Response to Michael H. Hoffheimer, The Stealth Revolution in Personal Jurisdiction
With elegant style and in devastating detail, Professor Michael Hoffheimer has analyzed the slow death spiral of personal jurisdiction under the Roberts Court. He accurately identifies one source of the frustration scholars and lower courts have felt in trying to make sense of the Roberts Court’s personal jurisdiction jurisprudence: the Court purports to be applying settled law while simultaneously unsettling well-established principles. In the course of his analysis, Professor Hoffheimer displays a mastery of the history and current contours of personal jurisdiction as he urges the Court to “acknowledge” that it is recasting the law of personal jurisdiction, to “provide reasons” for its new, wildly restrictive agenda, and to “construct a narrative” that would explain why these new restrictions are required by the Due Process Clause or “some other appropriate constitutional authority.” There are many stories that can be told about this line of six post-2011 personal jurisdiction cases. Professor Hoffheimer has chosen a jurisprudential story, and he has chosen to focus on only one of the six decisions, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court. Here, I want to tell, briefly, three more stories about the slow-motion disaster we are witnessing, and focus on another one of the six cases—Daimler AG v. Bauman—which, in my view, is the poisoned well from which the four later decisions flow.