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Pandemic Governance, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Justin Weinstein-Tull Jun 2022

Pandemic Governance, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Justin Weinstein-Tull

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The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented need for governance by a multiplicity of authorities. The nature of the pandemic—globally communicable, uncontrolled, and initially mysterious—required a coordinated response to a common problem. But the pandemic was superimposed atop our decentralized domestic and international governance structures, and the result was devastating: the United States has a death rate that is eighteenth highest in the world, and the pandemic has had dramatically unequal impacts across the country. COVID-19’s effects have been particularly destructive for communities of color, women, and intersectional populations.

This Article finds order in the chaos of the pandemic response by …


Confronting Complexity With Regulatory Excellence: Recommendations In The Wake Of The Philadelphia Refinery Explosion, Cary Coglianese Jun 2022

Confronting Complexity With Regulatory Excellence: Recommendations In The Wake Of The Philadelphia Refinery Explosion, Cary Coglianese

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Following the June 2019 explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery, the city of Philadelphia now confronts major challenges associated with the future of the refinery site. Whether the site is reopened as a refinery or other chemical-processing operation, or redeveloped for other uses, the city will face challenges endemic to all kinds of public policy issues: complexity, uncertainty, dynamism, tradeoffs, and value choices. This testimony, delivered to the City of Philadelphia Refinery Advisory Group’s Environment Committee, offers three main suggestions to help guide Philadelphia officials in dealing with the future of the PES refinery site. First, city officials …


Municipal Fiber In The United States: A Financial Assessment, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert, Timothy P. Pfenninger Jun 2022

Municipal Fiber In The United States: A Financial Assessment, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert, Timothy P. Pfenninger

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Despite growing interest in broadband provided by municipally owned and operated fiber-to-the-home networks, the academic literature has yet to undertake a systematic assessment of these projects’ financial performance. To fill this gap, we utilize municipalities’ official reports to offer an empirical evaluation of the financial performance of every municipal fiber project in the U.S. operating in 2010 through 2019. An analysis of the actual performance of the resulting fifteen-project panel dataset reveals that none of the projects generated sufficient nominal cash flow in the short run to maintain solvency without infusions of additional cash from outside sources or debt relief. …


Pandemic Federalism, Cary Coglianese Jan 2022

Pandemic Federalism, Cary Coglianese

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Legislators, agency officials, and the public have a lot to learn from the United States’ experience in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. If policymakers take seriously their responsibility to identify past mistakes, and then act now to prepare for future viral outbreaks, the nation can do better in the next crisis. One needed change will take the form of clarifying the essential role for the national government and its leadership in responding to pandemics. The United States needs to create a structure for a pandemic federalism that temporarily but responsively allows for a reconfiguration of public health authority, such that …


How Criminal Code Drafting Form Can Restrain Prosecutorial And Legislative Excesses: Consolidated Offense Drafting, Paul H. Robinson, Matthew Kussmaul, Muhammad Sarahne Mar 2021

How Criminal Code Drafting Form Can Restrain Prosecutorial And Legislative Excesses: Consolidated Offense Drafting, Paul H. Robinson, Matthew Kussmaul, Muhammad Sarahne

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Solving criminal justice problems typically requires the enactment of new rules or the modification of existing ones. But there are some serious problems that can best be solved simply by altering the way in which the existing rules are drafted rather than by altering their content. This is the case with two of the most serious problems in criminal justice today: the problem of overlapping criminal offenses that create excessive prosecutorial charging discretion and the problem of legislative inconsistency and irrationality in grading offenses.

After examining these two problems and demonstrating their serious effects in perverting criminal justice, the essay …


Kangaroo Courts, Shaun Ossei-Owusu Jan 2021

Kangaroo Courts, Shaun Ossei-Owusu

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Kangaroo courts are seemingly everywhere and nowhere. Legal actors often use this term to describe substandard and defective tribunals across various areas of American law. Yet there are few scholarly treatments of this evocative term. Without embracing this specific description, Professor Alexandra Natapoff’s Criminal Municipal Courts provides vivid insights into a rarely explored world of administration that has many of the trappings of kangaroo courts. Natapoff catalogs how municipal courts — also referred to as “town,” “summary,” “justice,” “mayor,” and “police” courts — are sometimes replete with conflicts of interests, shockingly staffed with nonlawyer judges, and often flouting standard criminal …


Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor Jan 2021

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor

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The use of artificial intelligence has expanded rapidly in recent years across many aspects of the economy. For federal, state, and local governments in the United States, interest in artificial intelligence has manifested in the use of a series of digital tools, including the occasional deployment of machine learning, to aid in the performance of a variety of governmental functions. In this paper, we canvas the current uses of such digital tools and machine-learning technologies by the judiciary and administrative agencies in the United States. Although we have yet to see fully automated decision-making find its way into either adjudication …


Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax Nov 2020

Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax

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While the law on insider trading has been convoluted and, in Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s words, “topsy turvy,” the law on insider trading is supposedly clear on at least one point: insider trading liability is premised upon a fiduciary relationship. Thus, all three seminal U.S. Supreme Court cases articulating the necessary elements for demonstrating any form of insider trading liability under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 made crystal clear that a fiduciary relationship represented the lynchpin for such liability.

Alas, insider trading law is not clear about the source from which the fiduciary …


Local Elected Officials’ Receptivity To Refugee Resettlement In The United States, Robert Shaffer, Lauren E. Pinson, Jonathan A. Chu, Beth A. Simmons Oct 2020

Local Elected Officials’ Receptivity To Refugee Resettlement In The United States, Robert Shaffer, Lauren E. Pinson, Jonathan A. Chu, Beth A. Simmons

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Local leaders possess significant and growing authority over refugee resettlement, yet we know little about their attitudes toward refugees. In this article, we use a conjoint experiment to evaluate how the attributes of hypothetical refugee groups influence local policymaker receptivity toward refugee resettlement. We sample from a novel, national panel of current local elected officials, who represent a broad range of urban and rural communities across the United States. We find that many local officials favor refugee resettlement regardless of refugee attributes. However, officials are most receptive to refugees whom they perceive as a strong economic and social fit within …


Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Mar 2020

Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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In an earlier article, we argued that the Utah Supreme Court failed to follow and correctly apply clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Steiner v. Utah when the Utah high court held that an internally inconsistent and discriminatory state tax regime did not violate the dormant commerce clause. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court recently declined certiorari in Steiner, but the issue is unlikely to go away. Not every state high court will defy the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to apply the dormant commerce clause, and so the Court will sooner or later likely find itself facing conflicting interpretations of …


Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai Jan 2020

Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai

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Policymakers in the United States have just begun to address regulation of artificial intelligence technologies in recent years, gaining momentum through calls for additional research funding, piece-meal guidance, proposals, and legislation at all levels of government. This Article provides an overview of high-level federal initiatives for general artificial intelligence (AI) applications set forth by the U.S. president and responding agencies, early indications from the incoming Biden Administration, targeted federal initiatives for sector-specific AI applications, pending federal legislative proposals, and state and local initiatives. The regulation of the algorithmic ecosystem will continue to evolve as the United States continues to search …


“Second Looks, Second Chances”: Collaborating With Lifers Inc. On A Video About Commutation Of Lwop Sentences, Regina Austin Jan 2019

“Second Looks, Second Chances”: Collaborating With Lifers Inc. On A Video About Commutation Of Lwop Sentences, Regina Austin

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In Pennsylvania, life means life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) or “death by incarceration.” Although executive commutation offers long serving rehabilitated lifers hope of release, in the past 20 years, only 8 commutations have been granted by the state’s governors. This article describes the collaboration between an organization of incarcerated persons serving LWOP and the law-school-based Penn Program on Documentaries and the Law that produced a video supporting increased commutations for Pennsylvania lifers. The article details the methodology of collaborative videomaking employed, the strategic decisions over content that were impacted by the politics of commutation, and the contributions of …


Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler

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Several features of the existing occupational licensing system impede access to health care without providing appreciable protections for patients. Licensing restrictions prevent health care providers from offering services to the full extent of their competency, obstruct the adoption of telehealth, and deter foreign-trained providers from practicing in the United States. Scholars and policymakers have proposed a number of reforms to this system over the years, but these proposals have had a limited impact for political and institutional reasons.

Still, there are grounds for optimism. In recent years, the federal government has taken a range of initial steps to reform licensing …


Reflections On Two Years Of P.R.O.M.E.S.A., David A. Skeel Jr. Jun 2018

Reflections On Two Years Of P.R.O.M.E.S.A., David A. Skeel Jr.

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This Essay draws both on my scholarly and on my personal experience as a member of Puerto Rico’s oversight board to assess the first two years of the Board’s existence. I begin in a scholarly mode, by exploring the question of where P.R.O.M.E.S.A., the legislation that created the Board, came from. P.R.O.M.E.S.A.’s core provisions are, I will argue, the product of two historical patterns that have emerged in responses to the financial distress of public entities in the United States. The first dates back to the 1970s crisis in New York City, while the second is much more recent. If …


Exclusionary Megacities, Wendell Pritchett, Shitong Qiao Jan 2018

Exclusionary Megacities, Wendell Pritchett, Shitong Qiao

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Human beings should live in places where they are most productive, and megacities, where information, innovation and opportunities congregate, would be the optimal choice. Yet megacities in both China and the U.S. are excluding people by limiting housing supply. Why, despite their many differences, is the same type of exclusion happening in both Chinese and U.S. megacities? Urban law and policy scholars argue that Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) homeowners are taking over megacities in the U.S. and hindering housing development therein. They pin their hopes on an efficient growth machine that makes sure “above all, nothing gets in the way of building.” …


The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2018

The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

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This Article seeks to provide the most comprehensive national-level empirical analysis of misdemeanor criminal justice that is currently feasible given the state of data collection in the United States. First, we estimate that there are 13.2 million misdemeanor cases filed in the United States each year. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, this number is not rising. Both the number of misdemeanor arrests and cases filed have declined markedly in recent years. In fact, national arrest rates for almost every misdemeanor offense category have been declining for at least two decades, and the misdemeanor arrest rate was lower in 2014 than …


The Quiet Undoing: How Regional Electricity Market Reforms Threaten State Clean Energygoals, Danny Cullenward, Shelley Welton Jan 2018

The Quiet Undoing: How Regional Electricity Market Reforms Threaten State Clean Energygoals, Danny Cullenward, Shelley Welton

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In a series of largely unnoticed but extremely consequential moves, two regional electricity market operators are pursuing reforms to make it more difficult for states to achieve their clean energy goals. The federal energy regulator, FERC, has already approved one such reform and ordered a second market operator to go farther in punishing state-supported clean energy resources than it had initially proposed. This disturbing trend highlights a shift in energy governance that threatens to destabilize the field’s delicate cooperative federalist model. Over the past several decades, states have increasingly ceded control over energy dispatch and grid planning to private market …


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

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The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent constitutional …


Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith Jun 2017

Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith

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This book review argues for reorienting how we think about federalism in relation to foreign affairs. In considering state and local engagement in foreign affairs, legal scholars often focus on the opportunities and limits provided by constitutional law. Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity by Michael Glennon and Robert Sloane does precisely this in a thoughtful and well-crafted way. But while the backdrop constitutional principles studied by Glennon and Sloane are important, so too are other types of law that receive far less attention. International law, administrative law, particular statutory schemes, and state law can all affect how …


Public Energy, Shelley Welton Jan 2017

Public Energy, Shelley Welton

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Many scholars and policy makers celebrate cities as loci for addressing climate change. In addition to being significant sources of carbon pollution, cities prove to be dynamic sites of experimentation and ambition on climate policy. However, as U.S. cities set climate change goals far above those of their federal and state counterparts, they are butting up against the limits of their existing legal authority, most notably with regard to control over energy supplies. In response, many U.S. cities are exercising their legal rights to reclaim public ownership or control over private electric utilities as a method of achieving their climate …


The Economic Foundation Of The Dormant Commerce Clause, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2017

The Economic Foundation Of The Dormant Commerce Clause, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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Last Term, a sharply divided Supreme Court decided a landmark dormant Commerce Clause case, Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. Wynne represents the Court’s first clear acknowledgement of the economic underpinnings of one of its main doctrinal tools for resolving tax discrimination cases, the internal consistency test. In deciding Wynne, the Court relied on economic analysis we provided. This Essay explains that analysis, why the majority accepted it, why the dissenters’ objections to the majority’s reasoning miss their mark, and what Wynne means for state taxation. Essential to our analysis and the Court’s decision in Wynne …


Partial Takings, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2017

Partial Takings, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

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Partial takings allow the government to expropriate the parts of an asset it needs, leaving the owner the remainder. Both vital and common, partial takings present unique challenges to the standard rules of eminent domain. Partial takings may result in the creation of suboptimal, and even unusable, parcels. Additionally, partial takings create assessment problems that do not arise when parcels are taken as a whole. Finally, partial takings engender opportunities for inefficient strategic behavior on the part of the government after the partial taking has been carried out. Current jurisprudence fails to resolve these problems and can even exacerbate them. …


The Bylaw Puzzle In Delaware Corporate Law, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2017

The Bylaw Puzzle In Delaware Corporate Law, David A. Skeel Jr.

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In less than a decade, Delaware’s legislature has overruled its courts and reshaped Delaware corporate law on two different occasions, with proxy access bylaws in 2009 and with shareholder litigation bylaws in 2015. Having two dramatic interventions in quick succession would be puzzling under any circumstances. The interventions are doubly puzzling because with proxy access, Delaware’s legislature authorized the use of bylaws or charter provisions that Delaware’s courts had banned; while with shareholder litigation, it banned bylaws or charter provisions that the courts had authorized. This Article attempts to unravel the puzzle.

I start with corporate law doctrine, and find …


Is The Government Fiscally Blind? An Empirical Examination Of The Effect Of The Compensation Requirement On Eminent-Domain Exercises, Ronit Levine-Schnur, Gideon Parchomovsky Jun 2016

Is The Government Fiscally Blind? An Empirical Examination Of The Effect Of The Compensation Requirement On Eminent-Domain Exercises, Ronit Levine-Schnur, Gideon Parchomovsky

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We empirically test the fiscal-illusion hypothesis in the takings context in Israel. Israeli law allows local governments to expropriate up to 40 percent of any parcel without compensation. In 2001, the Israeli Supreme Court created a carve out for takings of 100 percent, requiring full compensation in such cases. We analyze data for 3,140 takings cases in Tel Aviv between 1990 and 2014. There was no disproportionate share of takings of just under 40 percent. Nor was there a long-term drop in the share of 100 percent takings after 2001. Although a short-term drop in the share of 100 percent …


Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach May 2016

Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach

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In this chapter I discuss the history and basic incentive effects of two key U.S. cash assistance programs aimed at families with children. Starting roughly in the 1980s, critics of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program argued that the program -- designed largely to cut relatively small checks -- failed to end poverty or promote work. After years of federally provided waivers that allowed states to experiment with changes to their AFDC programs, the critics in 1996 won the outright elimination of AFDC. It was replaced by the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, over which …


Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay, written as a response to John F. Duffy and Richard Hynes, Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property, 102 VA. L. REV. 1 (2016), argues that the patent exhaustion (first sale) doctrine developed as a creature of federalism, intended to divide the line between the law of patents, which by that time had become exclusively federal, and the law of patented things, which were governed by the states. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century courts were explicit on the point, in decisions stretching from the 1850s well into the twentieth century.

By the second half of …


A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2016

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Few still believe that Puerto Rico is capable of meeting all of its financial obligations and continuing to provide basic services. The territory is already in default, and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Is there a way forward? We think there is. In this short article, we outline a two-part plan for correcting Puerto Rico’s most urgent fiscal and financial problems.

The first step is to create an independent financial control board that has authority over Puerto Rico’s budgets and related issues. Notwithstanding concerns that an externally imposed financial control board (FCB) may interfere with the decision making processes of democratically …


Governmental Intervention In An Economic Crisis, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2016

Governmental Intervention In An Economic Crisis, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr.

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This paper articulates a framework both for assessing the various government bailouts that took place at the onset of Great Recession and for guiding future rescue efforts when they become necessary. The goals for those engineering a bailout should be to be as transparent as possible, to articulate clearly the reason for the intervention, to respect existing priorities among investors, to exercise control only at the top level where such efforts can be seen by the public, and to exit as soon as possible. By these metrics, some of the recent bailouts should be applauded, while others fell short. We …


Governance Reform And The Judicial Role In Municipal Bankruptcy, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2016

Governance Reform And The Judicial Role In Municipal Bankruptcy, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Recent proceedings involving large municipalities such as Detroit, Stockton, and Vallejo illustrate both the utility and the limitations of using the Bankruptcy Code to adjust municipal debt. In this article, we contend that, to truly resolve the distress of a substantial city, municipal bankruptcy needs to do more than simply provide immediate debt relief. Debt adjustment alone does nothing to remedy the fragmented decision-making and incentives for expanding municipal budgets that underlie municipal distress. Unless bankruptcy also addresses governance dysfunction, the city may slide right back into financial crisis. Governance restructuring has long been an essential element of corporate bankruptcy. …


A Solution In Search Of A Problem: Kelo Reform Over Ten Years, Wendell Pritchett Jan 2016

A Solution In Search Of A Problem: Kelo Reform Over Ten Years, Wendell Pritchett

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Kelo is NOT Dred Scott. Kelo is not only NOT Dred Scott, it was, as this Essay will argue, the right decision given the facts of the cases and the current state of legal jurisprudence. As an academic who has detailed the historic exploitation of eminent domain to uproot persons of color in this country, I find it interesting, and somewhat troubling, that the case has received so much criticism, much more criticism, I would argue, than other Supreme Court decisions that deserve condemnation. Certainly, eminent domain, like any other government power, must be regulated carefully. But upending …