, it focuses on major issues in products liability and medical malpractice. The essay discusses such elements of policy as the role of power in tort law, the tension between communitarianism ...


Juvenile Justice Reform 2.0, Tamar R. Birckhead Jan 2011

Juvenile Justice Reform 2.0, Tamar R. Birckhead

Tamar R Birckhead

Before the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review did not support the notion that constitutional litigation could be an effective instrument of social reform. The Court’s principled rejection of racially segregated public education, however, gave new legitimacy to the concept of judicial review, transforming it from an obstacle into a principal means of achieving social progress. Since then, federal courts have impacted public policy in many areas – from housing, welfare, and transportation to mental health institutions, prisons, and juvenile courts. Yet, there are inherent structural challenges to ...


Clear As Mud: How The Uncertain Precedential Status Of Unpublished Opinions Muddles Qualified Immunity Determinations, David Cleveland Jan 2010

Clear As Mud: How The Uncertain Precedential Status Of Unpublished Opinions Muddles Qualified Immunity Determinations, David Cleveland

David R. Cleveland

While unpublished opinions are now freely citeable under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1, their precedential value remains uncertain. This ambiguity muddles the already unclear law surrounding qualified immunity and denies courts valuable precedents for making fair and consistent judgments on these critical civil rights issues. When faced with a claim that they have violated a person’s civil rights, government officials typically claim qualified immunity. The test is whether they have violated “clearly established law.” Unfortunately, the federal circuits differ on whether unpublished opinions may be used in determining clearly established law. This article, Clear as Mud: How ...


All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee Jan 2010

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee

College of Law Faculty - Scholarship

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...


The Legacy Of A Supreme Court Clerkship: Stephen Breyer And Arthur Goldberg, Laura Ray Dec 2009

The Legacy Of A Supreme Court Clerkship: Stephen Breyer And Arthur Goldberg, Laura Ray

Laura K. Ray

No abstract provided.


Deliberative Democracy And Weak Courts: Constitutional Design In Nascent Democracies, Edsel F. Tupaz Jan 2009

Deliberative Democracy And Weak Courts: Constitutional Design In Nascent Democracies, Edsel F. Tupaz

Edsel F Tupaz

This Article addresses the question of constitutional design in young and transitional democracies. It argues for the adoption of a “weak” form of judicial review, as opposed to “strong” review which typifies much of contemporary adjudication. It briefly describes how the dialogical strain of deliberative democratic theory might well constitute the normative predicate for systems of weak review. In doing so, the Article draws from various judicial practices, from European supranational tribunals to Canadian courts and even Indian jurisprudence. The Article concludes with the suggestion that no judicial apparatus other than the weak structure of judicial review can better incite ...