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University at Buffalo School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

By The Inch, It’S A Cinch: The Case For Go-Ing Slow In First-Year Legal Writing Courses, Patrick J. Long Dec 2022

By The Inch, It’S A Cinch: The Case For Go-Ing Slow In First-Year Legal Writing Courses, Patrick J. Long

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Swimming With Broad Strokes: Publishing And Presenting Beyond The Lw Discipline, Robin Boyle-Laisure, Stephen Paskey Sep 2022

Swimming With Broad Strokes: Publishing And Presenting Beyond The Lw Discipline, Robin Boyle-Laisure, Stephen Paskey

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Police Killings As Felony Murder, Guyora Binder, Ekow Yankah Aug 2022

Police Killings As Felony Murder, Guyora Binder, Ekow Yankah

Journal Articles

The widely applauded conviction of officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd employedthe widely criticized felony murder rule. Should we use felony murder as a tool to check discriminatory and violent policing? The authors object that felony murder—although perhaps the only murder charge available for this killing under Minnesota law—understated Chauvin’s culpability and thereby inadequately denounced his crime. They show that further opportunities to prosecute police for felony murder are quite limited. Further, a substantial minority of states impose felony murder liability for any death proximately caused by a felony, even if the actual killer was a police …


Antitrust Class Actions In The Wake Of Procedural Reform, Christine P. Bartholomew Jul 2022

Antitrust Class Actions In The Wake Of Procedural Reform, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

What is the current vitality of antitrust enforcement? Antitrust class actions—the primary mode of competition oversight—has weathered two decades of procedural reform. This Article documents the effects of those reforms. Relying on an original dataset of over 1300 antitrust class action settlements, this Article finds such cases alive but far from well. Certain suits do succeed on an impressive scale, returning billions of dollars to victims. But class action reform has made antitrust enforcement narrower, more time-consuming, and costlier than only a decade ago. And, as this Article’s sources reveal, new battle lines are forming. Across the political spectrum, people …


Segregation Autopilot: How The Government Perpetuates Segregation And How To Stop It, Heather R. Abraham Jul 2022

Segregation Autopilot: How The Government Perpetuates Segregation And How To Stop It, Heather R. Abraham

Journal Articles

Housing segregation is a defining feature of the American landscape. Scholars have thoroughly documented the government’s historic collusion in segregating people by race. But far from correcting its reprehensible past, the government continues to perpetuate housing segregation today. As if on autopilot, its spending and regulatory activities routinely reinforce housing segregation. Not only is this immoral and bad policy, it is against the law. The government has a statutory duty to conduct its business in a manner that reduces housing segregation. This duty arises from a unique civil rights directive passed by Congress over fifty years ago in the Fair …


Defunding Police Agencies, Rick Su, Anthony O'Rourke, Guyora Binder Jun 2022

Defunding Police Agencies, Rick Su, Anthony O'Rourke, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This Article contextualizes the police defunding movement and the backlash it has generated. The defunding movement emerged from the work of Black-led activists to reassert democratic control over policing and shift resources to social service agencies and other institutions serving community needs. In reaction, states have enacted anti-defunding bills checking local government reduction of law enforcement budgets. These anti-defunding measures continue a long tradition of state and federal control over local police spending, subverting local democratic control over police agencies. These limits include direct legal constraints on local police spending and indirect constraints through grants and authorization to collect fines, …


Amazon As A Seller Of Marketplace Goods Under Article 2, Tanya J. Monestier Jun 2022

Amazon As A Seller Of Marketplace Goods Under Article 2, Tanya J. Monestier

Journal Articles

You have probably purchased goods on Amazon. Did you know that if the goods you purchased on Amazon turn out to be defective and cause serious personal injury, Amazon is probably not liable for them? Did you know that even though you placed an order on Amazon, gave payment to Amazon, and received the goods in an Amazon box, there is a good chance that the goods are not “sold by” Amazon—but are instead sold by a third-party seller? Did you know that Amazon tries to avoid liability for goods sold on its platform on the technicality that it does …


Statutory Interpretation And Chevron Deference In The Appellate Courts: An Empirical Analysis, Amy Semet Feb 2022

Statutory Interpretation And Chevron Deference In The Appellate Courts: An Empirical Analysis, Amy Semet

Journal Articles

What statutory methods does an appellate court use in reviewing decisions of an administrative agency? Further, in doing this review, are appellate judges more likely to use certain statutory methods when they expressly cite the Chevron two-step framework than if they do not? This Article explores the answers to these questions using an original database of over 200 statutory interpretation cases culled from more than 2,500 cases decided in appellate courts reviewing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) adjudications from 1994 through 2020. In particular, the study examined the use of text, language canons, substantive canons, legislative history, …


Ethical, Legal, And Social Issues In The Earth Biogenome Project, Jacob S. Sherkow, Katharine B. Barker, Irus Braverman, Robert Cook-Deegan, Richard Durbin, Carla L. Easter, Melissa M. Goldstein, Maui Hudson, W. John Kress, Harris A. Lewin, Debra J. H. Mathews, Catherine Mccarthy, Ann M. Mccartney, Manuela Da Silva, Andrew W. Torrance, Henry T. Greely Jan 2022

Ethical, Legal, And Social Issues In The Earth Biogenome Project, Jacob S. Sherkow, Katharine B. Barker, Irus Braverman, Robert Cook-Deegan, Richard Durbin, Carla L. Easter, Melissa M. Goldstein, Maui Hudson, W. John Kress, Harris A. Lewin, Debra J. H. Mathews, Catherine Mccarthy, Ann M. Mccartney, Manuela Da Silva, Andrew W. Torrance, Henry T. Greely

Journal Articles

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) is an audacious endeavor to obtain whole-genome sequences of representatives from all eukaryotic species on Earth. In addition to the project’s technical and organizational challenges, it also faces complicated ethical, legal, and social issues. This paper, from members of the EBP’s Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) Committee, catalogs these ELSI concerns arising from EBP. These include legal issues, such as sample collection and permitting; the applicability of international treaties, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol; intellectual property; sample accessioning; and biosecurity and ethical issues, such as sampling from the …


The Conceptual Problems Arising From Legal Pluralism, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Jan 2022

The Conceptual Problems Arising From Legal Pluralism, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

This paper argues that analytical jurisprudence has been insufficiently attentive to three significant puzzles highlighted by the legal pluralist tradition: the existence of commonalities between different types of law, the possibility of a distinction between law and non-law, and the explanatory centrality of the state. I further argue that the resolution of these questions sets the stage for a renewed agenda of analytical jurisprudence and has to be considered in attempts for reconciliation between the academic traditions of analytical jurisprudence and legal pluralism, often called “pluralist jurisprudence.” I also argue that the resolution of these problems affects the empirical, doctrinal, …


Ford's Underlying Controversy, Christine P. Bartholomew, Anya Bernstein Jan 2022

Ford's Underlying Controversy, Christine P. Bartholomew, Anya Bernstein

Journal Articles

Personal jurisdiction—the doctrine that determines where a plaintiff can sue—is a mess. Everyone agrees that a court can exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant with sufficient in-state contacts related to a plaintiff’s claim. This Article reveals, however, that courts diverge radically in their understanding of what a claim is. Without stating so outright, some courts limit the claim to a cause of action or its elements, while others understand it to encompass the controversy underlying the litigation. What is worse, few have noticed that these discrepancies even exist, much less explained why. This Article does just that. We show that …


Mapping Racial Capitalism: Implications For Law, Carmen G. Gonzalez, Athena D. Mutua Jan 2022

Mapping Racial Capitalism: Implications For Law, Carmen G. Gonzalez, Athena D. Mutua

Journal Articles

The theory of racial capitalism offers insights into the relationship between class and race, providing both a structural and a historical account of the ways in which the two are linked in the global economy. Law plays an important role in this. This article sketches what we believe are two key structural features of racial capitalism: profit-making and race-making for the purpose of accumulating wealth and power. We understand profit-making as the extraction of surplus value or profits through processes of exploitation, expropriation, and expulsion, which are grounded in a politics of race-making. We understand race-making as including racial stratification, …


Judicial Populism, Anya Bernstein, Glen Staszewski Nov 2021

Judicial Populism, Anya Bernstein, Glen Staszewski

Journal Articles

Populism has taken center stage in discussions of contemporary politics. This Article details a judicial populism that resonates with political populism’s tropes, mirrors its traits, and enables its practices. Like political populism, judicial populism insists there are clear, correct answers to complex, debatable problems, treating reasonable disagreement as illegitimate. It disparages the institutions that mediate divergent interests in a republican democracy, claiming special access to the law’s clear objective meaning. And it imagines a pure, unified people locked in battle with a subversive elite.

While commentators have recognized political populism as fundamentally undemocratic, judicial populism has largely escaped recognition and …


The Ostensible (And, At Times, Actual) Virtue Of Deference, Anthony O'Rourke Nov 2021

The Ostensible (And, At Times, Actual) Virtue Of Deference, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

In Rethinking Police Expertise, Anna Lvovsky exposes how litigators leverage judicial understandings of police expertise against the government. The article is rich not only with descriptive insights, but also with normative potential. By rigorously analyzing the relationship between expertise and authority in specific cases, Professor Lvovsky offers guidance as to how judges and lawyers should factor a police officer’s expertise into an assessment of whether the officer’s conduct is lawful. This Response argues, however, that Rethinking Police Expertise’s normative potential is weakened by the sharp conceptual distinction it draws between judicial understandings of expertise as a “professional virtue” (which it …


Federalism And The Limits Of Subnational Political Heterogeneity, James A. Gardner Nov 2021

Federalism And The Limits Of Subnational Political Heterogeneity, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

With an epidemic of democratic backsliding now afflicting many of the world’s democracies, including the United States, some scholars have suggested that federalism might serve as a useful defense for liberal democracy by impeding the ability of an authoritarian central government to stamp it out at the subnational level. In this Essay, I dispute that contention. An examination of both federal theory on one hand and the behavior and tactics of central control employed by ancient and early modern empires on the other leads to the conclusion that the protective value of federalism against the effects of national authoritarianism is …


Legal Corpus Linguistics And The Half-Empirical Attitude, Anya Bernstein Nov 2021

Legal Corpus Linguistics And The Half-Empirical Attitude, Anya Bernstein

Journal Articles

Legal writers have recently turned to corpus linguistics to interpret legal texts. Corpus linguistics, a social-science methodology, provides a sophisticated way to analyze large data sets of language use. Legal proponents have touted it as giving empirical grounding to claims about ordinary language, which pervade legal interpretation. But legal corpus linguistics cannot deliver on that promise because it ignores the crucial contexts in which legal language is produced, interpreted, and deployed.

First, legal corpus linguistics neglects the relevant legal context—the conditions that give legal language authority. Because of this, legal corpus studies’ evidence about language use perversely obscures and misstates …


The Illiberalization Of American Election Law: A Study In Democratic Deconsolidation, James A. Gardner Nov 2021

The Illiberalization Of American Election Law: A Study In Democratic Deconsolidation, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

For many years, the dominant view among American election law scholars has been that the U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence of democratic practice got off to a promising start during the mid-twentieth century but has since then slowly deteriorated into incoherence. In light of the United States’ recent turn toward populist authoritarianism, that view needs to be substantially revised. With the benefit of hindsight, it now appears that the Supreme Court has functioned, in its management of the constitutional jurisprudence of democracy, as a vector of infection—a kind of super-spreader of populist authoritarianism.

There is, sadly, nothing unusual these days …


The Constitutionalization Of Parole: Fulfilling The Promise Of Meaningful Review, Alexandra Harrington Sep 2021

The Constitutionalization Of Parole: Fulfilling The Promise Of Meaningful Review, Alexandra Harrington

Journal Articles

Almost 12,000 people in the United States are serving life sentences for crimes that occurred when they were children. For most of these people, a parole board will determine how long they will actually spend in prison. Recent Supreme Court decisions have endorsed parole as a mechanism to ensure that people who committed crimes as children are serving constitutionally proportionate sentences with a meaningful opportunity for release. Yet, in many states across the country, parole is an opaque process with few guarantees. Parole decisions are considered “acts of grace” often left to the unreviewable discretion of the parole board.

This …


Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Sep 2021

Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

This comment critically examines the conception of legal positivism that informs Margaret Martin’s interesting and multilayered challenge against the substance and method of this intellectual tradition. My central claim is that her characterization of the substantive theory of legal positivism sets aside a more fundamental and explanatory prior dimension concerning the positivist’s theory of the existence of legal systems and legal norms. I also argue that her understanding of the positivist’s descriptive methodology as a nonnormative project is too demanding and overlooks both the relationships between law and morality recognized by contemporary legal positivists and the pivotal distinction between internal …


Judicial Application Of Strict Liability Local Ordinances, Guyora Binder, Brenner Fissell Aug 2021

Judicial Application Of Strict Liability Local Ordinances, Guyora Binder, Brenner Fissell

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Refugees We Are: Solidarity, Asylum, And Critique In The European Constitutional Imagination, Paul Linden-Retek Jun 2021

The Refugees We Are: Solidarity, Asylum, And Critique In The European Constitutional Imagination, Paul Linden-Retek

Journal Articles

This Article aims to reimagine post-national legal solidarity. It does so by bringing debates over Habermasian constitutional theory to bear on the evolving use of mutual recognition and mutual trust in the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice (AFSJ), particularly in the context of European asylum law and reforms to the Dublin Regulation. Insofar as critiques of Habermasian “constitutional patriotism” apply to the principle of mutual trust, the Article suggests why post-national solidarity requires fallibilism and dynamic responsiveness that exceed formalized rules of forbearance and respect.

On this revised view, legal solidarity guarantees a particular form of adjudication through …


Our Imperial Federal Courts, Matthew J. Steilen Jun 2021

Our Imperial Federal Courts, Matthew J. Steilen

Journal Articles

This essay is a response to Christian R. Burset, Advisory Opinions and the Problem of Legal Authority, 74VAND.L.REV.621(2021).

“The article is significant for the archival work alone. It is useful, as well, for the impressive synthesis of the existing secondary literature, collected in the footnotes, which makes a convenient reading list for us mere mortals. The argument of the article is ambitious. As the Table of Contents suggests, its structure is complex: the author asks us to visit three different jurisdictions (two British and one American, each thousands of miles apart), in three different decades, in three different political and …


Wild Legalities: Animals And Settler Colonialism In Palestine/Israel, Irus Braverman May 2021

Wild Legalities: Animals And Settler Colonialism In Palestine/Israel, Irus Braverman

Journal Articles

This article examines the underlying biopolitical premises of wildlife management in Palestine/Israel that make, remake, and unmake this region's settler colonial landscape. Drawing on interviews with Israeli nature officials and observations of their work, the article tells several animal stories that illuminate the hierarchies and slippages between wild and domestic, nature and culture, native and settler, and human and nonhuman life in Palestine/Israel. Animal bodies are especially apt technologies of settler colonialism, I show here. They naturalize and normalize settler modes of existence, while criminalizing native livelihoods and relations. Utilizing the terra nullius doctrine, creating biblical landscapes by reintroducing extirpated …


Disbanding Police Agencies, Anthony O'Rourke, Rick Su, Guyora Binder May 2021

Disbanding Police Agencies, Anthony O'Rourke, Rick Su, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Since the killing of George Floyd, a national consensus has emerged that reforms are needed to prevent discriminatory and violent policing. Calls to defund and abolish the police have provoked pushback, but several cities are considering disbanding or reducing their police forces. This Essay assesses disbanding as a reform strategy from a democratic and institutionalist perspective. Should localities disband their police forces? One reason to do so is that discriminatory police departments are often too insulated from democratic oversight to be reformed. But can localities succeed in disbanding and replacing their forces with something better? Unfortunately, the structural entrenchment of …


Reframing Law's Domain: Narrative, Rhetoric, And The Forms Of Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey May 2021

Reframing Law's Domain: Narrative, Rhetoric, And The Forms Of Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey

Journal Articles

Legal scholars typically understand law as a system of determinate rules grounded in logic. And in the public sphere, textualist judges and others often claim that judges should not "make" law, arguing instead that a judge's role is simply to find the meaning inherent in law's language. This essay offers a different understanding of both the structure of legal rules and the role of judges. Building on Caroline Levine's claim that texts have multiple ordering principles, the essay argues that legal rules simultaneously have three overlapping forms, none of which is dominant: not only the form of conditional, "if-then" logic, …


Environmental Justice, Settler Colonialism, And More-Than-Humans In The Occupied West Bank: An Introduction, Irus Braverman Mar 2021

Environmental Justice, Settler Colonialism, And More-Than-Humans In The Occupied West Bank: An Introduction, Irus Braverman

Journal Articles

Our special issue provides a first-of-its kind attempt to examine environmental injustices in the occupied West Bank through interdisciplinary perspectives, pointing to the broader settler colonial and neoliberal contexts within which they occur and to their more-than-human implications. Specifically, we seek to understand what environmental justice—a movement originating from, and rooted in, the United States—means in the context of Palestine/Israel. Moving beyond the settler-native dialectic, we draw attention to the more-than-human flows that occur in the region—which include water, air, waste, cement, trees, donkeys, watermelons, and insects—to consider the dynamic, and often gradational, meanings of frontier, enclosure, and Indigeneity in …


Fair Housing’S Third Act: American Tragedy Or Triumph?, Heather R. Abraham Mar 2021

Fair Housing’S Third Act: American Tragedy Or Triumph?, Heather R. Abraham

Journal Articles

Fifty-two years ago, Congress enacted a one-of-a-kind civil rights directive. It requires every federal agency—and state and local grantees by extension—to take affirmative steps to undo segregation. In 2020, this overlooked Fair Housing Act provision—the “affirmatively furthering fair housing” or “AFFH” mandate—has heightened relevance. Perhaps most visible is Donald Trump’s racially charged “protect the suburbs” campaign rhetoric. In an apparent appeal to suburban constituents, his administration repealed a race-conscious fair housing rule, replacing it with a no-questions-asked regulation that elevates “local control” above civil rights.

The maneuver is especially stark as protesters fill the streets, marching in opposition to systemic …


Moonlight: A Photo Essay, David A. Westbrook Feb 2021

Moonlight: A Photo Essay, David A. Westbrook

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Illiberalism And Authoritarianism In The American States, James A. Gardner Feb 2021

Illiberalism And Authoritarianism In The American States, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Federalism contemplates subnational variation, but in the United States the nature and significance of that variation has long been contested. In light of the recent turn, globally and nationally, toward authoritarianism, and the concurrent sharp decline in public support not merely for democracy but for the philosophical liberalism on which democracy rests, it is necessary to discard or to substantially revise prior accounts of the nature of state-to-state variation in the U.S. All such accounts implicitly presuppose a common commitment, across the political spectrum, to the core tenets of democratic liberalism, and consequently that subnational variations in policy preferences and …


Topology Of The Closet, Michael Boucai Jan 2021

Topology Of The Closet, Michael Boucai

Journal Articles

Despite the closet’s centrality to queer culture and theory, the metaphor’s various meanings have yet to be disaggregated and defined. Following Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s identification of the closet with a “crisis of homo/heterosexual definition, indicatively male, dating from the end of the nineteenth century,” the present article uses an array of late-Victorian sources—especially The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds and Teleny, a pornographic novel sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde—to describe and distinguish: (1) so-called latent homosexuality (“the unconscious closet”); (2) deliberate strategies of suppression, abstention, and reformation (“the conscious closet”); (3) clandestine pursuits of gay sex and sociability (“the double …