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Supreme Court of the United States

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The Need For An Established Senate Rule On Election-Year And Lame Duck Session Supreme Court Nominations, Jacob R. Weaver May 2021

The Need For An Established Senate Rule On Election-Year And Lame Duck Session Supreme Court Nominations, Jacob R. Weaver

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

In 2016, the Republican-held Senate refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, sparking outrage among the Democratic Party. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified his party’s actions based on what became known as the “McConnell Rule.” This controversial rule holds that during years of presidential elections, when the president and the Senate majority are of different parties, the Senate is not expected to confirm the president’s Supreme Court nominees; but, when the president and Senate majority are of the same party, vacancies may be filled.

When the Senate applied this rule in ...


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 ...


The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries May 2021

The Meaning Of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, And Original Public Meaning, William N. Eskridge Jr., Brian G. Slocum, Stefan Th. Gries

Michigan Law Review

The meaning of sex matters. The interpretive methodology by which the meaning of sex is determined matters Both of these were at issue in the Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, where the Court held that Title VII protects lesbians, gay men, transgender persons, and other sexual and gender minorities against workplace discrimination. Despite unanimously agreeing that Title VII should be interpreted in accordance with its original public meaning in 1964, the opinions in Bostock failed to properly define sex or offer a coherent theory of how long-standing statutes like Title VII should be interpreted ...


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 ...


Unduly Burdening Abortion Jurisprudence, Mark Strasser Apr 2021

Unduly Burdening Abortion Jurisprudence, Mark Strasser

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

The undue burden standard is the current test to determine whether abortion regulations pass constitutional muster. But the function, meaning, and application of that test have varied over time, which undercuts the test’s usefulness and the ability of legislatures to know which regulations pass constitutional muster. Even more confusing, the Court has refused to apply the test in light of its express terms, which cannot fail to yield surprising conclusions and undercut confidence in the Court. The Court must not only clarify what the test means and how it is to be used, but must also formulate that test ...


The Rule Of Five Guys, Lisa Heinzerling Apr 2021

The Rule Of Five Guys, Lisa Heinzerling

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court. by Richard J. Lazarus.


Racial Revisionism, Shaun Ossei-Owusu Apr 2021

Racial Revisionism, Shaun Ossei-Owusu

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas. by Corey Robin.


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 ...


Recent Developments, Clinton T. Summers Mar 2021

Recent Developments, Clinton T. Summers

Arkansas Law Review

The United States Supreme Court upheld an Arkansas law regulating how pharmacies are reimbursed by pharmacy benefit managers. In Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Ass’n, a unanimous Court decided that Arkansas Act 900, passed in 2015, was not pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).


“Remarkable Influence”: The Unexpected Importance Of Justice Scalia's Deceptively Unanimous And Contested Majority Opinions, Linda L. Berger, Eric C. Nystrom Feb 2021

“Remarkable Influence”: The Unexpected Importance Of Justice Scalia's Deceptively Unanimous And Contested Majority Opinions, Linda L. Berger, Eric C. Nystrom

The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

No abstract provided.


Predicting Supreme Court Behavior In Indian Law Cases, Grant Christensen Feb 2021

Predicting Supreme Court Behavior In Indian Law Cases, Grant Christensen

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This piece builds upon Matthew Fletcher’s call for additional empirical work in Indian law by creating a new dataset of Indian law opinions. The piece takes every Indian law case decided by the Supreme Court from the beginning of the Warren Court until the end of the 2019-2020 term. The scholarship first produces an Indian law scorecard that measures how often each Justice voted for the “pro- Indian” outcome. It then compares those results to the Justice’s political ideology to suggest that while there is a general trend that a more “liberal” Justice is more likely to favor ...


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 ...


Association For Molecular Pathology V. Myriad Genetics: A Critical Reassessment, Jorge L. Contreras Jan 2021

Association For Molecular Pathology V. Myriad Genetics: A Critical Reassessment, Jorge L. Contreras

Michigan Technology Law Review

The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics is an essential piece of the Court’s recent quartet of patent eligibility decisions, which also includes Bilski v. Kappos, Mayo v. Prometheus, and Alice v. CLS Bank. Each of these decisions has significantly shaped the contours of patent eligibility under Section 101 of the Patent Act in ways that have been both applauded and criticized. The Myriad case, however, was significant beyond its impact on Section 101 jurisprudence. It was seen, and litigated, as a case impacting patient rights, access to healthcare, scientific freedom, and ...


Sovereign Immunity And Interstate Government Tort, Louise Weinberg Jan 2021

Sovereign Immunity And Interstate Government Tort, Louise Weinberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This paper argues that the Supreme Court made a serious mistake last term, when, in a case of interstate government tort, it tore up useful options that should be available to each state for the rare cases in which they would be of service. In seeking to insulate a state from liability when its employee intrudes on a sister state’s territory and causes injury there, the Court stripped every state of power, in cases of interstate government tort, to try injuries occurring on its own territory to its own residents—an unprecedented disregard of a state’s acknowledged traditional ...


Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley Jan 2021

Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA or the Act) exempts “seamen, railroad employees, [and] any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” from arbitration. In 2019, the Supreme Court held in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that this provision exempted independent contractors as well as employees. This decision expanded the reach of the section 1 exemption and may affect the relationship between ridesharing companies, such as Uber, and their drivers. Previously, ridesharing companies argued that courts must enforce the arbitration clauses in their employment contracts because their workers were independent contractors and, therefore, section 1 ...


A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw Jan 2021

A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this short Essay, we discuss the lack of racial and gender diversity on and around the Supreme Court. As we note, the ranks of the Court’s Justices and its clerks historically have been dominated by white men. But this homogeneity is not limited to the Court’s members or its clerks. As we explain, much of the Court’s broader ecosystem suffers from this same lack of diversity. The advocates who argue before the Court are primarily white men; the experts cited in the Court’s opinions, as well as the experts on whom Court commentators rely in ...


Abortion Rights In The Supreme Court: A Tale Of Three Wedges, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2021

Abortion Rights In The Supreme Court: A Tale Of Three Wedges, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 ...


The Sacred Fourth Amendment Text, Christopher Slobogin Oct 2020

The Sacred Fourth Amendment Text, Christopher Slobogin

Michigan Law Review Online

The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence governing the Fourth Amendment’s “threshold”—a word meant to refer to the types of police actions that trigger the amendment’s warrant and reasonableness requirements—has confounded scholars and students alike since Katz v. United States. Before that 1967 decision, the Court’s decisions on the topic were fairly straightforward, based primarily on whether the police trespassed on the target’s property or property over which the target had control. After that decision—which has come to stand for the proposition that a Fourth Amendment search occurs if police infringe an expectation of privacy ...


In Defense Of (Circuit) Court-Packing, Xiao Wang Oct 2020

In Defense Of (Circuit) Court-Packing, Xiao Wang

Michigan Law Review Online

Proposals to pack the Supreme Court have gained steam recently. Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg endorsed a court-packing plan at the start of his campaign, and several other candidates also indicated a willingness to consider such a plan, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. Legal scholars have similarly called upon Congress to increase the size of the Supreme Court, particularly following the heated confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. These suggestions for Court reform have only gotten more pronounced with the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the subsequent nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and the ...


How Definitive Is Fourth Amendment Textualism?, Evan H. Caminker Oct 2020

How Definitive Is Fourth Amendment Textualism?, Evan H. Caminker

Michigan Law Review Online

Professor Jeffrey Bellin’s excellent article advances a comprehensive and straightforward textual approach to determining what policing activities constitute “searches” triggering the protections of the Fourth Amendment. Bellin’s thesis is that a text-based approach to interpreting the Amendment is superior to the Supreme Court’s current approach, which ever since Katz v. United States has defined “search” primarily by reference to a non-textual “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard. After soundly criticizing the ungrounded and highly subjective nature of the Katz test, Bellin declares that the Court should instead simply follow where the text leads: the Amendment protects people from ...


Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Sep 2020

Textualism’S Gaze, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article attempts to address why textualism distorts the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in Indian law. I start with describing textualism in federal public law. I focus on textualism as described by Justice Scalia, as well as Scalia’s justification for textualism and discussion about the role of the judiciary in interpreting texts. The Court is often subject to challenges to its legitimacy rooted in its role as legal interpreter that textualism is designed to combat.


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 the ...


Hernandez, Bivens, And The Supreme Court’S Expanding Theory Of Judicial Abdication, William J. Aceves Jul 2020

Hernandez, Bivens, And The Supreme Court’S Expanding Theory Of Judicial Abdication, William J. Aceves

Michigan Law Review Online

This Essay examines the Hernandez decision and critiques the Court’s expanding theory of judicial abdication, an approach with profound implications for civil rights and the future of the judiciary. While Hernandez involved a cross-border shooting, the Court’s reasoning extends to all facets of civil litigation. Accordingly, this Essay proposes a new theory of judicial engagement that would empower federal courts to grant relief for constitutional claims against federal officials. It is a theory founded in extant constitutional jurisprudence that the Court has used for over a century to apply the Bill of Rights to state and local governments ...


Pub. L. No. 86-272 And The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine: Is This Anachronism Constitutionally Vulnerable After Murphy V. Ncaa?, Matthew A. Melone Jun 2020

Pub. L. No. 86-272 And The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine: Is This Anachronism Constitutionally Vulnerable After Murphy V. Ncaa?, Matthew A. Melone

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

State taxing authority suffers from little of the structural impediments that the Constitution imposes on the federal government’s taxing power but the states’ power to tax is subject to the restrictions imposed on the exercise of any state action by the Constitution. The most significant obstacles to the states’ assertion of their taxing authority have been the Due Process Clause and the Commerce Clause. The Due Process Clause concerns itself with fairness while the Commerce Clause concerns itself with a functioning national economy. Although the two restrictions have different objectives, for quite some time both restrictions shared one attribute ...


A More Perfect Pickering Test: Janus V. Afscme Council 31 And The Problem Of Public Employee Speech, Alexandra J. Gilewicz May 2020

A More Perfect Pickering Test: Janus V. Afscme Council 31 And The Problem Of Public Employee Speech, Alexandra J. Gilewicz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In June 2018, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited—and, for the American labor movement, long-feared—decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. The decision is expected to have a major impact on public sector employee union membership, but could have further impact on public employees’ speech rights in the workplace. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito’s broad interpretation of whether work-related speech constitutes a “matter of public concern” may have opened the floodgates to substantially more litigation by employees asserting that their employers have violated their First Amendment rights. Claims that would have previously been unequivocally foreclosed ...


The Passion Of John Paul Stevens, Linda Greenhouse May 2020

The Passion Of John Paul Stevens, Linda Greenhouse

Michigan Law Review

Review of John Paul Stevens' The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years.


Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin May 2020

Translating The Constitution, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

Review of Lawrence Lessig's Fidelity and Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution.