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Docket Control, Mandatory Jurisdiction, And The Supreme Court's Failure In Rucho V. Common Cause, Carolyn Shapiro Jan 2020

Docket Control, Mandatory Jurisdiction, And The Supreme Court's Failure In Rucho V. Common Cause, Carolyn Shapiro

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This paper, part of a Symposium on Andrew Coan's book, Rationing the Constitution: How Judicial Capacity Shapes Supreme Court Decision-Making, traces congressional changes to Supreme Court jurisdiction over more than a century, noting that those changes were regularly made in response to concerns about the Court's caseload. To the extent that Coan, and the Court, turn to doctrinal methods of controlling caseloads, such as deferential standards of review, they are overlooking the important congressional role in setting the Court's jurisdiction. The paper concludes by criticizing the recent decision of Rucho v. Common Cause in which the Court ...


Foster V. Chatman: A Missed Opportunity For Batson And The Peremptory Challenge, Nancy Marder May 2017

Foster V. Chatman: A Missed Opportunity For Batson And The Peremptory Challenge, Nancy Marder

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In 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided that the prosecutors in Foster v. Chatman exercised race-based peremptory challenges in violation of Batson v. Kentucky. The Court reached the right result, but missed an important opportunity. The Court should have acknowledged that after thirty years of the Batson experiment, it is clear that Batson is unable to stop discriminatory peremptory challenges. Batson is easy to evade, so discriminatory peremptory challenges persist and the harms from them are significant. The Court could try to strengthen Batson in an effort to make it more effective, but in the end the only way ...


En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2016

En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

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We live in an era of growing economic inequality. Luminaries ranging from the President to the Pope to economist Thomas Piketty in his bestselling book Capital in the Twenty- First Century have raised alarms about the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Overlooked, however, in these important discussions is the reality that economic inequality is not a uniform experience; rather, its effects fall more harshly on women and minorities. With regard to gender, American women have higher rates of poverty and get paid less than comparable men, and their workplace participation rates are falling. Yet economic inequality is neither ...


The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson Apr 2015

The Original Meaning Of "God": Using The Language Of The Framing Generation To Create A Coherent Establishment Clause Jurisprudence, Michael I. Meyerson

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The Supreme Court’s attempt to create a standard for evaluating whether the Establishment Clause is violated by religious governmental speech, such as the public display of the Ten Commandments or the Pledge of Allegiance, is a total failure. The Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence has been termed “convoluted,” “a muddled mess,” and “a polite lie.” Unwilling to either allow all governmental religious speech or ban it entirely, the Court is in need of a coherent standard for distinguishing the permissible from the unconstitutional. Thus far, no Justice has offered such a standard.

A careful reading of the history of ...


Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2015

Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman

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With the advent of DNA testing, numerous issues have arisen with regard to obtaining and using evidence developed from such testing. As courts have come to regard DNA testing as a reliable method for linking some people to crimes and for exonerating others, these issues are especially significant. The federal government and most states have enacted statutes that permit or direct the testing of those convicted of at least certain crimes. Courts have almost universally approved such testing, rejecting arguments that obtaining and using such evidence violates the Fourth Amendment.

More recently governments have enacted laws permitting or directing the ...


Keynote Speech: A Letter From The Original Cause Lawyer, F. Michael Higginbotham Jul 2014

Keynote Speech: A Letter From The Original Cause Lawyer, F. Michael Higginbotham

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This symposium speech is a short piece which talks about why there is a need for law students to become cause lawyers, the symposium being: cause lawyers and cause lawyering in the sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education. The writer creates an allegorical scene where he's snowed in in his home during a snowstorm, lightning strikes his computer, and the computer comes to life in the form a message being typed, and "channeled" to him by Thurgood Marshall. The former Justice of the Supreme Court proceeds to state the many reasons why there is still a need ...


Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay Apr 2014

Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay

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Few predicted that the constitutional fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would turn on Congress’ power to lay and collect taxes. Yet in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the centerpiece of the Act — the minimum coverage provision (MCP), commonly known as the “individual mandate” — as a tax. The unexpected basis of the Court’s holding has deflected attention from what may prove to be the decision’s more constitutionally consequential feature: that a majority of the Court agreed that Congress lacked authority under the Commerce Clause to penalize people who decline to purchase health insurance ...


A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2014

A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

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This Article explores the United States Supreme Court’s role in furthering economic inequality. The Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 not only highlighted growing income and wealth inequality in the United States, but also pointed the blame at governmental policies that favor business interests and the wealthy due to their outsized influence on politicians. Numerous economists and political scientists agree with this thesis. However, in focusing ire on the political branches and big business, these critiques have largely overlooked the role of the judiciary in fostering economic inequality. The Court’s doctrine touches each of the major causes of ...


Financing Elections And 'Appearance Of Corruption': Citizen Attitudes And Behavior In 2012, Molly J. Walker Wilson Jan 2014

Financing Elections And 'Appearance Of Corruption': Citizen Attitudes And Behavior In 2012, Molly J. Walker Wilson

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As political spending reaches new highs in the 2012 election cycle, and as the controversy surrounding wealthy donors and interest groups grows, polls demonstrate a surge of cynicism among Americans who profess a belief that the American political system is corrupt. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United made possible the most recent expansion of political spending. In this case, the question was whether allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on political advertising would result in corruption or the appearance of corruption. The majority on the Court determined that it would not. Many observers ...


Scalia & Garner's Reading Law: A Civil Law For The Age Of Statutes?, James Maxeiner Jul 2013

Scalia & Garner's Reading Law: A Civil Law For The Age Of Statutes?, James Maxeiner

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In Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and American legal lexicographer Bryan A. Garner challenge Americans to start over in dealing with statutes in the Age of Statutes. They propose ― "textualism," i.e., ― "that the words of a governing text are of paramount concern, and what they convey in their context is what the text means." Textualism is to remedy American lack of ― "a generally agreed-on approach to the interpretation of legal texts." That deficiency makes American law unpredictable, unequal, undemocratic and political. In the book's Foreword Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook ...


Patents At The Supreme Court: It Could Have Been Worse, Gregory Dolin Jan 2013

Patents At The Supreme Court: It Could Have Been Worse, Gregory Dolin

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In the last few years in particular, the Court has expanded the zone of exclusion from patent eligibility, limited the availability of injunctive relief for patentees whose patents have been adjudged to be valid and infringed, and broadened the scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine. To be sure, not all of the Supreme Court’s decisions were “anti-patent.” Nonetheless, the overall trajectory of the Court’s patent jurisprudence has been toward a narrower set of patent rights. Thus, there was significant trepidation in the patent bar and the academy when the Supreme Court decided to hear three patent cases in ...


The Anomaly Of Executions: The Cruel And Unusual Punishments Clause In The 21st Century, John Bessler Jan 2013

The Anomaly Of Executions: The Cruel And Unusual Punishments Clause In The 21st Century, John Bessler

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This Article describes the anomaly of executions in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence. While the Supreme Court routinely reads the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause to protect prisoners from harm, the Court simultaneously interprets the Eighth Amendment to allow inmates to be executed. Corporal punishments short of death have long been abandoned in America’s penal system, yet executions — at least in a few locales, heavily concentrated in the South — persist. This Article, which seeks a principled and much more consistent interpretation of the Eighth Amendment, argues that executions should be declared unconstitutional ...


The Roberts Court And The Law Of Human Resources, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2013

The Roberts Court And The Law Of Human Resources, Matthew T. Bodie

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The rise of human resources departments parallels the increase in the myriad statutory and regulatory requirements that govern the workplace. The Supreme Court's decisions in labor and employment law cases are largely monitored and implemented by HR professionals who must carry out these directives on a daily basis. This article looks at the Roberts Court's labor and employment law cases through the lens of human resources. In adopting an approach that is solicitous towards HR departments and concerns, the Roberts Court reflects a willingness to empower these private institutional players. Even if labor and employment law scholars do ...


Claiming Neutrality And Confessing Subjectivity In Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Carolyn Shapiro Dec 2012

Claiming Neutrality And Confessing Subjectivity In Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Carolyn Shapiro

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Supreme Court confirmation hearings provide a rare opportunity for the American people to hear what (would-be) justices think about the nature of judging and the role of the Supreme Court. In recent years, nominees have been quick to talk about judging in terms of neutrality and objectivity, most famously with Chief Justice Roberts’ invocation of the “neutral umpire,” and they have emphasized their reliance on legal texts and sources as if those sources can provide answers in difficult cases. Many of the cases heard by the Supreme Court, however, do not have objectively correct answers that can be deduced from ...


Fisher's Fishing Expedition, Vinay Harpalani Dec 2012

Fisher's Fishing Expedition, Vinay Harpalani

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This Essay delves into the Supreme Court oral arguments in Fisher v. Texas, which occurred on October 10, 2012. It examines the exchanges between the advocates and Justices, focusing on the meaning of 'critical mass' and the quest for total race neutrality in UT admissions. It argues that both of these are futile endeavors and unnecessary to decide Fisher. The entire Fisher case is a fishing expedition - albeit one that might reel in race-conscious admissions.


The Supreme Court's Theory Of The Fund, William Birdthistle Nov 2012

The Supreme Court's Theory Of The Fund, William Birdthistle

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Just as the firm has long served as the foundational molecule of the U.S. capitalist economy, theories of the firm have for more than a century dominated legal and economic discourse. Ever since Ronald Coase published The Nature of the Firm in 1937 and asked why firms should exist in an efficient market, classicists and neoclassicists have competed to develop theories — predominantly managerialist and contractual — that best explain the structure and behavior of business organizations.

The investment fund, by contrast, has languished at the margins of corporate theory, relegated as simply a minor, if somewhat curious, example of the ...


Tinkering Around The Edges: The Supreme Court's Death Penalty Jurisprudence, John Bessler Oct 2012

Tinkering Around The Edges: The Supreme Court's Death Penalty Jurisprudence, John Bessler

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This Essay examines America's death penalty forty years after Furman and provides a critique of the Supreme Court's existing Eighth Amendment case law. Part I briefly summarizes how the Court, to date, has approached death sentences, while Part II highlights the incongruous manner in which the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause has been read. For instance, Justice Antonin Scalia-one of the Court's most vocal proponents of "originalism" conceded that corporal punishments such as handbranding and public flogging are no longer constitutionally permissible; yet, he (and the Court itself) continues to allow death sentences to be imposed. The ...


The Long And Winding Road From Monroe To Connick, Sheldon Nahmod Apr 2012

The Long And Winding Road From Monroe To Connick, Sheldon Nahmod

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In this article, I address the historical and doctrinal development of § 1983 local government liability, beginning with Monroe v. Pape in 1961 and culminating in the Supreme Court’s controversial 2011 failure to train decision in Connick v. Thompson. Connick has made it exceptionally difficult for § 1983 plaintiffs to prevail against local governments in failure to train cases. In the course of my analysis, I also consider the oral argument and opinions in Connick as well as various aspects of § 1983 doctrine. I ultimately situate Connick in the Court’s federalism jurisprudence which doubles back to Justice Frankfurter’s view ...


Punitive Damages Vs. The Death Penalty: In Search Of A Unified Approach To Jury Discretion And Due Process Of Law, José F. Anderson Apr 2011

Punitive Damages Vs. The Death Penalty: In Search Of A Unified Approach To Jury Discretion And Due Process Of Law, José F. Anderson

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The role of the jury in awarding monetary damages to plaintiffs in a wide range of civil cases has captured the attention of the media, contemporary non-fiction writers, and reform-minded politicians in recent years. Particular attention has been focused on huge jury awards, which has led many commentators to criticize the wisdom of permitting juries to move so much money from one place to another. Although the right to a jury trial, and with it the exercise of broad judicial discretion, is constitutionally based, many reform efforts have moved toward removing juries from cases both as to the subject matter ...


Maryland Lawyers Who Helped Shape The Constitution: Father Of Freedom - Charles Hamilton Houston, José F. Anderson Jan 2011

Maryland Lawyers Who Helped Shape The Constitution: Father Of Freedom - Charles Hamilton Houston, José F. Anderson

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For most Americans, Charles Hamilton Houston is barely a footnote in history. Born in 1896, this Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College and Harvard educated African-American lawyer went on to win eight of nine cases in the United States Supreme Court. He designed the legal strategy for the historic Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954). He was the first African American to be elected to the Harvard Law Review and the first to earn the degree Doctor of Juridical Science Degree

By 1950 he would be laid to rest, exhausted by his brutal multi-state law ...


The Viability Of Multi-Party Litigation As A Tool For Social Engineering Six Decades After The Restrictive Covenant Cases, José F. Anderson Jan 2011

The Viability Of Multi-Party Litigation As A Tool For Social Engineering Six Decades After The Restrictive Covenant Cases, José F. Anderson

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Six decades ago, a group of lawyers sought ways to overturn the racially restrictive covenants that were common across the United States. These restrictions on integrated neighborhoods were the first legal battleground of the civil rights movement using the courts of civil justice to remove what many thought were immoral restrictions on the rights of free people. The most famous of those cases was Shelley v. Kraemer, but the doctrine that emerged from that particular case was actually a series of separate, multi-party lawsuits in various locations, using teams of lawyers acting in concert with each other to achieve justice ...


Ten Years After: Bartnicki V. Vopper As Laboratory For First Amendment Advocacy And Analysis, Eric Easton Jan 2011

Ten Years After: Bartnicki V. Vopper As Laboratory For First Amendment Advocacy And Analysis, Eric Easton

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How many ways can one approach a First Amendment analysis? What influences a lawyer or a judge to select one analytical approach over another? And what is the long-term effect of a court's choice of one over another? In Bartnicki v. Vopper, a 2001 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court considered federal and state statutes prohibiting the disclosure of illegally intercepted telephone conversations, we are privileged to have a small laboratory through which to study the first two questions. And, from the vantage point of ten years, we ought to be able to make some informed predictions ...


Choosing Justices: How Presidents Decide, Joel K. Goldstein Jan 2011

Choosing Justices: How Presidents Decide, Joel K. Goldstein

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Presidents play the critical role in determining who will serve as justices on the Supreme Court and their decisions inevitably influence constitutional doctrine and judicial behavior long after their terms have ended. Notwithstanding the impact of these selections, scholars have focused relatively little attention on how presidents decide who to nominate. This article contributes to the literature in the area by advancing three arguments. First, it adopts an intermediate course between the works which tend to treat the subject historically without identifying recurring patterns and those which try to reduce the process to empirical formulas which inevitably obscure considerations shaping ...


Leading The Court: Studies In Influence As Chief Justice, Joel K. Goldstein Jan 2011

Leading The Court: Studies In Influence As Chief Justice, Joel K. Goldstein

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Chief Justice Roberts has now completed five years of what is likely to be a lengthy tenure in the Court’s center seat. The quality of his institutional leadership, like that of his predecessors, resists confident contemporary assessment to a unique degree among principal offices of American government inasmuch as much of what a Chief Justice does is invisible to all but a relatively few observers, most or all of whom generally remain discreetly silent about such matters. Nonetheless, history counsels that the professional and interpersonal skill which a Chief Justice displays may substantially affect the Supreme Court and the ...


Oral Dissenting On The Supreme Court, Christopher W. Schmidt, Carolyn Shapiro Oct 2010

Oral Dissenting On The Supreme Court, Christopher W. Schmidt, Carolyn Shapiro

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In this Article we offer the first comprehensive evaluation of oral dissenting on the Supreme Court. We examine the practice in both historical and contemporary perspective, take stock of the emerging academic literature on the subject, and suggest a new framework for analysis of oral dissenting. Specifically, we put forth several claims. Contrary to the common assumption of scholarship and media coverage, oral dissents are nothing new. Oral dissenting has a long tradition, and its history provides valuable lessons for understanding the potential and limits of oral dissents today. Furthermore, not all oral dissents are alike. Dissenting Justices may have ...


Astrachan And Easton: Fight Wikileaks Case In Court, Not In Cyberspace, James B. Astrachan, Eric Easton Feb 2010

Astrachan And Easton: Fight Wikileaks Case In Court, Not In Cyberspace, James B. Astrachan, Eric Easton

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No abstract provided.


Immigration As Invasion: Sovereignty, Security, And The Origins Of The Federal Immigration Power, Matthew Lindsay Jan 2010

Immigration As Invasion: Sovereignty, Security, And The Origins Of The Federal Immigration Power, Matthew Lindsay

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This Article offers a new interpretation of the modern federal immigration power. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Supreme Court and Congress fundamentally transformed the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration, from a species of commercial regulation firmly grounded in Congress’ commerce authority, into a power that was unmoored from the Constitution, derived from the nation’s “inherent sovereignty,” and subject to extraordinary judicial deference. This framework, which is commonly referred to as the “plenary power doctrine,” has stood for more than a century as an anomaly within American public law. The principal legal and rhetorical rationale ...


The Law Clerk Proxy Wars: Secrecy, Accountability, And Ideology In The Supreme Court, Carolyn Shapiro Dec 2009

The Law Clerk Proxy Wars: Secrecy, Accountability, And Ideology In The Supreme Court, Carolyn Shapiro

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This piece provides an in-depth review and analysis of two recent books about Supreme Court law clerks, Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk, by Todd C. Peppers, and Sorcerers’ Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court, by Artemus Ward and David L. Weiden. In addition, the essay addresses a question so obvious that it is rarely asked – why is there so much curiosity about Supreme Court law clerks in the first place? In the essay, I analyze a widespread concern – and one discussed in both books ...


The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt Oct 2009

The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt

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Since the Supreme Court’s 1984 Chevron decision, the primary responsibility for interpreting federal statutes has increasingly resided with federal agencies in the first instance rather than with the federal courts. In 2005, the Court reinforced this approach by deciding National Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, which legitimized the agency practice of interpreting federal statutes in a manner contrary to the federal courts' established interpretation, so long as the agency interpretation is entitled to deference under the well-established Chevron standard. In essence, agencies are free to disregard federal court precedent in these circumstances. This Article analyzes the ...


The Context Of Ideology: Law, Politics, And Empirical Legal Scholarship, Carolyn Shapiro Aug 2009

The Context Of Ideology: Law, Politics, And Empirical Legal Scholarship, Carolyn Shapiro

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In their confirmation hearings, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor both articulated a vision of the neutral judge who decides cases without resort to personal perspectives or opinions, in short, without ideology. At the other extreme, the dominant model of judicial decisionmaking in political science has long been the attitudinal model, which posits that the Justices’ votes can be explained primarily as expressions of their personal policy preferences, with little or no role for law, legal reasoning, or legal doctrine.

Many traditional legal scholars have criticized such scholarship for its insistence on the primacy of ideology in judicial decisionmaking, even ...