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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public Law and Legal Theory

Empirical research

2014

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Good Enough For Government Work: Two Cheers For Content Neutrality, Seth F. Kreimer Jul 2014

Good Enough For Government Work: Two Cheers For Content Neutrality, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When then-Professor Elena Kagan emerged on the public stage in the mid-1990s, she declared “the distinction between content-based and content-neutral regulations of speech serves as the keystone of First Amendment law.” In the last decade and a half, commentators and Supreme Court opinions regularly echoed that declaration. Yet the First Amendment does not mention “content neutrality.” It is an artifact of modern constitutional doctrine–a doctrine subject to a sustained barrage of judicial and academic criticism.

Most scholarly critiques of content neutrality focus on First Amendment theory and Supreme Court opinions. After surveying these critiques, along with the incomplete defenses ...


Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub Jan 2014

Endogenous Decentralization In Federal Environmental Policies, Howard F. Chang, Hilary Sigman, Leah G. Traub

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Under most federal environmental laws and some health and safety laws, states may apply for “primacy,” that is, authority to implement and enforce federal law, through a process known as “authorization.” Some observers fear that states use authorization to adopt more lax policies in a regulatory “race to the bottom.” This paper presents a simple model of the interaction between the federal and state governments in such a scheme of partial decentralization. Our model suggests that the authorization option may not only increase social welfare but also allow more stringent environmental regulations than would otherwise be feasible. Our model also ...


Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2014

Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The program of regulation through private litigation that Democratic Congresses purposefully created starting in the late 1960s soon met opposition emanating primarily from the Republican party. In the long campaign for retrenchment that began in the Reagan administration, consequential reform proved difficult and ultimately failed in Congress. Litigation reformers turned to the courts and, in marked contrast to their legislative failure, were well-rewarded, achieving growing rates of voting support from an increasingly conservative Supreme Court on issues curtailing private enforcement under individual statutes. We also demonstrate that the judiciary’s control of procedure has been central to the campaign to ...