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Full-Text Articles in Law

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Of Politics And Policy: Can The U.S. Maintain Its Credibility Abroad While Ignoring The Needs Of Its Children At Home?—Revisiting The U.N. Convention On The Rights Of The Child As A Transnational Framework For Local Governing, Cleveland Ferguson Oct 2006

Of Politics And Policy: Can The U.S. Maintain Its Credibility Abroad While Ignoring The Needs Of Its Children At Home?—Revisiting The U.N. Convention On The Rights Of The Child As A Transnational Framework For Local Governing, Cleveland Ferguson

ExpressO

The article uses the lens of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework for developing solutions. It compares the world’s approach of using the underpinnings of the Convention to create the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This process represents a positive evolution in international human rights law. Use of the MDGs has met with some success. As a result, the article compares the U.S. go-it-alone approach with that of the collaborative model of the MDGs. Pointing out that child law is primarily state law, the article then discusses the ways in which local governments (cities ...


Democracy Means That The People Make The Law, Gerald Torres Oct 2006

Democracy Means That The People Make The Law, Gerald Torres

New England Journal of Public Policy

Gerald Torres delivered the Robert C. Wood lecture at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston in 2006. This is his talk.


Minding The Gaps: Fairness, Welfare, And The Constitutive Structure Of Distributive Assessment, Robert C. Hockett Sep 2006

Minding The Gaps: Fairness, Welfare, And The Constitutive Structure Of Distributive Assessment, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

Despite over a century’s disputation and attendant opportunity for clarification, the field of inquiry now loosely labeled “welfare economics” (WE) remains surprisingly prone to foundational confusions. The same holds of work done by many practitioners of WE’s influential offshoot, normative “law and economics” (LE).

A conspicuous contemporary case of confusion turns up in recent discussion concerning “fairness versus welfare.” The very naming of this putative dispute signals a crude category error. “Welfare” denotes a proposed object of distribution. “Fairness” describes and appropriate pattern of distribution. Welfare itself is distributed fairly or unfairly. “Fairness versus welfare” is analytically on ...


Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Social contract theorists suggest that society at some level is based on the idea that human people surrender freedom for the privilege of participating in society. That participation implicitly requires more than mere minimal compliance with law. Each human person’s contribution to society above the legal baseline, permits humans to create a society that is at least tolerable. Corporations as non-human act without regard for these supra-legal obligations which results in society suffering injustice. Corporate participation in society has become increasingly unjust and has done so to the extent that we may speak of living in a post-ethical world.


China-Australia Free Trade Agreement New Icing On An Old Cake-An Opportunity For Fair Trade?, Benedict Sheehy, Jackson N. Maogoto Sep 2006

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement New Icing On An Old Cake-An Opportunity For Fair Trade?, Benedict Sheehy, Jackson N. Maogoto

ExpressO

The on-going challenge in economic development and globalization, particularly for developing countries, is the issue of development and equality in society. The issue becomes particularly problematic when confronted in matters of international trade. Often misnamed anti-globalization activists and pro-globalization activists fail to take note of the underlying assumptions that lead them to conflict—namely, the actual costs and benefits to society that result from their particular positions. In essence, both activists are searching for ways to improve the lives of people in the domestic context and to minimize the damage to their society and environment. China’s impressive economic record ...


Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

This article examines the role of the corporate vehicle in the creation of social costs. The article identifies some of the political commitments and philosophies behind the differing notions of corporations. Social costs are those activities which result from business activity and cause uncompensated harm to society. The founding contribution to the law and economics discussion by Ronald Coase is given a thorough treatment. The paper next, turns to the dominant explanation of corporate structure, namely the law and economics model developed expounded by Easterbrook and Fischel. It then applies the theoretical discussion in a case study of the world ...


Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Trade, economists and trade theorists advise, is a mutually beneficial exercise. Among this group, a particular set of advocates, claim that “Free Trade” is in the interest of all parties. As will be demonstrated, Free Trade is not truly “free” but an exercise of foreign policy and the implementation of policies favouring wealthy corporate interest groups. Free Trade is controlled by wealthy nations who have stacked the rules in favour of themselves, and in particular their corporate interests, and against the poor producers in poor nations. This control is used contrary to fairness, economic and ecological logic. Fair trade, by ...


Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson Sep 2006

Radicals In Robes: A Review, Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book about conservative activists in the federal judiciary. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


Parental Consent And Notification Laws In The Abortion Context: Rejecting The "Maturity" Standard In Judicial Bypass Proceedings, Anna Bonny Aug 2006

Parental Consent And Notification Laws In The Abortion Context: Rejecting The "Maturity" Standard In Judicial Bypass Proceedings, Anna Bonny

ExpressO

The choice to become a parent, to give a baby up for adoption, or to terminate a pregnancy presents a life-altering decision for a minor. The majority of states require minors to engage their parents or legal guardians in their choice to obtain an abortion, but not in decisions to give their babies up for adoption or to become parents. Though the Supreme Court has held that parental consent and notification laws do not infringe on a minor's constitutional rights if judicial bypass options are available, the reality of these judicial proceedings demonstrates a biased and unworkable legal avenue ...


The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime, & Sovereign Power, Juliet P. Stumpf Aug 2006

The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime, & Sovereign Power, Juliet P. Stumpf

ExpressO

This article provides a fresh theoretical perspective on the most important development in immigration law today: the convergence of immigration and criminal law. Although the connection between immigration and criminal law, or “crimmigration law,” is now the subject of national debate, scholarship in this area is in a fledgling state. This article begins to fill that void. It proposes a unifying theory – membership theory – for why these two areas of law recently have become so connected, and why that convergence is troubling. Membership theory restricts individual rights and privileges to those who are members of a social contract between the ...


Crisis Bureaucracy: Homeland Security And The Political Design Of Legal Mandates, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar Aug 2006

Crisis Bureaucracy: Homeland Security And The Political Design Of Legal Mandates, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar

ExpressO

Policymakers fight over bureaucratic structure because it helps shape the legal interpretations and regulatory decisions of agencies through which modern governments operate. In this article, we update positive political theories of bureaucratic structure to encompass two new issues with important implications for lawyers and political scientists: the implications of legislative responses to a crisis, and the uncertainty surrounding major bureaucratic reorganizations. The resulting perspective affords a better understanding of how agencies interpret their legal mandates and deploy their administrative discretion. We apply the theory to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Two principal questions surrounding this creation are ...


Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder And Suicide? A Review Of International Evidence, Gary A. Mauser, Don B. Kates Aug 2006

Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder And Suicide? A Review Of International Evidence, Gary A. Mauser, Don B. Kates

ExpressO

The world abounds in instruments with which people can kill each other. Is the widespread availability of one of these instruments, firearms, a crucial determinant of the incidence of murder? Or do patterns of murder and/or violent crime reflect basic socio-economic and/or cultural factors to which the mere availability of one particular form of weaponry is irrelevant?

This article examines a broad range of international data that bear on two distinct but interrelated questions: first, whether widespread firearm access is an important contributing factor in murder and/or suicide, and second, whether the introduction of laws that restrict ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand Jul 2006

The Roberts Court: Year 1, Lori A. Ringhand

ExpressO

This paper is an empirical examination of the recently ended 2005 Supreme Court term. The paper, in addition to reviewing the work of the Court as a whole, also examines the jurisprudence of new justices Roberts and Alito. In doing so, it proposes the intriguing possibility that these two justices may share a jurisprudential approach different from the Court's more established conservatives. If correct, this raises numerous and interesting possibilities for the future of conservativism on the Supreme Court.


The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth Jul 2006

The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Any day now, a World Trade Organization panel is expected to rule in a dispute between the U.S. and the EU concerning market access for genetically-engineered foods and crops. This piece, written before the release of the WTO panel's report, analyzes novel systemic issues concerning the impact of WTO law on regulatory design, at both the national and international levels, that are raised by this dispute. These include (1) the application of WTO disciplines to regulatory schemes that require prior governmental approval to protect the environment and public health from newly-introduced products and substances; (2) the role of ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder And Suicide? A Review Of International Evidence, Don B. Kates, Gary A. Mauser Jun 2006

Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder And Suicide? A Review Of International Evidence, Don B. Kates, Gary A. Mauser

ExpressO

The world abounds in instruments with which people can kill each other. Is the widespread availability of one of these instruments, firearms, a crucial determinant of the incidence of murder? Or do patterns of murder and/or violent crime reflect basic socio-economic and/or cultural factors to which the mere availability of one particular form of weaponry is irrelevant?

This article examines a broad range of international data that bear on two distinct but interrelated questions: first, whether widespread firearm access is an important contributing factor in murder and/or suicide, and second, whether the introduction of laws that restrict ...


Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson, Steven Moeller May 2006

Foundations Of Federalism: An Exchange, Randall P. Bezanson, Steven Moeller

ExpressO

Our manuscript entitled "The Foundations of Federalism: An Exchange" is occasioned by the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence which, in our judgment, calls for a broad ranging exploration of the constitutional concept of federalism itself. That exploration takes place in the form of a dialog between us which, while rewritten from its original form, nevertheless reflects our actual exchanges over an 18 month period. Our conclusion is that such terms as "sovereignty" generally have no place in American constitutional federalism, that the Supreme Court's efforts to enforce federalism limitations have been ineffective and, in some instances, counterproductive, and most ...


Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson May 2006

Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book entitled Radicals in Robes. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis, this essay offers ...


Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman May 2006

Review Essay: Using All Available Information, Max Huffman

ExpressO

This is a review essay entitled “Using All Available Information,” in which I review and comment on Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, published in September 2005. Justice Breyer’s book, adapted from the Tanner Lectures given in 2005 at Harvard Law School, serves partly as a response to Justice Scalia’s 1997 volume A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law. I review Justice Breyer’s book in part by comparison to and contrast with Justice Scalia’s. I propose that much about Justice Breyer’s interpretive philosophy, which centers on determining ...


The World Bank And The Ideology Of Reform In International Development Discourse, Joel M. Ngugi May 2006

The World Bank And The Ideology Of Reform In International Development Discourse, Joel M. Ngugi

ExpressO

Does the current development reform agenda, especially the one operationalized by the World Bank, is Ideological? If so, does it matter? These are the two questions that animate this article. In answering both questions in the affirmative, the article first demonstrates how the current development reform agenda is Ideological. It then discusses why and how it matters that the development reform agenda is Ideological. First, the article argues that Ideological rendering of the development reform agenda effectively weakens the ability of Third World countries to articulate their economic and foreign policies in ways that would benefit their citizenry the most ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


Making Our Congressional Elections More Competitive: A Proposal For A Limited Number Of Statewide At Large Elections In Our More Populous States, Walter M. Frank May 2006

Making Our Congressional Elections More Competitive: A Proposal For A Limited Number Of Statewide At Large Elections In Our More Populous States, Walter M. Frank

ExpressO

Competitive elections for the House of Representatives are at an all time low. Law professors, political scientists and political analysts all along the political spectrum believe that the current situation not only makes for unaccountable legislators and an uneducated electorate but is also slowly poisoning our politics by making government needlessly ideological and partisan. Unfortunately, most of the proposed remedies call for reforms at the state level that in any event do not hold out the prospect of changing the current pattern in the future. This article proposes federal legislation to deal with this problem through the creation of statewide ...


Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater May 2006

Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Surveying the history of citizen environmentalism in the context of environmental law and politics over the past fifty years, this essay hypothesizes five different categories of corporate, governmental, political, and individual actions that deserve to be called “dumb,” and the societal lessons that have been or could be learned from each. If there is truth to the wistful aphorism that “we learn from our mistakes,” then our society is in position to learn a great deal about our world and how it works, which perhaps provides some ground for hope for the years to come. Environmentalism embodies fundamentally rational and ...


Separating Rhetoric From Reality: A Political And Statistical Look At Federal Judicial Confirmation Delays, Marvin L. Longabaugh Apr 2006

Separating Rhetoric From Reality: A Political And Statistical Look At Federal Judicial Confirmation Delays, Marvin L. Longabaugh

ExpressO

In this article, I conduct a statistical analysis of confirmation delays in the ratification of appointments to the federal bench. Section II discusses the history of confirmation delays and some of the political factors that have caused these delays. Section III assesses the effect of factors such as age, education, ethnic origin, and political control of the U.S. Senate on 614 District Court appointments between 1985 and 2000. Section IV conducts a similar analysis on 362 Circuit Court appointments between 1961 and 2000. Last, Section V similarly scrutinizes all 110 Supreme Court appointments from 1789 through 2000.


Any Place For Ethnicity? The Liberal State And Immigration, David Abraham Apr 2006

Any Place For Ethnicity? The Liberal State And Immigration, David Abraham

ExpressO

When it comes to immigration, almost all liberal states are faced with the contradiction between their universalist principles and the real affinities they feel for ethnic kinsmen. This review essay (4000 words) addresses the different ways a number of liberal democracies have handled this dilemma.


The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler Apr 2006

The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

“Solidarity,” a term not overly familiar to Americans, sometimes seems to have as many meanings as it has users. The concept became incorporated into American thought during the 19th and 20th century waves of Catholic and Jewish immigration. It provides a European vision of communitarian social order that competes with the “unencumbered self”—America’s unique brand of individualism. Among philosophers, politicians, religious thinkers, and social activists, solidarity theory sought to redefine the then-prevailing views of social bonds. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American labor movement, which espouses as its core values the principles of unity and ...