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A Revisionist History Of Products Liability, Alexandra D. Lahav Dec 2023

A Revisionist History Of Products Liability, Alexandra D. Lahav

Michigan Law Review

Increasingly courts, including the Supreme Court, rely on ossified versions of the common law to decide cases. This Article demonstrates the risks of this use of the common law. The main contribution of the Article is to demonstrate that the traditional narrative about early products law—that manufacturers were not liable for injuries caused by their products because the doctrine of privity granted producers immunity from suit by the ultimate consumers of their goods—is incorrect. Instead, the doctrinal rule was negligence liability for producers of injurious goods across the United States in the nineteenth century. Courts routinely ignored or rejected privity …


Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash Jun 2023

Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash

Michigan Law Review

At the dawn of the federal deportation system, the nation’s top immigration official proclaimed the power to authorize deportation arrests “an extraordinary one” to vest in administrative officers. He reassured the nation that this immense power—then wielded by a cabinet secretary, the only executive officer empowered to authorize these arrests—was exercised with “great care and deliberation.” A century later, this extraordinary power is legally trivial and systemically exercised by low-level enforcement officers alone. Consequently, thousands of these officers—the police and jailors of the immigration system— now have the power to solely determine whether deportation arrests are justified and, therefore, whether …


Telegraph Torts: The Lost Lineage Of The Public Service Corporation, Evelyn Atkinson Jun 2023

Telegraph Torts: The Lost Lineage Of The Public Service Corporation, Evelyn Atkinson

Michigan Law Review

At the turn of the twentieth century, state courts were roiled by claims against telegraph corporations for mental anguish resulting from the failure to deliver telegrams involving the death or injury of a family member. Although these “telegraph cases” at first may seem a bizarre outlier, they in fact reveal an important and understudied moment of transformation in the nature of the relationship between the corporation and the public: the role of affective relations in the development of the category of the public utility corporation. Even as powerful corporations were recast as private, rights-bearing, profit-making market actors in constitutional law, …


The Short Unhappy Life Of The Negotiation Class, Linda S. Mullenix Apr 2023

The Short Unhappy Life Of The Negotiation Class, Linda S. Mullenix

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

On September 11, 2019, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, approved a novel negotiation class certification in the massive Opiate multidistrict litigation (MDL). Merely one year later on September 24, 2020, the Sixth Circuit reversed Judge Polster’s certification order. While the Opiate MDL has garnered substantial media and academic attention, less consideration has been directed to analyzing the significance of the negotiation class model and the appellate repudiation of this innovative procedural mechanism.

This Article focuses on the development and fate of the negotiation class and considers the …


Framing The Framer: A Commentary On Treanor’S Gouverneur Morris As “Dishonest Scrivener”, David S. Schwartz Jan 2023

Framing The Framer: A Commentary On Treanor’S Gouverneur Morris As “Dishonest Scrivener”, David S. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review Online

Dean William Treanor’s masterful article, The Case of the Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris and the Creation of the Federalist Constitution, makes a major contribution to scholarship on the founding, one that will have a profound impact on how we read and understand the Constitution. Treanor’s keen analyses and his presentation of important-but-overlooked historical details support the article’s central and historically significant arguments. Treanor’s research is at the forefront of emerging scholarship seeking to recover “the Federalist Constitution,” a body of constitutional interpretations favored by those Framers who advocated a strong national government. These nationalist interpretations were subsequently emphasized by …


Policing Queer Sexuality, Ari Ezra Waldman Jan 2023

Policing Queer Sexuality, Ari Ezra Waldman

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life Before Stonewall. By Anna Lvovsky.


Beyond “Big Government”: Toward New Legal Histories Of The New Deal Order’S End, Gabriel L. Levine Jan 2023

Beyond “Big Government”: Toward New Legal Histories Of The New Deal Order’S End, Gabriel L. Levine

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Public Citizens: The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism. By Paul Sabin.


The Gloss Of War: Revisiting The Korean War’S Legacy, Mary L. Dudziak Jan 2023

The Gloss Of War: Revisiting The Korean War’S Legacy, Mary L. Dudziak

Michigan Law Review

In war powers analysis, reliance on the interpretive method of historical practice, also called the “gloss of history,” has made history a technology of the forever war. This approach draws upon the history of U.S. military conflict to interpret the scope of presidential war power and embeds past actions into the separation of powers. There is a crucial flaw in this methodology, however. The understanding of history in historical gloss is not informed by the changing historiography of war. This has led to a divergence between the “history” in legal authority and the revised historical understanding in scholarly works of …


An Appeal To Books, Amir H. Ali Jan 2023

An Appeal To Books, Amir H. Ali

Michigan Law Review

This feels a fit, even urgent, moment to celebrate our books and the role they play vis-à-vis the law, the courts, and the truth.

As this issue goes to print, our nation’s highest court faces forceful criticism that some of its most significant decisions have been detached from objective fact. In recent Terms, the Supreme Court’s majority has doubled down on deciding major constitutional questions based on “history and tradition”—that is, the majority’s understanding of what the nation was like centuries ago. Just as quickly as these justices praised the objectivity of their fealty to history, they met widespread rebuke …


Akhil Amar’S Unusable Past, Gregory Ablavsky Jan 2023

Akhil Amar’S Unusable Past, Gregory Ablavsky

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840. By Akhil Reed Amar.


Africana Legal Studies: A New Theoretical Approach To Law & Protocol, Angi Porter Dec 2022

Africana Legal Studies: A New Theoretical Approach To Law & Protocol, Angi Porter

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

“African people have produced the same general types of institutions for understanding and ordering their worlds as every other group of human beings. Though this should be obvious, the fact that we must go to great lengths to recognize and then demonstrate it speaks to the potent and invisible effect of the enslavement and colonization of African people over the last 500 years.” – Greg Carr


From Four Horsemen To The Rule Of Six: The Deconstruction Of Judicial Deference, Keith W. Rizzardi Sep 2022

From Four Horsemen To The Rule Of Six: The Deconstruction Of Judicial Deference, Keith W. Rizzardi

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

In its tumultuous 2022 term, the Supreme Court rebalanced the separation of powers, again. A tradition of self-restraint has evolved through case law and statutes when the judiciary reviews the actions of the other branches of government. The judiciary often accepts congressional judgments as to whether laws are necessary and proper and defers to executive agency interpretations of those congressional acts. The historical notion of judicial deference, however, earned criticism due to concerns about the potential unchecked decision-making power of unelected executive agency bureaucrats. The emerging alternative system might be worse.

History offers parallels. During the New Deal, a core …


Remarks, Andrea Dennis Jun 2022

Remarks, Andrea Dennis

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Over the course of one week, the Michigan Journal of Law Reform presented its annual Symposium, this year titled Reimagining Police Surveillance: Protecting Activism and Ending Technologies of Oppression. During this week, the Journal explored complicated questions surrounding the expansion of police surveillance technologies, including how police and federal agencies utilize their extensive resources to identify and surveil public protest, the ways in which technology employed by police is often flawed and disparately impacts people of color, and potential reforms of police surveillance technology. Before delving into these complicated questions, I presented remarks on the history of police surveillance …


Enduring Exclusion, Daiquiri J. Steele Jun 2022

Enduring Exclusion, Daiquiri J. Steele

Michigan Law Review

Economic justice has long been a part of the civil rights agenda, and minimum labor standards statutes play a crucial role in eradicating the exploitation and subordination of historically marginalized workers. While statutes establishing labor standards are characterized as “universal,” their effect has been anything but universal. Racial and ethnic minorities, women, and those at the intersection experience disproportionate violations of labor standards laws concerning minimum wage, overtime, and occupational safety and health. Through legislative maneuvering dating back to the New Deal era, Congress carved out many female workers and workers of color from core protections of minimum labor standards …


The Public Trust And The Chicago Lakefront: Review Of Kearney & Merrill’S Lakefront: Public Trust And Private Rights In Chicago (Cornell U. Press, 2021), Michael C. Blumm Jan 2022

The Public Trust And The Chicago Lakefront: Review Of Kearney & Merrill’S Lakefront: Public Trust And Private Rights In Chicago (Cornell U. Press, 2021), Michael C. Blumm

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Joseph Kearney and Thomas Merrill’s brilliantly illustrated LAKEFRONT is sure to win American legal history awards for its riveting history of the machinations behind the preservation of the magnificent Chicago lakefront, now dominated by public spaces. The authors weave together a compelling account of how the law affected the development of the post-fire Chicago in the late 19th and 20th centuries—largely made by lawyers and courts and only ratified by legislatures. The book’s title suggests that the story is largely about the public trust doctrine (PTD). But the doctrine is hardly the centerpiece of the authors’ story. What they have …


Black Women & Women's Suffrage: Understanding The Perception Of The Nineteenth Amendment Through The Pages Of The Chicago Defender, Tamar Anna Alexanian Jan 2022

Black Women & Women's Suffrage: Understanding The Perception Of The Nineteenth Amendment Through The Pages Of The Chicago Defender, Tamar Anna Alexanian

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Susan B. Anthony once famously stated, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work for or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.” The racism of many early suffragettes has been well documented and discussed; Black suffragettes and other suffragettes of color were, at best, relegated to the margins of the movement and, at worst, scorned and turned away by white suffragettes. Moreover, part of white suffragettes’ strategy for passage of the Nineteenth Amendment was based on racist appeals to white men; white suffragettes claimed that passage of the Nineteenth Amendment …


Air Pollution As Public Nuisance: Comparing Modern-Day Greenhouse Gas Abatement With Nineteenth-Century Smoke Abatement, Kate Markey Jan 2022

Air Pollution As Public Nuisance: Comparing Modern-Day Greenhouse Gas Abatement With Nineteenth-Century Smoke Abatement, Kate Markey

Michigan Law Review

Public nuisance allows plaintiffs to sue actors in tort for causing environmental harm that disrupts the public’s use and enjoyment of the land. In recent years, state and local governments have filed public nuisance actions against oil companies, hoping to hold them responsible for the harm of climate change. Since no plaintiff has prevailed on the merits so far, whether these lawsuits are worth bringing, given the other legal avenues available, remains an open question. This Comment situates these actions in their appropriate historical context to show that these lawsuits are neither unprecedented nor futile. In particular, it examines the …


The Imaginary Immigration Clause, Nikolas Bowie, Norah Rast Jan 2022

The Imaginary Immigration Clause, Nikolas Bowie, Norah Rast

Michigan Law Review

The political convulsions of the past decade have fueled acute interest in constitutional For the past century, the Supreme Court has skeptically scrutinized Congress’s power to enact healthcare laws and other domestic legislation, insisting that nothing in the Constitution gives Congress a general power to “regulate an individual from cradle to grave.” Yet when Congress regulates immigrants, the Court has contradictorily assumed that Congress has “broad, undoubted power” to do whatever it thinks necessary—even though no clause of the Constitution gives Congress any specific immigration power. The Court has explained this discrepancy with reference to the Chinese Exclusion Case, …


On Time, (In)Equality, And Death, Fred O. Smith Jr. Nov 2021

On Time, (In)Equality, And Death, Fred O. Smith Jr.

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, American institutions have inadvertently encountered the bodies of former slaves with increasing frequency. Pledges of respect are common features of these discoveries, accompanied by cultural debates about what “respect” means. Often embedded in these debates is an intuition that there is something special about respecting the dead bodies, burial sites, and images of victims of mass, systemic horrors. This Article employs legal doctrine, philosophical insights, and American history to both interrogate and anchor this intuition.

Law can inform these debates because we regularly turn to legal settings to resolve disputes about the dead. Yet the passage of …


The Case Of The Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William Michael Treanor Oct 2021

The Case Of The Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris And The Creation Of The Federalist Constitution, William Michael Treanor

Michigan Law Review

At the end of the Constitutional Convention, the delegates appointed the Committee of Style and Arrangement to bring together the textual provisions that the Convention had previously agreed to and to prepare a final constitution. Pennsylvania delegate Gouverneur Morris drafted the document for the Committee, and, with few revisions and little debate, the Convention adopted Morris’s draft. For more than two hundred years, questions have been raised as to whether Morris covertly altered the text in order to advance his constitutional vision, but modern legal scholars and historians studying the Convention have either ignored the issue or concluded that Morris …


Blazing A Path To Wilderness: A Case Study Of Impact Litigation Through The Lens Of Legislative History, Neil Kagan Sep 2021

Blazing A Path To Wilderness: A Case Study Of Impact Litigation Through The Lens Of Legislative History, Neil Kagan

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Litigation can be a catalyst for legislation. Legislative history can reveal just how influential litigation is. The legislative history of the laws to designate wilderness in the 1980s provides an object lesson. It demonstrates that litigation both pushed Congress to act and shaped the legislation Congress enacted. This is especially true of the watershed year of 1984. That year, Congress enacted more wilderness laws and added more wilderness areas to the National Wilderness Preservation System in more states than in any other year. The legislative history of the 1984 wilderness laws embedded in bills, hearings, committee meetings, committee reports, and …


The Fallacy Of Contract In Sexual Slavery: A Response To Ramseyer's "Contracting For Sex In The Pacific War", Yong-Shik Lee, Natsu Taylor Saito, Jonathan Todres Apr 2021

The Fallacy Of Contract In Sexual Slavery: A Response To Ramseyer's "Contracting For Sex In The Pacific War", Yong-Shik Lee, Natsu Taylor Saito, Jonathan Todres

Michigan Journal of International Law

Over seven decades have passed since the end of the Second World War, but the trauma from the cruelest war in human history continues today, perpetuated by denial of responsibility for the war crimes committed and unjust attempts to rewrite history at the expense of dignity, life, and justice for the victims of the most serious human rights violations. The latest such attempt is a troubling recharacterization of the sexual slavery enforced by Japan during the Second World War as a legitimate contractual arrangement. A recent paper authored by J. Mark Ramseyer, entitled “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War,” …


A Different Type Of Property: White Women And The Human Property They Kept, Michele Goodwin Apr 2021

A Different Type Of Property: White Women And The Human Property They Kept, Michele Goodwin

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. by Harriet A. Jacobs, and They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers.


A Historical Analysis Of The Investment Company Act Of 1940, Michael B. Weiner Feb 2021

A Historical Analysis Of The Investment Company Act Of 1940, Michael B. Weiner

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

More than 100 million Americans invest $25 trillion in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (collectively, “funds”) regulated by the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”), making funds the predominant investment vehicle in the United States. Everyday investors rely on funds to save for retirement, pay for college, and seek financial security. In this way, funds demonstrate how “Wall Street” can connect with “Main Street” to improve people’s lives.

By way of background, funds are created by investment advisers (“advisers”) that provide investment advisory (e.g., stock selection) and other services to their funds in exchange for a fee. …


U.S. Race Relations And Foreign Policy, Susan D. Page Jan 2021

U.S. Race Relations And Foreign Policy, Susan D. Page

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

It is easy for Americans to think that the world’s most egregious human rights abuses happen in other countries. In reality, our history is plagued by injustices, and our present reality is still stained by racism and inequality. While the Michigan Journal of International Law usually publishes only pieces with a global focus, we felt it prudent in these critically important times not to shy away from the problems facing our own country. We must understand our own history before we can strive to form a better union, whether the union be the United States or the United Nations. Ambassador …


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge …


Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart Sep 2020

Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The use of dogs as tools of oppression against African Americans has its roots in slavery and persists today in everyday life and police interactions. Due to such harmful practices, African Americans are not only disproportionately terrorized by officers with dogs, but they are also subject to instances of misplaced sympathy, illsuited laws, and social exclusion in their communities. Whether extreme and violent or subtle and pervasive, the use of dogs in oppressive acts is a critical layer of racial bias in the United States that has consistently built injustices that impede social and legal progress. By recognizing this pattern …


Reassessing Aspects Of The Contribution Of African States To The Development Of International Law Through African Regional Multilateral Treaties, Tiyanjana Maluwa Jun 2020

Reassessing Aspects Of The Contribution Of African States To The Development Of International Law Through African Regional Multilateral Treaties, Tiyanjana Maluwa

Michigan Journal of International Law

For decades, debates about Africa’s contribution to the development of international law have been dominated by two opposing schools of thought. First, that European colonial powers deliberately erased Africa and Africans from the history of the creation and use of international law. Second, that, on the contrary, over the last six decades (since the emergence of the newly independent African states in the late 1950s and early 1960s), Africa has contributed to the making of international law and has not been merely a passive recipient of a Eurocentric international law.

This article underscores the role of the postcolonial periphery in …


Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin May 2020

Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

Review of Lawrence Lessig's Fidelity and Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution.


Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz May 2020

Coin, Currency, And Constitution: Reconsidering The National Bank Precedent, David S. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

Review of Eric Lomazoff's Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic.