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Full-Text Articles in Law

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2022

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The most fundamental question in general jurisprudence concerns what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. This article offers a novel answer. According to the theory it christens “principled positivism,” legal practices ground legal principles, and legal principles determine legal rules. This two-level account of the determination of legal content differs from Hart’s celebrated theory in two essential respects: in relaxing Hart’s requirement that fundamental legal notions depend for their existence on judicial consensus; and in assigning weighted contributory legal norms—“principles”—an essential role in the determination of legal rights, duties ...


Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman Aug 2021

Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For half a century, moral philosophers have distinguished between a “standard” that makes acts right and a “decision procedure” by which agents can determine whether any given contemplated act is right, which is to say whether it satisfies the standard. In “Originalism: Standard and Procedure,” Stephen Sachs argues that the same distinction applies to the constitutional domain and that clear grasp of the difference strengthens the case for originalism because theorists who emphasize the infirmities of originalism as a decision procedure frequently but mistakenly infer that those flaws also cast doubt on originalism as a standard. This invited response agrees ...


Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman Jul 2021

Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A fundamental task for legal philosophy is to explain what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. Anti-positivists say that moral norms play an ineliminable role in the determination of legal content, while positivists say that they play no role, or only a contingent one. Increasingly, scholars report finding the debate stale. This article hopes to freshen it by, ironically, revisiting what might be thought its opening round: Dworkin’s challenge to Hartian positivism leveled in The Model of Rules I. It argues that the underappreciated significance of Dworkin’s distinction between rules and ...


Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2019

Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article ...


Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2019

Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One of the primary theoretical justifications for copyright is the role that creative works play in helping develop an individual’s sense of personhood and self-actualization. Typically ascribed to the writings of Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, personhood-based theories of copyright serve as the foundation for the moral rights prominent in European copyright law and mandated by the leading intellectual property treaty, which give authors inalienable control over aspects of their works after they have been created. The conventional wisdom about the relationship between personhood and copyright suffers from two fatal flaws that have gone largely unappreciated. First ...


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range ...


Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2014

Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today, most American workers do not have constitutional rights on the job. As The Workplace Constitution shows, this outcome was far from inevitable. Instead, American workers have a long history of fighting for such rights. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights advocates sought constitutional protections against racial discrimination by employers and unions. At the same time, a conservative right-to-work movement argued that the Constitution protected workers from having to join or support unions. Those two movements, with their shared aim of extending constitutional protections to American workers, were a potentially powerful combination. But they sought to use those protections to ...


Privacy Law: Positive Theory And Normative Practice, Anita L. Allen Jan 2013

Privacy Law: Positive Theory And Normative Practice, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of common law copyright in Wheaton v. Peters and the more specific codification by the Copyright Act of 1976, courts have continued to play an active role in determining the scope of copyright. Four areas of continuing judicial innovation include fair use, misuse, third-party liability, and the first sale doctrine. Some commentators have advocated broad judicial power to revise and overturn statutes. Such sweeping judicial power is hard to reconcile with the democratic commitment to legislative supremacy. At the other extreme are those that view codification as completely displacing courts’ authority to develop legal ...


The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Nov 2012

The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Not all copying constitutes copyright infringement. Quite independent of fair use, copyright law requires that an act of copying be qualitatively and quantitatively significant enough or “substantially similar” for it to be actionable. Originating in the nineteenth century, and entirely the creation of courts, copyright’s requirement of “substantial similarity” has thus far received little attention as an independently meaningful normative dimension of the copyright entitlement. This Article offers a novel theory for copyright’s substantial-similarity requirement by placing it firmly at the center of the institution and its various goals and purposes. As a common-law-style device that mirrors the ...


Foreseeability And Copyright Incentives, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Apr 2009

Foreseeability And Copyright Incentives, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Copyright law’s principal justification today is the economic theory of creator incentives. Central to this theory is the recognition that while copyright’s exclusive rights framework provides creators with an economic incentive to create, it also entails large social costs, and that creators therefore need to be given just enough incentive to create in order to balance the system’s benefits against its costs. Yet, none of copyright’s current doctrines enable courts to circumscribe a creator’s entitlement by reference to limitations inherent in the very idea of incentives. While the common law too relies on providing actors ...


Preemption In The Rehnquist Court: A Preliminary Empirical Assessment, Michael S. Greve, Jonathan Klick Jan 2006

Preemption In The Rehnquist Court: A Preliminary Empirical Assessment, Michael S. Greve, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The federal preemption of state law has emerged as a prominent field of study for legal scholars and political scientists. This rise to prominence of a technical and often dull field of jurisprudence is due to a number of developments-increasingly frequent federal statutory preemptions; the states' unprecedented aggressiveness in regulating business transactions, the expansion of corporate liability under state common law and the increased resort of corporate defendants to federal preemption defenses; and, not least, the Rehnquist Court's discovery of federalism and states' rights.

Unfortunately, the preemption debate has been marred by misperceptions and a lack of reliable data ...


Watching The Watchers: Surveillance, Transparency, And Political Freedom In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer Sep 2004

Watching The Watchers: Surveillance, Transparency, And Political Freedom In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Virtues Of Uncertainty In Law: An Experimental Approach, Tom Baker, Alon Harel, Tamar Kugler Jan 2004

The Virtues Of Uncertainty In Law: An Experimental Approach, Tom Baker, Alon Harel, Tamar Kugler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Too Close To The Rack And The Screw: Constitutional Constraints On Torture In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer Nov 2003

Too Close To The Rack And The Screw: Constitutional Constraints On Torture In The War On Terror, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


What Do We Mean By "Judicial Independence"?, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2003

What Do We Mean By "Judicial Independence"?, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this article, the author argues that the concept of "judicial independence" has served more as an object of rhetoric than it has of sustained study. He views the scholarly literatures that treat it as ships passing in the night, each subject to weaknesses that reflect the needs and fashions of the discipline, but all tending to ignore courts other than the Supreme Court of the United States. Seeking both greater rigor and greater flexibility than one usually finds in public policy debates about, and in the legal and political science literatures on, judicial independence, the author attributes much of ...


Shareholder Value And Auditor Independence, William W. Bratton Jan 2003

Shareholder Value And Auditor Independence, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article questions the practice of framing problems concerning auditors’ professional responsibility inside a principal-agent paradigm. If professional independence is to be achieved, auditors cannot be enmeshed in agency relationships with the shareholders of their audit clients. As agents, the auditors by definition become subject to the principal’s control and cannot act independently. For the same reason, auditors’ duties should be neither articulated in the framework of corporate law fiduciary duty, nor conceived relationally at all. These assertions follow from an inquiry into the operative notion of the shareholder-beneficiary. The Article unpacks the notion of the shareholder and tells ...


The Pennsylvania Constitution's Protection Of Free Expression, Seth F. Kreimer Oct 2002

The Pennsylvania Constitution's Protection Of Free Expression, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Method And Principle In Legal Theory, Stephen R. Perry Jan 2002

Method And Principle In Legal Theory, Stephen R. Perry

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Lines In The Sand: The Importance Of Borders In American Federalism, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2002

Lines In The Sand: The Importance Of Borders In American Federalism, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Roles Of Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2002

The Roles Of Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Mary Joe Frug's Postmodern Feminist Legal Manifesto Ten Years Later: Reflections On The State Of Feminism Today·, Regina Austin, Elizabeth M. Schneider Jan 2001

Mary Joe Frug's Postmodern Feminist Legal Manifesto Ten Years Later: Reflections On The State Of Feminism Today·, Regina Austin, Elizabeth M. Schneider

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Technologies Of Protest: Insurgent Social Movements And The First Amendment In The Era Of The Internet, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2001

Technologies Of Protest: Insurgent Social Movements And The First Amendment In The Era Of The Internet, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Why The Successful Assassin Is More Wicked Than The Unseccessful One, Leo Katz Jan 2000

Why The Successful Assassin Is More Wicked Than The Unseccessful One, Leo Katz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


When The Rule Swallows The Exception, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2000

When The Rule Swallows The Exception, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Inefficiency Of Mens Rea, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2000

The Inefficiency Of Mens Rea, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Coercing Privacy, Anita L. Allen Mar 1999

Coercing Privacy, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Invidious Comparisons: Some Cautionary Remarks On The Process Of Constitutional Borrowing, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 1999

Invidious Comparisons: Some Cautionary Remarks On The Process Of Constitutional Borrowing, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Preempting Oneself: The Right And The Duty To Forestall One's Own Wrongdoing, Leo Katz Jan 1999

Preempting Oneself: The Right And The Duty To Forestall One's Own Wrongdoing, Leo Katz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The New Etiquette Of Federalism: New York, Printz, And Yeskey, Matthew D. Adler, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 1999

The New Etiquette Of Federalism: New York, Printz, And Yeskey, Matthew D. Adler, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.