Texas A&M Law Review

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Something has got to give. The Supreme Court has retreated from more than seven decades of personal jurisdiction analysis. After Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, the Court’s jurisprudence of general jurisdiction looked like an M.C. Escher print. If read fast enough, it appeared to make sense. Closer examination reveals an intellectual structure as impossible as anything that Escher could have drawn. Then the Court made it worse in Daimler AG v. Bauman. The Court seemingly has begun a project to rein in what it now regards as states’ unreasonable (and therefore unconstitutional) assertions of general jurisdiction over corporations. It has implicitly backed away from some of International Shoe’s minimum-contacts analysis that dominated the law of constitutional personal jurisdiction since 1945. Goodyear and Daimler create a far more restrictive concept of corporate presence. If the Court purports to retain International Shoe’s principle that jurisdictional exercises be fair and reasonable, it has implicitly but unmistakably undermined a jurisdictional basis that long antedates International Shoe and that the Court unanimously reaffirmed only two decades ago in Burnham v. Superior Court—individuals’ receipt of service of process while in the forum.

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