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Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2016

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One enduring historical debate concerns whether the American Constitution was intended to be "classical" -- referring to a theory of statecraft that maximizes the role of private markets and minimizes the role of government in economic affairs. The most central and powerful proposition of classical constitutionalism is that the government's role in economic development should be minimal. First, private rights in property and contract exist prior to any community needs for development. Second, if a particular project is worthwhile the market itself will make it occur. Third, when the government attempts to induce development politics inevitably distorts the decision making ...


The Opening Of American Law: Neoclassical Legal Thought, 1870-1970: Epilogue, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2015

The Opening Of American Law: Neoclassical Legal Thought, 1870-1970: Epilogue, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Opening of American Law examines changes in American legal thought that began during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, and extending through the Kennedy/Johnson eras. During this period American judges and legal writers embraced various conceptions of legal "science," although they differed about what that science entailed. Beginning in the Gilded Age, the principal sources were Darwinism in the biological and social sciences, marginalism in economics and psychology, and legal historicism. The impact on judicial, legislative, and later administrative law making is difficult to exaggerate. Among the changes were vastly greater use of behavioral or deterrence based theories of ...


Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One recurring call over a century of American constitutional thought is for return to a "classical" understanding of American federal and state Constitutions. "Classical" does not necessarily mean "originalist" or "interpretivist." Some classical views, such as the attempt to revitalize Lochner-style economic due process, find little support in the text of the federal Constitution or any of the contemporary state constitutions. Rather, constitutional meaning is thought to lie in a background link between constitution formation and classical statecraft. The core theory rests on the assumption of a social contract to which everyone in some initial position agreed. Like any contract ...


The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


Copyright And Free Expression: The Convergence Of Conflicting Normative Frameworks, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2004

Copyright And Free Expression: The Convergence Of Conflicting Normative Frameworks, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent attempts to expand the domain of copyright law in different parts of the world have necessitated renewed efforts to evaluate the philosophical justifications that are advocated for its existence as an independent institution. Copyright, conceived of as a proprietary institution, reveals an interesting philosophical interaction with other libertarian interests, most notably the right to free expression. This paper seeks to understand the nature of this interaction and the resulting normative decisions. The paper seeks to analyze copyright law and its recent expansions, specifically from the perspective of the human rights discourse. It looks at the historical origins of modern ...


Tradition, Principle And Self-Sovereignty: Competing Conceptions Of Liberty In The United States Constitution, Robin West Jan 2002

Tradition, Principle And Self-Sovereignty: Competing Conceptions Of Liberty In The United States Constitution, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The “liberty” protected by the United States Constitution has been variously interpreted as the “liberty” of thinking persons to speak, worship and associate with others, unimpeded by onerous state law; the liberty of consumers and producers to make individual market choices, including the choice to sell one’s labour at any price one sees fit, free of redistributive or paternalistic legislation that might restrict it; and the liberty of all of us in the domestic sphere to make choices regarding reproductive and family life, free of state law that might restrict it on grounds relating to public morals. Although the ...


Reflections On From Slaves To Citizens Bondage, Freedom And The Constitution: The New Slavery Scholarship And Its Impact On Law And Legal Historiography, Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 1995

Reflections On From Slaves To Citizens Bondage, Freedom And The Constitution: The New Slavery Scholarship And Its Impact On Law And Legal Historiography, Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

The thesis of Professor Donald Nieman's paper, "From Slaves to Citizens: African-Americans, Rights Consciousness, and Reconstruction," is that the nation experienced a revolution in the United States Constitution and in the consciousness of African Americans. According to Professor Nieman, the Reconstruction Amendments represented "a dramatic departure from antebellum constitutional principles,"' because the Thirteenth Amendment reversed the pre-Civil War constitutional guarantee of slavery and "abolish[ed] slavery by federal authority." The Fourteenth Amendment rejected the Supreme Court's "racially-based definition of citizenship [in Dred Scott v. Sandford4], clearly establishing a color-blind citizenship” and the Fifteenth Amendment "wrote the principle of ...


Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West Jan 1989

Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Richard Posner's new book, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation, is a defense of “liberal legalism” against a group of modern critics who have only one thing in common: their use of either particular pieces of literature or literary theory to mount legal critiques. Perhaps for that reason, it is very hard to discern a unified thesis within Posner's book regarding the relationship between law and literature. In part, Posner is complaining about a pollution of literature by its use and abuse in political and legal argument; thus, the “misunderstood relation” to which the title refers. At times ...


Adjudication Is Not Interpretation: Some Reservations About The Law-As-Literature Movement, Robin West Jan 1987

Adjudication Is Not Interpretation: Some Reservations About The Law-As-Literature Movement, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Among other achievements, the modern law-as-literature movement has prompted increasing numbers of legal scholars to embrace the claim that adjudication is interpretation, and more specifically, that constitutional adjudication is interpretation of the Constitution. That adjudication is interpretation -- that an adjudicative act is an interpretive act -- more than any other central commitment, unifies the otherwise diverse strands of the legal and constitutional theory of the late twentieth century.

In this article, I will argue in this article against both modern forms of interpretivism. The analogue of law to literature, on which much of modern interpretivism is based, although fruitful, has carried ...