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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Is The First Amendment Entrenched? Rawls’ Curious Claim, Gordon D. Ballingrud Dec 2013

Is The First Amendment Entrenched? Rawls’ Curious Claim, Gordon D. Ballingrud

Gordon D Ballingrud

. This paper addresses a claim made by John Rawls in Lecture VI of Political Liberalism: any American constitutional amendment, ratified through Article V, which overturned the First Amendment would be illegitimate and justly ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Addressing the apparent contradiction that a duly enacted constitutional amendment can be unconstitutional, this paper reconstructs and critiques Rawls claim along two lines. First, I address Rawls’ philosophical claim as to the de facto entrenchment of the First Amendment, and the mechanisms that Rawls implicitly and explicitly purports to entrench it. I also address the claim that a First Amendment repeal ...


What Do We Worry About When We Worry About Price Discrimination? The Law And Ethics Of Using Personal Information For Pricing, Akiva A. Miller Nov 2013

What Do We Worry About When We Worry About Price Discrimination? The Law And Ethics Of Using Personal Information For Pricing, Akiva A. Miller

Akiva A Miller

New information technologies have dramatically increased sellers’ ability to engage in retail price discrimination. Debates over using personal information for price discrimination frequently treat it as a single problem, and are not sufficiently sensitive to the variety of price discrimination practices, the different kinds of information they require in order to succeed, and the different ethical concerns they raise. This paper explores the ethical and legal debate over regulating price discrimination facilitated by consumers’ personal information. Various kinds of “privacy remedies”—self-regulation, technological fixes, state regulation, and legislating private causes of legal action—each have their place. By drawing distinctions ...


The Commons, Capitalism, And The Constitution, George Skouras Oct 2013

The Commons, Capitalism, And The Constitution, George Skouras

George Skouras

Thesis Summary: the erosion of the Commons in the United States has contributed to the deterioration of community and uprooting of people in order to meet the dynamic demands of capitalism. This article suggests countervailing measures to help remedy the situation.


Taxation Without Limitation: The Prohibited Pretext Doctrine V. The Sebelius Theory, Brett W. Hastings Oct 2013

Taxation Without Limitation: The Prohibited Pretext Doctrine V. The Sebelius Theory, Brett W. Hastings

Brett W Hastings

The Article posits that the Supreme Court erred in its ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act by overlooking a well established constitutional principle, dubbed the Prohibited Pretext Doctrine. This doctrine, which prohibits the exercise of a prohibited power through the pretextual use of a power granted, faded from memory due to the post Lochner era expansion of the Commerce Clause. Nevertheless, the doctrine remains valid law. In overlooking the Prohibited Pretext Doctrine, the Supreme Court established a new and contradictory doctrine, dubbed the Sebelius Theory. The Sebelius Theory turns the Prohibited Pretext Doctrine on its head by explicitly allowing the ...


Islamic Flextime, Liaquat Ali Khan Aug 2013

Islamic Flextime, Liaquat Ali Khan

Ali Khan

Islamic flextime is derived from a divine decree that convenience is the organizing principle of cosmic construction. Rigid temporal frameworks restrict freedom and may even impede human happiness, social harmony, and economic efficiency. This essay explains the foundation of Islamic temporality. Islam teaches that human beings can use temporality but they have no control over time, just as they can benefit from sunlight but cannot conquer the sun. A flexible notion of temporality facilitates the performance of obligations, without repudiating the core concepts of punctuality and time commitments. Islamic flextime is an accommodation principle that respects individual needs and mitigates ...


Activism, Attitudes, And The Citation Of Precedent In Supreme Court Opinions, Robert R. Robinson Aug 2013

Activism, Attitudes, And The Citation Of Precedent In Supreme Court Opinions, Robert R. Robinson

Robert R Robinson

Adherence to precedent provides a legitimizing function for judges. Recent scholarship supports this contention, demonstrating that Supreme Court justices are more likely to cite well-grounded precedent when their opinions face greater scrutiny. In this paper, I continue this line of research by examining whether citation practice varies along individual-level characteristics such as judicial ideology, a propensity for activism, judicial background, and judicial roles. I find that most individual-level factors have little or no impact on how justices ground their opinions in prior precedent, with the exception of judicial activism, which has a moderate negative impact on the centrality of the ...


Valuing Our Discordant Constitutional Discourse: Autonomous-Text Constitutionalism And The Jewish Legal Tradition, Shlomo C. Pill Aug 2013

Valuing Our Discordant Constitutional Discourse: Autonomous-Text Constitutionalism And The Jewish Legal Tradition, Shlomo C. Pill

Shlomo C. Pill

This paper considers the viability of autonomous-text constitutionalism, a constitutional interpretive and adjudicative theory based on Hans Georg-Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics. As the paper explains, this theory is premised on the subjectivity of all interpretive activity; it admits the legitimacy of a wide spectrum of reasonable interpretations of the Constitution, each given their unique character by the dialectical merging of experiential horizons between the fixed text and individual interpreter. This theory embraces a plurality of constitutional meanings in theory, limited by the need for unity in national spheres of constitutional practice. Such practical certainty is achieved by our empowering judicial ...


Visual Gut Punch: Persuasion, Emotion, And The Constitutional Meaning Of Graphic Disclosure, Ellen P. Goodman Aug 2013

Visual Gut Punch: Persuasion, Emotion, And The Constitutional Meaning Of Graphic Disclosure, Ellen P. Goodman

ellen p. goodman

The ability of government to “nudge” with information mandates, or merely to inform consumers of risks, is circumscribed by First Amendment interests that have been poorly articulated in the relevant law and commentary. New graphic cigarette warning labels supplied courts with the first opportunity to assess the informational interests attending novel forms of product disclosures. The D.C. Circuit enjoined them as unconstitutional, compelled by a narrative that the graphic labels converted government from objective informer to ideological persuader, shouting its warning to manipulate consumer decisions. This interpretation will leave little room for graphic disclosure and is already being used ...


Daddy Warriors: The Battle To Equalize Paternity Leave In The United States By Breaking Gender Stereotypes; A Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Analysis, Abraham Z. Melamed Jul 2013

Daddy Warriors: The Battle To Equalize Paternity Leave In The United States By Breaking Gender Stereotypes; A Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Analysis, Abraham Z. Melamed

Abraham Z Melamed

No abstract provided.


The Concept Of Objectivity In The Uk Supreme Court Through A Comparative Looking Glass, Vito Breda Jul 2013

The Concept Of Objectivity In The Uk Supreme Court Through A Comparative Looking Glass, Vito Breda

Vito Breda

This essay reports on the result of hermeneutical research entitled Objectivity in the UK Judicial Discourse. The concept of objectivity generates a plurality of analysis. For instance, in legal theory, MacCormick suggests the possibility of an objective interpretation of cases. Objectivity in the UK Judicial Discourse focuses on the interpretation of the concept by common law judges. In particular, the project sought to map out the cluster of interpretations (and arguments derived therefrom) on the concept of objectivity by the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court. The result of the study shows that within UK law there is ...


U.S. Institutionalized Torture With Impunity: Examining Rape And Sexual Abuse In Custody Through The Icty Jurisprudence, Allison Rogne Jul 2013

U.S. Institutionalized Torture With Impunity: Examining Rape And Sexual Abuse In Custody Through The Icty Jurisprudence, Allison Rogne

Allison Rogne

It is a well-established principle, both domestically and internationally, that rape is torture when suffered as part of confinement. It is also well documented, both domestically and internationally, that rape is rampant in U.S. prisons. And it is well established, both domestically and internationally, that those who torture should not do so with impunity, that that impunity is an affront to civilization and the human rights principles to which we all strive. And yet, in U.S. prisons, shocking numbers of women are systematically raped and sexually abused by those that would rehabilitate them. Female prisoners are victims of ...


The Issue Is Being Intersex: The Current Standard Of Care Is A Result Of Ignorance, And It Is Amazing What A Little Analysis Can Conclude., Marla J. Ferguson Jun 2013

The Issue Is Being Intersex: The Current Standard Of Care Is A Result Of Ignorance, And It Is Amazing What A Little Analysis Can Conclude., Marla J. Ferguson

marla j ferguson

The Constitution was written to protect and empower all citizens of the United States, including those who are born with Disorders of Sex Development. The medical community, as a whole, is not equipped with the knowledge required to adequately diagnose or treat intersex babies. Intersex simply means that the baby is born with both male and female genitalia. The current method that doctors follow is to choose a sex to assign the baby, and preform irreversible surgery on them without informed consent. Ultimately the intersex babies are mutilated and robbed of many of their fundamental rights; most notably, the right ...


A Beautiful Life: Some Lessons For Legal Scholars, F.E. Guerra-Pujol Jun 2013

A Beautiful Life: Some Lessons For Legal Scholars, F.E. Guerra-Pujol

F.E. Guerra-Pujol

The author reviews Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman (Adelman, Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman, Princeton University Press, 2013). In particular, the author considers three episodes in Hirschman's life that not only expose the secret life of the scholar but also offer important lessons about law and legal scholarship generally.


Constitutional Patriotism: A Reasonable Theory Of Radical Democracy?, Vito Breda May 2013

Constitutional Patriotism: A Reasonable Theory Of Radical Democracy?, Vito Breda

Vito Breda

Since its first appearance just over a decade ago, Habermas's constitutional patriotism has inspired a rich and articulate series of theoretical analyses and has indirectly encouraged constitutional projects such as the Constitution for Europe. The popularity of constitutional patriotism among political and constitutional theorists has, however, also generated some confusion over the aims and basic structure of Habermas's endeavour. For instance, it is unclear whether constitutional patriotism ought to be considered a constitutional or political theory. This paper seeks to clarify some of the misunderstandings surrounding constitutional patriotism. It will contend that the theory is, at its core ...


If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: State V. Mbacke's Attempted Fusion Of Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence And The Implications For North Carolina's Citizens, Lynn E. Roberts Iii May 2013

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: State V. Mbacke's Attempted Fusion Of Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence And The Implications For North Carolina's Citizens, Lynn E. Roberts Iii

Lynn E Roberts III

No abstract provided.


The Right To Life Of The Unborn Child And The Case Artavia Murillo And Others V. Costa Rica, Emercio J. Aponten Núñez Phd May 2013

The Right To Life Of The Unborn Child And The Case Artavia Murillo And Others V. Costa Rica, Emercio J. Aponten Núñez Phd

Emercio J Aponten Núñez PHD

No abstract provided.


Critical Tax Policy: A Pathway To Reform?, Nancy J. Knauer Apr 2013

Critical Tax Policy: A Pathway To Reform?, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The Global Recession of 2008 and ensuing austerity measures have renewed the urgency surrounding the call for fundamental tax reform. Before embarking on fundamental tax reform, this Article proposes adding a critical lens to existing US tax policy to ensure that any proposals for change are informed, transparent, and responsive to the needs (and abilities) of individual taxpayers. This Article makes the case for a specific method of inquiry – Critical Tax Policy – that is built on the articulation of difference rather than false assumptions of sameness. Critical Tax Policy incorporates the insights of a growing international tax equity movement that ...


Rescuing Access To Patented Essential Medicines: Pharmaceutical Companies As Tortfeasors Under The Prevented Rescue Tort Theory, Richard Cameron Gower Apr 2013

Rescuing Access To Patented Essential Medicines: Pharmaceutical Companies As Tortfeasors Under The Prevented Rescue Tort Theory, Richard Cameron Gower

Richard Cameron Gower

Despite some difficulties, state tort law can be argued to create a unique exception to patent law. Specifically, the prevented rescue doctrine suggests that charities and others can circumvent patents on certain critical medications when such actions are necessary to save individuals from death or serious harm. Although this Article finds that the prevented rescue tort doctrines is preempted by federal patent law, all hope is not lost. A federal substantive due process claim may be brought that uses the common law to demonstrate a fundamental right that has long been protected by our Nation’s legal traditions. Moreover, this ...


At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson Mar 2013

At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson

Lisa Tripp

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T v. Concepcion is the first case where the Supreme Court explores the interplay between state law unconscionability doctrine and the vast preemptive power of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Although it is considered by many to be a landmark decision which has the potential for greatly expanding the already impressive preemptive power of the FAA, something is amiss with Concepcion.

AT&T v. Concepcion is ostensibly a 5-4 majority decision with a concurring opinion. However, the differences in the majority and concurring opinions are so profound that it appears that Justice Thomas actually concurred in the judgment only, even though he joined the putative majority opinion. This raises serious philosophical questions about jurisprudence, what is necessary to create a rule of law in the American legal system, and the precedential value of Concepcion itself.

Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion and provided the fifth vote, but wrote a concurring opinion that explicitly rejected the legal reasoning of the majority opinion in its entirety. The putative majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia allows that unconscionability can be a valid defense to the enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate, but in Concepcion, allowing California to apply its unconscionability doctrine (the Discover Bank rule) would frustrate the purposes and objectives of Congress in enacting the FAA. For these reasons the Scalia opinion found the law was preempted.

Justice Thomas, in contrast, does not believe that unconscionability can ever be a basis to invalidate an agreement to arbitrate and he reaffirmed his emphatic position articulated in Wyeth v. Levine that “[t]his Court’s entire body of purposes and objectives preemption jurisprudence is inherently flawed. The cases improperly rely on legislative history, broad atextual notions of congressional purpose, and even congressional inaction in order to pre-empt state law.”

Justice Thomas’s conclusion that the law was preempted turned on the text of the statute which he interprets as not allowing unconscionability-based defenses to preemption. Justice Thomas has reaffirmed his rejection of purposes and objectives preemption in cases decided after Concepcion. This means, looking at the substance of the opinions, that there are but four votes for the deciding rationale articulated in the Scalia opinion and there is not a single common denominator that the Scalia and Thomas opinions share, except that they agree on the result.

The Concepcion Court is, in substance, equally divided. Four members found that California’s unconscionability doctrine frustrated the purposes and objectives of the FAA, four in the dissent thought the law did not frustrate the purposes and objectives of the FAA, and one found that the purposes and objectives of Congress were immaterial to the resolution of the case.

How should lower courts react to an equally divided court in this situation? Does a Justice’s decision to join an opinion create a governing rule of law under these unusual circumstances? Can governing rules of law be created in the absence of a majority for the deciding rationale? Is a Justice’s labeling of an opinion as a regular concurrence dispositive or does its substance dictate the precedential value it is given?

The authors’ argue that the Supreme Court provided the answer to these questions over 100 years ago in Hertz v. Woodman:

Under the precedents of this court, and, as seems justified by reason as well as by authority, an affirmance by an equally divided court is, as between the parties, a conclusive determination and adjudication of the matter adjudged; but the principles of law involved not having been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting prevents the case from becoming an authority for the determination of other cases, either in this or in inferior courts.

Under any rational reading of the opinions, there can be no doubt that “the principles of law involved [have not] been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting” and this should “prevent[] the case from becoming authority for the determination of other cases, either in [the Supreme Court] or in inferior courts ...


Deciding Who Decides: Searching For A Deference Standard When Agencies Preempt State Law, John R. Ablan Mar 2013

Deciding Who Decides: Searching For A Deference Standard When Agencies Preempt State Law, John R. Ablan

John R Ablan

When a federal agency determines that the statute that it administers or regulations it has promulgated preempt state law, how much deference must a federal court give to that determination? In Wyeth v. Levine, the Supreme Court expressly declined to decide what standard of deference courts should apply when an agency makes a preemption determination pursuant to a specific congressional delegation to do so. Under this circumstance, this Article counsels against applying any single deference standard to an agency’s entire determination. Instead, it observes that preemption determinations are a complex inquiry involving questions of federal law, state law, and ...


Introduction To The Theory Of Law: History And The Unity Of Legal Things, John Lunstroth Feb 2013

Introduction To The Theory Of Law: History And The Unity Of Legal Things, John Lunstroth

John Lunstroth

I propose a general theory of the law. I begin with the history of the western legal tradition. When tracing laws, or legal things, over long periods of time it is apparent that the positivist theory is inadequate to describe law. Natural law similarly fails to explain what is seen in the historical record. I suggest an historicist theory best describes the law when seen as a conceptual and historical whole. I then identify a fundamental break in the historical record, the Enlightenment, when the scientific worldview became dominant. The scientific gaze splits nature (including law) into two parts, moral ...


Presumed Imminence: Judicial Risk Assessment In The Post-9/11 World, Avidan Cover Feb 2013

Presumed Imminence: Judicial Risk Assessment In The Post-9/11 World, Avidan Cover

Avidan Cover

Court opinions in the terrorism context are often distinguished by fact finding that relates to risk assessment. These risk assessments‑inherently policy decisions‑are influenced by cultural cognition and by cognitive errors common to probability determinations, particularly those made regarding highly dangerous and emotional events. In a post-9/11 world, in which prevention and intelligence are prioritized over prosecution, courts are more likely to overstate the potential harm, neglect the probability, and presume the imminence of terrorist attacks. As a result courts apt to defer to the government and require less evidence in support of measures that curtail civil liberties ...


Judicialization Of Socio-Economic Rights In Brazil: The Subversion Of An Egalitarian Discourse, Vanice L. Valle Feb 2013

Judicialization Of Socio-Economic Rights In Brazil: The Subversion Of An Egalitarian Discourse, Vanice L. Valle

Vanice L. Valle

This article describes the historical origins of the Brazilian constitutional frame of socio-economic rights, and the political context that lead to their enforcement through the Judiciary. Based in a particular constitutional text that asserts socioeconomic rights’ immediate enforceability, the present theoretical comprehension is that they establish the State’s obligation to provide goods and services. The consequence is an intense judicialization of rights such as health, education and housing, which results in a wide exercise of judicial activism in controlling public policies – with the Judiciary renouncing to the objective rational criteria consubstantiated in the law, and to an approach that ...


Originalism And The Necessary And Proper Clause, John T. Valauri Feb 2013

Originalism And The Necessary And Proper Clause, John T. Valauri

John T. Valauri

This article analyzes a largely unacknowledged and, therefore, unsolved problem in constitutional theory and doctrine—the problem of multiplicity of meanings (i.e., encountering multiple conflicting meanings in practice when your doctrine or theory postulates just one). It does this by examining and comparing the debate over the meaning of the Necessary and Proper Clause in constitutional doctrine and the New Originalism’s notion of original public meaning in constitutional theory in order to help us get beyond the false and misleading assumptions underlying and motivating the myth of unitary meaning. It contrasts the role of the public and the ...


“Nixon’S Sabotage”: How Politics Pushed The “Discriminatory Purpose” Requirement Into Equal Protection Law, Danieli Evans Feb 2013

“Nixon’S Sabotage”: How Politics Pushed The “Discriminatory Purpose” Requirement Into Equal Protection Law, Danieli Evans

Danieli Evans

This article describes the way that politics—resistance from the elected branches coupled with President Nixon appointing Chief Justice Burger—shaped the Court’s unanimous decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), a school desegregation case that played a crucial role in limiting the forms of state action considered unconstitutional discrimination. Chief Justice Burger defied longstanding Supreme Court procedure to assign himself the majority opinion even though he disagreed with the majority outcome. Justice Douglas alleged that he did this “in order to write Nixon’s view of freedom of choice into the law.” Justice Burger’s ...


Render Unto Rawls: Law, Gospel, And The Evangelical Fallacy, Wayne Barnes Feb 2013

Render Unto Rawls: Law, Gospel, And The Evangelical Fallacy, Wayne Barnes

Wayne Barnes

There are many voices in American politics claiming that various candidates, laws and policies are necessitated by a “Christian” worldview. Many of these voices use explicit public rhetoric that their position is the one compelled by “Christian” principles. Although religious voices have been present in the United States since its founding, the volume and urgency of the voices seems to have increased dramatically in the last several decades, during the so-called “culture wars.” These voices famously come from the Christian Religious Right, advocating socially conservative laws on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. But there are also voices from ...


Timeless Trial Strategies And Tactics: Lessons From The Classic Claus Von Bülow Case, Daniel M. Braun Feb 2013

Timeless Trial Strategies And Tactics: Lessons From The Classic Claus Von Bülow Case, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

In this new Millennium -- an era of increasingly complex cases -- it is critical that lawyers keep a keen eye on trial strategy and tactics. Although scientific evidence today is more sophisticated than ever, the art of effectively engaging people and personalities remains prime. Scientific data must be contextualized and presented in absorbable ways, and attorneys need to ensure not only that they correctly understand jurors, judges, witnesses, and accused persons, but also that they find the means to make their arguments truly resonate if they are to formulate an effective case and ultimately realize justice. A decades-old case is highly ...


The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun Jan 2013

The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

The rise of modern mass tort litigation in the U.S. has transformed punitive damages into something of a “hot button” issue. Since the size of punitive damage awards grew so dramatically in the past half century, this private law remedy has begun to involve issues of constitutional rights that traditionally pertained to criminal proceedings. This has created a risky interplay between tort and criminal law, and courts have thus been trying to find ways to properly manage punitive damage awards. The once rapidly expanding universe of punitive damages is therefore beginning to contract. There remain, however, very serious difficulties ...