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Sessions V. Dimaya: Vagueness Doctrine & Deportation Statutes, Matthew Gibbons 2017 Duke Law

Sessions V. Dimaya: Vagueness Doctrine & Deportation Statutes, Matthew Gibbons

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Sessions v. Dimaya seeks to determine whether the residual clause of a criminal provision, incorporated by reference into a civil immigration law, is void for vagueness. Although there is an instance of the Supreme Court applying the criminal vagueness standard to an immigration statute resulting in deportation, the United States argues that immigration law is not subject to that vagueness standard because it is civil and not criminal. This commentary argues that Sessions v. Dimaya presents the Supreme Court with an opportunity to conform with its precedents, further the principles underlying vagueness doctrine, and appear to apply judicial rules consistently ...


Gerrymandering And The Constitutional Norm Against Government Partisanship, Michael S. Kang 2017 Emory University School of Law

Gerrymandering And The Constitutional Norm Against Government Partisanship, Michael S. Kang

Michigan Law Review

This Article challenges the basic premise in the law of gerrymandering that partisanship is a constitutional government purpose at all. The central problem, Justice Scalia once explained in Vieth v. Jubilerer, is that partisan gerrymandering becomes unconstitutional only when it “has gone too far,” giving rise to the intractable inquiry into “how much is too much.” But the premise that partisanship is an ordinary and lawful purpose, articulated confidently as settled law and widely understood as such, is largely wrong as constitutional doctrine. The Article surveys constitutional law to demonstrate the vitality of an important, if implicit norm against government ...


What Got Into The Court? What Happens Next?, Linda Greenhouse 2017 University of Maine School of Law

What Got Into The Court? What Happens Next?, Linda Greenhouse

Maine Law Review

We are now in the midst of an amazing Supreme Court term--more than half-way through on the calendar, far short of halfway through in terms of what has yet to be decided. It's been a roller-coaster term of sorts, beginning with the highly unusual early-September argument in the campaign finance case, followed by a rather quiet fall and winter, and then ending with an April sitting during which the Court will consider, in the context of the country's response to terrorism, cases that are likely to go quite far to define for the modern age the meaning of ...


Contra Scalia, Thomas, And Gorsuch: Originalists Should Adopt A Living Constitution, R. Randall Kelso 2017 University of Miami Law School

Contra Scalia, Thomas, And Gorsuch: Originalists Should Adopt A Living Constitution, R. Randall Kelso

University of Miami Law Review

Two main approaches appear in the popular literature on constitutional interpretation: originalism and non-originalism. An originalist approach refers back to some aspect of the framers’ and ratifiers’ intent or action to justify a decision. A non-originalist approach bases the goal of constitutional interpretation in part on consideration of some justification independent of the framers’ and ratifiers’ intent or action.

What is often unappreciated in addressing the question of whether to adopt an originalist or non-originalist approach to constitutional interpretation is the complication that emerges if one concludes that the framing and ratifying generation believed in the model of a living ...


The Expansion Of Charitable Choice, The Faith Based Initiative, And The Supreme Court's Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Steven Fitzgerald 2017 St. John's University School of Law

The Expansion Of Charitable Choice, The Faith Based Initiative, And The Supreme Court's Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Steven Fitzgerald

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Calling Crawford: Minnesota Declares A 911 Call Non-Testimonial In State V. Wright, Alistair Y. Raymond 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Calling Crawford: Minnesota Declares A 911 Call Non-Testimonial In State V. Wright, Alistair Y. Raymond

Maine Law Review

In State v. Wright, 1 the State of Minnesota charged David Wright with possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of second-degree assault against his girlfriend and her sister. A jury found Wright guilty on all charges and sentenced him to sixty months in jail for each crime, with sentences served concurrently. Wright’s girlfriend, R.R., and her sister, S.R., did not testify against him at trial. The prosecution, however, used the transcript of a 911 call placed by R.R. against Wright in the trial. Although the 911 call was hearsay, the court admitted ...


Parsing Personal Predilections: A Fresh Look At The Supreme Court's Cruel And Unusual Death Penalty Jurisprudence, Susan M. Raeker-Jordan 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Parsing Personal Predilections: A Fresh Look At The Supreme Court's Cruel And Unusual Death Penalty Jurisprudence, Susan M. Raeker-Jordan

Maine Law Review

The now well-known case of Atkins v. Virginia decided that the execution of those with mental retardation constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The more recent case of Roper v. Simmons decided that execution of those who were under the age of eighteen when they committed their crimes also constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Both decisions changed the law that had existed since 1989, when the Court held in Penry v. Lynaugh and Stanford v. Kentucky that executions of members of both classes were not unconstitutional. Writing for the Court in Atkins v. Virginia, Justice Stevens was ...


Kelo V. City Of New London-Wrongly Decided And A Missed Opportunity For Principled Line Drawing With Respect To Eminent Domain Takings, Orlando E. Delogu 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Kelo V. City Of New London-Wrongly Decided And A Missed Opportunity For Principled Line Drawing With Respect To Eminent Domain Takings, Orlando E. Delogu

Maine Law Review

No eminent domain taking case in the last twenty-five years has excited the level of interest, attention, and debate as has Kelo v. City of New London. The Supreme Court’s decision has not quelled that debate. If anything the stridency, the emotional tenor, of the debate has increased. And in the few months since the decision came down, several dozen states (in the absence of any meaningful federal limitation on what constitutes “public use”) have proposed statutes or constitutional amendments that would limit their exercise of eminent domain (taking) powers. There is even talk of federal legislation to temper ...


The Supreme Court And Religious Liberty, Douglas Laycock 2017 St. John's University School of Law

The Supreme Court And Religious Liberty, Douglas Laycock

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


United States V. Pho: Defining The Limits Of Discretionary Sentencing, John G. Wheatley 2017 University of Maine School of Law

United States V. Pho: Defining The Limits Of Discretionary Sentencing, John G. Wheatley

Maine Law Review

In the consolidated case of United States v. Pho, the government appealed two district court rulings that imposed criminal sentences outside of the range provided in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual (Guidelines). At separate trials, both defendants pied guilty to the crime of possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (commonly known as crack). Rejecting the Guidelines' disparate treatment of crack and powder cocaine, the district court imposed sentences that were below the Guidelines' range, but above the statutory mandatory minimum. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated both sentences and remanded the ...


Trinko: A Kinder, Gentler Approach To Dominant Firms Under The Antitrust Laws?, Edward D. Cavanagh 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Trinko: A Kinder, Gentler Approach To Dominant Firms Under The Antitrust Laws?, Edward D. Cavanagh

Maine Law Review

Section 2 of the Sherman Act prohibits monopolization, attempted monopolization and conspiracy to monopolize. The § 2 prohibitions are rooted in concerns "that possession of unchallenged economic power deadens initiative, discourages thrift and depresses energy; that immunity from competition is a narcotic, and rivalry is a stimulant, to industrial progress; that the spur of constant stress is necessary to counteract an inevitable disposition to let well enough alone." At the same time, courts have recognized that size alone cannot be the basis of condemnation under § 2, for as Learned Hand observed in Alcoa, "[t]he successful competitor, having been urged to ...


Education Funding In Maine In Light Of Zelman And Locke: Too Much Play In The Joints?, Sarah M. Lavigne 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Education Funding In Maine In Light Of Zelman And Locke: Too Much Play In The Joints?, Sarah M. Lavigne

Maine Law Review

The United States Supreme Court has struggled with the countervailing directives of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause for decades. One area in which this battle has been particularly contentious is the issue of public funding of religious schools. On one hand, opponents argue that such funding is an impermissible co-mingling of church and state, thereby violating the Establishment Clause. Meanwhile, proponents of public funding of religious schools argue that, to withhold funding from religious schools would place a burden on those wishing to send their children to religious schools, thereby impermissibly preventing individuals from practicing their faith ...


Understanding Nautilus's Reasonable-Certainty Standard: Requirements For Linguistic And Physical Definiteness Of Patent Claims, Gary M. Fox 2017 University of Michigan Law School

Understanding Nautilus's Reasonable-Certainty Standard: Requirements For Linguistic And Physical Definiteness Of Patent Claims, Gary M. Fox

Michigan Law Review

Patent applicants must satisfy a variety of requirements to obtain a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The definiteness requirement forces applicants to describe their inventions in unambiguous terms so that other inventors will understand the scope of granted patent rights. Although the statutory provision for the definiteness requirement has been stable for many years, the Supreme Court’s decision in Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments altered the doctrine. The Court abrogated the Federal Circuit’s insoluble-ambiguity standard and replaced it with a new reasonable-certainty standard. Various district courts have applied the new standard in different ways ...


Justice Scalia’S Bankruptcy Jurisprudence: The Right Judicial Philosophy For The Modern Bankruptcy Code?, Megan McDermott 2017 University of Wisconsin School of Law

Justice Scalia’S Bankruptcy Jurisprudence: The Right Judicial Philosophy For The Modern Bankruptcy Code?, Megan Mcdermott

Utah Law Review

This Article surveys an area of Justice Scalia’s legacy that is often overlooked by scholars who write broadly about the Supreme Court: his many contributions to the field of bankruptcy law. The Bankruptcy Code is rife with statutory interpretation questions that demand clear and predictable answers, due to the efficiency interests at stake and the absence of any intermediate interpretive forces, such as administrative agencies. Justice Scalia arrived on the high court at the outset of the modern bankruptcy era and this Article argues that his brand of rulebased textualism is a particularly good fit for bankruptcy law.

Specifically ...


Analyzing The Roles Of Law And Politics In Judicial Decision Making: Predicting U.S. Supreme Court Justices’ Votes On A Case Of Affirmative Action, Ashley Renkor 2017 Eastern Illinois University

Analyzing The Roles Of Law And Politics In Judicial Decision Making: Predicting U.S. Supreme Court Justices’ Votes On A Case Of Affirmative Action, Ashley Renkor

The Eastern Illinois University Political Science Review

This study seeks to study relevant precedent cases concerning affirmative action, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, the 5th Amendment equal protection clause, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with the goal of predicting how certain justices will vote in the affirmative action case, Fisher vs. the University of Texas at Austin. I conclude that justices will debate numerous aspects at play, such as original intent, plain meaning, precedent, policy preferences, public opinion, personal experience, the federal government, and interest groups in order to take positions in the Fisher case for the second time around with an intent to ...


Do Women Justices Matter?, Ashley Shula 2017 Eastern Illinois University

Do Women Justices Matter?, Ashley Shula

The Eastern Illinois University Political Science Review

In recent years, women have started to have a considerable impact on the political process. While literature exists on women in Congress and in district court settings, little research exists on the role played by female Supreme Court Justices. The author attempts to shed light on the impact of female justices by assessing statements made by the justices, in addition to their voting records. The author finds that the new women Supreme Court Justices have had little impact so far, but offers that perhaps as time goes on, this will change.


Discretionary Dockets, Randy J. Kozel, Jeffrey Pojanowski 2017 Notre Dame Law School

Discretionary Dockets, Randy J. Kozel, Jeffrey Pojanowski

Randy J Kozel

The Supreme Court’s workload and its method for selecting cases have drawn increasing critical scrutiny. Similarly, and separately, recent commentary has focused on the disparate approaches the Court has taken to resolving cases on its (historically small) docket. In this Essay we draw these two lines of inquiry together to argue that the Court’s case selection should align with its approach to constitutional adjudication. In doing so, we discuss four modes of constitutional decisionmaking and then examine the interplay between those modes, the Court’s management of its docket, and its sense of institutional role. The Court, we ...


Supreme Court Review: Church/State Jurisprudence, William Bentley Ball 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Supreme Court Review: Church/State Jurisprudence, William Bentley Ball

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


The Total Takings Myth, Lynn E. Blais 2017 University of Texas at Austin School of Law

The Total Takings Myth, Lynn E. Blais

Fordham Law Review

For almost thirty-five years, the U.S. Supreme Court has attempted to carve out a total takings doctrine within its regulatory takings jurisprudence. Most regulatory takings claims are evaluated under the “ad hoc” threefactor test first articulated in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York. Exceedingly few of these claims are successful. But the Court has identified certain categories of government actions that are compensable takings per se, otherwise known as total takings. This began in 1982 with Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp., where the Court held that a land use ordinance requiring a landowner to endure ...


Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker 2017 University of Georgia School of Law

Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the most comprehensive empirical study to date on how the federal courts of appeals have applied Chevrondeference— the doctrine under which courts defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute that it administers. Based on 1,558 agency interpretations the circuit courts reviewed from 2003 through 2013 (where they cited Chevron), we found that the circuit courts overall upheld 71% of interpretations and applied Chevrondeference 77% of the time. But there was nearly a twenty-five-percentage-point difference in agency-win rates when the circuit courts applied Chevrondeference than when they ...


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