Legal Commentary: Akhil and Vikram Amar Archive

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AKHIL REED AMAR

Akhil Reed Amar is Southmayd Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where he teaches constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and a former clerk of Stephen Breyer, he has delivered endowed lectures at over two dozen universities. His many law review articles have been widely cited by scholars and judges, and has also written widely on constitutional issues for lay audiences in fora such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The American Lawyer, and Slate. His two most recent books are The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998) and Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (editor, with Paul Brest, Sanford Levinson, and J.M. Balkin) (Aspen, 2000).

 

VIKRAM DAVID AMAR

Vikram David Amar is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He is a 1988 graduate of the Yale Law School, and a former clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun. He is a co-author, along with William Cohen and Jonathan Varat, of a major constitutional law casebook, and a co-author of several volumes of the Wright & Miller treatise on federal practice and procedure. Before teaching, Professor Amar spent a few years at the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Professor Amar writes in the public law fields, particularly Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, and Remedies. He has published scholarly articles in a variety of the nation's leading law journals, and opinion pieces in a host of major newspapers and magazines. He is the co-author of a one-volume civil procedure treatise, and is a co-author on some of the volumes of the Wright & Miller treatise on federal practice and procedure.

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SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BAKKE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION RULING, AND RELIANCE IN A CHANGING LEGAL WORLD:
PART THREE OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON PRECEDENT

FindLaw columnist and U.C. Hastings law professor Vikram David Amar discusses stare decisis issues that will affect two important cases in the current Supreme Court term. The column is the last a three part series by Amar and his co-columnist and "brother in law," Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar. In this part, Vikram Amar confronts in depth the argument that decisions such as the Bakke affirmative action ruling, and Bowers sodomy ruling should not be overruled due to society's reliance on them.
Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

PRECEDENT ON THE HIGH COURT: MORE ON BAKKE AND BOWERS:
PART TWO OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON STARE DECISIS

FindLaw columnists, Yale and UC Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar offer further reflections on a key issue raised by two cases to be resolved during this year's Supreme Court Term. Each case -- one on same-sex sodomy, one on affirmative action -- will force the Court to address the role of its own precedent, and the possible "reliance" interests that may militate against overruling past cases.
Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

HOW SHOULD THE SUPREME COURT WEIGH ITS OWN PRECEDENT?
THIS TERM, THE COURT CONFRONTS STARE DECISIS

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar critique the Supreme Court's concept of stare decisis -- the idea that weight should be given, in the Court's decisionmaking, to the Court's own prior precedent on the same issue. The concept, as the Amars explain, may be influential in two important cases this term, on affirmative action and same-sex sodomy.
Friday, Dec. 13, 2002

TAKING AN INTEREST IN THE UPCOMING SUPREME COURT CASE ON LAWYERS' TRUST ACCOUNTS:
THE JUST COMPENSATION CLAUSE AND MONETARY CONFISCATION

FindLaw columnist and U.C. Hastings law professor Vikram Amar discusses an upcoming Supreme Court case that raises two important, thorny Takings Clause issues. The first issue relates to whether interest is "taken" when the owner would not have been entitled to it in the first place; the second relates to how money, as opposed to property, fares under the Takings Clause.
Friday, Nov. 29, 2002

THE NINTH CIRCUIT ON FREE SPEECH, FEDERALISM AND MEDICINAL MARIJUANA
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss a recent, provocative Ninth Circuit decision that clashes with the Ashcroft Justice Department's policy on doctors' recommending marijuana for medical use. The Amars address the following questions, among others: How does the case fit into Ninth Circuit patterns? Could the same result have been reached via a stronger rationale?
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002

MORE ON MCCONNELL:
WHY THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SHOULD SUPPORT MICHAEL MCCONNELL'S NOMINATION TO THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar respond to recent criticisms of controversial federal appellate court nominee Michael McConnell, which appeared in the National Review and the American Prospect. The Amars contend that the critiques are misguided, and Senators should enthusiastically vote to confirm the well-respected Professor McConnell.
Friday, Nov. 01, 2002

TOO MUCH ORDER IN THE COURT:
HOW THE JUSTICES BETRAY THEIR OWN FREE SPEECH PRINCIPLES

FindLaw columnist and Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar discusses the Supreme Court's restrictive rules on media coverage, note-taking by the public, and oral argument transcripts. Amar contends that these rules target expression, and ironically would never pass muster under the Court's own First Amendment precedents.
Friday, Oct. 18, 2002

REWRITING THE NJ BALLOT
SOME PRELIMINARY ISSUE SPOTTING

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss the issues raised by the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent order directing ballots to be printed with Frank Lautenberg's name replacing Robert Torricelli's. ››What are the New Jersey law questions relating to the court's order? ›Was this the right strategic call for Democrats? ›And, might the U.S. Supreme Court decide to review this case despite the fact that it raises mainly state law issues?
Friday, Oct. 04, 2002

IF THE ECONOMY'S DOING SO BADLY, WHY ARE LAW FIRM SALARIES STILL SO HIGH?:
STABLE SALARIES OFFER WINDOW INTO LAW FIRM CULTURE

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss the surprising stability of law firm associates' high salaries despite the country's current economic woes. The Amars consider questions such as the following, which have been on many associates' and observers' minds: Why are the salaries still so high? Why do law firms seem to prefer layoffs to salary cuts? Why don't partners decrease their own huge draws rather than laying off associates or cutting salaries? And, how do firms' choices affect their reputations among law students?
Friday, Sep. 20, 2002

CONSTITUTIONAL ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN -- AGAIN:
HOW WE CAN ADDRESS TRAGEDIES SUCH AS POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS AND ELECTORAL TERRORISM

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar critique our flawed Executive succession system -- explaining why it does not properly provide for a series of scenarios that, in the age of the war on terrorism, are all the more likely to occur. The Amars argue that we need to change our succession statute in a number of ways -- lest there be a crisis of authority in instances in which, for example, both the President and Vice President are hurt or killed in an assassination attempt or terrorist attack. They paint a worrisome portrait of constitutional unpreparedness, but at the same suggest it can quite easily be remedied if Congress will focus on the problem.
Friday, Sep. 06, 2002

SHOULD U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICES BE TERM-LIMITED?:
A DIALOGUE

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar engage in a spirited exchange about whether U.S. Supreme Court Justices, rather than sitting on the Court for life, ought to sit for only limited terms on the Court, and then finish out their life tenure on lower federal courts. ›The Amars consider such questions as: Could this proposal be accomplished without a Constitutional amendment? ›Would it solve the possible problem of the appearance or actuality of Justices' "political" retirements, designed to ensure they are replaced with like-minded successors? ›How would the proposal be implemented?
Friday, Aug. 23, 2002

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT:
THE SENSIBLE MIDDLE PATH THAT THE SUPREME COURT MISSED

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar argue that both the majority and dissent in the Supreme Court's end-of-Term case on state regulation of judicial elections missed the boat. The Amars contend that a state can constitutionally ensure that its judges have the quality of judiciousness, and that no one has a right to sit as a judge regardless of their views. But they also argue for protections for candidates' core political and, especially, anti-incumbent speech, and against rules that result in lawyers being disbarred for speech.
Friday, Aug. 09, 2002

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