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Full-Text Articles in Law

Our Avatars, Ourselves, Mala Chatterjee Jan 2023

Our Avatars, Ourselves, Mala Chatterjee

Faculty Scholarship

On 2013 an episode of the British TV show Black Minvrimagined a harrowing possibility: that technology might allow us to recreate the dead. A young woman named Martha loses her partner in a sudden accident and copes with the loss-or perhaps refuses to cope with itwith the assistance of an unnerving artificial intelligence, trained on her partner's data footprint, that can speak, act, and appear exactly as he did. It's not long before Martha becomes obsessed with the emulation, gathering every remnant of her partner's life to incorporate into the model and spending hours on the phone conversing with his …


How Do Prosecutors "Send A Message"?, Steven Arrigg Koh Jan 2023

How Do Prosecutors "Send A Message"?, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

The recent indictments of former President Trump are stirring national debate about their effects on American society. Commentators speculate on the cases’ impact outside of the courtroom — on the 2024 election, on political polarization, and on the future of American democracy. Such cases originated in the prosecutor’s office, begging the question of if, when, and how prosecutors should consider the societal effects of the cases they bring.

Indeed, prosecutors often publicly claim that they “send a message” when they indict a defendant. What, exactly, does this mean? Often, their assumption is that such messaging goes in one direction: indictment …


Bargaining For Abolition, Zohra Ahmed Apr 2022

Bargaining For Abolition, Zohra Ahmed

Faculty Scholarship

What if instead of seeing criminal court as an institution driven by the operation of rules, we saw it as a workplace where people labor to criminalize those with the misfortune to be prosecuted? Early observers of twentieth century urban criminal courts likened them to factories.1 Since then, commentators often deploy the pejorative epithet “assembly line justice” to describe criminal court’s processes.2 The term conveys the criticism of a mechanical system delivering a form of justice that is impersonal and fallible. Perhaps unintentionally, the epithet reveals another truth: criminal court is also a workplace, and it takes labor …


Normative Powers, Joseph Raz Jan 2022

Normative Powers, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The chapter provides an analysis of normative powers as the ability to change a normative condition, and distinguishes and analyses several kinds of such powers. It distinguishes between wide normative powers possessed by any act that non-causally results in a normative change, and narrow normative powers, which are the main topic of the chapter. The most important theses of the chapter are: First, the distinction between basic normative powers and chained normative powers (the latter being powers created by the exercise of other powers) and second, defending the apparently surprising claim that people have narrow powers when and because there …


Mala Prohibita, The Wrongfulness Constraint, And The Problem Of Overcriminalization, Youngjae Lee Jan 2022

Mala Prohibita, The Wrongfulness Constraint, And The Problem Of Overcriminalization, Youngjae Lee

Faculty Scholarship

The wrongfulness constraint, as a principle of criminalization, is supposed to preclude criminalization in the absence of wrongfulness. Crimes that look especially problematic from the perspective of the wrongfulness constraint are mala prohibita offenses. The aim of this Essay is to consider the question whether the wrongfulness constraint can serve as an effective tool to curb overcriminalization by looking at the case of mala prohibita offenses. This Essay defends the following propositions. First, because of the availability of an array of tools to defend various mala prohibita offenses as satisfying the wrongfulness constraint, it is often not a straightforward matter …


Illiberalism And Administrative Government, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2022

Illiberalism And Administrative Government, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Driven by the perception that liberal democracy is in a state of crisis across the developed world, political and legal commentators have taken to contrasting two alternatives: “illiberal democracy” (or populism) and “undemocratic liberalism” (or technocracy). According to the logic of this antinomy, once an erstwhile liberal-democratic nation-state becomes too populist, it is on the path toward illiberal democracy; once it becomes too technocratic, it is on the path toward undemocratic liberalism.

While the meanings of liberalism and democracy are historically and conceptually fraught, the contemporary discourse of liberal democratic crisis assumes a few minimal definitions. Within this discourse, liberalism …


Law’S Contributions To The Mindfulness Revolution, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2022

Law’S Contributions To The Mindfulness Revolution, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

These are phenomenally challenging times. Mindfulness is a tool that can help lawyers support themselves, each other, their clients, and their collaborators in the hard work needed to build community and take action. For these and other reasons, mindfulness has made major inroads into law and legal institutions. Law firms, law schools, and courthouses offer training in mindfulness meditation to support the cognitive clarity and emotional self-regulation necessary for the demanding work of analyzing problems, resolving conflicts, overcoming bias, and doing justice. A growing literature, from empirical social science to legal scholarship, catalogs these and other benefits of mindfulness for …


What Is "United" About The United States?, Gary S. Lawson Oct 2021

What Is "United" About The United States?, Gary S. Lawson

Faculty Scholarship

Jack Balkin’s The Cycles of Constitutional Time aims, among other things, to preserve and promote what Jack regards as “democracy and republicanism,” understood as “a joint enterprise by citizens and their representatives to pursue and promote the public good.” My question is whether and how this normative project is possible in a world full of perceptions of social, political, and moral phenomena akin to the white dress/blue dress internet controversy of 2015. Even if Madison had the better of Montesquieu in 1788 (and that is questionable), the United States has grown dramatically since the founding era, in a patchwork, and …


Can Sandel Dethrone Meritocracy?, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2021

Can Sandel Dethrone Meritocracy?, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is an invited review essay of Michael Sandel, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? (FSG 2020), for the inaugural issue of The American Journal of Law and Inequality (R. Kennedy, M. Minow, C. Sunstein, eds.). Sandel makes three principal arguments: (1) meritocracy is deeply flawed because it worsens inequality and fills meritocracy's winners with hubris and losers with shame; (2) universities should introduce a lottery into the admissions process; and (3) this reform, coupled with increased emphasis on the dignity of labor, will repair the politics of resentment that now roil our country.

I respond …


Think Again: The Thought Crime Doctrine And The Limits Of Criminal Law, Jordan Wallace-Wolf Jan 2021

Think Again: The Thought Crime Doctrine And The Limits Of Criminal Law, Jordan Wallace-Wolf

Faculty Scholarship

According to the thought crime doctrine, neither beliefs nor intentions may be subject to criminal punishment. The doctrine is widely endorsed, but puzzling in its scope. Beliefs have a free speech credential: they play a straightforward role in the sincere exchange of ideas. Moreover, they are harmless, in the specific sense that they do not aim at action and so not at lawbreaking. But intentions are otherwise. They do not necessarily further the exchange of ideas and they may aim at wrongful, illegal conduct.

So why should the thought crime doctrine categorically protect them in addition to beliefs? Why not …


The Critique And Praxis Of Rights, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2021

The Critique And Praxis Of Rights, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The critique of rights has played a crowning role in critical philosophy. From Hegel to Marx, to Foucault and beyond – Duncan Kennedy, Christoph Menke, the contributors to this Symposium – the critique of rights has always represented an essential and inescapable step in the critique of modern Western society. The reason is plain: conceptions of natural rights, human rights, and civil rights have been central to the founding of modern political thought (from Hobbes, Locke, and Wollstonecraft forward), to the birth and flourishing of legal and political liberalism (in Rawls and Habermas), to the establishment of regimes of civil …


“Let Those Who Have An Experience Of Prison Speak”: The Critique & Praxis Of The Prisons Information Group (1970-1980), Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2021

“Let Those Who Have An Experience Of Prison Speak”: The Critique & Praxis Of The Prisons Information Group (1970-1980), Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

As the May ’68 revolution reached a boiling point, a remarkable assemblage of philosophers, writers, and incarcerated persons, doctors, nurses, social workers, and sociologists, activists and organizers, and militants in France turned their attention to the problem of the prison. At a time when prisons were mostly hidden from view, practically impenetrable in France to outsiders, at a time long before we recognized mass incarceration in countries like the United States, the Prisons Information Group (the Groupe d’information sur les prisons or the “GIP”) coalesced to spotlight the travesty of justice that is the prison – one that continues unabated …


Precedent As Rational Persuasion, Brian N. Larson Jan 2021

Precedent As Rational Persuasion, Brian N. Larson

Faculty Scholarship

The ways that judges and lawyers make and justify their arguments and decisions have profound impacts on our lives. Understanding those practices in light of theories of reasoning and argumentation is thus critical for understanding law and the society it shapes. An inquiry that explores the very foundations of all legal reasoning leads to a broad, important question: How do lawyers and judges use cited cases in their legal arguments? It turns out there is practically no empirical research to suggest the answer. As the first step in a comprehensive empirical effort to answer this question, this article performs a …


The Normative Molecule: Patent Rights And Dna, Saurabh Vishnubhakat May 2020

The Normative Molecule: Patent Rights And Dna, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Throughout the biotechnology age, fears about the distortionary effects of property and other legal institutions upon the health and self-determination of individuals and societies have accompanied more popularly sensational fears about unscrupulous choices within the scientific community itself. Still, for most of that time the prevailing legal regime both in the United States and in Europe remained generally permissive of ownership of, and exclusionary power over, the fruits of much biomedical research, though this leniency took different forms and came about in different ways. In particular, the policy of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to grant patents on …


Beyond Settlement: Reconceptualizing Adr As “Conflict Process Strategy”, Deborah Thompson Eisenberg Jan 2020

Beyond Settlement: Reconceptualizing Adr As “Conflict Process Strategy”, Deborah Thompson Eisenberg

Faculty Scholarship

“Alternative dispute resolution” or “ADR” has reached a paradoxical moment: it is both ubiquitous in practice and at risk of extinction as a distinct concept and field. As the ADR field nears middle age—nearly fifty years after the Pound Conference of 1976—“ADR” has become so popular in name, fractured in practice, and jumbled in theory that it risks a metaphorical genericide, a concept in trademark law when a product name is used to refer to so many things (incorrectly) that it becomes “generic” and confusing. Analogously, the name “ADR” has been applied to so many different processes and concepts that …


The Modern Architecture Of Religious Freedom As A Fundamental Right, Peter G. Danchin Jan 2020

The Modern Architecture Of Religious Freedom As A Fundamental Right, Peter G. Danchin

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Motives And Fiduciary Loyalty, Stephen R. Galoob, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2020

Motives And Fiduciary Loyalty, Stephen R. Galoob, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Scholarship

How, if at all, do motives matter to loyalty? We have argued that loyalty (and the duty of loyalty in fiduciary law) has a cognitive dimension. This kind of “cognitivist” account invites the counterargument that, because most commercial fiduciary relationships involve financial considerations, purity of motive cannot be central to loyalty in the fiduciary context. We contend that this counterargument depends on a flawed understanding of the significance of motive to loyalty. We defend a view of the importance of motivation to loyalty that we call the compatibility account. On this view, A acts loyally toward B only if …


Democracy & Religion: Some Variations & Hard Questions, Kent Greenawalt Jan 2020

Democracy & Religion: Some Variations & Hard Questions, Kent Greenawalt

Faculty Scholarship

The ideas sketched here concern the nonestablishment and free exercise norms expressed in the U.S. Constitution, their application to governmental institutions from legislatures to prisons and the military, the place of religion in the curricula of public schools, and the proper role of religious convictions in lawmaking. A major concern of the essay is the problem of achieving an appropriate balance between governmental neutrality toward religion, as required by the nonestablishment norm, and governmental accommodation of religious practices that would otherwise violate ordinary laws, as required by the free exercise norm. A recurring theme is the complexity of the issues …


The Integrative Effects Of Global Legal Pluralism, Monica Hakimi Jan 2020

The Integrative Effects Of Global Legal Pluralism, Monica Hakimi

Faculty Scholarship

International lawyers widely understand that legal pluralism is a fact of global life and that it can, in certain settings, be desirable. But many still approach it with some trepidation. A prominent skeptical claim is that pluralist structures lack the integrative resources that unify people around a shared governance project. This claim has been prominent with respect to two kinds of conflicts that are routine in international law: (1) conflicts that play out within a single international legal arrangement, and (2) conflicts that cut across multiple legal arrangements. For both, the skeptical claim is directed at the pluralist structure itself. …


Private And Public Law, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2020

Private And Public Law, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter explores the relationship between private and public law. In civil law countries, the public-private distinction serves as an organizing principle of the entire legal system. In common law jurisdictions, the distinction is at best an implicit design principle and is used primarily as an informal device for categorizing different fields of law. Even if not explicitly recognized as an organizing principle, however, it is plausible that private and public law perform distinct functions. Private law supplies the tools that make private ordering possible — the discretionary decisions that individuals make in structuring their lives. Public law is concerned …


Law's Enterprise: Argumentation Schemes & Legal Analogy, Brian N. Larson Mar 2019

Law's Enterprise: Argumentation Schemes & Legal Analogy, Brian N. Larson

Faculty Scholarship

Reasoning by legal analogy has been described as mystical, reframed by skeptics using the deductive syllogism, and called “no kind of reasoning at all” by Judge Posner. Arguments by legal analogy happen every day in courtrooms, law offices, and law-school classrooms, and they are the essence of what we mean when we talk of thinking like a lawyer. But we have no productive and normative theory for creating and evaluating them. Entries in the debate over the last 25 years by Professors Sunstein, Schauer, Brewer, Weinreb, and others leave us at an impasse: The ‘skeptics’ are too focused on the …


Reconsidering Christianity As A Support For Secular Law: A Final Reply To Professor Calhoun, Wayne Barnes Feb 2019

Reconsidering Christianity As A Support For Secular Law: A Final Reply To Professor Calhoun, Wayne Barnes

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium has revolved around Professor Calhoun’s article, which posits that it is completely legitimate, in proposing laws and public policies, to argue for them in the public square based on overtly religious principles. In my initial response, I took issue with his argument that no reasons justify barring faith-based arguments from the public square argument. In fact, I do find reasons justifying the prohibition of “faith-based,” or Christian, arguments in the public square – and, in fact, I find such reasons within Christianity itself. This is because what is being publicly communicated in Christian political argumentation is that if …


Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher Jan 2019

Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

Law often prioritizes justified true beliefs. Evidence, even if probative and correct, must have a proper foundation. Expert witness testimony must be the product of reliable principles and methods. Prosecutors are not permitted to trick juries into convicting a defendant, even if that defendant is truly guilty. Judges’ reasons, and not just the correctness of their holdings, are the engines of precedent. Lawyers are, in short, familiar with the notion that one must be right for the right reasons.

And yet the standard epistemic theory of the First Amendment—that the marketplace of ideas is the “best test of truth”—has generally …


Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism has long been criticized for its “law office history” and other historical sins. But a recent “positive turn” in originalist thought may help make peace between history and law. On this theory, originalism is best understood as a claim about our modern law — which borrows many of its rules, constitutional or otherwise, from the law of the past. Our law happens to be the Founders’ law, unless lawfully changed.

This theory has three important implications for the role of history in law. First, whether and how past law matters today is a question of current law, not of …


Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

How should we interpret the Constitution? The “positive turn” in legal scholarship treats constitutional interpretation, like the interpretation of statutes or contracts, as governed by legal rules grounded in actual practice. In our legal system, that practice requires a certain form of originalism: our system’s official story is that we follow the law of the Founding, plus all lawful changes made since.

Or so we’ve argued. Yet this answer produces its own set of questions. How can practice solve our problems, when there are so many theories of law, each giving practice a different role? Why look to an official …


Professional Judgment In An Era Of Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning, Frank A. Pasquale Jan 2019

Professional Judgment In An Era Of Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning, Frank A. Pasquale

Faculty Scholarship

Though artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and education now accomplishes diverse tasks, there are two features that tend to unite the information processing behind efforts to substitute it for professionals in these fields: reductionism and functionalism. True believers in substitutive automation tend to model work in human services by reducing the professional role to a set of behaviors initiated by some stimulus, which are intended to accomplish some predetermined goal, or maximize some measure of well-being. However, true professional judgment hinges on a way of knowing the world that is at odds with the epistemology of substitutive automation. Instead of …


Private International Law As An Ethic Of Responsivity, Ralf Michaels Jan 2019

Private International Law As An Ethic Of Responsivity, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

The world is a mess. Populism, xenophobia, and islamophobia; misogyny and racism; the closing of borders against the neediest—the existential crisis of modernity calls for a firm response from ethics. Why, instead of engaging with these problems through traditional ethics, worry about private international law, that most technical of technical fields of law? My claim in this chapter: not despite, because of its technical character. Private international law provides such an ethic, an ethic of responsivity. It provides us with a technique of ethics, a technique that helps us conceptualise and address some of the most pressing issues of our …


Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan Jan 2019

Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter restates choice theory, which advances a liberal approach to contract law. First, we refine the concept of autonomy for contract. Then we address range, limit, and floor, three principles that together justify contract law in a liberal society. The first concerns the state’s obligation to be proactive in facilitating the availability of a multiplicity of contract types. The second refers to the respect contract law owes to the autonomy of a party’s future self, that is, to the ability to re-write the story of one’s life. The final principle concerns relational justice, the baseline for any legitimate use …


Edward Snowden, National Security Whistleblowing, And Civil Disobedience, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Edward Snowden, National Security Whistleblowing, And Civil Disobedience, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

No recent whistleblower has been more lionized or vilified than Edward Snowden. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and denounced as a "total traitor" deserving of the death penalty. In these debates, Snowden's defenders tend to portray him as a civil disobedient. Yet for a range of reasons, Snowden's situation does not map neatly onto traditional theories of civil disobedience. The same holds true for most cases of national security whistleblowing.

The contradictory and confused responses that these cases provoke, this essay suggests, are not just the product of polarized politics or insufficient information. Rather, they reflect …


On Dancy’S Account Of Practical Reasoning, Joseph Raz Jan 2019

On Dancy’S Account Of Practical Reasoning, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Dancy's main thesis is that the conclusion of practical reasoning is an action, and indeed that makes the reasoning practical. I trace his argument, suggest improvements to its superficial deficiencies, and conclude that it fails because Dancy misunderstands the nature of reasoning.