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Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2022

Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman

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For half a century, moral philosophers have distinguished between a “standard” that makes acts right and a “decision procedure” by which agents can determine whether any given contemplated act is right, which is to say whether it satisfies the standard. In “Originalism: Standard and Procedure,” Stephen Sachs argues that the same distinction applies to the constitutional domain and that clear grasp of the difference strengthens the case for originalism because theorists who emphasize the infirmities of originalism as a decision procedure frequently but mistakenly infer that those flaws also cast doubt on originalism as a standard. This invited response agrees …


How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2022

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman

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The most fundamental question in general jurisprudence concerns what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. This article offers a novel answer. According to the theory it christens “principled positivism,” legal practices ground legal principles, and legal principles determine legal rules. This two-level account of the determination of legal content differs from Hart’s celebrated theory in two essential respects: in relaxing Hart’s requirement that fundamental legal notions depend for their existence on judicial consensus; and in assigning weighted contributory legal norms—“principles”—an essential role in the determination of legal rights, duties, powers, and permissions. Drawing …


Navigating The Identity Thicket: Trademark's Lost Theory Of Personality, The Right Of Publicity, And Preemption, Jennifer E. Rothman Jan 2022

Navigating The Identity Thicket: Trademark's Lost Theory Of Personality, The Right Of Publicity, And Preemption, Jennifer E. Rothman

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Both trademark and unfair competition laws and state right of publicity laws protect against unauthorized uses of a person’s identity. Increasingly, however, these rights are working at odds with one another, and can point in different directions with regard to who controls a person’s name, likeness, and broader indicia of identity. This creates what I call an "identity thicket" of overlapping and conflicting rights over a person’s identity. Current jurisprudence provides little to no guidance on the most basic questions surrounding this thicket, such as what right to use a person’s identity, if any, flows from the transfer of marks …


But What Is Personalized Law?, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2022

But What Is Personalized Law?, Sandra G. Mayson

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In Personalized Law: Different Rules for Different People, Omri Ben-Shahar and Ariel Porat undertake to ground a burgeoning field of legal thought. The book imagines and thoughtfully assesses an array of personalized legal rules, including individualized speed limits, fines calibrated to income, and medical disclosure requirements responsive to individual health profiles. Throughout, though, the conceptual parameters of “personalized law” remain elusive. It is clear that personalized law involves more data, more machine-learning, and more direct communication to individuals. But it is not clear how deep these changes go. Are they incremental—just today’s law with better tech—or do they represent …


International Courts & Judicial Affairs, Sara L. Ochs, Paula Henin, Paola Patarroyo, Haydee Dijkstal, Ira Trako, Kabir Duggal, Chloe Fletcher, Alexander Witt, Marc Weitz Jan 2021

International Courts & Judicial Affairs, Sara L. Ochs, Paula Henin, Paola Patarroyo, Haydee Dijkstal, Ira Trako, Kabir Duggal, Chloe Fletcher, Alexander Witt, Marc Weitz

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This chapter reviews some of the most significant developments made by international courts and tribunals in 2020.

I. International Court of Justice As of the time of writing (November 2020), this year, the International Court of Justice (Court) has rendered one order on provisional measures, two judgments on appeals from decisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, and two orders relating to expert evidence.


Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

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In its current form, fair use doctrine provides a personal defense that applies narrowly to the specific use by the specific user. The landmark case of Google v. Oracle, currently pending before the Supreme Court, illustrates why this is problematic. Even if the Court were to rule that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java API’s was fair, the ruling would not protect the numerous parties that developed Java applications for the Android operating system; it would only shelter Google and Google’s particular use. This is not an isolated problem; the per use/per user rule cuts across fair uses of copyrighted …


Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax Oct 2020

Pursuing Diversity: From Education To Employment, Amy L. Wax

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A central pillar of the Supreme Court’s educational affirmative-action jurisprudence is that the pedagogical benefits of being educated with students from diverse backgrounds are sufficiently “compelling” to justify some degree of race-conscious selection in university admissions.

This essay argues that the blanket permission to advance educational diversity, defensible or not, should not be extended to employment. The purpose of the workplace is not pedagogical. Rather, employees are hired and paid to do a job, deliver a service, produce a product, and complete specified tasks efficiently and effectively. Whether race-conscious practices for the purpose of creating a more diverse workforce will …


A Truce In Criminal Law's Distributive Principle Wars?, Paul H. Robinson Oct 2020

A Truce In Criminal Law's Distributive Principle Wars?, Paul H. Robinson

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Crime-control utilitarians and retributivist philosophers have long been at war over the appropriate distributive principle for criminal liability and punishment, with little apparent possibility of reconciliation between the two. In the utilitarians’ view, the imposition of punishment can be justified only by the practical benefit that it provides: avoiding future crime. In the retributivists’ view, doing justice for past wrongs is a value in itself that requires no further justification. The competing approaches simply use different currencies: fighting future crime versus doing justice for past wrongs.

It is argued here that the two are in fact reconcilable, in a fashion. …


How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

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This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting in medical rights-seeking. …


Privative Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2020

Privative Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

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“Privative” copyright claims are infringement actions brought by authors for the unauthorized public dissemination of works that are private, unpublished, and revelatory of the author’s personal identity. Driven by considerations of authorial autonomy, dignity, and personality rather than monetary value, these claims are almost as old as Anglo-American copyright law itself. Yet modern thinking has attempted to undermine their place within copyright law and sought to move them into the domain of privacy law. This Article challenges the dominant view and argues that privative copyright claims form a legitimate part of the copyright landscape. It shows how privative copyright claims …


Mashups And Fair Use: The Bold Misadventures Of The Seussian Starship Enterprise, Peter Menell, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, David Nimmer Aug 2019

Mashups And Fair Use: The Bold Misadventures Of The Seussian Starship Enterprise, Peter Menell, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, David Nimmer

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This amicus brief filed in the Ninth Circuit appeal of Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. ComicMix seeks to rectify and restore the balances underlying the Copyright Act of 1976 — particularly the interplay of the Section 106(2) right to prepare derivative works and the fair use doctrine. The District Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that OH THE PLACES YOU’LL BOLDLY GO! — the defendants’ illustrated book combining Dr. Seuss’s OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! and other Dr. Seuss books with Star Trek characters and themes — made fair use of the Dr. Seuss works.

Based …


Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein May 2019

Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

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Personal autonomy is a constitutive element of all rights. It confers upon a rightholder the power to decide whether, and under what circumstances, to exercise her right. Every right infringement thus invariably involves a violation of its holder’s autonomy. The autonomy violation consists of the deprivation of a rightholder of a choice that was rightfully hers — the choice as to how to go about her life.

Harms resulting from the right’s infringement and from the autonomy violation are often readily distinguishable, as is the case when someone uses the property of a rightholder without securing her permission or, worse, …


Going "Clear", Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2019

Going "Clear", Ryan D. Doerfler

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This Article proposes a new framework for evaluating doctrines that assign significance to whether a statutory text is “clear.” As previous scholarship has failed to recognize, such doctrines come in two distinct types. The first, which this Article call evidence-management doctrines, instruct a court to “start with the text,” and to proceed to other sources of statutory meaning only if absolutely necessary. Because they structure a court’s search for what a statute means, the question with each of these doctrines is whether adhering to it aids or impairs that search — the character of the evaluation is, in other words, …


Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters Jan 2019

Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters

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After three decades on the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy remains its most widely maligned member. Concentrating on his constitutional jurisprudence, critics from across the ideological spectrum have derided Justice Kennedy as “a self-aggrandizing turncoat,” “an unprincipled weathervane,” and, succinctly, “America’s worst Justice.” We believe that Kennedy is not as bereft of a constitutional theory as common wisdom maintains. To the contrary, this Article argues, his constitutional decisionmaking reflects a genuine grasp (less than perfect, more than rudimentary) of a coherent and, we think, compelling theory of constitutional law—the account, more or less, that one of has introduced in other work …


Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2019

Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

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Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article …


The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2019

The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters

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Auer deference holds that reviewing courts should defer to agencies when the latter interpret their own preexisting regulations. This doctrine relieves pressure on agencies to undergo costly notice-and-comment rulemaking each time interpretation of existing regulations is necessary. But according to some leading scholars and jurists, the doctrine actually encourages agencies to promulgate vague rules in the first instance, augmenting agency power and violating core separation of powers norms in the process. The claim that Auer perversely encourages agencies to “self-delegate”—that is, to create vague rules that can later be informally interpreted by agencies with latitude due to judicial deference—has helped …


Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2019

Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo

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One of the primary theoretical justifications for copyright is the role that creative works play in helping develop an individual’s sense of personhood and self-actualization. Typically ascribed to the writings of Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, personhood-based theories of copyright serve as the foundation for the moral rights prominent in European copyright law and mandated by the leading intellectual property treaty, which give authors inalienable control over aspects of their works after they have been created. The conventional wisdom about the relationship between personhood and copyright suffers from two fatal flaws that have gone largely unappreciated. First, in …


Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

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Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as …


Mcculloch V. Marbury, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Heath Khan Jan 2019

Mcculloch V. Marbury, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Heath Khan

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This article builds on recent scholarship about the origins and creation of “our Marbury”—the contemporary understanding of the case and its significance—to argue that Marbury is in fact wholly unsuited for the role it plays in Supreme Court rhetoric and academic instruction. While Marbury is generally understood to support aggressive judicial review, or actual invalidation of a government act, it offers no guidance at all for how judicial review should be employed in particular cases—in particular, whether review should be aggressive or deferential. The actual opinion in Marbury makes no effort to justify its lack of deference to the …


Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall Sep 2018

Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall

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Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs. Even more surprisingly, many inmates have begun hunger strikes. Inmates are protesting the numerous ills of prisons: overcrowding, inadequate health care, abysmal mental health care contributing to inmate suicide, violence, disenfranchisement of inmates, and more. While recent reforms have slightly decreased mass incarceration, the current White House administration could likely reverse this trend. President Donald Trump’s and …


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

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The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent constitutional …


The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr.

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For two hundred years, the equality of creditors norm—the idea that similarly situated creditors should be treated similarly—has been widely viewed as the most important principle in American bankruptcy law, rivaled only by our commitment to a fresh start for honest but unfortunate debtors. I argue in this Article that the accolades are misplaced. Although the equality norm once was a rough proxy for legitimate concerns, such as curbing self-dealing, it no longer plays this role. Nor does it serve any other beneficial purpose.

Part I of this Article traces the historical emergence and evolution of the equality norm, first …


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

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This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible …


Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner Jan 2018

Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner

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In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed an oft-discussed jurisprudential disconnect between itself and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: whether patent claim construction was “legal” or “factual” in nature, and how much deference is due to district court decisionmaking in this area. In this Article, we closely examine the Teva opinion and situate it within modern claim construction jurisprudence. Our thesis is that the Teva holding is likely to have only very modest effects on the incidence of deference to district court claim construction but that for unexpected reasons the …


Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

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It is a fact of life that judges sometimes disagree about the best outcome in appealed cases. The question is what they should make of this. The two purest possibilities are to shut out all other views, or else to let them all in, leading one to concede ambiguity and uncertainty in most if not all contested cases.

Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue that there is a better way. Judges ought to give significant weight to the views of others, but only when those others share the judge’s basic methodology or interpretive …


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

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Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a …


Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2018

Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

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For many decades now, copyright jurisprudence and scholarship have looked to the common law of torts—principally trespass and negligence—in order to understand copyright’s structure of entitlement and liability. This focus on property- and harm-based torts has altogether ignored an area of tort law with significant import for our understanding of copyright law: tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage. This Article develops an understanding of copyright law using tortious interference with a prospect as a homology. Tortious interference with a prospect allows a plaintiff to recover when a defendant's volitional actions interfere with a potential economic benefit that was likely …


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Mar 2017

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

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Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be ‘unambiguous’ suddenly becomes ‘less than clear.’ This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize ‘clear’ or ‘unambiguous’ meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to ‘know’ what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to regard …


Realizing Dispute Resolution: Meeting The Challenges Of Legal Realism Through Mediation, Robert Rubinson Jan 2017

Realizing Dispute Resolution: Meeting The Challenges Of Legal Realism Through Mediation, Robert Rubinson

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No abstract provided.


The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2017

The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman

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Justice Antonin Scalia was, by the time of his death last February, the Supreme Court’s best known and most influential member. He was also its most polarizing, a jurist whom most students of American law either love or hate. This essay, styled as a twenty-year retrospective on A Matter of Interpretation, Scalia’s Tanner lectures on statutory and constitutional interpretation, aims to prod partisans on both sides of our central legal and political divisions to better appreciate at least some of what their opponents see—the other side of Scalia’s legacy. Along the way, it critically assesses Scalia’s particular brand of …