Friday, February 29, 2008
Expert commentary on the Exxon Valdez Argument -- Prof. Amy Wildermuth on the Court's "affinity for the trinity"
Professor Amy Wildermuth, University of Utah, worked on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in the Exxon case and has offered these extensive comments on the argument. Wildermuth reaction In sum, her commentary agrees with my conclusion that the Court is quite interested in a possible limit of two-to-one--"an affinity for the trinity" that she asserts can be traced back to prior cases. She points out, however, that no common law court has ever adopted that kind of ratio limit; instead, it has been exclusively legislatures that have adopted such limits. She also raises the interesting question of whether the base for any such ratio might be reevaluated in light of Justice Kennedy's citation of the general criminal statute that uses "gross loss" as its base.