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A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2008

A New (And Better) Interpretation Of Holmes's Prediction Theory Of Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

Holmes's famous 1897 theory that law is a prediction of what courts will do in fact slowly changed the way law schools taught law until, by the mid-1920s legal realism took over the curriculum. The legal realists argued that judges decide cases on all kinds of objective and subjective reasons including precedents. If law schools wanted to train future lawyers to be effective, they should be exposed to collateral subjects that might influence judges: law and society, law and literature, and so forth. But the standard interpretation has been a huge mistake. It treats law as analogous to weather ...


Popular Constitutionalism And Relaxing The Dead Hand: Can The People Be Trusted?, Todd E. Pettys Jan 2008

Popular Constitutionalism And Relaxing The Dead Hand: Can The People Be Trusted?, Todd E. Pettys

Todd E. Pettys

A growing number of constitutional scholars are urging the nation to rethink its commitment to judicial supremacy. Popular constitutionalists argue that the American people, not the courts, hold the ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution’s many open-ended provisions whose meanings are reasonably contestable. This Article defends popular constitutionalism on two important fronts. First, using originalism as a paradigmatic example of the ways in which courts frequently draw constitutional meaning from sources rooted deep in the past, the Article contends that defenders of judicial supremacy still have not persuasively responded to the familiar dead-hand query: Why should constitutional meanings that ...


The Many Meanings Of "Politics" In Judicial Decision Making, Bradley W. Joondeph Jan 2008

The Many Meanings Of "Politics" In Judicial Decision Making, Bradley W. Joondeph

Faculty Publications

This essay seeks to untangle the many possible meanings of "politics" in descriptions of judicial behavior. Part I sets out ten possible conceptions of the term, briefly discussing some examples and their empirical foundations. My goal is mostly descriptive (rather than normative), though it is apparent that some conceptions are more useful than others. In all events, claims about the political influences on judicial behavior must be specific about the phenomena they seek to describe. For given the many possible meanings of politics, accounts that lack such specificity are largely vacuous.

Part II builds on this discussion to make two ...


Bias In Judicial Citations: A Window Into The Behavior Of Judges?, Mitu Gulati, Stephen J. Choi Jan 2008

Bias In Judicial Citations: A Window Into The Behavior Of Judges?, Mitu Gulati, Stephen J. Choi

Faculty Scholarship

This article tests for the presence of bias in judicial citations within federal circuit court opinions. Our findings suggest bias along three dimensions. First, judges base outside-circuit citation decisions in part on the political party of the cited judge. Judges tend to cite judges of the opposite political party less often than would be expected considering the fraction of the total pool of opinions attributable to judges of the opposite political party. Second, judges are more likely to engage in biased citation practices in certain high-stakes situations. These high-stakes situations include opinions dealing with certain subject matters (such as individual ...


Online Access To Court Records - From Documents To Data, Particulars To Patterns, Peter W. Martin Jan 2008

Online Access To Court Records - From Documents To Data, Particulars To Patterns, Peter W. Martin

Villanova Law Review

No abstract provided.


Friction By Design: The Necessary Contest Of State Judicial Power And Legislative Policymaking, Michael L. Buenger Jan 2008

Friction By Design: The Necessary Contest Of State Judicial Power And Legislative Policymaking, Michael L. Buenger

University of Richmond Law Review

No abstract provided.


Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow Dec 2007

Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow

Donald J. Kochan

Conflicts created by concurrences and pluralities in court decisions create confusion in law and lower court interpretation. Rule of law values require that individuals be able to identify controlling legal principles. That task is complicated when pluralities and concurrences contribute to the vagueness or uncertainty that leaves us wondering what the controlling rule is or attempting to predict what it will evolve to become. The rule of law is at least handicapped when continuity or confidence or confusion infuse our understanding of the applicable rules. This Article uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States ...