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

Jurisprudence Commons

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

Public Law and Legal Theory

Series

Institution
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 224

Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

A Truce In The Criminal Law Distributive Principle Wars?, Paul H. Robinson Feb 2020

A Truce In The Criminal Law Distributive Principle Wars?, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Crime-control utilitarians and retributivist philosophers have long been at war over the appropriate distributive principle for criminal liability and punishment, with little apparent possibility of reconciliation between the two. In the utilitarians’ view, the imposition of punishment can be justified only by the practical benefit that it provides: avoiding future crime. In the retributivists’ view, doing justice for past wrongs is a value in itself that requires no further justification. The competing approaches simply use different currencies: fighting future crime versus doing justice for past wrongs.

It is argued here that the two are in fact reconcilable, in a fashion ...


Privative Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2020

Privative Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

“Privative” copyright claims are infringement actions brought by authors for the unauthorized public dissemination of works that are private, unpublished, and revelatory of the author’s personal identity. Driven by considerations of authorial autonomy, dignity, and personality rather than monetary value, these claims are almost as old as Anglo-American copyright law itself. Yet modern thinking has attempted to undermine their place within copyright law and sought to move them into the domain of privacy law. This Article challenges the dominant view and argues that privative copyright claims form a legitimate part of the copyright landscape. It shows how privative copyright ...


Distributive Justice And Rural America, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2020

Distributive Justice And Rural America, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

Today’s discourse on struggling rural communities insists they are “dying” or “forgotten.” Many point to globalization and automation as the culprits that made livelihoods in agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing obsolete, fueling social problems such as the opioid crisis. This narrative fails to offer a path forward; the status quo is no one’s fault, and this “natural” rural death inspires mourning rather than resuscitation. This Article offers a more illuminating account of the rural story, told through the lens of distributive justice principles. The Article argues that rural communities have not just “died.” They were sacrificed. Specifically ...


Public Interest Litigation & Women’S Rights: Cases From Nepal & India, Jordan E. Stevenson Mar 2019

Public Interest Litigation & Women’S Rights: Cases From Nepal & India, Jordan E. Stevenson

2019 Symposium

As a complex, diverse and dynamic region with diverging, constantly changing constitutional and jurisprudential contexts as well as lasting legacies of patriarchy, South Asia’s traditions of public interest litigation are one of the most well-studied institutions by Western audiences due to their contradictory progressive and innovative nature. Particularly in India, where public interest litigation gives ordinary citizens extraordinary access to the highest courts of justice, questions have been raised as to the effectiveness of public interest litigation as a tool to address gender disparities across the region. Although Supreme Court justices have been a key ally in eliminating legal ...


Going "Clear", Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2019

Going "Clear", Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article proposes a new framework for evaluating doctrines that assign significance to whether a statutory text is “clear.” As previous scholarship has failed to recognize, such doctrines come in two distinct types. The first, which this Article call evidence-management doctrines, instruct a court to “start with the text,” and to proceed to other sources of statutory meaning only if absolutely necessary. Because they structure a court’s search for what a statute means, the question with each of these doctrines is whether adhering to it aids or impairs that search — the character of the evaluation is, in other words ...


The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2019

The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Auer deference holds that reviewing courts should defer to agencies when the latter interpret their own preexisting regulations. This doctrine relieves pressure on agencies to undergo costly notice-and-comment rulemaking each time interpretation of existing regulations is necessary. But according to some leading scholars and jurists, the doctrine actually encourages agencies to promulgate vague rules in the first instance, augmenting agency power and violating core separation of powers norms in the process. The claim that Auer perversely encourages agencies to “self-delegate”—that is, to create vague rules that can later be informally interpreted by agencies with latitude due to judicial deference ...


Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

How should we interpret the Constitution? The “positive turn” in legal scholarship treats constitutional interpretation, like the interpretation of statutes or contracts, as governed by legal rules grounded in actual practice. In our legal system, that practice requires a certain form of originalism: our system’s official story is that we follow the law of the Founding, plus all lawful changes made since.

Or so we’ve argued. Yet this answer produces its own set of questions. How can practice solve our problems, when there are so many theories of law, each giving practice a different role? Why look to ...


Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2019

Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article ...


Mcculloch V. Marbury, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Heath Khan Jan 2019

Mcculloch V. Marbury, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Heath Khan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article builds on recent scholarship about the origins and creation of “our Marbury”—the contemporary understanding of the case and its significance—to argue that Marbury is in fact wholly unsuited for the role it plays in Supreme Court rhetoric and academic instruction. While Marbury is generally understood to support aggressive judicial review, or actual invalidation of a government act, it offers no guidance at all for how judicial review should be employed in particular cases—in particular, whether review should be aggressive or deferential. The actual opinion in Marbury makes no effort to justify its lack of deference ...


Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters Jan 2019

Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

After three decades on the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy remains its most widely maligned member. Concentrating on his constitutional jurisprudence, critics from across the ideological spectrum have derided Justice Kennedy as “a self-aggrandizing turncoat,” “an unprincipled weathervane,” and, succinctly, “America’s worst Justice.” We believe that Kennedy is not as bereft of a constitutional theory as common wisdom maintains. To the contrary, this Article argues, his constitutional decisionmaking reflects a genuine grasp (less than perfect, more than rudimentary) of a coherent and, we think, compelling theory of constitutional law—the account, more or less, that one of has introduced in ...


Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan Jan 2019

Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter restates choice theory, which advances a liberal approach to contract law. First, we refine the concept of autonomy for contract. Then we address range, limit, and floor, three principles that together justify contract law in a liberal society. The first concerns the state’s obligation to be proactive in facilitating the availability of a multiplicity of contract types. The second refers to the respect contract law owes to the autonomy of a party’s future self, that is, to the ability to re-write the story of one’s life. The final principle concerns relational justice, the baseline for ...


Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner Jan 2018

Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed an oft-discussed jurisprudential disconnect between itself and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: whether patent claim construction was “legal” or “factual” in nature, and how much deference is due to district court decisionmaking in this area. In this Article, we closely examine the Teva opinion and situate it within modern claim construction jurisprudence. Our thesis is that the Teva holding is likely to have only very modest effects on the incidence of deference to district court claim construction but that for unexpected reasons the ...


Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2018

Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For many decades now, copyright jurisprudence and scholarship have looked to the common law of torts—principally trespass and negligence—in order to understand copyright’s structure of entitlement and liability. This focus on property- and harm-based torts has altogether ignored an area of tort law with significant import for our understanding of copyright law: tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage. This Article develops an understanding of copyright law using tortious interference with a prospect as a homology. Tortious interference with a prospect allows a plaintiff to recover when a defendant's volitional actions interfere with a potential economic ...


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible ...


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...


Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is a fact of life that judges sometimes disagree about the best outcome in appealed cases. The question is what they should make of this. The two purest possibilities are to shut out all other views, or else to let them all in, leading one to concede ambiguity and uncertainty in most if not all contested cases.

Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue that there is a better way. Judges ought to give significant weight to the views of others, but only when those others share the judge’s basic methodology or ...


The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For two hundred years, the equality of creditors norm—the idea that similarly situated creditors should be treated similarly—has been widely viewed as the most important principle in American bankruptcy law, rivaled only by our commitment to a fresh start for honest but unfortunate debtors. I argue in this Article that the accolades are misplaced. Although the equality norm once was a rough proxy for legitimate concerns, such as curbing self-dealing, it no longer plays this role. Nor does it serve any other beneficial purpose.

Part I of this Article traces the historical emergence and evolution of the equality ...


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent ...


Of Law And Other Artificial Normative Systems, Mitchell N. Berman Sep 2017

Of Law And Other Artificial Normative Systems, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Different theories of law are situated within different pictures of our normative landscape. This essay aims to make more visible and attractive one picture that reflects basic positivist sensibilities yet is oddly marginalized in the current jurisprudential literature. The picture that I have in mind tries to vindicate surface appearances. It maintains that the social world is densely populated by countless normative systems of human construction (“artificial normative systems”) whose core functions are to generate and maintain norms (oughts, obligations, powers, rights, prohibitions, and the like). The norms that these systems output are conceptually independent from each other, and may ...


For Legal Principles, Mitchell N. Berman Jun 2017

For Legal Principles, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Most legal thinkers believe that legal rules and legal principles are meaningfully distinguished. Many jurists may have no very precise distinction in mind, and those who do might not all agree. But it is widely believed that legal norms come in different logical types, and that one difference is reasonably well captured by a nomenclature that distinguishes “rules” from “principles.” Larry Alexander is the foremost challenger to this bit of legal-theoretic orthodoxy. In several articles, but especially in “Against Legal Principles,” an influential article co-authored with Ken Kress two decades ago, Alexander has argued that legal principles cannot exist.

In ...


Obligations Versus Rights: Substantive Difference Between Wto And International Investment Law, Chios Carmody Mar 2017

Obligations Versus Rights: Substantive Difference Between Wto And International Investment Law, Chios Carmody

Law Publications

WTO law remains relatively uncontentious whereas international investment law elicits much more debate. This article posits that the differences in reception are attributable to deeper substantive differences about what is protected under each regime. In WTO law what is protected is the sum total of all commitments and concessions under the WTO Agreement, something that can be thought of as a “public” good. When a country injures that good, the remedy is for the country to cease the injury, a requirement that naturally places emphasis on obligation. In international investment law, by contrast, what is protected is individualized to a ...


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be ‘unambiguous’ suddenly becomes ‘less than clear.’ This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize ‘clear’ or ‘unambiguous’ meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to ‘know’ what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to ...


Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese Jan 2017

Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chevron doctrine’s apparent simplicity has long captivated judges, lawyers, and scholars. According to the standard formulation, Chevron involves just two straightforward steps: (1) Is a statute clear? (2) If not, is the agency’s interpretation of the statute reasonable? Despite the influence of this two-step framework, Chevron has come under fire in recent years. Some critics bemoan what they perceive as the Supreme Court’s incoherent application of the Chevron framework over time. Others argue that Chevron’s second step, which calls for courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions, amounts to an abdication ...


The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2017

The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Justice Antonin Scalia was, by the time of his death last February, the Supreme Court’s best known and most influential member. He was also its most polarizing, a jurist whom most students of American law either love or hate. This essay, styled as a twenty-year retrospective on A Matter of Interpretation, Scalia’s Tanner lectures on statutory and constitutional interpretation, aims to prod partisans on both sides of our central legal and political divisions to better appreciate at least some of what their opponents see—the other side of Scalia’s legacy. Along the way, it critically assesses Scalia ...


The Triangle Of Law And The Role Of Evidence In Class Action Litigation, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2017

The Triangle Of Law And The Role Of Evidence In Class Action Litigation, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, a "donning and doffing" case brought under Iowa state law incorporating the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime pay provisions, the petitioners asked the Supreme Court to reject the use of statistical evidence in Rule 23(b)(3) class certification. To its great credit, the Court refused. In its majority opinion, the Court cited both the Federal Rules of Evidence and federal common law interpreting the FLSA. In this paper, I take a moderately deep dive into the facts of the case, and the three opinions penned by Justice Kennedy (for the Court), Chief Justice ...


Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas Aug 2016

Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Far too many reporters and pundits collapse law into politics, assuming that the left–right divide between Democratic and Republican appointees neatly explains politically liberal versus politically conservative outcomes at the Supreme Court. The late Justice Antonin Scalia defied such caricatures. His consistent judicial philosophy made him the leading exponent of originalism, textualism, and formalism in American law, and over the course of his three decades on the Court, he changed the terms of judicial debate. Now, as a result, supporters and critics alike start with the plain meaning of the statutory or constitutional text rather than loose appeals to ...


“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer Feb 2016

“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two decades after Justice Douglas coined “injury in fact” as the token of admission to federal court under Article III, Justice Scalia sealed it into the constitutional canon in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. In the two decades since Lujan, Justice Scalia has thrown increasingly pointed barbs at the permissive standing doctrine of the Warren Court, maintaining it is founded on impermissible recognition of “Psychic Injury.” Justice Scalia and his acolytes take the position that Article III requires a tough minded, common sense and practical approach. Injuries in fact must be "tangible" "direct" "concrete" "de facto" realities in time and ...


Beyond Willful Ignorance, Alexander F. Sarch Jan 2016

Beyond Willful Ignorance, Alexander F. Sarch

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The law allows willful ignorance to substitute for knowledge on the theory that these two mental states are equally culpable. This Article argues that, as a result, the law is also committed to allowing some forms of egregious non-willful ignorance—most importantly, reckless ignorance—to substitute for knowledge when the conditions of equal culpability are met. In addition to developing this theoretical argument, the Article argues that some courts already allow reckless ignorance to substitute for knowledge—namely, in cases governed by the collective knowledge doctrine. Allowing reckless ignorance to substitute for knowledge is thus not unprecedented. What’s more ...


Hate Speech And Double Standards, Thomas M. Keck Jan 2016

Hate Speech And Double Standards, Thomas M. Keck

Political Science

Many European states ban the public expression of hateful speech directed at racial and religious minorities, and an increasing number do so for anti-gay speech as well. These laws have been subjected to a wide range of legal, philosophical, and empirical investigation, but this paper explores one potential cost that has not received much attention in the literature. Statutory bans on hate speech leave democratic societies with a Hobson’s choice. If those societies ban incitements of hatred against some vulnerable groups, they will inevitably face parallel demands for protection of other such groups. If they accede to those demands ...


Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith Jan 2016

Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the United Nations Charter or specific Security Council resolutions authorize nations to use force abroad, and there is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the U.S. Constitution and statutory law allows the President to use force abroad. These are largely separate areas of scholarship, addressing what are generally perceived to be two distinct levels of legal doctrine. This Article, by contrast, considers these two levels of doctrine together as they relate to the United States. In doing so, it makes three main contributions. First, it demonstrates striking ...