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Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right To Keep And Bear Arms Outside The Constitution, Jacob D. Charles Feb 2022

Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right To Keep And Bear Arms Outside The Constitution, Jacob D. Charles

Michigan Law Review

In popular and professional discourse, debate about the right to keep and bear arms most often revolves around the Second Amendment. But that narrow reference ignores a vast and expansive nonconstitutional legal regime privileging guns and their owners. This collection of nonconstitutional gun rights confers broad powers and immunities on gun owners that go far beyond those required by the Constitution, like rights to bring guns on private property against an owner’s wishes and to carry a concealed firearm in public with no training or background check. This Article catalogues this set of expansive laws and critically assesses them. Unlike …


Remediating Racism For Rent: A Landlord’S Obligation Under The Fha, Mollie Krent Jun 2021

Remediating Racism For Rent: A Landlord’S Obligation Under The Fha, Mollie Krent

Michigan Law Review

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is an expansive and powerful piece of legislation that furthers equal housing in the United States by ferreting out discrimination in the housing market. While the power of the Act is well recognized by courts, the full contours of the FHA are still to be refined. In particular, it remains unsettled whether and when a landlord can be liable for tenant-on-tenant harassment. This Note argues, first, that the FHA does recognize liability in such a circumstance and, second, that a landlord should be subject to liability for her negligence in such a circumstance. Part I …


Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr. May 2021

Suspect Spheres, Not Enumerated Powers: A Guide For Leaving The Lamppost, Richard Primus, Roderick M. Hills Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Despite longstanding orthodoxy, the Constitution’s enumeration of congressional powers does virtually nothing to limit federal lawmaking. That’s not because of some bizarrely persistent judicial failure to read the Constitution correctly. It’s because the enumeration of congressional powers is not a well-designed technology for limiting federal legislation. Rather than trying to make the enumeration do work that it will not do, decisionmakers should find better ways of thinking about what lawmaking should be done locally rather than nationally. This Article suggests such a rubric, one that asks not whether Congress has permission to do a certain thing but whether a certain …


The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj Mar 2021

The Lost Promise Of Disability Rights, Claire Raj

Michigan Law Review

Children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable students in public schools. They are the most likely to be bullied, harassed, restrained, or segregated. For these and other reasons, they also have the poorest academic outcomes. Overcoming these challenges requires full use of the laws enacted to protect these students’ affirmative right to equal access and an environment free from discrimination. Yet, courts routinely deny their access to two such laws—the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504).

Courts too often overlook the affirmative obligations contained in these two disability rights …


Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz Feb 2021

Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz

Michigan Law Review

American labor law was designed to ensure equal bargaining power between workers and employers. But workers’ collective power against increasingly dominant employers has disintegrated. With union density at an abysmal 6.2 percent in the private sector—a level unequaled since the Great Depression— the vast majority of workers depend only on individual negotiations with employers to lift stagnant wages and ensure upward economic mobility. But decentralized, individual bargaining is not enough. Economists and legal scholars increasingly agree that, absent regulation to protect workers’ collective rights, labor markets naturally strengthen employers’ bargaining power over workers. Existing labor and antitrust law have failed …


The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell Feb 2021

The Doctrine Of Clarifications, Pat Mcdonell

Michigan Law Review

Clarifications are a longstanding but little-studied concept in statutory interpretation. Most courts have found that clarifying amendments to preexisting statutes bypass retroactivity limitations. Therein lies their power. Because clarifications simply restate the law, they do not implicate the presumption against retroactivity that Landgraf v. USI Film Products embedded in civil-statute interpretation. The problem that courts have yet to address is how exactly clarifying legislation can be distinguished from legislation that substantively changes the law. What exactly is a clarification? The courts’ answers implicate many of the entrenched debates in statutory interpretation. This Note offers three primary contributions. First, it summarizes …


Restoring The Power Of The Convening Authority To Adjust Sentences, Jacob R. Weaver Dec 2020

Restoring The Power Of The Convening Authority To Adjust Sentences, Jacob R. Weaver

Michigan Law Review

In 2013, Congress abrogated the power of certain military officers to reduce court-martial sentences, thereby eliminating a military defendant’s best hope for efficient and effective relief from common legal errors in the military justice system. While the overhaul of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 2016 promised significant reform, it ultimately failed to substantially reduce common legal errors. This Note analyzes how the 2013 and 2016 reforms have combined to prevent military defendants from receiving timely and adequate relief. In light of this analysis, this Note suggests an amendment to the UCMJ that would restore to certain officers …


Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts Nov 2020

Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts

Michigan Law Review

The writ of habeas corpus presents the last chance for innocent defendants to obtain relief from invalid convictions and sentences. The writ constitutes a limited exception to the finality of judgments. Given the role finality plays in conserving judicial resources and deterring criminal conduct, exceptions created by habeas must be principally circumscribed. Since the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause in Johnson v. United States, the federal courts of appeals have attempted to develop a test that protects the writ from abuse by Johnson claimants.

This Note first contributes a new understanding of the …


Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison Oct 2020

Unplanned Obsolescence: Interpreting The Automatic Telephone Dialing System After The Smartphone Epoch, Walter Allison

Michigan Law Review

Technology regulations succeed or fail based upon their ability to regulate an idea. Constant innovation forces legislators to draft statutes aimed at prohibiting the idea of a device, rather than a specific device itself, because new devices with new capacities emerge every day. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal statute that imposes liability based on the idea of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). But the statute’s definition of the device is ambiguous. The FCC struggles to coherently apply the definition to new technologies, and courts interpret the definition inconsistently. Federal circuit courts have split over these …


Discovery As Regulation, Diego A. Zambrano Oct 2020

Discovery As Regulation, Diego A. Zambrano

Michigan Law Review

This article develops an approach to discovery that is grounded in regulatory theory and administrative subpoena power. The conventional judicial and scholarly view about discovery is that it promotes fair and accurate outcomes and nudges the parties toward settlement. While commonly held, however, this belief is increasingly outdated and suffers from limitations. Among them, it has generated endless controversy about the problem of discovery costs. Indeed, a growing chorus of scholars and courts has offered an avalanche of reforms, from cost shifting and bespoke discovery contracts to outright elimination. Recently, Judge Thomas Hardiman quipped that if he had absolute power, …


Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell Oct 2020

Resolving "Resolved": Covenants Not To Sue And The Availability Of Cercla Contribution Actions, Jacob Podell

Michigan Law Review

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)—as part of its dual goals of cleaning up hazardous-waste sites and ensuring that the polluter pays for that cleanup—gives private parties two mutually exclusive causes of action: cost recovery and contribution. Contribution is available in limited circumstances, including if the party has “resolved” its liability with the government. But CERCLA does not define this operative term. Federal courts are split over how the structure of a settlement resolves liability. Several courts follow Bernstein v. Bankert, which held that any conditions precedent and nonadmissions of liability strongly suggest that a party …


International Megan's Law As Compelled Speech, Alexandra R. Genord Jun 2020

International Megan's Law As Compelled Speech, Alexandra R. Genord

Michigan Law Review

“The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).” International Megan’s Law (IML), passed in 2016, prohibits the State Department from issuing passports to individuals convicted of a sex offense against a minor unless those passports are branded with this phrase. The federal government's decision to brand its citizens’ passports with this stigmatizing message is novel and jarring, but the sole federal district court to consider a constitutional challenge to the passport identifier dismissed the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, deeming the provision government speech. …


Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy Jun 2020

Accommodating Absence: Medical Leave As An Ada Reasonable Accommodation, Sean P. Mulloy

Michigan Law Review

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is widely regarded as one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. Among its requirements, Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals. Many questions about the scope of the reasonable-accommodation mandate remain, however, as federal circuit courts disagree over whether extended medical leave may be considered a reasonable accommodation and whether an employee on leave is a qualified individual. This Note argues that courts should presume finite unpaid medical leaves of absence are …


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 …


The Title Ix Contract Quagmire, Bryce Freeman Apr 2020

The Title Ix Contract Quagmire, Bryce Freeman

Michigan Law Review

Courts and scholars have long grappled with whether and to what extent educational institutions are in contract with their students. If they are, then students can sue their private universities for breaching that contract— ordinarily understood as the student handbook and other materials—when the institution levies a disciplinary action against the student. But what promises, both implicit and explicit, do private universities make to their students that courts should enforce? This question has resurfaced in the Title IX context, where courts have largely drawn clear dividing lines between the rights of public and private university students. This Comment provides a …


Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2020

Symmetry's Mandate: Constraining The Politicization Of American Administrative Law, Daniel E. Walters

Michigan Law Review

Recent years have seen the rise of pointed and influential critiques of deference doctrines in administrative law. What many of these critiques have in common is a view that judges, not agencies, should resolve interpretive disputes over the meaning of statutes—disputes the critics take to be purely legal and almost always resolvable using lawyerly tools of statutory construction. In this Article, I take these critiques, and the relatively formalist assumptions behind them, seriously and show that the critics have not acknowledged or advocated the full reform vision implied by their theoretical premises. Specifically, critics have extended their critique of judicial …


America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien Jan 2020

America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien

Michigan Law Review

Over the last decade, dozens of states and the federal government have enacted “second chance” reforms that increase the eligibility of individuals arrested, charged, or convicted of crimes to shorten their sentences, clear their criminal records, and/or regain the right to vote. While much fanfare has accompanied the increasing availability of “second chances,” little attention has been paid to their delivery. This study introduces the concept of the “second chance gap,” which it defines as the difference between eligibility and delivery of second chance relief; explores its causes; and approximates its size in connection with several second chance laws and …


Shots Fired: Digging The Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act Out Of The Trenches Of Arbitration, Lisa Limb Jan 2019

Shots Fired: Digging The Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act Out Of The Trenches Of Arbitration, Lisa Limb

Michigan Law Review

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was enacted to protect servicemembers from discrimination by civilian employers and to provide servicemembers with reemployment rights. Recent circuit court decisions, however, have maimed these protections by ruling that mandatory arbitration is permissible under USERRA. This Note argues that such rulings conflict with USERRA’s plain language, statutory structure, and purpose. Ultimately, in light of strong public policy considerations, this Note contends that mandatory arbitration should not be permissible under USERRA and proposes that Congress amend the Act to explicitly prohibit arbitration.


Plaintiff Personal Jurisdiction And Venue Transfer, Scott Dodson Jan 2019

Plaintiff Personal Jurisdiction And Venue Transfer, Scott Dodson

Michigan Law Review

Personal jurisdiction usually focuses on the rights of the defendant. This is because a plaintiff implicitly consents to personal jurisdiction in the court where the plaintiff chooses to file. But what if the defendant seeks to transfer venue to a court in a state in which the plaintiff has no contacts and never consented to personal jurisdiction? Lower courts operate on the assumption that in both ordinary venue-transfer cases under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and multidistrict-litigation cases under § 1407(a), personal-jurisdiction concerns for plaintiffs simply do not apply. I contest that assumption. Neither statute expands the statutory authorization of federal-court …


What Is "New"?: Defining "New Judgement" After Magwood, Patrick Cothern Jan 2019

What Is "New"?: Defining "New Judgement" After Magwood, Patrick Cothern

Michigan Law Review

Habeas corpus petitioners must navigate the procedural barriers of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) before courts consider their petitions on the merits. Among the barriers imposed is a general prohibition on “second or successive” habeas petitions, meaning a petitioner who previously filed a habeas petition may not bring another, with limited exceptions. One such exception, recognized by the Supreme Court in Magwood v. Patterson, allows for a second habeas petition after the petitioner obtains a “new judgment.” Magwood and AEDPA, however, left the term “new judgment” undefined. This Note summarizes the history of habeas corpus in the …


Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern Jan 2019

Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern

Michigan Law Review

The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) arms federal law enforcement agencies with the ability to use a special type of warrant to access users’ electronically stored communications. In some circumstances, SCA warrants can require service providers to bundle and produce a user’s electronically stored communications without ever disclosing the existence of the warrant to the individual user until charges are brought. Users that are charged will ultimately receive notice of the search after the fact through their legal proceedings. Users that are never charged, however, may never know that their communications were obtained and searched. This practice effectively makes the provisions …


Improving Employer Accountability In A World Of Private Dispute Resolution, Hope Brinn Jan 2019

Improving Employer Accountability In A World Of Private Dispute Resolution, Hope Brinn

Michigan Law Review

Private litigation is the primary enforcement mechanism for employment discrimination laws like Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many related state statutes. But the expansion of extrajudicial dispute resolution—including both arbitration and prelitigation settlement agreements—has compromised this means of enforcement. This Note argues that state-enacted qui tam laws can revitalize the enforcement capacity of private litigation and provides a roadmap for enacting such legislation.


More Than Birds: Developing A New Environmental Jurisprudence Through The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Patrick G. Maroun Jan 2019

More Than Birds: Developing A New Environmental Jurisprudence Through The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Patrick G. Maroun

Michigan Law Review

This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest environmental regulatory statutes in the United States. It is illegal to “take” or “kill” any migratory bird covered by the Act. But many of the economic and industrial assumptions that undergirded the Act in 1918 have changed dramatically. Although it is undisputed that hunting protected birds is prohibited, circuit courts split on whether so-called “incidental takings” fall within the scope of the Act. The uncertainty inherent in this disagreement harms public and private interests alike—not to mention migratory birds. Many of the most important environmental …


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart Jun 2018

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 …


Restoring Congress's Role In The Modern Administrative State, Christopher J. Walker Apr 2018

Restoring Congress's Role In The Modern Administrative State, Christopher J. Walker

Michigan Law Review

A review of Josh Chafetzm Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and Separation of Powers.


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Feb 2018

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Michigan Law Review

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be “unambiguous” suddenly becomes “less than clear.” This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize “clear” or “unambiguous” meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to “know” what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to regard …


Education Fraud At The Margins: Using The Federal False Claims Act To Curb Enrollment Abuses In Online, For-Profit K-12 Schools, Erin R. Chapman Feb 2018

Education Fraud At The Margins: Using The Federal False Claims Act To Curb Enrollment Abuses In Online, For-Profit K-12 Schools, Erin R. Chapman

Michigan Law Review

America’s online schools have some things to account for. In recent years, an increase in the number of for-profit K–12 schools has coincided with the rise of online education. Meanwhile, funding models that award money for each additional student incentivize for-profit schools to overenroll students in online programs that were once reserved for specialized subsets of students. Although, to date, reported incidents of enrollment fraud have been rare, there are many reasons to think that the problem has gone largely undetected. As education reformers on both sides of the political spectrum continue to push privatization and charter schools, figuring out …


Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2018

Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson

Michigan Law Review

In resolving questions of statutory meaning, the lion’s share of Roberts Court opinions considers and applies at least one interpretive canon, whether the rule against surplusage or the presumption against state law preemption. This is part of a decades-long turn toward textualist statutory interpretation in the Supreme Court. Commentators have debated how to justify canons, since they are judicially created rules that reside outside the statutory text. Earlier studies have cast substantial doubt on whether these canons can be justified as capturing congressional practices or preferences; commentators have accordingly turned toward second-order justifications, arguing that canons usefully make interpretation constrained …


"The Essential Characteristic": Enumerated Powers And The Bank Of The United States, Richard Primus Jan 2018

"The Essential Characteristic": Enumerated Powers And The Bank Of The United States, Richard Primus

Michigan Law Review

The idea that Congress can legislate only on the basis of its enumerated powers is an orthodox proposition of constitutional law, one that is generally supposed to have been recognized as essential ever since the Founding. Conventional understandings of several episodes in constitutional history reinforce this proposition. But the reality of many of those events is more complicated. Consider the 1791 debate over creating the Bank of the United States, in which Madison famously argued against the Bank on enumerated-powers grounds. The conventional memory of the Bank episode reinforces the sense that the orthodox view of enumerated powers has been …


Opening The Gates Of Cow Palace: Regulating Runoff Manure As A Hazardous Waste Under Rcra, Reed J. Mccalib Dec 2017

Opening The Gates Of Cow Palace: Regulating Runoff Manure As A Hazardous Waste Under Rcra, Reed J. Mccalib

Michigan Law Review

In 2015, a federal court held for the first time that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) may regulate runoff manure as a “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). The holding of Community Ass’n for Restoration of the Environment, Inc. v. Cow Palace, LLC opened the gates to regulation of farms under the nation’s primary toxic waste statute. This Comment argues that, once classified as a “solid waste,” runoff manure fits RCRA’s definition of “hazardous waste” as well. This reclassification would expand EPA’s authority to monitor and respond to the nation’s tragically common groundwater-contamination emergencies.