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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Public Perception Of The #Geneeditedbabies Event Across Multiple Social Media Platforms: Observational Study, Ellen W. Clayton, Congning Ni, Et Al. Nov 2022

The Public Perception Of The #Geneeditedbabies Event Across Multiple Social Media Platforms: Observational Study, Ellen W. Clayton, Congning Ni, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In November 2018, a Chinese researcher reported that his team had applied clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats or associated protein 9 to delete the gene C-C chemokine receptor type 5 from embryos and claimed that the 2 newborns would have lifetime immunity from HIV infection, an event referred to as #GeneEditedBabies on social media platforms. Although this event stirred a worldwide debate on ethical and legal issues regarding clinical trials with embryonic gene sequences, the focus has mainly been on academics and professionals. However, how the public, especially stratified by geographic region and culture, reacted to these issues is not ...


And A Public Defender For All, Sara Mayeux May 2022

And A Public Defender For All, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Senate confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court last week means that she is soon to be the first Supreme Court justice with prior experience as a federal public defender. This is historic in its own right, though it is not quite as surprising on closer inspection, since the institution of the federal public defender — in its currently prevailing organizational particulars, anyway — dates back only to the 1970s. Still, given that several of the justices previously worked as federal prosecutors, Jackson’s confirmation injects a welcome measure of professional balance to the lineup. Moreover, Jackson can rightfully ...


John Nagle's Scholarship On The Meanings Of Pollution, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman Apr 2022

John Nagle's Scholarship On The Meanings Of Pollution, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

John Nagle was a valued friend of ours and a valued colleague. We wrote a casebook together1 and enjoyed each other’s company at environmental law workshops and conferences. He wrote on an impressively wide range of topics and was perhaps best known for his scholarship on the Endangered Species Act. In deciding how to honor his memory, we decided to highlight a long-running focus of his scholarship that is not as well known but, we believe, merits the attention and respect of scholars today and going forward. This Essay, therefore, reviews his work on pollution in all its forms ...


Sociotechnical Safeguards For Genomic Data Privacy, Ellen W. Clayton, Zhiyu Wan, Et Al. Mar 2022

Sociotechnical Safeguards For Genomic Data Privacy, Ellen W. Clayton, Zhiyu Wan, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Recent developments in a variety of sectors, including health care, research and the direct-to-consumer industry, have led to a dramatic increase in the amount of genomic data that are collected, used and shared. This state of affairs raises new and challenging concerns for personal privacy, both legally and technically. This Review appraises existing and emerging threats to genomic data privacy and discusses how well current legal frameworks and technical safeguards mitigate these concerns. It concludes with a discussion of remaining and emerging challenges and illustrates possible solutions that can balance protecting privacy and realizing the benefits that result from the ...


The Future Of Law And Neuroscience, Owen D. Jones Mar 2022

The Future Of Law And Neuroscience, Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

I was asked to speculate about where the field of Law and Neuroscience may be ten years from now. In that spirit (and while recognizing that the future rarely complies with our predictions) I attempt here some extrapolations. I first consider potential advances in the technologies for monitoring and manipulating brain states, the techniques for analyzing brain data, and the efforts to further integrate relevant fields. I then consider potential neurolaw developments relevant to: (1) detecting things law cares about; (2) individualizing developmental states and brain states; (3) evidence-based legal reforms; (4) legal decision-making; and (5) brain-brain interfaces.


Ai Derivatives: The Application To The Derivative Work Right To Literary And Artistic Productions Of Ai Machines, Daniel J. Gervais Feb 2022

Ai Derivatives: The Application To The Derivative Work Right To Literary And Artistic Productions Of Ai Machines, Daniel J. Gervais

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article predicts that there will be attempts to use courts to try to broaden the derivative work right in litigation either to prevent the use of, or claim protection for, literary and artistic productions made by Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines. This Article considers the normative valence of, and the (significant) doctrinal pitfalls associated with, such attempts. It also considers a possible legislative alternative, namely attempts to introduce a new sui generis right in AI productions. Finally, this Article explains how, whether such attempts succeed or not, the debate on rights (if any) in productions made by AI machines is ...


Judicial Retention Elections For State Appellate Judges: The Implications Of The Ballot-Access Cases, James Blumstein Jan 2022

Judicial Retention Elections For State Appellate Judges: The Implications Of The Ballot-Access Cases, James Blumstein

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article considers methods by which state appellate court judges are selected. It focuses on the evolution of and rationale for the so-called merit-selection system, a hybrid approach that prevails in a substantial number of jurisdictions. Under merit selection, there is an initial gubernatorial appointment based on recommendations from a nominating committee and a retention election, which is limited to a single candidate and a single question: whether the initially appointed appellate judge should be retained so as to serve a new term. The retention election is a form of election that satisfies states’ requirements that judges be elected. But ...


What Property Does, Christopher Serkin Jan 2022

What Property Does, Christopher Serkin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For centuries, scholars have wrestled with seemingly intractable problems about the nature of property. This Article offers a different approach. Instead of asking what property is, it asks what property does. And it argues that property protects people’s reliance on resources by moderating the pace of change. Modern scholarly accounts emphasize voluntary transactions as the source and purpose of reliance in property. Such “transactional reliance” implies strong, stable, and enduring rights. This Article argues that property law also reflects a very different source of reliance on resources, one that rises and falls simply with the passage of time. This ...


The Political Economy Of Wto Exceptions, Timothy Meyer Jan 2022

The Political Economy Of Wto Exceptions, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In a bid to save the planet from rising temperatures, the European Union is introducing a carbon border adjustment mechanism-essentially a levy on imports from countries with weak climate rules. The United States, Canada, and Japan are all openly mulling similar proposals. The Biden Administration is adopting new Buy American rules, while countries around the world debate new supply chain regulations to address public health issues arising from COVID-19 and shortages in critical components like computer chips. These public policy initiatives-addressing the central environmental, public health, and economic issues of the day-all likely violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules governing ...


Unauthorized And Unwise: The Lawful Use Requirement In Trademark Law, Robert Mikos Jan 2022

Unauthorized And Unwise: The Lawful Use Requirement In Trademark Law, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For decades, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") has required trademark owners to comply with sundry nontrademark laws governing the sale of their trademarked goods and services. Pursuant to this "lawful use requirement," the Agency has refused or even cancelled registration of thousands of marks used on everything from Schedule 1 controlled substances to mislabeled soap. This Article subjects the Agency's lawful use requirement to long-overdue scrutiny. It suggests that in requiring compliance with other laws for registration, the PTO has lost sight of the one statute it is supposed to administer. In the process, the Agency ...


The False Allure Of The Anti-Accumulation Principle, Kevin Stack, Michael Herz Jan 2022

The False Allure Of The Anti-Accumulation Principle, Kevin Stack, Michael Herz

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Today the executive branch is generally seen as the most dangerous branch. Many worry that the executive branch now defies or subsumes the separation of powers. In response, several Supreme Court Justices and prominent scholars assert that the very separation-of-powers principles that determine the structure of the federal government as a whole apply with full force within the executive branch. In particular, they argue that constitutional law prohibits the accumulation of more than one type of power-—legislative, executive, and judicial—-in the same executive official or government entity. We refer to this as the anti-accumulation principle. The consequences of ...


Honoring The Public Trust: Curbing The Bane Of Physician Sexual Misconduct, Rebecca H. Allensworth, K. S. Sindhu, Et Al. Jan 2022

Honoring The Public Trust: Curbing The Bane Of Physician Sexual Misconduct, Rebecca H. Allensworth, K. S. Sindhu, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Federation of State Medical Boards defines physician sexual misconduct as any "behavior that exploits the physician-patient relationship in a sexual way." Although several attempts have been made in recent years to clarify its incidence in the United States, physician sexual misconduct is almost certainly underreported. Physician sexual misconduct represents a severe and irreversible violation of the compact underlying the patient–physician relationship and can have far-reaching consequences on the lives of patients and their families. In addition, the credibility of and trust in physicians, both essential to the provision of medical care, could well erode in the eyes of ...


Sequencing In Damages, Edward K. Cheng, Ehud Guttel, Yuval Procaccia Jan 2022

Sequencing In Damages, Edward K. Cheng, Ehud Guttel, Yuval Procaccia

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Tort law contains multiple doctrines governing the assignment of liability and the calculation of damages. But in what sequence should courts apply these doctrines? Does it matter, for example, whether a court applies comparative fault before or after mitigation of damages? The answer, rather surprisingly, is that sequencing does matter, and it can substantially affect the compensation that a tort victim ultimately receives. Yet the existing case law on sequencing is ad hoc, inconsistent, and undertheorized, and the issue has been entirely overlooked by the academic literature. In this Article, we introduce and examine the question of sequencing. We offer ...


The Consensus Rule: A New Approach To Scientific Evidence, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2022

The Consensus Rule: A New Approach To Scientific Evidence, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Founded on good intentions but unrealistic expectations, the dominant Daubert framework for handling expert and scientific evidence should be scrapped. Daubert asks judges and jurors to make substantively expert determinations, a task they are epistemically incompetent to perform as laypersons. As an alternative, this Article proposes a new framework for handling expert evidence. It draws from the social and philosophical literature on expertise and begins with a basic question: How can laypersons make intelligent decisions about expert topics? From there, it builds its evidentiary approach, which ultimately results in an inference rule focused on expert communities. Specifically, when dealing with ...


The Reckoning: The Return Of Genomic Results To 1444 Participants Across The Emerge3 Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Kathleen A. Leppig, Et Al. Jan 2022

The Reckoning: The Return Of Genomic Results To 1444 Participants Across The Emerge3 Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Kathleen A. Leppig, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The goal of Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Phase III Network was to return actionable sequence variants to 25,084 consenting participants from 10 different health care institutions across the United States. The purpose of this study was to evaluate system-based issues relating to the return of results (RoR) disclosure process for clinical grade research genomic tests to eMERGE3 participants.


Criminal Injustice, Edward Rubin Jan 2022

Criminal Injustice, Edward Rubin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As its title suggests, Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free is a wide-ranging critique of our criminal justice system. While it is hardly the first, it offers a number of distinctive insights. Most of the now voluminous work on this topic is written by scholars, policy analysts, or journalists and is addressed to the legislature or the executive. This certainly makes sense. External observers are well positioned to critique a system that punishes without purpose, and the major determinants of its dysfunction are the legislature that enacts the criminal law and the executive that enforces it ...


Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, Ellen W. Clayton, Et Al. Nov 2021

Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, Ellen W. Clayton, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is marketed as a tool to uncover ancestry and kin. Recent studies of actual and potential users have demonstrated that individuals’ responses to the use of these tests for these purposes are complex, with privacy, disruptive consequences, potential for misuse, and secondary use by law enforcement cited as potential concerns. We conducted six focus groups with a diverse sample of participants (n = 62) who were aware of but had not used direct-to-consumer genetic tests, in an effort to understand more about what people considering these tests think about the potential value, risks, and benefits of such testing ...


Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, Ellen W. Clayton, J. W. Hazel, Et Al. Nov 2021

Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, Ellen W. Clayton, J. W. Hazel, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is marketed as a tool to uncover ancestry and kin. Recent studies of actual and potential users have demonstrated that individuals’ responses to the use of these tests for these purposes are complex, with privacy, disruptive consequences, potential for misuse, and secondary use by law enforcement cited as potential concerns. We conducted six focus groups with a diverse sample of participants (n = 62) who were aware of but had not used direct-to-consumer genetic tests, in an effort to understand more about what people considering these tests think about the potential value, risks, and benefits of such testing ...


Affirmative Action And The Leadership Pipeline, Joni Hersch Nov 2021

Affirmative Action And The Leadership Pipeline, Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Recent events have brought heightened attention to racial injustice in the United States, which includes among its legacies a dearth of Black people in influential positions that shape society. But at the same time that the United States has turned its attention to diversity in leadership positions, the already narrow pipeline for those from underrepresented groups is likely to narrow even further in the near future. Specifically, the pipeline to influential positions in society typically flows from an elite education. Race-conscious affirmative action in higher education admissions is currently permitted in order for universities to meet their compelling interest in ...


The Role Of Private Environmental Governance In Climate Adaption, Michael P. Vandenbergh, B. M. Johnson Sep 2021

The Role Of Private Environmental Governance In Climate Adaption, Michael P. Vandenbergh, B. M. Johnson

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article examines the role of private environmental governance (PEG) in climate change adaptation. PEG occurs when private organizations perform traditionally governmental functions such as providing public goods and reducing negative externalities. PEG initiatives that target climate change mitigation have expanded rapidly in the last decade and have been the subject of research in multiple fields, but PEG initiatives that target climate change adaptation have received less attention. As a first step, the Article develops a definition of private governance regarding climate adaptation, identifies several types of PEG adaptation initiatives, and briefly identifies research gaps.


Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2021

Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes the creation of a federally run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims-processing functions performed by class action claims administrators today. Classaction.gov would bring long-demanded transparency to class actions and, through forces of legitimization and coordination, would substantially increase the rate of consumer participation in class action settlements. It also holds the key to mitigating other problems in class action practice, such as the inefficiencies and potential abuses associated with multiforum litigation, the limited success ...


The Research Patent, Sean B. Seymore Jan 2021

The Research Patent, Sean B. Seymore

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The patent system gives courts the discretion to tailor patentability standards flexibly across technologies to provide optimal incentives for innovation. For chemical inventions, the courts deem them unpatentable if the chemical lacks a practical, non-research-based use at the time patent protection is sought. The fear is that an early-stage patent on a research input would confer too much control over yet-unknown uses for the chemical, thereby potentially hindering downstream innovation. Yet, denying patents on research inputs can frustrate patent law's broad goal of protecting and promoting scientific and technological advances.

This Article addresses this problem by proposing a new ...


A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2021

A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

It is often said that judges act as fiduciaries for the absent class members in class action litigation. If we take this seriously, how then should judges award fees to the lawyers who represent these class members? The answer is to award fees the same way rational class members would want if they could do it on their own. In this Essay, I draw on economic models and data from the market for legal representation of sophisticated clients to describe what these fee practices should look like. Although more data from sophisticated clients is no doubt needed, what we do ...


Supreme Court Reform And American Democracy, Ganesh Sitaraman, D. Epps Jan 2021

Supreme Court Reform And American Democracy, Ganesh Sitaraman, D. Epps

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In How to Save the Supreme Court, we identified the legitimacy challenge facing the Court, traced it to a set of structural flaws, and proposed novel reforms. Little more than a year later, the conversation around Supreme Court reform has only grown louder and more urgent. In this Essay, we continue that conversation by engaging with critics of our approach. The current crisis of the Supreme Court is, we argue, inextricable from the question of the Supreme Court’s proper role in our democracy. For those interested in reform, there are three distinct strategies for ensuring the Supreme Court maintains ...


How And Why Did It Go So Wrong?: Theranos As A Legal Ethics Case Study, G. S. Hans Jan 2021

How And Why Did It Go So Wrong?: Theranos As A Legal Ethics Case Study, G. S. Hans

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Theranos saga encompasses many discrete areas of law. Reporting on Theranos, most notably John Carreyrou's Bad Blood, highlights the questionable ethical decisions that many of the attorneys involved made. The lessons attorneys and law students can learn from Bad Blood are highly complex. The Theranos story touches on multiple areas of professional responsibility, including competence, diligence, candor, conflicts, and liability. Thus, Theranos serves as a helpful tool to explore the limits of ethical lawyering for Professional Responsibility students. This Article discusses the author's experience with using Bad Blood as an extended case study in a new course ...


Becoming Visible, Jennifer B. Shinall Jan 2021

Becoming Visible, Jennifer B. Shinall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article will consider the consequences of a large number of workers making their health conditions known to their employers during the pandemic. Becoming visible will likely have short-term costs for both employers and employees-—in terms of health-status discrimination, privacy, and administrative burdens. Nonetheless, this Article will ultimately argue that becoming visible also has a major benefit: improved information flow between employers and employees. Although the long-run cost-benefit analysis of increased health-status visibility during the pandemic remains to be seen, increased visibility ultimately has the potential to improve the employer-employee relationship.


Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack Jan 2021

Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judicial deference to agency interpretations of their own statutes is a foundational principle of the administrative state. It recognizes that Congress has the need and desire to delegate the details of regulatory policy to agencies rather than specify those details or default to judicial determinations. It also recognizes that interpretation under regulatory statutes is intertwined with implementation of those statutes. Prior to the famous decision in Chevron, the Supreme Court had long regarded judicial deference as a foundational principle of administrative law. It grew up with the administrative state alongside other foundational administrative law principles. In Chevron, the Court gave ...


Potus And Pot: Why The President Could Not Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action, Robert Mikos Jan 2021

Potus And Pot: Why The President Could Not Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Could the President legalize marijuana, without waiting for Congress to act? The 2020 Presidential Election showed that this question is far from hypothetical. Seeking to capitalize on frustration with the slow pace of federal legislative reform, several presidential candidates promised they would bypass the logjam in Congress and legalize marijuana through executive action instead.

This Essay warns that such promises are both misguided and dangerous because they ignore statutory and constitutional constraints on the President’s authority to effect legal change. It explains why supporters of marijuana reform should be wary of legalizing the drug through executive action, even if ...


The Generalist Externship Seminar: A Unique Curricular Opportunity To Teach About The Legal Profession, Spring Miller Jan 2021

The Generalist Externship Seminar: A Unique Curricular Opportunity To Teach About The Legal Profession, Spring Miller

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article explores the role that a generalist externship seminar can play in teaching law students about the legal profession - lawyers, the institutions in which they practice, and the markets for their services. After reviewing the evolution of the externship course and externship seminar in the legal curriculum, the article turns to a discussion of the absence of opportunities at most law schools for students to study and learn about the legal profession. It contends that the absence of serious attention to the profession in the curricula of most law schools does a disservice to law students, who need specific ...


Fedaccounts: Digital Dollars, Morgan Ricks, J. Crawford, L. Menand Jan 2021

Fedaccounts: Digital Dollars, Morgan Ricks, J. Crawford, L. Menand

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We are entering a new monetary era. Central banks around the world- spurred by the development of privately controlled digital currencies as well as competition from other central banks-have been studying, building, and, in some cases, issuing central bank digital currency ("CBDC").

Although digital fiat currency is one of the hottest topics in macroeconomics and central banking today, the discussion has largely over- looked the most straightforward and appealing strategy for implementing a U.S. dollar-based CBDC: expanding access to bank accounts that the Federal Reserve already offers to a small, favored set of clients. These accounts consist of entries ...