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University of Colorado Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Sex Wars As Proxy Wars, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

Sex Wars As Proxy Wars, Aya Gruber

Articles

The clash between feminists and queer theorists over the meaning of sex—danger versus pleasure—is well- trodden academic territory. Less discussed is what the theories have in common. There is an important presumption uniting many feminist and queer accounts of sexuality: sex, relative to all other human activities, is something of great, or grave, importance. The theories reflect Gayle Rubin’s postulation that "everything pertaining to sex has been a ‘special case’ in our culture.” In the #MeToo era, we can see all too clearly how sex has an outsized influence in public debate. Raging against sexual harm has ...


Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2019

Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

International human rights law seeks to eliminate racial discrimination in the world through treaties that bind and norms that transform. Yet law’s impact on eradicating racism has not matched its intent. Racism, in all of its forms, remains a massive cause of discrimination, indignity, and lack of equality for millions of people in the world today. This Article investigates why. Applying a critical race theory analysis of the legal history and doctrinal development of race and racism in international law, Professor Spain Bradley identifies law’s historical preference for framing legal protections around the concept of racial discrimination. She ...


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2018

The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

Scholars of judicial behavior overwhelmingly substantiate the historical presumption that most judges act impartially and independent most of the time. The reality of human behavior, however, says otherwise. Drawing upon untapped evidence from neuroscience, this Article provides a comprehensive evaluation of how bias, emotion, and empathy—all central to human decision-making—are inevitable in judicial choice. The Article offers three novel neuroscientific insights that explain why this inevitability is so. First, because human cognition associated with decision-making involves multiple, and often intersecting, neural regions and circuits, logic and reason are not separate from bias and emotion in the brain. Second ...


Dethroning The Hierarchy Of Authority, Amy J. Griffin Jan 2018

Dethroning The Hierarchy Of Authority, Amy J. Griffin

Articles

The use of authority in legal argument is constantly evolving—both the types of information deemed authoritative and their degree of authoritativeness—and that evolution has accelerated in recent years with dramatic changes in access to legal information. In contrast, the uncontroversial and ubiquitous “hierarchy of authority” used as the cornerstone for all legal analysis has remained entirely fixed. This article argues that the use of the traditional hierarchy as the dominant model for legal authority is deeply flawed, impeding a deeper understanding of the use of authority in legal argument. Lawyers, judges, and academics all know this, and yet ...


Is Legal Scholarship Worth Its Cost?, Paul Campos Jan 2017

Is Legal Scholarship Worth Its Cost?, Paul Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


Judges’ Varied Views On Textualism: The Roberts-Alito Schism And The Similar District Judge Divergence That Undercuts The Widely Assumed Textualism-Ideology Correlation, Scott A. Moss Jan 2017

Judges’ Varied Views On Textualism: The Roberts-Alito Schism And The Similar District Judge Divergence That Undercuts The Widely Assumed Textualism-Ideology Correlation, Scott A. Moss

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Law Review Article, Pierre Schlag Jan 2017

The Law Review Article, Pierre Schlag

Articles

What is a law review article? Does America know? How might we help America in this regard? Here, we approach the first question on the bias: As we have found, a growing body of learning and empirical evidence shows that genres are not merely forms, but forms that anticipate their substance. In this Article, then, we try to capture this action by undertaking the first and only comprehensive “performative study” of the genre of the law review article.

Drawing upon methodological advances and new learning far beyond anything thought previously possible, we investigate “the law review article” qua genre. What ...


Fathers And Feminism: The Case Against Genetic Entitlement, Jennifer S. Hendricks Jan 2017

Fathers And Feminism: The Case Against Genetic Entitlement, Jennifer S. Hendricks

Articles

This Article makes the case against a nascent consensus among feminist and other progressive scholars about men's parental rights. Most progressive proposals to reform parentage law focus on making it easier for men to assert parental rights, especially when they are not married to the mother of the child. These proposals may seek, for example, to require the state to make more extensive efforts to locate biological fathers, to require pregnant women to notify men of their impending paternity, or to require new mothers to give biological fathers access to infants.

These proposals disregard the mother's existing parental ...


Conservatives And The Court, Robert F. Nagel Jan 2017

Conservatives And The Court, Robert F. Nagel

Articles

No abstract provided.


Zero-Tolerance Comes To International Law, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Zero-Tolerance Comes To International Law, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Recovering Forgotten Struggles Over The Constitutional Meaning Of Equality, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Saving The Public Interest Class Action By Unpacking Theory And Doctrinal Functionality, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2016

Saving The Public Interest Class Action By Unpacking Theory And Doctrinal Functionality, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


A Context For Legal History, Or, This Is Not Your Father’S Contextualism, Justin Desautels-Stein Jan 2016

A Context For Legal History, Or, This Is Not Your Father’S Contextualism, Justin Desautels-Stein

Articles

This short essay attempts a systematic rehearsal of the structuralist approach to legal historiography.


International Legal Structuralism: A Primer, Justin Desautels-Stein Jan 2016

International Legal Structuralism: A Primer, Justin Desautels-Stein

Articles

International legal structuralism arrived on the shores of international thought in the 1980s. The arrival was not well-received, perhaps in part, because it was not well-understood. This essay aims to reintroduce legal structuralism and hopefully pave the way for new, and more positive, receptions and understandings. This reintroduction is organized around two claims regarding the broader encounter between international lawyers and critical theory in the ‘80s. The first was a jurisprudential claim about how the critics sought to show how international law was nothing more than a continuation of international politics by other means. The second was a historical claim ...


Structuralist Legal Histories, Justin Desautels-Stein Jan 2015

Structuralist Legal Histories, Justin Desautels-Stein

Articles

This is a contribution to a symposium titled "Theorizing Contemporary Legal Thought." The central theme of the piece is the relation between legal structuralism and legal historiography.


A Pragmatic Approach To Interpreting The Federal Rules, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2015

A Pragmatic Approach To Interpreting The Federal Rules, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


A Few Thoughts On Free Speech Constitutionalism, Helen Norton Jan 2015

A Few Thoughts On Free Speech Constitutionalism, Helen Norton

Articles

No abstract provided.


Foreword: Theorizing Contemporary Legal Thought, Justin Desautels-Stein, Duncan Kennedy Jan 2015

Foreword: Theorizing Contemporary Legal Thought, Justin Desautels-Stein, Duncan Kennedy

Articles

This is a co-authored foreword to a symposium in Law & Contemporary Problems titled "Theorizing Contemporary Legal Thought." It includes a discussion of the background of the project, a brief summary of the articles included in the issue, and a very short statement from Desautels-Stein and Kennedy on the "loss of faith" indicative of Contemporary Legal Thought.


When Theory Met Practice: Distributional Analysis In Critical Criminal Law Theorizing, Aya Gruber Jan 2015

When Theory Met Practice: Distributional Analysis In Critical Criminal Law Theorizing, Aya Gruber

Articles

Progressive (critical race and feminist) theorizing on criminal law exists within an overarching American criminal law culture in which the U.S penal system has become a "peculiar institution" and a defining governance structure. Much of criminal law discourse is subject to a type of ideological capture in which it is natural to assume that criminalization is a valid, if not preferred, solution to social dysfunction. Accordingly, progressives’ primary concerns about harms to minority victims takes place in a political-legal context in which criminalization is the technique of addressing harm. In turn, progressive criminal law theorizing manifests some deep internal ...


How To Do Things With Hohfeld, Pierre Schlag Jan 2015

How To Do Things With Hohfeld, Pierre Schlag

Articles

Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld’s 1913 article, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, is widely viewed as brilliant. A thrilling read, it is not. More like chewing on sawdust. The arguments are dense, the examples unfriendly, and the prose turgid.

“How to Do Things With Hohfeld” is an effort to provide an accessible and sawdust-free account of Hohfeld’s article, as well as to show how and why his analysis of “legal relations” (e.g., right/duty, etc.) matters. Perhaps the principal reason is that the analysis furnishes a discriminating platform to discern the economic and political import of ...


Deciding To Intervene, Anna Spain Jan 2014

Deciding To Intervene, Anna Spain

Articles

Decisions about intervention into today's armed conflicts are difficult, dangerous, and politically complicated. There are no safe choices. Amid the climate of urgency and uncertainty in which intervention decision-making occurs, international law serves as a guide by providing rules about the legality of intervention. These rules assert that, except for in cases of self-defense, choices about when and how to intervene are to be made by the United Nations Security Council. What the rules do not provide, however, is effective guidance for the political choices the Council makes, such as how to prioritize among competing norms. When, for example ...


The Judge And The Drone, Justin Desautels-Stein Jan 2014

The Judge And The Drone, Justin Desautels-Stein

Articles

Among the most characteristic issues in modern jurisprudence is the distinction between adjudication and legislation. In the some accounts, a judge's role in deciding a particular controversy is highly constrained and limited to the application of preexisting law. Whereas legislation is inescapably political, adjudication requires at least some form of impersonal neutrality. In various ways over the past century, theorists have pressed this conventional account, complicating the conceptual underpinnings of the distinction between law-application and lawmaking. This Article contributes to this literature on the nature of adjudication through the resuscitation of a structuralist mode of legal interpretation. In the ...


Trans-Substantivity Beyond Procedure, Suzette M. Malveaux Jan 2014

Trans-Substantivity Beyond Procedure, Suzette M. Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


Classcrits Mission Statement, Justin Desautels-Stein, Angela P. Harris, Martha Mccluskey, Athena Mutua, James Pope, Ann Tweedy Jan 2014

Classcrits Mission Statement, Justin Desautels-Stein, Angela P. Harris, Martha Mccluskey, Athena Mutua, James Pope, Ann Tweedy

Articles

No abstract provided.


Pragmatic Liberalism: The Outlook Of The Dead, Justin Desautels-Stein Jan 2014

Pragmatic Liberalism: The Outlook Of The Dead, Justin Desautels-Stein

Articles

At the turn of the twentieth century, the legal profession was rocked in a storm of reform. Among the sparks of change was the view that "law in the books" had drifted too far from the "law in action." This popular slogan reflected the broader postwar suspicion that the legal profession needed to be more realistic, more effective, and more in touch with the social needs of the time. A hundred years later, we face a similarly urgent demand for change. Across the blogs and journals stretches a thread of anxieties about the lack of fit between legal education and ...


Rethinking Domestic Violence, Rethinking Violence, Aya Gruber Jan 2014

Rethinking Domestic Violence, Rethinking Violence, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.