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Full-Text Articles in Law

A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind Jan 2022

A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court has described Entick v. Carrington (1765) as “the true and ultimate expression of constitutional law” for the Founding generation. For more than 250 years, judges and commentators have read that case for guidance about the rule of law, executive authority, and the original meaning of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But we have been reading a flawed version. This Article publishes, for the first time, a previously unknown manuscript report of Entick v. Carrington. We explain why this version is more reliable than other reports of the case, and how this new discovery challenges prevailing assumptions about …


Advisory Opinions And The Problem Of Legal Authority, Christian R. Burset Jan 2021

Advisory Opinions And The Problem Of Legal Authority, Christian R. Burset

Journal Articles

The prohibition against advisory opinions is fundamental to our understanding of federal judicial power, but we’ve misunderstood its origins. Discussions of the doctrine begin not with a constitutional text or even a court case, but a letter in which the Jay Court rejected President Washington’s request for legal advice. Courts and scholars have offered a variety of explanations for the Jay Court’s behavior. But they all depict the earliest Justices as responding to uniquely American concerns about advisory opinions.

This Article offers a different explanation. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, it shows that judges throughout the anglophone world—not only …


Why Didn't The Common Law Follow The Flag?, Christian Burset May 2019

Why Didn't The Common Law Follow The Flag?, Christian Burset

Journal Articles

This Article considers a puzzle about how different kinds of law came to be distributed around the world. The legal systems of some European colonies largely reflected the laws of the colonizer. Other colonies exhibited a greater degree of legal pluralism, in which the state administered a mix of different legal systems. Conventional explanations for this variation look to the extent of European settlement: where colonizers settled in large numbers, they chose to bring their own laws; otherwise, they preferred to retain preexisting ones. This Article challenges that assumption by offering a new account of how and why the British …


Equity, Samuel L. Bray Jan 2019

Equity, Samuel L. Bray

Book Chapters

How has equity been received in the United States? Two themes stand out. One is that of ‘nice adjustment’: the case-specific adjustment of legal rules to avoid the harsh results of applying rules to unforeseen circumstances. The second is the idea of judicial command: ordering the particular defendant in the circumstances to do equity without contradicting the common law. While the former has waned in the US, the latter has overly strengthened. The reasons of legal culture are discussed.


The English Fire Courts And The American Right To Civil Jury Trial, Jay Tidmarsh Oct 2016

The English Fire Courts And The American Right To Civil Jury Trial, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article uncovers the history of a long-forgotten English court system, the “fire courts,” which Parliament established to resolve dispute between landlords and tenants in urban areas destroyed in catastrophic fires. One of the fire courts’ remarkable features was the delegation of authority to judges to adjudicate disputes without juries. Because the Seventh Amendment’s right to a federal civil jury trial depends in part on the historical practice of English courts in 1791, this delegation bears directly on the present power of Congress to abrogate the use of juries in federal civil litigation.

Parliament enacted fire-courts legislation on eight occasions …


The Clerks Of The Four Horsemen (Part Ii, George Sutherland And Pierce Butler), Barry Cushman Mar 2015

The Clerks Of The Four Horsemen (Part Ii, George Sutherland And Pierce Butler), Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The names of Holmes clerks such as Tommy Corcoran and Francis Biddle, of Brandeis clerks such as Dean Acheson and Henry Friendly, and of Stone clerks such as Harold Leventhal and Herbert Wechsler ring down the pages of history. But how much do we really know about Carlyle Baer, Tench Marye, or Milton Musser? This article follows the interesting and often surprising lives and careers of the men who clerked for the Four Horsemen - Justices Van Devanter, McReynolds, Sutherland, and Butler. These biographical sketches confound easy stereotypes, and prove the adage that law, like politics, can make for strange …


The Clerks Of The Four Horsemen, Barry Cushman Jan 2014

The Clerks Of The Four Horsemen, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The names of Holmes clerks such as Tommy Corcoran and Francis Biddle, of Brandeis clerks such as Dean Acheson and Henry Friendly, and of Stone clerks such as Harold Leventhal and Herbert Wechsler ring down the pages of history. But how much do we really know about Carlyle Baer, Tench Marye, or Milton Musser? This article follows the interesting and often surprising lives and careers of the men who clerked for the Four Horsemen - Justices Van Devanter, McReynolds, Sutherland, and Butler. These biographical sketches confound easy stereotypes, and prove the adage that law, like politics, can make for strange …


Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman Jan 1991

Intestate Succession In A Polygamous Society, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The pursuit of polygamous unions by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in nineteenth-century Utah posed challenges for the law of the family unique in the annals of American legal history. The exotic familial relationships generated by plural marriages created novel and peculiar problems for the traditional law of intestacy. Mormon leaders, in an effort to avoid these problems, urged their polygamous brethren to make wills. Many polygamists, however, either neglected to plan their estates or were actively opposed to doing so. Mormon legislators accordingly sought to craft statutory schemes that would accommodate the peculiar inheritance …


Secular Cases In The Church Courts: A Historical Survey, Robert E. Rodes Jan 1989

Secular Cases In The Church Courts: A Historical Survey, Robert E. Rodes

Journal Articles

When students of legal history think of church courts, they may conjure up thoughts of some odd and obsolete tribunal about which Dickens wrote, while students of popular history may think of the people who burned Joan of Arc. In contrast, when Roman Catholics think of Church courts, they may think of tribunals which do no more than grant marriage annulments, while American Protestants may think of nothing at all. Church courts encompass the whole range of institutions used by different churches, including Jewish communities, for authoritative intervention into affairs of individual church members. Institutions of this kind have had …