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

Law Commons

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

Articles 1 - 30 of 71

Full-Text Articles in Law

Restoring Congress's Role In The Modern Administrative State, Christopher J. Walker Apr 2018

Restoring Congress's Role In The Modern Administrative State, Christopher J. Walker

Michigan Law Review

A review of Josh Chafetzm Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and Separation of Powers.


Opening The Gates Of Cow Palace: Regulating Runoff Manure As A Hazardous Waste Under Rcra, Reed J. Mccalib Dec 2017

Opening The Gates Of Cow Palace: Regulating Runoff Manure As A Hazardous Waste Under Rcra, Reed J. Mccalib

Michigan Law Review

In 2015, a federal court held for the first time that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) may regulate runoff manure as a “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). The holding of Community Ass’n for Restoration of the Environment, Inc. v. Cow Palace, LLC opened the gates to regulation of farms under the nation’s primary toxic waste statute. This Comment argues that, once classified as a “solid waste,” runoff manure fits RCRA’s definition of “hazardous waste” as well. This reclassification would expand EPA’s authority to monitor and respond to the nation’s tragically common groundwater-contamination emergencies.


Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco Dec 2016

Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco

Michigan Law Review

Federal prosecutors routinely charge public officials with “extortion under color of official right” under a public-corruption statute called the Hobbs Act. To be prosecuted under the Hobbs Act, a public official must promise official action in return for a bribe or kickback. The public official, however, does not need to have actual authority over that official action. As long as the victim reasonably believed that the public official could deliver or influence government action, the public official violated the Hobbs Act. Private citizens also solicit bribes in return for influencing official action. Yet most courts do not think the Hobbs …


Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon Dec 2016

Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

Arrests are the paradigmatic police activity. Though the practice of arrests in the United States, especially arrests involving minority suspects, is under attack, even critics widely assume the power to arrest is essential to policing. As a result, neither commentators nor scholars have asked why police need to make arrests. This Article takes up that question, and it argues that the power to arrest and the use of that power should be curtailed. The twelve million arrests police conduct each year are harmful not only to the individual arrested but also to their families and communities and to society as …


More Than Just A Potted Plant: A Court's Authority To Review Deferred Prosecution Agreements Under The Speedy Trial Act And Under Its Inherent Supervisory Power, Mary Miller Jan 2016

More Than Just A Potted Plant: A Court's Authority To Review Deferred Prosecution Agreements Under The Speedy Trial Act And Under Its Inherent Supervisory Power, Mary Miller

Michigan Law Review

In the last decade, the Department of Justice has increasingly relied on pretrial diversion agreements as a means of resolving corporate criminal cases short of prosecution. These pretrial diversion agreements—non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements—include substantive terms that a company must abide by for the duration of the agreement in order to avoid prosecution. When entering a deferred prosecution agreement, the Department of Justice files charges against the defendant corporation as well as an agreement outlining the variety of terms with which the company must comply. This delay in prosecution is permitted under the Speedy Trial Act, which provides an exception …


Why Enumeration Matters, Richard A. Primus Jan 2016

Why Enumeration Matters, Richard A. Primus

Michigan Law Review

The maxim that the federal government is a government of enumerated powers can be understood as a “continuity tender”: not a principle with practical consequences for governance, but a ritual statement with which practitioners identify themselves with a history from which they descend. This interpretation makes sense of the longstanding paradox whereby courts recite the enumeration principle but give it virtually no practical effect. On this understanding, the enumerated-powers maxim is analogous to the clause that Parliament still uses to open enacted statutes: “Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty.” That text might imply that the Queen is …


Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jan 2016

Congress And The Reconstruction Of Foreign Affairs Federalism, Ryan Baasch, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

Though the Constitution conspicuously bars some state involvement in foreign affairs, the states clearly retain some authority in foreign affairs. Correctly supposing that state participation may unnecessarily complicate or embarrass our nation’s foreign relations, the Supreme Court has embraced aggressive preemption doctrines that sporadically oust the states from discrete areas in foreign affairs. These doctrines are unprincipled, supply little guidance, and generate capricious results. Fortunately, there is a better way. While the Constitution permits the states a limited and continuing role, it never goes so far as guaranteeing them any foreign affairs authority. Furthermore, the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact …


Delegating Tax, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue Oct 2015

Delegating Tax, James R. Hines Jr., Kyle D. Logue

Michigan Law Review

Congress delegates extensive and growing lawmaking authority to federal administrative agencies in areas other than taxation, but tightly limits the scope of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury regulatory discretion in the tax area, specifically not permitting these agencies to select or adjust tax rates. This Article questions why tax policy does and should differ from other policy areas in this respect, noting some of the potential policy benefits of delegation. Greater delegation of tax lawmaking authority would allow administrative agencies to apply their expertise to fiscal policy and afford timely adjustment to changing economic circumstances. Furthermore, delegation of the …


The Sweeping Domestic War Powers Of Congress, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash Jun 2015

The Sweeping Domestic War Powers Of Congress, Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash

Michigan Law Review

With the Habeas Clause standing as a curious exception, the Constitution seems mysteriously mute regarding federal authority during invasions and rebellions. In truth, the Constitution speaks volumes about these domestic wars. The inability to perceive the contours of the domestic wartime Constitution stems, in part, from unfamiliarity with the multifarious emergency legislation enacted during the Revolutionary War. During that war, state and national legislatures authorized the seizure of property, military trial of civilians, and temporary dictatorships. Ratified against the backdrop of these fairly recent wartime measures, the Constitution, via the Necessary and Proper Clause and other provisions, rather clearly augmented …


Presidential Inaction And The Separation Of Powers, Jeffrey A. Love, Arpit K. Garg May 2014

Presidential Inaction And The Separation Of Powers, Jeffrey A. Love, Arpit K. Garg

Michigan Law Review

Imagine two presidents. The first campaigned on an issue that requires him to expand the role of the federal government-—maybe it was civil rights legislation or stricter sentencing for federal criminals. In contrast, the second president pushes policies—-financial deregulation, perhaps, or drug decriminalization—-that mean less government involvement. Each is elected in a decisive fashion, and each claims a mandate to advance his agenda. The remaining question is what steps each must take to achieve his goals. The answer is clear, and it is surprising. To implement his preferred policies, the first president faces the full gauntlet of checks and balances-—from …


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social …


Law Matters, Even To The Executive, Julian Davis Mortenson Apr 2014

Law Matters, Even To The Executive, Julian Davis Mortenson

Michigan Law Review

In both constitutional and international law, many legal rules cannot be implemented without what most people would describe as the voluntary compliance of their target. Is that really “law”? Or is rule compliance in such circumstances just an expression of “interests”? Forget jurisprudence for the moment. As a practical matter, what does it mean to work as a lawyer in a field where the rules are not coercively enforced against private parties by an independent judiciary whose orders are implemented by a cooperative executive? This question has particularly high stakes for national security policy, where we find judicial deference at …


War Is Governance: Explaining The Logic Of The Laws Of War From A Principal-Agent Perspective, Eyal Benvenisti, Amichai Cohen Jan 2014

War Is Governance: Explaining The Logic Of The Laws Of War From A Principal-Agent Perspective, Eyal Benvenisti, Amichai Cohen

Michigan Law Review

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying each other’s capabilities commit to and obey rules designed to limit their choice of targets, weapons, and tactics? Traditionally, answers to this question have been offered on the one hand by moralists who regard the law as being inspired by morality and on the other by realists who explain this branch of law on the basis of reciprocity. Neither side’s answers withstand close scrutiny. In this Article, we develop an alternative explanation that is based on the principal–agent model of domestic governance. …


Legislative Diplomacy, Ryan M. Scoville Dec 2013

Legislative Diplomacy, Ryan M. Scoville

Michigan Law Review

A traditional view in legal scholarship holds that the U.S. Constitution assigns the president exclusive power to carry on official diplomatic communications with foreign governments. But in fact, Congress and its members routinely engage in communications of their own. Congress, for example, receives heads of state and maintains official contacts with foreign parliaments. And individual members of the House and Senate frequently travel overseas on congressional delegations (“CODELs”) to confer with foreign leaders, investigate problems that arise, promote the interests of the United States and constituents, and even represent the president. Moreover, many of these activities have occurred ever since …


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 …


Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore May 2013

Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore

Michigan Law Review

The Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to control his defense and the right to a lawyer's assistance. A lawyer's assistance, however, sometimes interferes with a defendant's control over his case. As a result, the Supreme Court, over time, has had to delineate the spheres of authority that pertain to counsel and defendant respectively. The Court has not yet decisively assigned control over mitigating evidence to either counsel or defendant. This Note argues that counsel should control the presentation of mitigating evidence during capital sentencing. First, and most importantly, decisions concerning the presentation of mitigating evidence are best characterized …


A Time For Presidential Power? War Time And The Constrained Executive, David Levine Apr 2013

A Time For Presidential Power? War Time And The Constrained Executive, David Levine

Michigan Law Review

Between 2002 and 2008 I served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. Though I had been deployed overseas several times, my primary place of duty was in the United States. When I landed at Baghdad International Airport in June 2006, however, several things immediately changed for me as a result of military regulations. I had to carry my sidearm and dog tags at all times. I could not eat anywhere other than a U.S. military installation. I could not drink alcohol. My pay was a bit higher. Personally, I was more vigilant, more aware of my surroundings. …


Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein Mar 2013

Preemption And Choice-Of-Law Coordination, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Larry E. Ribstein

Michigan Law Review

The doctrine treating federal preemption of state law has been plagued by uncertainty and confusion. Part of the problem is that courts purport to interpret congressional intent when often Congress has never considered the particular preemption question at issue. This Article suggests that courts deciding preemption cases should take seriously a commonly articulated rationale for the federalization of law: the need to coordinate applicable legal standards in order to facilitate a national market or to otherwise provide clear guidance to parties regarding the laws that apply to their conduct. In situations where federal law can serve a coordinating function but …


Regulating By Repute, David Zaring Apr 2012

Regulating By Repute, David Zaring

Michigan Law Review

Is regulation a hopeless cause? Many thoughtful observers spend a lot of time enumerating all of the reasons why it is doomed to fail. The entire field of public choice, with impeccable logic, posits the likely corruption of every bureaucrat. And if corruption cannot explain the failure of regulation, the atrophy that comes from lack of competition-there is just one government, after all, and it does not have a profit motive-may be just as rich a vein to mine. It could also be that the legal system itself, with its myriad complexities, checks, and procedural requirements, may ossify to the …


The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon Mar 2012

The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

The legal problem of policing is how to regulate police authority to permit officers to enforce law while also protecting individual liberty and minimizing the social costs the police impose. Courts and commentators have largely treated the problem of policing as limited to preventing violations of constitutional rights and its solution as the judicial definition and enforcement of those rights. But constitutional law and courts alone are necessarily inadequate to regulate the police. Constitutional law does not protect important interests below the constitutional threshold or effectively address the distributional impacts of law enforcement activities. Nor can the judiciary adequately assess …


Planning For Legality, Jeremy Waldron Apr 2011

Planning For Legality, Jeremy Waldron

Michigan Law Review

What is law like? What can we compare it with in order to illuminate its character and suggest answers to some of the perennial questions of jurisprudence? Natural lawyers compare laws to moral propositions. A human law is an attempt by someone who has responsibility for a human community to replicate, publicize, and enforce a proposition of objective morality such as "Killing is wrong." Law is like moral reasoning, say the natural lawyers, and laws should be regarded as principles of right reason (principles that reason dictates as answers to the moral questions that need to be addressed in human …


Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow Jan 2011

Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

Criminal law enforcement in the United States is multijurisdictional. Local, state, and federal prosecutors all possess the power to bring criminal charges. An enduring question of criminal law is how authority should be allocated among these levels of government. In trying to gain traction on the question of when crime should be handled at the federal level and when it should be left to local authorities, courts and scholars have taken a range of approaches. Oddly, one place that commentators have not looked for guidance on how to handle the issue of law enforcement allocation is within the states themselves. …


Limited War And The Constitution: Iraq And The Crisis Of Presidential Legality, Bruce Ackerman, Oona Hathaway Jan 2011

Limited War And The Constitution: Iraq And The Crisis Of Presidential Legality, Bruce Ackerman, Oona Hathaway

Michigan Law Review

We live in an age of limited war. Yet the legal structure for authorizing and overseeing war has failed to address this modern reality. Nowhere is this failure more clear than in the recent U.S. conflict in Iraq. Congress self-consciously restricted the war's aims to narrow purposes-expressly authorizing a limited war. But the Bush Administration evaded these constitutional limits and transformed a well-defined and limited war into an open-ended conflict operating beyond constitutional boundaries. President Obama has thus far failed to repudiate these acts of presidential unilateralism. If he continues on this course, he will consolidate the precedents set by …


When A Company Confesses, Christopher Jackson Jan 2010

When A Company Confesses, Christopher Jackson

Michigan Law Review

Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a defendant is normally obligated to attend all of the proceedings against her. However Rule 43(b)(2) carves out an exception for organizational defendants, stating that they "need not be present" if represented by an attorney. But on its face, the language of 43(b)(2) is ambiguous: is it the defendant or the judge who has the discretion to decide whether the defendant appears? That is, may a judge compel the presence of an organizational defendant? This Note addresses the ambiguity in the context of the plea colloquy, considering the text of several of the …


Pleading With Congress To Resist The Urge To Overrule Twombly And Iqbal, Michael R. Huston Jan 2010

Pleading With Congress To Resist The Urge To Overrule Twombly And Iqbal, Michael R. Huston

Michigan Law Review

In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the Supreme Court changed the rhetoric of the federal pleading system. Those decisions have been decried by members of the bar, scholars, and legislators as judicial activism and a rewriting of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Such criticism has led members of both houses of Congress to introduce legislation to overrule the decisions and return to some variation of the "notice pleading" regime that existed before Twombly. This Note argues that both of the current proposals to overrule Twombly and Iqbal should be rejected. Although the bills take different …


Irrelevant Oversight: "Presidential Administration" From The Standpoint Of Arbitrary And Capricious Review, Daniel P. Rathbun Feb 2009

Irrelevant Oversight: "Presidential Administration" From The Standpoint Of Arbitrary And Capricious Review, Daniel P. Rathbun

Michigan Law Review

The president is now regularly and heavily involved in the decisionmaking processes of administrative agencies. What began in the mid-twentieth century as macro-level oversight has evolved, since the Reagan Administration, into controlling case-level influence. Scholars have hotly debated the legality of this shift and have compellingly demonstrated the need to ensure that agencies remain accountable and that their decisions remain nonarbitrary in the face of presidential involvement. However, as this Note demonstrates, the existing scholarship has not provided an adequate solution to these twin problems. This Note provides a novel and effective solution to the accountability and arbitrariness problems of …


Deferring, Frederick Schauer May 2005

Deferring, Frederick Schauer

Michigan Law Review

Many academics, upon encountering a book on deference by a leading legal theorist, would assume that the book was still another contribution to a long and prominent debate about the existence (or not) of an obligation to obey the law. But that would be a mistake. In fact, this is a book not about obligation or obedience but about deference, and it is precisely in that difference that the significance of Philip Soper's book lies. Especially in law, where the Supreme Court (sometimes) defers to the factual, legal, and even constitutional determinations of Congress and administrative agencies, where appellate courts …


The Empty Circles Of Liberal Justification, Pierre Schlag Oct 1997

The Empty Circles Of Liberal Justification, Pierre Schlag

Michigan Law Review

American liberal thinkers are fascinated with the justification of the liberal state. It is this question of justification that inspires and organizes the work of such leading liberal thinkers as John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Frank Michelman, and Bruce Ackerman. The manifest import and prevalence of the question of justification among liberal thinkers makes it possible to speak here of a certain "practice of liberal justification." This practice displays a certain order and certain recursive characteristics. It is composed of a common ontology and a common narrative. It poses for itself a series of recursive intellectual problems answered with a stock …


When Discretion Leads To Distortion: Recognizing Pre-Arrest Sentence-Manipulation Claims Under The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Jeffrey L. Fisher Jun 1996

When Discretion Leads To Distortion: Recognizing Pre-Arrest Sentence-Manipulation Claims Under The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Jeffrey L. Fisher

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that sentence manipulation should be a legally viable partial defense - a defense that does not warrant complete exoneration, but does warrant a reduced sentence when the government's investigative techniques place a quantity of drugs before the court that overrepresents the defendant's culpability, or individual blameworthiness. Part I describes the policies and objectives that underlie the Guidelines, but then demonstrates how the rigid application of quantity-based sentencing provisions can lead to sentence manipulation that thwarts these goals, particularly the goal of sentencing according to culpability. Part II describes how courts have responded to sentence manipulation claims. It …


Radically Subversive Speech And The Authority Of Law, Steven D. Smith Nov 1995

Radically Subversive Speech And The Authority Of Law, Steven D. Smith

Michigan Law Review

This essay attempts to use a familiar, relatively concrete constitutional question to think about a familiar, relatively abstract jurisprudential question - and vice versa. The constitutional question asks why we should give legal protection to what I will call "radically subversive speech." The jurisprudential question concerns the ancient problem of the legitimacy or authority of law in general. "What is law," as Philip Soper puts the question, "that I should obey it?" I will try in this essay to show that the abstract question sheds light on the more concrete one - and vice versa.