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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Learning From Feminist Judgments: Lessons In Language And Advocacy, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda L. Berger, Kathryn M. Stanchi Oct 2019

Learning From Feminist Judgments: Lessons In Language And Advocacy, Bridget J. Crawford, Linda L. Berger, Kathryn M. Stanchi

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This essay offers a perspective-shifting approach to meeting some of our pedagogical goals in law school: the study of re-imagined judicial decisions. Our thesis is that exposing students to “alternative judgments”—opinions that have been rewritten by authors who look at the law and the facts differently—will help students develop a more realistic and nuanced view of judicial decision-making: one that is aspirational and based in the real world, and one that allows them to envision their futures as successful advocates. The “alternative judgments” of the feminist judgments projects can enrich the law-school experience in multiple ways. First, seeing ...


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 ...


Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein May 2019

Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Personal autonomy is a constitutive element of all rights. It confers upon a rightholder the power to decide whether, and under what circumstances, to exercise her right. Every right infringement thus invariably involves a violation of its holder’s autonomy. The autonomy violation consists of the deprivation of a rightholder of a choice that was rightfully hers — the choice as to how to go about her life.

Harms resulting from the right’s infringement and from the autonomy violation are often readily distinguishable, as is the case when someone uses the property of a rightholder without securing her permission or ...


The Influence Of The Warren Court And Natural Rights On Substantive Due Process, James Marmaduke Jan 2019

The Influence Of The Warren Court And Natural Rights On Substantive Due Process, James Marmaduke

Calvert Undergraduate Research Awards

Advanced Research Winner 2019:

While the concept of substantive due process has guided judicial decision making even prior to the Civil War, it has become a lightning rod among the juristic community especially since the 1960s. This controversy includes issues ranging from the applicability and reliability to the cogency and legitimacy of the doctrine of substantive due process Many scholars attribute the skepticism toward the concept of substantive due process to be the result of a paradigm shift in the middle of the 20th century when this concept transitioned from an economic and property rights based approach to one ...


Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as ...


Certainty Vs. Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Dec 2018

Certainty Vs. Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article ...


Disbelief Doctrines, Sandra F. Sperino Jan 2018

Disbelief Doctrines, Sandra F. Sperino

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Employment discrimination law is riddled with doctrines that tell courts to believe employers and not workers. Judges often use these disbelief doctrines to dismiss cases at the summary judgment stage. At times, judges even use them after a jury trial to justify nullifying jury verdicts in favor of workers.

This article brings together many disparate discrimination doctrines and shows how they function as disbelief doctrines, causing courts to believe employers and not workers. The strongest disbelief doctrines include the stray comments doctrine, the same decisionmaker inference, and the same protected class inference. However, these are not the only ones. Even ...


Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose Jan 2018

Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose

Faculty Scholarship

The link between courts and the public is the written word. With rare exceptions, it is through judicial opinions that courts communicate with litigants, lawyers, other courts, and the community. Whatever the court’s statutory and constitutional status, the written word, in the end, is the source and the measure of the court’s authority.

It is therefore not enough that a decision be correct—it must also be fair and reasonable and readily understood. The burden of the judicial opinion is to explain and to persuade and to satisfy the world that the decision is principled and sound. What ...


The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2018

The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

Scholars of judicial behavior overwhelmingly substantiate the historical presumption that most judges act impartially and independent most of the time. The reality of human behavior, however, says otherwise. Drawing upon untapped evidence from neuroscience, this Article provides a comprehensive evaluation of how bias, emotion, and empathy—all central to human decision-making—are inevitable in judicial choice. The Article offers three novel neuroscientific insights that explain why this inevitability is so. First, because human cognition associated with decision-making involves multiple, and often intersecting, neural regions and circuits, logic and reason are not separate from bias and emotion in the brain. Second ...


Dethroning The Hierarchy Of Authority, Amy J. Griffin Jan 2018

Dethroning The Hierarchy Of Authority, Amy J. Griffin

Articles

The use of authority in legal argument is constantly evolving—both the types of information deemed authoritative and their degree of authoritativeness—and that evolution has accelerated in recent years with dramatic changes in access to legal information. In contrast, the uncontroversial and ubiquitous “hierarchy of authority” used as the cornerstone for all legal analysis has remained entirely fixed. This article argues that the use of the traditional hierarchy as the dominant model for legal authority is deeply flawed, impeding a deeper understanding of the use of authority in legal argument. Lawyers, judges, and academics all know this, and yet ...


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...


Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner Jan 2018

Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed an oft-discussed jurisprudential disconnect between itself and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: whether patent claim construction was “legal” or “factual” in nature, and how much deference is due to district court decisionmaking in this area. In this Article, we closely examine the Teva opinion and situate it within modern claim construction jurisprudence. Our thesis is that the Teva holding is likely to have only very modest effects on the incidence of deference to district court claim construction but that for unexpected reasons the ...


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent ...


Feminist Judging Matters: How Feminist Theory And Methods Affect The Process Of Judgment, Bridget J. Crawford Jan 2018

Feminist Judging Matters: How Feminist Theory And Methods Affect The Process Of Judgment, Bridget J. Crawford

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The word “feminism” means different things to its many supporters (and undoubtedly, to its detractors). For some, it refers to the historic struggle: first to realize the right of women to vote and then to eliminate explicit discrimination against women from the nation's laws. For others, it is a political movement, the purpose of which is to raise awareness about and to overcome past and present oppression faced by women. For still others, it is a philosophy--a system of thought--and a community of belief centering on attaining political, social, and economic equality for women, men, and people of any ...


Rewriting Judicial Opinions And The Feminist Scholarly Project, Bridget J. Crawford Jan 2018

Rewriting Judicial Opinions And The Feminist Scholarly Project, Bridget J. Crawford

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In 1995, the authors of a law review article examining “feminist judging” focused on the existing social science data concerning women judges and compared the voting records and opinions of the only female Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor. Based on this review, the authors concluded that appointing more women as judges would make little difference to judicial outcomes or processes. The authors accused those who advocated for more women on the bench of having a hidden feminist agenda and bluntly concluded that “[b]y any measure, feminist judges fit very ...


How Is Sex Harassment Discriminatory?, Noa Ben-Asher Jan 2018

How Is Sex Harassment Discriminatory?, Noa Ben-Asher

Pace Law Faculty Publications

What is sexual harassment, and what is its actual harm? Since the 1980s, these two questions have perplexed lawmakers, policymakers, feminists, and the public. Today, with the rise of #MeToo, and with increased national attention to Title IX claims regarding sexual violence on college campuses, these questions are once again in the spotlight. As some commentators have observed, in the last several years lawmakers and policymakers have been increasingly influenced by a feminist antisubordination approach to sexual harassment and assault. This growing influence is currently reflected in more strict standards of consent (“affirmative consent”) to sex, in higher procedural and ...


Artis V. District Of Columbia—What Did The Court Actually Say?, Doron M. Kalir Jan 2018

Artis V. District Of Columbia—What Did The Court Actually Say?, Doron M. Kalir

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

On January 22, 2018, the Supreme Court issued Artis v. District of Columbia. A true "clash of the titans," this 5-4 decision featured colorful comments on both sides, claims of "absurdities," uncited use of Alice in Wonderland vocabulary ("curiouser," anyone?), and an especially harsh accusation by the dissent that "we’ve wandered so far from the idea of a federal government of limited and enumerated powers that we’ve begun to lose sight of what it looked like in the first place."

One might assume that the issue in question was a complex constitutional provision, or a dense, technical federal ...


Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin May 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Articles

It is of course too early to tell whether we are in a new era of bankruptcy judge (dis)respectability. Only time will tell. But this Article performs a specific case study, on one discrete area of bankruptcy court authority, based upon a particular assumption in that regard. The assumption is this: certain high-salience judicial events-here, the recent Supreme Court bankruptcy judge decisions, coupled with earlier constitutional precedents involving the limits of Article III-can trigger overreaction and hysteria. Lower courts may read these Supreme Court decisions as calling into question the permissibility of certain bankruptcy court practices under the Constitution ...


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be ‘unambiguous’ suddenly becomes ‘less than clear.’ This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize ‘clear’ or ‘unambiguous’ meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to ‘know’ what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to ...


The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus Mar 2017

The Gibbons Fallacy, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote that "the enumeration presupposes something not enumerated." Modern courts use that phrase to mean that the Constitutions enumeration of congressional powers indicates that those powers are, as a whole, less than a grant of general legislative authority. But Marshall wasn't saying that. He wasn't talking about the Constitution's overall enumeration of congressional powers at all. He was writing about a different enumeration - the enumeration of three classes of commerce within the Commerce Clause. And Marshall's analysis of the Commerce Clause in Gibbons does not imply that ...


Speaking Law: Towards A Nuanced Analysis Of 'Cases', Susanne Baer Mar 2017

Speaking Law: Towards A Nuanced Analysis Of 'Cases', Susanne Baer

Articles

“The headscarf case” is more than just a case. Talking law is often talking cases, but we need to understand law more specifically as a powerful practice of regulation. Law is also not only another discourse, or just text, or politics, with fundamental rights as “an issue,” or a promise, or just an idea. Instead, to protect fundamental rights, it is necessary to understand how in reacting to a conflict, we in fact speak rights today—Rechtsprechung—as a form of practice. The German Federal Constitutional Court’s decision in the conflict about female teachers wearing headscarves in German public ...


Lost & Found: Order In The Court -- The Party Game, Owen Gottlieb, Ian Schreiber Jan 2017

Lost & Found: Order In The Court -- The Party Game, Owen Gottlieb, Ian Schreiber

Presentations and other scholarship

Lost & Found is a strategy card-to-mobile game series that teaches medieval religious legal systems with attention to period accuracy and cultural and historical context.

The Lost & Found games project seeks to expand the discourse around religious legal systems, to enrich public conversations in a variety of communities, and to promote greater understanding of the religious traditions that build the fabric of the United States. Comparative religious literacy can build bridges between and within communities and prepare learners to be responsible citizens in our pluralist democracy.

The second game in the series, Lost & Found: Order in the Court – the Party Game (jr. high and up) is a fast-paced storytelling and judging game. Players compete to tell the best story about how a medieval legal ruling may have gotten to court in the first place. The game emphasizes legal reasoning.

Both this game and the original Lost & Found games are set in Fustat (Old Cairo) in the 12th Century, a crossroads of religions. Lost & Found and Order in the Court both teach elements of the Mishneh Torah, the Jewish legal code written by Moses Maimonides. Maimonides was influenced by the works of Islamic legal scholars and philosophers such as Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Al Ghazahli; he also influenced Islamic scholars.


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

Scholarly Works

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

Scholarly Works

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 ...


An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk Oct 2016

An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Takings scholarship has long focused on the niceties of Supreme Court doctrine, while ignoring the operation of takings law "on the ground" in the state and lower federal courts, which together decide the vast bulk of all takings cases. This study, based primarily on an empirical analysis of more than 2000 reported decisions ovcr the period 1979 through 2012, attempts to fill that void. This study establishes that the Supreme Court's categorical rules govern almost no state takings cases, and that takings claims based on government regulation almost invariably fail. By contrast, when takings claims arise out of government ...


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 ...


“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer Feb 2016

“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two decades after Justice Douglas coined “injury in fact” as the token of admission to federal court under Article III, Justice Scalia sealed it into the constitutional canon in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. In the two decades since Lujan, Justice Scalia has thrown increasingly pointed barbs at the permissive standing doctrine of the Warren Court, maintaining it is founded on impermissible recognition of “Psychic Injury.” Justice Scalia and his acolytes take the position that Article III requires a tough minded, common sense and practical approach. Injuries in fact must be "tangible" "direct" "concrete" "de facto" realities in time and ...


Justice Scalia And The Rule Of Law: Originalism Vs. The Living Constitution, Richard F. Duncan Jan 2016

Justice Scalia And The Rule Of Law: Originalism Vs. The Living Constitution, Richard F. Duncan

College of Law, Faculty Publications

Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death in February, 2016, was a great loss for his family, a great loss for his friends, and a great loss for the "Written Constitution" of the United States of America. We will have no more of his brilliant, witty, and pugnacious judicial opinions. Instead, we will have to settle for the body of work he left behind as his legacy. But, as one commentator has said, his opinions are "so consistent, so powerful, and so penetrating in their devotion to the rule of law"—the real rule of law, not the political decrees of ...


Does A House Of Congress Have Standing Over Appropriations?: The House Of Representatives Challenges The Affordable Care Act, Bradford Mank Jan 2016

Does A House Of Congress Have Standing Over Appropriations?: The House Of Representatives Challenges The Affordable Care Act, Bradford Mank

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

In U.S. House of Representatives v. Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the District Court for D.C. in 2015 held that the House of Representatives has Article III standing to challenge certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act as violations of the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause. The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on legislative standing is complicated. The Court has generally avoided the contentious question of whether Congress has standing to challenge certain presidential actions because of the difficult separation-of-powers concerns in such cases. In Raines v. Byrd, the Court held that individual members of Congress generally do not have Article III ...


Inside The Taft Court: Lessons From The Docket Books, Barry Cushman Jan 2016

Inside The Taft Court: Lessons From The Docket Books, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

For many years, the docket books kept by certain of the Taft Court Justices have been held by the Office of the Curator of the Supreme Court. Though the existence of these docket books had been brought to the attention of the scholarly community, access to them was highly restricted. In April of 2014, however, the Court adopted new guidelines designed to increase access to the docket books for researchers. This article offers a report and analysis based on a review of all of the Taft Court docket books held by the Office of the Curator, which are the only ...