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Full-Text Articles in Law

Discharging Equity: Harrington V. Purdue Pharma L.P. And The Validity Of Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases, Andrew Klauber Apr 2024

Discharging Equity: Harrington V. Purdue Pharma L.P. And The Validity Of Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases, Andrew Klauber

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In September 2019, Purdue Pharma L.P. petitioned for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. Purdue, which the Sackler family had owned and operated for decades, developed and aggressively marketed addictive opioid products, contributing to the modern opioid epidemic. The tsunami of litigation arising from the opioid epidemic gave rise to claims against Purdue and the Sackler family estimated to total more than $40 trillion, causing Purdue to petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In Purdue’s plan of reorganization, it employed a nonconsensual third-party release to discharge claims against the Sackler family. Nonconsensual third-party releases controversially enjoin parties to a …


“We Do No Such Thing”: 303 Creative V. Elenis And The Future Of First Amendment Challenges To Public Accommodations Laws, David Cole Jan 2024

“We Do No Such Thing”: 303 Creative V. Elenis And The Future Of First Amendment Challenges To Public Accommodations Laws, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 303 Creative v. Elenis, the Supreme Court ruled that a business had a right to refuse to design a wedding website for a same-sex couple. But properly understood, the decision’s parameters are narrow, and the decision should have minimal effect on public accommodations laws.


The Delegation Doctrine, Jonathan Adler Jan 2024

The Delegation Doctrine, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

The nondelegation doctrine may remain moribund, but the outlines of a delegation doctrine may be visible in the Court’s recent jurisprudence. Instead of policing the limits on Congress’s power to delegate authority to administrative agencies, the Court has instead been focusing on whether the power administrative agencies seek to exercise has been properly delegated by Congress in the first place. This emerging delegation doctrine may be seen in both the Court’s recent major questions doctrine cases, as well as the Court’s decisions refining and constraining the Chevron doctrine. In both contexts the Court has embraced the principle that agencies may …


Above Reproach? The U.S. Supreme Court's Ethical Issues, Christopher J. Przemieniecki, Jana Nestlerode, Carli Younce Sep 2023

Above Reproach? The U.S. Supreme Court's Ethical Issues, Christopher J. Przemieniecki, Jana Nestlerode, Carli Younce

Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

With society scrutinizing the American criminal justice system, a standard of ethics becomes ever so important for law enforcement officials, members of the bench, and correctional personnel. Creating a code of conduct not only benefits the individual players in the criminal justice system but it also protects the integrity of each institution. Unfortunately, one of the most important judicial branches in the criminal justice system, the United States Supreme Court, does not have, nor follow an ethical code of conduct. This creates a problem for criminal justice practitioners, the media, and society. This article examines the current requirements for a …


The Causation Canon, Sandra F. Sperino Jan 2023

The Causation Canon, Sandra F. Sperino

Faculty Publications

It is rare to witness the birth of a canon of statutory interpretation. In the past decade, the Supreme Court created a new canon-the causation canon. When a statute uses any causal language, the Court will assume that Congress meant to require the plaintiff to establish "but-for" cause.

This Article is the first to name, recognize and discuss this new canon. The Article traces the birth of the canon, showing that the canon did not exist until 2013 and was not certain until 2020. Demonstrating how the Court constructed this new canon yields several new insights about statutory interpretation.

The …


There Is No Such Thing As Circuit Law, Thomas B. Bennett Jan 2023

There Is No Such Thing As Circuit Law, Thomas B. Bennett

Faculty Publications

Lawyers and judges often talk about “the law of the circuit,” meaning the set of legal rules that apply within a particular federal judicial circuit. Seasoned practitioners are steeped in circuit law, it is said. Some courts have imagined that they confront a choice between applying the law of one circuit or another. In its strong form, this idea of circuit law implies that each circuit creates and interprets its own body of substantive law that is uniquely applicable to disputes that arise within the circuit’s borders.

This article argues that the notion of circuit law is nonsensical and undesirable …


Supreme Court Legitimacy Under Threat? The Role Of Cues In How The Public Responds To Supreme Court Decisions., Laura Moyer, Scott S. Boddery, Jeff Yates, Lindsay Caudill Jan 2023

Supreme Court Legitimacy Under Threat? The Role Of Cues In How The Public Responds To Supreme Court Decisions., Laura Moyer, Scott S. Boddery, Jeff Yates, Lindsay Caudill

Faculty Scholarship

Understanding how the public views the Court and its rulings is crucial to assessing its institutional stability. However, as scholars note, “People are broadly supportive of the court and believe in its ‘legitimacy’—that is, that Supreme Court rulings should be respected and followed. But we don’t know that much about whether people actually agree with the case outcomes themselves.” In this article, we highlight empirical research investigating the factors that affect public agreement with Court decisions, highlighting recent developments from our work. At the onset, it is to note that the public generally hears about the Court’s decisions from media …


Textualism In Practice, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2023

Textualism In Practice, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

It is by now axiomatic to note that textualism has won the statutory interpretation wars. But contrary to what textualists long have promised, the widespread embrace of textualism as an interpretive methodology has not resulted in any real clarity or predictability about the interpretive path—or even the specific interpretive tools—that courts will invoke in a particular case. Part of the reason for this lack of predictability is that textualism-in-practice often differs significantly from the approach that textualism-in-theory advertises; and part of the reason is that textualism-in-theory is sometimes in tension with itself. In light of textualism’s ascendance—and now dominance—on the …


The Court And The Constitution, Lori A. Ringhand Jan 2023

The Court And The Constitution, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

Americans do not want the Supreme Court to be just another political institution. This is apparent in the lukewarm response to even modest proposals to change the structure of the Court, such as limiting the terms of its justices or changing its size. The partisan overlay of this reaction is obvious, but the purpose of this Essay is to highlight an additional barrier to change: the dominance of originalist rhetoric in American constitutional discourse. The rhetoric of originalism has successfully tapped into many Americans’ deeply held expectations about the role of the Court and the Constitution as a unique and …


Constructing The Supreme Court: How Race, Ethnicity, And Gender Have Affected Presidential Selection And Senate Confirmation Hearings, Christina L. Boyd, Paul M. Collins, Jr., Lori A. Ringhand, Karson A. Pennington Jan 2023

Constructing The Supreme Court: How Race, Ethnicity, And Gender Have Affected Presidential Selection And Senate Confirmation Hearings, Christina L. Boyd, Paul M. Collins, Jr., Lori A. Ringhand, Karson A. Pennington

Scholarly Works

In February 2022, President Joseph Biden announced his nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In doing so, he said this:

For too long, our government, our courts haven’t looked like America. And I believe it’s time that we have a Court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level.

In the following days, Jackson’s nomination was discussed with enthusiasm, much like …


The End Of Balancing? Text, History & Tradition In First Amendment Speech Cases After Bruen, Clay Calvert, Mary-Rose Papandrea Jan 2023

The End Of Balancing? Text, History & Tradition In First Amendment Speech Cases After Bruen, Clay Calvert, Mary-Rose Papandrea

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article examines the potential impact on First Amendment free-speech jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s increasing reliance on text, history, and tradition in 2022 decisions such as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. In Bruen, the Court embraced a new test for examining Second Amendment cases. It concentrates on whether there is a historical tradition of regulating the conduct in question, and it eliminates any use of constitutionally common means-end standards of review such as strict and intermediate scrutiny. Those two scrutiny standards often guide the Court’s free-speech decisions. The Bruen majority, however, asserted that its …


Random Justice, Girardeau A. Spann Mar 2022

Random Justice, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

As recent Senate confirmation practices suggest, the Supreme Court is best understood as the head of a political branch of government, whose Justices are chosen in a process that makes their ideological views dispositive. Throughout the nation’s history, the Supreme Court has exercised its governing political ideology in ways that sacrifice the interests of nonwhites in order to advance the interests of Whites. In the present moment of heightened cultural sensitivity to structural discrimination and implicit bias, it would make sense to use affirmative action to help remedy the racially disparate distribution of societal resources that has been produced by …


A Flawed Case Against Black Self-Defense, Nicholas J. Johnson Jan 2022

A Flawed Case Against Black Self-Defense, Nicholas J. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Right To Counsel In A Neoliberal Age, Zohra Ahmed Jan 2022

The Right To Counsel In A Neoliberal Age, Zohra Ahmed

Scholarly Works

Legal scholarship tends to obscure how changes in criminal process relate to broader changes in society at large. This article offers a modest corrective to this tendency. By studying the Supreme Court’s right to counsel jurisprudence, as it has developed since the mid-70s, I show the pervasive impact of the concurrent rise of neoliberalism on relationships between defendants and their attorneys. Since 1975, the Court has emphasized two concerns in its rulings regarding the right to counsel: choice and autonomy. These, of course, are nominally good things for defendants to have. But by paying close attention to how the Court …


Housing The Decarcerated: Covid-19, Abolition & The Right To Housing, Norrinda Brown Jan 2022

Housing The Decarcerated: Covid-19, Abolition & The Right To Housing, Norrinda Brown

Faculty Scholarship

The coronavirus pandemic revealed the need to advance the right to housing and abolition movements. The need for advancements in both spaces was no more painfully apparent than among the recently decarcerated population. Securing housing for the recently decarcerated is particularly difficult due to the “culture of exclusion” that has long pervaded subsidized housing policy, enabled by a patchwork of federal laws, including the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (ADA) of 1988 and the Supreme Court’s ruling in HUD v. Rucker. The culture of exclusion is arbitrated by local housing authorities and works on three levels: eligibility, enforcement, and set asides. As …


Disclosures For Equity, Atinuke O. Adediran Jan 2022

Disclosures For Equity, Atinuke O. Adediran

Faculty Scholarship

This Article addresses how to increase funding to nonprofit organizations that are led by minorities or serve communities of color and how to hold corporations and private foundations who make public commitments to fund these organizations accountable for those commitments. The Article makes two policy recommendations to address these problems, while engaging with Supreme Court jurisprudence on mandatory disclosures to ensure that the proposals are narrowly tailored to institutional donors and include an opt-out provision so as not to chill the constitutional protection of the freedom of association. The first is for charities to publicly disclose their institutional donors in …


Are The Federal Rules Of Evidence Unconstitutional?, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2022

Are The Federal Rules Of Evidence Unconstitutional?, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Scholarship

The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) rest on an unacceptably shaky constitutional foundation. Unlike other regimes of federal rulemaking—for Civil Procedure, for Criminal Procedure, and for Appellate Procedure—the FRE rulemaking process contemplated by the Rules Enabling Act is both formally and functionally defective because Congress enacted the FRE as a statute first but purports to permit the Supreme Court to revise, repeal, and amend those laws over time, operating as a kind of supercharged administrative agency with the authority to countermand congressional statutes. Formally, this system violates the constitutionally-delineated separation of powers as announced in Chadha, Clinton, and the non-delegation …


Can The Fourth Amendment Keep People "Secure In Their Persons"?, Bruce A. Green Jan 2022

Can The Fourth Amendment Keep People "Secure In Their Persons"?, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Missing The Mark: Nysrpa As A Vehicle To Clarify Inconsistencies In Mootness Doctrine, Leila Hatem Mar 2021

Missing The Mark: Nysrpa As A Vehicle To Clarify Inconsistencies In Mootness Doctrine, Leila Hatem

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Federal mootness doctrine is far more confusing than helpful. Riddled with inconsistent jurisdictional outcomes, mootness doctrine lacks a unitary theoretical approach. This confusion results because the Court has historically characterized elements of the doctrine as either prudential or constitutional. Because the Court has reached the merits of otherwise moot claims, its doctrine is neither completely prudential nor constitutional. Rather, it is a messy hodge-podge of both.

This Note analyzes New York State Riffle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. The City of New York (“NYSRPA”) in light of this dichotomous framework and assesses how the opinion engages with the …


A Proper Burial, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2021

A Proper Burial, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is an invited response to Professor Mark Killenbeck's article, "Sober Second Thoughts? Korematsu Reconsidered." In his contrarian piece, Killenbeck argues that Korematsu was defensible, albeit on narrow grounds: it advanced the development of strict scrutiny. He goes on to argue that comparisons between the internment case and the Supreme Court's Muslim travel ban case are overwrought and that the latter case, too, is defensible. I'm not convinced. First, to say that a ruling is defensible is not saying much; far better for critiques to be tethered to sterner standards. Second, after all these years, Korematsu remains a poorly reasoned …


Supreme Court Precedent And The Politics Of Repudiation, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2021

Supreme Court Precedent And The Politics Of Repudiation, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is an invited essay that will appear in a book titled "Law's Infamy," edited by Austin Sarat as part of the Amherst Series on Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. Every legal order that aspires to be called just is held together by not only principles of justice but also archetypes of morally reprehensible outcomes, and villains as well as heroes. Chief Justice Roger Taney, who believed himself to be a hero solving the great moral question of slavery in the Dred Scott case, is today detested for trying to impose a racist, slaveholding vision of the Constitution upon America. …


Protecting The Supreme Court: Why Safeguarding The Judiciary’S Independence Is Crucial To Maintaining Its Legitimacy, Isabella Abelite, Evelyn Michalos, John Rogue Jan 2021

Protecting The Supreme Court: Why Safeguarding The Judiciary’S Independence Is Crucial To Maintaining Its Legitimacy, Isabella Abelite, Evelyn Michalos, John Rogue

Faculty Scholarship

The stability of the Supreme Court’s size and procedures is a critical source of legitimacy, but reforms might protect the Court’s independence from politics. Perceptions among members of the public that justices are political actors harms the rule of law. This report discusses reforms to ensure that each president receives the same number of appointments to the Supreme Court. The report also considers how to guarantee each nominee a Senate hearing and reforms to the retirement stage of justices’ tenures.


Testa, Crain, And The Constitutional Right To Collateral Relief, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck Jan 2021

Testa, Crain, And The Constitutional Right To Collateral Relief, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Montgomery v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that state prisoners have a constitutional right to relief from continued imprisonment if the prisoner’s conviction or sentence contravenes a new substantive rule of constitutional law. Specifically, the Court held that prisoners with such claims are constitutionally entitled to collateral relief in state court—at least if the state courts are open to other claims for collateral relief on the ground that their continued imprisonment is unlawful. In our article, The Constitutional Right to Collateral Post-Conviction Relief, we argued that, under two lines of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Supremacy …


Supreme Court Clerks And The Death Penalty, Matthew Tokson Apr 2020

Supreme Court Clerks And The Death Penalty, Matthew Tokson

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

This Essay is part of GW's Supreme Court Clerks at 100 symposium.

The Supreme Court is involved, directly or otherwise, with virtually every execution carried out in the United States. Most executions are appealed to the Court, and inmates commonly request a stay of execution a few days or hours before their scheduled death. The clerks review these requests and recommend a ruling.

A few days after I arrived at the Court, I got my first death penalty assignment. As the date drew near, the defendant asked the Court to stay his execution. I opened his file and began to …


Planned Obsolescence: The Supreme Court And Partisan Redistricting, Ethan Schafer Apr 2020

Planned Obsolescence: The Supreme Court And Partisan Redistricting, Ethan Schafer

Honors Projects

Partisan redistricting, more commonly known as gerrymandering, is the act of a political party in power using its majority to draw district maps in such a way that it stays in power or increases its power. The United States Census takes place every ten years as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, when the maps for state and national Congress are redrawn to better allocate representation among the people. Examples of this include the two cases that are discussed in Rucho v Common Cause, the redistricting case from 2019. In this case, both the Democrat-controlled government …


Electoral College: Supreme Court Decides That States May Replace Or Punish Presidential Electors Who Do Not Vote For The Candidate Who Won The Most Votes In The State, But Leaves Several Questions Unanswered, Alan Raphael Jan 2020

Electoral College: Supreme Court Decides That States May Replace Or Punish Presidential Electors Who Do Not Vote For The Candidate Who Won The Most Votes In The State, But Leaves Several Questions Unanswered, Alan Raphael

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Case-Linked Jurisdiction And Busybody States, Howard M. Erichson, John C.P. Goldberg, Benjamin Zipursky Jan 2020

Case-Linked Jurisdiction And Busybody States, Howard M. Erichson, John C.P. Goldberg, Benjamin Zipursky

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Three Keys To The Original Meaning Of The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2020

Three Keys To The Original Meaning Of The Privileges Or Immunities Clause, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Establishing the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause requires a wealth of evidence. But three key data points are crucial to identifying the core of its meaning. First, Supreme Court Justice Washington’s explanation of the meaning of “privileges and immunities” in Corfield v. Coryell; second, the rights protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1866; and third, Michigan Senator Jacob Howard’s speech explaining the content of the Privileges or Immunities Clause when introducing the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Senate in 1866. Any theory of the Privileges or Immunities Clause and its original meaning …


Rucho Is Right – But For The Wrong Reasons, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2020

Rucho Is Right – But For The Wrong Reasons, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court ended its long struggle to formulate constitutional standards to regulate political gerrymandering by declaring that it was not up to the job. The Court held that it could come up with no manageable standards governing the controversy and that it therefore posed a nonjusticiable political question.

In this brief comment, I attempt defend this outcome. The task is not easy, and I hope that the reader will at least give me some points for degree of difficulty. There is no denying that partisan gerrymandering is a very serious evil and there …


Broken Records: Reconceptualizing Rational Basis Review To Address “Alternative Facts” In The Legislative Process, Joseph Landau Jan 2020

Broken Records: Reconceptualizing Rational Basis Review To Address “Alternative Facts” In The Legislative Process, Joseph Landau

Faculty Scholarship

In 2016, North Carolina passed “HB2,” also known as the “bathroom ban”—a law prohibiting transgender individuals from accessing public restrooms corresponding to their gender identity—based on the unfounded fear that cisgender men posing as transgender women would assault women and girls in bathrooms. Around the same time, Alabama enacted a punishing immigration law in which sponsors distorted statistics regarding the undocumented population by using the terms “Latino/Hispanic” and “illegal immigrant” interchangeably. These laws are reflective of a larger pattern. In our increasingly polarized political climate, policymakers are affirmatively distorting legislative records and promoting dubious justifications for their policy goals—that is, …