114 Penn Statim 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/statim114 and id is 1 raw text is: Law, Facts, and Power
Elizabeth Thornburg*
There is no logical distinction between statements which are grouped
by  the courts under the phrases     statements of fact and
conclusions of law. - Walter Wheeler Cook (1921)
[A] court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by
identifying pleadings that, because they   are no   more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal
conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be
supported by factual allegations. - Justice Anthony Kennedy (2009).
In May of 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Ashcroft v. Iqbal.i
In the context of a claim arising out of detentions of Arab Muslim men in
the immediate aftermath of the September 1 1th attacks, the Court
announced sweeping changes in its interpretation of the rules governing
pleadings. Without actually amending the rules, without the advice of
* Elizabeth Thornburg is a Professor of Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law
in Dallas, Texas. She teaches and writes in the area of civil procedure and alternative
dispute resolution. Drawing on her experience with civil rights and commercial litigation,
her scholarship focuses on the procedural fairness of the litigation process, especially at
the pleadings, discovery, and jury charge stages. She also writes and speaks in the areas
of comparative procedure, online dispute resolution, and the intersection of law and
1. 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009).
2. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), began the process but
Iqbal confirmed that the Court's changes are generally applicable and reduced a vaguer
plausibility test into a two-jump hurdle that all plaintiffs must clear.

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