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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Civil Rights For The Twenty-First Century: Lessons From Justice Thurgood Marshall's Race-Transcending Jurisprudence, Sheryll Cashin Jan 2013

Civil Rights For The Twenty-First Century: Lessons From Justice Thurgood Marshall's Race-Transcending Jurisprudence, Sheryll Cashin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Essay pays tribute to justice Thurgood Marshall's race-transcending vision of universal human dignity, and explores the importance of building cross-racial alliances to modern civil rights advocacy. justice Marshall's role as a "Race Man" is evident in much of his jurisprudence, where he fought for years to promote equal opportunity and equal justice. As an advocate for all marginalized people, justice Marshall viewed equal justice as transcending race, and this Essay suggests that the multi-racial coalition that supported President Obama aligns with Marshall's vision. The Essay evaluates the civil rights movement through the lens of Justice Marshall ...


Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores Jan 2013

Natalie Stoljar’S Wishful Thinking And One Step Beyond: What Should Conceptual Legal Analysis Become?, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Praising wishful thinking is a serious risk that the author is willing to run not only in this article commenting of Natalie Stoljar’s work but also elsewhere in his scholarship. The author will analyze her claims and will agree mostly with them, he will also criticize her for stopping one step short adopting the desirability or weaker claim, when in it is not merely possible but necessary to go one step beyond arguing for the necessity or stronger claim. The author intends to present further grounds for endorsing “conceptual (legal) analysis pluralism” by distinguishing the three different inquiry or ...


Communicative Content And Legal Content, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2013

Communicative Content And Legal Content, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay investigates a familiar set of questions about the relationship between legal texts (e.g., constitutions, statutes, opinions, orders, and contracts) and the content of the law (e.g., norms, rules, standards, doctrines, and mandates). Is the original meaning of the constitutional text binding on the Supreme Court when it develops doctrines of constitutional law? Should statutes be given their plain meaning or should judges devise statutory constructions that depart from the text to serve a purpose? What role should default rules play in the interpretation and construction of contracts? This essay makes two moves that can help lawyers ...


Bond V. United States: Can The President Increase Congress's Legislative Power By Entering Into A Treaty?, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz Jan 2013

Bond V. United States: Can The President Increase Congress's Legislative Power By Entering Into A Treaty?, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The proposition that treaties can increase the power of Congress is inconsistent with the text of the Treaty Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Tenth Amendment. It is inconsistent with the fundamental structural principle that "[t]he powers of the legislature are defined, and limited."S It implies, insidiously, that that the President and the Senate can increase their own power by treaty. And it implies, bizarrely, that the President alone--or a foreign government alone--can decrease Congress's power and render federal statutes unconstitutional. Finally, it creates a doubly perverse incentive: an incentive to enter into foreign entanglements ...


Law, Liberty And The Rule Of Law (In A Constitutional Democracy), Imer Flores Jan 2013

Law, Liberty And The Rule Of Law (In A Constitutional Democracy), Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the hunt for a better--and more substantial--awareness of the “law,” The author intends to analyze the different notions related to the “rule of law” and to criticize the conceptions that equate it either to the sum of “law” and “rule” or to the formal assertion that “law rules,” regardless of its relationship to certain principles, including both “negative” and “positive” liberties. Instead, he pretends to scrutinize the principles of the “rule of law,” in general, and in a “constitutional democracy,” in particular, to conclude that the tendency to reduce the “democratic principle” to the “majority rule” (or “majority principle ...


Proportionality In Constitutional And Human Rights Interpretation, Imer Flores Jan 2013

Proportionality In Constitutional And Human Rights Interpretation, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this article the author, in a context in which principles and the principle of proportionality are at the heart not only of jurisprudence but also of constitutional and human rights interpretation, claims that when there were those ready to raise the hand to declare a unanimous winner, some critics and skeptics appeared. In addition, to the traditional objections, they worry that proportionality invites to doing unnecessary balancing between existing rights, inventing new rights out of nothing at all (in detriment of those already well-established ones), and even worse in doing so balancing some rights away. In order to answer ...


The Problem Of Democracy In Contexts Of Polarization, Imer Flores Jan 2013

The Problem Of Democracy In Contexts Of Polarization, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper I argue that contemporary democracies all over the world are more polarized than ever and intend to analyze not only the conditions of possibility of a democracy, in general, and in contexts of polarization, in particular, but also the relationship between democracy and polarization. My claim is that polarization, if certain conditions are met, more than a problem it is a great opportunity to democracy and a greater democratization. Hence, I bring to mind that it was Ronald Dworkin, who recently asked about the conditions of possibility of a democracy and its relationship with polarization by developing ...


Political And Constitutional Obligation, Louis Michael Seidman Jan 2013

Political And Constitutional Obligation, Louis Michael Seidman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In his provocative, courageous, and original new book, "Against Obligation: The Multiple Sources of Authority in a Liberal Democracy," Abner Greene argues that there is “no successful general case for a presumptive (or ‘prima facie’) moral duty to obey the law.” In my own book, "On Constitutional Disobedience," I argue that there is no moral duty to obey our foundational law–the Constitution of the United States. This brief article, prepared for a symposium on the two books to be published by the Boston University Law Review, I address three issues related to these claims. First, I discuss what seem ...


Reconstituting Constitutions—Institutions And Culture: The Mexican Constitution And Nafta: Human Rights Vis-À-Vis Commerce, Imer Flores Dec 2012

Reconstituting Constitutions—Institutions And Culture: The Mexican Constitution And Nafta: Human Rights Vis-À-Vis Commerce, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The aim of this Essay is threefold. First, this Essay will focus on the main characteristics of both the great transformation, experienced in the Mexican institutional economic framework during the last thirty-five years, in general, and within the past twenty years, in particular, that were made through constitutional reforms. In addition, the greater expectation that such structural reforms generated in the process of re-enacting the constitution in the political context, should be along the lines of human rights and separation of powers. Second, this Essay will attempt to bring into play the role of treaties in this transformational process, by ...


Promise Etc., Gregory Klass Jul 2012

Promise Etc., Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article examines the moral obligations contractual agreements generate. It distinguishes a narrow sense of "promise," central to autonomy theories, according to which to promise is to communicate an intention to undertake an obligation by the very communication of that intention. Not every agreement involves promises in this sense. Yet nonpromissory agreements too commonly generate moral obligations. And even when a party promises to perform, her promise need not be the only reason for her moral obligation to do so. Other possible reasons include reliance, an invitation to trust, implicit or explicit, principles of reciprocity, and the harm that nonperformance ...


Bridging International Law And Rights-Based Litigation: Mapping Health-Related Rights Through The Development Of The Global Health And Human Rights Database, Benjamin Mason Meier, Oscar A. Cabrera, Ana Ayala, Lawrence O. Gostin Jun 2012

Bridging International Law And Rights-Based Litigation: Mapping Health-Related Rights Through The Development Of The Global Health And Human Rights Database, Benjamin Mason Meier, Oscar A. Cabrera, Ana Ayala, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, the World Health Organization, and the Lawyers Collective have come together to develop a searchable Global Health and Human Rights Database that maps the intersection of health and human rights in judgments, international and regional instruments, and national constitutions. Where states long remained unaccountable for violations of health-related human rights, litigation has arisen as a central mechanism in an expanding movement to create rights-based accountability. Facilitated by the incorporation of international human rights standards in national law, this judicial enforcement has supported the implementation of rights-based claims ...


The Distinctiveness Of Appellate Adjudication, Heidi Li Feldman Jan 2012

The Distinctiveness Of Appellate Adjudication, Heidi Li Feldman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper concerns two topics which, I hope to show, are vitally connected. One is the distinctive importance of appellate adjudication in the legal system of United States. The other is the workings of entangled concepts in the law. That appellate adjudication is important in some sense may seem obvious to everybody (to a few it will seem obvious that appellate adjudication is unimportant). My point will be that via appellate adjudication courts engineer entangled legal concepts, and it is this aspect of appellate adjudication that is both crucial and unique to it, at least in the U.S. legal ...


Response Essay: Some Observations On Professor Schwartz's "Foundation" Theory Of Evidence, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2012

Response Essay: Some Observations On Professor Schwartz's "Foundation" Theory Of Evidence, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professor David Schwartz's A Foundation Theory of Evidence posits an intriguing new way to look at Evidence. It asserts that offered evidence must meet a tripartite requirement before it can be relevant. The tripartite requirement is that the evidence must be "case-specific, assertive, and probably true." His shorthand for the tripartite requirement is that evidence must be "well founded." Hence, he calls his theory the "foundation theory of evidence" and claims this foundation notion is so central to evidence law that it eclipses in importance even relevance itself. The tripartite requirement inheres in the very concept of evidence and ...


Decarceration Courts: Possibilities And Perils Of A Shifting Criminal Law, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2012

Decarceration Courts: Possibilities And Perils Of A Shifting Criminal Law, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A widely decried crisis confronts U.S. criminal law. Jails and prisons are overcrowded and violence plagued. Additional causes for alarm include the rate of increase of incarcerated populations, their historically and internationally unprecedented size, their racial disproportionality, and exorbitant associated costs. Although disagreement remains over the precise degree by which incarceration ought to be reduced, there is a growing consensus that some measure of decarceration is desirable.

With hopes of reducing reliance on conventional criminal supervision and incarceration, specialized criminal courts proliferated dramatically over the past two decades. There are approximately 3,000 specialized criminal courts in the United ...


Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2012

Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence, Linghao Wang, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Virtue jurisprudence is an approach to legal theory that develops the implications of virtue ethics and virtue politics for the law. Recent work on virtue jurisprudence has emphasized a NeoAristotelian approach. This essay develops a virtue jurisprudence in the Confucian tradition. The title of this essay, “Confucian Virtue Jurisprudence,” reflects the central aim of our work, to build a contemporary theory of law that is both virtue-centered and that provides a contemporary reconstruction of the central ideas of the early Confucian intellectual tradition.

This essay provides a sketch of our contemporary version of Confucian virtue jurisprudence, including a view of ...


The Struggle For Legal Philosophy (Vis-À-Vis Legal Education): Methods And Problems, Imer Flores Jan 2012

The Struggle For Legal Philosophy (Vis-À-Vis Legal Education): Methods And Problems, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The article challenges the empirical claim that suggests that the legal skills needed to successfully practice law are not--and cannot be--learned at law schools, and contrasts it with the conceptual claim that indicates that the legal tasks needed for practicing law presuppose a legal theory--or at least requires a link between theory and practice. Hence, the dual claim--empirical and conceptual--is that legal philosophy is an important part of a legal curriculum and necessary to bridge, rather than to deepen, the existing gap between theory and practice.


The Clinical Mission Of Justice Readiness, Jane H. Aiken Jan 2012

The Clinical Mission Of Justice Readiness, Jane H. Aiken

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Law schools strive to teach students to be practice ready. That noble goal, however, is not enough. Because of the powerful role that lawyers play in society, educators must also teach students to be “justice ready.” Justice ready graduates are able to recognize injustice and appropriately evaluate the consequences of their actions in a way that mere practice readiness does not teach. The traditional law school curriculum fails to teach justice readiness, instead inculcating in students a penchant for the status quo—an unjust and unchanging social order. Clinical education is the solution for creating justice ready graduates. Its use ...


Could Specialized Criminal Courts Help Contain The Crises Of Overcriminalization And Overincarceration?, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2012

Could Specialized Criminal Courts Help Contain The Crises Of Overcriminalization And Overincarceration?, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In contrast to the existing scholarly commentary on specialized criminal courts, which is largely trapped in the mode of advocacy—alternately celebratory or disparaging, and insufficiently attentive to the remarkable variation between different specialized criminal courts—this article introduces an analytic framework and critical theoretical account of four contending criminal law reformist models at work in specialized criminal courts. These four criminal law reformist models include:

(1) a therapeutic jurisprudence model,

(2) a judicial monitoring model,

(3) an order maintenance model, and

(4) a decarceration model.

Based on a multi-method approach consisting of site visits, and an analysis of archived ...


The Problem About The Nature Of Law Vis-À-Vis Legal Rationality Revisited: Towards An Integrative Jurisprudence, Imer Flores Jan 2012

The Problem About The Nature Of Law Vis-À-Vis Legal Rationality Revisited: Towards An Integrative Jurisprudence, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper the author argues, following Frederick Schauer, that attempting to move theoretically from-the-necessary-to-the-important may hinder our understanding of law. He further argues that attempting to move from-the-important-to-the-necessary may well be a more promising route for advancing our understanding of law as an interpretive practice which is not merely important or valuable but morally important or valuable and even necessary, as Ronald Dworkin has advocated. The authors argument also draws on the insights of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who by discussing the important, but apparently neither necessary nor sufficient aspects of legal practice, integrated both logic and experience into ...


The Fda, Preemption, And Public Safety: Antiregulatory Effects And Maddening Inconsistency, Lawrence O. Gostin Oct 2011

The Fda, Preemption, And Public Safety: Antiregulatory Effects And Maddening Inconsistency, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Most people think of preemption as a technical constitutional doctrine, but it is pivotally important to health and safety, while also opening the door to broad judicial discretion. The Rehnquist and Roberts Courts’ pro-business/pro-preemption jurisprudence is distinctly antiregulatory, invalidating major state public health rules, such as in occupational safety, tobacco control, and motor vehicle safety. Apart from the antiregulatory effects, there is maddening inconsistency. Consider three relatively recent Supreme Court cases. In Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc. (2008), the Court held that federal law bars injured consumers from challenging the safety or effectiveness of FDA-approved medical devices. A year later ...


Pliva V. Mensing And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Dena Feldman Sep 2011

Pliva V. Mensing And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman, Dena Feldman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing will immunize generic drug manufacturers facing failure-to-warn claims from state-law liability, and may also have implications for preemption jurisprudence more generally, says attorney Brian Wolfman and co-author Dena Feldman in this BNA Insight. The authors analyze the ruling, and offer their views on the questions that PLIVA raises about the ongoing vitality of the presumption against preemption, the standard for determining ‘‘impossibility’’ preemption, and the propriety of deference to an agency’s views on preemption.


Stop The Stop The Beach Plurality!, J. Peter Byrne Apr 2011

Stop The Stop The Beach Plurality!, J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The plurality opinion in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection articulated a new doctrine of "judicial takings," and justified it with arguments drawing on text, history, precedent, and "common sense." This essay argues that the opinion falls makes a mockery of such forms of interpretation, represents raw pursuit of an ideological agenda, and indicates why the Regulatory Takings Doctrine more generally should be abandoned or limited.


Hannah Arendt As A Theorist Of International Criminal Law, David Luban Jan 2011

Hannah Arendt As A Theorist Of International Criminal Law, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper examines Hannah Arendt's contributions as a theorist of international criminal law. It draws mostly on Eichmann in Jerusalem, particularly its epilogue, but also on Arendt's correspondence, her writings from the 1940s on Jewish politics, and portions of The Human Condition and her essays. The paper focuses on four issues: (1) Arendt's conception of international crimes as universal offenses against humanity, and the implications she draws for theories of criminal jurisdiction; (2) her "performative" theory of group identity as acts of political affiliation and disaffiliation, from which follows a radically different account of the crime of ...


H. L. A. Hart’S Moderate Indeterminacy Thesis Reconsidered: In Between Scylla And Charybdis?, Imer Flores Jan 2011

H. L. A. Hart’S Moderate Indeterminacy Thesis Reconsidered: In Between Scylla And Charybdis?, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this article, in the context of the fiftieth anniversary of H. L. A. Hart’s The Concept of Law, The author reconsiders the moderate indeterminacy of law thesis, which derives from the open texture of language. For that purpose, the author intends: first, to analyze Hart’s moderate indeterminacy thesis, i.e. determinacy in “easy cases” and indeterminacy in “hard cases,” which resembles Aristotle’s “doctrine of the mean”; second, to criticize his thesis as failing to embody the virtues of a center in between the vices of the extremes, by insisting that the exercise of discretion required constitutes ...


Toward The Study Of The Legislated Constitution, Robin West Jan 2011

Toward The Study Of The Legislated Constitution, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Law schools, both innovative and traditional, cutting edge and hidebound, demand and therefore teach tolerance, civil respect for those whose views and dreams differ from our own, a commitment to the equal dignity of all persons, an awareness of the individuality of each of us, and the challenges that those differences and that equality pose to the generalizing impulse in law. Likewise, law schools, virtually everywhere, convey or should convey a sensitivity to bare or naked human vulnerability, mortality, weakness, and need, and therefore a sense in students of the moral need of all of us for law’s protection ...


Franz Kafka, Lawrence Joseph, And The Possibilities Of Jurisprudential Literature, Patrick J. Glen Jan 2011

Franz Kafka, Lawrence Joseph, And The Possibilities Of Jurisprudential Literature, Patrick J. Glen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it offers a complementary reading of Franz Kafka’s writings on the law and Lawrence Joseph’s novel Lawyerland. This reading focuses on the distinct perspectives offered by these authors. Whereas Kafka approaches the law from the perspective of the litigant or accused, Joseph’s perspective, through the eyes of his lawyers and judges, is that of the consummate insider. The importance of perspective rests with the fact that although law might constitute an objective system, its experience is inevitably subjective. The absurd malevolence of law in Kafka can thus be rationalized ...


The Anti-Empathic Turn, Robin West Jan 2011

The Anti-Empathic Turn, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Justice, according to a broad consensus of our greatest twentieth century judges, requires a particular kind of moral judgment, and that moral judgment requires, among much else, empathy–the ability to understand not just the situation but also the perspective of litigants on warring sides of a lawsuit.

Excellent judging requires empathic excellence. Empathic understanding is, in some measure, an acquired skill as well as, in part, a natural ability. Some people do it well; some, not so well. Again, this has long been understood, and has been long argued, particularly, although not exclusively, by some of our most admired ...


Tragic Rights: The Rights Critique In The Age Of Obama, Robin West Jan 2011

Tragic Rights: The Rights Critique In The Age Of Obama, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article discusses the absence of the Rights Critique in the modern era, and its impact on the current formulation of rights in America. The three-pronged rights critique-–that U.S. constitutional rights politically insulate and valorize subordination, legitimate and thus perpetrate greater injustices than they address, and socially alienate us from community--was nearly ubiquitous in the 1980s. Since that time, it has largely disappeared, which in this author’s view is an unfortunate development.

The rights critique continues to be relevant today, because Obama-era rights continue to subordinate, legitimate, and alienate. However, these rights do more than just exaggerate ...


Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2011

Grabbing The Bullcoming By The Horns: How The Supreme Court Could Have Used Bullcoming V. New Mexico To Clarify Confrontation Clause Requirements For Csi-Type Reports, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the pilot episode of the hit television show CSI, Grissom says to Warrick: "Concentrate on what cannot lie. The evidence." Although Grissom is a beloved figure in U.S. popular culture, the U.S. is currently unwilling to accept that evidence never lies. In stark contrast to Grissom's statement, the common law has a long history of allowing criminal defendants to cross-examine and question witnesses providing evidence against them. The right to confront an accusatory witness is reflected in the historical legal documents of Great Britain, in Shakespearean writing, and even in the Bible. In the United States ...


The Supreme Constitutional Court Of Egypt: The Limits Of Liberal Political Science And Cls Analysis Of Law Elsewhere, Lama Abu-Odeh Jan 2011

The Supreme Constitutional Court Of Egypt: The Limits Of Liberal Political Science And Cls Analysis Of Law Elsewhere, Lama Abu-Odeh

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On January 25th 2011, following a popular uprising, president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was forced to relinquish power after thirty years of continuous rule. The popular uprising came to be known as the Egyptian revolution of January 25th marking the first time in the modern history of Egypt an authoritarian ruler is forced out of power through the mobilization of Egyptian masses. The popular mobilization came at the heels of several years of “wildcat” workers' strikes affecting various sectors of the economy, public and private, as well as recurring demonstrations spearheaded by the youth of the Egyptian middle class demanding ...