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Full-Text Articles in Law

Unratified Treaties, Domestic Politics, And The U.S. Constitution, Curtis A. Bradley Aug 2008

Unratified Treaties, Domestic Politics, And The U.S. Constitution, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

Under contemporary treaty practice, a nation's signature of a treaty typically does not make the nation a party to the treaty. Rather, nations become parties to treaties through an act of ratification or accession, which sometimes occurs long after signature. Nevertheless, Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which many commentators regard as reflecting customary international law, provides that when a nation signs a treaty it is obligated to refrain from actions that would defeat the “object and purpose” of the treaty until such time as it makes clear its intent not to become a ...


For Whom The Tel Tolls: Can State Tax And Expenditure Limits Effectively Reduce Spending?, Thad Kousser, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule Jan 2008

For Whom The Tel Tolls: Can State Tax And Expenditure Limits Effectively Reduce Spending?, Thad Kousser, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Ellen Moule

Faculty Scholarship

Can voters stop state governments from spending at high rates through the enactment of tax and expenditure limits (TELs), or do these laws become dead letters? We draw upon the principal-agent literature to theorize that TELs – one of the most frequent uses of the initiative process across the country – may be circumvented by the sorts of elected officials who would inspire their passage.

In order to investigate our claim, we conduct an event study. First, we test for the effectiveness of TELs across states using a differences-in-differences model. Second, we dissect our treatment variable using different legal provisions of the ...


Vote-Trading In International Institutions, Ofer Eldar Jan 2008

Vote-Trading In International Institutions, Ofer Eldar

Faculty Scholarship

There is evidence that countries trade votes among each other in international institutions on a wide range of issues, including the use of force, trade issues and elections of judges. Vote-trading has been criticized as being a form of corruption, undue influence and coercion. Contrary to common wisdom, however, I argue in this paper that the case for introducing policy measures against vote-trading cannot be made out on the basis of available evidence. This paper sets out an analytical framework for analyzing vote-trading in international institutions, focusing on three major contexts in which vote-trading may generate benefits and costs: (1 ...


Agenda Power In The Italian Chamber Of Deputies, 1988-2000, Gary W. Cox, William B. Heller, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2008

Agenda Power In The Italian Chamber Of Deputies, 1988-2000, Gary W. Cox, William B. Heller, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We find strong evidence that governing coalitions in Italy exercise significant negative agenda powers. First, governing parties have a roll rate that is nearly zero, and their roll rate is lower than opposition parties’ roll rates, which average about 20% on all final passage votes. Second, we find that, controlling for distance from the floor median, opposition parties have higher roll rates than government parties. These results strongly suggest that governing parties in Italy are able to control the legislative agenda to their benefit. We also document significantly higher opposition roll rates on decree-conversion bills and budget bills that on ...


Conciliatory Institutions And Constitutional Process In Post-Conflict States, Donald L. Horowitz Jan 2008

Conciliatory Institutions And Constitutional Process In Post-Conflict States, Donald L. Horowitz

Faculty Scholarship

There are two important questions in post-conflict constitution making, and at present neither of them has a definitive or uniformly accepted answer. The first relates to the best configuration of institutions to adopt in order to ameliorate the problem of the intergroup conflict. The second concerns the process most apt to produce the best configuration of institutions, whatever it might be. The first question is unanswered because there is a dispute among scholars and practitioners between two opposing views of appropriate institutions to mitigate conflict. Constitutional processes have not generally been geared to yield coherent exemplars of either configuration in ...


Time For A Twenty-First Century Justice Department, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2008

Time For A Twenty-First Century Justice Department, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

This is a brief contribution to an issue of The Federal Sentencing Reporter directed to criminal justice policy discussions relevant to the 2008 election season. The United States Department of Justice is a uniquely valuable domestic institution. After a period of stunning ascendancy at the end of the last century, the institution has faltered—perhaps as much from strategic neglect as from deliberate diversion of its mission in service of political and foreign policy objectives that most Americans have concluded were misguided. A twenty-first-century executive branch should set as a priority thoughtful consideration of how to confine the powerful tools ...


Self-Execution And Treaty Duality, Curtis A. Bradley Jan 2008

Self-Execution And Treaty Duality, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that, along with the Constitution and laws of the United States, treaties made by the United States are part of the "supreme Law of the Land." At least since the Supreme Court's 1829 decision in Foster v. Neilson, however, it has been understood that treaty provisions are enforceable in U.S. courts only if they are "self-executing." The legitimacy and implications of this self-execution requirement have generated substantial controversy and uncertainty among both courts and commentators. This Article attempts to clear up some of the conceptual confusion relating to the ...