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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer Jan 2012

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

We face a time of stagnant economic growth, severe unemployment, massive budget deficits, and an increasingly competitive global economy. These daunting challenges are the legacy of a number of unwise policy decisions in both the public and private sectors. Although the good news is that unsound policies can be changed, the bad news is that no single step will do the trick. It is a challenge to rely on monetary policy when interest rates are near zero. There also is uncertainty – and a heated debate among economists – about the effectiveness of a Keynesian stimulus. One thing we know is that ...


The Conservative Case For Precedent, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2008

The Conservative Case For Precedent, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay offers some reasons why conservatives should favor giving great weight to precedent in constitutional adjudication. Let me start with some preliminary observations about the debate between originalism and precedent more generally.

First, the debate has been dominated to far too great an extent by specific cases, Roe v. Wade in particular. It is distressing that the only issue that has seemed to matter in recent confirmation hearings is what a nominee thinks about Roe v. Wade. Similarly, in the precedent versus originalism debate, much of the discussion – even in the law reviews – is animated by what commentators think ...


Private Property And The Politics Of Environmental Protection, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2004

Private Property And The Politics Of Environmental Protection, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Private property plays two opposing roles in stories about the environment. In the story favored by most environmentalists, private property is the bad guy. It balkanizes an interconnected ecosystem into artificial units of individual ownership. Owners of these finite parcels have little incentive to invest in ecosystem resources and every incentive to dump polluting wastes onto other parcels. Only by relocating control over natural resources in some central authority like the federal government, can we make integrated decisions designed to preserve the health of the entire ecosystem. For these traditional environmentalists, private property is the problem; public control is the ...


On Justice And War: Contradictions In The Proposed Military Tribunals, George P. Fletcher Jan 2002

On Justice And War: Contradictions In The Proposed Military Tribunals, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The autumn of our anguish has passed, and we are still confused about how to describe the use of military force in Afghanistan. We are torn between using the language of justice and the language of war. Is this an attack by private individuals, a case of a single terrorist writ large? If the mass killings of September 11 are the crimes of individuals – Islamic fundamentalist versions of Timothy McVeigh – then we can think about arresting them and bringing them to "justice." The mantra of the Bush team, "bringing justice to them and them to justice," has seeped through the ...


Does Public Choice Theory Justify Judicial Activism After All?, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1997

Does Public Choice Theory Justify Judicial Activism After All?, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Some legal scholars have argued that public choice theory justifies certain kinds of judicial activism. Others have said it does not. Given the present state of the debate, it would appear that those finding no necessary support for judicial activism have the stronger argument. I will suggest, however, that if we tweak the analysis a little further, it may turn out that public choice theory provides limited support for judicial activism after all.


Bork V. Burke, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1996

Bork V. Burke, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

I would like to make the case for a conservative alternative to originalism. Much of the discussion that has taken place over the last two days has proceeded on the assumption that there are two choices. One is Robert Bork's originalism, justified by various values near and dear to conservative hearts, such as the rule of law, continuity with the past, the principle of democratic accountability, and so forth. The other is to flee into the hands of the so-called nonoriginalists, and embrace, to quote Judge Easterbrook quoting Justice Brennan, the judge's "personal confrontation with the well-springs of ...


Three Models Of Affirmative Action Beneficiaries, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1996

Three Models Of Affirmative Action Beneficiaries, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

What has caused the affirmative action debate to become so acrimonious? Perhaps some insight may be gained By considering three competing models of affirmative action beneficiaries that underlie this debate: (1) the outsider group model; (2) the interest group model; and (3) what I will call the adversity group model.


Thomas Jefferson, James Madison And The Role Of Interdisciplinary Studies, Robert E. Scott Jan 1995

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison And The Role Of Interdisciplinary Studies, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

On behalf of the University of Virginia School of Law, it is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 1994 Federalist Society Symposium. This year's conference, the 13th Annual Student Symposium, focuses on Feminism, Sexual Distinctions, and the Law. This conference continues the admirable tradition of the Federalist Society, a tradition which emphasizes the unique role of law students in fostering a robust marketplace of ideas about law, and in maintaining the interdisciplinary focus of the modem university law school.

The coincidence of the Federalist Society Annual Conference's being held in Charlottesville leads inevitably to ...


A Modest Proposal For A Political Court, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

A Modest Proposal For A Political Court, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

I offer a modest proposal. You can decide for yourself whether it is offered in the spirit of Jonathan Swift, or whether I mean it to be taken seriously.


The Role Of Institutional Factors In Protecting Individual Liberties, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1992

The Role Of Institutional Factors In Protecting Individual Liberties, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Questions about the efficacy of the Bill of Rights cry out for serious comparative legal scholarship. Robert Ellickson and Frank Easterbrook suggest that one might approach these questions by looking at different state constitutions. One might also look more seriously at the different constitutional regimes around the world, and try to draw some judgments about what impact, if any, different types of constitutional arrangements have on individual rights. We have heard expressions of skepticism about this approach, but there has been very little serious comparative scholarship by constitutional law scholars in this country. The scholarly tradition in America has been ...