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Vanderbilt Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Evaluating Antitrust Remedies For Platform Monopolies: The Case Of Facebook, Seth G. Benzell, Felix B. Chang Apr 2023

Evaluating Antitrust Remedies For Platform Monopolies: The Case Of Facebook, Seth G. Benzell, Felix B. Chang

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article advances a framework to assess antitrust remedies and policy interventions for platform monopolies. As prosecutors and regulators barrel forward against digital platforms, soon it will fall upon courts and administrative agencies to devise remedies. We argue that any sensible solution must include quantification of the welfare effects on a platform’s various constituents. The Benzell-Collis model predicts the effects of proposed solutions on a platform’s profits and the welfare of its users. The model also considers additional aspects of welfare unique to the social media setting, such as digital platforms’ nonmonetary goals, platform addiction, and externalities from platform use. …


Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

Adapting Private Law For Climate Change Adaptation, Jim Rossi, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law Review

The private law of torts, property, and contracts will and should play an important role in resolving disputes regarding how private individuals and entities respond to and manage the harms of climate change that cannot be avoided through mitigation (known in climate change policy dialogue as “adaptation”). While adaptation is commonly presented as a problem needing legislative solutions, this Article presents a novel and overdue case for private law to take climate adaptation seriously.

To date, the role of private law is a significant blind spot in scholarly discussions of climate adaptation. Litigation invoking common-law doctrines in climate adaption disputes …


Reliance Interests In Statutory And Constitutional Interpretation, William N. Eskridge Jr., John Garver Professor Of Jurisprudence Apr 2023

Reliance Interests In Statutory And Constitutional Interpretation, William N. Eskridge Jr., John Garver Professor Of Jurisprudence

Vanderbilt Law Review

People and companies rely on public law when they plan their activities; society relies on legal entitlements when it adapts to new technology, economic conditions, and social groups; legislators, administrators, and judges rely on settled law when they pass, implement, and interpret statutes (respectively). Such private, societal, and public “reliance interests” are the “dark matter” of America’s law of interpretation. They underwrite most interpretive doctrine, and their perceived force broadly and deeply affects the application of doctrine.

Reliance interests anchor the constitutional bias in favor of interpretive continuity, and they provide guardrails for the leading theories of interpretation-—namely-—textualism or original …


Water We Cannot See: Codifying A Progressive Public Trust To Protect Groundwater Resources From Depletion, Susan E. Ness Apr 2023

Water We Cannot See: Codifying A Progressive Public Trust To Protect Groundwater Resources From Depletion, Susan E. Ness

Vanderbilt Law Review

Groundwater provides a vital water supply and plays an integral role in hydrological systems by supporting biodiversity and the overall health and functioning of surface waters. Yet, the current legal landscape in the United States premises groundwater management on outdated scientific understandings of hydrology and fails to adequately protect critical groundwater resources. Moreover, states differ significantly in their groundwater management practices despite the interstate nature of many aquifers. As climate change exacerbates stress to groundwater resources, many of the United States’ largest aquifers rapidly approach depletion.

The public trust doctrine may provide a mechanism to regulate groundwater resources in the …


Against Political Theory In Constitutional Interpretation, Christopher S. Havasy, Joshua C. Macey, Brian Richardson Apr 2023

Against Political Theory In Constitutional Interpretation, Christopher S. Havasy, Joshua C. Macey, Brian Richardson

Vanderbilt Law Review

Judges and academics have long relied on the work of a small number of Enlightenment political theorists-—particularly Locke, Montesquieu, and Blackstone—-to discern meaning from vague and ambiguous constitutional provisions. This Essay cautions that Enlightenment political theory should rarely, if ever, be cited as an authoritative source of constitutional meaning. There are three principal problems with constitutional interpretation based on eighteenth-century political theory. First, Enlightenment thinkers developed distinct and incompatible theories about how to structure a republican form of government. That makes it difficult to decide which among the conflicting theories should possess constitutional significance. Second, the Framers did not write …


Humans In The Loop, Rebecca Crootof, Margot E. Kaminski, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Professor Of Law Mar 2023

Humans In The Loop, Rebecca Crootof, Margot E. Kaminski, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Professor Of Law

Vanderbilt Law Review

From lethal drones to cancer diagnostics, humans are increasingly working with complex and artificially intelligent algorithms to make decisions which affect human lives, raising questions about how best to regulate these “human-in-the-loop” systems. We make four contributions to the discourse.

First, contrary to the popular narrative, law is already profoundly and often problematically involved in governing human-in-the-loop systems: it regularly affects whether humans are retained in or removed from the loop. Second, we identify “the MABA-MABA trap,” which occurs when policymakers attempt to address concerns about algorithmic incapacities by inserting a human into a decisionmaking process. Regardless of whether the …


The Limits Of Portfolio Primacy, Roberto Tallarita, Associate Director Of The Program On Corporate Governance Mar 2023

The Limits Of Portfolio Primacy, Roberto Tallarita, Associate Director Of The Program On Corporate Governance

Vanderbilt Law Review

According to the “portfolio primacy” theory, large asset managers, and in particular large index funds, can and will undertake the role of “climate stewards” and will push corporations to reduce their carbon footprint. This theory is based on the view that index fund portfolios mirror the entire market and therefore have strong financial incentives to reduce market-wide threats, such as climate change.

But how much can we rely on portfolio primacy to mitigate the effects of climate change? In this Article, I provide a conceptual and empirical assessment of the potential impact of portfolio primacy on climate change mitigation by …


What’S In The Contract?: Rockefeller, The Hague Service Convention, And Serving Process Abroad, Thomas G. Vanderbeek Mar 2023

What’S In The Contract?: Rockefeller, The Hague Service Convention, And Serving Process Abroad, Thomas G. Vanderbeek

Vanderbilt Law Review

Today’s global economy relies on transnational commerce. The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“Hague Service Convention”), implemented in 1965, encouraged transnational commerce by establishing a streamlined mechanism for serving foreign parties with process. More reliable international service methods helped ensure parties that they could resolve disputes with foreign parties through the courts. The Hague Service Convention thus created a bridge between civil and common law procedures on service while reducing some of the risks of engaging in business with foreign parties.

At the same time, the Hague Service Convention frequently …


Efficiency And Equity In Regulation, Caroline Cecot Mar 2023

Efficiency And Equity In Regulation, Caroline Cecot

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Biden Administration has signaled an interest in ensuring that regulations appropriately benefit vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Prior presidential administrations since at least the Reagan Administration have focused on ensuring that regulations are efficient, maximizing the net benefits to society as a whole, without considering who benefits or who loses from these policies. Critics of this process of regulatory review have celebrated President Biden’s initiative, hoping that distributional analysis and the pursuit of equity will displace traditional tools and interests such as cost-benefit analysis and the pursuit of efficiency. Meanwhile, supporters of the current process are concerned that pursuing equity …


Taking Stock Of Startup Stock Options: Addressing Disclosure And Liquidity Concerns Of Startup Employees, John R. Dorney Mar 2023

Taking Stock Of Startup Stock Options: Addressing Disclosure And Liquidity Concerns Of Startup Employees, John R. Dorney

Vanderbilt Law Review

U.S. capital markets are becoming increasingly private. Initial public offerings have steadily declined since the 1990s, and private companies are remaining private over twice as long as they have in the past. Furthermore, private company financing has reached unprecedented levels. Private securities offerings now greatly outpace the value of publicly traded securities. Additionally, recent regulatory changes seem to be accelerating this shift from the public to the private markets. One result of this shift is that private company valuations have grown immensely, so much so that private companies with valuations of over $1 billion exist and are known as “unicorns.” …


Unenforceable Waivers, Edward K. Cheng, Ehud Guttel, Yuval Procaccia Mar 2023

Unenforceable Waivers, Edward K. Cheng, Ehud Guttel, Yuval Procaccia

Vanderbilt Law Review

Textbook tort law establishes that waivers of liability—-especially those involving physical harm-—are often unenforceable. This Essay demonstrates through an extensive survey of the case law that despite being unenforceable, such waivers remain in widespread use. Indeed, defendants frequently use waivers even when a court has previously declared their specific waivers to be void. So why do such waivers persist? Often the simple answer is to hoodwink would-be plaintiffs. Waivers serve as costless deterrents to tort claims: Either they dupe naïve victims into believing that their claims are barred, or if not, the defendant is no worse off than before. Such …


Felony Financial Disenfranchisement, Neel U. Sukhatme, Alexander Billy, Gaurav Bagwe Jan 2023

Felony Financial Disenfranchisement, Neel U. Sukhatme, Alexander Billy, Gaurav Bagwe

Vanderbilt Law Review

Individuals with prior felony convictions often must complete all terms of their sentence before they regain voter eligibility. Many jurisdictions include legal-financial obligations (“LFOs”)-—fines, fees, and/or restitution stemming from convictions-—in the terms of the sentence. Twenty-eight states, governing over 182 million Americans, either directly or indirectly tie LFO repayment to voting privileges, a practice we call felony financial disenfranchisement.

Proponents of felony financial disenfranchisement posit that returning citizens must satisfy the financial obligations stemming from convictions to restore themselves as community equals. Moralism aside, others claim low rates of electoral participation among those with felony convictions imply such disenfranchisement is …


Call Me, Beep Me, If You Want To Reach Me: Utilizing Telemedicine To Expand Abortion Access, Samantha A. Hunt Jan 2023

Call Me, Beep Me, If You Want To Reach Me: Utilizing Telemedicine To Expand Abortion Access, Samantha A. Hunt

Vanderbilt Law Review

In June 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision confirmed what the public already knew. An anonymously leaked draft version of what ultimately became Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion had braced the country for Dobbs’s keyholding. Overturning decades of precedent, the Court found that there is no right to abortion in the United States Constitution. Shortly thereafter, states began implementing restrictions and near-total bans on abortion. These laws had an immediate effect on the safety of pregnant people. In Tennessee, a state where abortion is now outlawed, one woman had …


After Action: The U.S. Drone Program's Expansion Of International Law Justification For Use Of Force Against Imminent Threats, Elodie O. Currier Jan 2023

After Action: The U.S. Drone Program's Expansion Of International Law Justification For Use Of Force Against Imminent Threats, Elodie O. Currier

Vanderbilt Law Review

Until the 2000s, the United States' attempts to shift international legal norms on imminence to allow for greater use of armed force abroad were largely unsuccessful. In the past two decades, however, drone use and careful legal gamesmanship by U.S. officials have opened an unprecedentedly broad allowance for use of force in imminent self-defense. As drones become increasingly available to state and non-state actors, this permissive regime poses a threat to national and international security. This Note analyzes two decades of international customary law formation around drone use outside of armed conflict through a new lens post U.S.-withdrawal of Afghanistan. …


Constitutional Limits On The Imposition And Revocation Of Probation, Parole, And Supervised Release After Haymond, Nancy J. King Jan 2023

Constitutional Limits On The Imposition And Revocation Of Probation, Parole, And Supervised Release After Haymond, Nancy J. King

Vanderbilt Law Review

In its Apprendi line of cases, the Supreme Court has held that any fact found at sentencing (other than prior conviction) that aggravates the punishment range otherwise authorized by the conviction is an “element” that must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Whether Apprendi controls factfinding for the imposition and revocation of probation, parole, and supervised release is critically important. Seven of ten adults under correctional control in the United States are serving terms of state probation and post-confinement supervision, and roughly half of all prison admissions result from revocations of such terms. But scholars have yet …


Rationing Access, Roy Baharad, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2023

Rationing Access, Roy Baharad, Gideon Parchomovsky

Vanderbilt Law Review

Protection of common natural resources is one of the foremost challenges facing our society. Since Garrett Hardin published his immensely influential The Tragedy of the Commons, theorists have contemplated the best way to save common-pool resources-—national parks, fisheries, heritage sites, and fragile ecosystems-—from overuse and extinction. These efforts have given rise to three principal methods: private ownership, community governance, and use restrictions. In this Essay, we present a different solution to the commons problem that has eluded the attention of theorists: access rationing. Access rationing measures rely not only on restrictions on the number of users but also on a …


Paid Sick Leave's Payoff, Jennifer B. Shinall Nov 2022

Paid Sick Leave's Payoff, Jennifer B. Shinall

Vanderbilt Law Review

Perhaps paid sick days have never been more valuable than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet even before COVID-19, seventeen states and the District of Columbia began passing legislative mandates that employers provide employees with paid sick leave (“PSL”) days. Most of this legislation requires employers to provide up to one week of PSL for both full- and part-time employees, which they can utilize with few notice or documentation requirements. Using the 2017–2018 American Time Use Survey Leave and Job Flexibilities Module, I first demonstrate that workers in PSL states are less likely to go to work sick, which may, in …


Regulating Global Stablecoins: A Model-Law Strategy, Steven L. Schwarcz Nov 2022

Regulating Global Stablecoins: A Model-Law Strategy, Steven L. Schwarcz

Vanderbilt Law Review

Digital currencies have the potential to improve the speed and efficiency of the payment system. The principal challenge is retail: to facilitate day-to-day payments among consumers as an alternative to cash, both domestically and across national borders. Two models of digital currencies are becoming viable: central bank digital currencies and nongovernment-issued currencies that are backed by assets having intrinsic value (stablecoins or, when widely used internationally, global stablecoins). Because they are not government issued, global stablecoins present complex and novel cross-border regulatory challenges, including managing the costs of complying with a multitude of national laws and ensuring international legal enforceability. …


Can't Really Teach: Crt Bans Impose Upon Teachers' First Amendment Pedagogical Rights, Mary L. Krebs Nov 2022

Can't Really Teach: Crt Bans Impose Upon Teachers' First Amendment Pedagogical Rights, Mary L. Krebs

Vanderbilt Law Review

The jurisprudence governing K-12 teachers’ speech protection has been a convoluted hodgepodge of caselaw since the 1960s when the Supreme Court established that teachers retain at least some First Amendment protection as public educators. Now, as new so-called Critical Race Theory bans prohibit an array of hot button topics in the classroom, K-12 teachers must either preemptively censor themselves or risk running afoul of these vague bans with indeterminate legal protection. This Note proposes an elucidation of K-12 teachers’ free speech rights via a two-part test to assess the reasonability of instructional speech. Rather than analogizing K-12 teacher speech to …


Abortion, Pregnancy Loss, & Subjective Fetal Personhood, Greer Donley, Jill Wieber Lens Nov 2022

Abortion, Pregnancy Loss, & Subjective Fetal Personhood, Greer Donley, Jill Wieber Lens

Vanderbilt Law Review

Long-standing dogma dictates that recognizing pregnancy loss threatens abortion rights-—acknowledging that miscarriage and stillbirthinvolve the loss of something valuable, the theory goes, creates a slippery slope to fetal personhood. For decades, antiabortion advocates have capitalized on this tension and weaponized the grief that can accompany pregnancy loss in their efforts to legislate fetal personhood and end abortion rights. In response, abortion rights advocates have at times fought legislative efforts to support those experiencing pregnancy loss and, more recently, remained silent, alienating those who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth.

This Article argues that this perceived tension can be reconciled through the …


Executive Capture Of Agency Decisionmaking, Allison M. Whelan Nov 2022

Executive Capture Of Agency Decisionmaking, Allison M. Whelan

Vanderbilt Law Review

The scientific credibility of the administrative state is under siege in the United States, risking distressful public health harms and even deaths. This Article addresses one component of this attack-—executive interference in agency scientific decisionmaking. It offers a new conceptual framework, “internalagency capture,” and policy prescription for addressing excessive overreach and interference by the executive branch in the scientific decisionmaking of federal agencies. The Article’s critiques and analysis toggle a timeline that reflects recent history and that urges forward-thinking approaches to respond to executive overreach in agency scientific decisionmaking. Taking the Trump Administration and other presidencies as test cases, it …


Policing The Police: Personnel Management And Police Misconduct, Max Schanzenbach Oct 2022

Policing The Police: Personnel Management And Police Misconduct, Max Schanzenbach

Vanderbilt Law Review

Police misconduct is at the top of the public policy agenda, but there is surprisingly little understanding of how police personnel management policies affect police misconduct. Police-civilian interactions in large jurisdictions are, in principle at least, highly regulated. But these regulations are at least partially counteracted by union contracts and civil service regulations that constrain discipline and other personnel decisions, thereby limiting a city’s ability to manage its police force. This Essay analyzes police personnel management by bringing forth evidence from a variety of data sources on police personnel practices as well as integrating an existing, but relatively siloed, literature …


Conservation Options: Conservation Easements, Flexibility, And The "In Perpetuity" Requirement Of Irc § 170(H), Molly Teague Oct 2022

Conservation Options: Conservation Easements, Flexibility, And The "In Perpetuity" Requirement Of Irc § 170(H), Molly Teague

Vanderbilt Law Review

Conservation easements have been closely tied to tax incentives since the 1970s, when Congress passed legislation to encourage land preservation. In an attempt to balance the desire to conserve more land with the desire to prevent tax abuses, Congress later passed § 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, which requires that conservation easements be donated “in perpetuity” to be eligible for the federal tax deduction.

As climate change increases global temperatures, shifts migratory patterns, and causes sea levels to rise, conservation easements’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances must also become part of Congress’s balancing equation. This Note evaluates the …


Confronting The Racial Pay Gap, Stephanie Bornstein Oct 2022

Confronting The Racial Pay Gap, Stephanie Bornstein

Vanderbilt Law Review

For several decades, a small body of legal scholarship has addressed the gender pay gap, which compares the median full-time earnings of women and men. More recently, legal scholars have begun to address the racial wealth gap, which measures racial disparities in family economic security and wealth accumulation. Yet a crucial component of both the gender pay gap and the racial wealth gap remains unaddressed in the legal literature: the pay gap between the earnings of White workers and workers of color. Today, all women average eighty-two cents to each dollar men earn, but Black and Latinx workers average only …


Exponential Growth Bias And The Law: Why Do We Save Too Little, Borrow Too Much, And Fail To React On Time To Deadly Pandemics And Climate Change?, Doron Teichman, Professor Of Law, Eyal Zamir, Professor Of Commercial Law Oct 2022

Exponential Growth Bias And The Law: Why Do We Save Too Little, Borrow Too Much, And Fail To React On Time To Deadly Pandemics And Climate Change?, Doron Teichman, Professor Of Law, Eyal Zamir, Professor Of Commercial Law

Vanderbilt Law Review

Many human decisions, ranging from the taking of loans with compound interest to fighting deadly pandemics, involve phenomena that entail exponential growth. Yet a wide and robust body of empirical studies demonstrates that people systematically underestimate exponential growth.

This phenomenon, dubbed the exponential growth bias (“EGB”), has been documented in numerous contexts and across different populations, using both experimental and observational methods.

Despite its centrality to human decisionmaking, legal scholarship has thus far failed to account for the EGB. This Article presents the first comprehensive study of the EGB and the law. Incorporating the EGB into legal analysis sheds a …


Why Can’T We Be Frands?: Anti-Suit Injunctions, International Comity, And International Commercial Arbitration In Standard-Essential Patent Litigation, Raghavendra R. Murthy Oct 2022

Why Can’T We Be Frands?: Anti-Suit Injunctions, International Comity, And International Commercial Arbitration In Standard-Essential Patent Litigation, Raghavendra R. Murthy

Vanderbilt Law Review

Picking up a smartphone to contact someone across the globe isfacilitated by technical standards like 5G. These standards allow for technological compatibility worldwide. For instance, a 5G capable device can connect to 5G networks anywhere in the world because the same 5G standard is used globally. Standards, particularly those integral to the telecommunications industry, are also highly complex and contain many patents that are necessarily infringed when the standard is implemented. To avoid rampant patent infringement, owners of these standard-essential patents (“SEPs”) are required to license them to standard implementers at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) rates when their patents …


Courts Without Court, Andrew G. Ferguson Oct 2022

Courts Without Court, Andrew G. Ferguson

Vanderbilt Law Review

What role does the physical courthouse play in the administration of criminal justice? This Article uses recent experiments with virtual courts to reimagine a future without criminal courthouses at the center. The key insight of this Article is to reveal how integral physical courts are to carceral control and how the rise of virtual courts helps to decenter power away from judges. This Article examines the effects of online courts on defendants, lawyers, judges, witnesses, victims, and courthouse officials and offers a framework for a better and less court-centered future. By studying post-COVID-19 disruptions around traditional conceptions of place, time, …


Deliberately Indifferent: Institutional Liability For Further Harassment In Student-On-Student Title Ix Cases, Jacob R. Goodman May 2022

Deliberately Indifferent: Institutional Liability For Further Harassment In Student-On-Student Title Ix Cases, Jacob R. Goodman

Vanderbilt Law Review

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate problem far too many have experienced. Universities and other educational institutions owe a duty, both legal and moral, to protect students from sexual harassment, and in turn to allow students to receive the full benefits of their education. But a circuit split has limited students' ability to hold educational institutions liable. This circuit split results in the absurd scenario where an individual must experience sexual harassment more than one time to hold their educational institution liable. This Note attempts to fix that by proposing Title IX (the law governing sexual harassment at educational institutions) adopt …


Finding The Boundaries Of Equitable Disgorgement, Cameron K. Hood May 2022

Finding The Boundaries Of Equitable Disgorgement, Cameron K. Hood

Vanderbilt Law Review

The disgorgement of “ill-gotten gains” is a significant mechanism for enforcing the securities laws. By compelling a violator of the securities laws to forfeit their illegal proceeds, disgorgement serves as a strong deterrent for securities fraud and an important method by which investors are compensated for unjust losses in the market—and today accounts for the recovery of billions of dollars annually. Despite its importance, commentators in recent years began to call into question the
availability of the disgorgement remedy for the SEC. The SEC purses disgorgement under the agency’s grant for seeking equitable relief for the benefit of investors; however, …


Will Corporations Deliver Value To All Stakeholders?, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Roberto Tallarita May 2022

Will Corporations Deliver Value To All Stakeholders?, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Roberto Tallarita

Vanderbilt Law Review

Amid growing concerns for the effects that corporations have on stakeholders, supporters of stakeholder governance advocate relying on corporate leaders to use their discretion to protect stakeholders, and they seem to take corporate pledges to do so at face value. By contrast, critics question whether corporate leaders have incentives to protect stakeholders and to follow through on pledges to do so. We provide empirical evidence that can contribute to resolving the debate between these rival views.

The most celebrated pledge by corporate leaders to protect stakeholders was the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation (the "BRT …