Skip to main content
Nonjurisdictionality or Inequity
Northwestern Law Review Colloquy (2007)
  • Elizabeth C. Burch
This short piece, written for the Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, responds to Professor Scott Dodson's comment on Bowles v. Russell, titled Jurisdictionality and Bowles v. Russell. Dodson proposes to navigate a path between Justice Thomas's majority opinion and Justice Souter's dissent by embracing Thomas's use of "mandatory" and Souter's argument for deeming appellate deadlines "nonjurisdictional." Considering the systemic, equitable policies underlying Rule 4(a)(6) and the prototypical examples distinguishing jurisdictional rules (those delineating classes of cases) from nonjurisdictional claim-processing rules, this nonjurisdictional alternative makes sense. It is the "mandatory" aspect of Professor Dodson's proposal that concerns me; it leaves no room for equity absent the mercy of opposing counsel. I thus focus on the inequitable consequences of labeling a rule either jurisdictional or mandatory.
  • Bowles v. Russell,
  • Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4,
  • mandatory and jurisdictional,
  • nonjurisdictionality,
  • procedural justice,
  • habeas petitions
Publication Date
Citation Information
Elizabeth C. Burch. "Nonjurisdictionality or Inequity" Northwestern Law Review Colloquy Vol. 102 (2007)
Available at: