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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ratings Reform: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2011

Ratings Reform: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Although dissatisfaction with the performance of the credit rating agencies is universal (particularly with regard to structured finance), reformers divide into two basic camps: (1) those who see the "issuer pays" model of the major credit ratings firms as the fundamental cause of inflated ratings, and (2) those who view the licensing power given to credit ratings agencies by regulatory rules requiring an investment grade rating from an NRSRO rating agency as creating a de facto monopoly that precludes competition. After reviewing the recent empirical literature on how ratings became inflated, this Article agrees with the former school and doubts ...


Privileges Or Immunities, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2011

Privileges Or Immunities, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

What was meant by the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause? Did it incorporate the U.S. Bill of Rights against the states or did it do something else? In retrospect, the Clause has seemed to have the poignancy of a path not taken – a trail abandoned in the Slaughter-House Cases and later lamented by academics, litigants, and even some judges. Although wistful thoughts about the Privileges or Immunities Clause may seem to lend legitimacy to incorporation, the Clause actually led in another direction. Long-forgotten evidence clearly shows that the Clause was an attempt to resolve a national dispute ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...


Originalism's Race Problem, Jamal Greene Jan 2011

Originalism's Race Problem, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

For all its proponents' claims of its necessity as a means of constraining judges, originalism is remarkably unpopular outside the United States. Recommended responses to judicial activism in other countries more typically take the form of minimalism or textualism. This Article considers why. Ifocus particular attention on the political and constitutional histories of Canada and Australia, nations that, like the United States, have well-established traditions of judicial enforcement of a written constitution, and that share with the United States a common law adjudicative norm, but whose political and legal cultures less readily assimilate judicial restraint to constitutional historicism. I offer ...


Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2011

Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his pioneering work on transaction costs, Ronald Coase presupposed a picture of property as a bundle of government-prescribed use rights. This picture is not only not essential to what Coase was trying to do, but its limitations emerge when we apply Coase’s central insights to analyze the structure of property itself. This leads to what we term the Coase Corollary: in a world of zero transaction costs the nature of property does not matter to allocative efficiency. But as with the Coase Theorem itself, the real point is the implication for a positive transaction cost world: we need ...


Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren Jan 2011

Income Tax Discrimination: Still Stuck In The Labyrinth Of Impossibility, Michael J. Graetz, Alvin C. Warren

Faculty Scholarship

In previous articles, we have argued that European Court of Justice’s reliance on nondiscrimination as the basis for its decisions did not (and could not) satisfy commonly accepted tax policy norms, such as fairness, adminstrability, production of desired levels of revenues, avoidance of double taxation, fiscal policy goals, inter-nation fiscal equity, and so on. In addition, we argued that the Court cannot achieve consistent and coherent results by requiring nondiscrimination in both origin and destination countries for transactions involving the tax systems of more than one member state. We demonstrated that – in the absence of harmonized income tax bases ...


Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2011

Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The volatility of share returns for individual companies increased sharply during the recent financial crisis. The larger part of this increase was due to a dramatic rise – five fold as measured by variance – in idiosyncratic risk. We find that this pattern repeats itself during each major economic reversal going back 85 years. Because idiosyncratic risk is what is involved, this increase cannot be explained by changes in predictions concerning the future course of the economy as a whole.

Our first goal is to explain why difficult economic times, which are defined in terms of market wide phenomena, make the future ...


International Antitrust Cooperation And The Preference For Nonbinding Regimes, Anu Bradford Jan 2011

International Antitrust Cooperation And The Preference For Nonbinding Regimes, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

Today, multinational corporations operate in increasingly international markets, yet antitrust laws regulating their competitive conduct remain national. Thus, corporations are subject to divergent antitrust regimes across the various jurisdictions in which they operate. This increases transaction costs, causes unnecessary delays, and raises the likelihood of conflicting decisions. The risks inherent in multi-jurisdictional regulatory review were prominently illustrated in the proposed GE/Honeywell acquisition, which failed following the European Union’s (“EU”) decision to prohibit the transaction despite its earlier approval in the United States. Inconsistent remedies imposed on Microsoft following parallel investigations by both the U.S. and EU authorities ...


Reading Charles Black Writing: "The Lawfulness Of The Segregation Decisions" Revisited, Kendall Thomas Jan 2011

Reading Charles Black Writing: "The Lawfulness Of The Segregation Decisions" Revisited, Kendall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

The year 2010 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Charles L. Black, Jr.'s "The Lawfulness of the Segregation Decisions." Professor Black's magisterial essay on the Supreme Court's 1954-1955 decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and its companion cases is, by any account, a foundational text in the scholarly literature on race and law in the United States. Black's short but searing defense of Brown introduced ideas and arguments about race, about law, and about the law of race that transformed the field. I can think of no better way to celebrate this inaugural ...


Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2011

Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States’ welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons ...


Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2011

Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Chicago Lakefront, along Grant Park, is internationally regarded as an urban gem. Its development – or, perhaps more accurately, lack of development – has been the result of a series of legal challenges and court rulings, most famously involving the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Illinois Central R.R. v. Illinois (1892), and four decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court, from 1897 to 1910, involving Aaron Montgomery Ward. The former invented the modern public trust doctrine, which continues as much the favorite of environmental groups; the latter involved the now largely forgotten public dedication doctrine. This article begins with a ...


Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta Jan 2011

Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta

Faculty Scholarship

We investigate whether homeowners respond strategically to news of mortgage modification programs. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in modification policy induced by U.S. state government lawsuits against Countrywide Financial Corporation, which agreed to offer modifications to seriously delinquent borrowers with subprime mortgages throughout the country. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we find that Countrywide's relative delinquency rate increased thirteen percent per month immediately after the program's announcement. The borrowers whose estimated default rates increased the most in response to the program were those who appear to have been the least likely to default otherwise, including those with substantial ...


The Genesis Of The Gats (General Agreement On Trade In Services), Juan A. Marchetti, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2011

The Genesis Of The Gats (General Agreement On Trade In Services), Juan A. Marchetti, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The Uruguay Round services negotiations saw the light of day amidst pressures from lobbies in developed countries, unilateral retaliatory actions, and ideological struggle in the developing world. The final outcome, the GATS, certainly characterized by a complex structure and awkward drafting here and there, is not optimal but is an important first step towards the liberalization of trade in services. This article traces the GATS negotiating history, from its very beginning in the late 1970s, paying particular attention to the main forces that brought the services dossier to the multilateral trading system (governments, industries, and academics), and the interaction between ...


Is Internet Exceptionalism Dead?, Tim Wu Jan 2011

Is Internet Exceptionalism Dead?, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Is there such a thing as Internet exceptionalism? If so, just what is the Internet an exception to? It may appear technical, but this is actually one of the big questions of our generation, for the Internet has shaped the United States and the world over the last twenty years in ways people still struggle to understand. The question is not merely academic. The greatest Internet firms can be succinctly defined as those that have best understood what makes the Internet different.


"A Good Man Always Knows His Limitations": Overconfidence In Criminal Offending, Thomas Loughran, Ray Paternoster, Alex R. Piquero, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2011

"A Good Man Always Knows His Limitations": Overconfidence In Criminal Offending, Thomas Loughran, Ray Paternoster, Alex R. Piquero, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

Traditional criminological research in the area of rational choice and crime decisions places a strong emphasis on offenders’ perceptions of risk associated with various crimes. Yet, this literature has thus far generally neglected the role of individual overconfidence in both the formation of subjective risk perceptions and the association between risk and crime. In other types of high risk behaviors which serve as analogs to crime, including stock trading and uncertain business and investment decisions, overconfidence is shown to have a stimulating effect on an individuals’ willingness to engage in these behaviors. Using data from two separate samples, this paper ...


Juvenile Incarceration And The Pains Of Imprisonment, Jeffrey Fagan, Aaron Kupchik Jan 2011

Juvenile Incarceration And The Pains Of Imprisonment, Jeffrey Fagan, Aaron Kupchik

Faculty Scholarship

The nationwide trend to criminalize juvenile delinquency in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in the placement of large numbers of adolescent criminal offenders in adult correctional facilities. Prior research has assessed the consequences of this practice through comparisons of youth in juvenile corrections with youths placed in adult prisons and jails. These studies minimized the pains of imprisonment for youth who continue to be placed in juvenile correctional facilities by comparing their conditions to the more violent and toxic conditions of confinement in adult institutions. In this article, we more carefully assess the conditions of confinement within a broader range ...


Reversible Rewards, Omri Ben-Shahar, Anu Bradford Jan 2011

Reversible Rewards, Omri Ben-Shahar, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

This article offers a new mechanism of law enforcement, combining sanctions and rewards into a scheme of “reversible rewards.” A law enforcer sets up a pre-committed fund and offers it as reward to another party to refrain from violation. If the violator turns down the reward, the enforcer can use the money in the fund for one purpose only - to pay for punishment of the violator. The article shows that this scheme doubles the effect of funds invested in enforcement, and allows enforcers to stop violations that would otherwise be too costly to deter. It argues that reversible rewards could ...


Rules For Growth: Promoting Innovation And Growth Through Legal Reform, Robert E. Litan, Yochai Benkler, Henry N. Butler, John Henry Clippinger, Robert Cook-Deegan, Robert Cooter, Aaron Edlin, Nicole Garnett, Ronald J. Gilson, Oliver Goodenough, Gillian Hadfield, Mark Lemley, Frank Partnoy, George Priest, Larry E. Ribstein, Charles F. Sabel, Peter Schuck, Hal Scott, Robert E. Scott, Alex Stein, Victoria Stodden, John E. Tyler, Alan D. Viard, Benjamin Wittes Jan 2011

Rules For Growth: Promoting Innovation And Growth Through Legal Reform, Robert E. Litan, Yochai Benkler, Henry N. Butler, John Henry Clippinger, Robert Cook-Deegan, Robert Cooter, Aaron Edlin, Nicole Garnett, Ronald J. Gilson, Oliver Goodenough, Gillian Hadfield, Mark Lemley, Frank Partnoy, George Priest, Larry E. Ribstein, Charles F. Sabel, Peter Schuck, Hal Scott, Robert E. Scott, Alex Stein, Victoria Stodden, John E. Tyler, Alan D. Viard, Benjamin Wittes

Faculty Scholarship

The United States economy is struggling to recover from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. After several huge doses of conventional macroeconomic stimulus – deficit-spending and monetary stimulus – policymakers are understandably eager to find innovative no-cost ways of sustaining growth both in the short and long runs.

In response to this challenge, the Kauffman Foundation convened a number of America’s leading legal scholars and social scientists during the summer of 2010 to present and discuss their ideas for changing legal rules and policies to promote innovation and accelerate U.S. economic growth. This meeting led to the publication ...


Adopting, Using, And Discarding Paper And Electronic Payment Instruments: Variation By Age And Race, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2011

Adopting, Using, And Discarding Paper And Electronic Payment Instruments: Variation By Age And Race, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper uses data from the 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice to discuss the adoption, use, and discarding of various common payment instruments. Using a nationally representative sample of individual-level data, it presents evidence in unparalleled detail about how consumers use different payment instruments. Most interestingly, it displays robust evidence of significant age and race-related differences in payments choices. Among other things, it suggests that the range of payment instruments adopted and regularly used by blacks is narrower than that chosen by whites, presumably because of relatively limited access to financial institutions. With regard to age, it documents pervasive ...


The Measure Of A Mac: A Quasi-Experimental Protocol For Tokenizing Force Majeure Clauses In M&A Agreements, Eric L. Talley, Drew O'Kane Jan 2011

The Measure Of A Mac: A Quasi-Experimental Protocol For Tokenizing Force Majeure Clauses In M&A Agreements, Eric L. Talley, Drew O'Kane

Faculty Scholarship

We develop a protocol for using a well known lawyer-coded data set on Material Adverse Change/Effect clauses in acquisitions agreements to tokenize and calibrate a machine learning algorithm of textual analysis. Our protocol, built on both regular expression (RE) and latent semantic analysis (LSA) approaches, is designed to replicate, correct, and extend the reach of the hand-coded data. Our preliminary results indicate that both approaches perform well, though a hybridized approach improves predictive power even more. We employ Monte Carlo simulations show that our results generally carry over to out-of-sample predictions. We conclude that similar approaches could be used ...


"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss Jan 2011

"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law scholars have leveled a forest of trees exploring the mysteries of the Chevron approach contemporary judges take to reviewing law-related aspects of administrative action. Without wishing to deny for a moment that judicial practice has been inconstant – influenced by the importance of the matter, by the accessibility of the issues to non-expert judges, by politics, and by the earned reputations of differing agencies – this short comment suggests an underappreciated, appropriate, and conceptually coherent structure to the Chevron relationship of courts to agencies, a structure whose basic impulse may be captured by the concept of “allocation.” Steering clear of ...


Value: A Menu Of Questions, Joseph Raz Jan 2011

Value: A Menu Of Questions, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper considers some questions arising out of reflection on Finnis's writings about value, exemplifying them by consideration of the putative value of knowledge. They include the role of harmony, and of self-evidence, in identifying or constituting values, and the ways in which values can provide reasons.


Implications Of The Internet For Quasi-Legislative Instruments Of Regulation, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2011

Implications Of The Internet For Quasi-Legislative Instruments Of Regulation, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

It is a quarter century since I began telling my Administrative Law students that they had better be watching the Internet and how agencies of interest to them were using it, as they entered an Information Age career. The changes since then have been remarkable. Rulemaking, where the pace has perhaps been slowest, is now accelerating into the Internet, driven by a President committed to openness and consultation. This paper seeks little more than to point the reader toward the places where she can find the changes and watch them for herself.


Public Sex, Same-Sex Marriage, And The Afterlife Of Homophobia, Katherine M. Franke Jan 2011

Public Sex, Same-Sex Marriage, And The Afterlife Of Homophobia, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

The summer of 2011 marked an important turning-point in the geography and politics of sex: public sex, previously a domain dominated by the specter of a hypersexualized gay man, became the province of the irresponsible, foolish, and self-destructive heterosexual man, such as Anthony Weiner. Meanwhile, homosexuals were busy domesticating their sexuality in the private domain of the family. Just as hetero-sex shamefully seeped out into the open, homo-sex disappeared from view into the dignified pickets of private kinship. In this essay I examine the panic that unfolded in connection with Representative Weiner’s tweets as a kind of afterlife of ...


Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2011

Private Rights In Public Lands: The Chicago Lakefront, Montgomery Ward, And The Public Dedication Doctrine, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

When one thinks of how the law protects public rights in open spaces, the public trust doctrine comes to mind. This is especially true in Chicago. The modem public trust doctrine was born in the landmark decision in Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Illinois, growing out of struggles over the use of land along the margin of Lake Michigan in that city. Yet Chicago's premier park – Grant Park, sitting on that land in the center of downtown Chicago – owes its existence to a different legal doctrine. This other doctrine, developed by American courts in the nineteenth century, holds that ...


Universal Exceptionalism In International Law, Anu Bradford, Eric A. Posner Jan 2011

Universal Exceptionalism In International Law, Anu Bradford, Eric A. Posner

Faculty Scholarship

A trope of international law scholarship is that the United States is an "exceptionalist" nation, one that takes a distinctive (frequently hostile, unilateralist, or hypocritical) stance toward international law. However, all major powers are similarly "exceptionalist," in the sense that they take distinctive approaches to international law that reflect their values and interests. We illustrate these arguments with discussions of China, the European Union, and the United States. Charges of international-law exceptionalism betray an undefended assumption that one particular view of international law (for scholars, usually the European view) is universally valid.


Federalism Under Obama, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2011

Federalism Under Obama, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

At first glance, federalism would seem to have fared poorly under the Obama administration. The administration's signature achievements to date involve substantial expansions of the federal government's role, be it through new federal legislation addressing health insurance and financial sector reform or massive injections of federal spending. Such expansions in the federal government's role frequently translate into restrictions on the states. New federal legislation often preempts prior state regulation, and federal spending often comes with substantial conditions and burdens for the states. Not surprisingly, many state officials have sharply criticized these developments at the federal level, often ...


Agency Threats, Tim Wu Jan 2011

Agency Threats, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

There are three main ways in which agencies regulate: rulemaking; adjudication; and informal tools of guidance, also called nonlegislative or interpretative rules. Over the last two decades, agencies have increasingly favored the use of the last of these three, which can include statements of best practices, interpretative guides, private warning letters, and press releases.

Scholars are hardly unaware of this trend. In a series of papers, writers have explored the use of informal regulation as it affects the relationship between agencies and the federal courts, asking when nonlegislative rules can be challenged as unenforceable for want of process. This Essay ...


Open Service And Our Allies: A Report On The Inclusion Of Openly Gay And Lesbian Servicemembers In U. S. Allies' Armed Forces, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2011

Open Service And Our Allies: A Report On The Inclusion Of Openly Gay And Lesbian Servicemembers In U. S. Allies' Armed Forces, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the wake of the Obama Administration's pledge to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the United States, the Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic undertook a review of how allies of the United States moved from a policy of banning gay and lesbian servicemembers from serving in the armed forces to a policy of allowing these servicemembers to serve openly ("open service"). In documenting this review, this report aims to provide information about the decision to implement open service and the mechanics of the transition to open service in Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United ...


Subsidizing The Press, David M. Schizer Jan 2011

Subsidizing The Press, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Through beat reporting and investigative journalism, reporters monitor the foundational institutions of our society. This reporting has value even to those who never buy a newspaper or read a website. For example, subscribers and nonsubscribers alike benefit when government officials respond to a critical news story by eliminating an abusive practice. Yet unfortunately, the professional press is experiencing a severe economic crisis. Layoffs are pervasive, and news organizations across the nation are on the brink of insolvency. As a result, a number of commentators have proposed government subsidies for the press. Yet if the press becomes financially dependent on the ...