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Full-Text Articles in Law

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults Sep 2006

Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults

ExpressO

The Article argues in favor of shifting the balance in federal sentencing toward a more indeterminate system. By exploring the post-Booker legal landscape at both the federal and state levels, the Article asserts that the judiciary's continued reliance on the “advisory" Guidelines has practically changed federal sentencing procedures very little in form or function. Accordingly, the Article proffers that, rather than insisting upon the Guidelines' immutability, federal sentencing would do well to reflect upon its own history, and the evolution of its state counterparts.


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court: Part I-A English Stories, Marc L. Roark Aug 2006

Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court: Part I-A English Stories, Marc L. Roark

ExpressO

This is part I-A of a Book I am working towards on the narratives and fictions of sovereign immunity. The goal in this part is to look before the American republic and towards the background in which American Sovereignty came to be shaped by -- the feudal notion of the sovereign; the Lockean response, and the Blackstonean doctrine. The first part looks at the legal fictions surrounding the kingship, their sources and their effects. The Second part looks to the specific ways of treating the sovereign in law, namely viewing King as Property owner or patriarch, Trustee, and Constitution.


Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court, Marc L. Roark Aug 2006

Our Sovereign Body: Narrating The Fiction Of Sovereign Immunity In The Supreme Court, Marc L. Roark

ExpressO

This is the introduction to a book I am preparing on the Normative and Narrative aspects of the U.S. Sovereign Immunity Doctrine. The introduction sets up the problem of a doctrine that is not exactly coherent with the national narrative.


The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

ExpressO

This paper is an empirical examination of the recently ended 2005 Supreme Court term. The paper, in addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, also examines the jurisprudence of new justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it proposes the intriguing possibility that these two justices may share a jurisprudential approach different from the Court's more established conservatives. If correct, this raises numerous and interesting possibilities for the future of conservativism on the Supreme Court.


The Deregulatory Valence Of Justice O'Connor's Federalism, Bradley W. Joondeph Jul 2006

The Deregulatory Valence Of Justice O'Connor's Federalism, Bradley W. Joondeph

ExpressO

When Justice O’Connor announced her retirement in July 2005, reflections on her career teemed with references to her role as a leader of the Rehnquist Court’s “federalism revival.” But the common perception of O’Connor as an ardent defender of the states’ independent policymaking authority is grounded in a narrow understanding of constitutional federalism—one that focuses primarily, if not exclusively, on the limits of the national government’s power. Constitutional federalism also involves a variety of structural constraints on state power, constraints that are designed to protect the interests of the nation as a whole. And in ...


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Mixed Messages: The Supreme Court’S Conflicting Decisions On Juries In Death Penalty Cases, Ken Miller, David Niven Jun 2006

Mixed Messages: The Supreme Court’S Conflicting Decisions On Juries In Death Penalty Cases, Ken Miller, David Niven

ExpressO

The right to a jury determination of a capital defendant's fate has expanded recently. The era of judges making factual determinations then determining whether to apply a death sentence or judges having the power to overrule a jury's life sentence to impose death is over. The expanded right to access a jury and have it hold determinative power over a defendant's life has not, however, been accompanied by commensurate attention to the instructions that guide those jurors through the applicable law toward their verdict. Nor have adequate procedures been designed to produce a truly representative jury panel ...


Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson May 2006

Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book entitled Radicals in Robes. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis, this essay offers ...


Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman May 2006

Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman

ExpressO

This is a review essay entitled “Using All Available Information,” in which I review and comment on Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, published in September 2005. Justice Breyer’s book, adapted from the Tanner Lectures given in 2005 at Harvard Law School, serves partly as a response to Justice Scalia’s 1997 volume A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law. I review Justice Breyer’s book in part by comparison to and contrast with Justice Scalia’s. I propose that much about Justice Breyer’s interpretive philosophy, which centers on determining ...


The Constitution As Idea: Defining Describing Deciding In Kelo, Marc L. Roark Apr 2006

The Constitution As Idea: Defining Describing Deciding In Kelo, Marc L. Roark

ExpressO

In June 2005, the Supreme Court in a Five to Four Decision marked its most controversial decision in recent memory. The case of Kelo v. City of New London, set off a fire storm of response to the Court’s ruling that economic development takings satisfied the Fifth Amendment. This essay is about Kelo. It is about how the Court uses words, how the defining ability of words create institutional space in which the Court operates, and which defines things beyond the words.


Vagueness At The Highest Level: How The Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Brought An Infrequently Discussed Legal Topic Back Into The Spotlight--Recusal, Brett S. Garson Apr 2006

Vagueness At The Highest Level: How The Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Brought An Infrequently Discussed Legal Topic Back Into The Spotlight--Recusal, Brett S. Garson

ExpressO

Recusal has been present in one form or another in most civilized societies dating back to the sixteenth century. Today, recusal law finds its place in American jurisprudence at §§ 144 & 455. The scarce case law and lack of scholarly attention given to recusal perpetuates its aura of ambiguity and makes application of recusal standards to real factual situations difficult. When D.C. Circuit judge John Roberts interviewed with high White House officials seven days prior to hearing Hamdan v. Rumsfeld—a case where President Bush was a defendant and also the personal designator of Salim Hamdan as an enemy combatant ...


Certifying Questions To Congress, Amanda Frost Mar 2006

Certifying Questions To Congress, Amanda Frost

ExpressO

As many academics and some judges have openly admitted, no technique of statutory interpretation can settle every question of statutory ambiguity. Sometimes Congress enacts legislation containing gaps or inconsistencies that cannot be resolved through the application of a canon of construction or other interpretive rule. This article proposes an alternative approach for these hard cases. When a federal court is faced with a statute that leaves important issues about its application unclear – particularly issues that implicate the statute’s constitutionality – the court could stay the case and refer the question to Congress, much in the same way that courts now ...


United States V. Hatter And The Taxation Of Federal Judges, Jonathan L. Entin, Erik M. Jensen Feb 2006

United States V. Hatter And The Taxation Of Federal Judges, Jonathan L. Entin, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

Does the constitutional requirement that the "compensation" of federal judges "not be diminished during their Continuance in office" preclude Congress from subjecting sitting judges to the social security taxes from which they had previously been exempt? In Hatter v. United States, the Federal Circuit ruled for judges claiming such an exemption, and, after the Supreme Court granted cert, the authors wrote the first of these two articles, arguing why, for a multitude of reasons, the Supreme Court should reverse and make it clear that judges may constitutionally be subject to a tax of general application. After the Supreme Court held ...


Toward A Federal Common Law Of Bankruptcy: Judicial Lawmaking In A Statutory Regime, Adam J. Levitin Feb 2006

Toward A Federal Common Law Of Bankruptcy: Judicial Lawmaking In A Statutory Regime, Adam J. Levitin

ExpressO

Bankruptcy is a statutory system, yet it is replete with practices for which there is no direct authorization in the Bankruptcy Code. This article argues that the authorization for judicial creation of bankruptcy law beyond the provisions of the Code has been misidentified as the equity powers of bankruptcy courts. This misidentification has led courts to place inappropriate statutory and historical limitations on non-Code practices because of discomfort with unguided equitable discretion.

Both the statutory and historic limitations are problematic. The statutory authorization for the bankruptcy courts’ equitable powers appears to have been repealed by what one judge has called ...


Kramer's Popular Constitutionalism: A Quick Normative Assessment, Sarah K. Harding Feb 2006

Kramer's Popular Constitutionalism: A Quick Normative Assessment, Sarah K. Harding

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2005

Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

From Grotius to Hobbes to Locke to an unconventional modern pop-culture manifestation in Ali G, the concept of “respect” has always been understood as important in human interaction and human agreements. The concept of mutual understanding and obligation pervades human interaction, and, for purposes of this Article, international relations. Almost all basic principles in English, United States, and other country’s laws that value human and individual rights have based, over time, the development of their laws on the philosophical principle of respect. So much of common and statutory law is designed to enforce respect for others. The principle question ...