Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 50

Full-Text Articles in Law

En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2016

En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

All Faculty Scholarship

We live in an era of growing economic inequality. Luminaries ranging from the President to the Pope to economist Thomas Piketty in his bestselling book Capital in the Twenty- First Century have raised alarms about the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Overlooked, however, in these important discussions is the reality that economic inequality is not a uniform experience; rather, its effects fall more harshly on women and minorities. With regard to gender, American women have higher rates of poverty and get paid less than comparable men, and their workplace participation rates are falling. Yet economic inequality is neither ...


The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson Apr 2015

The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson

All Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s attempt to create a standard for evaluating whether the Establishment Clause is violated by religious governmental speech, such as the public display of the Ten Commandments or the Pledge of Allegiance, is a total failure. The Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence has been termed “convoluted,” “a muddled mess,” and “a polite lie.” Unwilling to either allow all governmental religious speech or ban it entirely, the Court is in need of a coherent standard for distinguishing the permissible from the unconstitutional. Thus far, no Justice has offered such a standard.

A careful reading of the history of ...


Dna Helps Clear Man's Name From Rape Charge After 24 Years, Colin Starger Jul 2014

Dna Helps Clear Man's Name From Rape Charge After 24 Years, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Keynote Speech: A Letter From The Original Cause Lawyer, F. Michael Higginbotham Jul 2014

Keynote Speech: A Letter From The Original Cause Lawyer, F. Michael Higginbotham

All Faculty Scholarship

This symposium speech is a short piece which talks about why there is a need for law students to become cause lawyers, the symposium being: cause lawyers and cause lawyering in the sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education. The writer creates an allegorical scene where he's snowed in in his home during a snowstorm, lightning strikes his computer, and the computer comes to life in the form a message being typed, and "channeled" to him by Thurgood Marshall. The former Justice of the Supreme Court proceeds to state the many reasons why there is still a need ...


Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay Apr 2014

Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay

All Faculty Scholarship

Few predicted that the constitutional fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would turn on Congress’ power to lay and collect taxes. Yet in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the centerpiece of the Act — the minimum coverage provision (MCP), commonly known as the “individual mandate” — as a tax. The unexpected basis of the Court’s holding has deflected attention from what may prove to be the decision’s more constitutionally consequential feature: that a majority of the Court agreed that Congress lacked authority under the Commerce Clause to penalize people who decline to purchase health insurance ...


A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2014

A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the United States Supreme Court’s role in furthering economic inequality. The Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 not only highlighted growing income and wealth inequality in the United States, but also pointed the blame at governmental policies that favor business interests and the wealthy due to their outsized influence on politicians. Numerous economists and political scientists agree with this thesis. However, in focusing ire on the political branches and big business, these critiques have largely overlooked the role of the judiciary in fostering economic inequality. The Court’s doctrine touches each of the major causes of ...


Scalia & Garner's Reading Law: A Civil Law For The Age Of Statutes?, James Maxeiner Jul 2013

Scalia & Garner's Reading Law: A Civil Law For The Age Of Statutes?, James Maxeiner

All Faculty Scholarship

In Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and American legal lexicographer Bryan A. Garner challenge Americans to start over in dealing with statutes in the Age of Statutes. They propose ― "textualism," i.e., ― "that the words of a governing text are of paramount concern, and what they convey in their context is what the text means." Textualism is to remedy American lack of ― "a generally agreed-on approach to the interpretation of legal texts." That deficiency makes American law unpredictable, unequal, undemocratic and political. In the book's Foreword Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook ...


Fifty Years Before Brady, Colin Starger May 2013

Fifty Years Before Brady, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

In marking the fiftieth anniversary of Brady v. Maryland, a fitting way to appreciate the historic significance of Justice Douglas’ opinion for the Court is to turn back the pages another fifty years. Brady’s profound contribution to our criminal justice system becomes apparent by considering the impoverished state of the Supreme Court’s due process doctrine as it stood a century ago. In the fifty years that led up to Brady, the Court confronted a series of racially and politically charged cases that forced constitutional soul searching about due process in the face of rank injustice. The story of ...


Comments On Maryland V. King In 'U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Md. Dna Case: Justices' Decision Will Have National Implications On Future Crime-Fighting Procedures', Colin Starger Feb 2013

Comments On Maryland V. King In 'U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Md. Dna Case: Justices' Decision Will Have National Implications On Future Crime-Fighting Procedures', Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Dialectic Of Stare Decisis Doctrine, Colin Starger Jan 2013

The Dialectic Of Stare Decisis Doctrine, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

In the United States Supreme Court, the concept of stare decisis operates as both metadoctrine and doctrine. On the one hand, stare decisis functions as a generally applicable presumption in favor of adherence to precedent. This presumption is metadoctrinal because it provides a generic argument against overruling that applies independently of the substantive context of any given case. On the other hand, when the Court considers overruling a particularly controversial precedent, it usually weighs the constraining force of stare decisis by invoking factors and tests announced in its own prior caselaw. In other words, the Court has precedent about when ...


Patents At The Supreme Court: It Could Have Been Worse, Gregory Dolin Jan 2013

Patents At The Supreme Court: It Could Have Been Worse, Gregory Dolin

All Faculty Scholarship

In the last few years in particular, the Court has expanded the zone of exclusion from patent eligibility, limited the availability of injunctive relief for patentees whose patents have been adjudged to be valid and infringed, and broadened the scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine. To be sure, not all of the Supreme Court’s decisions were “anti-patent.” Nonetheless, the overall trajectory of the Court’s patent jurisprudence has been toward a narrower set of patent rights. Thus, there was significant trepidation in the patent bar and the academy when the Supreme Court decided to hear three patent cases in ...


What Lies Beneath: Interpretive Methodology, Constitutional Authority, And The Case Of Originalism, Christopher J. Peters Jan 2013

What Lies Beneath: Interpretive Methodology, Constitutional Authority, And The Case Of Originalism, Christopher J. Peters

All Faculty Scholarship

It is a remarkable fact of American constitutional practice that we cannot agree on a methodology of constitutional interpretation. What can explain our disagreement? Is it the product of a deeper, principled dispute about the meaning of constitutional law? Or is it just a veneer – a velvet curtain obscuring what is really a back-room brawl over political outcomes?

This Article suggests that these, in essence, are the only viable possibilities. Either we disagree about interpretation because we disagree (or are confused) about constitutional authority – about why the Constitution binds us in the first place; or we disagree because we disagree ...


The Virtue Of Obscurity, Colin Starger Jan 2013

The Virtue Of Obscurity, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

The critics have panned Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor. Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have together bemoaned what may be called Kennedy’s “doctrinal obscurity” in Windsor. Doctrinal obscurity describes the opinion’s failure to justify striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) using any discernable accepted test for substantive due process or equal protection. Specifically, Kennedy does not ask whether DOMA burdens a right “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” nor does he identify sexual orientation as a suspect or semi-suspect classification, nor does he subject ...


A Visual Guide To United States V. Windsor: Doctrinal Origins Of Justice Kennedy’S Majority Opinion, Colin Starger Jan 2013

A Visual Guide To United States V. Windsor: Doctrinal Origins Of Justice Kennedy’S Majority Opinion, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

After finding the Court had jurisdiction, Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor reached the merits and concluded that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was in violation of the Fifth Amendment. In his dissent, Justice Scalia attacked the majority’s doctrinal reasoning on the merits as “nonspecific handwaving” that invalidated DOMA “maybe on equal-protection grounds, maybe on substantive due process grounds, and perhaps with some amorphous federalism component playing a role.”

This Visual Guide is a “doctrinal map” that responds to Scalia’s accusation by charting the doctrinal origins of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion. Specifically ...


Expanding Stare Decisis: The Role Of Precedent In The Unfolding Dialectic Of Brady V. Maryland, Colin Starger Oct 2012

Expanding Stare Decisis: The Role Of Precedent In The Unfolding Dialectic Of Brady V. Maryland, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

Does stare decisis constrain the expansion of constitutional doctrine? Does existing precedent preclude the Supreme Court from expanding a criminal defendant’s right to exculpatory evidence? While commentators frequently clash on when stare decisis should prevent the Court from overruling its own precedents, the question of when fidelity to precedent should inhibit doctrinal expansion is surprisingly under-theorized. This Article begins to fill this gap through an in-depth case study of stare decisis and the expansion of criminal due process doctrine.

This Article analyzes the longstanding constitutional dialectic between procedural and substantive schools of criminal due process. Focus is on Brady ...


A Visual Guide To Nfib V. Sebelius, Colin Starger Jan 2012

A Visual Guide To Nfib V. Sebelius, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

Though Chief Justice Roberts ultimately provided the fifth vote upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under the Tax Power, his was also one of five votes finding the ACA exceeded Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.

The doctrinal basis for Roberts’ Commerce Clause analysis was hotly contested. While Roberts argued that the ACA’s purported exercise of Commerce power “finds no support in our precedent,” Justice Ginsburg accused the Chief Justice of failing to “evaluat[e] the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision in the manner established by our precedents.”

These diametrically opposed perspectives on “precedent” might prompt observers to ...


The Short-Sighted Attack On Patent Eligibility Of Healthcare Related Patents, Gregory Dolin Jan 2012

The Short-Sighted Attack On Patent Eligibility Of Healthcare Related Patents, Gregory Dolin

All Faculty Scholarship

On March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided the case of Mayo Collaborative Svc. v. Prometheus Labs. At issue was a patent, held by Prometheus that taught doctors how to adjust the amount of thiopurine (a drug used for treatment of a variety of autoimmune diseases) administered to a patient. In an opinion by Justice Breyer, the Court held Prometheus’s invention to not be patent eligible and invalidated the patent. Though I believe that the reasoning the Court employed was erroneous and highly problematic (of which more later), the decision could have been viewed ...


Response: Metaphor And Meaning In Trawling For Herring, Colin Starger Jan 2011

Response: Metaphor And Meaning In Trawling For Herring, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

In this essay responding to Professor Jennifer Laurin’s essay, Trawling for Herring: Lessons in Doctrinal Borrowing and Convergence, I advance Laurin’s project of recovering the exclusionary rule’s lost lineage through a critical reflection upon her doctrinal metaphors. Specifically, I parse the jurisprudential significance of Laurin’s idea of “trawling” in order to understand Herring v. United States and show how this metaphor successfully builds upon a second water-based metaphor animating Laurin’s analysis — the “hydraulics” of borrowing and convergence. By attending to both Laurin’s specific exclusionary rule arguments and to how Laurin’s conceptualization of “hydraulics ...


Ten Years After: Bartnicki V. Vopper As Laboratory For First Amendment Advocacy And Analysis, Eric Easton Jan 2011

Ten Years After: Bartnicki V. Vopper As Laboratory For First Amendment Advocacy And Analysis, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

How many ways can one approach a First Amendment analysis? What influences a lawyer or a judge to select one analytical approach over another? And what is the long-term effect of a court's choice of one over another? In Bartnicki v. Vopper, a 2001 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court considered federal and state statutes prohibiting the disclosure of illegally intercepted telephone conversations, we are privileged to have a small laboratory through which to study the first two questions. And, from the vantage point of ten years, we ought to be able to make some informed predictions ...


Immigration As Invasion: Sovereignty, Security, And The Origins Of The Federal Immigration Power, Matthew Lindsay Jan 2010

Immigration As Invasion: Sovereignty, Security, And The Origins Of The Federal Immigration Power, Matthew Lindsay

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new interpretation of the modern federal immigration power. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Supreme Court and Congress fundamentally transformed the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration, from a species of commercial regulation firmly grounded in Congress’ commerce authority, into a power that was unmoored from the Constitution, derived from the nation’s “inherent sovereignty,” and subject to extraordinary judicial deference. This framework, which is commonly referred to as the “plenary power doctrine,” has stood for more than a century as an anomaly within American public law. The principal legal and rhetorical rationale ...


The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt Oct 2009

The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the Supreme Court’s 1984 Chevron decision, the primary responsibility for interpreting federal statutes has increasingly resided with federal agencies in the first instance rather than with the federal courts. In 2005, the Court reinforced this approach by deciding National Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, which legitimized the agency practice of interpreting federal statutes in a manner contrary to the federal courts' established interpretation, so long as the agency interpretation is entitled to deference under the well-established Chevron standard. In essence, agencies are free to disregard federal court precedent in these circumstances. This Article analyzes the ...


A House Divided: Earl Caldwell, The New York Times, And The Quest For A Testimonial Privilege, Eric Easton Jan 2009

A House Divided: Earl Caldwell, The New York Times, And The Quest For A Testimonial Privilege, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

In the 1972 case of Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not protect journalists who refuse to reveal their confidential sources or news gathering product in response to a federal grand jury subpoena. That decision has remained vital for 35 years and has reverberated through a number of recent high-profile cases. Despite some form of protection in nearly every state court, reporters haled before a federal judge may have no recourse save prison. Devastating as Branzburg has been for the so-called journalist's privilege, its negative impact has been far broader. Branzburg is one ...


An Open Letter From Heaven To Barack Obama, F. Michael Higginbotham Jan 2009

An Open Letter From Heaven To Barack Obama, F. Michael Higginbotham

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the passing of A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. in 1998, many have wondered what the award winning author, longest-serving black federal judge, first black to head a federal regulatory agency, recipient of the Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and author of the famous “Open Letter to Clarence Thomas” would think of the state of race relations today. Appointed to the Federal Trade Commission in 1962, Higginbotham served in several powerful federal positions including Vice-Chairman of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, member of the first wiretap surveillance court, and chief judge of a ...


Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters Oct 2008

Under-The-Table Overruling, Christopher J. Peters

All Faculty Scholarship

In this contribution to a Wayne Law Review symposium on the first three years of the Roberts Court, the author normatively assesses the Court's practice of "under-the-table overruling," or "underruling," in high-profile constitutional cases involving abortion, campaign-finance reform, and affirmative action. The Court "underrules" when it renders a decision that undercuts a recent precedent without admitting that it is doing so. The author contends that underruling either is not supported by, or is directly incompatible with, three common rationales for constitutional stare decisis: the noninstrumental rationale, the predictability rationale, and the legitimacy rationale. In particular, while the latter rationale ...


The Colonel's Finest Campaign: Robert R. Mccormick And Near V. Minnesota, Eric Easton Mar 2008

The Colonel's Finest Campaign: Robert R. Mccormick And Near V. Minnesota, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

Today, media corporations and their professional and trade associations, along with organizations like Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the American Civil Liberties Union, carefully monitor litigation that implicates First Amendment values and decide whether, when, and how to intervene. It was not always so. Litigation by an institutional press to avoid or create doctrinal precedent under the First Amendment really began with the appointment of Col. Robert R. McCormick to head the ANPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press in the spring of 1928 and his involvement in Near v. Minnesota beginning that fall. Because of ...


Frozen In Time: The State Action Doctrine's Application To Amateur Sports, Dionne L. Koller Jan 2008

Frozen In Time: The State Action Doctrine's Application To Amateur Sports, Dionne L. Koller

All Faculty Scholarship

The state action doctrine has as its central goal the preservation of liberty by limiting the intrusion of the government into the "private" sphere. It achieves this by applying the Constitution only to government, and not private, action. Traditionally, amateur sports regulators such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have been viewed by courts as private. As a result, this article explains that courts generally give great deference to amateur sports organizations such as the NCAA and USOC to regulate sports with little judicial interference, including in the area of constitutional litigation ...


The Press As An Interest Group: Mainstream Media In The United States Supreme Court, Eric Easton Jul 2007

The Press As An Interest Group: Mainstream Media In The United States Supreme Court, Eric Easton

All Faculty Scholarship

There can be little doubt that the institutional press is an interest group to be reckoned with in the Supreme Court, its aversion to such a designation notwithstanding. Over the past century, and especially since 1964, the press has secured for itself the greatest legal protection available anywhere in the world. While some of that protection has come from Congress, by far the greatest share has come from the Supreme Court's expansive interpretation of the First Amendment's Press Clause. Although the role of the press in American politics has been studied extensively for nearly two centuries, the role ...


After 150 Years, Worst Supreme Court Decision Ever Continues To Haunt, F. Michael Higginbotham Mar 2007

After 150 Years, Worst Supreme Court Decision Ever Continues To Haunt, F. Michael Higginbotham

All Faculty Scholarship

In 1857, the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, declaring that it had no jurisdiction to hear Dred Scott's claim to freedom because he was black and, therefore, not a citizen of the United States. This article argues that not only was the decision morally reprehensible, it was also based on an erroneous interpretation of the Constitution.


How Antidiscrimination Law Learned To Live With Racial Inequality, Matthew Lindsay Oct 2006

How Antidiscrimination Law Learned To Live With Racial Inequality, Matthew Lindsay

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores a great paradox at the heart of the prevailing paradigm of American antidiscrimination law: the colorblindness ideal. In theory, and often in practice, that ideal is animated by a genuine commitment to liberal, individualist, race-neutral egalitarianism. For many of its partisans, colorblindness entails not only a negative injunction against race-conscious decisionmaking, but also, crucially, an affirmative program for the achievement of true racial equality. For these proponents, scrupulously race-neutral decisionmaking both advances the interests of racial minorities and embodies the best aspirations of the civil rights movement. In this worldview, colorblindness offers the only true antidote for ...


'"You Have Been In Afghanistan": A Discourse On The Van Alstyne Method, Garrett Epps Apr 2005

'"You Have Been In Afghanistan": A Discourse On The Van Alstyne Method, Garrett Epps

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay pays tribute to William Van Alstyne, one of our foremost constitutional scholars, by applying the methods of textual interpretation he laid out in a classic essay, "Interpreting This Constitution: On the Unhelpful Contribution of Special Theories of Judicial Review." I make use of the graphical methods Van Alstyne has applied to the general study of the First Amendment to examine the Supreme Court's recent decisions in the context of the Free Exercise Clause, in particular the landmark case of "Employment Division v. Smith". The application of Van Alstyne's use of the burden of proof as an ...