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Judicial Activism in Maritime Cases


John E. Holloway

Partner John Holloway published an article in the Tulane Maritime Law Journal titled, “Judicial Activism in Maritime Cases.” In the article, he points out that “Maritime cases rarely (if ever) involve ‘crucial cultural or social issues.’ Yet, in maritime cases, the Supreme Court often disregards its own precedent and adopts new broad and often vague tests that have, in practice, proven unworkable. Extensive litigation results as litigants and lower courts struggle with the unstable legal framework created by the Court.” He argues that “the Court’s tendency to create unprecedented and broadly sweeping new maritime laws — often based on nothing more than policy differences with Congress — directly undercuts the very purpose of admiralty jurisdiction: ‘the protection of maritime commerce.’”