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Full-Text Articles in Law

Nowhere To Run To, Nowhere To Hide, Praveen Kosuri, Lynnise Pantin Oct 2021

Nowhere To Run To, Nowhere To Hide, Praveen Kosuri, Lynnise Pantin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the COVID-19 global pandemic ravaged the United States, exacerbating the country’s existing racial disparities, Black and brown small business owners navigated unprecedented obstacles to stay afloat. Adding even more hardship and challenges, the United States also engaged in a nationwide racial reckoning in the wake of the murder of George Floyd resulting in wide-scale protests in the same neighborhoods that initially saw a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and harming many of the same Black and brown business owners. These business owners had to operate in an environment in which they experienced recurring trauma, mental anguish and uncertainty, along ...


Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani Aug 2021

Disabled Perspectives On Legal Education: Reckoning And Reform, Lilith A. Siegel, Karen Tani

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is an Introduction to a Journal of Legal Education symposium on "Disabled Law Students and the Future of Legal Education." The symposium's focal point is a set of first-person essays by disabled lawyers. Writing thirty years after the inclusive promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also amidst powerful evidence (via the pandemic) of the devaluation of people with disabilities, contributors reflect on their experiences in law school and the legal profession. The symposium pairs these essays with commentary from some of the nation’s leading scholars of disability law. The overarching goals of the symposium are ...


Bostock Was Bogus: Textualism, Pluralism, And Title Vii, Mitchell N. Berman, Guha Krishnamurthi Jul 2021

Bostock Was Bogus: Textualism, Pluralism, And Title Vii, Mitchell N. Berman, Guha Krishnamurthi

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Bostock v. Clayton County, one of the blockbuster cases from its 2019 Term, the Supreme Court held that federal antidiscrimination law prohibits employment discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Unsurprisingly, the result won wide acclaim in the mainstream legal and popular media. Results aside, however, the reaction to Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion, which purported to ground the outcome in a textualist approach to statutory interpretation, was more mixed. The great majority of commentators, both liberal and conservative, praised Gorsuch for what they deemed a careful and sophisticated—even “magnificent” and “exemplary”—application of textualist ...


A Roadmap To Revising Ethiopia’S Gender Discriminatory Laws: A Comparative Analysis, Rangita De Silva De Alwis Jul 2021

A Roadmap To Revising Ethiopia’S Gender Discriminatory Laws: A Comparative Analysis, Rangita De Silva De Alwis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country, the second-most populous nation in Africa, and one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established on 25 May 1963 and replaced by the African Union (AU) in 2002. The headquarters of the AU is based in Addis Ababa. Today, Ethiopia has the largest GDP in East Africa and its economy is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in the world which had achieved gender parity in the cabinet, and where women hold the positions of ...


Duty And Diversity, Chris Brummer, Leo E. Strine Jr. Feb 2021

Duty And Diversity, Chris Brummer, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the wake of the brutal deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, a slew of reforms from Wall Street to the West Coast have been introduced, all aimed at increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) in corporations. Yet the reforms face difficulties ranging from possible constitutional challenges to critical limitations in their scale, scope and degree of legal obligation and practical effects. In this Article, we provide an old answer to the new questions facing DEI policy, and offer the first close examination of how corporate law duties impel and facilitate corporate attention to diversity. Specifically, we show that ...


Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev Feb 2021

Leases As Forms, David A. Hoffman, Anton Strezhnev

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We offer the first large scale descriptive study of residential leases, based on a dataset of ~170,000 residential leases filed in support of over ~200,000 Philadelphia eviction proceedings from 2005 through 2019. These leases are highly likely to contain unenforceable terms, and their pro-landlord tilt has increased sharply over time. Matching leases with individual tenant characteristics, we show that unlawful terms are surprisingly likely to be associated with more expensive leaseholds in richer, whiter parts of the city. This result is linked to landlords' growing adoption of shared forms, originally created by non-profit landlord associations, and more recently ...


Undemocratic Crimes, Paul H. Robinson, Jonathan C. Wilt Jan 2021

Undemocratic Crimes, Paul H. Robinson, Jonathan C. Wilt

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One might assume that in a working democracy the criminal law rules would reflect the community’s shared judgments regarding justice and punishment. This is especially true because social science research shows that lay people generally think about criminal liability and punishment in consistent ways: in terms of desert, doing justice and avoiding injustice. Moreover, there are compelling arguments for demanding consistency between community views and criminal law rules based upon the importance of democratic values, effective crime-control, and the deontological value of justice itself.

It may then come as a surprise, and a disappointment, that a wide range of ...


A New (Republican) Litigation State?, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2021

A New (Republican) Litigation State?, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is a commonplace in American politics that Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to favor access to courts to enforce individual rights with lawsuits. In this article we show that conventional wisdom, long true, no longer reflects party agendas in Congress. We report the results of an empirical examination of bills containing private rights of action with pro-plaintiff fee-shifting provisions that were introduced in Congress from 1989 through 2018. The last eight years of our data document escalating Republican-party support for proposals to create individual rights enforceable by private lawsuits, mobilized with attorney’s fee awards. By 2015-18 ...


Compensation, Commodification, And Disablement: How Law Has Dehumanized Laboring Bodies And Excluded Nonlaboring Humans, Karen M. Tani Jan 2021

Compensation, Commodification, And Disablement: How Law Has Dehumanized Laboring Bodies And Excluded Nonlaboring Humans, Karen M. Tani

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reviews Nate Holdren's Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which explores the changes in legal imagination that accompanied the rise of workers' compensation programs. The essay foregrounds Holdren’s insights about disability. Injury Impoverished illustrates the meaning and material consequences that the law has given to work-related impairments over time and documents the naturalization of disability-based exclusion from the formal labor market. In the present day, with so many social benefits tied to employment, this exclusion is particularly troubling.


Reckoning With Race And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2021

Reckoning With Race And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our national reckoning with race and inequality must include disability. Race and disability have a complicated but interconnected history. Yet discussions of our most salient socio-political issues such as police violence, prison abolition, healthcare, poverty, and education continue to treat race and disability as distinct, largely biologically based distinctions justifying differential treatment in law and policy. This approach has ignored the ways in which states have relied on disability as a tool of subordination, leading to the invisibility of disabled people of color in civil rights movements and an incomplete theoretical and remedial framework for contemporary justice initiatives. Legal scholars ...


Prosecuting Civil Asset Forfeiture On Contingency Fees: Looking For Profit In All The Wrong Places, Louis S. Rulli Jan 2021

Prosecuting Civil Asset Forfeiture On Contingency Fees: Looking For Profit In All The Wrong Places, Louis S. Rulli

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Civil asset forfeiture has strayed far from its intended purpose. Designed to give law enforcement powerful tools to combat maritime offenses and criminal enterprises, forfeiture laws are now used to prey upon innocent motorists and lawful homeowners who are never charged with crimes. Their only sins are that they are carrying legal tender while driving on busy highways or providing shelter in their homes to adult children and grandchildren who allegedly sold small amounts of low-level drugs. Civil forfeiture abuses are commonplace throughout the country with some police even armed with legal waivers for property owners to sign on the ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton Feb 2020

The Expansive Reach Of Pretrial Detention, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today we know much more about the effects of pretrial detention than we did even five years ago. Multiple empirical studies have emerged that shed new light on the far-reaching impacts of bail decisions made at the earliest stages of the criminal adjudication process. The takeaway from this new generation of studies is that pretrial detention has substantial downstream effects on both the operation of the criminal justice system and on defendants themselves, causally increasing the likelihood of a conviction, the severity of the sentence, and, in some jurisdictions, defendants’ likelihood of future contact with the criminal justice system. Detention ...


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


The Poverty Law Education Of Charles Reich, Felicia Kornbluh, Karen Tani Jan 2020

The Poverty Law Education Of Charles Reich, Felicia Kornbluh, Karen Tani

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written for a symposium on the life and legacy of Charles Reich, explores how Reich came to be interested in the field of poverty law and, specifically, the constitutional rights of welfare recipients. The essay emphasizes the influence of two older women in Reich’s life: Justine Wise Polier, the famous New York City family court judge and the mother of one of Reich’s childhood friends, and Elizabeth Wickenden, a contemporary of Polier’s who was a prominent voice in social welfare policymaking and a confidante of high-level federal social welfare administrators. Together, Polier and Wickenden helped ...


Dealing With “Dilemmas Of Difference” In The Workplace, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Sarah Heberlig, Lindsay Holcomb Jan 2020

Dealing With “Dilemmas Of Difference” In The Workplace, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Sarah Heberlig, Lindsay Holcomb

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the course of six months, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s class “Women, Law, and Leadership” interviewed 55 women between the ages of 25 and 85, all leaders in their respective fields. Nearly half of the women interviewed were women of color, and 10 of the women lived and worked in countries other than the U.S., spanning across Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Threading together the common themes touched upon in these conversations, we gleaned a number of novel insights, distinguishing the leadership trajectories pursued by women who have risen to the heights of their professions ...


After Suffrage: The Unfinished Business Of Feminist Legal Advocacy, Serena Mayeri Jan 2019

After Suffrage: The Unfinished Business Of Feminist Legal Advocacy, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay considers post-suffrage women’s citizenship through the eyes of Pauli Murray, a key figure at the intersection of the twentieth-century movements for racial justice and feminism. Murray drew critical lessons from the woman suffrage movement and the Reconstruction-era disintegration of an abolitionist-feminist alliance to craft legal and constitutional strategies that continue to shape equality law and advocacy today. Murray placed African American women at the center of a vision of universal human rights that relied upon interracial and intergenerational alliances and anticipated what scholars later named intersectionality. As Murray foresaw, women of color formed a feminist vanguard in ...


Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 2019

Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Foreword, I make the case for an abolition constitutionalism that attends to the theorizing of prison abolitionists. In Part I, I provide a summary of prison abolition theory and highlight its foundational tenets that engage with the institution of slavery and its eradication. I discuss how abolition theorists view the current prison industrial complex as originating in, though distinct from, racialized chattel slavery and the racial capitalist regime that relied on and sustained it, and their movement as completing the “unfinished liberation” sought by slavery abolitionists in the past. Part II considers whether the U.S. Constitution is ...


The Aesthetics Of Disability, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2019

The Aesthetics Of Disability, Jasmine E. Harris

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The foundational faith of disability law is the proposition that we can reduce disability discrimination if we can foster interactions between disabled and nondisabled people. This central faith, which is rooted in contact theory, has encouraged integration of people with and without disabilities, with the expectation that contact will reduce preju­dicial atti­tudes and shift societal norms. However, neither the scholarship nor disa­bility law sufficiently accounts for what this Article calls the “aesthetics of disability,” the proposition that our interaction with dis­ability is medi­ated by an affective process that inclines us to like, dislike, be attracted ...


The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons Feb 2018

The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Human rights treaty bodies have been frequently criticized as useless and the regime’s self-reporting procedure widely viewed as a whitewash. Yet very little research explores what, if any, influence this periodic review process has on governments’ implementation of and compliance with treaty obligations. We argue oversight committees may play an important role in improving rights on the ground by providing information for international and primarily domestic audiences. This paper examines the cumulative effects on women’s rights of self-reporting and oversight review, using original data on the history of state reporting to and review by the Committee on the ...


A Dose Of Color, A Dose Of Reality: Contextualizing Intentional Tort Actions With Black Documentaries, Regina Austin Jan 2018

A Dose Of Color, A Dose Of Reality: Contextualizing Intentional Tort Actions With Black Documentaries, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article describes the way documentary films can provide important cultural context in the assessment of tort claims. This kind of contextual analysis exposes the social conditions that drive legal disputes. For example, in the case of Klayman v. Obama, Larry Klayman claimed that Black Lives Matter, among other defendants, was liable for various intentional torts (including intentional infliction of emotional distress) by fomenting hostility toward the police in black communities. The court dismissed the case but declined to hold Klayman liable for sanctions. One documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, locates Klayman’s claims in a historical tradition ...


The Ecology Of Transparency Reloaded, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

The Ecology Of Transparency Reloaded, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As Justice Stewart famously observed, "[t]he Constitution itself is neither a Freedom of Information Act nor an Official Secrets Act." What the Constitution's text omits, the last two generations have embedded in "small c" constitutional law and practice in the form of the Freedom of Information Act and a series of overlapping governance reforms including Inspectors General, disclosure of political contributions, the State Department’s “Dissent Channel,” the National Archives Information Security Oversight Office, and the publication rights guaranteed by New York Times v. United States. These institutions constitute an ecology of transparency.

The late Justice Scalia argued ...


“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin Jan 2018

“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

More than 70 years after Eleanor Roosevelt pioneered the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or what is known as the global Bill of Rights for Women). The Trump administration is planning measures such as paid parental leave and child care legislation which are supported by the CEDAW. Despite the Trump administration's caution about human rights treaties, we argue that an enlightened self-interest on the part of the administration will draw it towards the CEDAW ratification despite the ratification ...


The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin Jan 2018

The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Loving Story (Augusta Films 2011), directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the backstory of the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that overturned state laws barring interracial marriage. The article looks to the documentary to explain why the Lovings should be considered icons of racial and ethnic civil rights, however much they might be associated with marriage equality today. The film shows the Lovings to be ordinary people who took their nearly decade long struggle against white supremacy to the nation’s highest court out of a genuine commitment to each other and a determination to live ...


Discrimination Risks Of Alzheimer’S As Support For Social Insurance For Long-Term Care, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2018

Discrimination Risks Of Alzheimer’S As Support For Social Insurance For Long-Term Care, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short reflection on an article by J. J. Arias, A. M. Tyler, B. J. Oster, and J. Karlawish (“The Proactive Patient: Long-term Care Insurance Discrimination Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers,” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 46, no. 2 (2018): 485-498) makes clear why the private market for long-term care insurance, and its regulation, will perpetually fail to protect families against the risks to their security posed by a family member with Alzheimer’s. It describes why a comprehensive federal solution is the only feasible and wise option.


The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2017

The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American Progressivism inaugurated the beginning of the end of American scientific racism. Its critics have been vocal, however. Progressives have been charged with promotion of eugenics, and thus with mainstreaming practices such as compulsory housing segregation, sterilization of those deemed unfit, and exclusion of immigrants on racial grounds. But if the Progressives were such racists, why is it that since the 1930s Afro-Americans and other people of color have consistently supported self-proclaimed progressive political candidates, and typically by very wide margins?

When examining the Progressives on race, it is critical to distinguish the views that they inherited from those that ...


Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


Regulating By Robot: Administrative Decision Making In The Machine-Learning Era, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr Jun 2017

Regulating By Robot: Administrative Decision Making In The Machine-Learning Era, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Machine-learning algorithms are transforming large segments of the economy, underlying everything from product marketing by online retailers to personalized search engines, and from advanced medical imaging to the software in self-driving cars. As machine learning’s use has expanded across all facets of society, anxiety has emerged about the intrusion of algorithmic machines into facets of life previously dependent on human judgment. Alarm bells sounding over the diffusion of artificial intelligence throughout the private sector only portend greater anxiety about digital robots replacing humans in the governmental sphere. A few administrative agencies have already begun to adopt this technology, while ...


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—is, and always has been, deeply intertwined with inequalities of race, class, gender, and region. Many if not most of the plaintiffs who challenged legal discrimination based on family status in the 1960s and 1970s were impoverished women, men, and children of color who made constitutional equality claims. Yet the constitutional law of the family is largely silent about the status-based impact of laws that prefer marriage and disadvantage non-marital families. While some lower courts engaged with race-, sex-, and wealth-based discrimination arguments in family status cases, the Supreme Court largely avoided recognizing ...