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Full-Text Articles in Law

Central Bank Immunity, Sanctions, And Sovereign Wealth Funds, Ingrid W. Brunk Dec 2023

Central Bank Immunity, Sanctions, And Sovereign Wealth Funds, Ingrid W. Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Central bank assets held in foreign countries are entitled to immunity from execution under international law. Even as foreign sovereign immunity in general has become less absolute over time, the trend has been toward greater protection for foreign central bank assets. As countries expand their use of central banks, however, recent cases have limited immunity for certain kinds of sovereign wealth funds held by central banks. Sanctions on foreign central bank assets have also become more common, raising issues about the relation- ship between central bank immunity and the recognition of governments, the relationship between immunity and executive actions, and …


The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon Dec 2023

The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For far too long, the federal government has failed to exercise its constitutional authority to mitigate the harms imposed by local policing. Absent federal intervention, though, some harmful aspects of policing will not be addressed effectively, or at all. States and localities often lack the necessary capacity and expertise to change policing, and many states and localities lack the will. This Article argues for federal intervention and describes what that intervention should look like.

The Article begins by describing three paradigmatic areas of local policing that require federal intervention to create real change: excessive use offorce, racial discrimination, and the …


Election Administration As A Licensed Profession, Ganesh Sitaraman, Kevin M. Stack Dec 2023

Election Administration As A Licensed Profession, Ganesh Sitaraman, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay argues that election administrators should be subject to a professional licensing regime, much like licensing in medicine and law. Making election administration a licensed profession would not only expand requirements for training, but also enhance the professional identification of these officials, reinforcing norms of integrity and impartiality. By raising barriers to entry, licensing would make it more costly for partisans to obtain these offices. Licensing could also improve public confidence in the professionalism of election administration. Such a reform meets our moment. While many states have increased training requirements for election administrators, significant gaps remain. Moreover, existing reforms …


Major Contradictions At The Roberts Court, Edward L. Rubin Nov 2023

Major Contradictions At The Roberts Court, Edward L. Rubin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Roberts Court may well overturn the Chevron doctrine this Term, despite the affection for stare decisis that Chief Justice Roberts himself expressed in the related case of Kisor v. Wilkie. Against that backdrop, Professors Jodi Short and Jed Shugerman offer an analysis of why the Court’s major questions doctrine, a predecessor to interring Chevron, is inconsistent with another group of the Court’s opinions, which the authors describe as the Court’s presidentialism.

Their analysis is incisive. While addressed to a Court that has a rather cavalier attitude toward doctrinal coherence, the article’s convincing empirical evidence may encourage the Justices to …


Representative Rulemaking, Jim Rossi, Kevin Stack Nov 2023

Representative Rulemaking, Jim Rossi, Kevin Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The dominant form of lawmaking in the United States today-—notice-and-comment rulemaking—-is not a representative process. Notice-and-comment simply invites public participation, leaving the overall balance of engagement with the proposed regulations to the choices of individuals, public interest groups, trade groups, and regulated businesses. The result is a predictable one: In most rulemakings, industry voices dominate, and in many rulemakings, there is no participation by citizens or public interest groups. This representation deficit must be taken seriously. The basic rationales for a notice-and-comment rulemaking process depend upon some level of representation for those affected. The goal of providing the agency with …


Deplatforming, Ganesh Sitaraman Nov 2023

Deplatforming, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Deplatforming in the technology sector is hotly debated, and at times may even seem unprecedented. In recent years, scholars, commentators, jurists, and lawmakers have focused on the possibility of treating social-media platforms as common carriers or public utilities, implying that the imposition of a duty to serve the public would restrict them from deplatforming individuals and content.

But, in American law, the duty to serve all comers was never absolute. In fact, the question of whether and how to deplatform-—to exclude content, individuals, or businesses from critical services—- has been commonly and regularly debated throughout American history. In the common …


Symposium: Reimagining The Rules Of Evidence At 50, Edward K. Cheng Nov 2023

Symposium: Reimagining The Rules Of Evidence At 50, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Prior to the eighteenth century, cartographers would often fill uncharted areas of maps with sea monsters, other artwork, or even rank speculation—a phenomenon labeled “horror vacui,” or fear of empty spaces. For example, in Paolo Forlani’s world map of 1565, a yet to-be-discovered southern continent was depicted with anticipated mountain chains and animals. The possible explanations for horror vacui are varied, but one reason may have been a desire “to hide [the mapmakers’] ignorance.” Not until “maps began to be thought of as more purely scientific instruments . . . [did] cartographers . . . restrain their concern about spaces …


Using Objective Characteristics To Target Household Recycling Policies, W. Kip Viscusi, Joel Huber, Jason Bell Nov 2023

Using Objective Characteristics To Target Household Recycling Policies, W. Kip Viscusi, Joel Huber, Jason Bell

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Household recycling is valuable because it reduces demand for virgin raw materials and lessens the cost of making products containing paper, metal, glass, or plastic. Effective recycling programs limit the amount of materials sent to landfills. Understanding the policies and contexts that are most conducive to promot- ing recycling can assist in the development of more effective recycling systems. It can also help businesses that are concerned with the disposition of their products and packaging. Using the most comprehensive data set on U.S. household recycling behavior, this Comment quantifies the relative impact on recycling of characteristics associ- ated with recycling …


Some Are More Equal Than Others: U.S. Supreme Court Clerkships, Tracey E. George, G. Mitu Gulati, Albert H. Yoon Oct 2023

Some Are More Equal Than Others: U.S. Supreme Court Clerkships, Tracey E. George, G. Mitu Gulati, Albert H. Yoon

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The most elite and scarce of all U.S. legal credentials is serving as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. A close second is clerking for a Justice. A Court clerkship is a prize as well as a ticket to future success. Rich accounts of the experience fill bookshelves and journal pages. Yet the public lacks a clear story about who wins this clerkship lottery. Original analysis of forty years of clerkships tells that story. New datasets detail clerks’ paths from college to the Court to careers. Research shows that Court clerkships favor educational pedigree and status over pure achievement. …


Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr Oct 2023

Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The evidence rules have well-established, standard textual meanings—meanings that evidence professors teach their law students every year. Yet, despite the rules’ clarity, courts misapply them across a wide array of cases: Judges allow past acts to bypass the propensity prohibition, squeeze hearsay into facially inapplicable exceptions, and poke holes in supposedly ironclad privileges. And that’s just the beginning.

The evidence literature sees these misapplications as mistakes by inept trial judges. This Article takes a very different view. These “mistakes” are often not mistakes at all, but rather instances in which courts are intentionally bending the rules of evidence. Codified evidentiary …


The Mob Lawyer's Constitution, Sara Mayeux Oct 2023

The Mob Lawyer's Constitution, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article reconstructs the constitutional rhetoric of mob lawyers, as well as drug lawyers and other icons of the high-priced criminal defense bar, from the 1970s through the 1990s-the heyday of federal organized crime prosecutions and thus, of the lawyers who defended against them. Drawing upon pop-culture sources including archival television footage, magazine features, newspaper coverage, and ghost-written mass-market memoirs, the article pieces together the constellation of soundbites through which mob lawyers disseminated their views. As the subjects of frequent media coverage, these lawyers advanced a coherent and distinctive (if crude) set of ideas about the proper relationship between individuals, …


Risk-Seeking Governance, Brian Broughman, Matthew T. Wansley Oct 2023

Risk-Seeking Governance, Brian Broughman, Matthew T. Wansley

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Venture capitalists (“VCs”) are increasingly abandoning their traditional role as monitors of their portfolio companies. They are giving startup founders more equity and control and promising not to replace them with outside executives. At the same time, startups are taking unprecedented risks—defying regulators, scaling in unsustainable ways, and racking up billion-dollar losses. These trends raise doubts about the dominant model of VC behavior, which claims that VCs actively monitor startups to reduce the risk of moral hazard and adverse selection. We propose a new theory in which VCs use their role in corporate governance to persuade risk-averse founders to pursue …


The National Security Consequences Of The Major Questions Doctrine, Ganesh Sitaraman, Timothy Meyer Oct 2023

The National Security Consequences Of The Major Questions Doctrine, Ganesh Sitaraman, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The rise of the major questions doctrine—the rule that says that in order to delegate to the executive branch the power to resolve a “question of ‘deep economic and political significance’ that is central to [a] statutory scheme,” Congress must do so expressly—threatens to unmake the modern executive’s authority over foreign affairs, especially in matters of national security and interstate conflict. In the twenty-first century, global conflicts increasingly involve economic warfare, rather than (or in addition to) the force of arms.

In the United States, the executive power to levy economic sanctions and engage in other forms of economic warfare …


The Green's Dilemma: Building Tomorrow's Climate Infrastructure Today, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman Oct 2023

The Green's Dilemma: Building Tomorrow's Climate Infrastructure Today, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

"We need to make it easier to build electricity transmission lines." This plea came recently not from an electric utility executive but from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, one of the Senate's champions of progressive climate change policy. His concern is that the massive scale of new climate infrastructure urgently needed to meet our nation's greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy goals will face a substantial obstacle in the form of existing federal, state, and local environmental laws. A small but growing chorus of politicians and commentators with impeccable green credentials agrees that reform of that system will be needed. But how? How …


One Of The Safeguards Of The Constitution: The Direct Tax Clauses Revisted, James W. Ely Jr. Sep 2023

One Of The Safeguards Of The Constitution: The Direct Tax Clauses Revisted, James W. Ely Jr.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

James Madison's insistence that the apportionment rule governing the imposition of direct taxes by Congress was a constitutional safeguard highlights a puzzle that has plagued constitutional law since the early days of the Republic. The Constitution does not bar Congress from imposing direct taxes, but twice provides that direct taxes "shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers." In times of crisis, notably during the War of 1812 and the Civil War, Congress levied direct taxes on real estate and slaves. It specified the aggregate amount to be collected …


The Problematic Forgotten Buyback, Yesha Yadav Sep 2023

The Problematic Forgotten Buyback, Yesha Yadav

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Totaling in excess of $100 billion dollars in transactions annually, debt buybacks allow a company to repurchase bonds from investors, rewriting bargains and stripping away creditor control rights in the process. This Article shows that regulation systematically underprotects bondholders in the context of debt buybacks. It makes three points. First, bondholders confront information asymmetries that enable issuers to buy back creditor claims cheaply. Regulation imposes near negligible requirements on issuers to disclose information about the transaction. Lacking fiduciary protection, bondholder interests are vulnerable to being extinguished by issuers in the interests of promoting those of shareholders and managers. Second, buybacks …


How Are You Holding Up? The State Of Judges' Well-Being: A Report On The 2019 National Judicial, Terry Maroney, David X. Swenson, Joan Bibelhausen, David Marc Sep 2023

How Are You Holding Up? The State Of Judges' Well-Being: A Report On The 2019 National Judicial, Terry Maroney, David X. Swenson, Joan Bibelhausen, David Marc

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judges have always faced significant stressors, including the burden of consequential decision-making, exposure to disturbing evidence, and isolation. While every judicial assignment has its own mix of concerns, challenge is a constant. Recurrent experiences of serious stressors place judges at risk of burn-out, secondary trauma, poor mental and physical health, and substance use disorders.

Historically, such issues have been addressed primarily in the context of judicial fitness - that is, only when individual judges were suffering to the degree that they could no longer competently perform their duties would the system respond, and then usually for the purpose of discipline …


Discharge Discrimination, Nicole Langston Aug 2023

Discharge Discrimination, Nicole Langston

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Although the Bankruptcy Code is facially neutral, the consumer bankruptcy discharge provisions produce anomalies that run counter to bankruptcy's internal principles of not forgiving debt that is based on misconduct or that implicates a public policy concern. For example, the discharge provisions allow some individuals to discharge debt that stems from civil rights violations or tortious discrimination. In contrast, the Bankruptcy Code precludes some debtors from debt relief based on narrow views of misconduct or misconceptions about moral hazards. These individuals who file for bankruptcy owe debts that generally cannot be forgiven, like civil and criminal fees and fines and …


Climate Damages, Globalism, And Federal Regulation, Arthur Fraas, John D. Graham, Kerry Krutilla, Randall Lutter, Jason Shogren, W. Kip Viscusi Jul 2023

Climate Damages, Globalism, And Federal Regulation, Arthur Fraas, John D. Graham, Kerry Krutilla, Randall Lutter, Jason Shogren, W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed for public comment new higher estimates of damages from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The estimates, called the social cost of carbon (SCC), are "the monetary value of the net harm to society of emitting a metric ton of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in a given year." Ranging from $120 to $340 per metric ton of carbon dioxide (C02) emitted for 2020, these estimates represent harm to everyone on earth from a metric ton of C02 emissions, and therein lies a key issue. Recent administrations have split on whether the U.S. government should …


(E)Racing Speech In School, Francesca I. Procaccini Jul 2023

(E)Racing Speech In School, Francesca I. Procaccini

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Speech on race and racism in our nation’s public schools is under attack for partisan gain. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment teaches a lot about the wisdom and legality of laws that chill such speech in the classroom. But more importantly, a First Amendment analysis of these laws reveals profound insights about the health and meaning of our free speech doctrine.

Through a First Amendment analysis of “anti-critical race theory” laws, this essay illuminates the first principles of free speech law. Specifically, it shows that the First Amendment offers little refuge to teachers or parents looking to …


Creating A People-First Court Data Framework, Lauren Sudeall, Charlotte S. Alexander Jul 2023

Creating A People-First Court Data Framework, Lauren Sudeall, Charlotte S. Alexander

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Most court data are maintained--and most empirical court research is conducted--from the institutional vantage point of the courts. Using the case as the common unit of measurement, data-driven court research typically focuses on metrics such as the size of court dockets, the speed of case processing, judicial decision-making within cases, and the frequency of case events occurring within or resulting from the court system.

This Article sets forth a methodological framework for reconceptualizing and restructuring court data as "people-first"-centered not on the perspective of courts as institutions but on the people who interact with the court system. We reorganize case-level …


Is A Child's Life Twice As Valuable As An Adult's?, W. Kip Viscusi Jul 2023

Is A Child's Life Twice As Valuable As An Adult's?, W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The rise of interest in evidence-based policymaking has created incentives for regulatory agencies to demonstrate the overall benefit-cost merits of their policies. An agency can use evidence to choose more cost-beneficial policies, or it can create the appearance of desirable policies by changing the ground rules by which it assesses a policy's merits.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently chose the latter course when monetizing the benefit of mortality risk reductions for children from a proposed safety standard for operating cords on custom window coverings. The cords are currently estimated to be responsible for nine fatal injuries annually. Each …


Administrative Regulation Of Programmatic Policing: Why "Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle" Is Both Right And Wrong, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2023

Administrative Regulation Of Programmatic Policing: Why "Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle" Is Both Right And Wrong, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle v. Baltimore Police Department, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Aerial Investigation Research (AIR), Baltimore's aerial surveillance program, violated the Fourth Amendment because it was not authorized by a warrant. AIR was constitutionaly problematic, but not for the reason given by the Fourth Circuit. AIR, like many other technologically-enhanced policing programs that rely on closed-circuit television (CCTV), automated license plate readers and the like, involves the collection and retention of information about huge numbers ofpeople. Because individualized suspicion does not exist with respect to any of these people's information, an individual-specific warrant …


Gender, Race, And Job Satisfaction Of Law Graduates, Joni Hersch Jun 2023

Gender, Race, And Job Satisfaction Of Law Graduates, Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Studies typically find that lawyers have high job satisfaction and that women are not less satisfied than are men. But racial differences as well as gender differences by race or ethnicity in satisfaction may be masked because most lawyers identify as racially White. To examine whether job satisfaction differs by race and whether gender and race/ethnicity have an intersectional relation to job satisfaction, I use data on nearly 13,000 law graduates drawn from six waves of the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) conducted between 2003 and 2019. The NSCG uniquely provides a large enough sample to examine intersectionality in …


Directed Trusts And The Conflict Of Laws, Jeffrey Schoenblum May 2023

Directed Trusts And The Conflict Of Laws, Jeffrey Schoenblum

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Directed trusts are an extremely important development in trust law, indeed truly transformative, because they challenge what was presumed to be the "irreducible core" of the trust.' That is, the trustee owes certain nonwaivable fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries with regard to the management of the trust estate and also with respect to distributions.

The directed trust in its radical format, as found to a greater or lesser degree in Tennessee, Nevada, South Dakota, and Delaware, represents a fundamental assault on this irreducible core of trust law because, with respect to investments and distributions, new actors, known as trust advisers …


A Game Theoretic Approach To Balance Privacy Risks And Familial Benefits, Ellen W. Clayton, Jia Guo, Murat Kantarcioglu, Et Al. Apr 2023

A Game Theoretic Approach To Balance Privacy Risks And Familial Benefits, Ellen W. Clayton, Jia Guo, Murat Kantarcioglu, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As recreational genomics continues to grow in its popularity, many people are afforded the opportunity to share their genomes in exchange for various services, including third-party interpretation (TPI) tools, to understand their predisposition to health problems and, based on genome similarity, to find extended family members. At the same time, these services have increasingly been reused by law enforcement to track down potential criminals through family members who disclose their genomic information. While it has been observed that many potential users shy away from such data sharing when they learn that their privacy cannot be assured, it remains unclear how …


The End Externalities Manifesto: Restatement, Loose Ends, And Unfinished Business, J. B. Ruhl Apr 2023

The End Externalities Manifesto: Restatement, Loose Ends, And Unfinished Business, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Don Elliott and Dan Esty were among the chief architects of Environmental Law 2.0-the shift that infused so-called command-and- control regulatory regimes with market-based tools in search of cost- effective solutions. The mix of incentives, trading, banking, reporting, bubbles, and other techniques revolutionized the way we think about how to attack environmental problems like pollution and habitat loss.

In their End Environmental Externalities Manifesto ("Manifesto") they are at it again. This time, however, their proposed revolution goes in a different direction. They argue that the guiding light of economic efficiency, which took environmental law far in improving environmental conditions, is …


Developing Inclusive Language Competency In Clinical Teaching, Jennifer Safstrom, Joseph Mead Apr 2023

Developing Inclusive Language Competency In Clinical Teaching, Jennifer Safstrom, Joseph Mead

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Drawing from legal pedagogy, litigation practice, and teaching experience, this article seeks to compile a set of key considerations for inclusive language decision-making in the clinical setting. Using a multi-factor framework--accuracy, precision, relevance, audience, and respect-this analysis explores the process for deciding on terms to use in practice and the potential implications of those choices on student learning, case outcomes, and attorney-client relationships. In addition, this article explores some current trends and best practices when adopting these principles in the context of specific groups. This article connects these principles to broader academic and practice is- sues, including the American Bar …


A Balanced Prescription For More Effective Environmental Regulations, W. Kip Viscusi Apr 2023

A Balanced Prescription For More Effective Environmental Regulations, W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Government agencies increasingly base the structure and approval of environmental regulations on a benefit-cost test. For regulations that pass this test, total benefits exceed total costs. Under a benefit-cost framework, the degree of regulatory stringency is set at an economically efficient level whereby the tightness of the regulation is increased up to the point where the incremental benefits equal the incremental costs. Setting regulatory standards to achieve the efficient degree of pollution control does not fully discourage entry into polluting industries, provide compensation to those harmed by pollution, or establish meaningful incentives for effective enforcement. This article proposes that the …


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 School Faculty Publications

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 …