Judicial Systems

Charles Gardner Geyh, The Dimensions of Judicial Impartiality

Scholars have traditionally analyzed judicial impartiality piecemeal, in disconnected debates on discrete topics. As a consequence, current understandings of judicial impartiality are balkanized and muddled. This Article seeks to reconceptualize judicial impartiality comprehensively, across contexts. In an era when “we are all legal realists now,” perfect impartiality—the complete absence of bias or prejudice—is at most […]

F. Andrew Hessick & Jathan P. McLaughlin, Judicial Logrolling

In the federal judicial system, multiple judges hear cases on appeal. Although assigning cases to multiple judges provides a number of benefits, it also generates the potential for conflict. Because each judge has his own set of preferences and values, judges on appellate panels often disagree with each other. Judges currently resolve these disagreements by […]

Martin H. Redish & Matthew B. Arnould, Judicial Review, Constitutional Interpretation, and the Democratic Dilemma: Proposing a "Controlled Activism" Alternative

No problem generates more debate among constitutional scholars than how to approach constitutional interpretation. This Article critiques two representative theories (or families of theories), originalism and nontextualism, and offers a principled alternative, which we call “controlled activism.” By candidly acknowledging the judge’s creative role in constitutional lawmaking, controlled activism promises real limits on judicial discretion.

Scott G. Hawkins, Perspective on Judicial Merit Retention in Florida

This November, voters will decide whether to retain in office three justices of the Florida Supreme Court and fifteen judges of the district courts of appeal. This Essay explains the merit retention process and puts that process in historical context. It analyzes the challenges voters face in making decisions about whether to retain appellate court […]

Chad M. Oldfather, Joseph P. Bockhorst, Brian P. Dimmer, Triangulating Judicial Responsiveness: Automated Content Analysis, Judicial Opinions, and the Methodology of Legal Scholarship

The increasing availability of digital versions of court documents, coupled with increases in the power and sophistication of computational methods of textual analysis, promises to enable both the creation of new avenues of scholarly inquiry and the refinement of old ones. This Article advances that project in three respects. First, it examines the potential for […]

Jacy Owens, A Progressive Response: Judicial Delegation of Authority to Federal Probation Officers

Federal probation officers supervise millions of offenders who must each comply with a multitude of probation conditions. These officers need enough flexibility to deal with the evolving needs of each offender, without having to clog the court system with repeated requests for modifications. Yet federal courts differ in the amount of discretionary authority they grant […]