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Will The Supreme Court Recover Its Own Fumble? How Alston Can Repair The Damage Resulting From Ncaa's Sports League Exemption, Alan J. Meese Jun 2021

Will The Supreme Court Recover Its Own Fumble? How Alston Can Repair The Damage Resulting From Ncaa's Sports League Exemption, Alan J. Meese

Faculty Publications

Horizontal restraints are unlawful per se unless a court can
identify some redeeming virtue that such restraints may create. In
National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Board of Regents of the
University of Oklahoma (“NCAA”), the Supreme Court rejected this
standard, refusing to condemn horizontal restraints on price and
output imposed by the NCAA without specifying any possible
redeeming virtues. The Court emphasized that other restraints not
before the Court were necessary to create and maintain athletic
competition like that supervised by the NCAA. This exemption for
sports leagues ensures that all restraints imposed by such entities
merit Rule of Reason ...


A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2021

A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Some scapegoats are innocent. Some warrant blame, but not the amount they are made to bear. Either way, scapegoating can allow in-groups to sidestep social problems by casting blame onto out-groups instead of confronting such problems--and the in-groups' complicity in perpetuating them--directly.

This Essay suggests that it may be productive to view the Bivens regime's rise as countering various exercises in scapegoating and its retrenchment as constituting an exercise in scapegoating. The earlier cases can be seen as responding to social structures that have scapegoated racial, economic, and other groups through overaggressive policing, mass incarceration, and inequitable government conduct ...


Meta Rules For Ordinary Meaning, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2021

Meta Rules For Ordinary Meaning, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

“Ordinary meaning” is a notoriously undefined concept in statutory interpretation theory. Courts and scholars sometimes describe ordinary meaning as the meaning that a “reasonable reader” would ascribe to the statutory language at issue, but it remains unclear how judges and lawyers should go about identifying such meaning. Over the past few decades, as textualism has come to dominate statutory interpretation, courts increasingly have employed dictionary definitions as (purportedly) neutral, and sometimes dispositive, evidence of ordinary meaning. And in the past few years especially, some judges and scholars have advocated using corpus linguistics — patterns of usage across various English language ...


Cracking The Whole Code Rule, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2021

Cracking The Whole Code Rule, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

Over the past three decades, since the late Justice Scalia joined the Court and ushered in a new era of text-focused statutory analysis, there has been a marked move towards the holistic interpretation of statutes and “making sense of the corpus juris.” In particular, Justices on the modern Supreme Court now regularly compare or analogize between statutes that contain similar words or phrases—what some have called the “whole code rule.” Despite the prevalence of this interpretive practice, however, scholars have paid little attention to how the Court actually engages in whole code comparisons on the ground.

This Article provides ...


Attribution Time: Cal Tinney’S 1937 Quip, “A Switch In Time’Ll Save Nine”, John Q. Barrett Jan 2021

Attribution Time: Cal Tinney’S 1937 Quip, “A Switch In Time’Ll Save Nine”, John Q. Barrett

Faculty Publications

In the history of the United States Supreme Court, 1937 was a huge year—perhaps the Court’s most important year ever.

Before 1933, the Supreme Court sometimes held that progressive policies enacted by political branches of government were unconstitutional. Such decisions became much more prevalent during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term, from 1933 through 1936. In those years, the Court struck down, often by narrow margins, both federal “New Deal” laws and state law counterparts that sought to combat the devastation of the Great Depression.

Then, in early 1937, President Roosevelt proposed to “pack”—to enlarge—the ...


Reform Through Resignation: Why Chief Justice Roberts Should Resign (In 2023), Scott P. Bloomberg Jan 2021

Reform Through Resignation: Why Chief Justice Roberts Should Resign (In 2023), Scott P. Bloomberg

Faculty Publications

Many proponents of reforming the Supreme Court have expressed support for adopting a system of eighteen-year staggered term limits. These proposals, however, are hobbled by constitutional constraints: Amending the Constitution to implement term limits is highly implausible and implementing term limits through statute is likely unconstitutional. This Essay offers an approach to implementing term limits that avoids these constitutional constraints. Just as President Washington was able to establish a de facto Presidential term limit by not seeking a third term in office, Chief Justice Roberts is uniquely positioned to establish a new norm of serving eighteen-year terms on the Court ...


Eager To Follow: Methodological Precedent In Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Dec 2020

Eager To Follow: Methodological Precedent In Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

An important recent development in the field of statutory interpretation is the emergence of a movement calling for "methodological precedent"--a regime under which courts give precedential effect to interpretive methodology. In such a system, a case would establish not only what a particular statute means but could also establish binding rules of methodology--which tools are valid, in what order, and so on. The movement for methodological precedent has attracted sharp criticism on normative grounds. But both sides of the normative debate agree on the premise that the federal courts generally do not give precedential effect to interpretive methodology today ...


The Remand Power And The Supreme Court's Role, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2020

The Remand Power And The Supreme Court's Role, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

"Reversed and remanded." Or "vacated and remanded." These familiar words, often found at the end of an appellate decision, emphasize that an appellate court's conclusion that the lower court erred generally does not end the litigation. The power to remand for further proceedings rather than wrap up a case is useful for appellate courts because they may lack the institutional competence to bring the case to a final resolution (as when new factual findings are necessary) or lack an interest in the fact-specific work of applying a newly announced legal standard to the particular circumstances at hand. The modern ...


Backdoor Purposivism, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2020

Backdoor Purposivism, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

It has become standard among statutory interpretation commentators to declare that, “We are all textualists now.” The comment stems from the observation that in the modern, post-Scalia era, all of the Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court pay significant attention to statutory text when construing statutes and, relatedly, that legislative history use by the Court as a whole has declined since its heyday in the 1970s. The account of textualism’s triumph is so prevalent that some scholars have declared purposivism—or at least traditional purposivism—essentially defunct. Two prominent textualist scholars in particular have suggested that there is ...


The Traditions Of American Constitutional Law, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2020

The Traditions Of American Constitutional Law, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

This Article identifies a new method of constitutional interpretation: the use of tradition as constitutive of constitutional meaning. It studies what the Supreme Court means by invoking tradition and whether what it means remains constant across the document and over time. Traditionalist interpretation is pervasive, consistent, and recurrent across the Court’s constitutional doctrine. So, too, are criticisms of traditionalist interpretation. There are also more immediate reasons to study the role of tradition in constitutional interpretation. The Court’s two newest members, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, have indicated that tradition informs their understanding of constitutional meaning. The study ...


First Amendment Traditionalism, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2020

First Amendment Traditionalism, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

Traditionalist constitutional interpretation takes political and cultural practices of long age and duration as constituting the presumptive meaning of the text. This Essay probes traditionalism's conceptual and normative foundations. It focuses on the Supreme Court's traditionalist interpretation of the First Amendment to understand the distinctive justifications for traditionalism and the relationship between traditionalism and originalism. The first part of the Essay identifies and describes traditionalism in some of the Court's Speech and Religion Clause jurisprudence, highlighting its salience in the Court's recent Establishment Clause doctrine.

Part II develops two justfications for traditionalism: "interpretive" and "democratic-populist." The ...


First Amendment Lochnerism & The Origins Of The Incorporation Doctrine, James Y. Stern Jan 2020

First Amendment Lochnerism & The Origins Of The Incorporation Doctrine, James Y. Stern

Faculty Publications

The 20th century emergence of the incorporation doctrine is regarded as a critical development in constitutional law, but while issues related to the doctrine's justification have been studied and debated for more than fifty years, the causes and mechanics of its advent have received relatively little academic attention. This Essay, part of a symposium on Judge Jeffrey Sutton's recent book about state constitutional law, examines the doctrinal origins of incorporation, in an effort to help uncover why the incorporation doctrine emerged when it did and the way it did. It concludes that, for these purposes, incorporation is best ...


Virtual Briefing At The Supreme Court, Jeffrey L. Fisher, Allison Orr Larsen Dec 2019

Virtual Briefing At The Supreme Court, Jeffrey L. Fisher, Allison Orr Larsen

Faculty Publications

The open secret of Supreme Court advocacy in a digital era is that there is a new way to argue to the Justices. Today's Supreme Court arguments are developed online: they are dissected and explored in blog posts, fleshed out in popular podcasts, and analyzed and re-analyzed by experts who do not represent the parties or have even filed a brief in the case at all. This "virtual briefing" (as we call it) is intended to influence the Justices and their law clerks but exists completely outside of traditional briefing rules. This article describes virtual briefing and makes a ...


How The Boogeyman Saved Brett Kavanaugh, Cathren Page Jul 2019

How The Boogeyman Saved Brett Kavanaugh, Cathren Page

Faculty Publications

We love to hate these boogeymen. When the societal narrative creates these invisible boogeymen, people can pour their rage against sexual abuse into these faceless antagonists. At the same time, the enraged survivors and protectors avoid conflicts with family, neighbors, colleagues, and social acquaintances who might actually commit or enable sexual abuse. We can dodge sticky questions regarding how a churchgoer, a judge, or an Ivy Leaguer could have committed a heinous act. The survivors can avoid all the victim-blaming backlash, threats of violence, and invalidation that accompanies reporting a sexual offense. Moreover, having less power on their own, survivors ...


Equality Opportunity And The Schoolhouse Gate, Derek Black, Michelle Adams Jun 2019

Equality Opportunity And The Schoolhouse Gate, Derek Black, Michelle Adams

Faculty Publications

Public schools have generated some of the most far-reaching cases to come before the Supreme Court. They have involved nearly every major civil right and liberty found in the Bill of Rights. The cases are often reflections of larger societal ills and anxieties, from segregation and immigration to religion and civil discourse over war. In that respect, they go to the core of the nation’s values. Yet constitutional law scholars have largely ignored education law as a distinct area of study and importance.

Justin Driver’s book cures that shortcoming, offering a three-dimensional view of how the Court’s ...


Substance, Procedure, And The Rules Enabling Act, A. Benjamin Spencer Apr 2019

Substance, Procedure, And The Rules Enabling Act, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court promulgates rules of procedure (based on the proposals of subordinate rulemaking committees) pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act. This statute empowers the Court to prescribe "general rules of practice and procedure," with the caveat that "[s]uch rules shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right." The Act is supposed to stand as a real constraint on what rules or alterations thereof the subordinate rulemaking bodies will consider or propose, as well as on how the Court will choose to interpret any given codified Federal Rule. However, the Act has not-to date-been employed to invalidate a ...


Pleading Conditions Of The Mind Under Rule 9(B): Repairing The Damage Wrought By Iqbal, A. Benjamin Spencer Feb 2019

Pleading Conditions Of The Mind Under Rule 9(B): Repairing The Damage Wrought By Iqbal, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

In 2009, the Supreme Court decided Ashcroft v. Iqbal, in which it pronounced-among other things- that the second sentence of Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure-which permits allegations of malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of the mind to be alleged "generally" -requires adherence to the plausibility pleading· standard it had devised for Rule 8(a)(2) in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. That is, to plead such allegations sufficiently, one must offer sufficient facts to render the condition-of-the-mind allegation plausible. This rewriting of the standard imposed by Rule 9(b)'s second sentence-which came only ...


New Metrics And The Politics Of Judicial Selection, Jeremy Kidd Jan 2019

New Metrics And The Politics Of Judicial Selection, Jeremy Kidd

Faculty Publications

Recent Supreme Court nomination hearings have become increasingly rancorous, revealing the increasing political importance of the judiciary in our system of government. We need to know more about those who are chosen to wield this power, but those being considered have strong incentives to obscure all but the most basic characteristics of integrity, decorum, intellect, and courtesy. One of the most important decisions in our democracy is therefore made with far less information than would be ideal. Only through development of new metrics and refinement of existing metrics can we begin to cut through obfuscation and identify the goals and ...


Justice Jackson In The Jehovah's Witnesses' Cases, John Q. Barrett Jan 2019

Justice Jackson In The Jehovah's Witnesses' Cases, John Q. Barrett

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

I will address Justice Jackson and Jehovah’s Witnesses in four parts. First, I will begin with Robert Jackson himself, introducing the man who became a Supreme Court Justice, and who came to author Barnette and at least one other very notable opinion in a Jehovah’s Witness case. Second, I will turn to the Barnette case in its Supreme Court legal context, which turns out to be two Court terms, 1941–42 and 1942–43, of many Jehovah’s Witnesses cases. These cases produced a run of Court decisions that are a framework surrounding Barnette, and thus understanding ...


Passive Avoidance, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2019

Passive Avoidance, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

In its nascent years, the Roberts Court quickly developed a reputation—and drew sharp criticism—for using the canon of constitutional avoidance to rewrite statutes in controversial, high-profile cases. In recent years, however, the Court seems to have taken a new turn, quietly creating exceptions or reading in statutory conditions in order to evade potentially serious constitutional problems without expressly discussing the constitutional issue or invoking the avoidance canon. In fact, the avoidance canon seems largely, and conspicuously, missing from many cases decided during the Court’s most recent Terms, playing a significant role in justifying the Court’s construction ...


The Faith Of My Fathers, Robert H. Jackson, John Q. Barrett Jan 2019

The Faith Of My Fathers, Robert H. Jackson, John Q. Barrett

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In his final years, United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson worked on a number of autobiographical writing projects. The previously unknown Jackson text that follows this Introduction is one such writing. Justice Jackson wrote this essay in longhand on thirteen yellow legal pad pages in the early 1950s. It is Jackson’s writing about religion in his life.

After Justice Jackson’s death in 1954, his secretary Elsie L. Douglas found the thirteen pages among his papers. She concluded that the pages were “undoubtedly prepared as part of his autobiography,” typed them up, and gave a file ...


Essay: I Choose, You Decide: Structural Tools For Supreme Court Legitimation, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2019

Essay: I Choose, You Decide: Structural Tools For Supreme Court Legitimation, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

Efforts to rein in partisanship (or the perception thereof) on the Supreme Court tend to focus on reforms to the selection, appointment, or tenure of Justices. I propose a different (and perhaps complementary) reform, which would not require constitutional amendment. I propose that the selection of a case for the Court’s discretionary appellate docket should be performed by a different group of judicial officers than those who hear and decide that case. The proposal leverages the insight of the “I Cut, You Choose” procedure for ensuring fair division—only here, it manifests as “I Choose, You Decide.” This proposal ...


A Prudential Take On A Prudential Takings Doctrine, Katherine Mims Crocker Nov 2018

A Prudential Take On A Prudential Takings Doctrine, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court is set to decide a case requesting reconsideration of a doctrine that has long bedeviled constitutional litigants and commentators. The case is Knick v. Township of Scott, and the doctrine is the "ripeness" rule from Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank that plaint~ffs seeking to raise takings claims under the Fifth Amendment must pursue state-created remedies first- the so-called "compensation prong" (as distinguished from a separate "takings prong"). This Essay argues that to put the compensation prong in the best light possible, the Court should view the requirement as a "prudential" rule rather than ...


Kennedy's Last Term: A Report On The 2017-2018 Supreme Court, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh Oct 2018

Kennedy's Last Term: A Report On The 2017-2018 Supreme Court, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Twenty-eighteen brought the end of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s tenure on the Supreme Court. We are now entering a period of uncertainty about American constitutional law. Will we remain on the trajectory of the last half-century? Or will the Court move in a different direction?

The character of the Supreme Court in closely divided cases is often a function of the median justice. The new median justice will be Chief Justice John Roberts if Kennedy’s replacement is a conservative likely to vote most often with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito. This will mark a new ...


A Less Corrupt Term: 2016–2017 Supreme Court Roundup, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh Oct 2017

A Less Corrupt Term: 2016–2017 Supreme Court Roundup, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In these unusually turbulent times for the presidency and Congress, the Supreme Court’s latest term stands out for its lack of drama. There were no 5–4 end-of-the-term cases that mesmerized the nation. There were no blockbuster decisions.

Even so, the Court was hardly immune to the steady transformation of our governing institutions into reality TV shows. Over the weekend leading into the final day of the term, speculation ignited from who-knows-where about the possible departure of its main character, Justice Anthony Kennedy. To us, the chatter seemed forced—as if the viewing public needed something to fill ...


Justice Scalia And Abortion Speech, Timothy Zick Apr 2017

Justice Scalia And Abortion Speech, Timothy Zick

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Split Definitive: How Party Polarization Turned The Supreme Court Into A Partisan Court, Neal Devins, Lawrence Baum Jan 2017

Split Definitive: How Party Polarization Turned The Supreme Court Into A Partisan Court, Neal Devins, Lawrence Baum

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


More Than Words, Rachel H. Smith Jan 2017

More Than Words, Rachel H. Smith

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

What a delight it is to spend time with Justice Ginsburg’s singular voice. She is the best kind of teacher and writer: humane, principled, funny, gracious, openhearted, and direct. I felt deeply glad to have this chance to know her a little better—to study the rhythm of her words, the quirks of her personality, the motifs of her life story. As I read My Own Words, I couldn’t help but think over and over, Thank goodness for this remarkable person.


The Amicus Machine, Allison Orr Larsen, Neal Devins Dec 2016

The Amicus Machine, Allison Orr Larsen, Neal Devins

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court receives a record number of amicus curiae briefs and cites to them with increasing regularity. Amicus briefs have also become influential in determining which cases the Court will hear. It thus becomes important to ask: Where do these briefs come from? The traditional tale describes amicus briefs as the product of interest-group lobbying. But that story is incomplete and outdated. Today, skilled and specialized advocates of the Supreme Court Bar strategize about what issues the Court should hear and from whom they should hear them. They then “wrangle” the necessary amici and “whisper” to coordinate the message ...


The Death Knell For The Death Penalty And The Significance Of Global Realism To Its Abolition From Glossip V. Gross To Brumfield V. Cain, Linda A. Malone Oct 2016

The Death Knell For The Death Penalty And The Significance Of Global Realism To Its Abolition From Glossip V. Gross To Brumfield V. Cain, Linda A. Malone

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence regarding the death penalty, whether or not cruel, has most certainly been unusual in the annals of criminal punishment. In the short span of four years, the Court foreclosed and then reopened this form of punishment in Furman v. Georgia and Gregg v. Georgia. One year later the Court would categorically exclude the punishment for the rape of an adult. Five years later the Court would again preclude the punishment, for any defendant convicted of felony-murder who did not participate or share in the homicidal act or intent. In 1986 the Court would struggle with ...