Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shelfer, "Special Juries in the Supreme Court"

Lochlan Shelfer, a recent Yale Law School graduate, has posted "Special Juries in the Supreme Court," which is scheduled to appear in Volume 123 of the Yale Law Journal (2013). Here's the abstract:
This Note presents the first detailed analysis of the Supreme Court’s only published jury trial, Georgia v. Brailsford (1794). It examines the case’s hitherto unstudied oral arguments and list of potential jurors, and argues that the "special jury" the Court employed was a Mansfieldian special jury of merchants. Brailsford has fascinated scholars both for the intriguing prospect of the Supreme Court presiding over a jury trial, and for the case’s provocative language on the power of juries to find the law. But for all of this interest, the case remains ill-understood. This Note’s conclusion that the Supreme Court used a special jury of merchants offers insights into both of these puzzles.
The full article is available here, at SSRN.