Read Professor Volokh’s commentary on the article’s “enlightening” title at The Volokh Conspiracy.
ABSTRACT :: The Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly has baffled and mystified both practitioners and scholars, casting aside the well-settled rule for evaluating motions to dismiss in favor of an amorphous “plausibility” standard. This Article argues that Twombly was not revolutionary, but simply part of the Court’s ever-expanding application of the familiar three-factor Mathews v. Eldridge test, used to determine whether procedural due process requires adopting a procedural safeguard. Twombly recognized that misused discovery can deprive litigants of property and liberty interests, and, thus, consistent with Mathews, requires a safeguard-dismissing the complaint. Based on this conclusion, this Article explains Twombly’s origins and structure, and suggests a source from which lower courts may draw in developing post-Twombly jurisprudence.