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

Law Commons

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

Series

Federal Courts

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 184

Full-Text Articles in Law

Judicial Fidelity, Caprice L. Roberts Jan 2024

Judicial Fidelity, Caprice L. Roberts

Journal Articles

Judicial critics abound. Some say the rule of law is dead across all three branches of government. Four are dead if you count the media as the fourth estate. All are in trouble, even if one approves of each branch’s headlines, but none of them are dead. Not yet.

Pundits and scholars see the latest term of the Supreme Court as clear evidence of partisan politics and unbridled power. They decry an upheaval of laws and norms demonstrating the dire situation across the federal judiciary. Democracy is not dead even when the Court issues opinions that overturn precedent, upends longstanding …


The False Promise Of Jurisdiction Stripping, Daniel Epps, Alan M. Trammell Jan 2024

The False Promise Of Jurisdiction Stripping, Daniel Epps, Alan M. Trammell

Scholarship@WashULaw

Jurisdiction stripping is seen as a nuclear option. Its logic is simple: by depriving federal courts of jurisdiction over some set of cases, Congress ensures those courts cannot render bad decisions. In theory, it frees up the political branches and the states to act without fear of judicial second-guessing. To its proponents, it offers the ultimate check on unelected and unaccountable judges. To critics, it poses a grave threat to the separation of powers. Both sides agree, though, that jurisdiction stripping is a powerful weapon. On this understanding, politicians, activists, and scholars throughout American history have proposed jurisdiction stripping measures …


Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: 2023 Notre Dame Law Review Federal Courts Symposium, Marcus Cole, Brett Kavanaugh Jan 2023

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: 2023 Notre Dame Law Review Federal Courts Symposium, Marcus Cole, Brett Kavanaugh

2019–Present: G. Marcus Cole

Jan 26, 2023

NOTRE DAME LAW SCHOOL

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh covered a range of topics during a keynote Q&A at the 2023 Notre Dame Law Review Federal Courts Symposium, held on January 23 in the McCartan Courtroom. Justice Kavanaugh was joined by G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School, and responded to questions from students and faculty members in the audience.


The False Promise Of Jurisdiction Stripping, Daniel Epps, Alan M. Trammell Jan 2023

The False Promise Of Jurisdiction Stripping, Daniel Epps, Alan M. Trammell

Scholarly Articles

Jurisdiction stripping is seen as a nuclear option. Its logic is simple: By depriving federal courts of jurisdiction over some set of cases, Congress ensures those courts cannot render bad decisions. To its proponents, it offers the ultimate check on unelected and unaccountable judges. To its critics, it poses a grave threat to the separation of powers. Both sides agree, though, that jurisdiction stripping is a powerful weapon. On this understanding, politicians, activists, and scholars throughout American history have proposed jurisdiction-stripping measures as a way for Congress to reclaim policymaking authority from the courts.

The conventional understanding is wrong. Whatever …


Proper Parties, Proper Relief, Samuel L. Bray, William Baude Jan 2023

Proper Parties, Proper Relief, Samuel L. Bray, William Baude

Journal Articles

From the Introduction

In the last Term at the United States Supreme Court [2022], standing was the critical question in several major cases: the two challenges to the Biden Administration’s first student loan forgiveness plan, Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, as well as the challenge to the Administration’s immigration priorities in United States v. Texas and the race-discrimination challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act in Haaland v. Brackeen. Standing has featured heavily in journalistic coverage of the decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. And standing may have been the reason for the Court’s stay …


Biden V. Nebraska: The New State Standing And The (Old) Purposive Major Questions Doctrine, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Jan 2023

Biden V. Nebraska: The New State Standing And The (Old) Purposive Major Questions Doctrine, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion in Biden v. Nebraska does not sufficiently explain how Missouri has standing under established Article III doctrine, nor how the Court approaches the major questions doctrine as a method of statutory interpretation. Clarification can come from other opinions, even other cases entirely, in which Justice’s counterarguments are suggestive of the real arguments underlying the decisions.

MOHELA may have faced a concrete injury from the student debt waiver, but there was no evidence that Missouri would – and the majority had no answer for how Missouri had standing without an injury. A debate over special state …


Rule 4(K), Nationwide Personal Jurisdiction, And The Civil Rules Advisory Committee: Lessons From Attempted Reform, A. Benjamin Spencer Jan 2022

Rule 4(K), Nationwide Personal Jurisdiction, And The Civil Rules Advisory Committee: Lessons From Attempted Reform, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

On multiple occasions, I have advocated for a revision to Rule 4(k) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that would disconnect personal jurisdiction in federal courts from the jurisdictional limits of their respective host states—to no avail. In this Essay, I will review—one final time—my argument for nationwide personal jurisdiction in the federal courts, recount my (failed) attempt to persuade the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules to embrace my view, and reflect on what lessons may be drawn from the experience regarding the civil rulemaking process. My aim is to prompt discussion around potential rulemaking reforms and to equip …


Political Ideology And Judicial Administration: Evidence From The Covid-19 Pandemic, Kyle Rozema, Adam Chilton, Christopher Anthony Cotropia, David L. Schwartz Jan 2022

Political Ideology And Judicial Administration: Evidence From The Covid-19 Pandemic, Kyle Rozema, Adam Chilton, Christopher Anthony Cotropia, David L. Schwartz

Scholarship@WashULaw

We study the effect of political ideology on the administration of the judiciary by investigating how the chief judges of federal district courts set courthouse policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so, we use novel data on the geographic boundaries of federal courts and on the contents of pandemic orders. We account for state and local conditions and policies by leveraging district courts in states that have multiple judicial districts and that have courthouses in multiple counties, and we isolate the effect of chief ideology by using simulations that difference out unobserved district-level effects. We find no …


28 U.S.C. § 1331 Jurisdiction In The Roberts Court: A Rights-Inclusive Approach, Lumen N. Mulligan Jan 2022

28 U.S.C. § 1331 Jurisdiction In The Roberts Court: A Rights-Inclusive Approach, Lumen N. Mulligan

Faculty Works

In this symposium piece, I argue that the Roberts Court, whether intentionally or not, is crafting a 28 U.S.C. § 1331 doctrine that is more solicitous of congressional control than the Supreme Court’s past body of jurisdictional law. Further, I contend that this movement toward greater congressional control is a positive step for the court. In making this argument, I review the foundations of the famous Holmes test for taking § 1331 jurisdiction and the legal positivist roots for that view. I discuss the six key Roberts Court cases that demonstrate a movement away from a simple Holmes test and …


Weaponizing En Banc, Neal Devins, Allison Orr Larsen Nov 2021

Weaponizing En Banc, Neal Devins, Allison Orr Larsen

Faculty Publications

The federal courts of appeals embrace the ideal that judges are committed to rule-of-law norms, collegiality, and judicial independence. Whatever else divides them, these judges generally agree that partisan identity has no place on the bench. Consequently, when a court of appeals sits “en banc,” (i.e., collectively) the party affiliations of the three-judge panel under review should not matter. Starting in the 1980s, however, partisan ideology has grown increasingly important in the selection of federal appellate judges. It thus stands to reason—and several high-profile modern examples illustrate—that today’s en banc review could be used as a weapon by whatever party …


A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2021

A Scapegoat Theory Of Bivens, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Some scapegoats are innocent. Some warrant blame, but not the amount they are made to bear. Either way, scapegoating can allow in-groups to sidestep social problems by casting blame onto out-groups instead of confronting such problems--and the in-groups' complicity in perpetuating them--directly.

This Essay suggests that it may be productive to view the Bivens regime's rise as countering various exercises in scapegoating and its retrenchment as constituting an exercise in scapegoating. The earlier cases can be seen as responding to social structures that have scapegoated racial, economic, and other groups through overaggressive policing, mass incarceration, and inequitable government conduct more …


The Paradox Of Exclusive State-Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Claims, Thomas B. Bennett Jan 2021

The Paradox Of Exclusive State-Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Claims, Thomas B. Bennett

Faculty Publications

Standing doctrine is supposed to ensure the separation of powers and an adversary process of adjudication. But recently, it has begun serving a new and unintended purpose: transferring federal claims from federal to state court. Paradoxically, current standing doctrine assigns a growing class of federal claims - despite Congressional intent to the contrary - to the exclusive jurisdiction of state courts. Even then, only in some states, and only to the extent authorized by state law.

This paradox arises at the intersection of three distinct areas of doctrine:

(1) a newly sharpened requirement of concrete injury under Article III that …


Reconstructing State Republics, Francesca L. Procaccini Jan 2021

Reconstructing State Republics, Francesca L. Procaccini

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Our national political dysfunction is rooted in constitutionally dysfunctional states. States today are devolving into modern aristocracies through laws that depress popular control, entwine wealth and power, and insulate incumbents from democratic oversight and accountability. These unrepublican states corrupt the entire United States. It is for this reason that the Constitution obligates the United States to restore ailing states to their full republican strength. But how? For all its attention to process, the Constitution is silent on how the United States may exercise its sweeping Article IV power to “guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of …


Bivens And The Ancien Régime, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2021

Bivens And The Ancien Régime, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In its most recent decision narrowly construing Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the Supreme Court derided Bivens as the product of an “‘ancien regime,’ ... [in which] the Court assumed it to be a proper judicial function to ‘provide such remedies as are necessary to make effective’ a statute’s purpose.” This Essay considers the relevance for Bivens claims of the Court’s shift to a nouveau régime to address the implication of private rights of action under statutes. It first describes and assesses the Court’s reasons for shifting to the nouveau r …


The Future Of Supreme Court Reform, Daniel Epps, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2021

The Future Of Supreme Court Reform, Daniel Epps, Ganesh Sitaraman

Scholarship@WashULaw

For a brief moment in the fall of 2020, structural reform of the Supreme Court seemed like a tangible possibility. After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, some prominent Democratic politicians and liberal commentators warmed to the idea of expanding the Court to respond to Republicans’ rush to confirm a nominee before the election, despite their refusal four years prior to confirm Judge Merrick Garland on the ground that it was an election year. Though Democratic candidate Joe Biden won the Presidency in November, Democrats lost seats in the House and have a majority in the Senate …


Habeas, History, And Hermeneutics, Jonathan R. Siegel Jan 2021

Habeas, History, And Hermeneutics, Jonathan R. Siegel

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch recently proposed a radical shrinking of federal habeas corpus relief for state prisoners who are in custody pursuant to a final judgment of criminal conviction. They called for a return to the supposedly traditional principle that federal courts cannot grant habeas relief to such prisoners unless the state court that sentenced them lacked jurisdiction. This Article explains that (1) this supposedly traditional principle was not, in fact, a traditional principle of habeas, and (2) even if it were, Congress has displaced it by statute. Exploring the errors in the Justices’ arguments provides …


Eager To Follow: Methodological Precedent In Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Dec 2020

Eager To Follow: Methodological Precedent In Statutory Interpretation, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

An important recent development in the field of statutory interpretation is the emergence of a movement calling for "methodological precedent"--a regime under which courts give precedential effect to interpretive methodology. In such a system, a case would establish not only what a particular statute means but could also establish binding rules of methodology--which tools are valid, in what order, and so on. The movement for methodological precedent has attracted sharp criticism on normative grounds. But both sides of the normative debate agree on the premise that the federal courts generally do not give precedential effect to interpretive methodology today.

This …


We Must Restore Americans' Faith In Our Federal Bench, A. Benjamin Spencer Nov 2020

We Must Restore Americans' Faith In Our Federal Bench, A. Benjamin Spencer

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


The Remand Power And The Supreme Court's Role, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2020

The Remand Power And The Supreme Court's Role, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

"Reversed and remanded." Or "vacated and remanded." These familiar words, often found at the end of an appellate decision, emphasize that an appellate court's conclusion that the lower court erred generally does not end the litigation. The power to remand for further proceedings rather than wrap up a case is useful for appellate courts because they may lack the institutional competence to bring the case to a final resolution (as when new factual findings are necessary) or lack an interest in the fact-specific work of applying a newly announced legal standard to the particular circumstances at hand. The modern Supreme …


Revisiting And Confronting The Federal Judiciary Capacity “Crisis”: Charting A Path For Federal Judiciary Reform, Ryan G. Vacca, Peter S. Menell Jul 2020

Revisiting And Confronting The Federal Judiciary Capacity “Crisis”: Charting A Path For Federal Judiciary Reform, Ryan G. Vacca, Peter S. Menell

Law Faculty Scholarship

[excerpt] "This Article revisits and confronts the growing caseload and congestion problems plaguing the federal judiciary. It begins by tracing the history and political economy surrounding judiciary reform. It then updates data on caseloads, processing times, certiorari petitions, en banc review, and other measures of judicial performance, revealing expanding caseloads and growing complexity and fragmentation of federal law. Part III explores the political, institutional, and human causes of the logjam over judiciary reform and offers an antidote: a commission tasked with developing a judiciary reform act that would not go into effect until 2030. The “2030 Commission” members would …


First, We'll Neuter All The Judges, A. Benjamin Spencer Feb 2020

First, We'll Neuter All The Judges, A. Benjamin Spencer

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Concepts, Not Nomenclature: Universal Injunctions, Declaratory Judgments, Opinions And Precedent, Howard Wasserman Jan 2020

Concepts, Not Nomenclature: Universal Injunctions, Declaratory Judgments, Opinions And Precedent, Howard Wasserman

Faculty Publications

Battle lines are drawn on the permissibility and validity of injunctions in federal constitutional litigation purporting to halt government enforcement of a challenged law against all possible targets of that law and to protect all rights holders against enforcement. Courts, members of the Supreme Court, and legal scholars are divided — some supporting and others rejecting them as impermissible.; I have staked my position in the latter camp.

From that starting point, this paper considers three subsidiary issues: 1) the proper label for these injunctions, arguing that “universal” or “non-particularized” is a more accurate term than the prevailing “nationwide”; 2) …


The Judicial Reforms Of 1937, Barry Cushman Jan 2020

The Judicial Reforms Of 1937, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

The literature on reform of the federal courts in 1937 understandably focuses on the history and consequences of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ill-fated proposal to increase the membership of the Supreme Court. A series of decisions declaring various components of the New Deal unconstitutional had persuaded Roosevelt and some of his advisors that the best way out of the impasse was to enlarge the number of justiceships and to appoint to the new positions jurists who would be “dependable” supporters of the Administration’s program. Yet Roosevelt and congressional Democrats also were deeply troubled by what they perceived as judicial obstruction …


Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos May 2019

Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A growing number of courts and commentators have suggested that states have Article III standing to protect state law. Proponents of such "protective" standing argue that states must be given access to federal court whenever their laws are threatened. Absent such access, they claim, many state laws might prove toothless, thereby undermining the value of the states in our federal system. Furthermore, proponents insist that this form of special solicitude is very limited-that it opens the doors to the federal courthouses a crack but does not swing them wide open. This Essay, however, contests both of these claims, and thus, …


An Organizational Account Of State Standing, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2019

An Organizational Account Of State Standing, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Again and again in regard to recent high-profile disputes, the legal community has tied itself in knots over questions about when state plaintiffs should have standing to sue in federal court, especially in cases where they seek to sue federal-government defendants. Lawsuits challenging everything from the Bush administration’s environmental policies to the Obama administration’s immigration actions to the Trump administration’s travel bans have become mired in tricky and technical questions about whether state plaintiffs belonged in federal court.

Should state standing cause so much controversy and confusion? This Essay argues that state plaintiffs are far more like at least one …


How To Save The Supreme Court, Daniel Epps, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2019

How To Save The Supreme Court, Daniel Epps, Ganesh Sitaraman

Scholarship@WashULaw

The consequences of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation are seismic. Justice Kavanaugh, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, completes a new conservative majority and represents a stunning Republican victory after decades of increasingly partisan battles over control of the Court. The result is a Supreme Court whose Justices are likely to vote along party lines more consistently than ever before in American history. That development gravely threatens the Court’s legitimacy. If in the future roughly half of Americans lack confidence in the Supreme Court’s ability to render impartial justice, the Court’s power to settle important questions of law will be in …


An Unfinished Dialogue: Congress, The Judiciary, And The Rules For Federal Judicial Misconduct Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman Jan 2019

An Unfinished Dialogue: Congress, The Judiciary, And The Rules For Federal Judicial Misconduct Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman

Articles

Federal judges can be impeached and removed from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but what can be done to investigate and remedy less serious misconduct? Congress gave its answer 40 years ago when it passed the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980. The Act emerged from a series of complex interactions between Congress and the judiciary that could hardly be replicated today. Initially there was strong support, particularly in the Senate, for a centralized, “strictly adjudicatory” system, including a provision for removal of judges without impeachment. Over the course of several years, however, the judiciary persuaded Congress to …


Ensuring An Exemplary Judiciary Workplace: An Alternative To A Mandatory Reporting Requirement For Judges, Arthur D. Hellman Oct 2018

Ensuring An Exemplary Judiciary Workplace: An Alternative To A Mandatory Reporting Requirement For Judges, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In December 2017, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, responding to a request from Chief Justice Roberts, formed a Working Group to recommend measures “to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee.” The Working Group issued its report in June 2018. On October 30, 2018, two committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the administrative policy-making body of the federal judiciary, held a hearing on proposed amendments to the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. Both sets of proposed amendments …


Comments On Proposed Amendments To The Rules For Judicial-Conduct And Judicial-Disability Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman Oct 2018

Comments On Proposed Amendments To The Rules For Judicial-Conduct And Judicial-Disability Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In late 2017, prominent Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski was accused of engaging in sexual harassment and other misconduct over a long period during his tenure as a judge. Judge Kozinski resigned, but the controversy continued. The Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, responding to a request from Chief Justice Roberts, formed a Working Group to recommend measures “to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee.” The Working Group issued its report in June 2018.

In September 2018, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability (Conduct Committee) of the Judicial Conference of …


Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf Mar 2018

Invisible Adjudication In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Michael Kagan, Rebecca Gill, Fatma Marouf

Faculty Scholarship

Non-precedent decisions are the norm in federal appellate courts, and are seen by judges as a practical necessity given the size of their dockets. Yet the system has always been plagued by doubts. If only some decisions are designated to be precedents, questions arise about whether courts might be acting arbitrarily in other cases. Such doubts have been overcome in part because nominally unpublished decisions are available through standard legal research databases. This creates the appearance of transparency, mitigating concerns that courts may be acting arbitrarily. But what if this appearance is an illusion? This Article reports empirical data drawn …