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Full-Text Articles in Law

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Nov 2015

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, I measure the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges against two legacies of second-wave feminist legal advocacy: the largely successful campaign to make civil marriage formally gender-neutral; and the lesser-known struggle against laws and practices that penalized women who lived their lives outside of marriage. Obergefell obliquely acknowledges marriage equality’s debt to the first legacy without explicitly adopting sex equality arguments against same-sex marriage bans. The legacy of feminist campaigns for nonmarital equality, by contrast, is absent from Obergefell’s reasoning and belied by rhetoric that both glorifies marriage and implicitly disparages nonmarriage. Even so ...


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified ...


Wynne: It's Not About Double Taxation, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Feb 2015

Wynne: It's Not About Double Taxation, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article discusses Wynne v. Comptroller, a dormant Commerce Clause case against Maryland pending before the Supreme Court. We use economic analysis to rebut Maryland’s claim that its tax regime does not discriminate against interstate commerce. We also argue that the parties’ framing of the central issue in the case as whether the Constitution requires states to relieve double taxation draws focus away from the discrimination question, and therefore could undermine the Wynnes’ case and lead to unjustified narrowing of the dormant Commerce Clause. We also show how our approach to tax discrimination resolves many of the issues that ...


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range ...


Commercial Speech, Commercial Use, And The Intellectual Property Quagmire, Jennifer Rothman Jan 2015

Commercial Speech, Commercial Use, And The Intellectual Property Quagmire, Jennifer Rothman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The commercial speech doctrine in First Amendment jurisprudence has frequently been criticized and is recognized as a highly contested, problematic and shifting landscape. Despite the compelling critique within constitutional law scholarship more broadly, Intellectual Property (“IP”) law has not only embraced the differential treatment of commercial speech, but has done so in ways that disfavor a much broader swath of speech than traditional commercial speech doctrine allows. One of the challenges for courts, litigants, and scholars alike is that the term “commercial” is used to mean multiple things, even within the same body of IP law. In this Article, I ...


Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite a transformative half century of social change, marital status still matters. The marriage equality movement has drawn attention to the many benefits conferred in law by marriage at a time when the “marriage gap” between affluent and poor Americans widens and rates of nonmarital childbearing soar. This Essay explores the contested history of marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—through the lens of the “illegitimacy” cases of the 1960s and 1970s. Often remembered as a triumph for nonmarital families, these decisions defined the constitutional harm of illegitimacy classifications as the unjust punishment of innocent children for the “sins ...


Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the title suggests, the article examines Morrison’s creation of the rule that the Section Five power cannot be used to regulate private individuals. This is one of the most meaningful and, thus far, durable constraints that the Court has placed on federal power. It is the more surprising, then, that it turns out to be based on essentially nothing at all. The Morrison Court asserted that its rule was derived by—indeed, “controlled by”—precedent, but a closer reading of the Reconstruction-era decisions it cites shows that this is simply not the case. An independent evaluation of the ...