Tag: Federal Courts

How to Rig the Federal Courts

David Law Washington University in St. Louis

Few scholars would dispute that the way in which political institutions are designed affects the way that policymakers behave or the kinds of policies that are produced.  Nor can it seriously be argued that courts are somehow an exception to the basic rule that institutional design matters.  It is… Read More »

Deciding When To Decide: How Appellate Procedure Distributes the Costs of Legal Change

Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl - University of Houston Law Center

An Introduction to the Problem
Imagine you are a judge on one of the federal courts of appeals.  You have before you a case that requires you to apply a thirty-year-old Supreme Court precedent, A v. B.  Given your role as a lower-court judge, ordinarily you would simply apply A… Read More »

Adapting Integer Programming Techniques to Circuit Restructuring

David Carlson

For as long as the United States Courts of Appeals have been part of the federal judicial system, commentators, judges, and policymakers have disagreed over their geographic boundaries.  These disagreements are closely intertwined with discussions about the courts’ core characteristics, such as how many states they encompass, the workload of… Read More »

Judicial Independence, Autonomy, and the Bankruptcy Courts

Troy McKenzie - NYU School of Law

Politicians, policymakers, and academics will occupy the foreseeable future debating the appropriate lessons to draw in the aftermath of the recent economic downturn. But few observers would question one lesson that has already come into sharp focus: bankruptcy courts play a central role in modern American life. The past two… Read More »

Did Liberal Justices Invent the Standing Doctrine? An Empirical Study of the Evolution of Standing, 1921-2006

Daniel E. Ho & Erica Ross

I. The Insulation Thesis
The standing doctrine is the Rorschach test of federal courts. In theory, the doctrine serves a distinct function, namely ensuring that a litigant is the proper party to bring a claim in court. Yet standing remains one of the most contested areas of federal law, with… Read More »

Death Ineligibility and Habeas Corpus

Lee Kovarsky - New York University School of Law.

The Supreme Court has recently declared several categories of prisoners, such as juvenile and mentally retarded offenders, to be categorically ineligible for capital punishment under the Eighth Amendment.  If these “death ineligible” offenders nonetheless sit on death row with procedurally defective habeas corpus petitions, can the writ be used to… Read More »

The Unconscionability Game: Strategic Judging and the Evolution of Federal Arbitration Law

Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl - University of Houston Law Center

In a fairly short period of time, arbitration agreements have migrated beyond their traditional domains, such as commercial transactions between sophisticated business entities, and have come to pervade the contemporary economy. A typical consumer might have agreed, though not necessarily consciously, to arbitrate disputes with his or her credit card… Read More »

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