Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

Articles from Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring

A Sober Second Thought
I. INTRODUCTION By the year 1994--his twenty-fourth on the Supreme Court--Justice Harry Blackmun was a liberal icon, not only for his authorship and defense of Roe v. Wade, (1) but also because of his forceful dissents from many of the Rehnquist...
Assessing and Addressing the Problems Caused by Life Tenure on the Supreme Court
All would agree that the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States collectively exercise enormous power. Only slightly less obvious is the fact that, given the frequency of five-to-four decisions, especially in the most important and controversial...
Beyond Citizens United
On January 27, 2010, in his State of the Union address, President Obama declared: With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests--including...
The Abyss of Racism
It is important to recall what motivated Members of this Court at the genesis of our modern capital punishment case law. Furman v. Georgia was decided in an atmosphere suffused with concern about race bias in the administration of the death penalty--particularly...
The Decline of Oral Argument in the Federal Courts of Appeals: A Modest Proposal for Reform
I. INTRODUCTION Federal appellate practice is not what is used to be. In the 1970s, oral argument was routinely granted and it was generously sized at thirty minutes per side. After a period of dramatic shrinkage in both frequency and length in...
The Folly - and Faith - of Furman
Justice Marshall's opinion in Furman v. Georgia memorably characterizes the abolition of capital punishment as "a major milestone in the long road up from barbarism." (1) For abolitionists today, it is surprising to recall that this phrase was not...
The Slow Wheels of Furman's Machinery of Death
I. INTRODUCTION Shortly after receiving my law license at the age of twenty-four, I served as co-counsel on the initial appeal of Carl Buntion, who had been sentenced to death for the 1990 capital murder of a Houston police officer. In 1995, the...
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