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An Answer To The Question: "What Is Poststructuralism?", Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2007

An Answer To The Question: "What Is Poststructuralism?", Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

What is poststructuralism? It has always struck me as odd that so many critical theorists are reluctant to offer an answer to this question. In this essay, I unpack the term and provide a synoptic answer. Poststructuralism, I suggest, is a style of critical reasoning that focuses on the moment of ambiguity in our systems of meaning, as a way to identify the ethical choices that we make when we overcome the ambiguity and move from indeterminacy to certainty of belief in our efforts to understand, interpret, and shape our environment. Post-structuralism concentrates on the moment when we impose meaning ...


Shape Stops Story, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2007

Shape Stops Story, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Storytelling and resistance are powerful tools of both lawyering and individual identity, as I argue in this brief essay published in Narrative as part of a dialogue on disability, narrative, and law with Rosemarie Garland-Thompson and Ellen Barton. Garland-Thompson's work shows us the life-affirming potential of storytelling, its role in shaping disability identity, and its role in communicating that identity to the outside world. By contrast, Barton powerfully shows how those same life-affirming narratives can force a certain kind of storytelling, can create a mandate to tell one story and not another. In short, Barton reminds us of the ...


Software Patents, Incumbents, And Entry, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2007

Software Patents, Incumbents, And Entry, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Software patents have been controversial since the days when "software" referred to the crude programs that came free with an IBM mainframe. Different perspectives have been presented in judicial, legislative, and administrative fora over the years, and the press has paid as much attention to this issue as it has to any other intellectual property topic during this time. Meanwhile, a software industry developed and has grown to a remarkable size, whether measured by revenues or profitability, number of firms or employees, or research expenditures. The scope of software innovation has become even broader, as an increasing number of devices ...


The Morality Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2007

The Morality Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

The relationship between property and morality has been obscured by three elements in our intellectual tradition. First is the assumption, which can be traced to Bentham, that property is a pure creature of law. An institution assumed to be wholly dependent on law for its existence is unlikely to be infused with strong moral content. Second is the related tradition, also Benthamite, of examining questions about property law from a utilitarian perspective. Utilitarianism is, of course, a moral theory. But in its modern applications, based on price theory and cost-benefit analysis, it adopts a framework largely indifferent to questions of ...


The Law Of War And Its Pathologies, George P. Fletcher Jan 2007

The Law Of War And Its Pathologies, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

War is with us more than ever. This is true despite the efforts of the United Nations Charter to ban the concept of war from the vocabulary of its member states. The preferred term is armed conflict. True, the Charter does refer to the Second World War, but apart from this concession to historically entrenched labels, the W word appears only once-when the Charter refers to ridding the world of the scourge of war. The Geneva Conventions, adopted a few years later, follow the same pattern. George Orwell could not be more amused. We change the vocabulary and think we ...


International Antitrust Negotiations And The False Hope Of The Wto, Anu Bradford Jan 2007

International Antitrust Negotiations And The False Hope Of The Wto, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

Multinational corporations (“MNCs”) operate today in an increasingly open global trade environment. While tariff barriers have collapsed dramatically, several states and numerous scholars have raised concerns that the benefits of trade liberalization are undermined by various non-tariff barriers (“NTBs”) to trade, including the anticompetitive business practices of private enterprise. As a result, demands to link trade and antitrust policies more closely by extending the coverage of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) to incorporate antitrust law have gathered momentum over the last decade.


Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2007

Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Marital names shape our ideas about marriage, about our children, and about our selves. For about a hundred years, American states required married women to take their husbands' names in order to engage in basic civic activities such as voting. While the law no longer requires women to change their names, it still shapes people's decisions about marital names in both formal and informal ways.

For example, the formal legal default rule in most places is that both spouses keep their premarital names. This rule is minoritarian for women, which means it imposes a range of social costs on ...


Judge Richard Posner On Civil Liberties: Pragmatic Authoritarian Libertarian, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2007

Judge Richard Posner On Civil Liberties: Pragmatic Authoritarian Libertarian, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

How do you reconcile a civil liberties opinion like Edmond v. City of Indianapolis, 183 F.3d 659 (7th Cir. 1999) with the anti-civil libertarian positions that Richard Posner advocates in his book Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency (2006)? In Edmond, Judge Posner ruled in favor of a class of plaintiffs challenging the city of Indianapolis' practice of setting up road-blocks to catch drug offenders. The road-blocks had everything going for them. They distributed the costs of enforcement evenly across drivers, interfered minimally with their movement, and invaded only slightly their privacy. In ...


International Union, U.A.W. V. Johnson Controls: The History Of Litigation Alliances And Mobilization To Challenge Fetal Protection Policies, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2007

International Union, U.A.W. V. Johnson Controls: The History Of Litigation Alliances And Mobilization To Challenge Fetal Protection Policies, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court's decision in Johnson Controls is the culmination of a long legal campaign by labor, women's rights, and workplace safety advocates to invalidate restrictions on women's employment based on pregnancy. This campaign powerfully demonstrates the use of amicus briefs as opportunities to link the efforts of groups with overlapping agendas and to shape the Supreme Court's understanding of the surrounding empirical, social and political context. But Johnson Controls also provides important lessons about the narrowing effects and fragility of litigation-centered mobilization. The case affirmed an important anti-discrimination principle but ironically left women (and men ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2007

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars for decades have noted the possibility that standard-form contracts disadvantage consumers. For many years, that literature focused on the idea that sellers with market power draft contracts that are disadvantageous to consumers. Law and economics scholars, however, have been skeptical about that hypothesis, pointing out that a strategy of inefficient terms rarely would be the optimal technique for exploiting market power. In recent years, however, the debate has shifted as new product distribution channels have changed the technology of contracting. Now, even firms without market power can exploit the cognitive failures of their customers through "shrouding" of terms and ...


Legal Determinacy And Moral Justification, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2007

Legal Determinacy And Moral Justification, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

The idea that legal theories seek not only to explain but to evaluate the moral justification of particular areas of law is quite familiar. Yet little attention has been paid to the minimal criteria of adequacy for justificatory legal theories. Whereas many theories claim to identify the moral grounds that justify a particular area of law, such as contracts or torts, none of them explains how its justification determines the outcomes of adjudication governed by the law in that area. In this brief Essay for the William and Mary Law Review Symposium on Law and Morality, I argue that a ...


The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, we have seen an escalation of attacks on the independence of the judiciary. Government officials and citizens who have been upset by the substance of judicial decisions are increasingly seeking to rein in the courts by limiting their jurisdiction over controversial matters, soliciting pre-election commitments from judicial candidates, and drafting ballot initiatives with sanctions for judges who make unpopular rulings. Many of these efforts betray ignorance at best, or defiance at worst, of traditional principles of separation of powers and constitutional protections against tyranny of the majority.

The attacks are fueled in part by the growing influence ...


Of Mutant Copyrights, Mangled Trademarks, And Barbie's Beneficence: The Influence Of Copyright On Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2007

Of Mutant Copyrights, Mangled Trademarks, And Barbie's Beneficence: The Influence Of Copyright On Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. Justice Scalia colorfully warned against resort to trademarks law to achieve protections unattainable by copyright, lest these claims generate "a species of mutant copyright law that limits the public's 'federal right to "copy and to use,"' expired copyrights." The facts of that controversy, in which the claimant appeared to be invoking time-unlimited trademark protection to end-run the exhausted (unrenewed) copyright term in a motion picture, justified the apprehension that unbridled trademark rights might stomp, Godzilla-like, over more docile copyright prerogatives. Unfortunately, in the Court's eagerness to forestall Darwinian disaster ...


The Law School Matrix: Reforming Legal Education In A Culture Of Competition And Conformity, Susan P. Sturm, Lani Guinier Jan 2007

The Law School Matrix: Reforming Legal Education In A Culture Of Competition And Conformity, Susan P. Sturm, Lani Guinier

Faculty Scholarship

The recent energy for reforming legal education focuses on curricular changes that expand students' understanding of what law is, move beyond adjudication and the courtroom, introduce broader forms of knowledge, and develop a wider range of skills. These well-intentioned and carefully analyzed programmatic initiatives may nevertheless founder because of the cultural mismatch between these proposals and the institutions they seek to change.

In this essay we argue that successful reform requires taking account of the culture of competition and conformity that permeates law schools. By culture we mean the incentive structures and peer pressure, dominant rituals and unspoken habits of ...


The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Judicial elections in the United States have undergone a dramatic transformation. For more than a century, these state and local elections were relatively dignified, low-key affairs. Campaigning was minimal; incumbents almost always won; few people voted or cared. Over the past quarter century and especially the past decade, however, a rise in campaign spending, interest group involvement, and political speech has disturbed the traditional paradigm. In the "new era," as commentators have dubbed it, judicial races routinely feature intense competition, broad public participation, and high salience.

This Article takes the new era as an opportunity to advance our understanding of ...


New Frameworks For Racial Equality In The Criminal Law, Jeffery Fagan, Mukul Bakhshi Jan 2007

New Frameworks For Racial Equality In The Criminal Law, Jeffery Fagan, Mukul Bakhshi

Faculty Scholarship

This Symposium, " Pursuing Racial Fairness in the Administration of Justice: Twenty Years After McClesky v. Kemp," was conceived and inspired by Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ted Shaw and his staff worked with Columbia Law School Professor Jeffrey Fagan to recruit an outstanding group of scholars and activists who met on March 2-3, 2007 to hear and comment on the articles appearing in this Symposium. In addition to the authors whose work appears in this issue, many others made important contributions to the Symposium through their commentaries and presentations. These include ...


A Marriage Of Convenience? A Comment On The Protection Of Databases, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2007

A Marriage Of Convenience? A Comment On The Protection Of Databases, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Daniel Gervais concluded his analysis of the protection of databases with three options for the future. I would like to examine a fourth. Let us assume no future flurry of national or supranational legislative activity because the content of databases is in fact already being protected. Not through copyright or sui generis rights, but through other means. Databases are an object of economic value, and they will conveniently wed whatever legal theory or theories will achieve the practical objective of preventing unauthorized exploitation of the works' contents. To beat the marriage metaphor into the ground, I'd like to suggest ...


Foreword: Framing Family Court Through The Lens Of Accountability, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2007

Foreword: Framing Family Court Through The Lens Of Accountability, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

A two-day conference, 'Family Court in New York City in the 21st Century: What Are Its Role and Responsibilities?' was co-hosted by the Justice Center of the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) and Columbia Law School in October 2006. The conference recommendations and working group reports as well as articles and replies are contained in a symposium issue of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, for which this foreword was written. The foreword highlights the central concerns explored during the conference and the pervasive theme of accountability that emerged. Based on this theme, the foreword suggests a ...


Dividend Taxation In Europe: When The Ecj Makes Tax Policy, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2007

Dividend Taxation In Europe: When The Ecj Makes Tax Policy, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This article analyzes a complex line of recent decisions in which the European Court of Justice has set forth its vision of a nondiscriminatory system for taxing corporate income distributed as dividends within the European Union. We begin by identifying the principal tax policy issues that arise in constructing a system for taxing cross-border dividends and then review the standard solutions found in national legislation and international tax treaties. Against that background, we examine in detail a dozen of the Court's decisions, half of which have been handed down since 2006. Our conclusion is that the ECJ is applying ...


Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2007

Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules And The Future Of Marital Names, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

What laws should govern spouses' names at marriage? If a man and a woman marry, should the woman's name change automatically? Or should the woman's name remain the same unless she goes through more or less complicated steps to change it? Contrary to convention, should the man's name change to the woman's? Should both their names be hyphenated? Many variations could be imagined.

The law of marital names has undergone a significant transformation over the past forty years. For about a hundred years of U.S. history, states required married women to take their husbands' names ...


Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen Jan 2007

Tax Expenditures As Foreign Aid, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Few issues in global politics are as contentious as foreign aid – how much rich countries should give, in what ways, to whom. For years, it has been a commonplace that U.S. policies are stingy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) routinely ranks the United States far behind its industrialized peers in official development assistance (ODA), measured as a percentage of gross national income (GNI). An endless parade of critics has implored the government to do more; some suggest that the Bush Administration's support for the Monterrey Consensus, which sets a goal of increasing assistance to 0 ...


Just Until Payday, Ronald J. Mann, Jim Hawkins Jan 2007

Just Until Payday, Ronald J. Mann, Jim Hawkins

Faculty Scholarship

The growth of payday lending markets during the last fifteen years has been the focus of substantial regulatory attention both in the United States and abroad, producing a dizzying array of initiatives by federal and state policymakers. Those initiatives have had conflicting purposes – some have sought to remove barriers to entry while others have sought to impose limits on the business. As is often the case in banking markets, the resulting patchwork of federal and state laws poses a problem when one state is able to dictate the practices of a national industry. For most of this industry's life ...


Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjucation: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus Jan 2007

Transparency And Determinacy In Common Law Adjucation: A Philosophical Defense Of Explanatory Economic Analysis, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Explanatory economic analysis of the common law has long been subject to deep philosophical skepticism for two reasons. First, common law decisions appear to be cast in the language of deontic morality, not the consequentialist language of efficiency. For this reason, philosophers have claimed that explanatory economic analysis cannot satisfy the transparency criterion, which holds that a legal theory's explanation must provide a plausible account of the relationship between the reasoning it claims judges actually use to decide cases and the express reasoning judges provide in their opinions. Philosophers have doubted that the economic analysis has a plausible account ...


Judge Richard Posner On Civil Liberties: Pragmatic Authoritarian Libertarian, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2007

Judge Richard Posner On Civil Liberties: Pragmatic Authoritarian Libertarian, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

How do you reconcile an opinion like Edmond v Goldsmith with the anti-civil-libertarian positions that Richard Posner advocates in his book Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency? The book itself is self-consciously directed against a civil libertarian framework. "The sharpest challenge to the approach that I am sketching," Posner knowingly anticipates, "will come from civil libertarians," by which he means those "adherents to the especially capacious view of civil liberties that is often advanced in litigation and lobbying by the American Civil Liberties Union." In his book, Richard Posner argues in defense of the ...


In Memoriam: Clark Byse, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagan, Andrew L. Kaufman, Todd D. Rakoff, Peter L. Strauss, Richard K. Willard Jan 2007

In Memoriam: Clark Byse, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagan, Andrew L. Kaufman, Todd D. Rakoff, Peter L. Strauss, Richard K. Willard

Faculty Scholarship

The editors of the Harvard Law Review respectfully dedicate this issue to Professor Clark Byse.


Treaties' Domains, Tim Wu Jan 2007

Treaties' Domains, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

When and why do American judges enforce treaties? The question, always important, has become pressing in an age where the United States is party to over 12,000 international agreements. Article VI of the United States Constitution declares "all treaties" the "supreme Law of the Land," and American judges have long had the potential power, under the Constitution, to enforce treaties as they do statutes. But over the history of the United States, judges have not enforced treaties that way. Instead, judicial treaty enforcement is widely seen as unpredictable, erratic, and confusing. As a result, the question of treaty enforcement ...


Abortion, Equality, And Administrative Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2007

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

Faculty Scholarship

Abortion and equality are a common pairing; courts as well as legal scholars have noted the importance of abortion and a woman's ability to control whether and when she has children to her ability to participate fully and equally in society. Abortion and administrative regulation, on the other hand, are a more unusual combination. Most restrictions on abortion are legislatively imposed, while guarantees of reproductive freedom are constitutionally derived, so administrative law does not frequently figure in debates about access to abortion.


Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2007

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers an account of how courts respond to social change, with a specific focus on the process by which courts "tip" from one understanding of a social group and its constitutional claims to another. Adjudication of equal protection and due process claims, in particular, requires courts to make normative judgments regarding the effect of traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or mental retardation on group members' status and capacity. Yet, Professor Goldberg argues, courts commonly approach decisionmaking by focusing only on the 'facts" about a social group, an approach that she terms 'fact-based adjudication." Professor Goldberg critiques ...


Advancing The Rule Of Law: Report On The International Rule Of Law Symposium Convened By The American Bar Association November 9-10, 2005, Katharina Pistor Jan 2007

Advancing The Rule Of Law: Report On The International Rule Of Law Symposium Convened By The American Bar Association November 9-10, 2005, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

The American Bar Association hosted the first International Rule of Law Symposium in Washington, D.C. on November 9-10, 2005. The Symposium brought together representatives from all over the world who share a common interest in advancing the rule of law as a means to tackle major obstacles that hamper social and economic growth and development around the globe. Some were ministers and government officials, others entrepreneurs and business people, yet others represented non-governmental organizations or employees of multilateral donor organizations. The topics addressed at the Symposium were equally far reaching in scope, covering everything from poverty alleviation and improving ...


Developing Markets In Baby-Making: In The Matter Of Baby M, Carol Sanger Jan 2007

Developing Markets In Baby-Making: In The Matter Of Baby M, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I want to explore the Baby M case from a different, less philosophical perspective. The question I pose is simply this: how did the Sterns and the Whiteheads find one another in the first place? After all, apart from their New Jersey location (and a shared fondness for Bruce Springsteen), the two couples had little in common. Mary Beth was a high school dropout; Betsy had a Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Michigan. Rick was a Vietnam vet fighting an ongoing battle with unemployment and alcoholism; Bill led what close friends called "a ...