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Full-Text Articles in Law

Converse-Osborn: State Sovereign Immunity, Standing, And The Dog-Wagging Effect Of Article Iii, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2024

Converse-Osborn: State Sovereign Immunity, Standing, And The Dog-Wagging Effect Of Article Iii, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

“[T]he legislative, executive, and judicial powers, of every well-constructed government, are co-extensive with each other . . . [T]he judicial department may receive from the Legislature the power of construing any . . . law [which the Legislature may constitutionally make].” Chief Justice Marshall relied on this axiom in Osborn v. Bank of the United States to stress the breadth of the federal judicial power: The federal courts must have the potential power to adjudicate any claim based on any law Congress has the power to enact. In recent years, however, the axiom has sometimes operated in the opposite direction: …


The Foreshadow Docket, Bert I. Huang Jan 2024

The Foreshadow Docket, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Imagine the Supreme Court issuing an emergency order that signals interest in departing from precedent, as if foreshadowing a change in the law. Seeing this, should the lower courts start ruling in ways that also anticipate the law of the future? They need not do so in their merits rulings. That much is clear. Such a signal does not create new binding precedent. Rather, it reflects the Justices’ guess about the future of the law — and what if that guess is wrong?

Yet for a lower court ruling on a temporary stay or injunction, the task seems to call …


Fee Shifting, Nominal Damages, And The Public Interest, Maureen Carroll Aug 2023

Fee Shifting, Nominal Damages, And The Public Interest, Maureen Carroll

Law & Economics Working Papers

As the Supreme Court recognized in its 2021 decision in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, nominal damages can redress violations of “important, but not easily quantifiable, nonpecuniary rights.” For some plaintiffs who establish a violation of their constitutional rights, nominal damages will be the only relief available. In its 1992 decision in Farrar v. Hobby, however, the Court disparaged the nominal-damages remedy. The case involved the interpretation of federal fee-shifting statutes, which enable prevailing civil rights plaintiffs to recover a reasonable attorney’s fee from the defendant. According to Farrar, a plaintiff can prevail by obtaining the “technical” remedy of nominal damages, but …


Aals Federal Courts Section Newsletter, Katherine Mims Crocker, Celestine Richards Mcconville Aug 2023

Aals Federal Courts Section Newsletter, Katherine Mims Crocker, Celestine Richards Mcconville

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Let The Right Ones In: The Supreme Court's Changing Approach To Justiciability, Richard L. Heppner Apr 2023

Let The Right Ones In: The Supreme Court's Changing Approach To Justiciability, Richard L. Heppner

Law Faculty Publications

The power of federal courts to act is circumscribed not only by the limits of subject matter jurisdiction, but also by various justiciability doctrines. Article III of the Constitution vests the judicial power of the United States in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as Congress creates. That power is limited to deciding cases and controversies. It does not permit federal courts to provide advisory opinions when there is not a real dispute between the parties. Based on that constitutional limit, and related prudential concerns, the Court has developed a variety of justiciability requirements limiting which cases can be …


Brief Of Law Professors As Amici Curiae In Support Of Plaintiff-Appellee, Evan J. Criddle Apr 2023

Brief Of Law Professors As Amici Curiae In Support Of Plaintiff-Appellee, Evan J. Criddle

Briefs

No abstract provided.


The Constitution As A Source Of Remedial Law, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Mar 2023

The Constitution As A Source Of Remedial Law, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Equity’s Constitutional Source, Owen W. Gallogly argues that Article III is the source of a constitutional default rule for equitable remedies—specifically, that Article III’s vesting of the “judicial Power” “in Equity” empowers federal courts to afford the remedies traditionally afforded by the English Court of Chancery at the time of the Founding, and to develop such remedies in an incremental fashion. This Response questions the current plausibility of locating such a default rule in Article III, since remedies having their source in Article III would be available in federal but not state courts and would apply to state-law …


Thoughts On Law Clerk Diversity And Influence, Todd C. Peppers Jan 2023

Thoughts On Law Clerk Diversity And Influence, Todd C. Peppers

Scholarly Articles

It is my great good fortune to have been asked to comment on the remarkable Article Law Clerk Selection and Diversity: Insights from Fifty Sitting Judges of the Federal Courts of Appeals by Judge Jeremy D. Fogel, Professor Mary S. Hoopes, and Justice Goodwin Liu. Drawing on a rich vein of data gathered pursuant to a carefully crafted research design and extensive interviews, the authors provide the most detailed account to date regarding the selection criteria used by federal appeals court judges to select their law clerks. The authors pay special attention to the role that diversity plays in picking …


Macro-Judging And Article Iii Exceptionalism, Merritt E. Mcalister Jan 2023

Macro-Judging And Article Iii Exceptionalism, Merritt E. Mcalister

UF Law Faculty Publications

Over the last half-century, the federal courts have faced down two competing crises: an increase in small, low-value litigation thought unworthy of Article III attention and an increase in the numbers and complexity of “big” cases thought worthy of those resources. The choice was what to prioritize and how, and the answer the courts gave was consistent across all levels of the federal judiciary. Using what this Article calls “macro-judging,” Article III judges entrenched their own power and autonomy to focus on the work they deemed most “worthy” of their attention, while outsourcing less “important” work to an array of …


The Shape Of Citizenship: Extraordinary Common Meaning And Constitutional Legitimacy, David N. Mcneill, Emily Tucker Jan 2023

The Shape Of Citizenship: Extraordinary Common Meaning And Constitutional Legitimacy, David N. Mcneill, Emily Tucker

CPT Papers & Reports

The United States, it is widely believed, is at a moment of constitutional crisis. At no time since the Civil War era has it seemed more likely that what James Madison called the “experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people”—the experiment in democratic constitutional self-governance—will fail. This article argues that one reason for this state of affairs is that the ‘people’ sense that they are no longer active participants in the experiment. While the historical etiology of this crisis is complex, and the forces involved not confined to the US, this article focuses on the crisis in the …


Religious Convictions, Anna Offit Jan 2023

Religious Convictions, Anna Offit

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The Anglo-American jury emerged at a time when legal and religious conceptions of justice were entwined. Today, however, though the American public remains comparatively religious, the country’s legal system draws a distinction between legal and religious modes of determining culpability and passing judgment. This Article examines the doctrine that governs the place of religious belief and practice in U.S. jury selection proceedings. It argues that the discretion afforded to judges with respect to applying the Batson antidiscrimination doctrine has given these beliefs and practices an ambiguous status. On the one hand, judges aim to protect prospective religious jurors from discrimination. …


Bottom-Rung Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister Jan 2023

Bottom-Rung Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister

UF Law Faculty Publications

There are haves and have-nots in the federal appellate courts, and the haves get more attention. For decades the courts have used a triage regime where they distribute judicial attention selectively: some appeals receive a lot of judicial attention, some appeals receive barely any. What this work unearths is that this triage system produces demonstrably unequal results depending on the circuit handling the appeal and whether the appellant has counsel or not. Together, these two factors produce dramatic disparities: in one circuit, for example, an unrepresented appellant receives, on average, a decision less than a tenth the length of a …


The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard Jan 2023

The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard

Faculty Articles

Lawyers have sworn an oath to be admitted to the Bar since the beginnings of the Anglo-American legal profession. The oath serves several extremely important purposes. First, it is the formal act that admits an individual into the Bar and confers upon the oath taker the right to perform the duties of an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the oath is given. Second, the oath admits the new attorney to the broader world of the legal profession and signifies that the new attorney has been judged by the oath giver as worthy of the right to practice law. Third, …


How Biden Can Continue Making The Federal Courts Better, Carl Tobias Jan 2023

How Biden Can Continue Making The Federal Courts Better, Carl Tobias

Law Faculty Publications

From 2017 until 2020, former President Donald Trump and the Republican Senate majority nominated and confirmed record-breaking numbers of appellate court judges. This emphasis undermined ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, and experiential diversity as well as ideological balance on these courts and neglected to address persistent district court and emergency vacancies. Moreover, to achieve these historic confirmation levels, the GOP Senate majority eviscerated or altered certain rules and customs of regular order, which included the creation of a circuit-level exception to the blue slip process. President Joe Biden, in turn, has pledged to rectify the damage to the courts and 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 …


Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Nov 2022

Interpreting State Statutes In Federal Court, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

This Article addresses a problem that potentially arises whenever a federal court encounters a state statute. When interpreting the state statute, should the federal court use the state’s methods of statutory interpretation—the state’s canons of construction, its rules about the use of legislative history, and the like—or should the court instead use federal methods of statutory interpretation? The question is interesting as a matter of theory, and it is practically significant because different jurisdictions have somewhat different interpretive approaches. In addressing itself to this problem, the Article makes two contributions. First, it shows, as a normative matter, that federal courts …


Bottom-Rung Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister Sep 2022

Bottom-Rung Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister

UF Law Faculty Publications

There are haves and have-nots in the federal appellate courts, and the haves get more attention. For decades the courts have used a triage regime where they distribute judicial attention selectively: some appeals receive a lot of judicial attention, some appeals receive barely any. What this work unearths is that this triage system produces demonstrably unequal results depending on the circuit handling the appeal and whether the appellant has counsel or not. Together, these two factors produce dramatic disparities: in one circuit, for example, an unrepresented appellant receives, on average, a decision less than a tenth the length of a …


Macro-Judging And Article Iii Exceptionalism, Merritt E. Mcalister Sep 2022

Macro-Judging And Article Iii Exceptionalism, Merritt E. Mcalister

UF Law Faculty Publications

Over the last half-century, the federal courts have faced down two competing crises: an increase in small, low-value litigation thought unworthy of Article III attention and an increase in the numbers and complexity of “big” cases thought worthy of those resources. The choice was what to prioritize and how, and the answer the courts gave was consistent across all levels of the federal judiciary. Using what this Article calls “macro-judging,” Article III judges entrenched their own power and autonomy to focus on the work they deemed most “worthy” of their attention, while outsourcing less “important” work to an array of …


Aals Federal Courts Section Newsletter, Katherine Mims Crocker, Celestine Mcconville Mar 2022

Aals Federal Courts Section Newsletter, Katherine Mims Crocker, Celestine Mcconville

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn Mar 2022

The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn

Faculty Scholarship

The jurisprudential evolution of evidence law is dead. At least, that’s what we’re expected to believe. Ushered in on the wings of a growing positivist movement, the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence purported to quell judicial authority over evidence law. Instead, committees, conferences, and members of Congress would regulate any change to our evidentiary regime, thereby capturing the evolution of evidence law in a single, transparent code.

The codification of evidence law, though, has proven problematic. The arrival of the Federal Rules of Evidence has given rise to a historically anomalous era of relative stagnation in the doctrinal …


Rebuilding The Federal Circuit Courts, Merritt E. Mcalister Mar 2022

Rebuilding The Federal Circuit Courts, Merritt E. Mcalister

UF Law Faculty Publications

The conversation about Supreme Court reform—as important as it is—has obscured another, equally important conversation: the need for lower federal court reform. The U.S. Courts of Appeals have not seen their ranks grow in over three decades. Even then, those additions were stopgap measures built on an appellate triage system that had outsourced much of its work to nonjudicial decision-makers (central judicial staff and law clerks). Those changes born of necessity have now become core features of the federal appellate system, which distributes judicial resources—including oral argument and judicial scrutiny—to a select few. This Article begins to reimagine the courts …


Litigating The Separation Of Powers, Elizabeth Earle Beske Jan 2022

Litigating The Separation Of Powers, Elizabeth Earle Beske

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The Roberts Court, in marked contrast to its predecessor, has embraced the role of the federal judiciary in resolving clashes between coordinate branches, but it has done so without adequately grappling with Rehnquist-era justiciability hurdles. Constrained by Raines v. Byrd, the 1997 case in which Chief Justice Rehnquist purported in broad strokes to shut down institutional standing, the Roberts Court has relied primarily on individual litigants to raise separation-of-powers claims as defenses in enforcement proceedings. Primary reliance on individual litigants is problematic. First, it is difficult to square with conventional conceptions of injury in fact. Individual litigants have traditionally …


A Tale Of Two Civil Procedures, Pamela K. Bookman, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2022

A Tale Of Two Civil Procedures, Pamela K. Bookman, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

In the United States, there are two kinds of courts: federal and state. Civil procedure classes and scholarship tend to focus on the federal, but refer to and make certain assumptions about state courts. While this dichotomy makes sense when discussing some issues, like federal subject matter jurisdiction, for many aspects of procedure this breakdown can be misleading. When understanding American civil justice, two different categories of courts are just as salient: those that routinely include lawyers, and those where lawyers are fundamentally absent.

This essay urges civil procedure teachers and scholars to think about our courts as “lawyered” courts—which …


Mapping The Civil Justice Gap In Federal Court, Roger Michalski, Andrew Hammond Jan 2022

Mapping The Civil Justice Gap In Federal Court, Roger Michalski, Andrew Hammond

UF Law Faculty Publications

Unrepresented litigants make up a sizable and normatively important chunk of civil litigation in the federal courts. Despite their importance, we still know little about who these pro se litigants are. Debates about pro se litigation take place without sufficient empirical information. To help fill some of the gaps in our understanding of pro se litigants, this Article takes a new approach by mapping where pro se litigants live.

Using a massive data set of 2.5 million federal dockets from a ten-year period, we obtained addresses of non-prisoner pro se litigants. We then geolocated these addresses and cross-referenced that information …


State Rejection Of Federal Law, Thomas B. Bennett Jan 2022

State Rejection Of Federal Law, Thomas B. Bennett

Faculty Publications

Sometimes the United States Supreme Court speaks, and states do not follow. For example, in 2003, the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to "reject" a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, because no "sound reasons justif[ied] following" it. Similarly, in 2006, Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative that, according to the legislature that drafted it, sought "at the very least to freeze' the state's ... law to prevent" state courts from following a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. Surprising though this language may be, there is nothing nefarious about these cases. Cooper v. Aaron this is not. Unlike more notorious …


How Chevron Deference Fits Into Article Iii, Kent H. Barnett Oct 2021

How Chevron Deference Fits Into Article Iii, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, along with Professor Philip Hamburger, assert that Chevron deference-under which courts defer to reasonable agency statutory interpretations-violates Article III. Chevron does so because, they argue, it either permits agencies, not courts, "to say what the law is" or requires judges to forgo independent judgment by favoring the government's position. If they are correct, Congress could not require courts to accept reasonable agency statutory interpretations under any circumstances. This Article does what these critics, perhaps surprisingly, do not do-situates challenges to Chevron within the broad landscape of the Court's current Article III …


A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro Jun 2021

A Prelude To A Critical Race Perspective On Civil Procedure, Portia Pedro

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I examine the lack of scholarly attention given to the role of civil procedure in racial subordination. I posit that a dearth of critical thought interrogating the connections between procedure and the subjugation of marginalized peoples might be due to the limited experiences of procedural scholars; a misconception that procedural rules are a technical, objective, neutral area; and avoidance of discussion of race or other aspects of identity unless there is a case, material, or scholarly topic that meets an unreasonably high standard. I emphasize the importance of a critical race analysis of civil procedure.


The Aoc In The Age Of Covid - Pandemic Preparedness Planning In The Federal Courts, Zoe Niesel Jan 2021

The Aoc In The Age Of Covid - Pandemic Preparedness Planning In The Federal Courts, Zoe Niesel

Faculty Articles

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis for American society—and the federal courts were not exempt. Court facilities came to a grinding halt, cases were postponed, and judiciary employees adopted work-from-home practices. Having court operations impacted by a pandemic was not a new phenomenon, but the size, scope, and technological lift of the COVID-19 pandemic was certainly unique.

Against this background, this Article examines the history and future of pandemic preparedness planning in the federal court system and seeks to capture some of the lessons learned from initial federal court transitions to pandemic operations in 2020. The Article begins by …


Lech's Mess With The Tenth Circuit: Why Governmental Entities Are Not Exempt From Paying Just Compensation When They Destroy Property Pursuant To Their Police Powers, Emilio R. Longoria Jan 2021

Lech's Mess With The Tenth Circuit: Why Governmental Entities Are Not Exempt From Paying Just Compensation When They Destroy Property Pursuant To Their Police Powers, Emilio R. Longoria

Faculty Articles

On June 29, 2020, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Lech v. Jackson, a Tenth Circuit inverse condemnation case, which held that governmental entities are categorically exempt from paying just compensation when they destroy private property pursuant to their police powers. This denial of certiorari cements a highly controversial circuit court holding into our takings jurisprudence the effects of which will be serious and far reaching. This article dissects the Tenth Circuit's opinion in Lech and explains how and why this holding should be revisited. If it is not, we risk losing the protection that the Fifth Amendment's Just Compensation …


The Strange Career Of The Three-Judge District Court: Federalism And Civil Rights, 1954-76, Michael E. Solimine Jan 2021

The Strange Career Of The Three-Judge District Court: Federalism And Civil Rights, 1954-76, Michael E. Solimine

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The three-judge district court has had a long and strange career in the history of the federal court system. Congress created the court in 1910 as a response to the canonical decision of Ex parte Young two years earlier, which permitted federal court suits against state officials to facilitate constitutional challenges to state laws. The three-judge court statute was a reaction by Progressive Era politicians to such perceived judicial overreach, and required any such challenges to be brought before a specially convened trial court of three judges, with a direct appeal to the Supreme Court available. First established as a …