University of Notre Dame

Federal Courts Issue

Beginning with Volume 73 (1997–1998), the Notre Dame Law Review has dedicated one of its five annual issues specifically to topics in the area of federal courts, practice, and procedure.  The interest of the Law Review in devoting particular attention to the federal court system, however, is longstanding.  Twenty years earlier in Volume 51, the Law Review, then the Notre Dame Lawyer, published its first issue entitled “The Seventh Circuit Review.”  Justice John Paul Stevens, newly appointed judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, wrote an introduction for the issue, praising the Notre Dame Lawyer for its efforts and noting the “continuously improving quality of the Notre Dame Law School.”  Eminent legal observers and practitioners have been publishing valuable commentary on the federal court system in the pages of the Law Review ever since.

Those scholars have included many of Notre Dame’s own over the years, including A.J. Bellia, Jay Tidmarsh, John Robinson, and Joseph Bauer.  Indeed, our faculty has been involved in the Federal Courts issue from its inception; Professor Amy Coney Barrett, then a law student at Notre Dame, laid the groundwork for the project as Executive Editor of the Law Review.  Distinguished contributors from the broader legal academic community have included Kevin M. Clermont, Suzanna Sherry, Martin Redish, and Stephen Burbank, among many others.

The Federal Courts issue has often been organized as a symposium focused on a single topic.  Volume 75 of the Law Review included a very successful set of articles on the Eleventh Amendment, sovereign immunity, and the then-recent case of Alden v. Maine.  In Volume 83, Justice Scalia wrote a compelling introduction on the importance of constitutional structure for a symposium on that topic, which included works by William Eskridge, Bradford Clark, John F. Manning, and Elizabeth Garrett.

This year’s Federal Courts issue will also take the form of a symposium, based on the recently decided case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which involved the reach of the Alien Tort Statute and federal court jurisdiction outside the United States.  The issue will explore fascinating and important questions, including the amenability of multinational foreign corporations to suit in the United States and the availability of the Alien Tort Statute to serve as a tool for human rights advocates abroad.

The Law Review is proud once again to boast an impressive group of scholars, including Ralph Steinhardt, William S. Dodge, Beth Stephens, Thomas H. Lee, William Casto, Michael Ramsey, Eugene Kontorovich, Carlos Manuel Vazquez, and Notre Dame Law Professors Roger Alford and Doug Cassel. Bradford R. Clark and Notre Dame Law Review faculty advisor Anthony J. Bellia, who co-wrote an amicus brief for the Supreme Court in the case, have also written an article for the issue.

The Volume 89 Federal Courts, Practice, and Procedure issue will continue the Notre Dame Law Review‘s tradition of providing a forum for high quality legal scholarship on matters of great import to the United States federal court system.

For further information on the federal courts, please visit Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Constitutional Structure.