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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Do Legal Origins Predict Legal Substance?, Anu Bradford, Yun-Chien Chang, Adam S. Chilton, Nuno Garoupa Jan 2020

Do Legal Origins Predict Legal Substance?, Anu Bradford, Yun-Chien Chang, Adam S. Chilton, Nuno Garoupa

Faculty Scholarship

There is a large literature in economics and law suggesting that countries’ legal origins – whether a country’s legal regime was based on British common law or German, French, or Nordic civil law – profoundly impact a range of outcomes. However, the exact relationship between legal origins and legal substance has been disputed in the literature, and this relationship has not been fully explored with nuanced legal coding. We revisit this debate while leveraging extensive novel cross-country datasets that provide detailed coding of two areas of laws: property and antitrust. We find that having shared legal origins strongly predicts whether countries ...


New Look Constitutionalism: The Cold War Critique Of Military Manpower Administration, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2019

New Look Constitutionalism: The Cold War Critique Of Military Manpower Administration, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Between 1953 and 1960, the United States’ overall military and intelligence-gathering capacities grew enormously, driven by President Eisenhower’s “New Look” approach to fighting the Cold War. But the distribution of powers within this New Look national-security state, the shape of its institutional structures, and its sources of legitimacy remained up for grabs. The eventual settlement of these issues would depend on administrative constitutionalism – the process by which the administrative state both shapes and is shaped by constitutional norms, often through ostensibly non-constitutional law and policymaking.

Constitutional concerns about civil liberties, administrative procedure, and the separation of powers ran highest ...


Strategic Law Avoidance Using The Internet: A Short History, Tim Wu Jan 2017

Strategic Law Avoidance Using The Internet: A Short History, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

We are now some twenty years into the story of the Internet's bold challenge to law and the legal system. In the early 2000s, Jack Goldsmith and I wrote Who Controls the Internet, a book that might be understood as a chronicle of some the early and more outlandish stages of the story. Professors Pollman and Barry's excellent article, Regulatory Entrepreneurship, adds to and updates that story with subsequent chapters and a sophisticated analysis of the strategies more recently employed to avoid law using the Internet in some way. While Pollman and Barry's article stands on its ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative "conscience clauses" are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


Book Review: The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

Book Review: The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

It is telling that the winners of [Daniel] Ernst’s history are not the hardened legal realists whom we generally think of as building, and justifying, the New Deal state. Rather, Ernst turns the spotlight on reform-minded corporate lawyers, such as Charles Evans Hughes and John Lord O’Brian, who stepped back from the edge of realism. While accepting the necessity of the administrative state for managing a modern economy, they fought to imbue that state with a legalistic conception of “fair play” and a distinctively lawyerly form of expertise. These political and intellectual moderates would have agreed with Sunstein ...


The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Early Years Of First Amendment Lochnerism, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

From Citizens United to Hobby Lobby, civil libertarian challenges to the regulation of economic activity are increasingly prevalent. Critics of this trend invoke the specter of Lochner v. New York. They suggest that the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other legislative “conscience clauses” are being used to resurrect the economically libertarian substantive due process jurisprudence of the early twentieth century. Yet the worry that aggressive judicial enforcement of the First Amendment might erode democratic regulation of the economy and enhance the economic power of private actors has a long history. As this Article demonstrates, anxieties about such ...


The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath’s book-in-progress, The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution, offers a radical alternative to the constitutional histories that emerged in the 1990s to defend the New Deal synthesis. Fishkin and Forbath’s new constitutional history promises to recast the New Deal as a contingent and incomplete resolution of a centuries-long struggle to achieve the political-economic conditions that the Constitution requires – “requires” in the double sense of “demands” and “depends upon.” This struggle is still ongoing and even accelerating, Fishkin and Forbath report, yet it has become increasingly “one-sided.” First, the post-WWII economic boom dissipated, taking with it much of ...


Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen Jan 2016

Working Themselves Impure: A Life Cycle Theory Of Legal Theories, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Prescriptive legal theories have a tendency to cannibalize themselves. As they develop into schools of thought, they become not only increasingly complicated but also increasingly compromised, by their own normative lights. Maturation breeds adulteration. The theories work themselves impure.

This Article identifies and diagnoses this evolutionary phenomenon. We develop a stylized model to explain the life cycle of certain particularly influential legal theories. We illustrate this life cycle through case studies of originalism, textualism, popular constitutionalism, and cost-benefit analysis, as well as a comparison with leading accounts of organizational and theoretical change in politics and science. And we argue that ...


The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

The Political Economy Of "Constitutional Political Economy", Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1990s, constitutional history has experienced a renaissance. This revival had many causes, but three stand out: the Rehnquist Court's attack on formerly sacrosanct features of the "New Deal agenda"; Reagan-Era reassessments of American political development by political scientists, historians, and historical sociologists; and the frustration of constitutional scholars with the inability of legal process theory or political philosophy to produce "authoritative constitutional principles." Spurred by legal crisis and this mix of disciplinary innovation and stagnation, law professors began to tell new stories about our constitutional heritage. They focused on the sources and significance of the New ...


The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2015

The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Nearly forty years ago, Professor James 0. Freedman described the American administrative state as haunted by a "recurrent sense of crisis." "Each generation has tended to define the crisis in its own terms," and "each generation has fashioned solutions responsive to the problems it has perceived." Yet "a strong and persisting challenge to the basic legitimacy of the administrative process" always returns, in a new guise, to trouble the next generation. On this account, the American people remain perennially unconvinced that administrative decisionmaking is "appropriate, proper, and just," entitled to respect and obedience "by virtue of who made the decision ...


A War For Liberty: On The Law Of Conscientious Objection, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2015

A War For Liberty: On The Law Of Conscientious Objection, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

One common understanding of the Second World War is that it was a contest between liberty and tyranny. For many at the time – and for still more today – ‘liberty’ meant the rule of law: government constrained by principle, procedure, and most of all, individual rights. For those states that claimed to represent this rule-of-law tradition, total war presented enormous challenges, even outright contradictions. How would these states manage to square the governmental imperatives of military emergency with the legal protections and procedures essential to preserving the ancient ‘liberty of the subject’? This question could be and was asked with regard ...


Why Restate The Bundle? The Disintegration Of The Restatement Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2014

Why Restate The Bundle? The Disintegration Of The Restatement Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

The American Law Institute (ALI) has devoted a great deal of time and energy to restating the law of property. To date, the ALI has produced 17 volumes that bear the name First, Second, or Third Restatement of Property. There is unquestionably much that is valuable in these materials. On the whole, however, the effort has been a disappointment. Some volumes seek faithfully to restate the consensus view of the law; others are transparently devoted to law reform. The ratio of reform to restatement has increased over time, to the point where significant portions of the Third Restatement consist of ...


The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2014

The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new explanation for the puzzling origin of modern civil liberties law. Legal scholars have long sought to explain how Progressive lawyers and intellectuals skeptical of individual rights and committed to a strong, activist state came to advocate for robust First Amendment protections after World War I. Most attempts to solve this puzzle focus on the executive branch's suppression of dissent during World War I and the Red Scare. Once Progressives realized that a powerful administrative state risked stifling debate and deliberation within civil society, the story goes, they turned to civil liberties law in order ...


The Age Of Consent, Philip Chase Bobbitt Jan 2014

The Age Of Consent, Philip Chase Bobbitt

Faculty Scholarship

On three October afternoons in the fall of 1974, Grant Gilmore, a Sterling Professor of Law at Yale, delivered his Storrs Lectures, the lecture series at Yale Law School whose speakers had included Roscoe Pound, Lon Fuller, and Benjamin Cardozo. Gilmore was a magisterial scholar: the author of a prize-winning treatise, Security Interests in Personal Property, and what remains the leading treatise on admiralty law; he was the Chief Reporter and draftsman for Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code; and his PhD on French poet and critic Stéphane Mallarmé had led to an appointment at Yale College before he ...


The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2014

The Administrative Origins Of Modern Civil Liberties Law, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a new explanation for the puzzling origin of modern civil liberties law. Legal scholars have long sought to explain how Progressive lawyers and intellectuals skeptical of individual rights and committed to a strong, activist state came to advocate for robust First Amendment protections after World War I. Most attempts to solve this puzzle focus on the executive branch’s suppression of dissent during World War I and the Red Scare. Once Progressives realized that a powerful administrative state risked stifling debate and deliberation within civil society, the story goes, they turned to civil liberties law in order ...


Article 41 And The Right To Appeal, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2014

Article 41 And The Right To Appeal, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Extensive discussion of the Chinese Constitution focuses on the ways in which the Constitution is under-enforced or not implemented. This essay takes a different approach, examining one clause that is arguably at times over-enforced, providing for constitutional authorization for challenging legal determinations outside the legal system. This essay’s focus is Article 41 of the 1982 Constitution, which protects the rights of citizens to file complaints (shensu 申诉) against illegal conduct of state actors. My goal in this essay is to examine the ways in which the concept of shensu is used to provide a basis for challenges to state ...


A Conversation With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gillian E. Metzger, Abbe Gluck Jan 2013

A Conversation With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gillian E. Metzger, Abbe Gluck

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Gillian Metzger: Katherine, thank you for that wonderful overview of all that the Justice has achieved and the history of Columbia Law School. And I want to apologize for those to whom I am showing my back, but this will allow us to have more of a conversation with the Justice.

Justice, thank you so much for being with us today. It is a real privilege for us to get to talk to you this way, and we know for the entire audience. You have had – as you have now heard (LAUGHS) – an amazing and just tremendously varied career ...


(Anti)Canonizing Courts, Jamal Greene Jan 2013

(Anti)Canonizing Courts, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

Within U.S. constitutional culture, courts stand curiously apart from the society in which they sit. Among the many purposes this process of alienation serves is to “neutralize” the cognitive dissonance produced by Americans’ current self-conception and the role our forebears’ social and political culture played in producing historic injustice. The legal culture establishes such dissonance in part by structuring American constitutional argument around anticanonical cases: most especially “Dred Scott v. Sandford,” “Plessy v. Ferguson,” and “Lochner v. New York.” The widely held view that these decisions were “wrong the day they were decided” emphasizes the role of independent courts ...


Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2012

Federalism As A Safeguard Of The Separation Of Powers, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

States frequently administer federal law, yet scholars have largely overlooked how the practice of cooperative federalism affects the balance of power across the branches of the federal government. This Article explains how states check the federal executive in an era of expansive executive power and how they do so as champions of Congress, both relying on congressionally conferred authority and casting themselves as Congress's faithful agents. By inviting the states to carry out federal law, Congress, whether purposefully or incidentally, counteracts the tendency of statutory ambiguity and broad delegations of authority to enhance federal executive power. When states disagree ...


On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In The Illusion of Free Markets (Harvard 2011), Professor Bernard Harcourt analyzes the evolution of a distinctly American paradox: in the country that has done the most to promote the idea of a hands-off government, we run the single largest prison complex in the entire world. Harcourt traces this paradox back to the eighteenth century and demonstrates how the presumption of government incompetence in economic affairs has been coupled with that of government legitimacy in the realm of policing and punishing. Harcourt shows how these linked presumptions have fueled the expansion of the carceral sphere in the nineteenth and twentieth ...


Privileges Or Immunities, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2011

Privileges Or Immunities, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

What was meant by the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause? Did it incorporate the U.S. Bill of Rights against the states or did it do something else? In retrospect, the Clause has seemed to have the poignancy of a path not taken – a trail abandoned in the Slaughter-House Cases and later lamented by academics, litigants, and even some judges. Although wistful thoughts about the Privileges or Immunities Clause may seem to lend legitimacy to incorporation, the Clause actually led in another direction. Long-forgotten evidence clearly shows that the Clause was an attempt to resolve a national dispute ...


"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2010

"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The rise in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of a professional class of writers stimulated authors' demands for better remuneration from their writings. The increase in authors who sought to live from their work, rather than from patronage or personal fortune, likely provided at least one impulse for the author-protective provisions of the 1710 Statute of Anne. Under the regime of printing privileges that preceded the Statute of Anne, authors generally received from publisher-booksellers a one-time payment, made when the authors surrendered their manuscripts for publication. Authors whose works enjoyed particularly high demand might negotiate additional payments for new editions ...


A Short History Of Tontines, Kent Mckeever Jan 2010

A Short History Of Tontines, Kent Mckeever

Faculty Scholarship

A tontine is an investment scheme through which shareholders derive some form of profit or benefit while they are living, but the value of each share devolves to the other participants and not the shareholder's heirs on the death of each shareholder. The tontine is usually brought to an end through a dissolution and distribution of assets to the living shareholders when the number of shareholders reaches an agreed small number.

If people know about tontines at all, they tend to visualize the most extreme form – a joint investment whose heritable ownership ends up with the last living shareholder ...


Assessing Chinese Legal Reforms, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2009

Assessing Chinese Legal Reforms, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past thirty years China has engaged in what is perhaps the most rapid development of any legal system in the history of the world. The Chinese legal system has been fundamentally transformed since 1978. At the beginning of the reform era there were few laws or trained personnel. Today, China has sophisticated legal institutions, thousands of laws and regulations, and the third largest number of lawyers in the world. Law has begun to regulate both state and individual behavior in ways that were inconceivable in 1978. Commitment to the rule of law has become an important part of ...


A Convenient Constitution? Extraterritoriality After Boumediene, Christina Duffy Ponsa-Kraus Jan 2009

A Convenient Constitution? Extraterritoriality After Boumediene, Christina Duffy Ponsa-Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Questions concerning the extraterritorial applicability of the Constitution have come to the fore during the "war on terror." In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court held that noncitizens detained in Guantánamo have the right to challenge their detention in federal court. To reach this conclusion, the Court used the "impracticable and anomalous" test, also known as the 'functional" approach because of its reliance on pragmatic or consequentialist considerations. The test first appeared in a concurring opinion over fifty years ago; in Boumediene, it garnered the votes of a majority.

This Article argues that the Boumediene Court was right to hold ...


The Warren Court, Legalism And Democracy: Sketch For A Critique In A Style Learned From Morton Horwitz, William H. Simon Jan 2009

The Warren Court, Legalism And Democracy: Sketch For A Critique In A Style Learned From Morton Horwitz, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Morton Horwitz's Transformation books developed a critical approach that elaborates the underlying premises of legal doctrine and compares them to suppressed or ignored alternative perspectives. However, Horwitz's Warren Court book is largely an appreciation of the Court's doctrine that accepts at face value its underlying premises and the judges' claim to vindicate democratic values. In this essay, I speculate on what a Transformation-style critique of the Warren Court might look like and suggest that the Court is vulnerable to criticisms analogous to those the Transformation books make of earlier doctrine. I suggest that book ignores an alternative ...


Longing For Loving, Katherine M. Franke Jan 2008

Longing For Loving, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

Our task in this Symposium is to place Loving v. Virginia in a contemporary context: to interpret, if not reinterpret, its meaning in light of the settings in which race, sexuality, and intimacy are being negotiated and renegotiated today. So we might ask, in what way are Mildred and Richard Loving role models for us today? How, if at all, does the legal movement for marriage equality for interracial couples help us think through our arguments and strategies as we struggle today for marriage equality for same-sex couples?

One way to frame these questions is to ask whether there is ...


Tax Reforms Unraveling, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2007

Tax Reforms Unraveling, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was widely heralded as the most significant change in our nation’s tax law since the income tax was extended to the masses during World War II. It was the crowning domestic policy achievement of President Ronald Reagan, who proclaimed it “the best antipoverty measure, the best pro-family measure and the best job-creation measure ever to come out of the Congress of the United States” (Reagan, 1986). This journal published a symposium on the Tax Reform Act in its first issue. The law’s rate reductions and base broadening reforms were mimicked throughout the ...


A Brief History Of American Telecommunications Regulation, Tim Wu Jan 2007

A Brief History Of American Telecommunications Regulation, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

While the history of governmental regulation of communication is at least as long as the history of censorship, the modern regulation of long-distance, or "tele," communications is relatively short and can be dated to the rise of the telegraph in the mid-19th century. The United States left the telegraph in private hands, unlike countries and as opposed to the U.S. postal system, and has done the same with most of the significant telecommunications facilities that have been developed since. The decision to allow private ownership of telecommunications infrastructure has led to a rather particularized regulation of these private owners ...


Monogamy's Law: Compulsory Monogamy And Polyamorous Existence, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2004

Monogamy's Law: Compulsory Monogamy And Polyamorous Existence, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Right now, marriage and monogamy feature prominently on the public stage. Efforts to lift prohibitions on same-sex marriage in this country and abroad have inspired people on all sides of the political spectrum to speak about the virtues of monogamy's core institution and to express views on who should be included within it. The focus of this article is different. Like an "unmannerly wedding guest," this article invites the reader to pause amidst the whirlwind of marriage talk and to think critically about monogamy and its alternatives.