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The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen Jan 2001

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Who is the most powerful Supreme Court Justice? In 1996 we measured voting power on the Court according to each Justice's ability to form five-member coalitions. From the set of all coalitions formed by the Court during its 1994 and 1995 Terms, we developed a generalized Banzhaf index of the Justices' relative strength. Generally speaking, participating in a greater number of unique coalitions translates into greater judicial voting power. To supplement the small number of decisions then available, we derived hypothetical five-Justice coalitions from the intersections of actually observed coalitions involving more than five members. Professor Lynn Baker contested our …


Constitutional Risks To Equal Protection In The Criminal Justice System, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2001

Constitutional Risks To Equal Protection In The Criminal Justice System, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Note has examined the consequences of a shift in the equal protection context - a move from a traditional particularized harm perspective to a constitutional risk perspective focused on systemic harms. It has also acknowledged the significant remedial difficulties associated with constitutional risk, but by focusing on discretion as the source of most equal protection risks, this Note has proposed a moderate doctrinal change: discretionary safeguards. To be sure, this Note leaves the project substantially incomplete. Constitutional risk's focus on statistical evidence requires careful discussion of the pitfalls judges face in this area and of how they can develop …


Accommodation And Equal Liberty, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2001

Accommodation And Equal Liberty, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

How should legislatures respond to requests from religious individuals or institutions for exemptions to generally applicable laws? In Employment Division v. Smith, the Supreme Court held that the Free Exercise Clause does not require legislatures (federal or state) to honor such requests. The question remains whether they should do so on a voluntary basis. This is the problem of permissive accommodation-that is, accommodation of religious liberty as a matter of political discretion rather than constitutional compulsion. Put in the terms of this Symposium, it is the problem of accommodation in the public square. It is not immediately apparent why permissive …