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Taking Text Too Seriously: Modern Textualism, Original Meaning, And The Case Of Amar's Bill Of Rights, William Michael Treanor Dec 2007

Taking Text Too Seriously: Modern Textualism, Original Meaning, And The Case Of Amar's Bill Of Rights, William Michael Treanor

Michigan Law Review

Championed on the Supreme Court by Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas and in academia most prominently by Professor Akhil Amar textualism has emerged within the past twenty years as a leading school of constitutional interpretation. Textualists argue that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original public meaning, and in seeking that meaning, they closely parse the Constitution's words and grammar and the placement of clauses in the document. They have assumed that this close parsing recaptures original meaning, but, perhaps because it seems obviously correct, that assumption has neither been defended nor challenged. This Article uses ...


God Vs. The Gavel: A Brief Rejoinder, Douglas Laycock May 2007

God Vs. The Gavel: A Brief Rejoinder, Douglas Laycock

Michigan Law Review

I recently reviewed God vs. the Gavel by Professor Marci Hamilton, and she published a brief response. My review briefly summarized the book and then made three principal points, addressing Hamilton's institutional competence thesis, her "no-harm" principle, and the remarkable number of legal and factual errors in the book. In this reply, I will review each of these points in turn.


Young Associates In Trouble, William D. Henderson, David Zaring Apr 2007

Young Associates In Trouble, William D. Henderson, David Zaring

Michigan Law Review

Large law firms have reputations as being tough places to work, and the larger the firm, the tougher the firm. Yet, notwithstanding the grueling hours and the shrinking prospects of partnership, these firms perennially attract a large proportion of the nation's top law school graduates. These young lawyers could go anywhere but choose to work at large firms. Why do they do so if law firms are as inhospitable as their reputations suggest? Two recent novels about the lives of young associates in large, prestigious law firms suggest that such a rational calculation misapprehends the costs. Law professor Kermit ...


Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien Apr 2007

Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien

Michigan Law Review

Professor Welsh S. White's book Litigating in the Shadow of Death: Defense Attorneys in Capital Cases collects the compelling stories of "a new band of dedicated lawyers" that has "vigorously represented capital defendants, seeking to prevent their executions" (p.3). Sadly, Professor White passed away on New Year's Eve, 2005, days before the release of his final work. To the well-deserved accolades of Professor White that were recently published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, I can only add a poignant comment in a student blog that captures his excellence as a scholar and educator: "I ...


"Quotidian" Judges Vs. Al-Qaeda, Mark S. Davies Apr 2007

"Quotidian" Judges Vs. Al-Qaeda, Mark S. Davies

Michigan Law Review

In Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts, University of Chicago law professors Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule invite those of us worried about the American response to al-Qaeda to consider the proper role of judges. Judges, of course, are not being dispatched to the hills of Pakistan nor are they securing our borders or buildings. But as the executive seeks to implement a range of new policies in the name of protecting us from al-Qaeda, the judicial treatment of these policies shapes the American response. Posner and Vermeule suggest a kind of Hippocratic view of the ...


Life-Giving Speech Amid An Empire Of Silence, Walter Brueggemann Apr 2007

Life-Giving Speech Amid An Empire Of Silence, Walter Brueggemann

Michigan Law Review

It will come as no surprise to readers of the Law Review that James Boyd White is a daring and wise practitioner of what Clifford Geertz terms "blurred genres." By appeal to Kenneth Burke, Victor Turner, and Paul Ricoeur, among others, Geertz envisions a broad interpretive venture that breaks out of the rigid regulations of a particular discipline to the larger constructive enterprise that entertains life and its meaning as a "game" of face-to-face engagement, or as a "drama" that presses on to the next scene. White's work fits that vision precisely. In Living Speech: Resisting the Empire of ...


A Syllabus Of Errors, Douglas Laycock Apr 2007

A Syllabus Of Errors, Douglas Laycock

Michigan Law Review

Modern American society is pervasively regulated. It is also religiously diverse to a degree that is probably unprecedented in the history of the world. It is inevitable that some of these diverse religious practices will violate some of these pervasive regulations, and equally inevitable that if we ask whether all these regulations are really necessary, sometimes the answer will be no. If we take free exercise of religion seriously, sometimes it will make sense to exempt sincere religious practices from generally applicable laws - but only some laws, and only some applications. Hardly anyone thinks that human sacrifice should be exempted ...


A Response To Professor Laycock, Marci A. Hamilton Apr 2007

A Response To Professor Laycock, Marci A. Hamilton

Michigan Law Review

Almost a hundred years ago, the American Association of University Professors established guidelines for civility among scholars, saying that academic exchanges "should be set forth with dignity, courtesy, and temperateness of language." I agree wholeheartedly with these principles, and I will not succumb to the temptation to respond in kind to Professor Laycock's review. Tone is much less important than having a frank exchange of views. It is well known that Professor Laycock and I have very different perspectives on the proper interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause. His review and my response should be an opportunity for us ...


Keeping The State Out: The Separation Of Law And State In Classical Islamic Law, Lubna A. Alam Apr 2007

Keeping The State Out: The Separation Of Law And State In Classical Islamic Law, Lubna A. Alam

Michigan Law Review

The implementation and enforcement of Islamic law, especially Islamic criminal law, by modem-day Muslim nation-states is fraught with controversy and challenges. In Pakistan, the documented problems and failures of the country's attempt to codify Islamic law on extramarital sexual relations have led to efforts to remove rape cases from Islamic law courts to civil law courts. In striking contrast to Pakistan's experience, the Republic of the Maldives recently commissioned a draft of a penal law and sentencing guidelines based on Islamic law that abides by international norms. The incorporation of Islamic law into the legal systems of various ...


The D'Oh! Of Popular Constitutionalism, Neal Devin's Apr 2007

The D'Oh! Of Popular Constitutionalism, Neal Devin's

Michigan Law Review

This Review will be divided into three parts. Part I will both summarize The Most Democratic Branch and highlight some of the difficulties that the Supreme Court would face in implementing Rosen's decision-making model. In particular, by allowing the Court to invalidate laws for a host of "antidemocratic" reasons, Rosen's matrix does not constrain the Court in a predictable way. Part II will examine some of the empirical evidence about public attitudes toward the Supreme Court, including public awareness of Supreme Court decisions. I will contend that the Court cannot look to the people to sort out the ...


Judging Magic: Can You See The Sleight Of Hand?, Rebecca Johnson Apr 2007

Judging Magic: Can You See The Sleight Of Hand?, Rebecca Johnson

Michigan Law Review

Cultural critic bell hooks says, "Movies make magic. They change things. They take the real and make it into something else right before our very eyes." Movies do not, of course, have an exclusive hold on this ability to change one thing into something else. Law, too, possesses this power. Certainly, one must acknowledge some significant differences in the "magic" of filmic and legal texts. For the most part, as willing consumers of cultural products, we "choose" to subject ourselves to the magic of film. We sit in a darkened theater and let ourselves be taken away to a different ...


The Theory And Practice Of Tax Reform, Lawrence Zelenak Apr 2007

The Theory And Practice Of Tax Reform, Lawrence Zelenak

Michigan Law Review

On January 7, 2005, President Bush-flush with recent electoral victory- issued an Executive Order creating the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. The Order instructed the bipartisan Panel to recommend one or more plans for major reform of the federal income tax. The president did not, however, permit the Panel to begin its work on a blank slate. Instead, the Order required (among other things) that the Panel's proposals be revenue-neutral, simpler than current law, "appropriately progressive," and supportive of homeownership and charity. Although the Order contemplated that the Panel might offer more than one tax reform ...


Antitrust Modesty, Daniel A. Crane Apr 2007

Antitrust Modesty, Daniel A. Crane

Michigan Law Review

Given Hovenkamp's influence and intellect, the publication of The Antitrust Enterprise is a major event, particularly since he sets out, according to the book's jacket, to provide "the first authoritative and compact exposition of antitrust law since Robert Bork's classic The Antitrust Paradox was published more than thirty years ago." Nevertheless, one could quibble with the jacket's claim. Richard Posner substantially updated his own authoritative and compact exposition of antitrust law in 2001. In a 2003 book review, Hovenkamp called Posner's second edition a "marvelous and important book." So, before beginning a review of Hovenkamp ...


Property, Contracts, And Politics, Mark Tushnet Apr 2007

Property, Contracts, And Politics, Mark Tushnet

Michigan Law Review

Rebecca Scott is a historian, not an economist. Describing how a dispute over a mule's ownership was resolved, Professor Scott reproduces a receipt two claimants left when they took the mule from the plantation whose manager claimed it as well (p. 185). By contrast, analyzing property relations in the pre-Civil War American South, economic historian Jenny Wahl observes, "[E]conomic historians tend to [use] ... frequency tables, graphs, and charts." The differences in visual aids to understanding indicate the various ways historians and economists approach a single topic-the relation between markets and politics, the latter defined to include the deployment ...


The Bureaucratic Court, Benjamin C. Mizer Apr 2007

The Bureaucratic Court, Benjamin C. Mizer

Michigan Law Review

In August 2006, the New York Times caused a stir by reporting that the number of female law clerks at the United States Supreme Court has fallen sharply in the first full Term in which Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is no longer on the bench. In an era in which nearly fifty percent of all law school graduates are women, the Times reported, less than twenty percent of the clerks in the Court's 2006 Term - seven of thirty-seven - are women. In interviews, Justices Souter and Breyer viewed the sharp drop in the number of female clerks as an ...


On Dworkin And Borkin, Tom Lininger Apr 2007

On Dworkin And Borkin, Tom Lininger

Michigan Law Review

This Essay will use Dworkin's and Davis's scholarship as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the Supreme Court nomination process. I argue that while Dworkin's and Davis's books, when read together, expose a significant problem with the current nomination process, a possible solution to this predicament may lie in a change to the judicial code of ethics and the procedural rules for confirmation of judges. My analysis will proceed in four steps. Part I will address Dworkin's arguments. Part II will evaluate the analysis and evidence in Davis's book. Part III will consider ...


Mickey, Can You Spare A Dime? Disneywar, Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance, And Business Law Pedagogy, Kenneth M. Rosen Jan 2007

Mickey, Can You Spare A Dime? Disneywar, Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance, And Business Law Pedagogy, Kenneth M. Rosen

Michigan Law Review

American business executives are under fire. Recent, notorious difficulties at companies such as the Enron Corporation brought attention to these individuals. Notwithstanding the conclusion of the trials of some of those top executives, skepticism remains about the inner workings of U.S. corporations and the quality of corporate governance. Drawing special scrutiny from some quarters is the compensation granted to corporate officers and directors. For instance, the timing of certain stock option grants, a key component of some compensation packages, raised ire because of those options' supposed backdating and fortuitous proximity to increases in share prices. Further, some questioned more ...


The Folklore Of Legal Biography, Mark Fenster Jan 2007

The Folklore Of Legal Biography, Mark Fenster

Michigan Law Review

Spencer Weber Waller's Thurman Arnold: A Biography faces the problem of making this life stand out, and this Review seeks both to evaluate his rendering-which it does in Part II, after providing more details of the raw materials of Arnold's life in Part I-and to use Arnold's ideas to reflect on the endeavor of the legal biography. Although other works bearing on Arnold's life have been available,' Waller's competent, readable chronicle will provide an authoritative source of information and satisfy the desires of general readers interested in accomplished legal lives and seeking a straightforward account ...


Uncovering Identity, Paul Horowitz Jan 2007

Uncovering Identity, Paul Horowitz

Michigan Law Review

This Review raises several questions about Yoshino's treatment of identity, authenticity, and the "true self' in Covering. Part I summarizes Yoshino's book and offers some practical criticisms. Section II.A argues that Yoshino's treatment of authenticity and identity leaves much to be desired. Section II.B argues that Yoshino's focus on covering as an act of coerced assimilation fails to fully capture the extent to which one's identity, and one's uses of identity, may be fluid and deliberate. Section II.C focuses on another identity trait that runs through Yoshino's book, always present ...


Private Ordering And Intimate Spaces: Why The Ability To Negotiate Is Non-Negotiable, Michele Goodwin Jan 2007

Private Ordering And Intimate Spaces: Why The Ability To Negotiate Is Non-Negotiable, Michele Goodwin

Michigan Law Review

This review moves beyond a critique of Cherry's study to incorporate a radical new way of thinking about organ commodification as a social justice issue. Part I provides a brief empirical overview of organ demand in the United States, offering an alternative perspective and introducing data illexamined in commodification debates. Part II challenges the notion that private ordering abandons liberal and egalitarian values in favor of individualism over communitarianism. It also acknowledges the limitations of private ordering and addresses how its more problematic features, including the abuse of power, might be avoided. Part III argues for a hybrid system ...