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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Sep 2019

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article argues that administrative agencies have been primary interpreters and implementers of the federal Constitution throughout the history of the United States, although the scale and scope of this "administrative constitutionalism" has changed significantly over time as the balance of opportunities and constraints has shifted. Courts have nonetheless cast an increasingly long shadow over the administered Constitution. In part, this is because of the well-known expansion of judicial review in the 20th century. But the shift has as much to do with changes in the legal profession, legal theory, and lawyers’ roles in agency administration. The result is that ...


Censorial Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Feb 2019

Censorial Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Censorial 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claims are infringement actions brought by authors for the unauthorized public dissemination of works that are private, unpublished, and revelatory of the author’s personal identity.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 censorial copyright claims form a legitimate part of the copyright landscape. It shows how censorial copyright ...


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 ...


James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo Jul 2018

James Wilson As The Architect Of The American Presidency, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For decades, James Wilson has been something of a “forgotten founder.” The area where commentators generally recognize Wilson’s influence at the Convention is with respect to Article II, which establishes the executive and defines its powers. Most scholars characterize him as a resolute advocate of an independent, energetic, and unitary presidency, and a particularly successful one at that. In this regard, some scholars have generally characterized Wilson’s thinking as overly rigid. Yet a close examination of the Convention reveals Wilson to be more flexible than sometimes characterized. With respect to many aspects of the presidency, including the appointment ...


Copyright As Legal Process: The Transformation Of American Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jun 2018

Copyright As Legal Process: The Transformation Of American Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American copyright law has undergone an unappreciated conceptual transformation over the course of the last century. Originally conceived of as a form of private law—focusing on horizontal rights, privileges and private liability—copyright law is today understood principally through its public-regarding goals and institutional apparatus, in effect as a form of public law. This transformation is the result of changes in the ideas of law and law-making that occurred in American legal thinking following World War II, manifested in the deeply influential philosophy of the Legal Process School of jurisprudence which shaped the modern American copyright landscape. In the ...


Reforming The Pentagon: Reflections On How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything, Mark P. Nevitt Jan 2018

Reforming The Pentagon: Reflections On How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What best explains how “Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything?”— the provocative title of a recent book by Professor Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law. In this Essay, I turn to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) unique agency design as the vehicle to address this question. Specifically, I first describe and analyze the role that the 1947 National Security Act and 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act play in incentivizing organizational behavior within the DoD. These two Acts have broad implications for national security governance. Relatedly, I address the consequences of these two core national security laws, focusing on the rise ...


Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, And Reform: Chapter One: 1911 Triangle Factory Fire: Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, And Reform: Chapter One: 1911 Triangle Factory Fire: Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This first chapter of the recently published book Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, and Reform, examines the process by which the tragic 1911 Triangle Factory Fire provoked enormous outrage that in turn created a local then national movement for workplace and building safety that ultimately became the foundation for today’s building safety codes. What is particularly interesting, however, is that the Triangle Fire was not the worst such tragedy in its day. Why should it be the one that ultimately triggers social progress?

The book has 21 chapters, each of which traces the tragedy-outrage-reform dynamic in a ...


The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin Jan 2018

The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Loving Story (Augusta Films 2011), directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the backstory of the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that overturned state laws barring interracial marriage. The article looks to the documentary to explain why the Lovings should be considered icons of racial and ethnic civil rights, however much they might be associated with marriage equality today. The film shows the Lovings to be ordinary people who took their nearly decade long struggle against white supremacy to the nation’s highest court out of a genuine commitment to each other and a determination to live ...


Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Texas Gulf Sulphur decision began what has become a fifty-year project of developing U.S. insider trading regulation through judicial lawmaking. During the course of that project, the courts developed a complex, fraud-based approach to determining the scope of liability. The approach has led, in many cases, to doctrinal uncertainty, a result that is reflected in the recent decisions in Newman, Salman, and Martoma.

n the face of this uncertainty, many commentators have called for a legislative solution. This article argues, however, that the true challenge of insider trading regulation is a lack of consensus about the appropriate scope ...


Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2018

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The administrative state is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy. Many have questioned the legality of the myriad commissions, boards, and agencies through which much of our modern governance occurs. Scholars such as Jerry Mashaw, Theda Skocpol, and Michele Dauber, among others, have provided compelling institutional histories, illustrating that administrative lawmaking has roots in the early American republic. Others have attempted to assuage concerns through interpretive theory, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 implicitly amended our Constitution. Solutions offered thus far, however, have yet to provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of the administrative state ...


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 ...


The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2017

The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American Progressivism inaugurated the beginning of the end of American scientific racism. Its critics have been vocal, however. Progressives have been charged with promotion of eugenics, and thus with mainstreaming practices such as compulsory housing segregation, sterilization of those deemed unfit, and exclusion of immigrants on racial grounds. But if the Progressives were such racists, why is it that since the 1930s Afro-Americans and other people of color have consistently supported self-proclaimed progressive political candidates, and typically by very wide margins?

When examining the Progressives on race, it is critical to distinguish the views that they inherited from those that ...


Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic In America, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic In America, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. It is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous or so heart-wrenching.

This brief essay explores the dynamic of tragedy, outrage, and reform, illustrating how certain kinds of crimes can trigger real social progress. Several dozen such “trigger crimes” are identified but four in particular are ...


From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2017

From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal scholars and historians have shown growing interest in how agencies interpret and implement the Constitution, what is called “administrative constitutionalism.” The points of contact between the history and theory of administrative constitutionalism are sufficiently extensive to merit systematic analysis. This chapter focuses on what history can offer the theory of administrative constitutionalism. It argues that historical accounts of administrative constitutionalism invite a more robust normative defense of the practice than theorists have thus far provided. There is much to the transparent, participatory versions of administrative constitutionalism that its defenders have primarily focused on thus far. This chapter is a ...


Class Actions And The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2017

Class Actions And The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this article we situate consideration of class actions in a framework, and fortify it with data, that we have developed as part of a larger project, the goal of which is to assess the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law from an institutional perspective. In a series of articles emerging from the project, we have documented how the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court (wielding both judicial power under Article III of the Constitution and delegated legislative power under the Rules Enabling Act) fared in efforts to reverse or dull the effects of statutory and other incentives for ...


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—is, and always has been, deeply intertwined with inequalities of race, class, gender, and region. Many if not most of the plaintiffs who challenged legal discrimination based on family status in the 1960s and 1970s were impoverished women, men, and children of color who made constitutional equality claims. Yet the constitutional law of the family is largely silent about the status-based impact of laws that prefer marriage and disadvantage non-marital families. While some lower courts engaged with race-, sex-, and wealth-based discrimination arguments in family status cases, the Supreme Court largely avoided recognizing ...


Choice Of Law And Jurisdictional Policy In The Federal Courts, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2017

Choice Of Law And Jurisdictional Policy In The Federal Courts, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For seventy-five years, Klaxon v. Stentor Electric Manufacturing has provided a one-line answer to choice-of-law questions in federal diversity cases: Erie requires the federal court to employ the same law that a court of the state would select. The simplicity of the proposition likely accounts for the unqualified breadth with which federal courts now apply it. Choice of law doctrine is difficult, consensus in hard cases is elusive, and the anxiety that Erie produces over the demands of federalism tends to stifle any reexamination of core assumptions. The attraction of a simple answer is obvious. But Klaxon cannot bear the ...


Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Dec 2016

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


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 ...


Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri Jun 2016

Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The twentieth-century equality revolution established the principle of sex neutrality in the law of marriage and divorce and eased the most severe legal disabilities traditionally imposed upon nonmarital children. Formal equality under the law eluded nonmarital parents, however. Although unwed fathers won unprecedented legal rights and recognition in a series of Supreme Court cases decided in the 1970s and 1980s, they failed to achieve constitutional parity with mothers or with married and divorced fathers. This Article excavates nonmarital fathers’ quest for equal rights, until now a mere footnote in the history of constitutional equality law.

Unmarried fathers lacked a social ...


Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new perspective on Presidents’ use of signing statements. Following the dichotomy reflected in the literature, I will analyze signing statements raising constitutional objections and those offering interpretive guidance for ambiguous provisions separately. With respect to constitutional interpretation of statutes by the executive branch, Presidents have long asserted the authority and obligation to consider constitutionality when executing statutes. The widespread acceptance of the President’s power to construe statutes to avoid constitutional problems and to refuse to defend the constitutionality of or to enforce statutes in appropriate cases confirms the propriety of this conclusion. If these fairly ...


Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2016

Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, prepared as part of a festschrift for the Italian scholar, Michele Taruffo, I portray him as a pragmatic realist of the sort described by Richard Posner in his book, Reflections on Judging. Viewing him as such, I salute Taruffo for challenging the established order in domestic and comparative law thinking about civil law systems, the role of lawyers, courts and precedent in those systems, and also for casting the light of the comparative enterprise on common law systems, particularly that in the United States. Speaking as one iconoclast of another, however, I also raise questions about Taruffo ...


Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2016

Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contrary to popular opinion, the Supreme Court has not yet resolved whether lobbying is constitutionally protected. Belying this fact, courts, Congress, and scholars mistakenly assume that lobbying is protected under the Petition Clause. Because scholars have shared the mistaken assumption that the Petition Clause protects the practice of “lobbying”, no research to date has looked closely at the Petition Clause doctrine and the history of petitioning in relation to lobbying. In a recent opinion addressing petitioning in another context, the Supreme Court unearthed the long history behind the right to petition and argued for the importance of this history for ...


What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux Jan 2016

What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Many accounts of Gideon v. Wainwright’s legacy focus on what Gideon did not do—its doctrinal and practical limits. For constitutional theorists, Gideon imposed a preexisting national consensus upon a few “outlier” states, and therefore did not represent a dramatic doctrinal shift. For criminal procedure scholars, advocates, and journalists, Gideon has failed, in practice, to guarantee meaningful legal help for poor people charged with crimes.

Drawing on original historical research, this Article instead chronicles what Gideon did—the doctrinal and institutional changes it inspired between 1963 and the early 1970s. Gideon shifted the legal profession’s policy consensus on ...


Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Nov 2015

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, I measure the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges against two legacies of second-wave feminist legal advocacy: the largely successful campaign to make civil marriage formally gender-neutral; and the lesser-known struggle against laws and practices that penalized women who lived their lives outside of marriage. Obergefell obliquely acknowledges marriage equality’s debt to the first legacy without explicitly adopting sex equality arguments against same-sex marriage bans. The legacy of feminist campaigns for nonmarital equality, by contrast, is absent from Obergefell’s reasoning and belied by rhetoric that both glorifies marriage and implicitly disparages nonmarriage. Even so ...


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified ...


Human Rights Treaties In And Beyond The Senate: The Spirit Of Senator Proxmire, Jean Galbraith Jun 2015

Human Rights Treaties In And Beyond The Senate: The Spirit Of Senator Proxmire, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In 1995, Louis Henkin wrote a famous piece in which he suggested that the process of human rights treaty ratification was haunted by “the ghost of Senator Bricker” – the isolationist Senator who in the 1950s had waged a fierce assault on the treaty power, especially with regard to human rights treaties. Since that time, Senator Bricker’s ghost has proved even more real. Professor Henkin’s concern was with how the United States ratified human rights treaties, and specifically with the packet of reservations, declarations, and understandings (RUDs) attached by the Senate in giving its advice and consent. Today, the ...


What Should Restatement (Fourth) Say About Treaty Interpretation?, Jean Galbraith Jan 2015

What Should Restatement (Fourth) Say About Treaty Interpretation?, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Restatement (Second) and Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law took notably different approaches to treaty interpretation, reflecting intervening changes in the legal landscape. This symposium contribution identifies five developments in international and domestic law since Restatement (Third). It then considers their import for the forthcoming Restatement (Fourth). Most importantly, it argues that Restatement (Fourth) should fully incorporate two articles on treaty interpretation from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties into its black-letter provisions. Since the time of Restatement (Third), these articles have become central to international practice on treaty interpretation, and the principles they set forth are broadly ...


Equity's Unstated Domain: The Role Of Equity In Shaping Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2015

Equity's Unstated Domain: The Role Of Equity In Shaping Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As used today, the term “equity” connotes a variety of related, but nonetheless distinct, ideas. In most contexts, equity refers to the body of rules and doctrines that emerged in parallel with the common law, and which merged with the common law by the late nineteenth century. At a purely conceptual level, some trace the term back to Aristotle's notion of epieikeia, or the process of infusing the law with sufficient flexibility to avoid injustice. Lastly, at a largely practical level, a few treat equity as synonymous with a set of remedies that courts can authorize, all of which ...