Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 377

Full-Text Articles in Law

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond Jun 2021

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond

Michigan Law Review

Federal law excludes millions of American citizens from crucial public benefits simply because they live in the United States territories. If the Social Security Administration determines a low-income individual has a disability, that person can move to another state and continue to receive benefits. But if that person moves to, say, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands, that person loses their right to federal aid. Similarly with SNAP (food stamps), federal spending rises with increased demand—whether because of a recession, a pandemic, or a climate disaster. But unlike the rest of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Northern ...


Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges Apr 2021

Pregnancy And The Carceral State, Khiara M. Bridges

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. by Michele Goodwin.


The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Mar 2021

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Michigan Law Review

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal Constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal Constitution, they were drafted—and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended— to ...


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 ...


Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz Jun 2020

Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

The Philadelphia and Houston Police Departments are similarly sized, but over a recent two-year period, ten times more civil rights suits were filed against Philadelphia and its officers than were filed against Houston and its officers. Plaintiffs in cases brought against Philadelphia and its officers were awarded one hundred times more in settlements and judgments. What accounts for these differences? Although the frequency and severity of misconduct and injury may play some role, I contend that the volume and outcome of civil rights litigation against any given jurisdiction should be understood as a product of what I call its civil ...


The Right To A Well-Rested Jury, Caroline Howe May 2020

The Right To A Well-Rested Jury, Caroline Howe

Michigan Law Review

The vast amount of control that state trial judges exercise over the dynamics of their courtrooms is well established. The length of trial days and jury deliberations, however, has received little scholarly attention. Longstanding research has conclusively established the disruptive effects of sleep deprivation on many of the mental facilities necessary for juries to competently fulfill their duties. By depriving juries of sleep, trial judges may be compromising the fair rights of criminal defendants for the sake of efficiency. This Note argues that trial judges must use their discretion to ensure juries are well-rested, keeping jurors’ needs in mind. Further ...


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 ...


The Municipal Pardon Power, Hayato Watanabe Feb 2020

The Municipal Pardon Power, Hayato Watanabe

Michigan Law Review

At the state and federal levels, the pardon power can be used to restore the dignity and legal rights lost by a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, those facing similar consequences from municipal convictions may not have access to a pardon. Although clemency is exceedingly rare at any level of government, municipal defendants face a unique structural problem that deprives them of the possibility of a pardon. Specifically, many cities have simply failed to create a local clemency power. This Note argues that the authority to grant pardons for municipal offenses is part of the toolbox of powers provided to cities through ...


Understanding State Agency Independence, Miriam Seifter Jan 2019

Understanding State Agency Independence, Miriam Seifter

Michigan Law Review

Conflicts about the independence of executive branch officials are brewing across the states. Governors vie with separately elected executive officials for policy control; attorneys general and governors spar over who speaks for the state in litigation, and legislatures seek to alter governors’ influence over independent state commissions. These disputes over intrastate authority have weighty policy implications both within states and beyond them, on topics from election administration and energy markets to healthcare and welfare. The disputes also reveal a blind spot. At the federal level, scholars have long analyzed the meaning and effects of agency independence—a dialogue that has ...


Putting Accessible Expression To Bed, Jamila A. Odeh Jan 2019

Putting Accessible Expression To Bed, Jamila A. Odeh

Michigan Law Review

In 2011, the Occupy movement began. Occupiers seized space in dozens of public parks and in the American imagination, providing a compelling illustration of an inclusive format of political expression. In the courtroom, protesters sought injunctive relief on First Amendment grounds to protect the tent encampments where Occupiers slept. In 2017, the last of the Occupy litigation ended; but the ramifications the Occupy cases hold for the First Amendment and expressive conduct remain unexamined.

This Comment takes an in-depth look at the adjudication of Occupiers’ First Amendment interest in sleeping in public parks. It analyzes the adjudication of the Occupy ...


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.


The New Housing Segregation: The Jim Crow Effects Of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances, Deborah N. Archer Jan 2019

The New Housing Segregation: The Jim Crow Effects Of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances, Deborah N. Archer

Michigan Law Review

America is profoundly segregated along racial lines. We attend separate schools, live in separate neighborhoods, attend different churches, and shop at different stores. This rigid racial segregation results in social, economic, and resource inequality, with White communities of opportunity on the one hand and many communities of color without access to quality schools, jobs, transportation, or health care on the other. Many people view this as an unfortunate fact of life, or as a relic of legal systems long since overturned and beyond the reach of current legal process. But this is not true. On the contrary, the law continues ...


"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe Jun 2018

"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe

Michigan Law Review

In the United States, defendants in both federal and state prosecutions have the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. That right is in jeopardy. In the postconviction setting, the standard for ineffective assistance of counsel is prohibitively high, and Congress has restricted federal habeas review. At trial, severe underfunding for state indigent defense systems has led to low pay, little support, and extreme caseloads—which combine to create conditions where lawyers simply cannot represent clients adequately. Overworked public defenders and contract attorneys represent 80 percent of state felony defendants annually. Three out of four countywide public defender systems and ...


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith Jan 2018

Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith

Michigan Law Review

A limited and simplified discovery system should broaden access to courts, resolve disputes quickly, and expedite relief to injured parties. It should not incentivize procedural gamesmanship or increase the system’s complexity. Regrettably, Illinois’s “limited and simplified” discovery system does both. The initiation procedure for the simplified system, Rule 222(b), creates procedural traps and perverse incentives for both plaintiffs and defendants, and conflicting appellate interpretations of the Rule intensify the problem. This Note examines the flaws underlying the current simplified discovery scheme and argues for reform. It examines simplified discovery schemes in other states to recommend a new ...


Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer Nov 2017

Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have heralded corpus linguistics—the study of language through collections of spoken or written texts—as a novel tool for statutory interpretation that will help provide an answer in the occasionally ambiguous search for “ordinary meaning” using dictionaries. In the spring of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court became the first to use corpus linguistics in a majority opinion. The dissent also used it, however, and the two opinions reached different conclusions. In the first true test for corpus linguistics, the answer seemed to be just as ambiguous as before.

This result calls into question the utility of ...


Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco Dec 2016

Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco

Michigan Law Review

Federal prosecutors routinely charge public officials with “extortion under color of official right” under a public-corruption statute called the Hobbs Act. To be prosecuted under the Hobbs Act, a public official must promise official action in return for a bribe or kickback. The public official, however, does not need to have actual authority over that official action. As long as the victim reasonably believed that the public official could deliver or influence government action, the public official violated the Hobbs Act. Private citizens also solicit bribes in return for influencing official action. Yet most courts do not think the Hobbs ...


Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield Nov 2016

Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield

Michigan Law Review

To most lawyers and judges, constitutional amendment rules are nothing more than the technical guidelines for changing a constitution’s text. But amendment rules contain a great deal of substance that can be relevant to deciding myriad constitutional issues. Indeed, judges have explicitly drawn on amendment rules when deciding issues as far afield as immigration, criminal procedure, free speech, and education policy. The Supreme Court, for example, has reasoned that, because Article V of the U.S. Constitution places no substantive limitations on formal amendment, the First Amendment must protect even the most revolutionary political viewpoints. At the state level ...


Inventing Equal Sovereignty, Leah M. Litman May 2016

Inventing Equal Sovereignty, Leah M. Litman

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder relied on the “fundamental principle” and “historic tradition” of equal sovereignty to hold one of the Voting Rights Act’s key provisions unconstitutional. Yet almost three years after Shelby County, and despite a recent wave of equal sovereignty challenges to major federal programs, the equal sovereignty principle remains largely unexamined. This Article seeks to provide some clarity—both to establish the contours of the equal sovereignty doctrine and to evaluate whether it is a sound rule of constitutional federalism. The principle of equal sovereignty, as initially articulated by courts ...


Election Law Federalism, Justin Weinstein-Tull Feb 2016

Election Law Federalism, Justin Weinstein-Tull

Michigan Law Review

This Article provides the first comprehensive account of non-Voting Rights Act federal voting laws. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act—long the most effective voting rights law in American history—was disabled by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is in the crosshairs. As the Supreme Court becomes more hostile to race-based antidiscrimination laws like the Voting Rights Act, Congress will turn to race-neutral, election administration-based reforms to strengthen the right to vote. Indeed, many proposals for reform post-Shelby County have taken this form. The federal laws this Article examines ...


Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein Jan 2016

Black-Box Immigration Federalism, David S. Rubenstein

Michigan Law Review

In Immigration Outside the Law, Hiroshi Motomura confronts the three hardest questions in immigration today: what to do about our undocumented population, who should decide, and by what legal process. Motomura’s treatment is characteristically visionary, analytically rich, and eminently fair to competing views. The book’s intellectual arc begins with its title: “Immigration Outside the Law.” As the narrative unfolds, however, Motomura explains that undocumented immigrants are “Americans in waiting,” with moral and legal claims to societal integration.


Roe As We Know It, Cary Franklin Jan 2016

Roe As We Know It, Cary Franklin

Michigan Law Review

The petitioners in last year’s historic same-sex marriage case cited most of the Supreme Court’s canonical substantive due process precedents. They argued that the right of same-sex couples to marry, like the right to use birth control and the right to guide the upbringing of one’s children, was among the liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court in Obergefell v. Hodges agreed, citing many of the same cases. Not once, however, did the petitioners or the majority in Obergefell cite the Court’s most famous substantive due process decision. It was the dissenters in Obergefell who ...


Disentangling Michigan Court Rule 6.502(G)(2): The "New Evidence" Exception To The Ban On Successive Motions For Relief From Judgment Does Not Contain A Discoverability Requirement, Claire V. Madill Jun 2015

Disentangling Michigan Court Rule 6.502(G)(2): The "New Evidence" Exception To The Ban On Successive Motions For Relief From Judgment Does Not Contain A Discoverability Requirement, Claire V. Madill

Michigan Law Review

Michigan courts are engaging in a costly interpretative mistake. Confused by the relationship between two distinct legal doctrines, Michigan courts are conflating laws in a manner that precludes convicted defendants from raising their constitutional claims in postconviction proceedings. In Michigan, a convicted defendant who wishes to collaterally attack her conviction must file a 6.500 motion. The Michigan Court Rules generally prohibit “second or subsequent” motions. Nonetheless, section 6.502(G)(2) permits a petitioner to avoid this successive motion ban if her claim relies on “new evidence that was not discovered” before her original postconviction motion. Misguided by the ...


Criminal Infliction Of Emotional Distress, Avlana K. Eisenberg Mar 2015

Criminal Infliction Of Emotional Distress, Avlana K. Eisenberg

Michigan Law Review

This Article identifies and critiques a trend to criminalize the infliction of emotional harm independent of any physical injury or threat. The Article defines a new category of criminal infliction of emotional distress (“CIED”) statutes, which include laws designed to combat behaviors such as harassing, stalking, and bullying. In contrast to tort liability for emotional harm, which is cabined by statutes and the common law, CIED statutes allow states to regulate and punish the infliction of emotional harm in an increasingly expansive way. In assessing harm and devising punishment, the law has always taken nonphysical harm seriously, but traditionally it ...


Rethinking The Timing Of Capital Clemency , Adam M. Gershowitz Oct 2014

Rethinking The Timing Of Capital Clemency , Adam M. Gershowitz

Michigan Law Review

This Article reviews every capital clemency over the last four decades. It demonstrates that in the majority of cases, the reason for commutation was known at the conclusion of direct appeals—years or even decades before the habeas process ended. Yet when governors or pardon boards actually commuted the death sentences, they typically waited until the eve of execution, with only days or hours to spare. Leaving clemency until the last minute sometimes leads to many years of unnecessary state and federal habeas corpus litigation, and this Article documents nearly 300 years of wasted habeas corpus review. Additionally, last-minute commutations ...


A Comprehensive Administrative Solution To The Armed Career Criminal Act Debacle , Avi M. Kupfer Oct 2014

A Comprehensive Administrative Solution To The Armed Career Criminal Act Debacle , Avi M. Kupfer

Michigan Law Review

For thirty years, the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) has imposed a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence on those people convicted as felons in possession of a firearm or ammunition who have three prior convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense. Debate about the law has existed mainly within a larger discussion on the normative value of mandatory minimums. Assuming that the ACCA endures, however, administering it will continue to be a challenge. The approach that courts use to determine whether past convictions qualify as ACCA predicate offenses creates ex ante uncertainty and the potential for intercourt disparities. Furthermore ...


The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt Oct 2014

The Political Safeguards Of Horizontal Federalism, Heather K. Gerken, Ari Holtzblatt

Michigan Law Review

For decades, we have debated whether “political safeguards” preserve healthy relations between the states and the federal government and thus reduce or eliminate the need for judges to referee state–federal tussles. No one has made such an argument about relations among the states, however, and the few scholars to have considered the question insist that such safeguards don’t exist. This Article takes the opposite view and lays down the intellectual foundations for the political safeguards of horizontal federalism. If you want to know what unites the burgeoning work on horizontal federalism and illuminates the hidden logic of its ...


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social constructions ...


Inhibiting Intrastate Inequalities: A Congressional Approach To Ensuring Equal Opportunity To Finance Public Education, Joshua Arocho Jan 2014

Inhibiting Intrastate Inequalities: A Congressional Approach To Ensuring Equal Opportunity To Finance Public Education, Joshua Arocho

Michigan Law Review

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying each other’s capabilities commit to and obey rules designed to limit their choice of targets, weapons, and tactics? Traditionally, answers to this question have been offered on the one hand by moralists who regard the law as being inspired by morality and on the other by realists who explain this branch of law on the basis of reciprocity. Neither side’s answers withstand close scrutiny. In this Article, we develop an alternative explanation that is based on the principal–agent model ...


Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein Mar 2013

Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein

Michigan Law Review

The doctrine treating federal preemption of state law has been plagued by uncertainty and confusion. Part of the problem is that courts purport to interpret congressional intent when often Congress has never considered the particular preemption question at issue. This Article suggests that courts deciding preemption cases should take seriously a commonly articulated rationale for the federalization of law: the need to coordinate applicable legal standards in order to facilitate a national market or to otherwise provide clear guidance to parties regarding the laws that apply to their conduct. In situations where federal law can serve a coordinating function but ...