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Full-Text Articles in Law

Regulating In Pandemic: Evaluating Economic And Financial Policy Responses To The Coronavirus Crisis, Hiba Hafiz, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring, Natalya Shnitser Mar 2020

Regulating In Pandemic: Evaluating Economic And Financial Policy Responses To The Coronavirus Crisis, Hiba Hafiz, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The United States is currently trying to manage a fast-moving public health crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The economic and financial ramifications of the outbreak are serious. This Working Paper discusses these ramifications and identifies three interrelated but potentially conflicting policy priorities at stake in managing the economic and financial fallout of the COVID-19 crisis: (1) providing social insurance to individuals and families in need; (2) managing systemic economic and financial risk; and (3) encouraging critical spatial behaviors to help contain COVID-19 transmission. The confluence of these three policy considerations and the potential conflicts among them make the ...


Constituencies And Control In Statutory Drafting: Interviews With Government Tax Counsels, Shu-Yi Oei, Leigh Osofsky Mar 2019

Constituencies And Control In Statutory Drafting: Interviews With Government Tax Counsels, Shu-Yi Oei, Leigh Osofsky

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Tax statutes have long been derided as convoluted and unreadable. But there is little existing research about drafting practices that helps us contextualize such critiques. In this Article, we conduct the first in-depth empirical examination of how tax law drafting and formulation decisions are made. We report findings from interviews with government counsels who participated in the tax legislative process over the past four decades. Our interviews revealed that tax legislation drafting decisions are both targeted to and controlled by experts. Most counsels did not consider statutory formulation or readability important, as long as substantive meaning was accurate. Many held ...


Legislation And Comment: The Making Of The §199a Regulations, Leigh Osofsky, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2019

Legislation And Comment: The Making Of The §199a Regulations, Leigh Osofsky, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 2017, Congress passed major tax legislation at warp speed. After enactment, it fell to the Treasury Department to write regulations clarifying and implementing the new law. To assure democratic legitimacy in making regulations, administrative law provides that an agency must issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, followed by an opportunity for the public to comment (so called “notice and comment”). But, after the 2017 tax overhaul, many sophisticated actors did not wait until the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to comment, instead going to Treasury immediately with comments designed to influence the regulations.

In this Article, we ...


Constitutional Amendment By Stealth, Richard Albert Apr 2015

Constitutional Amendment By Stealth, Richard Albert

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Constitutional amendment ordinarily channels public deliberation through formal, transparent and predictable procedures designed to express the informed aggregated choices of political, popular and institutional actors. Yet the Government of Canada’s proposed senator selection reforms concealed a democratically problematic strategy to innovate an informal, obscure and irregular method of constitutional amendment: constitutional amendment by stealth. There are three distinguishing features of constitutional amendment by stealth—distinctions that make stealth amendment stand apart from other types of informal constitutional change: the circumvention of formal amendment rules, the intentional creation of a convention, and the twinned consequences of both promoting and weakening ...


Federal Preemption And Consumer Financial Protection: Past And Future, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel Mar 2012

Federal Preemption And Consumer Financial Protection: Past And Future, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Starting in 1995 and throughout the subprime boom during the next decade, Congress failed to take action to curb predatory mortgage lending. Many states and cities filled the void by passing anti-predatory lending laws of their own. Lenders, worried about potential liability, quickly organized a full-scale attack on the state and local initiatives. Their most potent strategy lay in challenging the laws and ordinances under federal preemption rules for national banks and federal savings associations that precluded states from enforcing their anti-predatory lending laws.

The Dodd-Frank Act curtailed the preemption rules by establishing that state consumer financial laws can only ...


A Comment On "Legisprudence", Vlad F. Perju May 2009

A Comment On "Legisprudence", Vlad F. Perju

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


The Constitutional Infirmity Of Warrantless Nsa Surveillance: The Abuse Of Presidential Power And The Injury To The Fourth Amendment, Robert M. Bloom, William J. Dunn Feb 2007

The Constitutional Infirmity Of Warrantless Nsa Surveillance: The Abuse Of Presidential Power And The Injury To The Fourth Amendment, Robert M. Bloom, William J. Dunn

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In recent months, there have been many revelations about the tactics used by the Bush Administration to prosecute their war on terrorism. These stories involve the exploitation of technologies that allow the government, with the cooperation of phone companies and financial institutions, to access phone and financial records. This paper focuses on the revelation and widespread criticism of the Bush Administration’s operation of a warrantless electronic surveillance program to monitor international phone calls and emails that originate or terminate with a United States party. The powerful and secret National Security Agency heads the program and leverages its significant intelligence ...


The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom Feb 2007

The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article considers the problems raised by a federal law--the “REAL ID Act”--that seeks to preclude judicial review of discretionary immigration law decisions. Discretion, the flexible shock absorber of the administrative state, must be respected by our legal system. However, as Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote, discretion is, “only to be respected when it is conscious of the traditions which surround it and of the limits which an informed conscience sets to its exercise.” The article suggests that judicial construction of the REAL ID Act will plumb the deep meaning of this qualification. The new law states, essentially, that ...


Rethinking Disclosure In A World Of Risk-Based Pricing, Patricia A. Mccoy Jan 2007

Rethinking Disclosure In A World Of Risk-Based Pricing, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The residential mortgage market in the United States has changed significantly since the passage of current federal mortgage disclosure laws in the 1960s and 1970s. In this Article, Professor Patricia McCoy advocates for the reform of these traditional disclosure rules. After describing the evolution of the subprime mortgage market and providing a description of current federal disclosure laws, she explores how these new market dynamics cause the traditional disclosure rules to break down in the subprime market. Professor McCoy concludes with proposals to counteract false advertising practices, facilitate "meaningful comparison-shopping, and formulate streamlined disclosures addressing loan applicants' greatest concerns in ...


Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...


Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2005

Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Government increasingly leverages its regulatory function by embodying in law standards that are promulgated and copyrighted by non-governmental organizations. Departures from such standards expose citizens to criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, yet private actors generate, control and limit access to them. Despite governmental ambitions, no one is responsible for evaluating the legitimacy of this approach and no framework exists to facilitate analysis. This Article contributes an analytical framework and, for the federal government, nominates the Director of the Federal Register to implement it. Analysis is animated using among the oldest and broadest examples of this pervasive but stealthy phenomenon: embodiment ...


The President, The Environment, And Foreign Policy: The Globalization Of Environmental Politics, David A. Wirth Feb 2005

The President, The Environment, And Foreign Policy: The Globalization Of Environmental Politics, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

By comparison with domestic environmental issues, international environmental diplomacy is distinguished by the far greater role of the Executive Branch, and in particular the President, in making law. This essay explores the legal consequences of the President's dual role in international environmental diplomacy: his duty faithfully to execute statutory mandates adopted by Congress while also serving as the Nation's chief diplomat and negotiator of international agreements with foreign powers. The piece discusses the legal and policy dynamics surrounding two concrete examples affecting domestic and international environmental policy, in which Presidential power assumes dramatically different forms: (1) climate change ...


Under Attack: The Public's Right To Know And The War On Terror, Mary-Rose Papandrea Jan 2005

Under Attack: The Public's Right To Know And The War On Terror, Mary-Rose Papandrea

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Since the September 11 attacks, courts have been reluctant to uphold the public’s right to obtain government information through the Freedom of Information Act and the First Amendment right of access. Given the doctrinal and statutory confusion plaguing both FOIA and the First Amendment right of access since their inception, and the judiciary’s historic tendency to defer to the Executive in matters implicating national security, recent appellate decisions rejecting right to know claims may seem unsurprising. But a closer reading of these cases reveals that the judiciary’s failure to uphold the public’s right to government transparency ...


A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2004

A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building on companion work investigating the efficacy of financial statement insurance (FSI) as an alternative to traditional auditor liability, this Article presents the terms of a national enabling statute to implement this concept. The Model Financial Statement Insurance Act uses the architecture of the U.S. Trust Indenture Act of 1939. It authorizes issuer application for qualification, in connection with annual proxy statement filings, of policies of financial statement insurance. The Model FSI Act deems a series of provisions necessary to achieve securities law objectives to be part of all financial statement insurance policies so proposed, and requires insurers to ...


Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2004

Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Positioned in a lively current debate concerning how to design auditor incentives to optimize financial statement auditing, this Article presents the more ambitious financial statement insurance alternative. This breaks from the existing securities regulation framework to draw directly on insurance markets and law. Based on upon an evaluation of major structural and policy-related features of the concept, the assessment prescribes a framework to permit companies, on an experimental-basis and with investor approval, to use financial statement insurance as an optional alternative to the existing model of financial statement auditing backed by auditor liability. The financial statement insurance concept, pioneered by ...


Textualism And Tax Shelters, Noel B. Cunningham, James R. Repetti Apr 2004

Textualism And Tax Shelters, Noel B. Cunningham, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A substantial debate about the approaches employed by courts to interpret statutes and regulations has developed during the last decade. Some have argued that the search for a statute's meaning and purpose should focus on the text, itself, and should not include consulting legislative history. In contrast, others have argued that it is difficult to determine the meaning of a statute without consulting legislative history to determine the legislature's purpose for the statute. The debate about the appropriate method for interpreting statutes underlies a crisis in the administration of tax law. The recent proliferation of tax shelters has ...


Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom Jan 2004

Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The general hypothesis put forth in this Article is that well-accepted historical matrices are increasingly inadequate to address the complex issues raised by various U.S. government practices in the so-called “war on terrorism.” The Article describes certain stresses that have recently built upon two major legal dichotomies: the citizen/non-citizen and criminal/civil lines. Professor Kanstroom reviews the use of the citizen/non-citizen dichotomies as part of the post-September 11th enforcement regime and considers the increasing convergence between the immigration and criminal justice systems. Professor Kanstroom concludes by suggesting the potential emergence of a disturbing new legal system, which ...


Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2003

Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

No abstract provided.


Realigning Auditors' Incentives, Patricia A. Mccoy Apr 2003

Realigning Auditors' Incentives, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Amusing Monsters, Anthony P. Farley Mar 2002

Amusing Monsters, Anthony P. Farley

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this review of Austin Sarat’s important book When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition, the reviewer invokes Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan to inform our understanding of the killing state. Because capital punishment is carried out pursuant to the democratic processes, the execution involves us all, done as it is in our name. Those committed to the end of the killing state, and to the end of the violent hierarchies that allow the killing state to exist, will find Surat’s book “a valuable articulation of a committed and responsible approach to the problems of our time.”


Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman Dec 2001

Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In Baker v. State, the Supreme Court of Vermont ruled that the state constitution’s Common Benefits Clause prohibits the exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and protections of marriage. Baker has been praised by constitutional scholars as a prototypical example of the New Judicial Federalism. The authors agree, asserting that the decision sets a standard for constitutional discourse by dint of the manner in which each of the opinions connects and responds to the others, pulls together arguments from other state and federal constitutional authorities, and provides a clear basis for subsequent development of constitutional principle. This Article ...


Deportation And Justice: A Constitutional Dialogue, Daniel Kanstroom Jul 2000

Deportation And Justice: A Constitutional Dialogue, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Recent statutory changes to the United States immigration law have resulted in a large increase in the number of lawful permanent resident noncitizens who are deported because of prior criminal conduct. Now, deportation is often a virtually automatic consequence of conviction for an increasingly minor array of crimes including possessory drug offenses and shoplifting. Under current statutory law, permanent resident noncitizens may be deported for crimes that were not grounds for deportation when they were committed and there may be no possibiilty of mercy or humanitarian relief. This Dialogue explores arguments for and against this system. Specifically, it examines the ...


Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy Jan 2000

Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams, in which the Court struck down an attempt by the Tenth Circuit to impose an obligation on federal prosecutors to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. The author discusses the contours of this case and the ethical underpinnings of a prosecutor’s disclosure obligations before the grand jury, and sets forth a new framework for consideration of such issues.


Rule 11 Studies And Civil Rights Cases: An Inquiry Into The Neutrality Of Procedural Rules, Mark Spiegel Jan 1999

Rule 11 Studies And Civil Rights Cases: An Inquiry Into The Neutrality Of Procedural Rules, Mark Spiegel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author discusses the impact of the 1983 amendments of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to Rule 11. The Article explores the claim that the 1983 amendments had a disproportionate impact upon civil rights cases, thereby violating the norm of procedural neutrality. In Section I, the author argues that one of the central meanings of procedural neutrality is closely related to the argument that procedural rules should be apolitical. In Section II, the author examines what the studies of Rule 11 reveal about the effect of the 1983 version upon civil rights claims. The author then ...


30 = 20: ‘Understanding’ Maximum Sentence Enhancements, Frank R. Herrmann S.J. Jan 1998

30 = 20: ‘Understanding’ Maximum Sentence Enhancements, Frank R. Herrmann S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article, Professor Herrmann argues that the due process protections of a criminal trial should apply to aggravating factors that under current “maximum-enhancing statutes” allow judges to impose lengthier punishments in the sentencing phase. Part I considers the Supreme Court's rationale for refusing to apply full due process safeguards to all types of sentencing schemes. This background will reveal the unique quality of maximum-enhancing statutes and establish why the due process protections of a criminal trial should apply to sentencing under maximum-enhancing statutes. Part I, therefore, undertakes to explain courts' rationales to deny criminal defendants full criminal due ...


Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown Jan 1997

Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Brown examines the issues that federal prosecutions of state and local officials pose. The analysis focuses on prosecutions under the mail fraud statute and considers the general debate over the proper scope of federal criminal law. Professor Brodin addresses the question of whether a re-examination of mail fraud would focus on constitutional or statutory issues and by utilizing the Supreme Court case United States v. Lopez examines the question of internal limits on the mail fraud statute.


The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti Jan 1997

The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The U.S. tax system contains many provisions which are intended to align management of large publicly traded companies more closely to stockholders. This article shows that many of the tax provisions that have been adopted are of questionable effectiveness because they fail to address the complexities of stockholder-management relations in attempting to motivate management to act in the best interests of stockholders. The article proposes that rather than Congress attempting to identify the best way that it can use the tax system to motivate management, Congress should eliminate tax provisions which subsidize management's inefficiencies in order to encourage ...


The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1997

The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is once again poised at the brink of what could become an illuminating national debate. The Act’s congressional reauthorization process is likely to provide the first major indicator of what the 105th Congress will or won’t do to environmental law generally. From the turbulent past and present of the ESA, this essay offers some reminders for the impending battles over the Act.