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Emory L. J. Online


International Shoe and its progeny permit states to assert general jurisdiction over nonresidents that have "continuous and systematic" contacts with the forum. In Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown decided in 2011, and Daimler AG v. Bauman decided in early 2014, the Supreme Court made a sharp break from these cases, stating that general jurisdiction based on minimum contacts now exists only where a defendant is "at home." The opinions in these cases are unpersuasive. While the Court purported to follow International Shoe and its two prior decisions on general jurisdiction, this simply is not so. Nor does the Court justify its use of an analogy to the traditional basis of domicile to determine to legitimate scope of contacts based jurisdiction. Arguably, an analogy to presence would be more apt. Worse, these two cases, when added to the Court's grudging approach to specific jurisdiction, put some plaintiffs at risk of being unable to bring a defendant to justice in an American court. Goodyear and Daimler could have been decided on far narrower grounds; the Court should read them in the future to be limited to those grounds.

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