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

Law Commons

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

Formalism

Journal

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 65

Full-Text Articles in Law

Levels Of Free Speech Scrutiny, Alexander Tsesis Apr 2023

Levels Of Free Speech Scrutiny, Alexander Tsesis

Indiana Law Journal

Inconsistencies abound throughout current exacting, strict, and most exacting scrutiny doctrines. Formalism also runs throughout recent cases that have opportunistically relied on the First Amendment in matters peripherally concerned with core principles of free speech. Jurisprudence that relies on the exacting scrutiny standard remains significantly under-theorized. The uncertainty creates doctrinal flux that shifts from case-to-case. The same unexplained malleability appears in the most exacting scrutiny jurisprudence. The Court, moreover, sometimes refers to these two standards as equivalent to strict scrutiny. On the other hand, during the last decade, and most recently in 2021, various opinions have also used exacting scrutiny …


A Formalist Theory Of Contract Law Adjudication, Felipe Jiménez Jan 2021

A Formalist Theory Of Contract Law Adjudication, Felipe Jiménez

Utah Law Review

Formalism has a bad name. It is often seen as a naïve and unsophisticated approach to the adjudication of legal disputes. This negative view of formalism is widespread in American legal culture and has been particularly influential in contract law. This Article challenges this prevailing view and argues that a formalist theory of adjudication is the best approach to resolve contractual disputes.

The argument of this Article starts from the assumption that contract law is not morally justified because of its enforcement of promissory rights or some other dimension of interpersonal morality. Instead, like contemporary law and economics, this Article …


Twenty-First Century Formalism, Thomas B. Nachbar Dec 2020

Twenty-First Century Formalism, Thomas B. Nachbar

University of Miami Law Review

Formalism is one of the most widely applied but misunderstood features of law. Embroiled in a series of conflicts over the course of the twentieth century, formalism’s meaning has become confused as formalism has been enlisted by both proponents and opponents of specific legal methodologies. For some, formalism has simply become an epithet used to describe virtually anything they dislike in legal thinking. Used often and inconsistently as a stand-in (and frequently a strawman), formalism’s distinct identity has been lost, its meaning merged with whatever methodology it is being used to support or attack.

This Article seeks to separate formalism …


Portrait Of A Rabbinic Dissident: Akavya Ben Mehalalel Confronts The Judicial Establishment, Moshe Sokol Jan 2020

Portrait Of A Rabbinic Dissident: Akavya Ben Mehalalel Confronts The Judicial Establishment, Moshe Sokol

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Politics And Authority In The U.S. Supreme Court, Joshua Fischman Sep 2019

Politics And Authority In The U.S. Supreme Court, Joshua Fischman

Cornell Law Review

Public discourse on the Supreme Court often focuses on the divide between the liberal and conservative Justices. There has been a second persistent divide in the Court, however, which has been largely overlooked by scholars, the media, and the public. This second divide has arisen most often in cases involving the jury trial right, the Confrontation Clause, the Fourth Amendment, punitive damages, and the interpretation of criminal statutes. This Article argues that this divide represents disagreements among the Justices over how to determine the limits of the authority of legal actors, particularly juries, executive officials, and trial judges. On one …


"Believe Me," We Do Not Have A Foreign Emoluments Clause Violation, Scotty N. Teal Aug 2019

"Believe Me," We Do Not Have A Foreign Emoluments Clause Violation, Scotty N. Teal

Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies

President Trump was sued in New York District Court for allegedly violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause. In its brief, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleged that the president's international businesses and real estate holdings positioned him to receive money from foreign governments. These business interests, or entanglements, could "sway" or create an opportunity for negative foreign influence in violation of the Emoluments Clause. CREW states that these "entanglements between American officials and foreign powers could pose a creeping, insidious threat to the Republic." CREW argued that President Trump violated the Emoluments Clause because the clause "cover[s] …


Using The Master’S Tool To Dismantle His House: Derrick Bell, Herbert Wechsler, And Critical Legal Process, William Rhee May 2018

Using The Master’S Tool To Dismantle His House: Derrick Bell, Herbert Wechsler, And Critical Legal Process, William Rhee

Concordia Law Review

This Article retells the life stories of Derrick Bell, a founder of Critical Race Theory, and Herbert Wechsler, a founder of the Legal Process School, to suggest a synthesis of their often conflicting paradigms—Critical Legal Process. Critical Legal Process’s fundamental question is whether the Master’s tool, the so-called rule of law, can be considered—in the words of Wechsler’s most famous article—a genuine “neutral principle.” Can the Master’s favorite tool be repurposed to dismantle the very house it built? Can the same rule of law that was abused to build the racist Jim Crow system not only dismantle that explicitly racist …


Reworking The Revolution: Treasury Rulemaking & Administrative Law, David Berke May 2018

Reworking The Revolution: Treasury Rulemaking & Administrative Law, David Berke

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

How administrative law applies to tax rulemaking is an open and contested question. The resolution of this question has high stakes for the U.S. tax system. The paradigm is shifting away from so-called “tax exceptionalism”—where Treasury action is considered effectively exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”) and related administrative law doctrines. This paradigm-shift is salutary. However, currently prevailing anti-exceptionalist theory—an administrative framework for tax that is rapidly gaining credence within both the federal judiciary and the legal academy—threatens to destabilize the U.S. tax system. This formalistic approach to administrative law in tax rulemaking has the potential to invalidate …


Characterizing Power For Separation-Of-Powers Purposes, Tuan N. Samahon Apr 2018

Characterizing Power For Separation-Of-Powers Purposes, Tuan N. Samahon

University of Richmond Law Review

The U.S. Constitution parcels "legislative," "executive," and "judicial" powers among the separate branches of the federal government, but leaves those powers undefined. Accordingly, characterizing exercises of power becomes an important threshold inquiry in separation-of-powers disputes. This symposium Essay canvasses four competing judicial approaches to the characterization of power: functional inquiry; identity-of-the-officer formalism; historical induction; and skepticism. In this area, Justice Scalia's formalism has been particularly influential but created considerable tension with original public meaning originalism. This Essay explains how Scalia's formalism led to his embrace of delegation and concludes by cautioning against judicial oversimplification in the characterization inquiry.


The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton Apr 2018

The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton

Michigan Law Review

A review of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary.


One Judge's Legacy And The New York Court Of Appeals: Mr. Justice Cardozo And The Law Of Contracts, Meredith R. Miller Jan 2018

One Judge's Legacy And The New York Court Of Appeals: Mr. Justice Cardozo And The Law Of Contracts, Meredith R. Miller

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Poke Your Nose Into Your Clients' Businesses (If You Want To Understand Their Contracts), James W. Bowers Nov 2017

Poke Your Nose Into Your Clients' Businesses (If You Want To Understand Their Contracts), James W. Bowers

Maine Law Review

Thirty years ago Grant Gilmore argued that “Contract” was dead. This lecture, delivered as 2004 Godfrey Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Maine School of Law, considers the cause of death. Since the expired doctrines arose in a common law process, the lecture argues their demise resulted from the failings of lawyers, especially lawyers' commitment to wooden, formalist legal methods. I explore some of the reasons why lawyers became committed to these methods, and argue that even were nineteenth-century formalistic practices resurrected, modern lawyers must still be prepared to understand the potential effects business contexts might have in contract disputes and …


Is The Supreme Court Concerned With Patent Law, The Federal Circuit, Or Both: A Response To Judge Timothy B. Dyk, Timothy R. Holbrook Apr 2017

Is The Supreme Court Concerned With Patent Law, The Federal Circuit, Or Both: A Response To Judge Timothy B. Dyk, Timothy R. Holbrook

Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property

This essay is a response to Hon. Timothy B. Dyk, Thoughts on the Relationship Between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit, 16 CHI.-KENT J. OF INTELL. PROP. 67 (2016). In it, I address the reasons for the Supreme Court's engagement with patent law. In other words, is the Court interested in patent law itself, or is there something about the Federal Circuit as an institution that has garnered the Court's gaze. I conclude it is a combination of the two. The Court is concerned with certain aspects of patent doctrine, but it is also concerned with the Federal Circuit, …


Multifactoral Free Speech, Alexander Tsesis Oct 2016

Multifactoral Free Speech, Alexander Tsesis

Northwestern University Law Review

This Article presents a multifactoral approach to free speech analysis. Difficult cases present a variety of challenges that require judges to weigh concerns for the protection of robust dialogue, especially about public issues, against concerns that sound in common law (such as reputation), statutory law (such as repose against harassment), and in constitutional law (such as copyright). Even when speech is implicated, the Court should aim to resolve other relevant individual and social issues arising from litigation. Focusing only on free speech categories is likely to discount substantial, and sometimes compelling, social concerns warranting reflection, analysis, and application. Examining the …


The Dilemma Of Interpreting Rules Of Civil Procedure: A Proposal For Elastic Formalism., L. Wayne Scott Jan 2016

The Dilemma Of Interpreting Rules Of Civil Procedure: A Proposal For Elastic Formalism., L. Wayne Scott

St. Mary's Law Journal

When lawyers are well prepared, know the law, present the law, and have it ignored by judges who interpret the law in their own way, it can be frustrating. When courts publish opinions embodying this attitude, students, too, become frustrated or conclude that the law is whatever judges decide it should be. This Article does not focus on unethical judges who decide cases with wrong motives but, rather, it focuses on ethical judges who are faced with “hard” cases and have the dilemma of deciding the case, either by the rule or by the judge’s concept of fairness. In both …


The Fruits Of Shady Grove: Seeing The Forest For The Trees, Glenn S. Koppel Jun 2015

The Fruits Of Shady Grove: Seeing The Forest For The Trees, Glenn S. Koppel

Akron Law Review

Part II will sketch the facts of the case to prepare for an exploration of the roots of Shady Grove in Part III, which traces the evolution of the Court’s Erie jurisprudence. At various points along the way, I will stop to anticipate where one or more of the several opinions in Shady Grove will shed light, in Part IV, on the meaning of Shady Grove


The Blinding Color Of Race: Elections And Democracy In The Post-Shelby County Era, Sahar F. Aziz Apr 2015

The Blinding Color Of Race: Elections And Democracy In The Post-Shelby County Era, Sahar F. Aziz

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe Apr 2015

Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe

Michigan Law Review

Our Constitution can change. We can amend it, update it, improve it. And so we have—twenty-seven times by one count, many more by another. Everyone recognizes this. But fewer people appreciate that the mechanics of constitutional change can change as well. A method of alteration unaddressed at the founding can grow into established practice. A procedure built into constitutional text can slip into disuse. As much as citizens can change the substance of the Constitution, they can also change the ways they change it. In Originalism and the Good Constitution, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport make an elegant and provocative …


Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Apr 2015

Judge Posner's Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Michigan Law Review

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, for judges to achieve “sensible” resolutions of real-world disputes—by which Judge Posner means “in a way that can be explained in ordinary language and justified as consistent with the expectations of normal people” (p. 354)—they must be able to navigate the world’s complexity successfully. To apply legal rules correctly and (where judicial lawmaking is called for) to formulate legal rules prudently, judges must understand the causal mechanisms and processes that undergird complex systems, and they must be able to draw sound factual …


Defeating A Wolf Clad As A Wolf: Formalism And Functionalism In Separation-Of-Powers Suits Against The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Lee A. Deneen Jan 2014

Defeating A Wolf Clad As A Wolf: Formalism And Functionalism In Separation-Of-Powers Suits Against The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Lee A. Deneen

Georgia Law Review

In 2010, the Court decided Free Enterprise Fund, engaging in a substantially formalist analysis of the President's removal power. That same year, Congress authorized creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency with significant regulatory and enforcement power over the consumer finance industry. Within three years of that legislation, two lawsuits have challenged the CFPB's structure. This Note evaluates the arguments of the CFPB's opponents against the backdrop of Free Enterprise Fund and the Roberts Court's other formalist decisions. Although one might expect complaints against the CFPB to be lodged solely in formalist terms, the CFPB's opponents have …


Law, Religion, And Pluralism: The Thought And Experiences Of Nathan Isaacs (1886-1941), Samuel Flaks Oct 2013

Law, Religion, And Pluralism: The Thought And Experiences Of Nathan Isaacs (1886-1941), Samuel Flaks

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Judicial Overstating, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich Apr 2013

Judicial Overstating, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich

Chicago-Kent Law Review

Ostensibly, we are all Legal Realists now. No longer do legal theorists maintain that judicial decision making fits the mechanical and formalist characterizations of yesteryear. Yet, the predominant style of American appellate court opinions seems to adhere to that improbable mode of adjudication: habitually, opinions provide excessively large sets of syllogistic reasons and portray the chosen decision as certain, singularly correct, and as determined inevitably by the legal materials. This article examines two possible explanations for this rhetorical style of Judicial Overstatement. First, we review the psychological research that suggests that judicial overstatement is a product of the cognitive processes …


Rights Lawyer Essentialism And The Next Generation Of Rights Critics, Alan K. Chen Apr 2013

Rights Lawyer Essentialism And The Next Generation Of Rights Critics, Alan K. Chen

Michigan Law Review

Richard Thompson Ford does not care much for the current state of civil rights. In his provocative new book, Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality, Ford lends an original, if often misdirected, voice to the chorus of contemporary critics of the American legal regime of rights. Situating himself among "second generation" rights critics (p. 259), Ford lays out a comprehensive indictment of current approaches to civil rights litigation as well as civil rights activism. His work is both intriguing and provocative, and it raises a number of issues that are surely worth serious consideration and discussion. …


Past The Pillars Of Hercules: Francis Bacon And The Science Of Rulemaking, Daniel R. Coquillette Jan 2013

Past The Pillars Of Hercules: Francis Bacon And The Science Of Rulemaking, Daniel R. Coquillette

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The parallels between Bacon's career and that of Edward H. Cooper are, of course, obvious. Bacon was one of the great legal minds of his day. Unlike the common-law judges who formed the law by deciding cases, Bacon expressed his greatness in writing brilliant juristic treatises and, as Lord Chancellor, drafting one of the first modern rule systems, the Ordinances in Chancery (1617-1620). Indeed, my thesis is that Bacon invented modern, scientific rulemaking by fusing his new theories of inductive, empirical research with the traditions of equitable pleading and is, in fact, the intellectual forbearer of the likes of Charles …


Separation Of Powers Doctrine On The Modern Supreme Court And Four Doctrinal Approaches To Judicial Decision-Making, R. Randall Kelso Nov 2012

Separation Of Powers Doctrine On The Modern Supreme Court And Four Doctrinal Approaches To Judicial Decision-Making, R. Randall Kelso

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Partiality And Disclosure In Supreme Court Opinions, Robert F. Nagel Jan 2012

Partiality And Disclosure In Supreme Court Opinions, Robert F. Nagel

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Essay begins by identifying the various kinds of partiality the Justices of the Supreme Court can have in the cases they decide. Although there is widespread recognition of the influence these biases might have, for the most part the Justices continue to write opinions as if they (and other judges) were entirely disinterested. This practice is often thought to be justified as a source of judicial legitimacy, but there are a number of reasons to doubt that a pretense of impersonality is actually important for maintaining respect for the Court. Consequently, the possibility has to be considered that the …


The Real Formalists, The Real Realists, And What They Tell Us About Judicial Decision And Legal Education, Edward Rubin Apr 2011

The Real Formalists, The Real Realists, And What They Tell Us About Judicial Decision And Legal Education, Edward Rubin

Michigan Law Review

The periodization of history, like chocolate cake, can have some bad effects on us, but it is hard to resist. We realize, of course, that Julius Caesar didn’t think of himself as “Classical” and Richard the Lionhearted didn’t regard the time in which he lived as the Middle Ages. Placing historical figures in subsequently defined periods separates us from them and impairs our ability to understand them on their own terms. But it is difficult to understand anything about them at all if we try to envision history as continuous and undifferentiated. We need periodization to organize events that are …


Contract Law, Party Sophistication And The New Formalism, Meredith R. Miller Apr 2010

Contract Law, Party Sophistication And The New Formalism, Meredith R. Miller

Missouri Law Review

Part II of this Article positions the discussion in a theoretical context and describes the significance of party sophistication as a compromise between formalist and realist concerns. Part III collects examples of settings in which courts have used party sophistication as a tool to organize the world of contracting parties and, with that, the applicable legal principles. For sophisticated parties, in answering a wide array of contract questions, courts employ a formalist approach. Part IV begins descriptively and addresses the general lack of meaningful assessment of party sophistication. Drawing upon the review of hundreds of cases, Part IV identifies what …


Is A Burrito A Sandwich? Exploring Race, Class, And Culture In Contracts, Marjorie Florestal Jan 2008

Is A Burrito A Sandwich? Exploring Race, Class, And Culture In Contracts, Marjorie Florestal

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

A superior court in Worcester, Massachusetts, recently determined that a burrito is not a sandwich. Surprisingly, the decision sparked a firestorm of media attention. Worcester, Massachusetts, is hardly the pinnacle of the culinary arts-so why all the interest in the musings of one lone judge on the nature of burritos and sandwiches? Closer inspection revealed the allure of this otherwise peculiar case: Potentially thousands of dollars turned on the interpretation of a single word in a single clause of a commercial contract. Judge Locke based his decision on "common sense" and a single definition of sandwich-"two thin pieces of bread, …


Formalism And Judicial Supremacy In Federal Indian Law, Alex Tallchief Skibine Jan 2008

Formalism And Judicial Supremacy In Federal Indian Law, Alex Tallchief Skibine

American Indian Law Review

No abstract provided.