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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutionally Tailoring Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Dec 2013

Constitutionally Tailoring Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Since the turn of the century, the Supreme Court has regulated noncapital sentencing under the Sixth Amendment in the Apprendi line of cases (requiring jury findings of fact to justify sentence enhancements) as well as under the Eighth Amendment in the Miller and Graham line of cases (forbidding mandatory life imprisonment for juvenile defendants). Although both lines of authority sound in individual rights, in fact they are fundamentally about the structures of criminal justice. These two seemingly disparate doctrines respond to structural imbalances in noncapital sentencing by promoting morally appropriate punishment judgments that are based on individualized input and that …


Preemption And Textualism, Daniel J. Meltzer Oct 2013

Preemption And Textualism, Daniel J. Meltzer

Michigan Law Review

In the critically important area of preemption, the Supreme Court’s approach to statutory interpretation differs from the approach it follows elsewhere. Whether in politically salient matters, like challenges to Arizona’s immigration laws, or in more conventional cases, such as those in which state tort liability overlaps with federal regulation, the Court’s preemption decisions reflect a highly purposive approach to reading statutes, most notably through the application of “obstacle preemption” analysis. Recently, however, Justice Thomas has objected to the Court’s failure in preemption cases to respect its more textualist approach to issues of statutory interpretation, and he has urged that obstacle …


Pro-Whistleblower Reform In The Post-Garcetti Era, Julian W. Kleinbrodt Oct 2013

Pro-Whistleblower Reform In The Post-Garcetti Era, Julian W. Kleinbrodt

Michigan Law Review

Whistleblowers who expose government ineptitude, inefficiency, and corruption are valuable assets to a well-functioning democracy. Until recently, the Connick–Pickering test governed public employee speech law; it gave First Amendment protection to government employees who spoke on matters of public concern—-such as whistleblowers-—so long as the government’s administrative concerns did not outweigh the employees’ free speech interests. The Supreme Court significantly curtailed the protection of such speech in its recent case, Garcetti v. Ceballos. This case created a categorical threshold requirement that afforded no protection to speech made as an employee rather than as a citizen. Garcetti’s problematic rule has forced …


Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman Jun 2013

Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman

Michigan Law Review

The central front in the battle over campaign finance laws is the definition of corruption. The Supreme Court has allowed restrictions on the giving and spending of money in connection with elections only when they serve to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption. The constitutionality of such laws, therefore, depends on how the Court defines corruption. Over the years, campaign finance cases have conceived of corruption in both broad and narrow terms, with the most recent cases defining it especially narrowly. While supporters and critics of campaign finance laws have argued for and against these different formulations, both sides …


A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch Jun 2013

A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch

Michigan Law Review

Mistaken eyewitness identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. In 1977, a time when the problems with eyewitness identifications had been acknowledged but were not yet completely understood, the Supreme Court announced a test designed to exclude unreliable eyewitness evidence. This standard has proven inadequate to protect against mistaken identifications. Despite voluminous scientific studies on the failings of eyewitness identification evidence and the growing number of DNA exonerations, the Supreme Court's outdated reliability test remains in place today. In 2012, in Perry v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court commented on its standard for evaluating eyewitness evidence for the first …


Plea Bargaining And The Right To Counsel At Bail Hearings, Charlie Gerstein Jun 2013

Plea Bargaining And The Right To Counsel At Bail Hearings, Charlie Gerstein

Michigan Law Review

A couple million indigent defendants in this country face bail hearings each year and most of them do so without court-appointed lawyers. In two recent companion cases, Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, the Supreme Court held that the loss of a favorable plea bargain can satisfy the prejudice prong of an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. If the Constitution requires effective assistance of counsel to protect plea bargains, it requires the presence of counsel at proceedings that have the capacity to prejudice those bargains. Pretrial detention has the capacity to prejudice a plea bargain because a defendant held …


Standing's Expected Value, Jonathan Remy Nash May 2013

Standing's Expected Value, Jonathan Remy Nash

Michigan Law Review

This Article argues in favor of standing based on expected value of harm. Standing doctrine has been constructed in a way that is oblivious to the idea of expected value. If people have suffered a loss with a positive expected value, they have suffered an "injury in fact." The incorporation of expected value into standing doctrine casts doubt on many of the Supreme Court's decisions in which it denies standing because the relevant injury is too "speculative" or is not "likely" to be redressed by a decree in the plaintiff's favor. This Article addresses this shortcoming in standing jurisprudence by …


Rethinking Reporter's Privilege, Ronnell Andersen Jones May 2013

Rethinking Reporter's Privilege, Ronnell Andersen Jones

Michigan Law Review

Forty years ago, in Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court made its first and only inquiry into the constitutional protection of the relationship between a reporter and a confidential source. This case - decided at a moment in American history in which the role of an investigative press, and of information provided by confidential sources, was coming to the forefront of public consciousness in a new and significant way - produced a reporter-focused "privilege" that is now widely regarded to be both doctrinally questionable and deeply inconsistent in application. Although the post-Branzburg privilege has been recognized as flawed in a …


Justice Brennan: Legacy Of A Champion, Dawn Johnsen Apr 2013

Justice Brennan: Legacy Of A Champion, Dawn Johnsen

Michigan Law Review

During the 1980s, when the Court's approval rating was relatively high, commentators from both ends of the ideological spectrum remarked on the importance of Justices' values and views, and bemoaned the public's utter lack of attention to the Court and judicial appointments. President Ronald Reagan's Department of Justice prefaced an extensive analysis of the momentous issues at stake for the Court and the Constitution with a call for attention to the "critical" yet "often overlooked" "values and philosophies" of federal judges. Professor Laurence Tribe similarly introduced a historical analysis of the Court's vital role by describing Justices' "powerful, if often …


Tyrone Garner's Lawrence V. Texas, Marc Spindelman Apr 2013

Tyrone Garner's Lawrence V. Texas, Marc Spindelman

Michigan Law Review

Dale Carpenter's Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas has been roundly greeted with well-earned praise. After exploring the book's understanding of Lawrence v. Texas as a great civil rights victory for lesbian and gay rights, this Review offers an alternative perspective on the case. Built from facts about the background of the case that the book supplies, and organized in particular around the story that the book tells about Tyrone Garner and his life, this alternative perspective on Lawrence explores and assesses some of what the decision may mean not only for sexual orientation equality but also for …


Policeman, Citizen, Or Both? A Civilian Analogue Exception To Garcetti V. Ceballos, Caroline A. Flynn Mar 2013

Policeman, Citizen, Or Both? A Civilian Analogue Exception To Garcetti V. Ceballos, Caroline A. Flynn

Michigan Law Review

The First Amendment prohibits the government from leveraging its employment relationship with a public employee in order to silence the employee's speech. But the Supreme Court dramatically curtailed this right in Garcetti v. Ceballos by installing a categorical bar: if the public employee spoke "pursuant to her official duties," her First Amendment retaliation claim cannot proceed. Garcetti requires the employee to show that she was speaking entirely "as a citizen" and not at all "as an employee." But this is a false dichotomy - especially because the value of the employee's speech to the public is no less if she …