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William & Mary Law School

Legal Philosophy

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Full-Text Articles in Law

How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Feb 2018

How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

William & Mary Business Law Review

One of the important contributions of Nathan Oman’s new book is to draw focus onto the quality of the relationships enabled by contract. He claims that contract, by supporting markets, cultivates certain virtues; helps facilitate cooperation among people with diverse commitments; and produces the wealth that may fuel interpersonal and social justice. These claims are all plausible, though subject to individual challenge. However, there is an alternative story to tell about the kinds of relationships that arise from markets--i.e., a story about domination. The experience of domination is driven in part by the necessity, inequality, and competition enjoined by markets, …


Contract Law And The Common Good, Brian H. Bix Feb 2018

Contract Law And The Common Good, Brian H. Bix

William & Mary Business Law Review

In The Dignity of Commerce, Nathan Oman offers a theory of contract law that is largely descriptive, but also strongly normative. His theory presents contract law’s purpose as supporting robust markets. This Article compares and contrasts Oman’s argument about the proper understanding of contract law with one presented over eighty years earlier by Morris Cohen. Oman’s focus is on the connection between Contract Law and markets; Cohen’s connection had been between Contract Law and the public interest. Oman’s work brings back Cohen’s basic insight, and gives it a more concrete form, as a formidable normative theory with detailed prescriptions.


The Living Commerce Clause: Federalism In Progressive Political Theory And The Commerce Clause After Lopez And Morrison, Eric R. Claeys Dec 2002

The Living Commerce Clause: Federalism In Progressive Political Theory And The Commerce Clause After Lopez And Morrison, Eric R. Claeys

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

"Living Constitution " ideas are most often associated with individual-rights guarantees like equal protection and due process, but they were originally developed in the early twentieth century to revolutionize the law of the structural Constitution - including the Commerce Clause. In this Article, Professor Claeys interprets Progressive political theory, which played a crucial role in legitimating the expansion of the national government. As applied to federalism, Progressive living-Constitution theory required that the Commerce Clause be interpreted as a constitutional transmitter letting the national government regulate whatever the American people deem to be a national problem. He suggests that this notion …