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Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The Biden Administration is undertaking numerous actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change. Many of these actions are likely to be challenged in court. This paper describes the various legal theories that are likely to be used in these challenges, assesses their prospects of success given the current composition of the Supreme Court, and suggests ways to minimize the risks.


Rbg: Nonprofit Entrepreneur, David M. Schizer Jan 2021

Rbg: Nonprofit Entrepreneur, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

It is exceedingly rare for one person to change the world almost single-handedly, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of those people. Even before her distinguished judicial career, RBG was a trailblazing advocate for women’s rights during the 1970s. She persuaded the Supreme Court that gender discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, winning five of the six cases she argued there. To lead this historic effort, RBG served as general counsel of the ACLU and as co-founder and the first director of its Women’s Rights Project from 1972 until she became a ...


Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2021

Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

In Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., the Supreme Court resurrected a nineteenth-century copyright doctrine – the government edicts doctrine – and applied it to statutory annotations prepared by a legislative agency. While the substance of the decision has serious impli­cations for due process and the rule of law, the Court’s treatment of the doctrine recognized an invigorated role for courts in the development of copyright law through the use of principled reasoning. In expounding the doctrine, the Court announced a vision for the judicial role in copy­right adjudication that is at odds with the dominant approach under the ...


Equality Is A Brokered Idea, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2020

Equality Is A Brokered Idea, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This essay examines the Supreme Court's stunning decision in the census case, Department of Commerce v. New York. I characterize Chief Justice John Roberts' decision to side with the liberals as an example of pursuing the ends of equality by other means – this time, through the rule of reason. Although the appeal was limited in scope, the stakes for political and racial equality were sky high. In blocking the administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, 5 members of the Court found the justification the administration gave to be a pretext. In this instance, that lie ...


Memoriam: Justice John Paul Stevens, John G. Roberts Jr., David Barron, Alison J. Nathan, Christopher L. Eisgruber, Olatunde C.A. Johnson, Eduardo M. Peñalver Jan 2020

Memoriam: Justice John Paul Stevens, John G. Roberts Jr., David Barron, Alison J. Nathan, Christopher L. Eisgruber, Olatunde C.A. Johnson, Eduardo M. Peñalver

Faculty Scholarship

When Justice John Paul Stevens passed away on July 16, 2019, I was flooded with personal memories of my year clerking for him. The standard words of comfort when someone dies are that they will live on through the individuals that knew and loved them. Justice Stevens sat on the Supreme Court for more than three decades; his loss would be felt beyond those who knew him personally. I wondered how history would remember him.


Equality, Sovereignty, And The Family In Morales-Santana, Kristin Collins Nov 2017

Equality, Sovereignty, And The Family In Morales-Santana, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

In Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 3 the Supreme Court encountered a body of citizenship law that has long relied on family membership in the construction of the nation’s borders and the composition of the polity.4 The particular statute at issue in the case regulates the transmission of citizenship from American parents to their foreign-born children at birth, a form of citizenship known today as derivative citizenship.5 When those children are born outside marriage, the derivative citizenship statute makes it more difficult for American fathers, as compared with American mothers, to transmit citizenship to their foreign-born children.6 Over ...


The Supreme Common Law Court Of The United States, Jack Beermann Oct 2008

The Supreme Common Law Court Of The United States, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court's primary role in the history of the United States, especially in constitutional cases (and cases hovering in the universe of the Constitution), has been to limit Congress's ability to redefine and redistribute rights in a direction most people would characterize as liberal. In other words, the Supreme Court, for most of the history of the United States since the adoption of the Constitution, has been a conservative force against change and redistribution. The Court has used five distinct devices to advance its control over the law. First, it has construed rights-creating constitutional provisions ...


The Supreme Court's Labor And Employment Decisions: 2002-2003 Term, Maria O'Brien Oct 2003

The Supreme Court's Labor And Employment Decisions: 2002-2003 Term, Maria O'Brien

Faculty Scholarship

This article summarizes U.S. Supreme Court cases from the October 2002 term that related directly or indirectly to labor or employment law or have implications for labor and employment practitioners. Of particular interest are the University of Michigan affirmative action cases' and the Texas criminal sodomy case. 2 Although not nominally "labor and employment" cases, these cases will profoundly affect labor and employment issues. Lawrence v. Texas has already altered the lenses through which society views homosexuality and altered public discourse related to homosexuality and same-sex relationships. 3 The reasoning of the Court shows how far issues of sexuality ...


Unpatriotic Acts: An Introduction, Sadiq Reza Jan 2003

Unpatriotic Acts: An Introduction, Sadiq Reza

Faculty Scholarship

John Walker Lindh. Zacarias Moussaoui. Jose Padilla. Richard Reid. Who reading these lines does not instantly recognize the names of these men? Or at least their assigned noms de guerre: American Taliban, 20th hijacker, dirty bomber, shoe bomber. For two and a half years these names and others have flitted through our daily copies of The New York Times like shadow characters in a play, along with black-and-white photographs underneath which black-and-white text tells us of their alleged (and sometimes proven) wrongdoing and the latest developments in their tribulations (and sometimes trials) with our government. But the men themselves are ...


The Unhappy History Of Civil Rights Legislation, Fifty Years Later, Jack Beermann Apr 2002

The Unhappy History Of Civil Rights Legislation, Fifty Years Later, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

Seldom, if ever, have the power and the purposes of legislation been rendered so impotent.... All that is left today are afew scattered remnants of a once grandiose scheme to nationalize the fundamental rights of the individual.

These words were written fifty years ago by Eugene Gressman, now William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina School of Law, as a description of what the courts, primarily the Supreme Court of the United States, had done with the civil rights legislation passed by Congress in the wake of the Civil War. Professor Gressman's article, The Unhappy History ...


Municipal Responsibility For Constitutional Torts, Jack Beermann Apr 1999

Municipal Responsibility For Constitutional Torts, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

The fundamental principle in the law of municipal liability under § 1983 is that municipalities may be held liable only for their own conduct, not for the conduct of municipal employees. Stated somewhat differently, municipalities may not be held vicariously liable for the conduct of municipal employees but rather can be held liable only when municipal policy is the moving force behind the violation. While this principle is simple to state, it has proven difficult to apply.


Common Law Elements Of The Section 1983 Action, Jack Beermann Jan 1997

Common Law Elements Of The Section 1983 Action, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the role of the common law in Supreme Court interpretation and application of § 1983, which grants a cause of action for violations of constitutional rights committed "under color of any [state] statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage."' I argue that the common law has served primarily to narrow the reach of § 1983, and that this is inappropriate in light of the broad statutory language and the absence of good evidence that the enacting Congress intended a narrower application than the statutory language indicates.


Of Laws And Men: An Essay On Justice Marshall's View Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel C. Richman, Bruce A. Green Jan 1994

Of Laws And Men: An Essay On Justice Marshall's View Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel C. Richman, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

As a general rule, criminal defendants whose cases made it to the Supreme Court between 1967 and 1991 must have thought that, as long as Justice Thurgood Marshall occupied one of the nine seats, they had one vote for sure. And Justice Marshall rarely disappointed them – certainly not in cases of any broad constitutional significance. From his votes and opinions, particularly his dissents, many were quick to conclude that the Justice was another of those "bleeding heart liberals," hostile to the mission of law enforcement officers and ready to overlook the gravity of the crimes of which the defendants before ...


Supreme Court's Tilt To The Property Right: Procedural Due Process Protections Of Liberty And Property Interests, Jack Beermann, Barbara A. Melamed, Hugh F. Hall Apr 1993

Supreme Court's Tilt To The Property Right: Procedural Due Process Protections Of Liberty And Property Interests, Jack Beermann, Barbara A. Melamed, Hugh F. Hall

Faculty Scholarship

The Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution provide important protections against government oppression. They provide that government may not deprive any person of "life, liberty or property" without due process of law. In recent decisions, the Supreme Court has appeared willing to strengthen its protection of traditional property interests yet weaken its protection of liberty interests.

It has long been accepted, albeit with controversy, that due process has both procedural and substantive elements. This essay concerns the procedural elements. Procedural due process analysis asks two questions: first, whether there exists a liberty ...


The Supreme Court's Narrow View On Civil Rights, Jack Beermann Jan 1993

The Supreme Court's Narrow View On Civil Rights, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

The right to choose abortion, although recently significantly curtailed from its original scope,' is a federally protected liberty interest of women, and is at least protected against the imposition of "undue burdens" by state and local government.2 Some of the most serious threats to women's ability to choose abortion have come not from government regulation, but from private, national, organized efforts to prevent abortions. In addition to seeking change through the political system, some of these organizations, most notably Operation Rescue, have focused on the providers of abortion, and have attempted to prevent abortions by forcibly closing abortion ...


Administrative Failure And Local Democracy: The Politics Of Deshaney, Jack Beermann Nov 1990

Administrative Failure And Local Democracy: The Politics Of Deshaney, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay is an effort to construct a normative basis for a constitutional theory to resist the Supreme Court's recent decision in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services.1 In DeShaney, the Court decided that a local social service worker's failure to prevent child abuse did not violate the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment even though the social worker "had reason to believe" the abuse was occurring. 2 Chief Justice Rehnquist's opinion for the Court held that government inaction cannot violate due process unless the state has custody of the victim, 3 thus ...


A Critical Approach To Section 1983 With Special Attention To Sources Of Law, Jack Beermann Nov 1989

A Critical Approach To Section 1983 With Special Attention To Sources Of Law, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

The Civil Rights Act of 18711 ("§ 1983") establishes a tort-like remedy for persons deprived of federally protected rights "under color of law."'2 While the statute's broad language provides a remedy for violations of federal constitutional and statutory rights, the statute itself provides little or no guidance regarding important subjects such as the measure of damages, the availability of punitive damages, the requirements for equitable relief, the statute of limitations, survival of claims, proper parties, and immunities from suit.3...

...The first part of this article examines the narrowly "legal" analysis of § 1983 in the cases and commentary ...


Bad Judicial Activism And Liberal Federal-Courts Doctrine: A Comment On Professor Doernberg And Professor Redish, Jack Beermann Jan 1989

Bad Judicial Activism And Liberal Federal-Courts Doctrine: A Comment On Professor Doernberg And Professor Redish, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

JUDUCIAL ACTIVISM IS often portrayed as a liberal vice. This perception is wrong both historically and, as Professor Redish argues, 3 currently as well. The federal judiciary has been and still is an activist institution, working with both substantive law and jurisdictional rules to achieve its own policy goals. It has done this in statutory, constitutional, and common-law matters. Specifically, the Supreme Court of the United States has actively-shaped the jurisdiction of the federal courts in a restrictive and generally conservative manner.

Professors Doernberg4 and Redish attack this last form of activism by the federal courts, activism in shaping ...


Government Official Torts And The Takings Clause: Federalism And State Sovereign Immunity, Jack Beermann Mar 1988

Government Official Torts And The Takings Clause: Federalism And State Sovereign Immunity, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, I argue that state sovereign and official immunities, insofar as they bar recovery when private parties would be liable for similar conduct, are unconstitutional under the takings clause of the fifth amendment, as applied to the states under the fourteenth.22 A state's refusal to compensate plaintiffs for the tortious damage or destruction of property should be redressed by the federal courts in civil actions brought under § 1983.

Section I of this article provides background through a discussion of the Supreme Court's treatment of the problem of torts committed by government officials, primarily in procedural ...