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Wrong, Out of Step, and Pernicious: Erie as the Worst Decision of All Time

dc.contributor.authorSherry, Suzanna
dc.identifier.citation39 Pepp. L. Rev. 129 (2011)en_US
dc.descriptionarticle published in law reviewen_US
dc.description.abstractThis essay was written for “Supreme Mistakes: Exploring the Most Maligned Decisions in Supreme Court History.” A symposium on the worst Supreme Court decision of all time risks becoming an exercise best described by Claude Rains’s memorable line in Casablanca: “Round up the usual suspects.” Two things saved this symposium from that fate. First, each of the usual suspects was appointed defense counsel, which made things more interesting. Second, a new face found its way into the line-up: Erie Railroad v. Tompkins. My goal in this essay is to explain why Erie is in fact guiltier than all of the usual suspects. I begin, in Part I, by setting out the three criteria that I believe must be satisfied for a decision to qualify as the worst of all time. I also explain briefly why each of the usual suspects fails to meet one or more of those criteria. The heart of the essay is Part II, examining in detail how Erie satisfies each of the three criteria. I close with some concluding thoughts on the surprising relationship between Erie’s flaws and those of the other suspects.en_US
dc.format.extent1 PDF (27 pages)en_US
dc.publisherPepperdine Law Reviewen_US
dc.subjectErie Railroad v. Tompkinsen_US
dc.subject.lcshUnited States. Supreme Court -- Casesen_US
dc.subject.lcshPolitical questions and judicial power -- United Statesen_US
dc.subject.lcshErie Railroad Company -- Trials, litigation, etc.en_US
dc.titleWrong, Out of Step, and Pernicious: Erie as the Worst Decision of All Timeen_US

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