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Full-Text Articles in Law

Admiralty, Abstention, And The Allure Of Old Cases, Maggie Gardner Apr 2024

Admiralty, Abstention, And The Allure Of Old Cases, Maggie Gardner

Notre Dame Law Review

The current Supreme Court has made clear that history matters. But doing history well is hard. There is thus an allure to old cases because they provide a link to the past that is more accessible for nonhistorian lawyers. This Article warns against that allure by showing how the use of old cases also poses methodological challenges. The Article uses as a case study the emerging doctrine of foreign relations abstention. Before the Supreme Court, advocates argued that this new doctrine is in fact rooted in early admiralty cases. Those advocates did not, however, canvass the early admiralty practice, relying …


Rethinking Legislative Facts, Haley N. Proctor Apr 2024

Rethinking Legislative Facts, Haley N. Proctor

Notre Dame Law Review

As the factual nature of legal inquiry has become increasingly apparent over the past century, courts and commentators have fallen into the habit of labeling the facts behind the law “legislative facts.” Loosely, legislative facts are general facts courts rely upon to formulate law or policy, but that definition is as contested as it is vague. Most agree that legislative facts exist in some form or another, but few agree on what that form is, on who should find them, and how. This Article seeks to account for and resolve that confusion. Theories of legislative fact focus on the role …


Pretrial Commitment And The Fourth Amendment, Laurent Sacharoff Apr 2024

Pretrial Commitment And The Fourth Amendment, Laurent Sacharoff

Notre Dame Law Review

Today, the Fourth Amendment Warrant Clause governs arrest warrants and search warrants only. But in the founding era, the Warrant Clause governed a third type of warrant: the “warrant of commitment.” Judges issued these warrants to jail defendants pending trial. This Article argues that the Fourth Amendment Warrant Clause, with its oath and probable cause standard, should be understood today to apply to this third type of warrant. That means the Warrant Clause would govern any initial appearance where a judge first commits a defendant—a process that currently falls far short of fulfilling its constitutional and historical function. History supports …


Proportionalities, Youngjae Lee Apr 2024

Proportionalities, Youngjae Lee

Notre Dame Law Review Reflection

“Proportionality” is ubiquitous. The idea that punishment should be proportional to crime is familiar in criminal law and has a lengthy history. But that is not the only place where one encounters the concept of proportionality in law and ethics. The idea of proportionality is important also in the self-defense context, where the right to defend oneself with force is limited by the principle of proportionality. Proportionality plays a role in the context of war, especially in the idea that the military advantage one side may draw from an attack must not be excessive in relation to the loss of …


Congressional Power To Institute A Wealth Tax, Will Clark Dec 2023

Congressional Power To Institute A Wealth Tax, Will Clark

Notre Dame Law Review Reflection

Over the last few years, several high-profile politicians have pushed to impose a federal “wealth tax.” For example, a recent bill introduced in the Senate would create a two percent tax on the value of assets between fifty million and one billion dollars, plus a higher percentage on wealth valued over one billion dollars. The proponents of the tax argue that it would reduce the growing wealth inequality in the United States, while opponents say that it would disincentivize investment in the American economy.

Policy arguments, however, are only relevant if the federal government has the authority to institute such …


Living Recipes . . . And Constitutions, John Vlahoplus Mar 2023

Living Recipes . . . And Constitutions, John Vlahoplus

Notre Dame Law Review Reflection

Professor Gary Lawson and Zachary Pohlman assert that we can only follow recipes and by analogy the Constitution by complying with the original public or authorial meaning of the instructions in their texts. Absent an instruction in the recipe’s text authorizing changes, any departure from historical meaning amends the recipe rather than follows it.

This response uses the works of renowned chefs to sketch a competing theory. Following a recipe requires a cook to consider many of the same factors as pluralist and living constitution theories of law including text, history, purpose, current circumstances, personal experience, and individual judgment. Even …


Democracy's Forgotten Possessions: U.S. Territories' Right To Statehood Through Constitutional Liquidation, Joshua Stephen Ebiner Dec 2022

Democracy's Forgotten Possessions: U.S. Territories' Right To Statehood Through Constitutional Liquidation, Joshua Stephen Ebiner

Notre Dame Law Review

This Note argues that the Territories must be granted statehood consistent with the equal footing doctrine. This thesis does not challenge Congress’s power to acquire or govern territory, or its constitutional authority to admit (and place reasonable conditions on the admission of) territory into the Union as states. These matters have long been settled through constitutional practice. Neither does this thesis suggest that acquired territory must be immediately annexed into the Union, since there are valid reasons to delay such a decision. Instead, the claim is that permanently inhabited territories that have longstanding, constitutionally significant relationships with the United States …


Interring The Unitary Executive, Christine Kexel Chabot Nov 2022

Interring The Unitary Executive, Christine Kexel Chabot

Notre Dame Law Review

The President’s power to remove and control subordinate executive officers has sparked a constitutional debate that began in 1789 and rages on today. Leading originalists claim that the Constitution created a “unitary executive” President whose plenary removal power affords her “exclusive control” over subordinates’ exercise of executive power. Text assigning the President a removal power and exclusive control appears nowhere in the Constitution, however, and unitary scholars have instead relied on select historical understandings and negative inferences drawn from a supposed lack of independent regulatory structures at the Founding. The comprehensive historical record introduced by this Article lays this debate …


A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind Jan 2022

A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court has described Entick v. Carrington (1765) as “the true and ultimate expression of constitutional law” for the Founding generation. For more than 250 years, judges and commentators have read that case for guidance about the rule of law, executive authority, and the original meaning of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But we have been reading a flawed version. This Article publishes, for the first time, a previously unknown manuscript report of Entick v. Carrington. We explain why this version is more reliable than other reports of the case, and how this new discovery challenges prevailing assumptions about …


Advisory Opinions And The Problem Of Legal Authority, Christian R. Burset Jan 2021

Advisory Opinions And The Problem Of Legal Authority, Christian R. Burset

Journal Articles

The prohibition against advisory opinions is fundamental to our understanding of federal judicial power, but we’ve misunderstood its origins. Discussions of the doctrine begin not with a constitutional text or even a court case, but a letter in which the Jay Court rejected President Washington’s request for legal advice. Courts and scholars have offered a variety of explanations for the Jay Court’s behavior. But they all depict the earliest Justices as responding to uniquely American concerns about advisory opinions.

This Article offers a different explanation. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, it shows that judges throughout the anglophone world—not only …


The Traditions Of American Constitutional Law, Marc O. Degirolami Mar 2020

The Traditions Of American Constitutional Law, Marc O. Degirolami

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article identifies a new method of constitutional interpretation: the use of tradition as constitutive of constitutional meaning. It studies what the Supreme Court means by invoking tradition and whether what it means remains constant across the document and over time. Traditionalist interpretation is pervasive, consistent, and recurrent across the Court’s constitutional doctrine. So, too, are criticisms of traditionalist interpretation. There are also more immediate reasons to study the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation. The Court’s two newest members, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, have indicated that tradition informs their understanding of constitutional meaning. The study of traditionalist …


Glorious Revolution To American Revolution: The English Origin Of The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain Dec 2019

Glorious Revolution To American Revolution: The English Origin Of The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain

Notre Dame Law Review

It is definitively not my intention to wade into such debates about the wisdom of the Second Amendment or to deal with pending or recent court interpretations. Rather, I want to explore how it came to be and what role British history had in its genesis. For Americans like myself, such history helps us to understand the meaning of our own Constitution. For the Britons, it is a powerful example of how your own constitutional principles shaped the legal landscape of far-flung countries once within the British Empire. And for those simply interested in law as a discipline, irrespective of …


Why Didn't The Common Law Follow The Flag?, Christian Burset May 2019

Why Didn't The Common Law Follow The Flag?, Christian Burset

Journal Articles

This Article considers a puzzle about how different kinds of law came to be distributed around the world. The legal systems of some European colonies largely reflected the laws of the colonizer. Other colonies exhibited a greater degree of legal pluralism, in which the state administered a mix of different legal systems. Conventional explanations for this variation look to the extent of European settlement: where colonizers settled in large numbers, they chose to bring their own laws; otherwise, they preferred to retain preexisting ones. This Article challenges that assumption by offering a new account of how and why the British …


The Depravity Of The 1930s And The Modern Administrative State, Steven G. Calabresi, Gary Lawson Jan 2019

The Depravity Of The 1930s And The Modern Administrative State, Steven G. Calabresi, Gary Lawson

Notre Dame Law Review

Gillian Metzger’s 2017 Harvard Law Review foreword, entitled 1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Siege, is a paean to the modern administrative state, with its massive subdelegations of legislative and judicial power to so-called “expert” bureaucrats, who are layered well out of reach of electoral accountability yet do not have the constitutional status of Article III judges. We disagree with this celebration of technocratic government on just about every level, but this Article focuses on two relatively narrow points.

First, responding more to implicit assumptions that pervade modern discourse than specifically to Professor Metzger’s analysis, we challenge the normally …


Equity, Samuel L. Bray Jan 2019

Equity, Samuel L. Bray

Book Chapters

How has equity been received in the United States? Two themes stand out. One is that of ‘nice adjustment’: the case-specific adjustment of legal rules to avoid the harsh results of applying rules to unforeseen circumstances. The second is the idea of judicial command: ordering the particular defendant in the circumstances to do equity without contradicting the common law. While the former has waned in the US, the latter has overly strengthened. The reasons of legal culture are discussed.


Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, A.C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Nov 2018

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, A.C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s leading securities cases from 1962 to 1972—SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc.; J.I. Case Co. v. Borak; Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Co.; Superintendent of Insurance v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co.; and Affiliated Ute of Utah v. United States—relying not just on the published opinions, but also the Justices’ internal letters, memos, and conference notes. The Sixties Court did not simply apply the text as enacted by Congress, but instead invoked the securities laws’ purposes as a guide to interpretation. The Court became a partner of Congress …


Rejoining Moral Culpability With Criminal Liability: Reconsideration Of The Felony Murder Doctrine For The Current Time, William Bald Apr 2018

Rejoining Moral Culpability With Criminal Liability: Reconsideration Of The Felony Murder Doctrine For The Current Time, William Bald

Journal of Legislation

No abstract provided.


The Canon Of Rational Basis Review, Katie R. Eyer Mar 2018

The Canon Of Rational Basis Review, Katie R. Eyer

Notre Dame Law Review

The modern constitutional law canon fundamentally misdescribes rational basis review. Through a series of errors—of omission, simplification, and recharacterization—we have largely erased a robust history of the use of rational basis review by social movements to generate constitutional change. Instead, the story the canon tells is one of dismal prospects for challengers of government action—in which rational basis review is an empty, almost meaningless form of review.

This Article suggests that far from the weak and ineffectual mechanism that most contemporary accounts suggest, rational basis review has, in the modern era, served as one of the primary equal protection entry …


The Attorney General And Early Appointments Clause Practice, Aditya Bamzai Mar 2018

The Attorney General And Early Appointments Clause Practice, Aditya Bamzai

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article proceeds as follows. In Part I, I provide an overview of the Appointments Clause and the officer-employee line as it currently stands in caselaw and in executive branch practice. I also summarize the Appointments Clause practices of the First Congress. In Part II, I address the opinions of the Attorneys General, and their attempt to rationalize and to explain the statutes enacted by the First Congress and the appointments practices of the nation. In Part III, I derive some implications and conclusions, generally for the Appointments Clause and specifically for the Administrative Law Judge controversy that is currently …


A New Deal Approach To Statutory Interpretation: Selected Cases Authored By Justice Robert Jackson, Charles Patrick Thomas Dec 2017

A New Deal Approach To Statutory Interpretation: Selected Cases Authored By Justice Robert Jackson, Charles Patrick Thomas

Journal of Legislation

No abstract provided.


Preclusion And Criminal Judgment, Lee Kovarsky Mar 2017

Preclusion And Criminal Judgment, Lee Kovarsky

Notre Dame Law Review

The defining question in modern habeas corpus law involves the finality

of a state conviction: What preclusive effect does (and should) a criminal

judgment have? Res judicata and collateral estoppel —the famous preclusion

rules for civil judgments—accommodate basic legal interests in fairness,

certitude, and sovereignty. Legal institutions carefully calibrate the preclusive

effect of civil judgments because judicial resources are scarce, because

the reliability and legitimacy of prior process can vary, and because courts

wield the authority of a repeat-playing sovereign that will find its own civil

judgments attacked in foreign litigation. In stark contrast to the legal sophistication

lavished on …


Beyond Law And Fact: Jury Evaluation Of Law Enforcement, Lauren M. Ouziel Mar 2017

Beyond Law And Fact: Jury Evaluation Of Law Enforcement, Lauren M. Ouziel

Notre Dame Law Review

Criminal trials today are as much about the adequacy and legitimacy of the defendant’s accusers—police and prosecutors—as the alleged deeds of the accused. Yet we lack theory to conceptualize this reality, doctrine to set its parameters, and institutional mechanisms to adapt to it. The traditional framework used by courts and scholars to delineate the jury’s role—along the continuum between “fact-finding” and “law-finding”—is inadequate to the task. Jury evaluations of law enforcement are more accurately conceptualized as enforcement-finding, a process that functions both in and outside that continuum. In considering enforcement-finding’s justification and proper scope, history offers a useful analytical frame. …


A Structural Etiology Of The U.S. Constitution, Charles Lincoln Dec 2016

A Structural Etiology Of The U.S. Constitution, Charles Lincoln

Journal of Legislation

This article offers an interpretation of the problems addressed by and the eventual purpose of the United States government. Simultaneously, it seeks to analyze and explain the continued three-part structure of the United States federal government as outlined in the Constitution. Subsequently I define the three parts of the federal government—judiciary, executive, and legislative—as explained through the lens of the Platonic paradigm of (logos = word = law), (thymos = external driving spirit = executive), and (eros = general welfare = legislative) extrapolated from Plato’s dialogues.

First, the article establishes Plato’s theory of the three-part Platonic soul …


A “Second Magna Carta”: The English Habeas Corpus Act And The Statutory Origins Of The Habeas Privilege, Amanda L. Tyler Oct 2016

A “Second Magna Carta”: The English Habeas Corpus Act And The Statutory Origins Of The Habeas Privilege, Amanda L. Tyler

Notre Dame Law Review

In my own scholarship, Fallon and Meltzer’s work on habeas models prompted me to dig deeper into the historical backdrop that informed ratification of the Suspension Clause and think harder about the relevance of that history for questions of constitutional interpretation. This, in turn, has spurred work that has occupied me for many years since. In the spirit of engaging with my federal courts professor one more time, this Article tells the story of the statutory origins of the habeas privilege—what Blackstone called a “second magna carta”—and argues that any explication of the constitutional privilege and discussion of how …


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 …


The Hughes Court Docket Books: The Early Terms, 1929-1933, Barry Cushman Jul 2015

The Hughes Court Docket Books: The Early Terms, 1929-1933, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

For many years, the docket books kept by a number of the Hughes Court Justices have been held by the Office of the Curator of the Supreme Court. Yet the existence of these docket books was not widely known, and 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 docket books that the Curator’s Office holds for the early Hughes Court, comprising the 1929-1933 Terms. Only one of …


A Defense Of The Corporate Law Duty Of Care, Julian Velasco Apr 2015

A Defense Of The Corporate Law Duty Of Care, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Most people would acknowledge the importance of the duty of loyalty, but the same is not true of the duty of care. Historically, the corporate law duty of care has been underenforced at best, and arguably unenforced entirely. Some scholars do not consider the duty of care to be a fiduciary duty at all, and there are those who would do away with it entirely. In this paper, I intend to provide a comprehensive defense of the corporate law fiduciary duty of care. I hope to show that the duty of care is not simply an ill-fitting appendage to the …


The Environmentalist Attack On Environmental Law, John Copeland Nagle Jan 2015

The Environmentalist Attack On Environmental Law, John Copeland Nagle

Journal Articles

This essay reviews two books written by leading scholars that express profound dissatisfaction with the ability of environmental law to actually protect the environment. Mary Wood’s “Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age” calls for “deep change in environmental law,” emphasizing the roles that agency issuance of permits to modify the environment and excessive deference to agency decisions play in ongoing environmental destruction. Wood proposes a “Nature’s Trust” built on the public trust doctrine to empower courts to play a much more aggressive role in overseeing environmental decisionmaking. In “Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law …


Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh Oct 2014

Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Although they promise better deterrence at a lower cost, class actions are infected with problems that can keep them from delivering on this promise. One of these problems occurs when the agents for the class (the class representative and class counsel) advance their own interests at the expense of the class. Controlling agency cost, which often manifests itself at the time of settlement, has been the impetus behind a number of class-action reform proposals. This Article develops a proposal that, in conjunction with reforms in fee structure and opt-out rights, controls agency costs at the time of settlement. The idea …


The Jurisprudence Of The Hughes Court: The Recent Literature, Barry Cushman Jan 2014

The Jurisprudence Of The Hughes Court: The Recent Literature, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The balance of this Article is devoted, after a fashion, to an exploration of the extent to which the recent literature on the Hughes Court seeks to incorporate the internal point of view. In Part I, I seek to identify the historiographical premises undergirding each author’s treatment of the subject. In Part II, I explore how those historiographical premises are reflected in each author’s treatment of the substantive development of constitutional doctrine during the period. In Part III, I examine the ways in which those historiographical premises inform each author’s analysis of the causal forces driving that doctrinal development. Part …