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Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs 2019 Duke Law School

Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

That the judge's task is to find the law, not to make it, was once a commonplace of our legal culture. Today, decades after Erie, the idea of a common law discovered by judges is commonly dismissed -- as a "fallacy," an "illusion," a "brooding omnipresence in the sky." That dismissive view is wrong. Expecting judges to find unwritten law is no childish fiction of the benighted past, but a real and plausible option for a modern legal system.

This Essay seeks to restore the respectability of finding law, in part by responding to two criticisms made by Erie and ...


Oral Argument Tactics From The Supreme Court Bench: An Analysis Of Neil Gorsuch’S First Term, Corinne Cichowicz 2018 Ursinus College

Oral Argument Tactics From The Supreme Court Bench: An Analysis Of Neil Gorsuch’S First Term, Corinne Cichowicz

Politics Summer Fellows

This paper analyzes Gorsuch’s approach to oral argument through careful reading of the oral argument transcripts from the 2017 term and use of scholarship on justices’ behavioral tendencies during oral argument. The paper builds upon previous scholars’ understandings of oral argument by testing whether Gorsuch’s first full term is consistent with the typical behavioral patterns of justices. Yet, the paper goes beyond many other scholars’ methodologies by using tool and content analysis before determining Gorsuch’s approach and identifying a cause for his specific behaviors. The paper finds that Gorsuch does not fit into one category of modern ...


Balanced Judicial Realism In The Service Of Justice: Judge Richard D. Cudahy, Elizabeth Mertz, Cynthia Grant Bowman 2018 University of Wisconsin Law School; American Bar Foundation

Balanced Judicial Realism In The Service Of Justice: Judge Richard D. Cudahy, Elizabeth Mertz, Cynthia Grant Bowman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

There is a quiet irony to be found in scholarly writings about the judiciary, which often center around high-profile jurists selected as the “great” judges. But there are great judges who do not receive or even want such widespread recognition, and who do not discuss their philosophy of judging—they simply focus on the job in front of them. Judges who operate with humility can often be very quiet about their legacies—brushing the issue off, as if uncomfortable with the attention. Anyone who knew Judge Richard D. Cudahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ...


The Texas Standards For Appellate Conduct: An Annotated Guide And Commentary, Gina M. Benavides, Joshua J. Caldwell 2018 Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals

The Texas Standards For Appellate Conduct: An Annotated Guide And Commentary, Gina M. Benavides, Joshua J. Caldwell

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The legal profession is bound by ethical rules that govern and guide our conduct and actions as lawyers. One of the under-appreciated, but profoundly important set of guidelines is the Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct. These Standards serve as an excellent practice guide for appellate practitioners and appellate courts and as a model code of conduct for the Bar as a whole.

The goal of this Article is to dissect the Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct and provide useful commentaries for the readers to better appreciate and understand each element of the Standards. The commentaries provide direct case examples and ...


Bait Questions As Source Of Misinformation In Police Interviews: Does Race Or Age Of The Suspect Increase Jurors' Memory Errors?, Matilde Ascheri 2018 CUNY John Jay College

Bait Questions As Source Of Misinformation In Police Interviews: Does Race Or Age Of The Suspect Increase Jurors' Memory Errors?, Matilde Ascheri

Student Theses

Bait questions—hypothetical questions about evidence, often used by detectives during interrogations—can activate the misinformation effect and alter jurors’ perceptions of the evidence of a case. Here, we were interested in investigating whether mock jurors’ implicit biases could amplify the magnitude of the misinformation effect. We accomplished this by manipulating the age and race of the suspect being interrogated. As an extension of Luke et al. (2017), we had participants read a police report describing evidence found at a crime scene, then read a transcript of a police interrogation where the detective used bait questions to introduce new evidence ...


A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle 2018 St. Mary's University School of Law

A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Internet provides trial attorneys an additional tool to investigate the backgrounds of prospective jurors during voir dire. Online searches of a person’s name and social media accounts can reveal information that could be used as grounds for a challenge for cause or to facilitate intelligent use of peremptory strikes. Texas lawmakers have not yet provided any official guidance as to whether attorneys can investigate prospective jurors online or how they might do so, should it be allowed. Texas’s current voir dire structure, judicial opinions, and ethics opinions, together, support the notion that Texas trial attorneys should be ...


Hearsay In The Smiley Face: Analyzing The Use Of Emojis As Evidence, Erin Janssen 2018 St. Mary's University School of Law

Hearsay In The Smiley Face: Analyzing The Use Of Emojis As Evidence, Erin Janssen

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart 2018 University of Michigan Law School

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 ...


Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Is There A Better Alternative?, Emily Osmanski 2018 Brooklyn Law School

Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Is There A Better Alternative?, Emily Osmanski

Brooklyn Journal of International Law

As the world has transitioned from national; isolated economies with localized issues into a globalized and interconnected economy with cross-border disputes; the law has struggled to keep up. Recent trade negotiations have highlighted the difficulty states face in promoting trade; while also creating a fair; accessible; and equitable forum for producers and consumers with nationalities touching every area of the globe. For several decades; Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has been in place to address claims brought by foreign investors against the host states. External improvements have helped support foreign direct investment and the ISDS model of dispute resolution; such as ...


Court Capture, J. Jonas Anderson 2018 American University Washington College of Law

Court Capture, J. Jonas Anderson

Boston College Law Review

Capture—the notion that a federal agency can become controlled by the industry the agency is supposed to be regulating—is a fundamental concern for administrative law scholars. Surprisingly, however, no thorough treatment of how capture theory applies to the federal judiciary has been done. The few scholars who have attempted to apply the insights of capture theory to federal courts have generally concluded that the federal courts are insulated from capture concerns.

This Article challenges the notion that the federal courts cannot be captured. It makes two primary arguments. As an initial matter, this Article makes the theoretical case ...


Hearing The States, Anthony Johnstone 2018 Pepperdine University

Hearing The States, Anthony Johnstone

Pepperdine Law Review

The 2016 Presidential and Senate elections raise the possibility that a conservative, life-tenured Supreme Court will preside for years over a politically dynamic majority. This threatens to weaken the public’s already fragile confidence in the Court. By lowering the political stakes of both national elections and its own decisions, federalism may enable the Court to defuse some of the most explosive controversies it hears. Federalism offers a second-best solution, even if neither conservatives nor liberals can impose a national political agenda. However, principled federalism arguments are tricky. They are structural, more prudential than legal or empirical. Regardless of ideology ...


Eight Justices Are Enough: A Proposal To Improve The United States Supreme Court, Eric J. Segall 2018 Pepperdine University

Eight Justices Are Enough: A Proposal To Improve The United States Supreme Court, Eric J. Segall

Pepperdine Law Review

Over the last twenty-five years, some of the most significant Supreme Court decisions involving issues of national significance like abortion, affirmative action, and voting rights were five-to-four decisions. In February 2016, the death of Justice Antonin Scalia turned the nine-Justice court into an eight-Justice court, comprised of four liberal and four conservative Justices, for the first time in our nation’s history. This article proposes that an evenly divided court consisting of eight Justices is the ideal Supreme Court composition. Although the other two branches of government have evolved over the years, the Supreme Court has undergone virtually no significant ...


Justice As Fair Division, Ian Bartrum, Kathryn Nyman, Peter Otto 2018 Pepperdine University

Justice As Fair Division, Ian Bartrum, Kathryn Nyman, Peter Otto

Pepperdine Law Review

The current hyperpoliticization of the Court grows out of a feedback loop between politicized appointments and politicized decision-making. This Article suggests a change in the internal procedures by which the Court hears and decides particular cases. A three-Justice panel hears and decides each case. Appeal to an en banc sitting of the entire Court would require a unanimous vote of all non-recused Justices. This Article explores several possible approaches in selecting the three-Justice panel. This Article proposes that applying a fair division scheme to the Court’s decision-making process might act to reverse this loop and work to depoliticize the ...


How The Prohibition On "Under-Ruling" Distorts The Judicial Function (And What To Do About It), A. Christopher Bryant, Kimberly Breedon 2018 Pepperdine University

How The Prohibition On "Under-Ruling" Distorts The Judicial Function (And What To Do About It), A. Christopher Bryant, Kimberly Breedon

Pepperdine Law Review

Lower courts face a dilemma when forced to choose between older Supreme Court precedent that directly controls the present legal dispute and an intervening Supreme Court ruling that relies on rationale which erodes or undermines the rationale of the direct precedent. Nearly thirty years ago, the Supreme Court announced a rule requiring lower courts to follow the older precedent and disregard any inconsistency resulting from intervening rulings, effectively barring lower courts from “under-ruling” the older Supreme Court precedent. This prohibition on “under-ruling,” here referred to as the “Agostini Rule,” reflects a departure from the core rule-of-law values requiring similar cases ...


What Are The Judiciary’S Politics?, Michael W. McConnell 2018 Pepperdine University

What Are The Judiciary’S Politics?, Michael W. Mcconnell

Pepperdine Law Review

What are the politics of the federal judiciary, to the extent that the federal judiciary has politics? Whose interests do federal judges represent? This Essay puts forward five different kinds of politics that characterize the federal judiciary. First, the federal judiciary represents the educated elite. Second, the federal judiciary represents past political majorities. Third, the federal judiciary is more politically balanced than the legislative or executive branches. Fourth, the federal judiciary is organized by regions, and between those regions there is significant diversity. Fifth, to the extent that the judiciary leans one way or the other, it leans toward the ...


The Right To An Independent Judiciary And The Avoidance Of Constitutional Conflict: The Burger Court’S Flawed Reasoning In Chandler V. Judicial Council Of The Tenth Circuit And Its Unfortunate Legacy, Joshua E. Kastenberg 2018 St. Mary's University

The Right To An Independent Judiciary And The Avoidance Of Constitutional Conflict: The Burger Court’S Flawed Reasoning In Chandler V. Judicial Council Of The Tenth Circuit And Its Unfortunate Legacy, Joshua E. Kastenberg

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In 1970, the United States Supreme Court issued Chandler v. Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit in which five Justices determined that the federal courts of appeals possessed an administrative authority to manage the district court judges within an appellate court’s respective circuit. The decision enabled the Tenth Circuit to decide the fitness of a judge to preside over cases without a formal motion from a litigant. Although Congress had enabled the courts of appeals to oversee basic judicial functions (such as temporarily assigning district court judges to overworked districts), Congress did not intend to grant the power to ...


Policy Considerations And Implications In United States V. Bryant, Jessica Larsen 2018 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Policy Considerations And Implications In United States V. Bryant, Jessica Larsen

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


In Memoriam: The Honorable Howard S. Chasanow, 2018 University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

In Memoriam: The Honorable Howard S. Chasanow

Maryland Law Review

No abstract provided.


Interpretation As Statecraft: Chancellor Kent And The Collaborative Era Of American Statutory Interpretation, Farah Peterson 2018 University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Interpretation As Statecraft: Chancellor Kent And The Collaborative Era Of American Statutory Interpretation, Farah Peterson

Maryland Law Review

No abstract provided.


Judicial Candidates’ Right To Lie, Nat Stern 2018 University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Judicial Candidates’ Right To Lie, Nat Stern

Maryland Law Review

, the Supreme Court struck down a law forbidding certain judicial campaign speech. A decade later, the Court in United States v. Alvarez ruled that factually false statements do not constitute categorically unprotected expression under the First Amendment. Together, these two holdings, along with the Court’s wider protection of political expression and disapproval of content-based restrictions, cast serious doubt on states’ ability to ban false and misleading speech by judicial candidates. Commonly known as the misrepresent clause, this prohibition has intuitive appeal in light of judges’ responsibilities and still exists in many states. Given the provision’s vulnerability to challenge ...


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