Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Legal Theory

Institution
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 357

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reflections On The Value Of Socio-Legal Approaches To International Economic Law In Africa, Olabisi D. Akinkugbe Jul 2021

Reflections On The Value Of Socio-Legal Approaches To International Economic Law In Africa, Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

Articles, Book Chapters, & Blogs

In their introductory essay to the 2021 Chicago Journal of International Law Symposium, Daniel Abebe, Adam Chilton, and Tom Ginsburg offer an account of “the rise of the social science approach to international law, explain the basics of the method, and advocate for its continued adoption.”

This Essay critically assesses how and why one might use socio-legally inspired methods (analytical, empirical, and normative) for the study of international economic law (IEL) in Africa. It illustrates the empirical method’s importance in understanding one of the most challenging aspects of the study of IEL in Africa: capturing the data and dynamism ...


Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse Feb 2021

Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter first considers the direction of the affirmative defense of legal insanity in the United States before John Hinckley was acquitted by reason of insanity in 1982 for attempting to assassinate President Reagan and others and the immediate aftermath of that acquittal. Since the middle of the 20th Century, the tale is one of the rise and fall of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code test for legal insanity. Then it turns to the constitutional decisions of the United States Supreme Court concerning the status of legal insanity. Finally, it addresses the substantive and procedural changes ...


In Defense Of Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb Jan 2021

In Defense Of Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The criminal justice system’s reputation with the community can have a significant effect on the extent to which people are willing to comply with its demands and internalize its norms. In the context of criminal law, the empirical studies suggest that ordinary people expect the criminal justice system to do justice and avoid injustice, as they perceive it – what has been called “empirical desert” to distinguish it from the “deontological desert” of moral philosophers. The empirical studies and many real-world natural experiments suggest that a criminal justice system that regularly deviates from empirical desert loses moral credibility and thereby ...


Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen Jan 2021

Lawyers For White People?, Jessie Allen

Articles

This article investigates an anomalous legal ethics rule, and in the process exposes how current equal protection doctrine distorts civil rights regulation. When in 2016 the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct finally adopted its first ever rule forbidding discrimination in the practice of law, the rule carried a strange exemption: it does not apply to lawyers’ acceptance or rejection of clients. The exemption for client selection seems wrong. It contradicts the common understanding that in the U.S. today businesses may not refuse service on discriminatory grounds. It sends a message that lawyers enjoy a professional prerogative to discriminate ...


I Am Not Your Felon: Decoding The Trauma, Resilience, And Recovering Mothering Of Formerly Incarcerated Black Women, Jason M. Williams, Zoe Spencer, Sean K. Wilson Nov 2020

I Am Not Your Felon: Decoding The Trauma, Resilience, And Recovering Mothering Of Formerly Incarcerated Black Women, Jason M. Williams, Zoe Spencer, Sean K. Wilson

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

Black women are increasingly targets of mass incarceration and reentry. Black feminist writers call attention to scholars’ need to intersectionalize analyses around how Black women interface with state systems and social institutions. This study foregrounds narratives from Black women to understand their plight while navigating reentry through a phenomenological approach. Through semi-structured interviews, narratives are analyzed using critical frameworks that authentically unearths the lived realities of participants. Themes reveal that for Black mothers, reentry can be just as criminalizing as engaging crime itself. These women face dire consequences around their mothering that induce them into tremendous bouts of trauma. Existing ...


Tech Policy And Legal Theory Syllabus, Yafit Lev-Aretz, Nizan Packin Aug 2020

Tech Policy And Legal Theory Syllabus, Yafit Lev-Aretz, Nizan Packin

Open Educational Resources

Technology has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Currently, virtually all business industries are powered by large quantities of data. The potential as well as actual uses of business data, which oftentimes includes personal user data, raise complex issues of informed consent and data protection. This course will explore many of these complex issues, with the goal of guiding students into thinking about tech policy from a broad ethical perspective as well as preparing students to responsibly conduct themselves in different areas and industries in a world growingly dominated by technology.


How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting ...


Speaking Volumes: The Failure Of American Courts To Address The Underlying Themes Of Silence And Patriarchy Within The Civil Order Of Protection Process In Davenport, Iowa, Catherine Priebe Jun 2020

Speaking Volumes: The Failure Of American Courts To Address The Underlying Themes Of Silence And Patriarchy Within The Civil Order Of Protection Process In Davenport, Iowa, Catherine Priebe

Sociology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

Domestic abuse is a pervasive issue within the United States. Approximately three women will be murdered by an intimate partner every day and around half of all women will experience psychological abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. As such, it is important to have legal avenues that survivors can pursue in order to ensure safety for themselves and their children. There are many obstacles to obtaining a civil order of protection despite it being the most common legal option survivors choose to pursue. Survivors must take on the burden of proof and hire their own attorney if they ...


Treaty Termination And The Presidency: Using Custom To Solve Separation Of Powers Disputes, Joseph M. Lapointe Jan 2020

Treaty Termination And The Presidency: Using Custom To Solve Separation Of Powers Disputes, Joseph M. Lapointe

West Point Research Papers

The debate over whether the President, the Senate, or the Congress has primacy in treaty termination remains unsettled. Professor Curtis Bradley incorrectly argues that custom supports a presidential authority to terminate treaties independently. This paper argues that a fuller view of custom, combined with the Intent of the Framers and functional considerations, shows treaty termination is a shared executive-legislative power.


On Emotions And The Politics Of Attention In Judicial Reasoning, Emily Kidd White Jan 2020

On Emotions And The Politics Of Attention In Judicial Reasoning, Emily Kidd White

Articles & Book Chapters

Legal doctrine regularly requires judges to both understand and use emotions in different ways. This chapter explores the role of emotions in fixing and sustaining judicial attention on the impact of a law on the constitutional rights of an individual or group. That certain forms of wrong or harm, including forms of political and social exclusion, are difficult to detect in the absence of focused attention is, I think, what Elizabeth Bishop’s poem ‘Man-Moth’, excerpted here in epigraph, intends to express. This chapter explores the role of emotions in setting up the serious, sustained inquiry into the impact of ...


Rejoining Treaties, Jean Galbraith Jan 2020

Rejoining Treaties, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Historical practice supports the conclusion that the President can unilaterally withdraw the United States from treaties which an earlier President joined with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate, at least as long as this withdrawal is consistent with international law. This Article considers a further question that to date is deeply underexplored. This is: does the original Senate resolution of advice and consent to a treaty remain effective even after a President has withdrawn the United States from a treaty? I argue that the answer to this question is yes, except in certain limited circumstances. This answer ...


The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2020

The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A symposium examining the contributions of the post-Chicago School provides an appropriate opportunity to offer some thoughts on both the past and the future of antitrust. This afterword reviews the excellent papers with an eye toward appreciating the contributions and limitations of both the Chicago School, in terms of promoting the consumer welfare standard and embracing price theory as the preferred mode of economic analysis, and the post-Chicago School, with its emphasis on game theory and firm-level strategic conduct. It then explores two emerging trends, specifically neo-Brandeisian advocacy for abandoning consumer welfare as the sole goal of antitrust and the ...


The Daily Work Of Fitting In As A Marginalized Lawyer, Kim Brooks Dec 2019

The Daily Work Of Fitting In As A Marginalized Lawyer, Kim Brooks

Articles, Book Chapters, & Blogs

Despite increased public dialogue about the need for inclusion, marginalized lawyers adjust their behaviour to “fit” in their legal workplaces. In this article, the author presents the results of interviews with lawyers in Canada who self-identify as belonging to a marginalized group based on race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender or sexual identity, working-class background, and/or disability. Based on these interviews, the author advances a taxonomy of the five strategies employed by these lawyers to fit in to their workplaces: covering strategies, compensating strategies, mythologizing strategies, passing strategies, and exiting strategies. Marginalized lawyers employ covering strategies, which may be appearance-, affiliation- ...


Against The Received Wisdom: Why Should The Criminal Justice System Give Kids A Break?, Stephen J. Morse Jul 2019

Against The Received Wisdom: Why Should The Criminal Justice System Give Kids A Break?, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Professor Gideon Yaffe’s recent, intricately argued book, The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility, argues against the nearly uniform position in both law and scholarship that the criminal justice system should give juveniles a break not because on average they have different capacities relevant to responsibility than adults, but because juveniles have little say about the criminal law, primarily because they do not have a vote. For Professor Yaffe, age has political rather than behavioral significance. The book has many excellent general analyses about responsibility, but all are in aid of the central thesis about ...


Feminist Statutory Interpretation, Kim Brooks Jul 2019

Feminist Statutory Interpretation, Kim Brooks

Articles, Book Chapters, & Blogs

Leading Canadian scholar Ruth Sullivan describes the act of statutory interpretation as a mix of art and archaeology. The collection, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions, affirms her assessment. If the act of statutory interpretation requires us to deploy our interdisciplinary talents, at least somewhat unmoored from the constraints of formal expressions of legal doctrine, why haven’t feminists been more inclined to write about statutory interpretation? Put another way, some scholars acknowledge that judges “are subtly influenced by preconceptions, endemic privilegings and power hierarchies, and prevailing social norms and ‘conventional’ wisdom.” Those influences become the background for how judges read ...


The Puzzle Of Inciting Suicide, Guyora Binder, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2019

The Puzzle Of Inciting Suicide, Guyora Binder, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

In 2017, a Massachusetts court convicted Michelle Carter of manslaughter for encouraging the suicide of Conrad Roy by text message, but imposed a sentence of only 15 months. The conviction was unprecedented in imposing homicide liability for verbal encouragement of apparently voluntary suicide. Yet if Carter killed, her purpose that Roy die arguably merited liability for murder and a much longer sentence. This Article argues that our ambivalence about whether and how much to punish Carter reflects suicide’s dual character as both a harm to be prevented and a choice to be respected. As such, the Carter case requires ...


Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

That the judge's task is to find the law, not to make it, was once a commonplace of our legal culture. Today, decades after Erie, the idea of a common law discovered by judges is commonly dismissed -- as a "fallacy," an "illusion," a "brooding omnipresence in the sky." That dismissive view is wrong. Expecting judges to find unwritten law is no childish fiction of the benighted past, but a real and plausible option for a modern legal system.

This Essay seeks to restore the respectability of finding law, in part by responding to two criticisms made by Erie and ...


Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2019

Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One of the primary theoretical justifications for copyright is the role that creative works play in helping develop an individual’s sense of personhood and self-actualization. Typically ascribed to the writings of Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, personhood-based theories of copyright serve as the foundation for the moral rights prominent in European copyright law and mandated by the leading intellectual property treaty, which give authors inalienable control over aspects of their works after they have been created. The conventional wisdom about the relationship between personhood and copyright suffers from two fatal flaws that have gone largely unappreciated. First ...


Mens Rea In Comparative Perspective, Luis E. Chiesa Dec 2018

Mens Rea In Comparative Perspective, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

This Essay compares and contrasts the American and civilian approaches to mens rea. The comparative analysis generates two important insights. First, it is preferable to have multiple forms of culpability than to have only two. Common law bipartite distinctions such as general and specific intent fail to fully make sense of our moral intuitions. The same goes for the civilian distinction between dolus (intent) and culpa (negligence). Second, attitudinal mental states should matter for criminalization and grading decisions. Nevertheless, adding attitudinal mental states to our already complicated mens rea framework may end up confusing juries instead of helping them. As ...


The Theory And Practice Of Contestatory Federalism, James A. Gardner Dec 2018

The Theory And Practice Of Contestatory Federalism, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Madisonian theory holds that a federal division of power is necessary to the protection of liberty, but that federalism is a naturally unstable form of government organization that is in constant danger of collapsing into either unitarism or fragmentation. Despite its inherent instability, this condition may be permanently maintained, according to Madison, through a constitutional design that keeps the system in equipoise by institutionalizing a form of perpetual contestation between national and subnational governments. The theory, however, does not specify how that contestation actually occurs, and by what means.

This paper investigates Madison’s hypothesis by documenting the methods actually ...


Re-Playing Maimonides’ Codes: Designing Games To Teach Religious Legal Systems, Owen Gottlieb Oct 2018

Re-Playing Maimonides’ Codes: Designing Games To Teach Religious Legal Systems, Owen Gottlieb

Articles

Lost & Found is a game series, created at the Initiative for

Religion, Culture, and Policy at the Rochester Institute of

Technology MAGIC Center.1 The series teaches medieval

religious legal systems. This article uses the first two games

of the series as a case study to explore a particular set of

processes to conceive, design, and develop games for learning.

It includes the background leading to the author's work

in games and teaching religion, and the specific context for

the Lost & Found series. It discusses the rationale behind

working to teach religious legal systems more broadly, then

discuss the ...


Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum Oct 2018

Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Much ink has already been spilled on the relationship of constitutional originalism to precedent (or, more specifically, the doctrine of stare decisis). The debate includes contributions from Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Kurt Lash, Gary Lawson, John McGinnis with Michael Rappaport, Michael Paulsen, and Lee Strang, not to mention Justice Antonin Scalia—all representing originalism in some form. Living constitutionalism has also been represented both implicitly and explicitly, with important contributions from Phillip Bobbitt, Ronald Dworkin, Michael Gerhardt, Randy Kozel, and David Strauss. Some writers are more difficult to classify; Akhil Amar comes to mind. And there are many other contributions ...


How To Think Constitutionally About Prerogative: A Study Of Early American Usage, Matthew J. Steilen May 2018

How To Think Constitutionally About Prerogative: A Study Of Early American Usage, Matthew J. Steilen

Journal Articles

This Article challenges the view of “prerogative” as a discretionary authority to act outside the law. For seventy years, political scientists, lawyers and judges have drawn on John Locke’s account of prerogative in the Second Treatise, using it to read foundational texts in American constitutional law. American writings on prerogative produced between 1760 and 1788 are rarely discussed (excepting The Federalist), though these materials exist in abundance. Based on a study of over 700 of these texts, including pamphlets, broadsides, letters, essays, newspaper items, state papers, and legislative debates, this Article argues that early Americans almost never used “prerogative ...


Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is a fact of life that judges sometimes disagree about the best outcome in appealed cases. The question is what they should make of this. The two purest possibilities are to shut out all other views, or else to let them all in, leading one to concede ambiguity and uncertainty in most if not all contested cases.

Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue that there is a better way. Judges ought to give significant weight to the views of others, but only when those others share the judge’s basic methodology or ...


Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2018

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The administrative state is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy. Many have questioned the legality of the myriad commissions, boards, and agencies through which much of our modern governance occurs. Scholars such as Jerry Mashaw, Theda Skocpol, and Michele Dauber, among others, have provided compelling institutional histories, illustrating that administrative lawmaking has roots in the early American republic. Others have attempted to assuage concerns through interpretive theory, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 implicitly amended our Constitution. Solutions offered thus far, however, have yet to provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of the administrative state ...


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible ...


African Americans And Punishment For Crime: A Critique Of Mainstream And Neoliberal Discourses, Jason M. Williams, Nishaun Tarae Battle Sep 2017

African Americans And Punishment For Crime: A Critique Of Mainstream And Neoliberal Discourses, Jason M. Williams, Nishaun Tarae Battle

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

Understandings of punishment within the criminological enterprise have failed to capture the nuances associated with experiencing punishment. Moreover, mainstream academic discourses are inherently anachronistic in their conclusions on punishment, thus leaving significant gaps to be filled. One such gap is that of racialized history. This article attempts to make sense of punishment discourses (past and present) by situating them in their proper context. We argue that punishment, in particular for Blacks, is ideological and longstanding. Moreover, we posit that the prolonged punishment of Blacks is hyper manifested in contemporary society via neoliberal logic that has increasingly disabled race as a ...


Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith Jun 2017

Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book review argues for reorienting how we think about federalism in relation to foreign affairs. In considering state and local engagement in foreign affairs, legal scholars often focus on the opportunities and limits provided by constitutional law. Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity by Michael Glennon and Robert Sloane does precisely this in a thoughtful and well-crafted way. But while the backdrop constitutional principles studied by Glennon and Sloane are important, so too are other types of law that receive far less attention. International law, administrative law, particular statutory schemes, and state law can all affect how ...


The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni Jun 2017

The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Intransitive choices, or cycling, are generally held to be the mark of irrationality. When a set of rules engenders such choices, it is usually held to be irrational and in need of reform. In this article, we prove a series of theorems, demonstrating that all feasible legal regimes are going to be rife with cycling. Our first result, the legal cycling theorem, shows that unless a legal system meets some extremely restrictive conditions, it will lead to cycling. The discussion that follows, along with our second result, the combination theorem, shows exactly why these conditions are almost impossible to meet ...


Conscientious Objection, Complicity, And Accommodation, Amy J. Sepinwall Jan 2017

Conscientious Objection, Complicity, And Accommodation, Amy J. Sepinwall

Legal Studies and Business Ethics Papers

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.1 inaugurated an unprecedented deference to religious challenges to secular laws,2 which Zubik v. Burwell neither retrenched nor replace.3 On the Court's highly deferential stance, complicity claims seem to know no bounds: just so long as the objector thinks himself complicit in an act his religion opposes, the Court will conclude that the challenged legal requirement substantially burdens his religious exercise.4 The result is a set of exemptions of Court-imposed negotiations based on assertions of complicity that many courts and commentators find far-fetched, and perhaps even fantastical.5