Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Review

Law and Politics

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many have argued that the United States' two major political parties have experienced "asymmetric polarization" in recent decades: The Republican Party has moved significantly further to the right than the Democratic Party has moved to the left. The practice of constitutional hardball, this Essay argues, has followed a similar – and causally related – trajectory. Since at least the mid-1990s, Republican officeholders have been more likely than their Democratic counterparts to push the constitutional envelope, straining unwritten norms of governance or disrupting established constitutional understandings. Both sides have done these things. But contrary to the apparent assumption of some legal scholars, they ...


The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of rulings that demonstrate the degree to which the First Amendment can be used to thwart economic and social welfare regulation – generating widespread accusations that the Court has created a "new Lochner." This introduction to the Columbia Law Review's Symposium on Free Expression in an Age of Inequality takes up three questions raised by these developments: Why has First Amendment law become such a prominent site for struggles over socioeconomic inequality? Does the First Amendment tradition contain egalitarian elements that could be recovered? And what might a ...


Uncivil Obedience, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, David E. Pozen Jan 2015

Uncivil Obedience, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and activists have long been interested in conscientious law-breaking as a means of dissent. The civil disobedient violates the law in a bid to highlight its illegitimacy and motivate reform. A less heralded form of social action, however, involves nearly the opposite approach. As a wide range of examples attest, dissenters may also seek to disrupt legal regimes through hyperbolic, literalistic, or otherwise unanticipated adherence to their formal rules.

This Article asks how to make sense of these more paradoxical protests, involving not explicit law-breaking but rather extreme law following. We seek to identify, elucidate, and call attention to ...


Agencies, Polarization, And The States, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Agencies, Polarization, And The States, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Political polarization is all the rage. Yet administrative agencies are strikingly absent from leading accounts of contemporary polarization. To the extent they appear, it is largely as acted-upon entities that bear the fallout from the congressional-presidential confrontations that polarization fuels, or as the tools of presidential unilateralism. This failure to incorporate administrative agencies into polarization accounts is a major omission. Agencies possess broad grants of preexisting authority that they can use to reshape governing policy and law, often at presidential instigation, thereby putting pressure on Congress to respond. In the process, they can construct new alliances and arrangements that have ...


Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2013

Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

China has experienced a surge in medical disputes in recent years, on the streets and in the courts. Many disputes result in violence. Quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence of medical malpractice litigation and medical disputes in China reveals a dynamic in which the formal legal system operates in the shadow of protest and violence. The threat of violence leads hospitals to settle claims for more money than would be available in court and also influences how judges handle cases that do wind up in court. The detailed evidence regarding medical disputes presented in this Essay adds depth to existing understanding ...


"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss Jan 2012

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

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay suggests an underappreciated, appropriate, and conceptually coherent structure to the Chevron relationship of courts to agencies, grounded in the concept of "allocation." Because the term "deference" muddles rather than clarifies the structure's operation, this Essay avoids speaking of "Chevron deference" and "Skidmore deference." Rather, it argues, one could more profitably think in terms of "Chevron space" and "Skidmore weight." "Chevron space" denotes the area within which an administrative agency has been statutorily empowered to act in a manner that creates legal obligations or constraints – that is, its allocated authority. "Skidmore weight" addresses the possibility that an agency ...


Watchdog Or Demagogue? The Media In The Chinese Legal System, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2005

Watchdog Or Demagogue? The Media In The Chinese Legal System, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Chinese media have emerged as among the most influential actors in the Chinese legal system. As media commercialization and increased editorial discretion have combined with growing attention to social and legal problems, the media have gained incentives to expand their traditional mouthpiece roles in new directions. As a result, the media have emerged as one of the most effective and important avenues of citizen redress. Their role in the legal system, however, has also brought them increasingly into conflict with China's courts.

This Article examines the implications of the media's roles in the ...


Al Capone's Revenge: An Essay On The Political Economy Of Pretextual Prosecution, Daniel C. Richman, William J. Stuntz Jan 2005

Al Capone's Revenge: An Essay On The Political Economy Of Pretextual Prosecution, Daniel C. Richman, William J. Stuntz

Faculty Scholarship

Most analyses of pretextual prosecutions – cases in which prosecutors target defendants based on suspicion of one crime but prosecute them for another, lesser crime – focus on the defendant's interest in fair treatment. Far too little attention is given to the strong social interest in non-pretextual prosecutions. Charging criminals with their "true" crimes makes criminal law enforcement more transparent, and hence more politically accountable. It probably also facilitates deterrence. Meanwhile, prosecutorial strategies of the sort used to "get" Al Capone can create serious credibility problems. The Justice Department has struggled with those problems as it has used Capone-style strategies against ...


The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Recent campaign finance innovations of the major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance regulation. The relationship between parties and candidates also challenges the basic doctrinal categories of campaign finance law. The Constitution permits regulation of campaign finances to deal with the danger of corruption. But some judges and commentators have argued that the parties present no danger of corruption. This Article finds that, although parties play a positive role in funding campaigns, certain party practices raise the specter of corruption in the constitutional sense. Moreover, due to the close connection between parties and candidates ...


Drafting An Effective Greenmail Prohibition, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1988

Drafting An Effective Greenmail Prohibition, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

Hostile tender offers have become a recurrent political issue. In recent years Congress has held seemingly endless hearings on the subject, and by now the testimony has settled into a familiar dialogue. Potential acquirers cast themselves as the embodiment of Adam Smith's invisible hand – their activities energize the market for corporate control with the desirable result of improving the efficiency of corporate management. Management of potential targets, in turn, claim the role of Albert Chandler's visible hand – efficient managers who internalize a function previously carried out by an inefficient market. Their argument is that because the market for ...


The Federal Election Campaign Act And The 1980 Election, Richard Briffault Jan 1984

The Federal Election Campaign Act And The 1980 Election, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

During the 1970's Congress and the Supreme Court paid the most sustained attention in American history to the financing of federal election campaigns. Congress passed a succession of measures, known collectively as the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA" or the "Act"), closely regulating the activities of candidates, parties, private organizations, and individuals in raising and spending campaign money.

Prior to FECA, election finance was largely an extension of the private marketplace. Campaigns were funded through private, voluntary contributions to parties and candidates, with donors contributing to the extent of their interest and wealth, and private economic inequalities were replicated ...