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Full-Text Articles in Law

Imaginary Bottles, Jessica Litman Aug 2019

Imaginary Bottles, Jessica Litman

Articles

This essay, written for a symposium commemorating John Perry Barlow, who died on February 7, 2018, revisits Barlow's 1994 essay for WIRED magazine, "The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age (everything you know about intellectual property is wrong)." Barlow observed that networked digital technology posed massive and fundamental challenges for the markets for what Barlow termed “the work we do with our minds” and for the intellectual property laws designed to shape those markets. He predicted that those challenges would melt extant intellectual property systems into a smoking heap within a decade ...


The Elusive Object Of Punishment, Gabriel S. Mendlow Jun 2019

The Elusive Object Of Punishment, Gabriel S. Mendlow

Articles

All observers of our legal system recognize that criminal statutes can be complex and obscure. But statutory obscurity often takes a particular form that most observers have overlooked: uncertainty about the identity of the wrong a statute aims to punish. It is not uncommon for parties to disagree about the identity of the underlying wrong even as they agree on the statute’s elements. Hidden in plain sight, these unexamined disagreements underlie or exacerbate an assortment of familiar disputes—about venue, vagueness, and mens rea; about DUI and statutory rape; about hate crimes, child pornography, and counterterrorism laws; about proportionality ...


Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld May 2019

Neglecting Nationalism, Gil Seinfeld

Articles

Federalism is a system of government that calls for the division of power between a central authority and member states. It is designed to secure benefits that flow from centralization and from devolution, as well as benefits that accrue from a simultaneous commitment to both. A student of modern American federalism, however, might have a very different impression, for significant swaths of the case law and scholarly commentary on the subject neglect the centralizing, nationalist side of the federal balance. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is obviously the case that our national government has become immensely ...


The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan Feb 2019

The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan

Articles

The 2017 tax legislation brought sweeping changes to the rules for taxing individuals and business, the deductibility of state and local taxes, and the international tax regime. The complex legislation was drafted and passed through a rushed and secretive process intended to limit public comment on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic policy enacted in recent history. This Article is an effort to supply the analysis and deliberation that should have accompanied the bill’s consideration and passage, and describes key problem areas in the new legislation. Many of the new changes fundamentally undermine the integrity of the ...


A Reconsideration Of Copyright's Term, Kristelia A. García, Justin Mccrary Jan 2019

A Reconsideration Of Copyright's Term, Kristelia A. García, Justin Mccrary

Articles

For well over a century, legislators, courts, lawyers, and scholars have spent significant time and energy debating the optimal duration of copyright protection. While there is general consensus that copyright’s term is of legal and economic significance, arguments both for and against a lengthy term are often impressionistic. Utilizing music industry sales data not previously available for academic analysis, this Article fills an important evidentiary gap in the literature. Using recorded music as a case study, we determine that most copyrighted music earns the majority of its lifetime revenue in the first five to ten years following its initial ...


Privatizing The Reservation?, Kristen A. Carpenter, Angela R. Riley Jan 2019

Privatizing The Reservation?, Kristen A. Carpenter, Angela R. Riley

Articles

The problems of American Indian poverty and reservation living conditions have inspired various explanations. One response advanced by some economists and commentators, which may be gaining traction within the Trump Administration, calls for the “privatization” of Indian lands. Proponents of this view contend that reservation poverty is rooted in the federal Indian trust arrangement, which preserves the tribal land base by limiting the marketability of lands within reservations. In order to maximize wealth on reservations, policymakers are advocating for measures that would promote the individuation and alienability of tribal lands, while diminishing federal and tribal oversight.

Taking a different view ...


The Statutory Separation Of Powers, Sharon B. Jacobs Jan 2019

The Statutory Separation Of Powers, Sharon B. Jacobs

Articles

Separation of powers forms the backbone of our constitutional democracy. But it also operates as an underappreciated structural principle in subconstitutional domains. This Article argues that Congress constructs statutory schemes of separation, checks, and balances through its delegations to administrative agencies. Like its constitutional counterpart, the “statutory separation of powers” seeks to prevent the dominance of factions and ensure policy stability. But separating and balancing statutory authority is a delicate business: the optimal balance is difficult to calibrate ex ante, the balance is unstable, and there are risks that executive agencies in particular might seek expansion of their authority vis-à-vis ...


An American Approach To Social Democracy: The Forgotten Promise Of The Fair Labor Standards Act, Kate Andrias Jan 2019

An American Approach To Social Democracy: The Forgotten Promise Of The Fair Labor Standards Act, Kate Andrias

Articles

There is a growing consensus among scholars and public policy experts that fundamental labor law reform is necessary in order to reduce the nation’s growing wealth gap. According to conventional wisdom, however, a social democratic approach to labor relations is uniquely un-American—in deep conflict with our traditions and our governing legal regime. This Article calls into question that conventional account. It details a largely forgotten moment in American history: when the early Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established industry committees of unions, business associations, and the public to set wages on an industry-by-industry basis. Alongside the National Labor ...


Copyright Arbitrage, Kristelia A. Garcia Jan 2019

Copyright Arbitrage, Kristelia A. Garcia

Articles

Regulatory arbitrage—defined as the manipulation of regulatory treatment for the purpose of reducing regulatory costs or increasing statutory earnings—is often seen in heavily regulated industries. An increase in the regulatory nature of copyright, coupled with rapid technological advances and evolving consumer preferences, have led to an unprecedented proliferation of regulatory arbitrage in the area of copyright law. This Article offers a new scholarly account of the phenomenon herein referred to as “copyright arbitrage.”

In some cases, copyright arbitrage may work to expose and/or correct for an extant gap or inefficiency in the regulatory regime. In other cases ...


Crisis-Driven Tax Law: The Case Of Section 382, Albert H. Choi, Quinn Curtis, Andrew T. Hayashi Jan 2019

Crisis-Driven Tax Law: The Case Of Section 382, Albert H. Choi, Quinn Curtis, Andrew T. Hayashi

Articles

At the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2008–83 (the Notice), administrative guidance that limited Internal Revenue Code (the Code) section 382, an important tax rule designed to discourage tax-motivated acquisitions. Although styled as a mere interpretation of existing law, the Notice has been widely viewed as an improper exercise of the IRS’s authority that undermined its legitimacy. But did the Notice work? There were many extraordinary interventions during the financial crisis that raised questions about eroding the rule of law and the long-term destabilizing effects of bail­outs. In a ...


A Constitution For The Age Of Demagogues: Using The Twenty-Fifth Amendment To Remove An Unfit President, Paul F. Campos Jan 2019

A Constitution For The Age Of Demagogues: Using The Twenty-Fifth Amendment To Remove An Unfit President, Paul F. Campos

Articles

This Article argues that, properly understood, the 25th Amendment is designed to allow the executive and legislative branches, working together, to remove a president from office when it becomes evident that the person elevated to that office by the electoral process is manifestly unsuited for what can, without exaggeration, be described as the most important job in the world.

It argues further that the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency have provided a great deal of evidence for the proposition that President Trump has in fact demonstrated the requisite level of fundamental unfitness for the office that would ...


Negotiating The Lender Of Last Resort: The 1913 Federal Reserve Act As A Debate Over Credit Distribution, Nadav Orian Peer Jan 2019

Negotiating The Lender Of Last Resort: The 1913 Federal Reserve Act As A Debate Over Credit Distribution, Nadav Orian Peer

Articles

“Lending of last resort” is one of the key powers of central banks. As a lender of last resort, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) famously supports commercial banks facing distressed liquidity conditions, thereby mitigating destabilizing bank runs. Less famously, lender-of-last-resort powers also influence the distribution of credit among different groups in society and therefore have high stakes for economic inequality. The Fed’s role as a lender of last resort witnessed an unprecedented expansion during the 2007–2009 Crisis when the Fed invoked emergency powers to lend to a new set of borrowers known as “shadow banks”. The decision proved ...


An Unfinished Dialogue: Congress, The Judiciary, And The Rules For Federal Judicial Misconduct Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman Jan 2019

An Unfinished Dialogue: Congress, The Judiciary, And The Rules For Federal Judicial Misconduct Proceedings, Arthur D. Hellman

Articles

Federal judges can be impeached and removed from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but what can be done to investigate and remedy less serious misconduct? Congress gave its answer 40 years ago when it passed the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980. The Act emerged from a series of complex interactions between Congress and the judiciary that could hardly be replicated today. Initially there was strong support, particularly in the Senate, for a centralized, “strictly adjudicatory” system, including a provision for removal of judges without impeachment. Over the course of several years, however, the judiciary persuaded Congress to ...


The International Law Commission's Soft Law Influence, Elena Baylis Jan 2019

The International Law Commission's Soft Law Influence, Elena Baylis

Articles

Since the 1990s, the International Law Commission has increasingly produced soft law, such as principles and draft conclusions, in addition to hard law like draft treaty articles This essay explores the implications of the International Law Commission’s transition toward a greater emphasis on soft law. Soft law is an effective vehicle for the International Law Commission’s mission of codification and progressive development of international law; the International Law Commission’s involvement increases the clarity and accessibility of international law norms and promotes a dynamic, synergistic relationship between hard law and soft law that contributes to the effective evolution ...


Threats To Medicaid And Health Equity Intersections, Mary Crossley Jan 2019

Threats To Medicaid And Health Equity Intersections, Mary Crossley

Articles

2017 was a tumultuous year politically in the United States on many fronts, but perhaps none more so than health care. For enrollees in the Medicaid program, it was a “year of living precariously.” Long-promised Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act also took aim at Medicaid, with proposals to fundamentally restructure the program and drastically cut its federal funding. These proposals provoked pushback from multiple fronts, including formal opposition from groups representing people with disabilities and people of color and individual protesters. Opposition by these groups should not have surprised the proponents of “reforming” Medicaid. Both people of ...