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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

Among the various instruments in the toolbox of liberalism, the so-called “harm principle,” presented as the central thesis of John Stuart Mill’s classic On Liberty, has been one of the most popular. The harm principle has been widely embraced and invoked in both academic and popular debate about a variety of issues ranging from obscenity to drug regulation to abortion to same-sex marriage, and its influence is discernible in legal arguments and judicial opinions as well. Despite the principle’s apparent irresistibility, this essay argues that the principle is hollow. It is an empty vessel, alluring but without any ...


On The Study Of Judicial Behaviors: Of Law, Politics, Science And Humility, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2011

On The Study Of Judicial Behaviors: Of Law, Politics, Science And Humility, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this paper, which was prepared to help set the stage at an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Indiana (Bloomington) in March, I first briefly review what I take to be the key events and developments in the history of the study of judicial behavior in legal scholarship, with attention to corresponding developments in political science. I identify obstacles to cooperation in the past – such as indifference, professional self-interest and methodological imperialism -- as well as precedents for cross-fertilization in the future. Second, drawing on extensive reading in the political science and legal literatures concerning judicial behavior, I seek ...


The Puzzling Resistance To Judicial Review Of The Legislative Process, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov Dec 2010

The Puzzling Resistance To Judicial Review Of The Legislative Process, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

Dr. Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

Should courts have the power to examine the legislature’s enactment process and strike down statutes enacted contrary to procedural lawmaking requirements? This idea remains highly controversial. While substantive judicial review is well-established and often taken for granted, many judges and scholars see judicial review of the legislative process as utterly objectionable. This Article challenges that prevalent position and establishes the case for judicial review of the legislative process. The Article contends that, ironically, some of the major arguments for substantive judicial review in constitutional theory, and even the arguments in Marbury v. Madison itself, are actually more persuasive when ...