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A Quiet Revolution: How Judicial Discipline Essentially Eliminated Foster Care And Nearly Went Unnoticed., Melissa Carter, Christopher Church, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2022

A Quiet Revolution: How Judicial Discipline Essentially Eliminated Foster Care And Nearly Went Unnoticed., Melissa Carter, Christopher Church, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

This Article argues that juvenile court judges can safely reduce the number of children entering foster care by faithfully and rigorously applying the law. Judges often fail to perform this core functon when a state child welfare agency separates a child from their family. Judges must perform their role as impartial gatekeeper despite the temptation to be "omnipotent moral busybodies".


Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman Jul 2021

Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This piece uses the idea of antiracism to highlight parallels between school desegregation cases and cases concerning errors in the criminal justice system. There remain stark, pervasive disparities in both school composition and the criminal justice system. Yet even though judicial remedies are an integral part of rooting out systemic inequality and the vestiges of discrimination, courts have been reticent to use the tools at their disposal to adopt proactive remedial approaches to address these disparities. This piece uses two examples from Judge Roger Gregory’s jurisprudence to illustrate how an antiracist approach to judicial remedies might work.


On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah Oct 2020

On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah

Articles

This Essay examines the legal profession’s role in sexual harassment, particularly in the federal courts. It argues that individuals in the profession have both an individual and collective responsibility for the professional norms that have allowed harassment to happen with little recourse for the people subject to the harassment. It suggests that the legal profession should engage in a sustained, public reflection about how our words, actions, attitudes, and institutional arrangements allow harassment to happen, and about the many different ways that we can prevent and address harassment.


Mapping The Iceberg: The Impact Of Data Sources On The Study Of District Courts, Christina L. Boyd, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger Aug 2020

Mapping The Iceberg: The Impact Of Data Sources On The Study Of District Courts, Christina L. Boyd, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Three decades ago, Siegelman and Donohue aptly characterized research about courts and litigation that relied only on published opinions as “studying the iceberg from its tip.” They implored researchers to view published district court opinions “with greater sensitivity to the ways in which such cases are unrepresentative of all cases”. The dynamic, multistage nature of trial court litigation makes a focus solely on published opinions particularly ill-suited to the study of federal district courts. Expanded electronic access to court documents now allows more pre-cise analysis of the ways in which published cases are unrepresentative and what differences that makes for …


Muted Justice, Leah Litman Jan 2020

Muted Justice, Leah Litman

Articles

The Chief Justice of the United States possesses significant power. His position as the senior most Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court allows him to assign opinions to other Justices and to coordinate scheduling the Court’s cases for argument. And after Justice Kennedy retired in June 2018, Chief Justice Roberts was the median Justice on the Court, whose vote often determined the outcome in a case. Even after Justice Barrett’s confirmation changed that state of affairs, the Chief remains an important Justice to watch.


Dignity And Civility, Reconsidered, Leah Litman May 2019

Dignity And Civility, Reconsidered, Leah Litman

Articles

People often talk about the Chief Justice, Justice Kagan, and Justice Breyer as the institutionalists on the modern Supreme Court. And that’s true, they are. Those Justices care about the Court as an institution and the Court’s reputation. They do not want people to look at the Court as a set of politicians in robes; and they do not want people to see judges as having ideological or partisan agendas. That is how they think of themselves, and they are willing to make compromises to maintain that image of the Court, and to set aside their personal beliefs in order …


The Most Revealing Word In The United States Report, Richard Primus Jan 2019

The Most Revealing Word In The United States Report, Richard Primus

Articles

The most prominent issue in NFIB v. Sebelius was whether Congress’s regulatory power under the Commerce Clause stops at a point marked by a distinction between “activity” and “inactivity.” According to the law’s challengers, prior decisions about the scope of the commerce power already reflected the importance of the distinction between action and inaction. In all of the previous cases in which exercises of the commerce power had been sustained, the challengers argued, that power had been used to regulate activity. Never had Congress tried to regulate mere inactivity. In NFIB, four Justices rejected that contention, writing that such …


Comment On 'Judicial Compensation And Performance', J.J. Prescott Dec 2018

Comment On 'Judicial Compensation And Performance', J.J. Prescott

Articles

The most significant challenges to better understanding judicial behavior are lack of data and the absence of plausible exogenous variation in judicial environments. The random assignment of judges to cases has admittedly been helpful in gaining traction on the effects of judicial decisions (e.g., Dobbie, Goldin, and Yang 2018). Yet developing a full empirical account of “what judges maximize” (Posner 1993) would require a setting in which judges are randomly subjected to a wide variety of (real-world) environments with different costs, constraints, and rewards. This prospect remains pie in the sky, but that does not mean that we have not …


Cardozo On The Supreme Court: Meeting High Expectations, Richard D. Friedman Oct 2018

Cardozo On The Supreme Court: Meeting High Expectations, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

President Trump announced his nomination of Neil Gorsuch — the sixth most senior judge on a federal appellate court in the hinterland—for a seat on the Supreme Court in a formal, nationally televised ceremony. Judge Gorsuch squeezed the shoulder of his wife, a gesture that signaled not only his thrill at the nomination but his joy at being able to share it with her. There followed a bitterly partisan process, featuring hearings at which the nominee testified and deflected questions about his substantive views. A change in the Senate rules, ending the possibility of a filibuster, was necessary to bring …


Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky Sep 2017

Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky

Articles

Sitting judges don’t get to practice law. So although they often opine on the dos and don’ts of effective advocacy, we rarely get to see them put their advice into practice. But a few years ago, a class-action lawsuit provided the rare opportunity to witness a federal judge acting as an advocate before another federal judge—if not in the role of attorney, then certainly in as close to that role as we are likely to see. Given the chance to employ his own advice about effective advocacy, would the judge—Alex Kozinski—practice what he preaches? Would his years of experience on …


Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin May 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Articles

It is of course too early to tell whether we are in a new era of bankruptcy judge (dis)respectability. Only time will tell. But this Article performs a specific case study, on one discrete area of bankruptcy court authority, based upon a particular assumption in that regard. The assumption is this: certain high-salience judicial events-here, the recent Supreme Court bankruptcy judge decisions, coupled with earlier constitutional precedents involving the limits of Article III-can trigger overreaction and hysteria. Lower courts may read these Supreme Court decisions as calling into question the permissibility of certain bankruptcy court practices under the Constitution, and …


The Sec, Administrative Usurpation, And Insider Trading, Adam C. Pritchard Oct 2016

The Sec, Administrative Usurpation, And Insider Trading, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The history of insider trading law is a tale of administrative usurpation and legislative acquiescence. Congress has never enacted a prohibition against insider trading, much less defined it. Instead, the SEC has led in defining insider trading, albeit without the formality of rulemaking, and subject to varying degrees of oversight by the courts. The reason why lies in the deference that the Supreme Court gave to the SEC in its formative years. The roots of insider trading law are commonly traced to the SEC’s decision in Cady, Roberts & Co. Cady, Roberts was only made possible, however, by the …


Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus Jan 2016

Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Is Originalism Our Law?, William Baude has made a good kind of argument in favor of originalism. Rather than contending that originalism is the only coherent theory for interpreting a constitution, he makes the more modest claim that it happens to be the way that American judges interpret our Constitution. If he is right—if originalism is our law—then judges deciding constitutional cases ought to be originalists. But what exactly would the content of that obligation be? Calling some interpretive method “our law” might suggest that judges have an obligation to decide cases by reference to that method. But the …


Dirks And The Genesis Of Personal Benefit, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2015

Dirks And The Genesis Of Personal Benefit, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

In United States v. Newman, the Second Circuit overturned the insider trading convictions of two hedge fund managers who received material nonpublic information from public companies via an extended tipping chain. The Newman court interpreted the Supreme Court's decision in Dirks v. SEC as requiring that the government prove: (1) that the tippee knew that the tipper was disclosing the information in exchange for a personal benefit; and (2) that if the personal benefit does not involve a quid pro quo to the tipper, that the disclosure arise from a "meaningfully close personal relationship" with the recipient of the …


Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper Oct 2014

Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper

Articles

This contribution uses the history of amending Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, “Summary Judgment,” to pay tribute to Mark R. Kravitz and to the Rules Enabling Act process itself. The three central examples involve discretion to deny summary judgment despite the lack of a genuine dispute as to any material fact, the choice whether to prescribe a detailed “point–counterpoint” procedure for presenting and opposing the motion, and the effect of failure to respond to a motion in one of the modes prescribed by the rule. These topics are intrinsically important. The ways in which the Civil Rules Advisory Committee …


Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

This Article presents new empirical evidence concerning the effects of United States v. Booker, which loosened the formerly mandatory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, on racial disparities in federal criminal cases. Two serious limitations pervade existing empirical literature on sentencing disparities. First, studies focus on sentencing in isolation, controlling for the “presumptive sentence” or similar measures that themselves result from discretionary charging, plea-bargaining, and fact-finding processes. Any disparities in these earlier processes are excluded from the resulting sentence-disparity estimates. Our research has shown that this exclusion matters: pre-sentencing decision-making can have substantial sentence-disparity consequences. Second, existing studies have used loose causal inference …


On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

In this Essay, Professors Starr and Rehavi respond to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s empirical staff’s criticisms of their recent article, which found, contrary to the Commission’s prior work, no evidence that racial disparity in sentences increased in response to United States v. Booker. As Starr and Rehavi suggest, their differences with the Commission perhaps relate to differing objectives. The Commission staff’s reply expresses a lack of interest in identifying Booker’s causal effects; in contrast, that is Starr and Rehavi’s central objective. In addition, Starr and Rehavi’s approach also accounts for disparities arising throughout the post-arrest justice process, extending beyond the …


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, …


The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar Jan 2012

The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar

Articles

There has been a good deal of talk lately to the effect that Miranda1 is dead or dying-or might as well be dead.2 Even liberals have indicated that the death of Miranda might not be a bad thing. This brings to mind a saying by G.K. Chesterton: "Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up."4


Securities Law In The Roberts Court: Agenda Or Indifference?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2011

Securities Law In The Roberts Court: Agenda Or Indifference?, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

To outsiders, securities law is not all that interesting. The body of the law consists of an interconnecting web of statutes and regulations that fit together in ways that are decidedly counter-intuitive. Securities law rivals tax law in its reputation for complexity and dreariness. Worse yet, the subject regulated-capital markets-can be mystifying to those uninitiated in modem finance. Moreover, those markets rapidly evolve, continually increasing their complexity. If you do not understand how the financial markets work, it is hard to understand how securities law affects those markets.


Tribute: Dores Mccrary Mccree, David L. Chambers Jan 2011

Tribute: Dores Mccrary Mccree, David L. Chambers

Articles

Dores McCree made your day a little better whenever she walked into a room. When you talked with her, you knew her goal was simply to enjoy your company, not to get something out of you, and not to show herself off. She was good at talking and good at listening. She'd cock her head slightly and ask questions to which she really cared about the answers. On more than one occasion, I had to jockey with others to be able to sit with her at a dinner.


Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The inauguration of Barack Obama was marred by one of the smallest constitutional crises in American history. As we all remember, the President did not quite recite his oath as it appears in the Constitution. The error bothered enough people that the White House redid the ceremony a day later, taking care to get the constitutional text exactly right. Or that, at least, is what everyone thinks happened. What actually happened is more interesting. The second time through, the President again departed from the Constitution's text. But the second time, nobody minded. Or even noticed. In that unremarked feature of …


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.


From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz

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In his Dunwody Lecture, Professor Akhil Amar invites us to revisit the Bush v. Gore controversy and consider what went wrong. This short essay responds to Professor Amar by taking up his invitation and looking at the decision through a seemingly improbable lens, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder. Among its many surprises, NAMUDNO helps illuminate the Court’s fundamental error nine years ago. Professor Amar forcefully argues that the mistrust with which the Justices in the Bush v. Gore majority viewed the Florida Supreme Court was both unjustified …


How Should We Study District Judge Decision-Making?, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger, Christina L. Boyd, Andrew D. Martin Jan 2009

How Should We Study District Judge Decision-Making?, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger, Christina L. Boyd, Andrew D. Martin

Articles

Understanding judicial decision-making requires attention to the specific institutional settings in which judges operate. The choices available to judges are determined not only by the law and facts of the case but also by procedural context. The incentives and constraints shaping judges’ decision-making will vary depending on, for example, whether they have a life-appointment or are elected; whether they hear cases alone or with colleagues; and whether and under what circumstances their decisions might be altered, overturned, or undone by the actions of others. The basic insight that the institutional context matters has led to increasingly sophisticated studies of how …


Bargaining In The Shadow Of Rate-Setting Courts, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2009

Bargaining In The Shadow Of Rate-Setting Courts, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Judges will tell you that they are comparatively poor rate regulators. The specialized, technical competence and supervisory capacity that public utilities commissions enjoy are usually absent from judicial chambers. Nonetheless, when granting antitrust remedies-particularly remedies for monopolistic abuse of intellectual property-courts sometimes purport to act as rate regulators for the licensing or sale of the defendant's assets. At the outset, we should distinguish between two forms ofjudicial rate setting. In one form, a court (or the FTC in its adjudicative capacity) grants a compulsory license and sets a specific rate as part of a final judgment or an order. The …


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.


Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin Jan 2008

Why Counting Votes Doesn't Add Up: A Response To Cox And Miles' Judging The Voting Rights Act, Ellen D. Katz, Anna Baldwin

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In Judging the Voting Rights Act, Professors Adam B. Cox and Thomas J. Miles report that judges are more likely to find liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) when they are African American, appointed by a Democratic president, or sit on an appellate panel with a judge who is African American or a Democratic appointee. Cox and Miles posit that their findings “contrast” and “cast doubt” on much of the “conventional wisdom” about the Voting Rights Act, by which they mean the core findings we reported in Documenting Discrimination in Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 …


The Internationalization Of Lay Legal Decision-Making: Jury Resurgence And Jury Research, Richard O. Lempert Apr 2007

The Internationalization Of Lay Legal Decision-Making: Jury Resurgence And Jury Research, Richard O. Lempert

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When I first began to study the jury more than thirty years ago, the topic of this Journal issue, jury systems around the world, was unthinkable. The use of juries, especially in civil litigation, had long been in decline, to the point of near extinction in England, the land of their birth, and the live question was whether the jury system would endure in the United States. It seemed clear that juries would not continue in their classic form, as many U.S. states, with the Supreme Court's eventual approval, mandated juries of less than twelve people and allowed verdicts to …


Double-Consciousness In Constitutional Adjudication, Richard A. Primus Jan 2007

Double-Consciousness In Constitutional Adjudication, Richard A. Primus

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Constitutional theorists are familiar with epistemic and consequentialist reasons why judges might allow their decision making to be shaped by strongly held public opinion. The epistemic approach treats public opinion as an expert indicator, while the consequentialistapproach counsels judges to compromise legally correct interpretations so as not to antagonize a hostile public. But there is also a third reason, which we can think ofas constitutive. In limited circumstances, the fact that the public strongly holds a given view can be one of the factors that together constitute the correct answer to a constitutional question. In those circumstances, what the public …