Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A parting shot from Prof. Bamzai

Prof. Aditya Bamzai participated as an amicus curiae in the recently-decided Ortiz case in the Supreme Court of the United States. He had suggested that the Court lacked jurisdiction under the U.S. Constitution, a position that a clear majority of the Court rejected. Now, at Lawfare, he's given his take on where the path should lead in the future, concluding:
The Framers of the Constitution limited the Supreme Court’s original and appellate jurisdiction primarily because of the burdens that travel to a centralized court placed on U.S. citizens in the 18th century. Rather than require litigants to journey long distances to a central court in the first instance, the Constitution contemplates some local adjudication, followed by an appeal to the “one Supreme Court.” In our modern era, the constitutional text has remained the same while advances in transportation capabilities have happily reduced, though by no means eliminated, this concern. Those advances do not diminish Ortiz’s jurisprudential importance, but they limit, in some ways, the consequences of Ortiz’s precise holding about the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, the same tension between the two legal principles that I have identified above has arisen before and will surely arise again in other contexts—perhaps next time in a case with significant real-world consequences. At that time in the future, one can only hope that the Supreme Court will articulate legal principles that apply consistently to a broad set of cases and that are readily traceable to the Constitution’s text, structure and history.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).