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Penn State Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Regional Cooperative Federalism And The Us Electric Grid, Hannah Jacobs Wiseman Feb 2022

Regional Cooperative Federalism And The Us Electric Grid, Hannah Jacobs Wiseman

Journal Articles

The U.S. Constitution makes no direct mention of regional governing entities, yet they are an entrenched part of our federalist system. In the area of electric grid governance, the federal government enlists independent, private entities called regional transmission organizations (RTOs) to implement federal policy and achieve state energy goals. RTOs are the most prominent form of regional cooperative federalism, yet other policy spheres, such as opioid control, encompass a similar approach. This is a twist on the classic form of cooperative federalism, in which the federal government relies upon individual states to achieve federal mandates.

The regionally governed electric grid …


The Origins Of Supreme Court Question Selection, Benjamin B. Johnson Jan 2022

The Origins Of Supreme Court Question Selection, Benjamin B. Johnson

Journal Articles

Arbitrary control over its own docket is the hallmark of the modern Supreme Court. While the Court’s power to choose its cases is a frequent subject of study, its practice of preselecting questions for review has received almost no attention. This is particularly surprising since the Court openly adds or subtracts questions in some of its most consequential and politicizing cases. Yet, despite the significance of this practice, its origins are poorly understood. This is the first Essay to uncover the hidden history of the Court’s question-selection powers. It reveals an important---and possibly intractable---conflict between the Court’s legal authority and …


Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman Jan 2022

Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Critics of harsh drug sentencing laws in the United States typically focus on long prison sentences. But the American criminal justice system also inflicts a significant volume of drug-related punishment through community supervision (probation, parole, and supervised release). Over one million people are under supervision due to a drug conviction, and drug activity is among the most common reasons for violations. In an age of “mass supervision,” community supervision is a major form of drug sentencing and drug policy.

In this Article, I analyze the federal system of supervised release as a form of drug policy. Congress created supervised release …


Federal Courts’ Recalcitrance In Refusing To Certify State Law Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Issues, Christopher French Jan 2022

Federal Courts’ Recalcitrance In Refusing To Certify State Law Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Issues, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Over 2,000 COVID-19 business interruption insurance cases have been filed in state and federal courts the past two years with most of the cases filed in or removed to federal courts. The cases are governed by state law. Rather than certify the novel state law issues presented in the cases to the respective state supreme courts that ultimately will determine the law applicable in the cases, each of the eight federal circuit courts to issue decisions on the merits in such cases to date has done so by making an Erie guess regarding how the controlling state supreme courts would …


Decoding Nondelegation After Gundy: What The Experience In State Courts Tells Us About What To Expect When We're Expecting, Daniel Walters Jan 2022

Decoding Nondelegation After Gundy: What The Experience In State Courts Tells Us About What To Expect When We're Expecting, Daniel Walters

Journal Articles

The nondelegation doctrine theoretically limits Congress’s ability to delegate legislative powers to the executive agencies that make up the modern administrative state. Yet, in practice, the U.S. Supreme Court has, since the New Deal, shied away from enforcing any limits on congressional delegation. That may change in the near future. In Gundy v. United States, the Court narrowly upheld a delegation, and a dissent signaled deep doubts about the Court’s longstanding “intelligible principle” standard and offered a new framework to replace it. Subsequent events strongly suggest that the Court is poised to move in the direction contemplated by the …


Grid Reliability Through Clean Energy, Hannah Jacobs Wiseman, Alexandra Klass, Joshua Macey, Shelley Welton Jan 2022

Grid Reliability Through Clean Energy, Hannah Jacobs Wiseman, Alexandra Klass, Joshua Macey, Shelley Welton

Journal Articles

In the wake of recent high-profile power failures, policymakers and politicians have asserted that there is an inherent tension between the aims of clean energy and grid reliability. But continuing to rely on fossil fuels to avoid system outages will only exacerbate reliability challenges by contributing to increasingly extreme climate-related weather events. These extremes will disrupt the power supply, with impacts rippling far beyond the electricity sector.

This Article shows that much of the perceived tension between clean energy and reliability is a failure of law and governance resulting from the United States’ siloed approach to regulating the electric grid. …


Facing The Sunset: An Egalitarian Approach Against Taxing Couples As A Unit, James M. Puckett Jan 2022

Facing The Sunset: An Egalitarian Approach Against Taxing Couples As A Unit, James M. Puckett

Journal Articles

With the sunset of marriage penalty relief in 2025, Congress has a bittersweet opportunity to align the taxable unit with the guiding norm of taxation according to "ability to pay." The federal income tax brackets have been designed around a misguided and poorly targeted assumption that comparing married couples is appropriate, whether because of pooling income, economies of scale, or untaxed housework and caregiving. This Article argues that the individual, rather than (married) couples, should emerge as the unit for income taxation under an egalitarian approach to distributive justice.

Welfarist insights and egalitarian arguments sometimes align on solutions to tax …


Addressing Climate Impacts In Alaska Native Tribes: Legal Barriers For Community Relocation Due To Thawing Permafrost And Coastal Erosion, Lara Fowler, Ekrem Korkut, Kathleen E. Halvorsen, David Holen, E. Lance Howe, Guangqing Chi Jan 2022

Addressing Climate Impacts In Alaska Native Tribes: Legal Barriers For Community Relocation Due To Thawing Permafrost And Coastal Erosion, Lara Fowler, Ekrem Korkut, Kathleen E. Halvorsen, David Holen, E. Lance Howe, Guangqing Chi

Journal Articles

Rural communities is Alaska—predominantly Alaska Native Tribes—are at the forefront of climate change impacts and climate justice concerns in the United States. According to the 2019 Alaska statewide threat assessment report, 29 communities are currently experiencing significant climate change-related erosion. Further, 38 communities faces significant flooding, and 35 have major problems with thawing permafrost. Some Alaska Native communities have explored community relocation to adapt to these impacts. Because federal law does not recognize gradual environmental impacts like thawing permafrost and coastal erosion as disasters, these communities are ineligible for disaster funding and struggling with how to adapt to the very …


Discretion And Disobedience In The Chinese Exclusion Era, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia Jan 2022

Discretion And Disobedience In The Chinese Exclusion Era, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Journal Articles

This Article examines the use of prosecutorial discretion from its first recorded use in the nineteenth century to protect Chinese subject to deportation, following to its implication in modern day immigration policy. A foundational Supreme Court case, known as Fong Yue Ting, provides a historical precedent for the protection of a category of people as well as a deeper history of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law. This Article also sharpens the policy argument to protect political activists through prosecutorial discretion and forces consideration for how modern immigration policy should respond to historical exclusions and racialized laws. This Article centers its …


Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone Jan 2022

Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Appalachian Basin--Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio -- Oil And Gas Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie Jan 2022

Appalachian Basin--Pennsylvania, West Virginia, And Ohio -- Oil And Gas Developments, Ross H. Pifer, Chloe J. Marie

Journal Articles

This article addresses oil and gas case law developments that have occurred within the Appalachian Basin’s primary oil and gas producing states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio during 2021 by reviewing opinions issued by the highest appellate courts within each of these three states. The oil and gas law topics addressed by these state supreme courts during 2021 have ranged from those occurring upstream, such as leasing, to those occurring downstream, such as approval of a utility rate increase for the extension of a natural gas pipeline.


Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson Jan 2022

Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson

Journal Articles

In their charging and bargaining decisions, prosecutors have unparalleled and nearly-unchecked discretion that leads to incarceration or freedom for millions of Americans each year. More than courts, legislators, or any other justice system player, in the aggregate prosecutors’ choices are the key drivers of outcomes, whether the rates of mass incarceration or the degree of racial disparities in justice. To date, there is precious little empirical research on how prosecutors exercise their breathtaking discretion. We do not know whether they consistently charge like cases alike or whether crime is in the eye of the beholder. We do not know what …


Resuciating Consent, Megan S. Wright Jan 2022

Resuciating Consent, Megan S. Wright

Journal Articles

The scholarly focus on autonomy in healthcare decision making largely has been on information about, rather than consent to, medical treatment. There is an assumption that if a patient has complete information and understanding about a proposed medical intervention, then they will choose the treatment their physician thinks is best. True respect for patient autonomy means that treatment refusal, whether informed or not, should always be an option. But there is evidence that healthcare providers sometimes ignore treatment refusals and resort to force to treat patients over their contemporaneous objection, which may be facilitated by the incapacity exception to informed …


The Price Of Exit, Eleanor M. Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone Jan 2022

The Price Of Exit, Eleanor M. Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone

Journal Articles

The price of exit influences the terms of intimate relationships—and constitutes an important factor in distinguishing committed from contingent relationships. With or without legal recognition of the relationship itself, the dissolution of an intimate relationship requires disentangling any joint assets, determining who stays and who leaves a joint residence, and arranging the terms of continuing involvement with any children. Marriage establishes bright-line rules for these determinations and a formal legal process for administering them. Unmarried relationships involve different default terms and no automatic legal process for resolving the terms of exit. The terms of exit, however, may frame relationship choices. …


Marketing Authorization At The Fda: Paradigms And Alternatives, Adam I. Muchmore Jan 2022

Marketing Authorization At The Fda: Paradigms And Alternatives, Adam I. Muchmore

Journal Articles

In many critical industries, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) marketing authorization decisions determine the range of products available in the United States. Because of the broad scope of the FDA’s marketing authorization responsibilities, the existing scholarship focuses on individual product categories, or small groups of product categories, regulated by the agency. This Article identifies how the existing literature has overlooked important connections between the FDA’s different marketing authorization programs. These connections suggest both explanations for existing programs and strategies for potential reforms.

The Article sets forth a two-level framework for analyzing the FDA’s marketing authorization role. At the first …


All The Presidents' Dreamers: Immigration Reform That Biden And Trump Can Agree On (And Why That Reform May Be Elusive), Victor C. Romero Jan 2022

All The Presidents' Dreamers: Immigration Reform That Biden And Trump Can Agree On (And Why That Reform May Be Elusive), Victor C. Romero

Journal Articles

While a sizeable gulf exists between the Trump and Biden administrations’ approaches to immigration, there is one policy area where these presidents would see eye-to-eye: a legal pathway for “Dreamers,” longtime undocumented residents who initially came to the U.S. as children. Notwithstanding this exceptional example of bipartisanship, how the nation now moves forward to create such a pathway is a conundrum. The political divide that has stalled a two-decades-long search for a congressional solution has its roots in America’s longstanding ambivalence about whether and how to provide basic opportunities to the least of its denizens. This Essay traces the current …


Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Margaret Hu Jan 2022

Decitizenizing Asian Pacific American Women, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Margaret Hu

Journal Articles

The Page Act of 1875 excluded Asian women immigrants from entering the United States, presuming they were prostitutes. This presumption was tragically replicated in the 2021 Atlanta Massacre of six Asian and Asian American women, reinforcing the same harmful prejudices. This Article seeks to illuminate how the Atlanta Massacre is symbolic of larger forms of discrimination, including the harms of decitizenship. These harms include limited access to full citizenship rights due to legal barriers, restricted cultural and political power, and a lack of belonging. The Article concludes that these harms result from the structure of past and present immigration laws …


Sexual Violence, Intangible Harm, And The Promise Of Transformative Remedies, Jill C. Engle Jan 2022

Sexual Violence, Intangible Harm, And The Promise Of Transformative Remedies, Jill C. Engle

Journal Articles

This Article describes alternative remedies that survivors of sexual violence can access inside and outside the legal system. It describes the leading restorative justice approaches and recommends one of the newest and most innovative of those—“transformative justice”—to heal the intangible harms of sexual violence. The Article also discusses the intersectional effects of sexual violence on women of color and their communities. It explains the importance of transformative justice’s intersectional approach to redress sexual violence. Transformative justice offers community-based, victim-centric methods that cultivate deep, lasting healing for sexual violence survivors and their communities, with genuine accountability for those who have caused …


Telemedicine Scams, Katrice B. Copeland Jan 2022

Telemedicine Scams, Katrice B. Copeland

Journal Articles

Telemedicine emerged as a lifeline during the COVID-10 pandemic. Although the technology existed long before the pandemic, its use was limited due to strict government regulations that limited reimbursement for telemedicine visits. In response to the pandemic, the Government waiver many of its restrictions for the duration of the Public Health Emergency. These changes fueled the growth of telemedicine.

The problem, however, is that telemedicine makes it easier to conduct fraud on a larger scale because without in-person visits, medical providers can reach many more beneficiaries in a short period of time. Thus, the size and scale of typical health …


Criminal Violations, Jacob Schuman Jan 2022

Criminal Violations, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Violations of community supervision are major drivers of incarceration. Nearly four million people in the United States are serving terms of probation, parole, or supervised release, and one-third of them are eventually found in violation of a condition of their supervision, sending 350,000 people to prison each year. To reduce incarceration rates, criminal justice reformers have called for lower sentences for non-criminal “technical violations,” such as missed meetings, skipped curfews, etc.

In this Article, I offer the first comprehensive analysis of “criminal violations,” the other half of cases where people violate their supervision by committing new crimes. Based on an …


Fake, Andrea M. Matwyshyn, Miranda Mowbray Oct 2021

Fake, Andrea M. Matwyshyn, Miranda Mowbray

Journal Articles

The Internet today is full of fake people and fake information. Trust in both technology and institutions is in a downward spiral. This Article offers a novel comprehensive framework for calibrating a legal response to technology “fakery” through the lens of information security. Introducing the problems of Internet “MIST”—manipulation, impersonation, sequestering, and toxicity—it argues that these MIST challenges threaten the future viability of the Internet through two morphed dynamics destructive to trust. First, the arrival of the Internet-enabled “long con” has combined traditional con artistry with enhanced technological capability for data collection. Second, the risk of a new “PSYOP industrial …


Composition Over Division: The Statutes Of The National Forest System, Jamison Colburn Sep 2021

Composition Over Division: The Statutes Of The National Forest System, Jamison Colburn

Journal Articles

Most crises like those facing the National Forest System (NFS) have complex origins. But few of them result from as vast or as tangled a range of causes as do those facing the NFS. Appropriations to fight the wildfires now consuming our forests and choking the West have steadily grown, far outpacing inflation for a generation now. Timber and other commodity production has remained at historic lows for as long. And biodiversity conservation measures cannot gain the acquiescence of different constituencies long enough to withstand the inevitable lawsuits or turnover in administrative personnel. If Congress originally expected that judicial oversight …


Federal Legal And Regulatory Developments Relating To The Us Pipeline Industry, Chloe J. Marie, Ross H. Pifer Jan 2021

Federal Legal And Regulatory Developments Relating To The Us Pipeline Industry, Chloe J. Marie, Ross H. Pifer

Journal Articles

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (“ACP”) was designed as a 600-mile underground, pipeline project transporting natural gas from well sites in West Virginia to end users throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (“Atlantic Coast”), the developer of the ACP project, began the extensive process of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for this project by initiating a pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in October 2014. In the nearly six years that followed, the project received various permits related to water and air quality as well as other matters from state and federal agencies. At nearly …


Racism, Incorporated: Ramos V. Louisiana And Jogging While Black, Victor C. Romero Jan 2021

Racism, Incorporated: Ramos V. Louisiana And Jogging While Black, Victor C. Romero

Journal Articles

There is more to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ramos v.
Louisiana
than its holding requiring unanimous state jury verdicts via the
incorporation doctrine. The underlying debate among the Justices in Ramos
about the salience of race in the law is a window into the current cultural
moment. After identifying the racial debate underlying the Justices’ views in
Ramos, this Essay shows how the same pattern emerges in our social and
legal debates around vigilante policing of Black Americans, including a
close-up look at the recent killing of Ahmaud Arbery. Social psychology
teaches us that society stereotypes …


Prosocial Fraud, Julia Y. Lee Jan 2021

Prosocial Fraud, Julia Y. Lee

Journal Articles

This Article identifies the concept of prosocial fraud--that is, fraud motivated by the desire to help others. The current incentive-based legal framework focuses on deterring rational bad actors who must be constrained from acting on their worst impulses. This overlooks a less sinister, but more endemic species of fraud that is not driven by greed or the desire to take advantage of others. Prosocial fraud is induced by prosocial motives and propagated through cooperative norms. This Article argues that prosocial fraud cannot be effectively deterred through increased sanctions because its moral ambiguity lends itself to self-deception and motivated blindness. The …


Peeling Apple: Antitrust Standing & Intermediary Defendants, John E. Lopatka Jan 2021

Peeling Apple: Antitrust Standing & Intermediary Defendants, John E. Lopatka

Journal Articles

When market intermediaries unlawfully acquire market power, vertically related market participants may sue under the antitrust laws to recover damages. Their ability to recover depends upon an intricate set of doctrines that define private standing, including the indirect-purchaser rules set down by the Supreme Court most notably in Illinois Brick. In Apple Inc. v. Pepper, the Court decided the application of the indirect-purchaser rules to a particular kind of intermediary, a platform in a two-sided market. The Article explores private antitrust standing doctrines as they apply to market intermediaries, using Apple to frame the exposition. The Court there held that …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Jan 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …


Five Approaches To Insuring Cyber Risks, Christopher C. French Jan 2021

Five Approaches To Insuring Cyber Risks, Christopher C. French

Journal Articles

Cyber risks are some of the most dangerous risks of the twenty-first century. Many types of businesses, including retail stores, healthcare entities, and financial institutions, as well as government entities, are the targets of cyber attacks. The simple reality is that no computer security system is completely safe. They all can be breached if the hackers are skilled enough and determined. Consequently, the worldwide damages caused by cyber attacks are predicted to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. Insuring such risks is a monumental task.

The cyber insurance market currently is fragmented with hundreds of insurers selling their own cyber risk …


Rethinking The Supreme Court's Interstate Waters Jurisprudence, Jamison Colburn Jan 2021

Rethinking The Supreme Court's Interstate Waters Jurisprudence, Jamison Colburn

Journal Articles

For more than a century the Supreme Court has heard a steady stream of original jurisdiction controversies “between two or more States” over interstate waters. It has for even longer heard and decided similar cases involving non-state parties from its appellate dockets. Until now, no synthesis has combined these traditions to describe and explain states’ legal interests in interstate waters as an amalgam of federal common law, Article III’s judicial federalism, and the separation of powers. This article disentangles legacy opinions, orders, and jurisdictional traditions, revealing the bundle of interests that all courts are obliged to protect. It finally offers …


Nothing Generic About It: Promoting Therapeutic Access By Overcoming Regulatory And Legal Barriers To A Robust Generic Medical Device Market, Megan S. Wright, Zachary Shapiro, Adam Pan, Keturah James, Joseph Fins Jan 2020

Nothing Generic About It: Promoting Therapeutic Access By Overcoming Regulatory And Legal Barriers To A Robust Generic Medical Device Market, Megan S. Wright, Zachary Shapiro, Adam Pan, Keturah James, Joseph Fins

Journal Articles

This Article addresses a paradox in American healthcare technology: a thriving market for generic drugs but a paucity of generic medical devices. Despite the success of generic pharmaceuticals in reducing healthcare costs, no analogous market exists for generic medical devices. This plays a part in keeping prices high while limiting access to affordable therapies. In this Article, we highlight the regulatory and legal barriers currently impeding the development of a generic medical device market in the United States. We explore differences between generic drugs and generic devices in FDA regulation, products liability, and patentability, all of which contribute to the …