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Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Textualism For Realists, Ian Samuel Apr 2019

Textualism For Realists, Ian Samuel

Michigan Law Review

Review of Richard L. Hasen's The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.


The Preliminary Injunction Standard: Understanding The Public Interest Factor, M Devon Moore Mar 2019

The Preliminary Injunction Standard: Understanding The Public Interest Factor, M Devon Moore

Michigan Law Review

Under Winter v. NRDC, federal courts considering a preliminary injunction motion look to four factors, including the public interest impact of the injunction. But courts do not agree on what the public interest is and how much it should matter. This Note describes the confusion over the public interest factor and characterizes the post-Winter circuit split as a result of this confusion. By analyzing the case law surrounding the public interest factor, this Note identifies three aspects of a case that consistently implicate the direction and magnitude of this factor: the identity of the parties, the underlying cause of action ...


Is The First Amendment Obsolete?, Tim Wu Dec 2018

Is The First Amendment Obsolete?, Tim Wu

Michigan Law Review

The First Amendment was brought to life in a period, the twentieth century, when the political speech environment was markedly different than today’s. With respect to any given issue, speech was scarce and limited to a few newspapers, pamphlets or magazines. The law was embedded, therefore, with the presumption that the greatest threat to free speech was direct punishment of speakers by government.

Today, in the internet and social media age, it is no longer speech that is scarce—rather, it is the attention of listeners. And those who seek to control speech use new methods that rely on ...


Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson Oct 2018

Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson

Michigan Law Review

In resolving questions of statutory meaning, the lion’s share of Roberts Court opinions considers and applies at least one interpretive canon, whether the rule against surplusage or the presumption against state law preemption. This is part of a decades-long turn toward textualist statutory interpretation in the Supreme Court. Commentators have debated how to justify canons, since they are judicially created rules that reside outside the statutory text. Earlier studies have cast substantial doubt on whether these canons can be justified as capturing congressional practices or preferences; commentators have accordingly turned toward second-order justifications, arguing that canons usefully make interpretation ...


Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania Jun 2018

Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania

Michigan Law Review

The most important determinant of a case’s chances for Supreme Court review is a circuit split: If two courts of appeals have decided the same issue differently, review is substantially more likely. But practically every appeal in a patent case makes its way to a single court—the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. How, then, does the Supreme Court decide whether to grant certiorari in a patent case?

The petitions for certiorari in the Court’s patent docket suggest an answer: The Supreme Court looks for splits anyway. These splits, however, are of a different sort. Rather ...


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart Jun 2018

The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart

Michigan Law Review

New Textualism is ascendant. Elevated to prominence by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and championed by others like Justice Neil Gorsuch, the method of interpretation occupies an increasingly dominant place in American jurisprudence. Yet, this Comment argues the proponents of New Textualism acted unfairly to reach this lofty perch. To reach this conclusion, this Comment develops and applies a framework to evaluate the rhetoric behind New Textualism: the rhetorical canons of construction. Through the rhetorical canons, this Comment demonstrates that proponents of New Textualism advance specious arguments, declare other methods illegitimate hypocritically, refuse to engage with the merits of their ...


All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes Apr 2018

All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes

Michigan Law Review

A review of Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment.


Why The Burger Court Mattered, David A. Strauss Apr 2018

Why The Burger Court Mattered, David A. Strauss

Michigan Law Review

A review of Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right.


Precedent And Disagreement, Glen Staszewski Apr 2018

Precedent And Disagreement, Glen Staszewski

Michigan Law Review

A review of Randy J. Kozel, Settled Versus Right: A Theory of Precedent.


Use Your Words: On The "Speech" In "Freedom Of Speech", Leslie Kendrick Mar 2018

Use Your Words: On The "Speech" In "Freedom Of Speech", Leslie Kendrick

Michigan Law Review

Freedom of speech occupies a special place in American society. But what counts as “speech” is a contentious issue. In countless cases, courts struggle to distinguish highly protected speech from easily regulated economic activity. Skeptics view this struggle as evidence that speech is, in fact, not distinguishable from other forms of activity.

This Article refutes that view. It argues that speech is indeed distinct from other forms of activity, and that even accounts that deny this distinction actually admit it. It then argues that the features that make speech distinctive as a phenomenon also make it distinctive as a normative ...


Minimum Virtual Contacts: A Framework For Specific Jurisdiction In Cyberspace, Adam R. Kleven Mar 2018

Minimum Virtual Contacts: A Framework For Specific Jurisdiction In Cyberspace, Adam R. Kleven

Michigan Law Review

As the ubiquity and importance of the internet continue to grow, courts will address more cases involving online activity. In doing so, courts will confront the threshold issue of whether a defendant can be subject to specific personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court, however, has yet to speak to this internet-jurisdiction issue. Current precedent, when strictly applied to the internet, yields fundamentally unfair results when addressing specific jurisdiction. To better achieve the fairness aim of due process, this must change. This Note argues that, in internet tort cases, the “express aiming” requirement should be discarded from the jurisdictional analysis and that ...


The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman Apr 2017

The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman

Michigan Law Review

Review of A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law by Antonin Scalia .


Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel Feb 2017

Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

The U.S. Supreme Court has shown a notable willingness to reconsider its First Amendment precedents. In recent years, the Court has departed from its prior statements regarding the constitutional value of false speech. It has revamped its process for identifying categorical exceptions to First Amendment protection. It has changed its positions on corporate electioneering and aggregate campaign contributions. In short, it has revised the ground rules of expressive freedom in ways large and small. The Court generally describes its past decisions as enjoying a presumption of validity through the doctrine of stare decisis. This Article contends that within the ...


Federal Review Of State Criminal Convictions: A Structural Approach To Adequacy Doctrine, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2017

Federal Review Of State Criminal Convictions: A Structural Approach To Adequacy Doctrine, Eve Brensike Primus

Michigan Law Review

Modern state postconviction review systems feature procedural labyrinths so complicated and confusing that indigent defendants have no realistic prospect of complying with the rules. When defendants predictably fail to navigate these mazes, state and federal courts deem their claims procedurally defaulted and refuse to consider those claims on their merits. As a result, systemic violations of criminal procedure rights—like the right to effective counsel—persist without judicial correction.

But the law contains a tool that, if properly adapted, could bring these systemic problems to the attention of federal courts: procedural adequacy. Procedural adequacy doctrine gives federal courts the power ...


State-Action Immunity And Section 5 Of The Ftc Act, Daniel A. Crane, Adam Hester Dec 2016

State-Action Immunity And Section 5 Of The Ftc Act, Daniel A. Crane, Adam Hester

Michigan Law Review

The state-action immunity doctrine of Parker v. Brown immunizes anticompetitive state regulations from preemption by federal antitrust law so long as the state takes conspicuous ownership of its anticompetitive policy. In its 1943 Parker decision, the Supreme Court justified this doctrine, observing that no evidence of a congressional will to preempt state law appears in the Sherman Act’s legislative history or context. In addition, commentators generally assume that the New Deal court was anxious to avoid re-entangling the federal judiciary in Lochner-style substantive due process analysis. The Supreme Court has observed, without deciding, that the Federal Trade Commission ...


Thin Rationality Review, Jacob Gersen, Adrian Vermeule Jun 2016

Thin Rationality Review, Jacob Gersen, Adrian Vermeule

Michigan Law Review

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, courts review and set aside agency action that is “arbitrary [and] capricious.” In a common formulation of rationality review, courts must either take a “hard look” at the rationality of agency decisionmaking, or at least ensure that agencies themselves have taken a hard look. We will propose a much less demanding and intrusive interpretation of rationality review—a thin version. Under a robust range of conditions, rational agencies have good reason to decide in a manner that is inaccurate, nonrational, or arbitrary. Although this claim is seemingly paradoxical or internally inconsistent, it simply rests on ...


Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction, Michael Farbiarz Feb 2016

Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction, Michael Farbiarz

Michigan Law Review

Over and over again during the past few decades, the federal government has launched ambitious international prosecutions in the service of U.S. national security goals. These extraterritorial prosecutions of terrorists, arms traffickers, and drug lords have forced courts to grapple with a question that has long been latent in the law: What outer boundaries does the Constitution place on criminal jurisdiction? Answering this question, the federal courts have crafted a new due process jurisprudence. This Article argues that this jurisprudence is fundamentally wrong. By implicitly constitutionalizing concerns for international comity, the new due process jurisprudence usurps the popular branches ...


Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jan 2016

Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

Though the Constitution conspicuously bars some state involvement in foreign affairs, the states clearly retain some authority in foreign affairs. Correctly supposing that state participation may unnecessarily complicate or embarrass our nation’s foreign relations, the Supreme Court has embraced aggressive preemption doctrines that sporadically oust the states from discrete areas in foreign affairs. These doctrines are unprincipled, supply little guidance, and generate capricious results. Fortunately, there is a better way. While the Constitution permits the states a limited and continuing role, it never goes so far as guaranteeing them any foreign affairs authority. Furthermore, the Constitution authorizes Congress to ...


The Supreme Assimilation Of Patent Law, Peter Lee Jan 2016

The Supreme Assimilation Of Patent Law, Peter Lee

Michigan Law Review

Although tensions between universality and exceptionalism apply throughout law, they are particularly pronounced in patent law, a field that deals with highly technical subject matter. This Article explores these tensions by investigating an underappreciated descriptive theory of Supreme Court patent jurisprudence. Significantly extending previous scholarship, it argues that the Court’s recent decisions reflect a project of eliminating “patent exceptionalism” and assimilating patent doctrine to general legal principles (or, more precisely, to what the Court frames as general legal principles). Among other motivations, this trend responds to rather exceptional patent doctrine emanating from the Federal Circuit in areas as varied ...


The Demise Of Habeas Corpus And The Rise Of Qualified Immunity: The Court's Ever Increasing Limitations On The Development And Enforcement Of Constitutional Rights And Some Particularly Unfortunate Consequences, Stephen R. Reinhardt May 2015

The Demise Of Habeas Corpus And The Rise Of Qualified Immunity: The Court's Ever Increasing Limitations On The Development And Enforcement Of Constitutional Rights And Some Particularly Unfortunate Consequences, Stephen R. Reinhardt

Michigan Law Review

The collapse of habeas corpus as a remedy for even the most glaring of constitutional violations ranks among the greater wrongs of our legal era. Once hailed as the Great Writ, and still feted with all the standard rhetorical flourishes, habeas corpus has been transformed over the past two decades from a vital guarantor of liberty into an instrument for ratifying the power of state courts to disregard the protections of the Constitution. Along with so many other judicial tools meant to safeguard the powerless, enforce constitutional rights, and hold the government accountable, habeas has been slowly eroded by a ...


Standing Uncertainty: An Expected-Value Standard For Fear-Based Injury In Clapper V. Amnesty International Usa, Andrew C. Sand Mar 2015

Standing Uncertainty: An Expected-Value Standard For Fear-Based Injury In Clapper V. Amnesty International Usa, Andrew C. Sand

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff can have Article III standing based on a fear of future harm, or fear-based injury. The Court’s approach to fear-based injury, however, has been unclear and inconsistent. This Note seeks to clarify the Court’s doctrine using principles from probability theory. It contends that fear-based injury should be governed by a substantial-risk standard that encapsulates the probability concept of expected value. This standard appears in footnote 5 of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, a recent case in which the Court held that a group of plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the ...


The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Nov 2014

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

The scope of Supreme Court precedent is capacious. Justices of the Court commonly defer to sweeping rationales and elaborate doctrinal frameworks articulated by their predecessors. This practice infuses judicial precedent with the prescriptive power of enacted constitutional and statutory text. The lower federal courts follow suit, regularly abiding by the Supreme Court’s broad pronouncements. These phenomena cannot be explained by—and, indeed, oftentimes subvert—the classic distinction between binding holdings and dispensable dicta. This Article connects the scope of precedent with recurring and foundational debates about the proper ends of judicial interpretation. A precedent’s forward- looking effect should ...


Statutory Interdependence In Severability Analysis, Rachel J. Ezzell Jun 2013

Statutory Interdependence In Severability Analysis, Rachel J. Ezzell

Michigan Law Review

According to conventional wisdom, when a court rules a statutory provision unconstitutional, it must sever that provision or strike down the entire statute. This understanding is incomplete. In practice, courts may engage in compound severance: invalidating additional, otherwise constitutional provisions of the statute without striking down the entire statute. They reason that the degree of interrelation between those provisions is so significant that severance of one compels severance of the other. As a result, a subset of the statute remains law. The power to craft such subsets raises constitutional concerns, and yet the jurisprudence concerning statutory interdependence is inconsistent and ...


Standing's Expected Value, Jonathan Remy Nash May 2013

Standing's Expected Value, Jonathan Remy Nash

Michigan Law Review

This Article argues in favor of standing based on expected value of harm. Standing doctrine has been constructed in a way that is oblivious to the idea of expected value. If people have suffered a loss with a positive expected value, they have suffered an "injury in fact." The incorporation of expected value into standing doctrine casts doubt on many of the Supreme Court's decisions in which it denies standing because the relevant injury is too "speculative" or is not "likely" to be redressed by a decree in the plaintiff's favor. This Article addresses this shortcoming in standing ...


Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack Dec 2012

Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack

Michigan Law Review

The age of statutes has given way to an era of regulations, but our jurisprudence has fallen behind. Despite the centrality of regulations to law, courts have no intelligible approach to regulatory interpretation. The neglect of regulatory interpretation is not only a shortcoming in interpretive theory but also a practical problem for administrative law. Canonical doctrines of administrative law - Chevron, Seminole Rock/Auer, and Accardi - involve interpreting regulations, and yet courts lack a consistent approach. This Article develops a method for interpreting regulations and, more generally, situates regulatory interpretation within debates over legal interpretation. It argues that a purposive approach ...


Stare Decisis And The Rule Of Law: A Layered Approach, Jeremy Waldron Oct 2012

Stare Decisis And The Rule Of Law: A Layered Approach, Jeremy Waldron

Michigan Law Review

Stare decisis remains a controversial feature of the legal systems that recognize it. Some jurists argue that the doctrine is at odds with the rule of law; others argue that there are good rule-of-law arguments in favor of stare decisis. This Article considers one possible good rule-of-law argument. It suggests that we should approach stare decisis in a layered way, looking at what the rule of law requires of the various judges involved in the development of a precedent. One rule-of-law principle, the principle of constancy, counsels against lightly overturning such precedents as there are. But that is not in ...


A Financial Economic Theory Of Punitive Damages, Robert J. Rhee Oct 2012

A Financial Economic Theory Of Punitive Damages, Robert J. Rhee

Michigan Law Review

This Article provides a financial economic theory of punitive damages. The core problem, as the Supreme Court acknowledged in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, is not the systemic amount of punitive damages in the tort system; rather it is the risk of outlier outcomes. Low frequency, high severity awards are unpredictable, cause financial distress, and beget social cost. By focusing only on offsetting escaped liability, the standard law and economics theory fails to account for the core problem of variance. This Article provides a risk arbitrage analysis of the relationship between variance, litigation valuation, and optimal deterrence. Starting with settlement ...


Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler Jun 2012

Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler

Michigan Law Review

When courts analyze whether a defendant's prior conviction qualifies as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act's "residual clause," they use a "categorical approach," looking only to the statutory language of the prior offense, rather than the facts disclosed by the record of conviction. But when a defendant is convicted under a "divisible" statute, which encompasses a broader range of conduct, only some of which would qualify as a predicate offense, courts may employ the "modified categorical approach." This approach allows courts to view additional documents to determine whether the jury convicted the defendant of the ...


The Accession Insight And Patent Infringement Remedies, Peter Lee Nov 2011

The Accession Insight And Patent Infringement Remedies, Peter Lee

Michigan Law Review

What is the appropriate allocation of rights and obligations when one party, without authorization, substantially improves the property of another? According to the doctrine of accession, a good faith improver may take title to such improved property, subject to compensating the original owner for the value of the source materials. While shifting title to a converter seems like a remarkable remedy, this outcome merely underscores the equitable nature of accession, which aims for fair allocation of property rights and compensation between two parties who both have plausible claims to an improved asset. This Article draws upon accession-a physical property doctrine ...


Using Public Disclosure As The Vesting Point For Moral Rights Under The Visual Artists Rights Act, Elizabeth M. Bock Oct 2011

Using Public Disclosure As The Vesting Point For Moral Rights Under The Visual Artists Rights Act, Elizabeth M. Bock

Michigan Law Review

In 2010, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit confronted the novel question of when moral rights protections vest under the Visual Artists Rights Act. In Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc. v. Bichel, the First Circuit determined that the protections of the Visual Artists Rights Act begin when a work is "created" under the Copyright Act. This Note argues that this decision harms moral rights conceptually and is likely to result in unpredictable and inconsistent decisions. This Note proposes instead that these statutory protections should vest when an artist determines that his work is complete and presents ...