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Full-Text Articles in Law

Can Pensions Be Restructured In (Detroit’S) Municipal Bankruptcy?, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2013

Can Pensions Be Restructured In (Detroit’S) Municipal Bankruptcy?, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper, which was written as a White Paper for the Federalist Society, describes and assesses the question whether public employee pensions can be restructured in bankruptcy, with a particular focus on Detroit. Part I gives a brief overview both of the treatment of pensions under state law, and of the Michigan law governing the Detroit pensions. Part II explains the legal argument for restructuring an underfunded pension in bankruptcy. Part III considers the major federal constitutional objections to restructuring, Part IV discusses arguments based on the Michigan Constitution, and Part V assesses several Chapter 9 arguments against restructuring. None ...


Treaty Options: Towards A Behavioral Understanding Of Treaty Design, Jean Galbraith Jan 2013

Treaty Options: Towards A Behavioral Understanding Of Treaty Design, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Rational choice theory is the dominant paradigm through which scholars of international law and international relations approach treaty design. In this Article, I suggest a different approach using a combination of empirical observations of state behavior and theoretical insights from behavioral economics. I focus on one aspect of multilateral treaty design: namely, treaty reservations and associated legal mechanisms which allow states to vary the degree of their formal commitments to treaties. I call these mechanisms “treaty options.” I argue that the framing of treaty options matters powerfully — and does so in ways inconsistent with rational choice theory, but consistent with ...


Is Bankruptcy The Answer For Troubled Cities And States?, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2013

Is Bankruptcy The Answer For Troubled Cities And States?, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The financial crisis that has afflicted America’s cities and states for the past decade is far from over. Under existing U.S. law, distressed municipalities can file for bankruptcy if their state permits this, as roughly half do. The states themselves do not have a bankruptcy option, however, no matter how bleak their circumstances may be. There have recently been dramatic developments in the handling of municipal distress. Several cities have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 9, which, although adequate for sewer and water districts or a very small town, has conventionally been deemed irrelevant for real cities and ...