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Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Dec 2006

Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years ago, in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court rejected a capital defendant's claim that statistical evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of Georgia's death penalty system constituted a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Yet, even as McCleskey effectively bars constitutional challenges to racial disparities in the criminal justice system where invidious bias is difficult to establish, the Court invites advocates to pursue legislation as a remedy to racial disparities. Indeed, the McCleskey Court offers as a rationale for its ruling the judiciary's institutional incompetence to remedy these disparities, holding that "McCleskey's ...


Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In November 2005, the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, appointed by President Bush to suggest options for reforming and simplifying the federal tax code, unanimously recommended two alternative plans: a "simplified income tax" (SIT) and a "growth and investment tax" (GIT). The two plans shared much in common. For example, both would: (1) Reduce the top marginal tax rate-to 33% under the SIT plan and 30% under GIT plan; (2) eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT); (3) replace the earned income tax credit (EITC) and refundable child credits with a "work credit"; (4) replace personal exemptions, the standard ...


From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The incarceration explosion of the late twentieth century set off a storm of longitudinal research on the relationship between rates of imprisonment and crime, unemployment, education, and other social indicators. Those studies, however, are fundamentally flawed because they fail to measure confinement properly. They rely on imprisonment data only, and ignore historical rates of mental hospitalization. With the exception of a discrete literature on the interdependence of the mental hospital and prison populations and some studies on the explanations for the prison expansion, none of the empirical work related to the incarceration explosion – or for that matter, older research on ...


Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In Vieth v. Jubelirer, a narrow majority of the Supreme Court determined that, at least for the moment, partisan gerrymandering is nonjusticiable. Yet, strikingly, all nine members of the Court also agreed that, justiciable or not, partisan gerrymanders raise a constitutional question, and some gerrymanders are unconstitutional. However, the Court gave little attention to just why gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. The justices bounced back and forth between justiciability and the standards for proving gerrymandering without considering what constitutional harm gerrymandering poses. This Article considers the question of why partisan gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. It finds four constitutional arguments against gerrymandering ...


Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze the relation between patents and the different business models available to firms in the software industry. The paper builds on Cusumano's work defining the differences among firms that sell products, those that provide services, and the hybrid firms that fall between those polar categories. Combining data from five years of Software Magazine's Software 500 with data about the patenting practices of those software firms, we analyze the relation between the share of revenues derived from product sales and the firm's patenting practices. Accounting for size, R&D intensity, and sector-specific effects, the paper finds a ...


Bankruptcy Reform And The "Sweat Box" Of Credit Card Debt, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Bankruptcy Reform And The "Sweat Box" Of Credit Card Debt, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Those that backed the 2005 bankruptcy reform law argued that it would protect creditors from consumer abuse and lack of financial responsibility. The substantial increase in the number of bankruptcies over the last decade combined with the perception of system-wide abuse apparently convinced legislators from both political parties that the backers had a point. Thus, Congress enacted amendments to the Bankruptcy Code that – if effective – would fundamentally change the core policies underlying the consumer bankruptcy system in this country. The rhetoric surrounding the reform debates pressed the idea that if borrowers had to repay more of their debts, creditors would ...


Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2006

Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium essay argues that administrative regulation of abortion and reproductive rights deserve closer study. Administrative regulation of abortion is overwhelmingly health regulation; the focus is on abortion as a medical procedure, and the government's only stated interest is protecting the health of women obtaining abortions. Such regulation is becoming increasingly common, and is worthy of greater attention on that ground alone. But in addition, and of particular relevance to this symposium on reproductive rights and equality, administrative abortion regulation demonstrates the difficulty in successfully challenging abortion restrictions as unconstitutional gender discrimination. Given general medical agreement that early abortions ...


Congress, Article Iv, And Interstate Relations, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2006

Congress, Article Iv, And Interstate Relations, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Article IV imposes prohibitions on interstate discrimination that are central to our status as a single nation, yet the Constitution also grants Congress broad power over interstate relations. This leads to the questions of whether Congress has power to authorize states to engage in conduct that otherwise would violate Article IV, and more generally of how we should conceive of Congress' role in the interstate relations context, what is sometimes called the horizontal dimension of federalism. These questions are of growing practical relevance, given recently enacted or proposed measures – the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is the most prominent example ...


The Supreme Court, The Solicitor General, And Bankruptcy: Bfp V. Resolution Trust Corporation, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

The Supreme Court, The Solicitor General, And Bankruptcy: Bfp V. Resolution Trust Corporation, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter tells the story behind BFP v. Resolution Trust Corporation. I see BFP as a case that pitted relatively plain statutory language supporting the debtor-in-possession against policy interests supporting a secured creditor. I argue that an important explanation for the Supreme Court's decision to favor policy over the language of the statute was its perception of a need to protect the availability of non-bankruptcy remedies for secured creditors. Accordingly, I situate my discussion of BFP in the context of the role that the federal government has played in the Supreme Court's cases interpreting the Bankruptcy Code. In ...


The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Most human interactions take place in reliance on tacit understandings, customary practices, and other legally unenforceable agreements. A considerable literature studying these informal arrangements (commonly referred to as social norms) has a decidedly positive flavor, arguing that many, if not most, of these norms are welfare-enhancing. This Article looks at the less-appreciated darker side of social norms. It combines the analysis of the modern sophisticated tax planning techniques with the existing empirical studies of commercial relationships to reveal a disturbing connection. By relying on tacit understandings rather than express contractual terms, many taxpayers shift some of their tax liabilities to ...


The Problem Of Authority: Revisiting The Service Conception, Joseph Raz Jan 2006

The Problem Of Authority: Revisiting The Service Conception, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The problem I have in mind is the problem of the possible justification of subjecting one's will to that of another, and of the normative standing of demands to do so. The account of authority that I offered, many years ago, under the title of the service conception of authority, addressed this issue, and assumed that all other problems regarding authority are subsumed under it. Many found the account implausible. It is thin, relying on very few ideas. It may well appear to be too thin, and to depart too far from many of the ideas that have gained ...


Waging War Against Terror: An Essay For Sandy Levinson, Philip Chase Bobbitt Jan 2006

Waging War Against Terror: An Essay For Sandy Levinson, Philip Chase Bobbitt

Faculty Scholarship

Wars are acts of State, and therefore there has never been a "war on terror." Of course states have fought terrorism, in many guises, for centuries. But a war on terror had to await the development of states – including virtual states like al Qaeda's global ummah – whose constitutional order was not confined to a particular territory or national group and for whom terror could therefore be a permanent state of international affairs, either sought in order to prevent persons within a state's control from resisting oppression by accessing global, empowering resources and networks, or suffered because other states ...


Financial Contracts And The New Bankruptcy Code: Insulating Markets From Bankrupt Debtors And Bankruptcy Judges, Edward R. Morrison, Joerg Riegel Jan 2006

Financial Contracts And The New Bankruptcy Code: Insulating Markets From Bankrupt Debtors And Bankruptcy Judges, Edward R. Morrison, Joerg Riegel

Faculty Scholarship

The reforms of 2005 yield important but subtle changes in the Bankruptcy Code's treatment of financial contracts. They might appear only to eliminate longstanding uncertainty surrounding the protections available to financial contract counterparties, especially counterparties to repurchase transactions and other derivative contracts. But the ambit of the reforms is much broader. The expanded definitions – especially the definition of "swap agreement" – are now so broad that nearly every derivative contract is subject to the Code's protection. Instead of protecting particular counterparties to particular transactions, the Code now protects any counterparty to any derivative contract. Entire markets have been insulated ...


Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Whether the U.S. government should be allowed to claim credit for the private philanthropy of its citizens is a hot topic in today's foreign aid debate. Overlooked in this debate, however, is a form of aid that straddles the traditional public/private divide: charitable tax expenditures. Through the many tax privileges that the United States grants to its nonprofit organizations, the government implicitly foots some portion of the bill anytime these organizations send money abroad for development purposes. Unlike official development assistance (ODA), these tax expenditure funds are privately organized and distributed, yet unlike voluntary transfers they are ...


Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer Jan 2006

Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Tax shelters and aggressive planning derive in part from a structural imbalance in our tax system that has not been adequately explored: In important respects, the private tax bar outmatches their counterparts in government. Although a strong policy case can be made for remedying this mismatch, this Article emphasizes two institutional barriers that complicate any solution, rooted in the political economy of taxation and the economics and professional norms of the legal profession. First, although it would be enormously helpful to dramatically increase the staffing levels and pay of government tax administrators, this is a politically daunting task. Second, a ...


Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Deciding how much time a person should spend in prison for a serious crime is an inherently moral and political act. And it is certainly coldhearted and philosophically problematic to view sentencing as just an agency problem with criminal defendants as objects of a system in which prison terms are simply outputs. So I will not even try to justify resorting to a narrow institutional perspective as a normative matter. But, for better or worse, those political actors with the greatest influence on sentencing regimes have to think in aggregate terms. While there is considerable normative appeal to the idea ...


Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2006

Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Research Summary:
Accurately gauging the public's support for alternative responses to juvenile offending is important, because policy makers often justify expenditures for punitive juvenile justice reforms on the basis of popular demand for tougher policies. In this study, we assess public support for both punitively and nonpunitively oriented juvenile justice policies by measuring respondents' willingness to pay for various policy proposals. We employ a methodology known as "contingent valuation" (CV) that permits the comparison of respondents' willingness to pay (WTP) for competing policy alternatives. Specifically, we compare CV-based estimates for the public's WTP for two distinctively different responses ...


Credit Cards, Consumer Credit, And Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Credit Cards, Consumer Credit, And Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the effects of credit card use on broader economic indicators, specifically consumer credit, and consumer bankruptcy filings. Using aggregate nation-level data from Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, I find that credit card spending, lagged by 1-2 years, has a strong positive effect on consumer credit. Finally, I find a strong relation between credit card debt, lagged by 1-2 years, and bankruptcy, and a weaker relation between consumer credit, lagged by 1-2 years, and bankruptcy. The relations are robust across a variety of different lags and models that account for problems of multicollinearity ...


Optimizing Consumer Credit Markets And Bankruptcy Policy, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Optimizing Consumer Credit Markets And Bankruptcy Policy, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This article explores the relationship between consumer credit markets and bankruptcy policy. In general, I argue that the causative relationships running between borrowing and bankruptcy compel a new strategy for policing the conduct of lenders and borrowers in modern consumer credit markets. The strategy must be sensitive to the role of the credit card in lending markets and must recognize that both issuers and cardholders are well placed to respond to the increased levels of spending and indebtedness. In the latter parts of the article, I recommend mandatory minimum payment requirements, a tax on distressed credit card debt, and the ...


From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2006

From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The incarceration revolution of the late twentieth century fueled ongoing research on the relationship between rates of incarceration and crime, unemployment, education, and other social indicators. In this research, the variable intended to capture the level of confinement in society was conceptualized and measured as the rate of incarceration in state and federal prisons and county jails. This, however, fails to take account of other equally important forms of confinement, especially commitment to mental hospitals and asylums.

When the data on mental hospitalization rates are combined with the data on imprisonment rates for the period 1928 through 2000, the incarceration ...


Edwin S. Cohen, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Edwin S. Cohen, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This is not the first time I have spoken to honor Edwin S. Cohen. I spoke at two of his retirements – at least – and in the Rotunda at both his 75th and 80th birthday celebrations. Each time, and on many other occasions over the years when I have spoken about tax law or policy in his presence, I would always steal a glance at Eddie, looking for that twinkle in his eyes, hoping to bring a smile to his face, or even an outright giggle. Today, I know I will still look, as I will for years to come, though ...


The World Trade Law Of Censorship And Internet Filtering, Tim Wu Jan 2006

The World Trade Law Of Censorship And Internet Filtering, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Consider the following events, all from the last five years: (1) An American newsmagazine, Barron's, posts an unflattering profile of an Australian billionaire named Joseph Gutnick on its web site – the publisher, Dow Jones, Inc., is sued in Australia and forced to settle; (2) Mexico's incumbent telephone company, Telmex, blocks Mexicans from reaching the web site of the Voice-over-IP firm Skype; (3) the United States begins a major crackdown on web gambling services, causing serious economic damage to several small Caribbean economies; (4) the Chinese government prevents its citizens from using various foreign Internet services, including foreign e-mail ...


Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer Jan 2006

Enlisting The Tax Bar, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Tax shelters have proliferates in the United States not only because of financial innovation, the globalization of capital markets, the increasing complexity of our tax system, the inadequacy of tax penalties, the lack of political support for tax reform, and the growing popularity of textualist interpretation – all factors that have attracted considerable attention in the literature. Shelters also derive from a structural imbalance in our tax system that has not been adequately explored: In important respects, the private tax bar outmatches its counterpart in government. This imbalance is one of sheer numbers, of access to information, and, at least in ...


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

On a recent day, I used my credit cards in connection with a number of minor transactions. I made eight purchases, and I paid two credit card bills. I also discarded (without opening) three solicitations for new cards, balance transfer programs, or other similar offers to extend credit via a credit card. Statistics suggest that I am not atypical. U.S. consumers last year used credit cards in about 100 purchasing transactions per capita, with an average value of about $70. At the end of the year, Americans owed nearly $500 billion dollars, in the range of $1,800 for ...


Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2006

Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Consider two recent defamation cases in Chinese courts. In 2004, Zhang Xide, a former county-level Communist Party boss, sued the authors of a best selling book, An Investigation into China's Peasants. The book exposed official malfeasance on Zhang's watch and the resultant peasant hardships. Zhang demanded an apology from the book's authors and publisher, excision of the offending chapter, 200,000 yuan (approximately U.S.$25,000) for emotional damages, and a share of profits from sales of the book. Zhang sued in a local court on which, not coincidentally, his son sat as a judge.

In ...


The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Arguably the most important social science research of the past decade has centered on comparative law and economics. In a celebrated series of articles, the economists Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer, and intermittent collaborators have explored empirically how a country's legal origin – English common law, French civil law, Germanic code, Scandinavian law, or Soviet socialist law – affects its subsequent institutional and economic development. The common law emerges as the hero of this analysis: Compared with other countries and especially with civil law countries, common law bearers have, ceteris paribus, better legal protection of shareholders and creditors; greater ...


Trade, Law And Product Complexity, Katharina Pistor, Dan Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius Jan 2006

Trade, Law And Product Complexity, Katharina Pistor, Dan Berkowitz, Johannes Moenius

Faculty Scholarship

How does the quality of national institutions that enforce the rule of law influence international trade? Anderson and Marcouiller argue that bad institutions located in the importer’s country deter international trade because they enable economic predators to steal and extort rents at the importer’s border. We complement this research and show how good institutions located in the exporter’s country enhance international trade, in particular, trade in complex products whose characteristics are difficult to fully specify in a contract. We argue that both exporter and importer institutions affect international as well as domestic transaction costs in complex and ...


Beyond Lawrence: Metaprivacy And Punishment, Jamal Greene Jan 2006

Beyond Lawrence: Metaprivacy And Punishment, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Lawrence v. Texas remains, after three years of precedential life, an opinion in search of a principle. It is both libertarian – Randy Barnett has called it the constitutionalization of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty – and communitarian – William Eskridge has described it as the gay rights movement's Brown v. Board of Education. It is simultaneously broad, in its evocation of our deepest spiritual commitments, and narrow, in its self-conscious attempts to avoid condemning laws against same-sex marriage, prostitution, and bestiality. This Article reconciles these competing claims on Lawrence's jurisprudential legacy. In Part I, it defends the view that ...


Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2006

Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Over half of all small businesses reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are ultimately liquidated. Little is known about this shutdown decision and about the factors that increase or reduce the amount of time a firm spends in bankruptcy. It is widely suspected, however, that the Chapter 11 process exhibits a "continuation bias," allowing non-viable firms to linger under the protection of the court. This paper tests for the presence of continuation bias in the docket of a typical bankruptcy court over the course of a calendar year. A variety of tests are employed, including the ...


The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This paper critiques The Regulation of Labor, an empirical study recently published by Juan C. Botero, Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. The Regulation of Labor extends these authors' comparative research to the realm of employment, collective-relations, and social-security laws, and finds that legal origin is a stronger predictor of all of these than political or economic variables, with common law associated with the lowest levels of regulation. While these findings are suggestive and help deepen the case for regulatory complementarity, the methodological weaknesses are severe. This paper explores the ...