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Supreme Court of the United States

Decision making

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Substantive Habeas, Kimberly A. Thomas Oct 2014

Substantive Habeas, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Substantive Habeas identifies the US. Supreme Court's recent shift in its habeas jurisprudence from procedure to the substance of habeas review and explores the implications of this change. For decades, the US. Supreme Court has attempted to control the flood of habeas corpus petitions by imposing procedural requirements on prisoners seeking to challenge constitutional error in their cases. These restrictive procedural rules have remained at the center of habeas decision making until recently. Over the past few years, instead of further constraining the procedural gateway for habeas cases, the Supreme Court has shifted its focus to the substance of habeas. …


Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Although commentators frequently debate how judges should decide antitrust cases substantively, little attention has been paid to theories of judicial virtue in antitrust decision making. This essay considers four pairings of virtues: (1) striving for substantive purity versus conceding to institutional realism; (2) incrementalism versus generalism; (3) presenting a unified face versus candidly conceding differences among judges on an appellate panel; and (4) adhering strictly to stare decisis versus freely updating precedents to reflect evolving economic learning or conditions. While recognizing the complexities that sometimes pull judges in the opposite direction, this Article gives the nod to institutional realism, incrementalism, …


How The Gun-Free School Zones Act Saved The Individual Mandate, Richard A. Primus Jan 2012

How The Gun-Free School Zones Act Saved The Individual Mandate, Richard A. Primus

Articles

For all the drama surrounding the Commerce Clause challenge to the in-dividual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), the doctrinal question presented is simple. Under existing doctrine, the provision is as valid as can be. To be sure, the Supreme Court could alter existing doctrine, and many interesting things could be written about the dynamics that sometimes prompt judges to strike out in new directions under the pressures of cases like this one. But it is not my intention to pursue that possibility here. My own suspicion, for what it is worth, is that the …


Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Public Consensus As Constitutional Authority, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Barry Friedman's new book The Will of the People attempts to dissolve constitutional law's countermajoritariand ifficulty by showing that, in practice,t he Supreme Court does only what the public will tolerate. His account succeeds if "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the threat that courts will run the country in ways that contravene majority preference, but not if the "the countermajoritarian difficulty" refers to the need to explain the legitimate sources of judicial authority in cases where decisions do contravene majority preference. Friedman's book does not pursue the second possibility, and may suggest that doing so is unimportant, in part because …


Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus Jan 2009

Limits Of Interpretivism, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Justice Stephen Markman sits on the Supreme Court of my home state of Michigan. In that capacity, he says, he is involved in a struggle between two kinds of judging. On one side are judges like him. They follow the rules. On the other side are unconstrained judges who decide cases on the basis of what they think the law ought to be. This picture is relatively simple, and Justice Markman apparently approves of its simplicity. But matters may in fact be a good deal more complex.


When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus Jan 2008

When Should Original Meanings Matter?, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Constitutional theory lacks an account of when each of the familiar sources of authority-text, original meaning, precedent, and so on-should be given weight. The dominant tendency is to regard all sources as potentially applicable in every case. In contrast, this Article proposes that each source of authority is pertinent in some categories of cases but not in others, much as a physical tool is appropriate for some but not all kinds of household tasks. The Article then applies this approach to identify the categories of cases in which original meaning is, or is not, a valid factor in constitutional decisionmaking.


The California Greenhouse Gas Waiver Decision And Agency Interpretation: A Response To Galle And Seidenfeld, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2008

The California Greenhouse Gas Waiver Decision And Agency Interpretation: A Response To Galle And Seidenfeld, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Professors Brian Galle and Mark Seidenfeld add some important strands to the debate on agency preemption, particularly in their detailed documentation of the potential advantages agencies may possess in deliberating on preemption compared with Congress and the courts. As they note, the quality of agency deliberation matters to two different debates. First, should an agency interpretation of statutory language to preempt state law receive Chevron deference in the courts, as other agency interpretations may, or should some lesser form of deference be given? Second, should a general statutory authorization to an agency to administer a program and to issue rules …


Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

Judicial Power And Mobilizable History, Richard A. Primus

Articles

One contribution that law professors can make to constitutional discourse, I suggest, is the nurturing of new mobilizable histories. A "mobilizable history," as I will use the term, is a narrative, image, or other historical source that is sufficiently well-known to the community of constitutional decisionmakers so as to be able to support a credible argument in the discourse of constitutional law. It draws upon materials that are within the collective memory of constitutional interpreters; indeed, a necessary step in nurturing a new mobilizable history is to introduce new information into that collective memory or to raise the prominence of …


The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In 1870, a black man named Hiram Revels was named to represent Mississippi in the Senate. Senate Democrats objected to seating him and pointed out that the Constitution specifies that no person may be a senator who has not been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Democrats argued, Revels had not been a citizen on account of the Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Thus, even if Revels were a citizen in 1870, he had held that status for only two years. …


Strategic Voting On Multimember Courts, Evan H. Caminker Jan 2000

Strategic Voting On Multimember Courts, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

In appellate adjudication, decisions are rendered by a multimember court as a collective entity, not by individual judges. Yet legal scholars have only just begun to explore the formal and informal processes by which individual votes are transformed into a collective judgment. In particular, they have paid insufficient attention to the ways in which the vote of each individual judge is influenced by the views of her colleagues on a multimember court.


Sincere And Strategic Voting Norms On Multimember Courts, Evan H. Caminker Jan 1999

Sincere And Strategic Voting Norms On Multimember Courts, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

In appellate adjudication, decisions are rendered by a multimember court as a collective entity, not by individual judges. Yet legal scholars have only just begun to explore the formal and informal processes by which individual votes are transformed into a collective judgment.' In particular, they have paid insufficient attention to the ways in which the vote of each individual judge is influenced by the views of her colleagues on a multimember court.


Telling The Story Of The Hughes Court, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1996

Telling The Story Of The Hughes Court, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

When Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., died in 1935, he left the bulk of his estate to the United States Government. This gift, known as the Oliver Wendell Hnlmes Devise, sat in the Treasury for about twenty years, until Congress set up a Presidential Commission to determine what to do with it. The principal use of the money has been to fund a multivolume History of the United States Supreme Court. The history of the project itself has not always been a happy one, for some of the authors have been unable to complete their volumes. Among them was one …


Judging Girls: Decision Making In Parental Consent To Abortion Cases, Suellyn Scarnecchia, Julie Kunce Field Jan 1995

Judging Girls: Decision Making In Parental Consent To Abortion Cases, Suellyn Scarnecchia, Julie Kunce Field

Articles

Judges make determinations on a daily basis that profoundly affect people's lives. On March 28, 1991, the Michigan legislature enacted a statute entitled The Parental Rights Restoration Act (hereinafter "the Michigan Act" or "the Act"). This statute delegated to probate court judges the extraordinary task of deciding whether a minor girl may have an abortion without the consent of a parent. Nothing in law school and little in an average judge's experience provide a meaningful framework for making such a decision. Although many commentators, including the authors, argue that decisions about abortion should be left to the woman regardless of …