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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Theory Of Constitutional Norms, Ashraf Ahmed Jan 2022

A Theory Of Constitutional Norms, Ashraf Ahmed

Faculty Scholarship

The political convulsions of the past decade have fueled acute interest in constitutional norms or “conventions.” Despite intense scholarly attention, existing accounts are incomplete and do not answer at least one or more of three major questions: (1) What must all constitutional norms do? (2) What makes them conventional? (3) And why are they constitutional?

This Article advances an original theory of constitutional norms that answers these questions. First, it defines them and explains their general character: they are normative, contingent, and arbitrary practices that implement constitutional text and principle. Most scholars have foregone examining how norms are conventional or …


Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha Jan 2021

Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters – the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the …


Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2020

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive Era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s undermined …


Making Sense Of Customary International Law, Monica Hakimi Jan 2020

Making Sense Of Customary International Law, Monica Hakimi

Faculty Scholarship

This Article addresses a longstanding puzzle about customary international law (CIL): How can it be, at once, so central to the practice of international law — routinely invoked and applied in a broad range of settings — and the source of such persistent confusion and derision? The centrality of CIL suggests that, for the many people who use it, it is not only comprehensible but worthwhile. They presumably use it for a reason. But then, what accounts for all the muddle and disdain?

The Article argues that the problem lies less in the everyday operation of CIL than in the …


Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass Jan 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Faculty Scholarship

The forty-fifth presidency of the United States has sent lawyers reaching once more for the Founders’ dictionaries and legal treatises. In courtrooms, law schools, and media outlets across the country, the original meanings of the words etched into the U.S. Constitution in 1787 have become the staging ground for debates ranging from the power of a president to trademark his name in China to the rights of a legal permanent resident facing deportation. And yet, in this age when big data promises to solve potential challenges of interpretation and judges have for the most part agreed that original meaning should …


Why Should We Care About International Law, Monica Hakimi Jan 2020

Why Should We Care About International Law, Monica Hakimi

Faculty Scholarship

International lawyers are used to having their discipline dismissed. A conspicuous strand of thought in U.S. foreign policy circles — known as realist — posits that international law does not matter. Realists of course recognize that states and other global actors speak the language of international law. But they view this discourse as cheap talk or epiphenomenal. They contend that state decisions on the international plane are animated not by the dictates of international law but by material interests and power. States act consistently with international law insofar as they have independent reasons for acting that way. If those reasons …


Is The First Amendment Obsolete?, Tim Wu Jan 2018

Is The First Amendment Obsolete?, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

The First Amendment was brought to life in a period, the twentieth century, when the political speech environment was markedly different than today’s. With respect to any given issue, speech was scarce and limited to a few newspapers, pamphlets or magazines. The law was embedded, therefore, with the presumption that the greatest threat to free speech was direct punishment of speakers by government.

Today, in the internet and social media age, it is no longer speech that is scarce – rather, it is the attention of listeners. And those who seek to control speech use new methods that rely on …


Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack

Faculty Scholarship

For years, administrative law has been identified as the external review of agency action, primarily by courts. Following in the footsteps of pioneering administrative law scholars, a growing body of recent scholarship has begun to attend to the role of internal norms and structures in controlling agency action. This Article offers a conceptual and historical account of these internal forces as internal administrative law. Internal administrative law consists of the internal directives, guidance, and organizational forms through which agencies structure the discretion of their employees and presidents control the workings of the executive branch. It is the critical means for …


The Immanent Rationality Of Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2017

The Immanent Rationality Of Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

Why does copyright treat certain kinds of copying as legally actionable? For nearly a century, American copyright thinking has referenced a core consequentialist dogma to answer this question: incentivizing the production of creative expression at minimal social cost in an effort to further social welfare. This rationale, routinely traced back to the Constitution’s seemingly utilitarian mandate that copyright law should “promote the [p]rogress” of the sciences and useful arts, has come to dominate modern copyright jurisprudence and analysis.2 By classifying specific acts of copying as a wrong, and thereby recognizing a “right to the use of one’s expression,” copyright is …


Contextualizing Regimes: Institutionalization As A Response To The Limits Of Interpretation And Policy Engineering, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon Jan 2012

Contextualizing Regimes: Institutionalization As A Response To The Limits Of Interpretation And Policy Engineering, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

When legal language and the effects of public intervention are indeterminate, generalist lawmakers (legislatures, courts, top-level administrators) often rely on the normative output of contextualizing regimes – institutions that structure deliberative engagement by stakeholders and articulate the resulting understanding. Examples include the familiar practices of delegation and deference to administrative agencies in public law and to trade associations in private law. We argue that resorting to contextualizing regimes is becoming increasingly common across a broad range of issues and that the structure of emerging regimes is evolving away from the wellstudied agency and trade association examples. The newer regimes mix …


A Functional Approach To Targeting And Detention, Monica Hakimi Jan 2012

A Functional Approach To Targeting And Detention, Monica Hakimi

Faculty Scholarship

The international law governing when states may target to kill or preventively detain nonstate actors is in disarray. This Article puts much of the blame on the method that international law uses to answer that question. The method establishes different standards in four regulatory domains: (1) law enforcement, (2) emergency, (3) armed conflict for civilians, and (4) armed conflict for combatants. Because the legal standards vary, so too may substantive outcomes; decisionmakers must select the correct domain before determining whether targeting or detention is lawful. This Article argues that the "domain method" is practically unworkable and theoretically dubious. Practically, the …


In (Partial) Defense Of Strict Liability In Contract, Robert E. Scott Jan 2009

In (Partial) Defense Of Strict Liability In Contract, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Many scholars believe that notions of fault should and do pervade contract doctrine. Notwithstanding the normative and positive arguments in favor of a fault-based analysis of particular contract doctrines, I argue that contract liability is strict liability at its core. This core regime is based on two key prongs: (1) the promisor is liable to the promisee for breach, and that liability is unaffected by the promisor's exercise of due care or failure to take efficient precautions; and (2) the promisor's liability is unaffected by the fact that the promisee, prior to the breach, has failed to take cost-effective precautions …


Gatekeeper Failures: Why Important, What To Do, Merritt B. Fox Jan 2008

Gatekeeper Failures: Why Important, What To Do, Merritt B. Fox

Faculty Scholarship

The United States was hit by a wave of corporate scandals that crested between late 2001 and the end of 2002. Some were traditional scandals involving insiders looting company assets – the most prominent being Tyco, HealthSouth, and Adelphia. But most were what might be called "financial scandals": attempts by an issuer to maximize the market price of its securities by creating misimpressions as to what its future cash flows were likely to be. Enron and WorldCom were the most spectacular examples of these financial scandals. In scores of additional cases, the companies involved and their executives were sued by …


Scandal, Sukyandaru, And Chouwen, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2008

Scandal, Sukyandaru, And Chouwen, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Jose Canseco's use of steroids, the sale of used girls' underwear in Japan, penile mutilation, and the moral failings of both Bill Clinton and former Japanese Prime Minister Sosuke Uno are not topics that often appear side by side, much less in a scholarly work of comparative law. And few law professors have the chance to publish a book whose jacket features a picture of a scantily clad woman. In Secrets, Sex and Spectacle, Mark West does both. He also does much more, unraveling the interplay of social and legal rules that influence the formation of scandal and spectacle …


The Limits Of Courage And Principle, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2006

The Limits Of Courage And Principle, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

Michael Ignatieff, the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is not a lawyer. His work, however, treats issues of core concern to lawyers: nation-building, human rights, the ethics of warfare, and now, in his latest book, the proper relationship between liberty and security. The Lesser Evil is, in part, a book a legal scholar might have written: a normative framework for lawmaking in the face of the terror threat. It is also something more unusual: an exercise in an older type of jurisprudence. Ignatieff discusses law in the light of moral psychology …


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

On a recent day, I used my credit cards in connection with a number of minor transactions. I made eight purchases, and I paid two credit card bills. I also discarded (without opening) three solicitations for new cards, balance transfer programs, or other similar offers to extend credit via a credit card. Statistics suggest that I am not atypical. U.S. consumers last year used credit cards in about 100 purchasing transactions per capita, with an average value of about $70. At the end of the year, Americans owed nearly $500 billion dollars, in the range of $1,800 for every man, …


Copyright's Communications Policy, Tim Wu Jan 2004

Copyright's Communications Policy, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

There is something for everyone to dislike about early twenty-first century copyright. Owners of content say that newer and better technologies have made it too easy to be a pirate. Easy copying, they say, threatens the basic incentive to create new works; new rights and remedies are needed to restore the balance. Academic critics instead complain that a growing copyright gives content owners dangerous levels of control over expressive works. In one version of this argument, this growth threatens the creativity and progress that copyright is supposed to foster; in another, it represents an "enclosure movement" that threatens basic freedoms …


Law, Share Price Accuracy And Economic Performance: The New Evidence, Merritt B. Fox, Randall Morck, Bernard Yeung, Artyom Durnev Jan 2003

Law, Share Price Accuracy And Economic Performance: The New Evidence, Merritt B. Fox, Randall Morck, Bernard Yeung, Artyom Durnev

Faculty Scholarship

Mandatory disclosure has been at the core of U.S. securities regulation since its adoption in the early 1930s. For many decades, this fixture of our financial system was accepted with little examination. Over the last twenty years, however, mandatory disclosure has been subject to intensifying intellectual crosscurrents. Some commentators hold out the U.S. system as the standard for the world. They argue that adoption by other countries of a U.S.-styled system, with its greater corporate transparency, would enhance their economic performance. Other commentators, in contrast, insist that the U.S. mandatory disclosure regime represents a mistake, not a model. These crosscurrents …


The Contested Right To Vote, Richard Briffault Jan 2002

The Contested Right To Vote, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

For those who believe the United States is a representative democracy with a government elected by the people, the events of late 2000must have been more than a little disconcerting. In the election for our most important public office – our only truly national office – the candidate who received the most popular votes was declared the loser while his second place opponent, who had received some 540,000 fewer votes, was the winner. This result turned on the outcome in Florida, where approximately 150,000 ballots cast were found not to contain valid votes. Further, due to flaws in ballot design, …


The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Common justifications for the use of the letter of credit fail to explain its widespread use. The classic explanation claims that the letter of credit provides an effective assurance of payment from a financially responsible third party. In that story, the seller – a Taiwanese clothing manufacturer, for example – fears that the overseas buyer – Wal-Mart – will refuse to pay once the goods have been shipped. Cross-border transactions magnify the concern, because the difficulties of litigating in a distant forum will hinder the manufacturer's efforts to force the distant buyer to pay. The manufacturer-seller solves that problem by …


On The Use Of Practitioner Surveys In Commercial Law Research: Comments On Daniel Keating's Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action, Avery W. Katz Jan 2000

On The Use Of Practitioner Surveys In Commercial Law Research: Comments On Daniel Keating's Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

As Daniel Keating's principal article attests, the literature on U.C.C. section 2-207 and the "battle of the forms" is both vast and intricate. That fact, together with the distinguished array of commentators assembled here, makes it unlikely that I will be able to say anything substantially original on that subject. Accordingly, in the spirit of this overall symposium, I will focus the bulk of my remarks not on the substantive issues raised by Keating's article, but on his methodology. In particular, I will suggest that Keating's empirical method – the free-form, oral interview conducted personally by the principal researcher – …


Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Avery W. Katz Jan 2000

Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Ronald Mann's study of documentary defects in the presentation of commercial letters of credit1 is a valuable contribution to the commercial law literature in at least three respects. First, it offers a detailed and thorough empirical survey of an important though specialized aspect of commercial practice. Mann collected and coded a data sample of 500 randomly selected letter-of-credit transactions, personally evaluating each transaction to determine whether the documentary presentation by the beneficiary of the letter of credit (i.e., the seller) complied with the letter's formal terms. Then, for each case in which he found one or more documentary defects, Mann …


Moral Icons: A Comment On Steven Lubet's Reconstructing Atticus Finch, William H. Simon Jan 1999

Moral Icons: A Comment On Steven Lubet's Reconstructing Atticus Finch, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Atticus Finch's conduct would have been justified by the bar's conventional norms even if he had known Tom Robinson to be guilty. That fact, however, is not the source of the admiration for him that To Kill a Mockingbird has induced in so many readers. That admiration depends on the clear premise of the novel that Finch plausibly believes that Tom Robinson is innocent. Thus, the bar's invocation of Finch as a sympathetic illustration of its norms is misleading. The ethics of the novel are quite different from those of the bar.


Revaluing Restitution: From The Talmud To Postsocialism, Michael A. Heller, Christopher Serkin Jan 1999

Revaluing Restitution: From The Talmud To Postsocialism, Michael A. Heller, Christopher Serkin

Faculty Scholarship

Whatever happened to the study of restitution? Once a core private law subject along with property, torts, and contracts, restitution has receded from American legal scholarship. Few law professors teach the material, fewer still write in the area, and no one even agrees what the field comprises anymore. Hanoch threatens to reverse the tide and make restitution interesting again. The book takes commonplace words such as "value" and "gain" and shows how they embody a society's underlying normative principles. Variations across cultures in the law of unjust enrichment reflect differences in national understandings of sharing, property, and even personhood. As …


The Political Economy Of Statutory Reach: U.S. Disclosure Rules In A Globalizing Market For Securities, Merritt B. Fox Jan 1998

The Political Economy Of Statutory Reach: U.S. Disclosure Rules In A Globalizing Market For Securities, Merritt B. Fox

Faculty Scholarship

This Article addresses the appropriate reach of the U.S. mandatory securities disclosure regime. While disclosure obligations are imposed on issuers, they are triggered by transactions: the public offering of, or public trading in, the issuers' shares. Share transactions are taking on an increasingly transnational character. The barriers to a truly global market for equities continue to lessen: financial information is becoming increasingly globalized and it is becoming increasingly inexpensive and easy to effect share transactions abroad. There are approximately 41,000 issuers of publicly traded shares in the world. For an ever larger portion of these issuers, there will be significant …


The Erotic Of Torts, Carol Sanger Jan 1998

The Erotic Of Torts, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

"What kind of feminist would be accused of sexual harassment?" asks Jane Gallop (p. 1). Gallop quickly provides her own challenging answer: "the sort of feminist ... that ... do[es] not respect the line between the intellectual and the sexual" (p. 12). Gallop is firm and unrepentant about not respecting this line: "I sexualize the atmosphere in which I work. When sexual harassment is defined as the introduction of sex into professional relations, it becomes quite possible to be both a feminist and a sexual harasser" (p. 11). Figuring out what this means – and what its implications are for …


Reflecting On The Subject: A Critique Of The Social Influence Conception Of Deterrence, The Broken Windows Theory, And Order-Maintenance Policing New York Style, Bernard Harcourt Jan 1998

Reflecting On The Subject: A Critique Of The Social Influence Conception Of Deterrence, The Broken Windows Theory, And Order-Maintenance Policing New York Style, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In 1993, New York City began implementing the quality-of-life initiative, an order-maintenance policing strategy targeting minor misdemeanor offenses like turnstile jumping, aggressive panhandling, and public drinking. The policing initiative is premised on the broken windows theory of deterrence, namely the hypothesis that minor physical and social disorder, if left unattended in a neighborhood, causes serious crime. New York City's new policing strategy has met with overwhelming support in the press and among public officials, policymakers, sociologists, criminologists and political scientists. The media describe the "famous" Broken Windows essay as "the bible of policing" and "the blueprint for community policing." Order-maintenance …


Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1997

Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

The question of why parties use secured debt is one of the most fundamental questions in commercial finance. The commonplace answer focuses on force: A grant of collateral to a lender enhances the lender's ability to collect its debt by enhancing the lender's ability to take possession of the collateral by force and sell it to satisfy the debt. That perspective draws considerable support from the design of the major legal institutions that support secured debt: Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the less uniform state laws regarding real estate mortgages.

Both of those institutions are designed solely …


Securities Disclosure In A Globalizing Market: Who Should Regulate Whom, Merritt B. Fox Jan 1997

Securities Disclosure In A Globalizing Market: Who Should Regulate Whom, Merritt B. Fox

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most dramatic examples of increasing interaction across national boundaries in recent years has been the burgeoning volume of transnational transactions in corporate equities. Most developed capitalist countries impose affirmative obligations on issuers of corporate equity to disclose certain information about themselves. While these obligations are imposed on issuers, they are triggered by transactions. The growth in transnational transactions is thus increasingly raising difficult issues concerning the reach of differing national regimes. Given the magnitude of legal resources devoted to compliance with such disclosure regulations, they promise to feature prominently in the larger discussion of the role of …


The Folklore Of Investor Capitalism, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1997

The Folklore Of Investor Capitalism, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Ideally, Thurman Arnold should review this book. In his The Folklore of American Capitalism, Arnold dissected the ideology and rationalizations by which the business community of an earlier day defended its legitimacy and perquisites. Michael Useem, a sociologist at the Wharton School, also has an interest in the ideology of the business community: how corporate managers view the new institutional investors, how they justify resistance, and the tensions and inconsistencies between their critiques of money managers and their own behavior. This is an underutilized perspective (which law and economics inherently tends to overlook), and Useem is at his best …