92 Texas L. Rev. 1685
Imagine a situation where eight tortfeasors, acting independently but simultaneously, negligently lean on a car, which is parked at a scenic overlook in the mountains. Their combined forces result in the car rolling over the edge of the mountain and plummeting to its destruction. The force of all but one of the tortfeasors constituted the same percent of the force necessary to propel the car over the edge. Now imagine that the owner of the car, Dirty Harriet, because of her slight build, only exerted one percent of the force necessary to propel the car over the edge, however Dirty Harriet, seeing an opportunity to replace her lemon of a car, acts purposefully to push the car over the edge. Under the Restatement (Third) of Torts, Harriet’s state of mind may be relevant to the question of who caused the car to be destroyed. In this Note, Mr. Morris proposes that, in Dirty Harriet-type cases, courts, who may be unwilling to remain faithful to the Restatement framework, should instead apply the traditional concerted action doctrine.
Spencer P. Patton
92 Texas L. Rev. 1717
Much ink has been spilled about the so-called “London Whale” scandal involving JP Morgan Chase & Co. that occurred in 2012. This is not surprising, given that the scandal is an accessible reference point in the leitmotif of corporate law and finance post-2008. But the London Whale case is more than that. It is a timely and illustrative example of some challenging and important problems facing government regulators in today’s financial markets. In particular, the London Whale case demonstrates that the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States’ chief regulator of the nation’s solution, is increasingly a part of the problem rather than the solution. In this Note, Mr. Patton examines the London Whale case in this light by taking a closer look at the implications the case has for America’s changing financial markets and for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s role in those markets.
92 Texas L. Rev. 1053
In March 1956, the overwhelming majority of senators and congressmen from the former Confederate states joined forces to issue the Southern Manifesto. That document marshaled a series of constitutional arguments contending that the Supreme Court incorrectly decided Brown v. Board of Education. Legal scholars initially lavished considerable attention on the Manifesto. Today, however, the Manifesto no longer occupies a central place in the American legal imagination. No law review article, or any other work written by a law professor, has appeared in more than fifty years that examines the Manifesto in a sustained fashion. Drawing on archival and other primary sources that law professors have previously neglected, Professor Driver contends that the Manifesto should be restored to a prominent position in legal scholarship because the document serves to recast two prominent debates that have occupied constitutional law scholars for decades. First, analyzing the Manifesto reveals that many southern politicians were far more legally sophisticated, calculating, and shrewd in defending white supremacy than legal scholarship generally suggests. Second, examining the remarkable public debates generated by the Manifesto demonstrates that, contrary to popular constitutionalism’s account, widespread support for judicial supremacy predated the Supreme Court’s articulation of the concept in Cooper v. Aaron. Although it may be tempting to view the Manifesto as promoting ideas that have no connection to current conditions, Professor Driver argues that the document continues to have resonance within the modern constitutional order.
Daniel A. Farber & Anne Joseph O’Connell
92 Texas L. Rev. 1137
In this Article, Professors Farber and O’Connell argue that the reality of the modern administrative state diverges considerably from the series of assumptions underlying the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and classic judicial decisions that followed the APA. These assumptions called for statutory directives to be implemented by one agency led by Senate-confirmed presidential appointees with decision-making authority. The implementation (in the form of a discrete action) is presumed to be through statutorily mandated procedures and criteria, with judicial review to determine whether the reasons given by the agency at the time of its action match the delegated directions. They describe in depth this lost world on which current administrative law is based. They go on to explain how the realities of the modern administrative state have come to differ greatly from the intended circumstances. They then weigh the benefits and costs of this shift, tentatively concluding that the costs trump the benefits. Finally, they conclude that returning to this lost world is impossible and instead propose some possible reforms in all three branches of the federal government to make the match between current realities and administrative law stronger.
92 Texas L. Rev. 1191
In this Essay, Professor Krash examines the problems that Abe Fortas, the advocate for Clarence Gideon before the Supreme Court, and Justice Hugo Black, the writer of the opinion in the Gideon v. Wainwright decision, faced when addressing the Gideon issue and the manner in which they resolved these problems.
92 Texas L. Rev. 1207
Professor Kamisar reviews Karen Houpert’s analysis of the public defender system.
Jonathan A. Rapping
92 Texas L. Rev. 1225
In this Essay, Professor Rapping reexamines the message of Anthony Lewis’s book Gideon’s Trumpet in light of today’s criminal-justice system. He argues that today’s system is even less fair and humane than the system that Gideon faced. However, Professor Rapping believes that the right to counsel is just as important today as it has ever been. He posits that the system needs a dedicated and well resourced staff of public defenders to adequately protect the poor and indigent from the system. Only with such an army of defenders, Professor Rapping argues, can the criminal justice system live up to the lofty goals that Anthony Lewis hoped to achieve.
92 Texas L. Rev. 1241
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 allows the Department of Justice to bring a complaint, codified in §14141, against police departments that have consistent records of police brutality. This powerful tool, however, has been somewhat limited by the dearth in information about which police departments are in need of the Department of Justice’s intervention. In this Note, Ms. Holmes examines traditional remedies for police brutality such as the exclusionary rule, § 1983 claims, criminal prosecution, and civilian oversight models, and explains the advantages that § 14141 has over these measures. She then details the resources problem that the Department of Justice faces in pursuing § 14141 litigation. Finally, Ms. Holmes examines the feasibility and desirability of providing the Department of Justice with needed information by implementing a model of information gathering by community groups.
Ryan E. Meltzer
92 Texas L. Rev. 1277
Since the Supreme Court ended the mandatory merits-first approach instituted in Saucier v. Katz, scholars have argued that the development of constitutional norms could come to a standstill. In this Note, Mr. Meltzer argues that the work of civilian external investigatory oversight bodies can serve as at least a partial antidote to this possible constitutional stasis. In particular, Mr. Meltzer advocates for the investigative findings and policy recommendations of agencies like the New York Civilian Complaint and Review Board to be given at least the same weight as internal police regulations and advisory reports by external compliance agencies, and possibly as much weight as regional appellate court opinions, in the qualified immunity analysis. Mr. Meltzer goes on to show that not only is this proposal consistent with the purposes of § 1983 litigation and the qualified immunity doctrine, but the work it envisions is already taking place at oversight boards around the nation. He then argues that the sole structural changes necessary to optimally implement this proposal relate to the formalization and publication of the agencies’ findings and recommendations.
Curtis A. Bradley
92 Texas L. Rev. 773
The termination of U.S. treaties provides an especially rich example of how governmental practices can provide a “gloss” on the Constitution’s separation of powers. The authority to terminate treaties is not addressed specifically in the constitutional text and instead has been worked out over time through political–branch practice. This practice, moreover, has developed largely without judicial review. Despite these features, Congress and the President—and the lawyers who advise them—have generally treated this issue as a matter of constitutional law, rather than merely political happenstance. Importantly, the example of treaty termination illustrates not only how historical practice can inform constitutional understandings, but also how these understandings can change. Whereas it was generally understood throughout the nineteenth century that the termination of treaties required congressional involvement, the consensus on this issue disappeared in the early parts of the twentieth century, and today it is widely (although not uniformly) accepted that presidents have a unilateral power of treaty termination. This shift in constitutional understandings did not occur overnight or in response to one particular episode but rather was the product of a long accretion of Executive Branch claims and practice in the face of congressional inaction. This article examines the way in which historical practice has shaped the constitutional debates and understandings concerning this issue and is meant to help shed light on some of the interpretive and normative challenges associated with a practice-based approach to the separation of powers.