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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, …


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.


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 …


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 …


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.


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 …


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.


What Is Remembered, Alice Ristroph May 2020

What Is Remembered, Alice Ristroph

Michigan Law Review

Review of Sarah A. Seo's Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom.


Fascism And Monopoly, Daniel A. Crane May 2020

Fascism And Monopoly, Daniel A. Crane

Michigan Law Review

The recent revival of political interest in antitrust has resurfaced a longstanding debate about the role of industrial concentration and monopoly in enabling Hitler’s rise to power and the Third Reich’s wars of aggression. Proponents of stronger antitrust enforcement argue that monopolies and cartels brought the Nazis to power and warn that rising concentration in the American economy could similarly threaten democracy. Skeptics demur, observing that German big business largely opposed Hitler during the crucial years of his ascent. Drawing on business histories and archival material from the U.S. Office of Military Government’s Decartelization Branch, this Article assesses the historical …


Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass May 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jonathan Gienapp's The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era.


Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott May 2020

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott

Michigan Law Review

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive Era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s undermined …


Racial Purges, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2020

Racial Purges, Robert L. Tsai

Michigan Law Review

Review of Beth Lew-Williams' The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America.


Looking Backward And Forward At The Suspension Clause, G. Edward White Jan 2019

Looking Backward And Forward At The Suspension Clause, G. Edward White

Michigan Law Review

Review of Amanda L. Tyler's Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay.


Which Radicals?, Cass R. Sunstein Jan 2019

Which Radicals?, Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jeremy McCarter's Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals.


The Outcome Of Influence: Hitler’S American Model And Transnational Legal History, Mary L. Dudziak Jan 2019

The Outcome Of Influence: Hitler’S American Model And Transnational Legal History, Mary L. Dudziak

Michigan Law Review

Review of James Q. Whitman's Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law.


Review By Justice John Paul Stevens (Ret.), John Paul Stevens Jan 2019

Review By Justice John Paul Stevens (Ret.), John Paul Stevens

Michigan Law Review

Review of Noah Feldman's The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.


Privacy, Property, And Publicity, Mark A. Lemley Jan 2019

Privacy, Property, And Publicity, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jennifer E. Rothman's The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World.


What Corporate Veil?, Joshua C. Macey Jan 2019

What Corporate Veil?, Joshua C. Macey

Michigan Law Review

Review of Adam Winkler's We the Corporations: How American Business Won Their Civil Rights.


Failed Protectors: The Indian Trust And Killers Of The Flower Moon, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Jan 2019

Failed Protectors: The Indian Trust And Killers Of The Flower Moon, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan Law Review

Review of David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.


Sex And Religion: Unholy Bedfellows, Mary-Rose Papandrea Apr 2018

Sex And Religion: Unholy Bedfellows, Mary-Rose Papandrea

Michigan Law Review

A review of Geoffrey R. Stone, Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century.