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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards Jan 2017

Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards

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On January 4, 2016, over 112 women lawyers, law professors, and former judges told the world that they had had an abortion. In a daring amicus brief that captured national media attention, the women “came out” to their clients; to the lawyers with or against whom they practice; to the judges before whom they appear; and to the Justices of the Supreme Court.

The past three years have seen an explosion of such “voices briefs,” 16 in Obergefell and 17 in Whole Woman’s Health. The briefs can be powerful, but their use is controversial. They tell the stories of ...


Short-Circuiting The New Major Questions Doctrine, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2017

Short-Circuiting The New Major Questions Doctrine, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

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In Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen and Seth Davis advance perhaps the most provocative proposal to date to address the new major questions doctrine articulated in King v. Burwell. They argue that the Supreme Court alone should identify “major questions” that deprive agencies of interpretive primacy, prohibiting the doctrine’s use in the lower courts. Although we agree that the Court provided little guidance about the doctrine’s scope in King v. Burwell, we are unpersuaded that the solution to this lack of guidance is to limit its doctrinal development to one court that hears fewer than eighty cases ...


All Together Now: Using Principles Of Group Dynamics To Train Better Jurors, Sara G. Gordon Jan 2015

All Together Now: Using Principles Of Group Dynamics To Train Better Jurors, Sara G. Gordon

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We ask juries to make important decisions that have a profound impact on people’s lives. We leave these decisions in the hands of groups of laypeople because we hope that the diverse range of experiences and knowledge in the group will lead to more thoughtful and informed decisionmaking. Studies suggest that diverse groups of jurors have different perspectives on evidence, engage in more thorough debate, and more closely evaluate facts. At the same time, there are a variety of problems associated with group decisionmaking, from the loss of individual motivation in group settings, to the vulnerability of groups to ...


To The Victor Goes The Toil -- Remedies For Regulated Parties In Separation-Of-Powers Litigation, Kent H. Barnett Jan 2014

To The Victor Goes The Toil -- Remedies For Regulated Parties In Separation-Of-Powers Litigation, Kent H. Barnett

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The U.S. Constitution imposes three key limits on the design of federal agencies. It constrains how agency officers are appointed, the extent of their independence from the President, and the range of issues that they can decide. Scholars have trumpeted the importance of these safeguards with soaring rhetoric. And the Supreme Court has permitted regulated parties to vindicate these safeguards through implied private rights of action under the Constitution. Regulated parties, for their part, have been successfully challenging agency structure with increased frequency. At the same time, regulated parties, courts, and scholars have largely ignored the practical question of ...


The Return Of Constitutional Federalism, Logan E. Sawyer Iii Jan 2014

The Return Of Constitutional Federalism, Logan E. Sawyer Iii

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This article comments on National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976) and the role played by Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. It argues that the decision did not constitute any “return” to “constitutional federalism” and that, despite claims to the contrary, its inspiration came from the political goals of the Court’s conservative Justices. More specifically it argues that Justice Powell’s role was not influenced simply by contemporary critiques that undermined the “political safeguards of federalism” theory but, rather, that Justice Powell’s political views likely shaped both his understanding of the “political safeguards” thesis ...


Transtemporal Separation Of Powers In The Law Of Precedent, Randy Beck Jan 2012

Transtemporal Separation Of Powers In The Law Of Precedent, Randy Beck

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The rule of stare decisis creates a presumption that a court’s ruling on a legal question remains binding in later decisions by the same court or hierarchically inferior courts. This presumption promotes stability in the law and protects reliance interests. Decisions that narrowly construe or overrule prior opinions can therefore seem like unprincipled threats to the rule of law.

This article seeks to highlight some countervailing themes in the case law, showing that stability and the protection of reliance interests are not the exclusive concerns underlying the law of precedent. The relevant doctrine attempts to balance these objectives with ...


Justice John Paul Stevens, Originalist, Diane Marie Amann Jan 2012

Justice John Paul Stevens, Originalist, Diane Marie Amann

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Commentators, including the author of a recent book on the Supreme Court, often attempt to give each Justice a methodological label, such as “practitioner of judicial restraint,” “legal realist,” “pragmatist,” or “originalist.” This Essay first demonstrates that none of the first three labels applies without fail to Justice John Paul Stevens; consequently, it explores the extent to which Justice Stevens’s jurisprudence paid heed to the fourth method, “originalism.” It looks in particular at Justice Stevens’s opinions in recent cases involving firearms, national security, and capital punishment. Somewhat at odds with conventional wisdom, the Essay reveals Justice Stevens as ...


Contemporary Meaning And Expectations In Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2012

Contemporary Meaning And Expectations In Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin

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This Article introduces and explores an approach to, or theme within, statutory interpretation, one grounded in contemporary meaning and expectations. This approach posits that judges interpreting ambiguous statutes are and should be constrained by the understanding and expectations of the contemporary public as to the law’s meaning and application. These are developed in response to, and mediated by, the actions and statements of government officials and the broader community. The Article argues that this apparently radical approach is necessary in order for law to maintain its moral force, and further that the principles underlying it are embedded in several ...


The Chevron Two-Step In Georgia's Administrative Law, David Shipley Jan 2012

The Chevron Two-Step In Georgia's Administrative Law, David Shipley

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The Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have long accepted the General Assembly’s authority to enact legislation that establishes administrative agencies and empowers those agencies to promulgate rules and regulations to implement their enabling statutes. In addition, the Georgia Constitution provides that the General Assembly may authorize agencies to exercise quasi-judicial powers. Administrative agencies with broad powers enjoy a secure position under Georgia law.

Like federal and state administrative agencies throughout the nation, Georgia’s many boards, commissions and authorities make policy when they apply their governing statutes in promulgating regulations of general applicability, and in ruling on ...


Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade’S Trimester Framework, Randy Beck Jul 2011

Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade’S Trimester Framework, Randy Beck

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One of the controversies arising from Roe v. Wade (1973), has concerned whether the conclusions undergirding the opinion's “trimester framework” should be considered part of the holding of the case, or instead classified as dicta. Different Supreme Court opinions have spoken to this question in different ways. This article reviews materials from the files of Justices who participated in Roe, seeking insight as to what the Court thought about the issue at the time. The article concludes that Justices in the Roe majority understood the opinion’s trimester framework to consist largely of dicta, unnecessary to a ruling on ...


Decisional Sequencing, Peter B. Rutledge Jan 2010

Decisional Sequencing, Peter B. Rutledge

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Judicial decisionmaking consists of two sets of choices – (1) how to resolve the issues in a case and (2) how to decide the order in which those issues will be resolved. Much legal scholarship focuses on the first question; too little focuses on the second. This Article aims to fill that gap. Drawing across disciplines – philosophy, economics and political science – this Article articulates a theory of “decisional sequencing.” Decisional sequencing concerns the extent to which legal rules constrain – and do not constrain – the order in which judges and other quasi-judicial actors (like arbitrators) decide matters before them. To what extent ...


The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen May 2009

The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen

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Most observers of constitutional adjudication believe that it works in an all-or-nothing way. On this view, the substance of challenged rules is of decisive importance, so that political decision makers may resuscitate invalidated laws only by way of constitutional amendment. This conception of constitutional law is incomplete. In fact, courts often use so-called “semisubstantive” doctrines that focus on the processes that nonjudicial officials have used in adopting constitutionally problematic rules. When a court strikes down a rule by using a motive-centered or legislative-findings doctrine, for example, political decision makers may revive that very rule without need for a constitutional amendment ...


The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2009

The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen

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Does it violate the dormant Commerce Clause for a state to exempt interest earned on its own bonds, but no others, from income taxation? In a recent decision, the Supreme Court answered this question in the negative. Six members of the Court found the case controlled by the state-self-promotion exception to the dormancy doctrine's antidiscrimination rule. Three of those Justices, however, went further by also invoking the longstanding market-participant exception to sustain the discriminatory state tax break. This Essay challenges that alternative line of analysis. According to the author, the plurality's effort to apply the market-participant principle: (1 ...


"Sociological Legitimacy" In Supreme Court Opinions, Michael Wells Jul 2007

"Sociological Legitimacy" In Supreme Court Opinions, Michael Wells

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Analysis of a Supreme Court opinion ordinarily begins from the premise that the opinion is a transparent window into the Court's thinking, such that the reasons offered by the Court are, or ought to be, the reasons that account for the holding. Scholars debate the strength of the Court's reasoning, question or defend the Court's candor, and propose alternative ways of justifying the ruling. This Article takes issue with the transparency premise, on both descriptive and normative grounds. Especially in controversial cases, the Court is at least as much concerned with presenting its holding in a way ...


The Future Of Footnote Four, Dan T. Coenen Apr 2007

The Future Of Footnote Four, Dan T. Coenen

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The Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Carolene Products Co. generated the most famous footnote-and perhaps the most famous passage-in all of the American Judiciary's treatment of constitutional law. Among other things, Footnote Four suggested that "prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry." The importance of this principle cannot be overstated. It pervaded the work of the Warren Court and has played a ...


The Proven Key: Roles And Rules For Dictionaries In The Patent Office And The Courts, Joseph Scott Miller, James A. Hilsenteger Apr 2005

The Proven Key: Roles And Rules For Dictionaries In The Patent Office And The Courts, Joseph Scott Miller, James A. Hilsenteger

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in its continuing effort to develop a patent claim construction jurisprudence that yields predictable results, has turned to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and similar sources with increasing frequency. This paper explores, from both an empirical and a normative perspective, the Federal Circuit's effort to shift claim construction to a dictionary-based approach. In the empirical part, we present data showing that the Federal Circuit has, since its own in banc Markman decision in April 1995, used reference works such as dictionaries to construe claim terms with steadily increasing frequency. In addition, and ...


Supreme Court Of Nevada, Administrative Office Of The Courts, Nevada Domestic Violence Resource Manual, Mary E. Berkheiser Jan 2000

Supreme Court Of Nevada, Administrative Office Of The Courts, Nevada Domestic Violence Resource Manual, Mary E. Berkheiser

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No abstract provided.


Positivism And Antipositivism In Federal Courts Law, Michael Wells Apr 1995

Positivism And Antipositivism In Federal Courts Law, Michael Wells

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What is the proper role of rules in federal courts law? Some scholars associated with the Legal Process assert that rules are unimportant here. They believe that the values of principled adjudication and reasoned elaboration should take precedence over the making and application of rules. The area is, in the jargon of jurisprudence, "antipositivist." Others maintain that rules do, or at any rate should, count heavily in federal courts' decisionmaking. In this Article, I argue that Legal Process scholars are right to spurn formalism in most parts of federal courts law. But the Legal Process model of federal courts law ...


French And American Judicial Opinions, Michael Wells Jan 1994

French And American Judicial Opinions, Michael Wells

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In this Article, I examine the foundations of American judicial form, in particular the proposition that powerful instrumental considerations support the issuance of reasoned opinions. This project proceeds from the belief that the form of judicial opinions deserves serious scholarly attention despite the broad consensus about its value, because it frames the terms of debate on every issue courts confront. My analysis is built on the view that critical insights into the nature of one's own legal system can be gleaned only by "understand[ing] what [one's] system is not," a task that requires putting aside the internal ...


The Stare Decisis "Exception" To The Chevron Deference Rule, Rebecca White Dec 1992

The Stare Decisis "Exception" To The Chevron Deference Rule, Rebecca White

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In this article, the author discusses how Chevron intersects with one important competing norm - stare decisis. Stare decisis counsels the Court to adhere to its own decisions, particularly statutory ones, absent substantial justification for departure. To what extent should stare decisis apply when an agency's interpretation of a statute, otherwise deserving of deference under Chevron, conflicts with a prior interpretation of the statute by the Supreme Court?

This article suggests the following answer: If the Court's prior opinion upheld the agency's interpretation as one reasonable reading of the statute, but not the only one possible, and the ...


Authoritarianism And The Rule Of Law, Lynne Henderson Jan 1991

Authoritarianism And The Rule Of Law, Lynne Henderson

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No abstract provided.


The Unimportance Of Precedence In The Law Of Federal Courts, Michael L. Wells Jan 1990

The Unimportance Of Precedence In The Law Of Federal Courts, Michael L. Wells

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Part I of this Article asserts that the Supreme Court pays little attention to precedent in federal courts law. My examples in support of this claim are taken from important areas of federal courts doctrine, where two major upheavals have taken place in the past thirty years. First, the Warren Court rewrote the law to expand access to federal court. then under Chief Justice Burger, the Court undid many of the changes wrought by its predecessor. The discussion in Part I of prominent departures from precedent is not offered as decisive proof that stare decisis is less important in federal ...


Why Professor Redish Is Wrong About Abstention, Michael Wells Jul 1985

Why Professor Redish Is Wrong About Abstention, Michael Wells

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Most critics of the Supreme Court's abstention doctrines have attacked the substantive merits of rules that channel constitutional litigation away from federal courts and into state courts instead. In a recent article, Martin Redish raises an interesting objection to abstention from a different perspective. He addresses the institutional legitimacy of the rules and contends that whatever their merits, rules like these should be made only by Congress and not the Supreme Court, for they contravene Congress' intent to grant federal courts jurisdiction over constitutional claims against state actors. Part I of this article describes the context in which the ...