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Full-Text Articles in Law

Qualified Immunity: Protecting All But The Plainly Incompetent (And Maybe Some Of Them, Too), Susan Bendlin Jan 2012

Qualified Immunity: Protecting All But The Plainly Incompetent (And Maybe Some Of Them, Too), Susan Bendlin

Faculty Scholarship

Public officials can be more certain than ever before that qualified immunity will shield them from suits for money damages even if their actions violate the constitutional rights of another. In the October 2011 Term the Supreme Court granted qualified immunity to government officials in four significant cases and denied it to none. Troublesome aspects of the Supreme Court’s current approach include (1) the failure to clarify important Constitutional questions; and (2) the blurring of the distinction between absolute and qualified immunity for all practical purposes by assuring state officials that they can be certain of the shield from liability. …


Broadband Localism, Olivier Sylvain Jan 2012

Broadband Localism, Olivier Sylvain

Faculty Scholarship

Today, local governments are supplying broadband service to residents to fill the service gap left by major providers. Municipalities are joining forces with local anchor institutions and private providers to close the digital divide and incubate novel public-minded service models. This is the new broadband localism. Some stakeholders fear that local public participation in the broadband market will negatively impact competition. They have articulated this concern in state legislation across the country: nineteen states forbid or otherwise restrict municipal ownership or administration of broadband and three may enact similar restrictions this year. No matter the substantive policy merits of such …


The Use And Abuse Of Special-Purpose Entities In Public Finance, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2012

The Use And Abuse Of Special-Purpose Entities In Public Finance, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

States increasingly are raising financing indirectly through special-purpose entities (SPEs), variously referred to as authorities, special authorities, or public authorities. Notwithstanding their long history and increasingly widespread use, relatively little is known or has been written about these entities. This article examines state SPEs and their functions, comparing them to SPEs used in corporate finance. States, even more than corporations, use these entities to reduce financial transparency and avoid public scrutiny, seriously threatening the integrity of public finance. The article analyzes how regulation could be designed in order to control that threat while maintaining the legitimate financing benefits provided by …


Its Hour Come Round At Last? State Sovereign Immunity And The Great State Debt Crisis Of The Early Twenty-First Century, Ernest A. Young Jan 2012

Its Hour Come Round At Last? State Sovereign Immunity And The Great State Debt Crisis Of The Early Twenty-First Century, Ernest A. Young

Faculty Scholarship

State sovereign immunity is a sort of constitutional comet, streaking across the sky once a century to the amazement and consternation of legal commentators. The comet’s appearance has usually coincided with major state debt crises: The Revolutionary War debts brought us Chisholm v. Georgia and the Eleventh Amendment, and the Reconstruction debts brought us Hans v. Louisiana and the Amendment’s extension to federal question cases. This essay argues that much of our law of state sovereign immunity, including its odd fictions and otherwise-incongruous exceptions, can be understood as an effort to maintain immunity’s core purpose — protecting the states from …


Drinking Water And Exclusion: A Case Study From California’S Central Valley, Camille Pannu Jan 2012

Drinking Water And Exclusion: A Case Study From California’S Central Valley, Camille Pannu

Faculty Scholarship

The American West is notorious for its water wars, and California’s complex water allocation and governance challenges serve as a bellwether for contemporary water governance across western states. Policy makers and environmental advocates typically represent California’s water woes as a regulatory problem — a failure to balance the needs of growing urban populations with ecological preservation and agricultural irrigation. These debates, however, often elide the issue of water deprivation, and they do not adequately address the concerns of an important constituency: low-income, rural communities.

This Comment argues that a focus on regulation misses a fundamental feature of water inequality: the …


Changing The Conversation In Education Law: Political Geography And Virtual Schooling Book Review Essay, Aaron J. Saiger Jan 2012

Changing The Conversation In Education Law: Political Geography And Virtual Schooling Book Review Essay, Aaron J. Saiger

Faculty Scholarship

In Five Miles Away, A World Apart, James E. Ryan concludes that the educational reforms of the hour, school accountability and school choice, will exacerbate rather than undermine the systematic educational advantages enjoyed by wealthier Americans. Paul Peterson, in his Saving Schools, argues that increasingly centralizing American schools have become sufficiently centralized that, as a labor-intensive industry, few productivity gains are available from governance reform, even as demand escalates for the customization of education to individual needs. Both volumes therefore pin their hopes for change upon political geography-the relationship between people and educational institutions in space. Ryan argues that changing …