The Supreme Court (of Baseball)
University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law
September 27, 2011
Yale Law Journal Online, Vol. 121, p. 143, 2011
This Essay examines the similarities between the Supreme Court and the Commissioner of Baseball. First, it traces the Justice-Commissioner analogy back over a century, finding that the Commissioner of Baseball has been compared to the Supreme Court since the Office of the Commissioner was created. This is no coincidence, since both Justices and Commissioners play the same structural roles in their respective systems. Second, this Essay illustrates the similarity of Justices and Commissioners through nine paired case studies where Justices and Commissioners have, in their respective capacities, (1) provided guidance, (2) refrained from error correction, (3) undertaken rule-making, (4) exercised counter-majoritarian powers, (5) provided explanations for their decisions, (6) protected the fundamental values of their respective institutions, (7) employed special masters for fact-specific inquiries, (8) decided on statutes of limitations, and (9) exercised finality.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Law, Baseball, Supreme Court, Judge-Umpire Analogy
Date posted: December 3, 2011 ; Last revised: March 7, 2013