Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Jurisprudence Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 33

Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann Aug 2019

Law Matters -- Less Than We Thought, Daniel M. Klerman, Holger Spamann

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In a pre-registered 2×2×2 factorial between-subject randomized lab experiment with 61 federal judges, we test if the law influences judicial decisions, if it does so more under a rule than under a standard, and how its influence compares to that of legally irrelevant sympathies. The judges were given realistic materials and a relatively long period of time (50 minutes) to decide a run-of-the-mill auto accident case. We find weak evidence for the law effect, stronger evidence that rules constrain more than standards, and no evidence of a sympathy effect. Unexpectedly, we find that judges were more likely to ...


Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner Feb 2016

Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The Supreme Court annually grants approximately 5% of the petitions to hear cases it receives. It denies petitions from the federal government, from large corporations, and from high-profile attorneys. The decisions of which petitions for writ of certiorari the Court grants sets the Court’s agenda each term and defines the issues which the Court will engage. With such a low likelihood that the Court hears any particular case, what makes a petition more or less likely to be granted? The focus of much of the existing scholarship on certiorari deals with the theoretical underpinnings of these judicial decisions. In ...


One Law Of Race?, Stephen M. Rich Jul 2015

One Law Of Race?, Stephen M. Rich

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Is race discrimination a single social phenomenon, and, if it is, why not govern it by a single legal rule? The temptation to conform constitutional and statutory standards in race equality law is powerful and appears to have captured the imagination of the Supreme Court in several of its most recent decisions. Historically, the Court’s decisions in this area have sometimes promoted convergence between constitutional and statutory standards, often by using constitutional precedents to resolve issues of statutory interpretation. At other times, they have promoted divergence, by honoring the authority of political institutions to establish equality norms that exceed ...


Inferred Classifications, Stephen M. Rich Jul 2015

Inferred Classifications, Stephen M. Rich

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This Article discusses a fundamental problem in constitutional law, namely that equal protection doctrine commands strict scrutiny of all racial classifications but does not specify what constitutes a racial classification. This omission has left many public institutions and legal scholars to assume that a racial classification must be explicit in order to receive strict scrutiny. This assumption, however, is false. The Article proposes the concept of “inferred classifications” to describe instances in which the Supreme Court has inferred racial classifications from the form and practical effect of facially neutral legislation. The assumption that racial classifications must be explicit is driven ...


What Diversity Contributes To Equal Opportunity, Stephen M. Rich Jul 2015

What Diversity Contributes To Equal Opportunity, Stephen M. Rich

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The ideal of diversity so pervades American public life that we now speak of diversity where we once spoke of equality. This Article rejects the dominant legal conception of diversity found in equal protection jurisprudence but not the relevance of diversity to the project of equal opportunity. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court endorsed diversity as a compelling governmental interest capable of justifying the use of racial preferences in public university admissions. However, rather than quieting public controversies about affirmative action, the decision has been a frequent target of legal and political attack, and its narrow focus on educational ...


'Prima Paint' Pushed Compulsory Aribitration Under The 'Erie' Train, Richard L. Barnes Feb 2007

'Prima Paint' Pushed Compulsory Aribitration Under The 'Erie' Train, Richard L. Barnes

ExpressO

As the face of commerce changes, the law usually follows, albeit at some distance. The United States Supreme Court has recently sped the pace. In a line of cases, some old, some recent, but all feeding off of one another, the Court has held that challenges to agreements which contain arbitration provisions must go to the arbitrator first. Courts may hear formational challenges only where they challenge the arbitration provision alone. In the Supreme Court, arbitration, with its vast potential for abuse as well as for good, has found a friend.

The Court’s doctrine of choice, “severability,” raises serious ...


Interrogation Of Detainees: Extending A Hand Or A Boot?, Amos N. Guiora Feb 2007

Interrogation Of Detainees: Extending A Hand Or A Boot?, Amos N. Guiora

ExpressO

The so called “war on terror” provides the Bush administration with a unique opportunity to both establish clear guidelines for the interrogation of detainees and to make a forceful statement about American values. How the government chooses to act can promote either an ethical commitment to the norms of civil society, or an attitude analogous to Toby Keith’s “American Way,” where Keith sings that “you’ll be sorry that you messed with the USofA, ‘Cuz we’ll put a boot in your ass, It’s the American Way.”

No aspect of the “war on terrorism” more clearly addresses this ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults Sep 2006

Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults

ExpressO

The Article argues in favor of shifting the balance in federal sentencing toward a more indeterminate system. By exploring the post-Booker legal landscape at both the federal and state levels, the Article asserts that the judiciary's continued reliance on the “advisory" Guidelines has practically changed federal sentencing procedures very little in form or function. Accordingly, the Article proffers that, rather than insisting upon the Guidelines' immutability, federal sentencing would do well to reflect upon its own history, and the evolution of its state counterparts.


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice Sep 2006

Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice

ExpressO

Garcetti v. Ceballos was intended to clear up an area of First Amendment law so murky that it was the source not only of circuit splits but also of intra-circuit splits—panels from within the same circuit had arrived at opposite results in nearly identical cases. As it turned out, the Supreme Court itself was as splintered as the circuits. Of all the previously argued cases that remained undecided during the Court’s transition involving Justice O’Connor’s retirement and Justice Alito’s confirmation, Garcetti was the only one for which the Court ordered a second argument. This suggested ...


When Should Judges Appoint Experts?: A Law And Economics Perspective, Jonathan T. Tomlin, David Cooper Sep 2006

When Should Judges Appoint Experts?: A Law And Economics Perspective, Jonathan T. Tomlin, David Cooper

ExpressO

The Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals placed federal judges in the role of “gatekeepers” empowered to evaluate the reliability of often complex expert testimony. Many judges, commentators, and legal scholars have argued that court-appointed experts can assist judges in appropriately carrying out their gatekeeping role. However, previous literature has not evaluated the role of court-appointed experts in a rigorous framework that considers the complex interaction of the incentives of expert witnesses, the impact of expert witnesses on the decision-making of the fact finder, and the knowledge of the judge. In this article, we provide such ...


A Defense Of Structural Injunctive Remedies In South African Law, Danielle E. Hirsch Sep 2006

A Defense Of Structural Injunctive Remedies In South African Law, Danielle E. Hirsch

ExpressO

This Article argues that the use of structural injunction remedies by South African courts is appropriate, and, in light of demonstrated government inaction, often necessary in order to give meaning to the protection of socio-economic rights, which is mandated by their Constitution. The Article draws upon numerous United States judicial decisions where structural injunctions have been successfully implemented to address systemic institutional inaction and violations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the United States Constitution. In numerous instances, the South African government has not acted to effectively give meaning to the socio-economic rights which were broadly declared ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

ExpressO

This paper is an empirical examination of the recently ended 2005 Supreme Court term. The paper, in addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, also examines the jurisprudence of new justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it proposes the intriguing possibility that these two justices may share a jurisprudential approach different from the Court's more established conservatives. If correct, this raises numerous and interesting possibilities for the future of conservativism on the Supreme Court.


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


The “Csi Effect”: Better Jurors Through Television And Science?, Michael D. Mann Jun 2006

The “Csi Effect”: Better Jurors Through Television And Science?, Michael D. Mann

ExpressO

This Comment discusses how television shows such as CSI and Law & Order create heightened juror expectations. This will be published in the Buffalo Public Interest Law Journal's 2005-2006 issue.


Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson May 2006

Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book entitled Radicals in Robes. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis, this essay offers ...


Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman May 2006

Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman

ExpressO

This is a review essay entitled “Using All Available Information,” in which I review and comment on Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, published in September 2005. Justice Breyer’s book, adapted from the Tanner Lectures given in 2005 at Harvard Law School, serves partly as a response to Justice Scalia’s 1997 volume A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law. I review Justice Breyer’s book in part by comparison to and contrast with Justice Scalia’s. I propose that much about Justice Breyer’s interpretive philosophy, which centers on determining ...


Reverse Bifurcation, Dru Stevenson Mar 2006

Reverse Bifurcation, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

Reverse bifurcation is a trial procedure in which the jury determines damages first, before determining liability. The liability phase of the trial rarely occurs, because the parties usually settle once they know the value of the case. This procedure is already being used in thousands of cases – nearly all the asbestos and Fen-phen cases – but this is the first academic article devoted to the subject. This article explains the history of the procedure and analyzes why it encourages settlements, simplifies jury instructions, and produces better outcomes for the parties.


The Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson Mar 2006

The Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson

ExpressO

Our manuscript entitled "The Foundations of Federalism: An Exchange" is occasioned by the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence which, in our judgment, calls for a broad ranging exploration of the constitutional concept of federalism itself. That exploration takes place in the form of a dialog between us which, while rewritten from its original form, nevertheless reflects our actual exchanges over an 18 month period. Our conclusion is that such terms as "sovereignty" generally have no place in American constitutional federalism, that the Supreme Court's efforts to enforce federalism limitations have been ineffective and, in some instances, counterproductive, and most ...


Toward A Federal Common Law Of Bankruptcy: Judicial Lawmaking In A Statutory Regime, Adam J. Levitin Feb 2006

Toward A Federal Common Law Of Bankruptcy: Judicial Lawmaking In A Statutory Regime, Adam J. Levitin

ExpressO

Bankruptcy is a statutory system, yet it is replete with practices for which there is no direct authorization in the Bankruptcy Code. This article argues that the authorization for judicial creation of bankruptcy law beyond the provisions of the Code has been misidentified as the equity powers of bankruptcy courts. This misidentification has led courts to place inappropriate statutory and historical limitations on non-Code practices because of discomfort with unguided equitable discretion.

Both the statutory and historic limitations are problematic. The statutory authorization for the bankruptcy courts’ equitable powers appears to have been repealed by what one judge has called ...


Breaking The Bank: Revisiting Central Bank Of Denver After Enron And Sarbanes-Oxley, Celia Taylor Sep 2005

Breaking The Bank: Revisiting Central Bank Of Denver After Enron And Sarbanes-Oxley, Celia Taylor

ExpressO

No abstract provided.


Making State Law In Federal Court, Benjamin C. Glassman Aug 2005

Making State Law In Federal Court, Benjamin C. Glassman

ExpressO

Abstract: We know from Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins that unless the Constitution or a federal statute provides the rule of decision in federal court, state law does. Contrary to the assumption of several recent commentators, however, Erie itself does not tell the federal court how to ascertain what is the law of the state, and the refrain that federal courts are to predict what the state supreme court would decide not only proves unhelpful upon examination, but also has tended to confuse the courts themselves in recent years. Yet federal courts routinely face questions of state law that ...


Rhetorical Holy War: Polygamy, Homosexuality, And The Paradox Of Community And Autonomy, Gregory C. Pingree Aug 2005

Rhetorical Holy War: Polygamy, Homosexuality, And The Paradox Of Community And Autonomy, Gregory C. Pingree

ExpressO

The article explores the rhetorical strategies deployed in both legal and cultural narratives of Mormon polygamy in nineteenth-century America. It demonstrates how an understanding of that unique communal experience, and the narratives by which it was represented, informs the classic paradox of community and autonomy – the tension between the collective and the individual. The article concludes by using the Mormon polygamy analysis to illuminate a contemporary social situation that underscores the paradox of community and autonomy – homosexuality and the so-called culture wars over family values and the meaning of marriage.


U.S. Supreme Court Tort Reform: Limiting State Power To Articulate And Develop Its Own Tort Law–Defamation, Preemption, And Punitive Damages, Thomas C. Galligan Aug 2005

U.S. Supreme Court Tort Reform: Limiting State Power To Articulate And Develop Its Own Tort Law–Defamation, Preemption, And Punitive Damages, Thomas C. Galligan

ExpressO

U.S. Supreme Court Tort Reform: Limiting State Power to Articulate and Develop Its Own Tort Law–Defamation, Preemption, and Punitive Damages analyzes and critiques the three primary areas in which the U.S. Supreme Court has found federal constitutional limits on a state’s power to articulate, develop, and apply its common law of torts. It is the first piece to consider all three areas together as an emerging body of jurisprudence which Professor Galligan calls U.S. Supreme Court tort reform. After setting forth a modest model of adjudication, the article applies that model to each of the ...


Counter-Majoritarian Power And Judges' Political Speech, Michael R. Dimino Aug 2005

Counter-Majoritarian Power And Judges' Political Speech, Michael R. Dimino

ExpressO

Canons of ethics restrict judicial campaigning and prohibit sitting judges from engaging in political activity. Only recently, in Republican Party v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002), has the Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of these restrictions, concluding that judicial candidates must be allowed some opportunity to discuss legal and political issues in their campaigns. But White left many questions unanswered about the permissible scope of restrictions on judges’ political activity.

This Article suggests that those questions will be answered not by applying principles of free speech, but by analyzing the opportunities the restrictions provide for independent judicial policy-making. Restrictions ...


The Irrational Supreme Court, Michael I. Meyerson Mar 2005

The Irrational Supreme Court, Michael I. Meyerson

ExpressO

Abstract: The Irrational Supreme Court

The pejorative “irrational” is used to describe many defects in legal reasoning, but is generally not meant to be understood as a literal lack of rational thinking. Similarly, the “rational basis test” is not meant to determine whether a legislature is “not endowed with reason or understanding,” but rather if it has acted with some hidden, invidious motive. Incredibly, though, the Supreme Court has frequently issued truly “irrational opinions,” simply due to the fundamental nature of group decision-making.

Much has been written about Nobel Prize winner Kenneth Arrow’s “Impossibility Theorem,” which proved that, when ...


Book Review: Forensic Linguistics, Dru Stevenson Mar 2005

Book Review: Forensic Linguistics, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

Review of John Gibbons' text "Forensic Linguistics"


Jury Trials In Japan, Robert M. Bloom Mar 2005

Jury Trials In Japan, Robert M. Bloom

ExpressO

The Japanese are seeking to involve their citizens in the judicial system. They are also establishing a check on the power of the judiciary. Towards these goals, they have enacted legislation to create jury trials. These remarkable ambitions envision adopting a mixed-jury system, slated to take effect in 2009. In this mixed-jury system, judges and citizens participate together in the jury deliberation.

This article first explores the differences between mixed-juries and the American jury system. It then suggests why the Japanese opted for a mixed-jury system. The article explores psychological theories surrounding collective judgment and how dominant individuals influence group ...