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Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

J. Skelly Wright And The Limits Of Liberalism, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2014

J. Skelly Wright And The Limits Of Liberalism, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay, written for a symposium on the life and work of United States Court of Appeals Judge J. Skelly Wright, makes four points. First, Judge Wright was an important participant in the liberal legal tradition. The tradition sought to liberate law from arid formalism and to use it as a technique for progressive reform. However, legal liberals also believed that there were limits on what judges could do–-limits rooted in both its liberalism and its legalism. Second, Wright occupied a position on the left fringe of the liberal legal tradition, and he therefore devoted much of his career ...


Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse Jan 2011

Misunderstanding Congress: Statutory Interpretation, The Supermajoritarian Difficulty, And The Separation Of Powers, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Every lawyer's theory of statutory interpretation carries with it an idea of Congress, and every idea of Congress, in turn, carries with it an idea of the separation of powers. In this article, the author critiques three dominant academic theories of statutory interpretation--textualism, purposivism, and game theory--for their assumptions about Congress and the separation of powers. She argues that each academic theory fails to account for Congress's dominant institutional features: "the electoral connection," the "supermajoritarian difficulty," and the "principle of structure-induced ambiguity." This critique yields surprising conclusions, rejecting both standard liberal and conservative views on statutory interpretation.

"Plain ...


Myth, Reality Past And Present, And Judicial Elections, Roy A. Schotland Jan 2002

Myth, Reality Past And Present, And Judicial Elections, Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Why do we have judicial elections? A democracy without elections for the legislature and executive (or, in parliamentary systems, for the executive as the leadership of the elected legislators), would be simply inconceivable. But no one would deny that eleven of our states, or many other nations, are democracies even though they do not elect judges. It might follow from that irrefutable, fundamental difference between elections for judges and for other offices, that judicial elections should not-or more to the point, need not-be conducted the same as other elections. Before we soar into debate, let us lay a foundation with ...


The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue In The Supreme Court?, Susan Low Bloch Jan 2001

The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue In The Supreme Court?, Susan Low Bloch

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 1801, when William Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus ordering Secretary of State James Madison to deliver his commission as justice of the peace, he initiated one of the most important cases in the Court's history. But why did Marbury choose the Supreme Court? Was there a lower federal court that could have granted the writ at the time? The short answer is "yes." Rather than making an unsuccessful attempt to invoke the original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court, I have learned that he could have brought his suit in the ...