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Full-Text Articles in Law

May The State Punish What It May Not Prevent?, Gabriel S. Mendlow Jul 2020

May The State Punish What It May Not Prevent?, Gabriel S. Mendlow

Articles

In Why Is It Wrong To Punish Thought? I defended an overlooked principle of criminalization that I called the Enforceability Constraint. The Enforceability Constraint holds that the state may punish transgressions of a given type only if the state in principle may forcibly disrupt such transgressions on the ground that they are criminal wrongs. As I argued in the essay, the reason why the state is forbidden from punishing thought is that the state is forbidden from forcibly disrupting a person’s mental states on the ground that they are criminally wrongful (as opposed to, say, on the ground that ...


Competition Wrongs, Nicolas Cornell May 2020

Competition Wrongs, Nicolas Cornell

Articles

In both philosophical and legal circles, it is typically assumed that wrongs depend upon having one’s rights violated. But within any market-based economy, market participants may be wronged by the conduct of other actors in the marketplace. Due to my illicit business tactics, you may lose profits, customers, employees, reputation, access to capital, or any number of other sources of value. This Article argues that such competition wrongs are an example of wrongs that arise without an underlying right, contrary to the typical philosophical and legal assumption. The Article thus draws upon various forms of business law to illustrate ...


Equality's Understudies, Aziz Z. Huq May 2020

Equality's Understudies, Aziz Z. Huq

Michigan Law Review

Review of Robert L. Tsai's Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation.


The City And The Soul: Character And Thriving In Law And Politics, Sherman J. Clark Apr 2020

The City And The Soul: Character And Thriving In Law And Politics, Sherman J. Clark

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article describes a way of thinking about law and politics that is ancient in origins but largely absent from modern legal scholarship. It poses a two-part question: how do our law and politics influence our character, and how does that in turn influence how well and fully we live?

Much legal scholarship asks how law can be more efficient and effective in making us richer, healthier, safer, and such. This is good: wealth, health, and safety are—or can be—good things. But material conditions are not the only things that make for a rich and full life. What ...


Dismantling The Master’S House: Toward A Justice-Based Theory Of Community Economic Development, Etienne C. Toussaint Apr 2020

Dismantling The Master’S House: Toward A Justice-Based Theory Of Community Economic Development, Etienne C. Toussaint

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Since the end of the American Civil War, scholars have debated the efficacy of various models of community economic development, or CED. Historically, this debate has tracked one of two approaches: place-based models of CED, seeking to stimulate community development through market-driven economic growth programs, and people-based models of CED, focused on the removal of structural barriers to social and economic mobility that prevent human flourishing. More recently, scholars and policymakers have turned to a third model from the impact investing community—the social impact bond, or SIB. The SIB model of CED ostensibly finds a middle ground by leveraging ...


Divine Justice And The Library Of Babel: Or, Was Al Capone Really Punished For Tax Evasion?, Gabriel Mendlow Oct 2018

Divine Justice And The Library Of Babel: Or, Was Al Capone Really Punished For Tax Evasion?, Gabriel Mendlow

Articles

A criminal defendant enjoys an array of legal rights. These include the right not to be punished for an offense unless charged, tried, and proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; the right not to be punished disproportionately; and the right not to be punished for the same offense more than once. I contend that the design of our criminal legal system imperils these rights in ways few observers appreciate. Because criminal codes describe misconduct imprecisely and prohibit more misconduct than any legislature actually aspires to punish, prosecutors decide which violations of the code merit punishment, and judges decide how much ...


Beyond Rights And Welfare: Democracy, Dialogue, And The Animal Welfare Act, Jessica Eisen Apr 2018

Beyond Rights And Welfare: Democracy, Dialogue, And The Animal Welfare Act, Jessica Eisen

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The primary frameworks through which scholars have conceptualized legal protections for animals—animal “rights” and animal “welfare”—do not account for socio-legal transformation or democratic dialogue as central dynamics of animal law. The animal “rights” approach focuses on the need for limits or boundaries preventing animal use, while the animal “welfare” approach advocates balancing harm to animals against human benefits from animal use. Both approaches rely on abstract accounts of the characteristics animals are thought to share with humans and the legal protections they are owed as a result of those traits. Neither offers sustained attention to the dynamics of ...


Gossip And Gore: A Ghoulish Journey Into A Philosophical Thicket, Sean Hannon Williams Apr 2018

Gossip And Gore: A Ghoulish Journey Into A Philosophical Thicket, Sean Hannon Williams

Michigan Law Review

A review of Don Herzog, Defaming the Dead.


Private Rights And Private Wrongs, Andrew S. Gold Apr 2017

Private Rights And Private Wrongs, Andrew S. Gold

Michigan Law Review

Review of Private Wrongs by Arthur Ripstein.


Democracy, Law, Compliance, Don Herzog Jan 2017

Democracy, Law, Compliance, Don Herzog

Articles

Professors Schauer and McAdams both seek a more or less sweepingly general theory of why we obey the law. But we should split, not lump. There are different reasons different actors in different social settings obey different laws–not only, but not least, out of regard for democratic decision making.


Review Of The Choice Theory Of Contracts, Nicolas Cornell Jan 2017

Review Of The Choice Theory Of Contracts, Nicolas Cornell

Reviews

This book aims to provide a new approach to thinking about the role of contract law in a liberal state. The fundamental idea is that the law should affirmatively facilitate citizens' autonomy by creating and sustaining various different types of contractual relationships so that citizens have the option to choose among them. The authors start from the idea that "bargaining for terms is not the dominant mode of contracting . . . the mainstay of present-day contracting is the choice among types" (2-3). We choose to relate as employees or independent contractors, married or just cohabiting, merchants selling goods or private individuals selling ...


Postracial Remedies, Derrick Darby, Richard E. Levy Sep 2016

Postracial Remedies, Derrick Darby, Richard E. Levy

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence is decidedly postracial. The Court has restricted the Equal Protection Clause to intentional discrimination by the government, concluding that the Constitution does not prohibit private acts of discrimination and rejecting challenges based on disparate impact, even when rigorous statistical analysis indicates that race is likely a factor. It has held that remedying the effects of past societal discrimination is an insufficient basis for race-specific remedies such as affirmative action. It has also ended remedies of this sort designed to combat previous state-sponsored racial discrimination, such as court-ordered desegregation measures in the schools and ...


A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell Jun 2016

A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell

Articles

This Article draws attention to a conceptual point that has been overlooked in recent discussions about the theoretical foundations of contract law. I argue that, rather than enforcing the obligations of promises, contract law concerns complaints against promissory wrongs. This conceptual distinction is easy to miss. If one assumes that complaints arise whenever an obligation has been violated, then the distinction does not seem meaningful. I show, however, that an obligation can be breached without giving rise to a valid complaint. This Article illustrates the importance of this conceptual distinction by focusing first on the doctrine of substantive unconscionability. I ...


Property, Duress, And Consensual Relationships, David Blankfein-Tabachnick Apr 2016

Property, Duress, And Consensual Relationships, David Blankfein-Tabachnick

Michigan Law Review

Professor Seana Valentine Shiffrin has produced an exciting new book, Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law. Shiffrin’s previous rigorous, careful, and morally sensitive work spans contract law, intellectual property, and the freedoms of association and expression. Speech Matters is in line with Shiffrin’s signature move: we ought to reform our social practices and legal and political institutions to, in various ways, address or accommodate moral values—here, a stringent moral prohibition against lying, a strident principle of promissory fidelity, that is, the principle that one ought to keep one’s promises, and the general value of ...


Wrongs, Rights, And Third Parties, Nicholas Cornell Oct 2015

Wrongs, Rights, And Third Parties, Nicholas Cornell

Articles

In philosophical and legal arguments, it is commonly assumed that a person is wronged only if that person has had a right violated. This assumption is often viewed almost as a necessary conceptual truth: to be wronged is to have one's right violated, and to have a right is to be one who stands to be wronged. I will argue that this assumption is incorrect—that having a right and standing to be wronged are distinct and separable moral phenomena.

My argument begins from cases in which third parties are affected by the violation of someone else's rights ...


Legal Pluralism In Tort Law Theory: Balancing Instrumental Theories And Corrective Justice, Benjamin Shmueli Apr 2015

Legal Pluralism In Tort Law Theory: Balancing Instrumental Theories And Corrective Justice, Benjamin Shmueli

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Unified-monistic theories of tort law focus on a single goal, usually corrective justice, distributive justice, or optimal deterrence. Unlike these approaches, mixedpluralistic theories attempt to balance between various goals of tort law by integrating several of the considerations underlying these different goals. These theories of legal pluralism reflect ideological diversity, in this case between different theories of the same legal system. This Article discusses the challenge of legal pluralism to settle the possible collision between different goals of tort law within the framework of tort law theory. Starting from a position of support for the mixed-pluralistic thesis, this Article first ...


Rank Among Equals, Ben A. Mcjunkin Apr 2015

Rank Among Equals, Ben A. Mcjunkin

Michigan Law Review

Dignity is on the march. Once regarded as a subject exclusively within the province of antiquated moral philosophy, dignity—that “shibboleth of all perplexed and empty-headed moralists”—has recently developed into a cornerstone of contemporary legal discourse. Internationally, the concept of human dignity has been central to the emergence and acceptance of universal human rights. Dignity, in some form, is guaranteed by such seminal documents as the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the German Basic Law, and the South African Constitution. Domestically, appeals to dignity undergird popular legal arguments for social ...


The End Of Jurisprudence, Scott Hershovitz Feb 2015

The End Of Jurisprudence, Scott Hershovitz

Articles

For more than forty years, jurisprudence has been dominated by the HartDworkin debate. The debate starts from the premise that our legal practices generate rights and obligations that are distinctively legal, and the question at issue is how the content of these rights and obligations is determined. Positivists say that their content is determined ultimately or exclusively by social facts. Anti-positivists say that moral facts must play a part in determining their content. In this Essay, I argue that the debate rests on a mistake. Our legal practices do not generate rights and obligations that are distinctively legal. At best ...


Reflections On Freedom And Criminal Responsibility In Late Twentieth Century American Legal Thought, Thomas A. Green, Merrill Catharine Hodnefield Jan 2015

Reflections On Freedom And Criminal Responsibility In Late Twentieth Century American Legal Thought, Thomas A. Green, Merrill Catharine Hodnefield

Articles

It is now a commonplace among historians that American criminal jurisprudence underwent a dramatic change something like two-thirds to three-quarters into the last century. Roughly, this development is understood as a shift (or drift) from a more-or-less pure consequentialism to a "mixed theory" wherein retributivism played a major-at times, dominant-role. As the new paradigm remains intact, now approaching a half-century, the development qualifies as a significant historical fact. The fact applies not only to the history of justification for punishment but also to conceptions of the underlying principle of (basis for) responsibility. The two are rightly distinguished: for many scholars ...


Jack Sammons As Therapist, Jospeh Vining Jan 2015

Jack Sammons As Therapist, Jospeh Vining

Articles

Jack Sammons is well known as a pioneer in making the practice of law a field of academic study and teaching. He is also an original and penetrating analyst of law as such. This essay comments on his recent work, especially his putting the way we understand law and the way we understand music side by side and drawing out the parallels between them. Many will find his work a revelation.


Jury Voting Paradoxes, Jason Iuliano Dec 2014

Jury Voting Paradoxes, Jason Iuliano

Michigan Law Review

The special verdict is plagued by two philosophical paradoxes: the discursive dilemma and the lottery paradox. Although widely discussed in the philosophical literature, these paradoxes have never been applied to jury decision making. In this Essay, I use the paradoxes to show that the special verdict’s vote-reporting procedures can lead judges to render verdicts that the jurors themselves would reject. This outcome constitutes a systemic breakdown that should not be tolerated in a legal system that prides itself on the fairness of its jury decision-making process. Ultimately, I argue that, because the general verdict with answers to written questions ...


The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Nov 2014

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

The scope of Supreme Court precedent is capacious. Justices of the Court commonly defer to sweeping rationales and elaborate doctrinal frameworks articulated by their predecessors. This practice infuses judicial precedent with the prescriptive power of enacted constitutional and statutory text. The lower federal courts follow suit, regularly abiding by the Supreme Court’s broad pronouncements. These phenomena cannot be explained by—and, indeed, oftentimes subvert—the classic distinction between binding holdings and dispensable dicta. This Article connects the scope of precedent with recurring and foundational debates about the proper ends of judicial interpretation. A precedent’s forward- looking effect should ...


How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston Oct 2014

How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Our popular understanding of domestic violence has shifted significantly over the past forty years, and with it, our legal response. We have moved from an interpretation of domestic violence as a private relationship problem managed through counseling techniques to an approach that configures domestic violence first and foremost as a public crime. Mandatory criminal intervention policies reflect and reinforce this interpretation. How we arrived at this point, and which understanding of domestic violence facilitated this shift, is the focus of this Article. I argue that the move to intense criminalization has been driven by a distinctly feminist interpretation of domestic ...


How Critical Race Theory Marginalizes The African American Christian Tradition, Brandon Paradise Oct 2014

How Critical Race Theory Marginalizes The African American Christian Tradition, Brandon Paradise

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article offers the first comprehensive account of the marginalization of the African American Christian tradition in the movement of race and law scholarship known as critical race theory. While committed to grounding itself in the perspectives of communities of color, critical race theory has virtually ignored the significance of the fact that the civil rights movement came out of the Black church and that today more than eighty percent of African Americans self-identify as Christian. In practical terms, critical race theory’s neglect of the Christian tradition has meant that arguments developed in race and law scholarship are sometimes ...


Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol Apr 2014

Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Globally speaking, international law and the vast majority of domestic legal systems strive to protect the right to freedom of expression. The United States' First Amendment provides an early historical protection of speech-a safeguard now embraced around the world. The extent of this protection, however, varies among states. The United States stands alone in excluding countervailing considerations of equality, dignitary, or privacy interests that would favor restrictions on speech. The gravamen of the argument supporting such American exceptionalism is that free expression is necessary in a democracy. Totalitarianism, the libertarian narrative goes, thrives on government control of information to the ...


Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson Apr 2014

Taking States (And Metaphysics) Seriously, Sanford Levinson

Michigan Law Review

Sotirios A. Barber has written many incisive and important books, in addition to coediting an especially interesting casebook on constitutional law and interpretation. He is also a political theorist. An important part of his overall approach to constitutional theory is his philosophical commitment to “moral realism.” He believes in the metaphysical reality of moral and political truths, the most important of which, for any constitutional theorist, involve the meanings of justice and the common good. He not only believes in the ontological reality of such truths — that is, that these truths are more than mere human conventions or social constructions ...


Toward A Multiple Consciousness Of Language: A Tribute To Professor Mari Matsuda, Shannon Gilreath Mar 2014

Toward A Multiple Consciousness Of Language: A Tribute To Professor Mari Matsuda, Shannon Gilreath

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

I am thrilled to be part of this commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Professor Matsuda's influential article Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story. I first read Matsuda's essay as a law student when, I must confess, the mind-numbing one-dimensionality of the law-as one must learn it in the prevailing method-drove me a little crazy. Law school is an environment where the Socratic method reduces people's stories-the stuff of which law is made-to something lawyers like to call "the facts," and where real-life people, in whom I saw so much of myself-people like ...


Unfriendly Unilateralism, Monica Hakimi Jan 2014

Unfriendly Unilateralism, Monica Hakimi

Articles

This Article examines a category of conduct that I call “unfriendly unilateralism.” One state deprives another of a benefit (unfriendly) and, in some cases, strays from its own obligations (noncompliant), outside any structured international process (unilateral). Such conduct troubles many international lawyers because it looks more like the nastiness of power politics than like the order and stability of law. Worse, states can abuse the conduct to undercut the law. Nevertheless, international law tolerates unfriendly unilateralism for enforcement. A victim state may use unfriendly unilateralism against a scofflaw in order to restore the legal arrangement that existed before the breach ...


Reading John Noonan, Jospeh Vining Jan 2014

Reading John Noonan, Jospeh Vining

Articles

John Noonan is a giant in American law and legal practice -- a distinguished legal historian and a true judge. His reflections on the nature of law have a special importance. This essay is a comment on basic elements in his thought.


The Model Of Plans And The Prospects For Positivism, Scott Hershovitz Jan 2014

The Model Of Plans And The Prospects For Positivism, Scott Hershovitz

Reviews

In Legality, Scott Shapiro builds his case for legal positivism on a simple premise: laws are plans. Recognition of that fact leads to legal positivism, Shapiro says, because the content of a plan is fixed by social facts. In this essay, I argue that Shapiro’s case for legal positivism fails. Moreover, I argue that we can learn important lessons about the prospects for positivism by attending to the ways in the argument fails. As I show, the flaws in Shapiro’s argument reveal structural problems with a family of prominent positivist views, including the one defended by Joseph Raz.