Should the Rules Committees Have an Amicus Role?

Article — Volume 104, Issue 1

104 Va. L. Rev. 1
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Despite its formal status as promulgator of federal-court rules of practice and procedure, the Supreme Court is a suboptimal rule interpreter, as recent groundbreaking but flawed rules decisions illustrate. Scholars have proposed abstention mechanisms to constrain the Court in certain rule-interpretation contexts, but these mechanisms disable the Court from performing its core adjudicatory functions of dispute resolution and law interpretation. This Article urges a different solution: bring the rulemakers to the Court. It argues that the Rules Committees—those bodies primarily responsible for studying the rules and drafting rule amendments—should take up a modest amicus practice in rules cases to offer the Court information that may improve its decision making in rules cases. The Article explores the possible forms of such a role and articulates guiding norms for its structure, timing, and content.

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  Volume 104 / Issue 1  

Should the Rules Committees Have an Amicus Role?

By Scott Dodson
104 Va. L. Rev. 1

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