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Full-Text Articles in Law

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Nov 2018

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s leading securities cases from 1962 to 1972—SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc.; J.I. Case Co. v. Borak; Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Co.; Superintendent of Insurance v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co.; and Affiliated Ute of Utah v. United States—relying not just on the published opinions, but also the Justices’ internal letters, memos, and conference notes. The Sixties Court did not simply apply the text as enacted by Congress, but instead invoked the securities laws’ purposes as a guide to interpretation. The Court became a partner of Congress in shaping the securities laws, rather …


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart Jun 2018

The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart

Michigan Law Review

New Textualism is ascendant. Elevated to prominence by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and championed by others like Justice Neil Gorsuch, the method of interpretation occupies an increasingly dominant place in American jurisprudence. Yet, this Comment argues the proponents of New Textualism acted unfairly to reach this lofty perch. To reach this conclusion, this Comment develops and applies a framework to evaluate the rhetoric behind New Textualism: the rhetorical canons of construction. Through the rhetorical canons, this Comment demonstrates that proponents of New Textualism advance specious arguments, declare other methods illegitimate hypocritically, refuse to engage with the merits of their …


Legal Innocence And Federal Habeas, Leah Litman May 2018

Legal Innocence And Federal Habeas, Leah Litman

Articles

Although it has long been thought that innocence should matter in federal habeas corpus proceedings, innocence scholarship has focused almost exclusively on claims of factual innocence-the kind of innocence that occurs when new evidence reveals that the defendant did not commit the offense for which he was convicted. The literature has largely overlooked cases where a defendant was convicted or sentenced under a statute that is unconstitutional, or a statute that does not apply to the defendant. The Supreme Court, however, has recently begun to recognize these cases as kinds of innocence and it has grounded its concern for them …


Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske May 2018

Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Despite being early in his tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch has already made his presence known. His October 16, 2017 statement respecting the denial of certiorari in Scenic America, Inc. v. Department of Transportation garnered significant attention within the legal community. Joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Gorsuch questioned whether the Court’s bedrock 2-part test from Chevron, U.S.A. v. NRDC—whereby courts must defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statutory term—should apply in the case.

Justice Gorsuch’s criticism of the Chevron doctrine was not a surprise. In the …


Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer May 2018

Why The Copyright Act Expressly Preempts State-Level Public Performance Rights In Pre-1972 Recordings, James Fahringer

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past several years, two former bandmates in the 1960s rock group, The Turtles, have initiated several lawsuits against the popular music streaming services, Pandora and Sirius XM, arguing that the band owns common law copyrights in the sound recordings of its songs, and that these state-level copyrights grant the band an exclusive public performance right in its sound recordings. If accepted, this argument has the potential to significantly distort federal copyright policy because states would not be constrained by any of the balancing features of the Copyright Act, including Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors for Internet …


The Role Of The Courts In Guarding Against Privatization Of Important Public Environmental Resources, Melissa K. Scanlan May 2018

The Role Of The Courts In Guarding Against Privatization Of Important Public Environmental Resources, Melissa K. Scanlan

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Drinking water, beaches, a livable climate, clean air, forests, fisheries, and parks are all commons, shared by many users with diffuse and overlapping interests. These public natural resources are susceptible to depletion, overuse, erosion, and extinction; and they are under increasing pressures to become privatized. The Public Trust Doctrine provides a legal basis to guard against privatizing important public resources or commons. As such, it is a critical doctrine to counter the ever-increasing enclosure and privatization of the commons as well as ensure government trustees protect current and future generations. This Article considers separation of powers and statutory interpretation in …


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Feb 2018

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Michigan Law Review

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be “unambiguous” suddenly becomes “less than clear.” This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize “clear” or “unambiguous” meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to “know” what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to regard …


Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2018

Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson

Michigan Law Review

In resolving questions of statutory meaning, the lion’s share of Roberts Court opinions considers and applies at least one interpretive canon, whether the rule against surplusage or the presumption against state law preemption. This is part of a decades-long turn toward textualist statutory interpretation in the Supreme Court. Commentators have debated how to justify canons, since they are judicially created rules that reside outside the statutory text. Earlier studies have cast substantial doubt on whether these canons can be justified as capturing congressional practices or preferences; commentators have accordingly turned toward second-order justifications, arguing that canons usefully make interpretation constrained …