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Unprecedented Precedent And Original Originalism: How The Supreme Court’S Decision In Dobbs Threatens Privacy And Free Speech Rights, Leonard Niehoff Jan 2023

Unprecedented Precedent And Original Originalism: How The Supreme Court’S Decision In Dobbs Threatens Privacy And Free Speech Rights, Leonard Niehoff

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has drawn considerable attention because of its reversal of Roe v. Wade and its rejection of a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The Dobbs majority, and some of the concurring opinions, emphasized that the ruling was a narrow one. Nevertheless, there are reasons to think the influence of Dobbs may extend far beyond the specific constitutional issue the case addresses.

This article explains why Dobbs could have significant and unanticipated implications for the law of privacy and the law of free expression. I argue that two …


Preemption, Commandeering, And The Indian Child Welfare Act, Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Randall F. Khalil Jan 2022

Preemption, Commandeering, And The Indian Child Welfare Act, Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Randall F. Khalil

Articles

This year (2022), the Supreme Court agreed to review wide-ranging constitutional challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) brought by the State of Texas and three non-Indian foster families in the October 2022 Term. The Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that certain provisions of ICWA violated the anti-commandeering principle implied in the Tenth Amendment and the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

We argue that the anti-commandeering challenges against ICWA are unfounded because all provisions of ICWA provide a set of legal standards to be applied in states which validly and expressly preempt state …


Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill Jan 2022

Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill

Articles

Although the most memorable cases from the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term were on the civil side of its docket, the Court addressed significant cases on the criminal side involving the Confrontation Clause, capital punishment, double jeopardy, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, and important statutory interpretation principles, such as the mens rea presumption and the scope of the rule of lenity. Looking back, the Court’s decisions limiting individuals’ access to remedies for violations of their constitutional criminal procedure rights stand out. Shinn v. Ramirez and Shoop v. Twyford drastically limit the ability of persons incarcerated in state facilities to challenge the …


California V. Texas — Ending The Campaign To Undo The Aca In The Courts, Nicholas Bagley Aug 2021

California V. Texas — Ending The Campaign To Undo The Aca In The Courts, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-to-2 vote, rejected what will probably be the last major case seeking to uproot the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although skirmishes over the law and its implementation will persist, the Court’s decision most likely marks an end to Republicans’ efforts to achieve in the courts what they have been unable to achieve in Congress.


The Future Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Aug 2021

The Future Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

Since the enactment of the first federal securities statute in 1933, securities law has illustrated key shifts in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. During the New Deal, the Court’s securities law decisions shifted almost overnight from open hostility toward the newly-expanded administrative state to broad deference to agency expertise. In the 1940s, securities cases helped build the legal foundation for a broadly enabling administrative law. The 1960s saw the Warren Court creating new implied rights of action in securities law illustrative of the Court’s approach to statutes generally. The stage seemed set for the rise of “federal corporate law.” The Court …


The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier Mar 2021

The Economics Of Class Action Waivers, Albert H. Choi, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

Many firms require consumers, employees, and suppliers to sign class action waivers as a condition of doing business with the firm, and the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed companies’ ability to block class actions through mandatory individual arbitration clauses. Are class action waivers serving the interests of society or are they facilitating socially harmful business practices? This paper synthesizes and extends the existing law and economics literature by analyzing the firms’ incentive to impose class action waivers. While in many settings the firms’ incentive to block class actions may be aligned with maximizing social welfare, in many other settings it …


Memoriam: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Margo Schlanger Jan 2021

Memoriam: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Margo Schlanger

Articles

It’s simultaneously hard and easy for me to write an appreciation like this one for Justice Ginsburg, because my admiration for her and my debt to her are so deep. Little in my life would have been the same if I had not been her law clerk from 1993 to 1995, during her first two years on the Supreme Court. She helped me get my first job as a civil rights lawyer and was instrumental in my meeting my now-husband. She was the smartest lawyer I ever worked for or with, and the most profound thinker about equality and the …


Homes, History, And Shadows: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court’S 2020-21 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Lily Sawyer-Kaplan Jan 2021

Homes, History, And Shadows: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court’S 2020-21 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Lily Sawyer-Kaplan

Articles

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020 and the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace her solidified a 6-3 majority on the Court for Republican appointees and is already affecting how the Court approaches and decides its criminal law and procedure cases. Justice Ginsburg, a strong advocate for equality and fair treatment, generally construed criminal statutes narrowly and stressed the importance of defendants’ procedural rights. Justice Barrett is an originalist who will look to history to seek answers on the scope of criminal procedure amendments. The combined appointments of Justice Gorsuch and Justice Barrett mean …


A Small But Mighty Docket: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2019-20 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Jeremy Shur Sep 2020

A Small But Mighty Docket: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2019-20 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Jeremy Shur

Articles

With its 2019-20 Term disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court released just 53 signed decisions, the fewest decisions in a Term since the Civil War. But the Court's lighter docket still featured important criminal law and procedure cases touching on what constitutes reasonable individualized suspicion, the necessity of jury unanimity, and the proper form of the insanity defense.


Consent, Coercion, And Employment Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jul 2020

Consent, Coercion, And Employment Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

The Roberts Court has recently handed several high-profile wins in labor and employment law cases to anti-labor and pro-employer forces. This paper argues that those decisions replicate crucial moves made by some infamous Lochner-era cases — and that those same moves continue to underlie key elements of labor and employment doctrine more generally. In particular, these decisions rest on a contestable understanding of free worker choice. This paper begins by examining the key recent Roberts Court decisions and demonstrates that they appear to invoke at least two distinct and conflicting understandings of employee and employer choice. It then turns to …


Disability And Reproductive Justice, Samuel Bagenstos Jun 2020

Disability And Reproductive Justice, Samuel Bagenstos

Articles

In the spring of 2019, disability and abortion rights collided at the Supreme Court in a case involving an Indiana ban on “disability-selective abortions.” In a lengthy concurrence in the denial of certiorari, Justice Thomas argued that the ban was constitutional because it “promote[s] a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.” Just a few months earlier, disability and reproductive rights issues had intersected in a very different way in the debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Disability rights advocates drew attention to an opinion then-Judge Kavanaugh had written …


Olmstead V. L.C.: The Supreme Court Case, Samuel R. Bagenstos, Irv Gornstein, Michael Gottesman, Jennifer Mathis Feb 2020

Olmstead V. L.C.: The Supreme Court Case, Samuel R. Bagenstos, Irv Gornstein, Michael Gottesman, Jennifer Mathis

Articles

You have an incredible luxury here at Georgetown Law. You have faculty who are engaged in the world like two of my colleagues on this panel. To my immediate left is Professor Michael Gottesman (Georgetown University Law Center) who argued the case on behalf of Lois and Elaine, and to my next far left, Professor Irv Gornstein (Georgetown University Law Center) who argued the case on behalf of the United States. Between them is Jennifer Mathis (The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law) who has spent, I think, most of her career at the Bazelon Center litigating, and organizing, and …


Muted Justice, Leah Litman Jan 2020

Muted Justice, Leah Litman

Articles

The Chief Justice of the United States possesses significant power. His position as the senior most Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court allows him to assign opinions to other Justices and to coordinate scheduling the Court’s cases for argument. And after Justice Kennedy retired in June 2018, Chief Justice Roberts was the median Justice on the Court, whose vote often determined the outcome in a case. Even after Justice Barrett’s confirmation changed that state of affairs, the Chief remains an important Justice to watch.


Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The U.S. Supreme Court's 2018-2019 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Kristin Froehle Dec 2019

Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The U.S. Supreme Court's 2018-2019 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Kristin Froehle

Articles

Although the 2018-19 Term at the Supreme Court did not include any blockbuster rulings like Carpenter v. United States, the Court issued a number of significant criminal law and procedure rulings. It addressed warrantless blood-alcohol testing, the dual-sovereignty doctrine, the right to trial by jury, ineffective assistance of trial counsel, questions of incorporation, prisoners' competence to be executed, permissible methods of execution, and some important statutory interpretation questions. Looking back on the Term, Justice Gorsuch clearly solidified his position as the libertarian "swing" vote in criminal procedure cases. He joined the liberals to uphold a defendant's right to trial …


Spoiler Alert: When The Supreme Court Ruins Your Brief Problem Mid-Semester, Margaret Hannon Sep 2019

Spoiler Alert: When The Supreme Court Ruins Your Brief Problem Mid-Semester, Margaret Hannon

Articles

Partway through the winter 2019 semester,1 the Supreme Court ruined my favorite summary judgment brief problem while my students were working on it. I had decided to use the problem despite the Court granting cert and knowing it was just a matter of time before the Court issued its decision. In this Article, I share some of the lessons that I learned about the risks involved in using a brief problem based on a pending Supreme Court case. I conclude that, while I have not typically set out to base a problem on a pending Supreme Court case, doing so …


Location Tracking And Digital Data: Can Carpenter Build A Stable Privacy Doctrine?, Evan H. Caminker Jun 2019

Location Tracking And Digital Data: Can Carpenter Build A Stable Privacy Doctrine?, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

In Carpenter v United States, the Supreme Court struggled to modernize twentieth-century search and seizure precedents for the “Cyber Age.” Twice previously this decade the Court had tweaked Fourth Amendment doctrine to keep pace with advancing technology, requiring a search warrant before the government can either peruse the contents of a cell phone seized incident to arrest or use a GPS tracker to follow a car’s long-term movements.


Janus's Two Faces, Kate Andrias Jun 2019

Janus's Two Faces, Kate Andrias

Articles

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. He is often depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future and one to the past. The Supreme Court’s Janus v AFSCME case of last Term is fittingly named.1 Stunning in its disregard of principles of stare decisis, Janus overruled the forty-yearold precedent Abood v Detroit Board of Education. 2 The Janus decision marks the end of the post–New Deal compromise with respect to public sector unions and the FirstAmendment.Looking to the future, Janus lays the groundwork for further attack on labor rights—as …


Dignity And Civility, Reconsidered, Leah Litman May 2019

Dignity And Civility, Reconsidered, Leah Litman

Articles

People often talk about the Chief Justice, Justice Kagan, and Justice Breyer as the institutionalists on the modern Supreme Court. And that’s true, they are. Those Justices care about the Court as an institution and the Court’s reputation. They do not want people to look at the Court as a set of politicians in robes; and they do not want people to see judges as having ideological or partisan agendas. That is how they think of themselves, and they are willing to make compromises to maintain that image of the Court, and to set aside their personal beliefs in order …


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely …


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

Articles

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 in shaping the securities laws, rather …


Cardozo On The Supreme Court: Meeting High Expectations, Richard D. Friedman Oct 2018

Cardozo On The Supreme Court: Meeting High Expectations, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

President Trump announced his nomination of Neil Gorsuch — the sixth most senior judge on a federal appellate court in the hinterland—for a seat on the Supreme Court in a formal, nationally televised ceremony. Judge Gorsuch squeezed the shoulder of his wife, a gesture that signaled not only his thrill at the nomination but his joy at being able to share it with her. There followed a bitterly partisan process, featuring hearings at which the nominee testified and deflected questions about his substantive views. A change in the Senate rules, ending the possibility of a filibuster, was necessary to bring …


Sites Of Storytelling: Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Patrick Barry Aug 2018

Sites Of Storytelling: Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Patrick Barry

Articles

Supreme Court confirmation hearings have an interesting biographical feature: before nominees even say a word, many words are said about them. This feature— which has been on prominent display in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh—is a product of how each senator on the confirmation committee is allowed to make an opening statement. Some of these statements are, as Robert Bork remembers from his own confirmation hearing, “lavish in their praise,” some are “lavish in their denunciations,” and some are “lavish in their equivocations.”1 The result is a disorienting kind of biography by committee, one which produces not one …


Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas Jun 2018

Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

The Ex Post Facto Clause bars any increase in punishment after the commission of a crime. But deciding what constitutes an increase in punishment can be tricky. At the front end of a criminal case, where new or amended criminal laws might lengthen prisoners’ sentences if applied retroactively, courts have routinely struck down such changes under the Ex Post Facto Clause. At the back end, however, where new or amended parole laws or policies might lengthen prisoners’ sentences in exactly the same way if applied retroactively, courts have used a different standard and upheld the changes under the Ex Post …


Legal Innocence And Federal Habeas, Leah Litman May 2018

Legal Innocence And Federal Habeas, Leah Litman

Articles

Although it has long been thought that innocence should matter in federal habeas corpus proceedings, innocence scholarship has focused almost exclusively on claims of factual innocence-the kind of innocence that occurs when new evidence reveals that the defendant did not commit the offense for which he was convicted. The literature has largely overlooked cases where a defendant was convicted or sentenced under a statute that is unconstitutional, or a statute that does not apply to the defendant. The Supreme Court, however, has recently begun to recognize these cases as kinds of innocence and it has grounded its concern for them …


The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias Mar 2018

The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias

Articles

As Parts I and II of this Essay elaborate, the examination yields three observations of relevance to constitutional law more generally: First, judge-made constitutional doctrine, though by no means the primary cause of rising inequality, has played an important role in reinforcing and exacerbating it. Judges have acquiesced to legislatively structured economic inequality, while also restricting the ability of legislatures to remedy it. Second, while economic inequality has become a cause célèbre only in the last few years, much of the constitutional doctrine that has contributed to its flourishing is longstanding. Moreover, for several decades, even the Court’s more liberal …


The Constitutional Law Of Incarceration, Reconfigured, Margo Schlanger Jan 2018

The Constitutional Law Of Incarceration, Reconfigured, Margo Schlanger

Articles

On any given day, about 2.2 million people are confined in U.S. jails and prisons—nearly 0.9% of American men are in prison, and another 0.4% are in jail. This year, 9 or 10 million people will spend time in our prisons and jails; about 5000 of them will die there. A decade into a frustratingly gradual decline in incarceration numbers, the statistics have grown familiar: We have 4.4% of the world’s population but over 20% of its prisoners. Our incarceration rate is 57% higher than Russia’s (our closest major country rival in imprisonment), nearly four times the rate in England, …


Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran Oct 2017

Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In many jurisdictions, once a parent has her rights terminated to one child, the State can use that decision to justify the termination of parental rights to another child. The State can do so regardless of whether the parent is fit to parent the second child. This article explores this practice, examines its origins, and discusses its constitutional inadequacies.


Confirmation Bias, Patrick Barry Aug 2017

Confirmation Bias, Patrick Barry

Articles

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are vapid. Supreme Court confirmation hearings are pointless. Supreme Court confirmation hearings are harmful to a citizenry already cynical about government. Sentiments like these have been around for decades and are bound to resurface each time a new nomination is made. This essay, however, takes a different view. It argues that Supreme Court confirmation hearings are a valuable form of cultural expression, one that provides a unique record of as the theater critic Martin Esslin might say, a nation thinking about itself in public.


The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar May 2017

The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar

Articles

A decade after the Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona, Geoffrey Stone took a close look at the eleven decisions the Court had handed down “concerning the scope and application of Miranda.” As Stone observed, “[i]n ten of these cases, the Court interpreted Miranda so as not to exclude the challenged evidence.” In the eleventh case, the Court excluded the evidence on other grounds. Thus, Stone noted, ten years after the Court decided the case, “the Court ha[d] not held a single item of evidence inadmissible on the authority of Miranda.” Not a single item. To use …


Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus May 2017

Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Fifty years after Miranda v. Arizona, many have lamented the ways in which the Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts Courts have cut back on Miranda's protections. One underappreciated a spect of Miranda's demise is the way it has affected the development of the pretrial Sixth Amendment right to counsel guaranteed by Massiah v. United States. Much of the case law diluting suspects' Fifth Amendment Miranda rights has bled over into the Sixth Amendment right to counsel cases without consideration of whether the animating purposes of the Massiah pretrial right to counsel would support such an importation. This development is unfortunate …