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The Making Of A Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, But Self-Identified Jew, Randy E. Barnett Jan 2015

The Making Of A Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, But Self-Identified Jew, Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Many academics are unaware that I am Jewish, no doubt due, in part, to my last name as well as to my politics, Yet growing up as a Jew in Polish-Catholic Calumet City, Illinois and as a kid from Calumet City attending Temple in Hammond, Indiana made me quite conscious of the tyranny of the majority. This environment, together with the influence of my father, had a deep affect on my views of liberty, justice, individual rights, and the U.S. Constitution. In this brief essay, prepared for a symposium on “Judaism and Constitutional Law: People of the Book,” held ...


Sexual Assaults Among University Students: Prevention, Support, And Justice, Rebecca B. Reingold, Lawrence O. Gostin Jan 2015

Sexual Assaults Among University Students: Prevention, Support, And Justice, Rebecca B. Reingold, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Sexual assault is common among college-aged women (18 to 25 years), with 1 in 5 reporting having experienced these crimes during their college years. Acute and long-term consequences of sexual assault may include physical trauma, sexually transmitted infections, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse. Survivors have the option of reporting assaults to the university or to the police, but the goals of these 2 systems—and women’s experiences with them—can be quite different. The criminal justice system’s principal aim is to adjudicate guilt, but the university has the broader purpose of fostering a safe learning environment ...


Asymmetric Empirical Similarity, Joshua C. Teitelbaum Mar 2014

Asymmetric Empirical Similarity, Joshua C. Teitelbaum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The paper offers a formal model of analogical legal reasoning and takes the model to data. Under the model, the outcome of a new case is a weighted average of the outcomes of prior cases. The weights capture precedential influence and depend on fact similarity (distance in fact space) and precedential authority (position in the judicial hierarchy). The empirical analysis suggests that the model is a plausible model for the time series of U.S. maritime salvage cases. Moreover, the results evince that prior cases decided by inferior courts have less influence than prior cases decided by superior courts.


J. Skelly Wright And The Limits Of Liberalism, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2014

J. Skelly Wright And The Limits Of Liberalism, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay, written for a symposium on the life and work of United States Court of Appeals Judge J. Skelly Wright, makes four points. First, Judge Wright was an important participant in the liberal legal tradition. The tradition sought to liberate law from arid formalism and to use it as a technique for progressive reform. However, legal liberals also believed that there were limits on what judges could do–-limits rooted in both its liberalism and its legalism. Second, Wright occupied a position on the left fringe of the liberal legal tradition, and he therefore devoted much of his career ...


Artificial Meaning, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2014

Artificial Meaning, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Essay investigates the concept of artificial meaning, meanings produced by entities other than individual natural persons. That investigation begins in Part I with a preliminary inquiry into the meaning of “meaning,” in which the concept of meaning is disambiguated. The relevant sense of “meaning” for the purpose of this inquiry is captured by the idea of communicative content, although the phrase “linguistic meaning” is also a rough equivalent. Part II presents a thought experiment, The Chinese Intersection, which investigates the creation of artificial meaning produced by an AI that creates legal rules for the regulation of a hyper-complex conflux ...


Intellectual Diversity In The Legal Academy, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2014

Intellectual Diversity In The Legal Academy, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Elite law faculties are overwhelmingly liberal. Jim Lindgren has proven the point empirically. The author adds his impressions from Georgetown Law School to reinforce the point. Georgetown Law School is a faculty of 120, and, to the author's knowledge, the number of professors who are openly conservative, or libertarian, or Republican or, in any sense, to the right of the American center, is three—three out of 120. There are more conservatives on the nine-member United States Supreme Court than there are on this 120-member faculty. Moreover, the ideological median of the other 117 seems to lie not just ...


Cross-Border Targeted Killings: "Lawful But Awful"?, Rosa Brooks Jan 2014

Cross-Border Targeted Killings: "Lawful But Awful"?, Rosa Brooks

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Since September 11, the United States has waged two very open wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These two wars have killed nearly 7,000 U.S. military personnel and left some 50,000 American troops wounded; they have also left an unknown number of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and civilians dead or wounded. But alongside these two costly and visible wars, the United States has also been waging what amounts to a third war.

This third war is a secret war, waged mostly by drone strikes, though it has also involved a smaller number of special operations raids. The author ...


Against Endowment Theory: Experimental Economics And Legal Scholarship, Gregory Klass, Kathryn Zeiler Jun 2013

Against Endowment Theory: Experimental Economics And Legal Scholarship, Gregory Klass, Kathryn Zeiler

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Endowment theory holds the mere ownership of a thing causes people to assign greater value to it than they otherwise would. The theory entered legal scholarship in the early 1990s and quickly eclipsed other accounts of how ownership affects valuation. Today, appeals to a generic “endowment effect” can be found throughout the legal literature. More recent experimental results, however, suggest that the empirical evidence for endowment theory is weak at best. When the procedures used in laboratory experiments are altered to rule out alternative explanations, the “endowment effect” disappears. This and other recent evidence suggest that mere ownership does not ...


Construction And Constraint: Discussion Of Living Originalism, Lawrence B. Solum Mar 2013

Construction And Constraint: Discussion Of Living Originalism, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Jack Balkin's Living Originalism raises many important questions about contemporary constitutional theory. Can and should liberals and progressives embrace originalism? Can the New Deal expansion of national legislative power be given originalist foundations? Is there a plausible originalist case for a right to reproductive autonomy and hence for the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade? Is the fact of theoretical disagreement among originalists evidence for the thesis that the originalist project is in disarray?


Originalism And The Unwritten Constitution, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2013

Originalism And The Unwritten Constitution, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In his book, America’s Unwritten Constitution, Akhil Reed Amar contends that to properly engage the written Constitution, scholars and laymen alike must look to extratextual sources: among them America’s founding documents, institutional practices, and ethos, all of which constitute Amar’s “unwritten Constitution.” In this article, the author argues that contemporary originalist constitutional theory is consistent with reliance on extraconstitutional sources in certain circumstances. He establishes a framework for revaluating the use of extratextual sources. That framework categorizes extratextual sources and explains their relevance to constitutional interpretation (the meaning of the text) and constitutional construction (elaboration of constitutional ...


The Wonder-Clause, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati Jan 2013

The Wonder-Clause, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Greek debt crisis prompted EU officials to embark on a radical reconstruction of the European sovereign debt markets. Prominently featured in this reconstruction was a set of contract provisions called Collective Action Clauses, or CACs. CACs are supposed to help governments and private creditors to renegotiate unsustainable debt contracts, and obviate the need for EU bailouts. But European sovereign debt contacts were already amenable to restructuring; adding CACs could make it harder. Why, then, promote CACs at all, and cast them in such a central role in the market reform initiative? Using interviews with participants in the initiative and ...


Drones And The International Rule Of Law, Rosa Brooks Jan 2013

Drones And The International Rule Of Law, Rosa Brooks

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay will proceed in four parts. First, it will briefly discuss the concept of the international rule of law. Second, it will offer a short factual background on US drone strikes (to the extent that it is possible to provide factual background on a practice so shrouded in secrecy). Third, it will highlight some of the key ways in which post 9/11 US legal theories relating to the use of force challenge previously accepted concepts and seek to redefine previously well-understood terms. Fourth, it will offer brief concluding thoughts on the future of the international rule of law ...


Banks And Governments: An Arial View, Anna Gelpern Jan 2013

Banks And Governments: An Arial View, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Financial systems and public treasuries are communicating vessels: strength or weakness in one flows to the other, and back. This chapter considers the implications of this insight using case studies from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The connection is not unique to Europe, although it does not always result in feedback effects, or the ‘doom loop’ that has made headlines since 2010. Events now known as banking or government debt crises often have had elements of both, and could have gone either way. Policy and political choices determined their path. In all cases, governments were as indispensable for resolving banking ...


Originalism And Constitutional Construction, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2013

Originalism And Constitutional Construction, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Constitutional interpretation is the activity that discovers the communicative content or linguistic meaning of the constitutional text. Constitutional construction is the activity that determines the legal effect given the text, including doctrines of constitutional law and decisions of constitutional cases or issues by judges and other officials. The interpretation-construction distinction, frequently invoked by contemporary constitutional theorists and rooted in American legal theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, marks the difference between these two activities.

This article advances two central claims about constitutional construction. First, constitutional construction is ubiquitous in constitutional practice. The central warrant for this claim is conceptual ...


Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores Jan 2013

Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Praising wishful thinking is a serious risk that the author is willing to run not only in this article commenting of Natalie Stoljar’s work but also elsewhere in his scholarship. The author will analyze her claims and will agree mostly with them, he will also criticize her for stopping one step short adopting the desirability or weaker claim, when in it is not merely possible but necessary to go one step beyond arguing for the necessity or stronger claim. The author intends to present further grounds for endorsing “conceptual (legal) analysis pluralism” by distinguishing the three different inquiry or ...


Communicative Content And Legal Content, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2013

Communicative Content And Legal Content, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay investigates a familiar set of questions about the relationship between legal texts (e.g., constitutions, statutes, opinions, orders, and contracts) and the content of the law (e.g., norms, rules, standards, doctrines, and mandates). Is the original meaning of the constitutional text binding on the Supreme Court when it develops doctrines of constitutional law? Should statutes be given their plain meaning or should judges devise statutory constructions that depart from the text to serve a purpose? What role should default rules play in the interpretation and construction of contracts? This essay makes two moves that can help lawyers ...


Interpretation And Construction In Altering Rules, Gregory Klass Oct 2012

Interpretation And Construction In Altering Rules, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay is a response to Ian Ayres's, "Regulating Opt-Out: An Economic Theory of Altering Rules," 121 Yale L.J. 2032 (2012). Ayres identifies an important question: How does the law decide when parties have opted-out of a contractual default? Unfortunately, his article tells only half of the story about such altering rules. Ayres cares about rules designed to instruct parties on how to get the terms that they want. By focusing on such rules he ignores altering rules designed instead to interpret the nonlegal meaning of the parties' acts or agreement. This limited vision is characteristic of economic ...


Foreword: Academic Influence On The Court, Neal K. Katyal Oct 2012

Foreword: Academic Influence On The Court, Neal K. Katyal

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The months leading up to the Supreme Court’s blockbuster decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were characterized by a prodigious amount of media coverage that purported to analyze how the legal challenge to Obamacare went mainstream. The nation’s major newspapers each had a prominent story describing how conservative academics, led by Professor Randy Barnett, had a long-term strategy to make the case appear credible. In the first weeks after the ACA’s passage, the storyline went, the lawsuit’s prospects of success were thought to be virtually nil. Professor (and former Solicitor General) Charles Fried stated that ...


Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2012

Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Virtue jurisprudence is an approach to legal theory that develops the implications of virtue ethics and virtue politics for the law. Recent work on virtue jurisprudence has emphasized a NeoAristotelian approach. This essay develops a virtue jurisprudence in the Confucian tradition. The title of this essay, “Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence,” reflects the central aim of our work, to build a contemporary theory of law that is both virtue-centered and that provides a contemporary reconstruction of the central ideas of the early Confucian intellectual tradition.

This essay provides a sketch of our contemporary version of Confucian virtue jurisprudence, including a view of ...


Faith And Fidelity: Originalism And The Possibility Of Constitutional Redemption, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2012

Faith And Fidelity: Originalism And The Possibility Of Constitutional Redemption, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay reviews Constitutional Redemption: Political Faith in an Unjust World by Jack Balkin (2011) and Living Originalism by Jack M. Balkin (2011).

Contemporary scholarly debates about originalism and living constitutionalism are filled with claims about the political valence of these two theories. Here are some examples: "Originalism remains even now a powerful vehicle for conservative mobilization. ..." "[L]iving constitutionalism...has been at the core of progressive constitutional thought since the 1970s." "[A]ny reasonably well-informed observer knows that the term 'living Constitution' encodes liberal sympathies, just as originalism encodes conservative ones. ..." "[O]riginalism cannot easily be appropriated to progressive ...


Using Discourse Analysis Methodology To Teach "Legal English", Craig Hoffman Jan 2011

Using Discourse Analysis Methodology To Teach "Legal English", Craig Hoffman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this study, I propose a curriculum focused on raising students’ linguistic awareness through rigorous discourse analysis and reflective writing in a legal context. Students analyze authentic, full-text legal documents using discourse analysis methodology. By carefully analyzing the language in legal opinions, appellate briefs, law review articles, law school exams, typical commercial contracts, and statutes, students become experts in analyzing and evaluating legal texts. Students learn to manipulate legal language to achieve various desired linguistic and legal effects. This approach has three primary advantages. First, it forces the students to carefully read authentic legal texts. Second, it gives students the ...


What Is Originalism? The Evolution Of Contemporary Originalist Theory, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2011

What Is Originalism? The Evolution Of Contemporary Originalist Theory, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Debates over “originalism” have been a central focus of contemporary constitutional theory for three decades. One of the features of this debate has been disagreement about what “originalism” is. More worrisome is the possibility that the arguments between contemporary originalists and their opponents, the “living constitutionalists”, are confused–-with each side of the debate making erroneous assumptions about the content of their opponent’s theories.

The aim of this chapter is to clarify these debates by providing a history of contemporary originalism and then developing an account of the core or focal content of originalist theory. The history reveals that ...


The Unity Of Interpretation, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2010

The Unity Of Interpretation, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What is interpretation? One can imagine a range of answers to this question. One answer might begin with the observation that the English word “interpretation” is used to refer to a variety of human activities. Translators at the United Nations interpret remarks made in French when they offer an English translation. Literary critics interpret novels when they investigate the deep and sometimes unconscious motivations of the author. Conductors interpret a score when they make decisions about meter, tempo, and dynamic range. Actors interpret a screenplay when they improvise new lines based on their understanding of the characters. Judges interpret statutes ...


Honest-Services Fraud: A (Vague) Threat To Millions Of Blissfully Unaware (And Non-Culpable) American Workers, Julie R. O'Sullivan Jan 2010

Honest-Services Fraud: A (Vague) Threat To Millions Of Blissfully Unaware (And Non-Culpable) American Workers, Julie R. O'Sullivan

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author believes that statute 18 U.S.C. § 1346 is unconstitutionally vague, at least as applied to cases in which employees of private entities are prosecuted for depriving their employers of a right to their honest services (so-called “private cases”). Objections to vagueness rest on due process. “Vagueness may invalidate a criminal law for either of two independent reasons. First, it may fail to provide the kind of notice that will enable ordinary people to understand what conduct it prohibits; second, it may authorize and even encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” The Supreme Court’s vagueness precedents do not ...


Exporting U.S. Criminal Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2010

Exporting U.S. Criminal Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article explores how and why, in the Cold War’s wake, the U.S. government began to export U.S.-style criminal law and procedure models to developing and politically transitioning states. U.S. criminal law and development consultants now work in countries across the globe. This article reveals how U.S. initiatives have shaped state and non-state actors’ responses to a range of global challenges, even as this approach suffers from a deep democratic deficit. Further, this article argues that U.S. programs perpetuate U.S.-style legal institutional idolatry (which is often tied to systemic dysfunction both ...


The Interpretation-Construction Distinction, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2010

The Interpretation-Construction Distinction, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The interpretation-construction distinction, which marks the difference between linguistic meaning and legal effect, is much discussed these days. I shall argue that the distinction is both real and fundamental – that it marks a deep difference in two different stages (or moments) in the way that legal and political actors process legal texts. My account of the distinction will not be precisely the same as some others, but I shall argue that it is the correct account and captures the essential insights of its rivals. This Essay aims to mark the distinction clearly!

The basic idea can be explained by distinguishing ...


District Of Columbia V. Heller And Originalism, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2009

District Of Columbia V. Heller And Originalism, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On June 26, 2008, the United States Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, striking a District of Columbia statute that prohibits the possession of useable handguns in the home on the ground that it violated the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Justice Scalia's majority opinion drew dissents from Justice Stevens and Justice Breyer. Collectively, the opinions in Heller represent the most important and extensive debate on the role of original meaning in constitutional interpretation among the members of the contemporary Supreme Court.

This article investigates the relationship between originalist constitutional ...


The Inevitability Of Conscience: A Response To My Critics, David Luban Jan 2008

The Inevitability Of Conscience: A Response To My Critics, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay by Professor David Luban is written in response to critics of his book, Legal Ethics and Human Dignity.

In part I Professor Luban addresses the primacy that he assigns conscience over the professional role and focuses mainly on the arguments of his critics, Professors Norman Spaulding and W. Bradley Wendel. Part II explores the challenge of pluralism, replying primarily to Professors Katherine Kruse, Spaulding, and Wendel. Part III, in response to Professors Kruse and William Simon, elaborates on the concept of human dignity. Part IV discusses institutions and ethics, focusing on Professors Susan Carle and Simon. The final ...


Sight, Sound And Meaning: Teaching Intellectual Property With Audiovisual Materials, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2008

Sight, Sound And Meaning: Teaching Intellectual Property With Audiovisual Materials, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article addresses the author's experience using audiovisual materials from the Georgetown Intellectual Property Teaching Resources database. She used audiovisual materials extensively in class to allow students to see the subject matter of the cases rather than just reading verbal descriptions and enable them to apply the principles they read about to new, concrete examples. Many students in IP courses have special interests in music, film, or the visual arts, and the database allows her--and other teachers--to present materials that engage them. She found that students are more willing to speak up in class when they can see or ...


Constitutional Possibilities, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2008

Constitutional Possibilities, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What are our constitutional possibilities? The importance of this question is illustrated by the striking breadth of recent discussions, ranging from the interpretation of the United States Constitution as a guarantee of fundamental economic equality and proposals to restore the lost constitution to arguments for the virtual abandonment of structural provisions of the Constitution of 1789. Such proposals are conventionally understood as placing constitutional options on the table as real options for constitutional change. Normative constitutional theory asks the question whether these options are desirable--whether political actors (citizens, legislators, executives, or judges) should take action to bring about their plans ...