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The Origins Of Supreme Court Question Selection, Benjamin B. Johnson Jan 2022

The Origins Of Supreme Court Question Selection, Benjamin B. Johnson

Journal Articles

Arbitrary control over its own docket is the hallmark of the modern Supreme Court. While the Court’s power to choose its cases is a frequent subject of study, its practice of preselecting questions for review has received almost no attention. This is particularly surprising since the Court openly adds or subtracts questions in some of its most consequential and politicizing cases. Yet, despite the significance of this practice, its origins are poorly understood. This is the first Essay to uncover the hidden history of the Court’s question-selection powers. It reveals an important---and possibly intractable---conflict between the Court’s legal authority and …


Dissenting From The Bench, Christine Venter Jan 2021

Dissenting From The Bench, Christine Venter

Journal Articles

This paper examines the oral dissents of Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the year 2000 to the times of their respective deaths. It explores the concept and purpose of oral dissent and details the kinds of cases in which each justice was more likely to orally dissent. The paper analyzes the kinds of rhetoric that each justice used to refer to their subject matter, and argues that Scalia's rhetoric evinces a view of the law as "autonomous", operating independently of the facts of the case. In contrast, Ginsburg's view espouses a view of the law as responsive …


Untangling Entanglement, Stephanie H. Barclay Jan 2020

Untangling Entanglement, Stephanie H. Barclay

Journal Articles

The Court has increasingly signaled its interest in taking a more historical approach to the Establishment Clause. And in its recent American Legion decision, the Supreme Court strongly suggested that the three-prong Lemon test is essentially dead letter. Such a result would make sense for the first two prongs of the Lemon test about secular purpose and the effects. Many scholars have observed that these aspects of the prong are judicial creations far afield of the Establishment Clause history. But what of the entanglement prong of the test? If we rejected all applications of this prong of the analysis, would …


Why Federal Courts Apply The Law Of Nations Even Though It Is Not The Supreme Law Of The Land, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Jan 2018

Why Federal Courts Apply The Law Of Nations Even Though It Is Not The Supreme Law Of The Land, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

We are grateful to the judges and scholars who participated in this Symposium examining our book, The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution. One of our goals in writing this book was to reinvigorate and advance the debate over the role of customary international law in U.S. courts. The papers in this Symposium advance this debate by deepening understandings of how the Constitution interacts with customary international law. Our goal in this Article is to address two questions raised by this Symposium that go to the heart of the status of the law of nations under the Constitution. …


Precedent And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel Jan 2018

Precedent And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The Constitution does not talk about precedent, at least not explicitly, but several of its features suggest a place for deference to prior decisions. It isolates the judicial function and insulates federal courts from official and electoral control, promoting a vision of impersonality and continuity. It charges courts with applying a charter that is vague and ambiguous in important respects. And it was enacted at a time when prominent thinkers were already discussing the use of precedent to channel judicial discretion. Taken in combination, these features make deference to precedent a sound inference from the Constitution’s structure, text, and historical …


Proximate Vs. Geographic Limits On Patent Damages, Stephen Yelderman Jan 2018

Proximate Vs. Geographic Limits On Patent Damages, Stephen Yelderman

Journal Articles

The exclusive rights of a U.S. patent are limited in two important ways. First, a patent has a technical scope—only the products and methods set out in the patent’s claims may constitute infringement. Second, a patent has a geographic scope—making, using, or selling the products or methods described in the patent’s claims will only constitute infringement if that activity takes place in the United States. These boundaries are foundational features of the patent system: there can be no liability for U.S. patent infringement without an act that falls within both the technical and geographic scope of the patent.


Religious Freedom And Recycled Tires: The Meaning And Implications Of Trinity Lutheran, Richard W. Garnett, Jackson C. Blais Jan 2017

Religious Freedom And Recycled Tires: The Meaning And Implications Of Trinity Lutheran, Richard W. Garnett, Jackson C. Blais

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Trinity Lutheran clearly affirmed a First Amendment rule against anti-religious discrimination. At the same time, it raised or left open a number of important and interesting questions about education reform, the relevance of anti-Catholic bias to states' so-called Blaine Amendments, and the sharpening tension between religious freedom and the application of antidiscrimination laws.


The Supreme Court's Quiet Expansion Of Qualified Immunity, Kit Kinports Jan 2016

The Supreme Court's Quiet Expansion Of Qualified Immunity, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Essay discusses the Supreme Court’s tendency in recent opinions to covertly expand the reach of the qualified immunity defense available to public officials in § 1983 civil rights suits. In particular, the Essay points out that the Court, often in per curiam rulings, has described qualified immunity in increasingly broad terms and has qualified and retreated from its precedents, without offering any explanation or even acknowledging that it is deviating from past practice.

In making this claim, I focus on three specific issues: the manner in which the Court characterizes the standard governing the qualified immunity defense; the question …


Discretionary Dockets, Randy J. Kozel, Jeffrey Pojanowski Jan 2016

Discretionary Dockets, Randy J. Kozel, Jeffrey Pojanowski

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court’s workload and its method for selecting cases have drawn increasing critical scrutiny. Similarly, and separately, recent commentary has focused on the disparate approaches the Court has taken to resolving cases on its (historically small) docket. In this Essay we draw these two lines of inquiry together to argue that the Court’s case selection should align with its approach to constitutional adjudication. In doing so, we discuss four modes of constitutional decisionmaking and then examine the interplay between those modes, the Court’s management of its docket, and its sense of institutional role. The Court, we argue, has neither …


Our Constitutional Commons, Blake Hudson, Brigham Daniels Jan 2015

Our Constitutional Commons, Blake Hudson, Brigham Daniels

Journal Articles

While much has been written about the U.S. Constitution, very little, if anything at all, has been said about the ways in which the Constitution shares attributes with the commons. This article examines the Constitution and the efforts to influence the shape and scope of its application through the lenses developed by scholars for assessing both common good and public good resources. Focusing on these interrelated lenses provides a unique perspective on both the U.S. Constitution and those attempting to influence its text and its interpretation. The synergy and interaction between the common good and public good dimensions of the …


Isolated Wetland Commons And The Constitution, Blake Hudson, Michael Hardig Jan 2015

Isolated Wetland Commons And The Constitution, Blake Hudson, Michael Hardig

Journal Articles

Isolated wetlands provide great ecological and economic value to the United States. While some states provide protection for isolated wetlands, a great many do not. These wetlands are also left outside the ambit of federal wetland regulatory protections under the Clean Water Act, with its murky jurisdictional reach. Notwithstanding jurisdictional questions under current federal statutes, the U.S. Supreme Court has gone so far as to call into question the constitutionality of federal isolated wetland regulation. This Article makes a normative argument that, in the absence of state or local programs providing holistic isolated wetland protection, federal action is needed. The …


Do Conservative Justices Favor Wall Street: Ideology And The Supreme Court's Securities Regulation Decisions, Marco Ventoruzzo, Johannes W. Fedderke Jan 2015

Do Conservative Justices Favor Wall Street: Ideology And The Supreme Court's Securities Regulation Decisions, Marco Ventoruzzo, Johannes W. Fedderke

Journal Articles

The appointment of Supreme Court justices is a politically-charged process and the "ideology" (or "judicial philosophy") of the nominees is perceived as playing a potentially relevant role in their future decision-making. It is fairly easy to intuit that ideology somehow enters the analysis with respect to politically divisive issues such as abortion and procreative rights, sexual conduct, freedom of speech, separation of church and state, gun control, procedural protections for the accused in criminal cases, governmental powers. Many studies have tackled the question of the relevance of the ideology of the justices or appellate judges on these issues, often finding …


Rules Against Rulification, Michael Coenen Dec 2014

Rules Against Rulification, Michael Coenen

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court often confronts the choice between bright-line rules and open-ended standards — a point well understood by commentators and the Court itself. Far less understood is a related choice that arises once the Court has opted for a standard over a rule: May lower courts develop subsidiary rules to facilitate their own application of the Supreme Court’s standard, or must they always apply that standard in its pure, un-“rulified” form? In several recent cases, spanning a range of legal contexts, the Court has endorsed the latter option, fortifying its first-order standards with second-order “rules against rulification.” Rules against …


When Enough Is Enough: Location Tracking, Machine Learning And The Mosaic Theory, Renee Mcdonald Hutchins, Steve Bellovin, Tony Jebara, Sebastian Zimmeck Jan 2014

When Enough Is Enough: Location Tracking, Machine Learning And The Mosaic Theory, Renee Mcdonald Hutchins, Steve Bellovin, Tony Jebara, Sebastian Zimmeck

Journal Articles

Since 1967, when it decided Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court has tied the right to be free of unwanted government scrutiny to the concept of reasonable expectations of privacy.1 An evaluation of reasonable expectations depends, among other factors, upon an assessment of the intrusiveness of government action. When making such assessment historically the Court considered police conduct with clear temporal, geographic, or substantive limits. However, in an era where new technologies permit the storage and compilation of vast amounts of personal data, things are becoming more complicated. A school of thought known as “mosaic theory” has stepped into …


Promises Made To Be Broken? Standstill Agreements In Change Of Control Transactions, Christina M. Sautter Jan 2013

Promises Made To Be Broken? Standstill Agreements In Change Of Control Transactions, Christina M. Sautter

Journal Articles

Many promises are made in the negotiation of a merger but not all promises are necessarily enforceable or consistent with a board of directors’ fiduciary duties. This article explores the enforceability of one such promise: the buyer’s standstill agreement. When a publicly traded company explores a sale, that company, the target, customarily requires each potential buyer to execute a standstill agreement. A typical standstill prevents potential buyers from publicly making or announcing a bid for the target during the sale process without the target’s prior consent and for a period of approximately twelve to eighteen months from the conclusion of …


Court-Packing And Compromise, Barry Cushman Jan 2013

Court-Packing And Compromise, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1937 Court-packing bill would have permitted him to appoint six additional justices to the Supreme Court, thereby expanding its membership to fifteen immediately. Throughout the ultimately unsuccessful campaign to enact the measure, Roosevelt was presented with numerous opportunities to compromise for a measure authorizing the appointment of fewer additional justices. The President rejected each of these proposals, and his refusal to compromise often has been attributed to stubbornness, overconfidence, or hubris. Yet an examination of the papers of Attorney General Homer S. Cummings reveals why FDR and his advisors believed that he required no fewer than …


The Court-Packing Plan As Symptom, Casualty, And Cause Of Gridlock, Barry Cushman Jan 2013

The Court-Packing Plan As Symptom, Casualty, And Cause Of Gridlock, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

This essay, prepared for the Notre Dame Law Review's Symposium, “The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock,” considers three ways in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1937 Court-packing bill was related to the phenomenon of gridlock in the 1930s. First, as FDR's public remarks on the subject demonstrate, he believed that the early New Deal was a victim of partisan gridlock between the Democrat-controlled political branches and the Republican-controlled judiciary. Moreover, he did not believe that the impasse could be overcome through an amendment to the Constitution, for he regarded Article V's supermajority requirements as virtually encoding gridlock into the …


Commerce In The Commons: A Unified Theory Of Natural Capital Regulation Under The Commerce Clause, Blake Hudson Jan 2011

Commerce In The Commons: A Unified Theory Of Natural Capital Regulation Under The Commerce Clause, Blake Hudson

Journal Articles

Scholars continue to debate the scope of Congress’s Commerce Clause authority and whether fluctuations in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence place federal environmental regulatory authority at risk. Yet when one analyzes major Commerce Clause cases involving resource regulation since the beginning of the modern regulatory state, a consistent theme emerges: both the Supreme Court and Circuit Courts of Appeal have consistently upheld federal authority to regulate depletable natural resources, the appropriation of which is non-excludable - key characteristics of a commons. Commerce Clause jurisprudence can be interpreted as treating appropriation of this natural capital, here described as “privatized …


The Supreme Court's Love-Hate Relationship With Miranda, Kit Kinports Jan 2011

The Supreme Court's Love-Hate Relationship With Miranda, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

In recent years, the Supreme Court has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with its landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona. While the Court has not hesitated to narrow Miranda’s reach, it has also been wary of deliberate efforts to circumvent it. This pragmatic approach to Miranda can be doctrinally unsatisfying and even incoherent at times, but it basically maintains the core structure of Miranda as the police have come to know and adapt to it.

Last Term provided the first glimpse of the Roberts Court’s views on Miranda, as the Court considered three Miranda cases: Maryland v. Shatzer …


A Hands-Off Approach To Religious Doctrine: What Are We Talking About?, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

A Hands-Off Approach To Religious Doctrine: What Are We Talking About?, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

At the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, the program organized by the Section on Law and Religion presented for consideration the claim that “the United States Supreme Court has shown an increasing unwillingness to engage in deciding matters that relate to the interpretation of religious practice and belief.” The Court, it was proposed, is — more and more — taking a “hands-off approach to religious doctrine.”

This proposal was, and remains, timely and important, as is illustrated by — to mention just a few, diverse examples — the ongoing property-ownership dispute between several “breakaway” Episcopal …


Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

At the Federalist Society's 2008 National Student Symposium, a panel of scholars was asked to consider the question, does pervasive judicial review threaten to destroy local identity by homogenizing community norms? The answer to this question is yes, pervasive judicial review certainly does threaten local identity, because such review can homogenize[e] community norms, either by dragging them into conformity with national, constitutional standards or (more controversially) by subordinating them to the reviewers' own commitments. It is important to recall, however, that while it is true that an important feature of our federalism is local variation in laws and values, it …


William H. Rehnquist: A Life Lived Greatly, And Well, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2006

William H. Rehnquist: A Life Lived Greatly, And Well, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

Chief Justice Rehnquist leaves behind a formidable and important legacy in constitutional law. His work on the Court was animated and guided by the view that We the People, through our Constitution, have authorized our federal courts, legislators, and administrators to do many things - but not everything. Because the Nation's powers are few and defined, Congress may not pursue every good idea or smart policy, nor should courts invalidate every foolish or immoral one. However, for those of us who knew, worked with, learned from, and cared about William Rehnquist, it is his unassuming manner, the care he took …


The Rehnquist Court And The Groundwork For Greater First Amendment Scrutiny Of Intellectual Property, Mark P. Mckenna Jan 2006

The Rehnquist Court And The Groundwork For Greater First Amendment Scrutiny Of Intellectual Property, Mark P. Mckenna

Journal Articles

This contribution to the Washington University School of Law conference on the Rehnquist Court and the First Amendment addresses the Rehnquist Court's view of the role of the First Amendment in intellectual property cases. It argues that, while the Rehnquist Court was not eager to find a conflict between intellectual property laws and the First Amendment, there is reason to believe that it set the stage for greater First Amendment scrutiny of intellectual property protections. At the very least, the Court left that road open to future courts, which might be inclined to view intellectual property more skeptically.


The Rise, Development And Future Directions Of Critical Race Theory And Related Scholarship, Athena D. Mutua Jan 2006

The Rise, Development And Future Directions Of Critical Race Theory And Related Scholarship, Athena D. Mutua

Journal Articles

This essay tells the story of the rise, development and future directions of critical race theory and related scholarship. In telling the story, I suggest that critical race theory (CRT) rises, in part, as a challenge to the emergence of colorblind ideology in law, a major theme of the scholarship. I also contend that conflict, as a process of intellectual and institutional growth, marks the development of critical race theory and provides concrete and experiential examples of some of its key insights and themes. These conflicts are waged in various institutional settings over the structural and discursive meanings of race …


The Lame Ducks Of Marbury, John C. Nagle Jan 2003

The Lame Ducks Of Marbury, John C. Nagle

Journal Articles

The election of 1800 was one of the most contested - and important - in American history. After it became clear that neither President John Adams nor a Federalist majority in Congress had been reelected, they acted during the lame-duck period to preserve their influences far into the future. They did so by appointing John Marshall as Chief Justice, ratifying the Treaty with France, creating numerous new federal judicial positions, and filling many of those positions with friends, family, and Federalists (including William Marbury). Not surprisingly, Jefferson and his supporters protested these actions as contrary to the will of the …


The Supreme Court's Impact On Marriage, 1967-90, Margaret F. Brinig Jan 1998

The Supreme Court's Impact On Marriage, 1967-90, Margaret F. Brinig

Journal Articles

In the twenty years following Loving, the Supreme Court decided a number of cases dealing with the family. Although the Court reasoned that it was protecting marriage and extending such protection to other forms of families, the perverse effect of these decisions was to weaken the most traditional family type of all, the nuclear family. Adults, and particularly pregnant women and unwed fathers, triumphed in this move towards autonomy and rights. The vanquished included those who depended upon the family for love and sustenance: minor children, elderly adults, and longtime homemakers.

This paper discusses these cases from a family law …


Review Essay: Liberalism And The Supreme Court, Donald P. Kommers Jan 1987

Review Essay: Liberalism And The Supreme Court, Donald P. Kommers

Journal Articles

In Liberalism and American Constitutional Law, Rogers M. Smith of Yale University takes stock of the American liberal tradition and its impact on the Supreme Court's constitutional jurisprudence. It argues that the tradition's political vision lacks philosophical coherence and that our constitutional law, by reflecting this incoherence, has failed to provide the legal community with a public philosophy suited to the needs of American society in the late twentieth century.His goal is to demonstrate the superiority of "rational liberty," both as a philosophical theory and practical guide to constitutional policymaking, over three major competing versions of liberal constitutionalism. To wit: …


Imagining The Past And Remembering The Future: The Supreme Court's History Of The Establishment Clause, Gerard V. Bradley Jan 1986

Imagining The Past And Remembering The Future: The Supreme Court's History Of The Establishment Clause, Gerard V. Bradley

Journal Articles

Our Framers through the Establishment Clause sought to prevent the government from preferring one religious sect to another. However, the Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education abandoned that meaning of nonestablishment and created a general prohibition on all nondiscriminatory aid to religion, a decision later reinforced in Lemon v. Kurtzman. This Article discusses the Founder’s worldview and looks at other Establishment Clause cases to illustrate that the historical evidence is inconsistent with Everson. Rather, the founders intended to assure that religion would be aided only on a nondiscriminatory, or sect-neutral, basis and does not stand for …


The Supreme Court And The Constitution: The Continuing Debate On Judicial Review, Donald P. Kommers Jan 1985

The Supreme Court And The Constitution: The Continuing Debate On Judicial Review, Donald P. Kommers

Journal Articles

The three books reviewed in this essay are recent contributions to the growing literature of constitutional theory (Michael J. Perry, The Constitution, the Courts, and Human Rights (New Ha- ven: Yale University Press, 1982); Sotirios A. Barber, On What the Constitution Means (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984); and John Agresto, The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984). They explore important questions about the role of the Supreme Court and the meaning of the Constitution.


Federal Power Over Indians: Its Sources, Scope, And Limitations, Nell Jessup Newton Jan 1984

Federal Power Over Indians: Its Sources, Scope, And Limitations, Nell Jessup Newton

Journal Articles

Judicial deference to federal legislation affecting Indians is a theme that has persisted throughout the two-hundred-year history of American Indian law. The Supreme Court has sustained nearly every piece of federal legislation it has considered directly regulating Indian tribes, whether challenged as being beyond federal power or within that power but violating individual rights.' This judicial deference often has been justified by invoking federal plenary power to regulate Indian affairs and the political question doctrine's requirement of deference to the political branches. Indeed, not until 1977 did the Court explicitly repudiate use of the political question doctrine to bar equal …