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

Law Commons

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

Series

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Jurisprudence

Articles 1 - 30 of 88

Full-Text Articles in Law

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2022

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The most fundamental question in general jurisprudence concerns what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. This article offers a novel answer. According to the theory it christens “principled positivism,” legal practices ground legal principles, and legal principles determine legal rules. This two-level account of the determination of legal content differs from Hart’s celebrated theory in two essential respects: in relaxing Hart’s requirement that fundamental legal notions depend for their existence on judicial consensus; and in assigning weighted contributory legal norms—“principles”—an essential role in the determination of legal rights, duties ...


Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman Aug 2021

Keeping Our Distinctions Straight: A Response To “Originalism: Standard And Procedure”, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For half a century, moral philosophers have distinguished between a “standard” that makes acts right and a “decision procedure” by which agents can determine whether any given contemplated act is right, which is to say whether it satisfies the standard. In “Originalism: Standard and Procedure,” Stephen Sachs argues that the same distinction applies to the constitutional domain and that clear grasp of the difference strengthens the case for originalism because theorists who emphasize the infirmities of originalism as a decision procedure frequently but mistakenly infer that those flaws also cast doubt on originalism as a standard. This invited response agrees ...


Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman Jul 2021

Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A fundamental task for legal philosophy is to explain what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. Anti-positivists say that moral norms play an ineliminable role in the determination of legal content, while positivists say that they play no role, or only a contingent one. Increasingly, scholars report finding the debate stale. This article hopes to freshen it by, ironically, revisiting what might be thought its opening round: Dworkin’s challenge to Hartian positivism leveled in The Model of Rules I. It argues that the underappreciated significance of Dworkin’s distinction between rules and ...


Incitement, Insurrection, Impeachment: Inside The Second Trump Impeachment, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Michael M. Bowden Feb 2021

Incitement, Insurrection, Impeachment: Inside The Second Trump Impeachment, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Michael M. Bowden

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


Law School News: Whitehouse, Cicilline To Offer 'Inside View' Of 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial 02-17-2021, Michael M. Bowden Feb 2021

Law School News: Whitehouse, Cicilline To Offer 'Inside View' Of 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial 02-17-2021, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2019

Certainty Versus Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article ...


Doctrinal Reasoning As A Disruptive Practice, Jessie Allen Jan 2018

Doctrinal Reasoning As A Disruptive Practice, Jessie Allen

Articles

Legal doctrine is generally thought to contribute to legal decision making only to the extent it determines substantive results. Yet in many cases, the available authorities are indeterminate. I propose a different model for how doctrinal reasoning might contribute to judicial decisions. Drawing on performance theory and psychological studies of readers, I argue that judges’ engagement with formal legal doctrine might have self-disrupting effects like those performers experience when they adopt uncharacteristic behaviors. Such disruptive effects would not explain how judges ultimately select, or should select, legal results. But they might help legal decision makers to set aside subjective biases.


The Original Theory Of Constitutionalism, David Singh Grewal, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2018

The Original Theory Of Constitutionalism, David Singh Grewal, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution embodies a conception of democratic sovereignty that has been substantially forgotten and obscured in today’s commentary. Recovering this original idea of constitution-making shows that today’s originalism is, ironically, unfaithful to its origins in an idea of self-rule that prized both the initial ratification of fundamental law and the political community’s ongoing power to reaffirm or change it. This does not mean, however, that living constitutionalism better fits the original conception of democratic self-rule. Rather, because the Constitution itself makes amendment practically impossible, it all but shuts down the very form of democratic sovereignty ...


Toward A Political Theory For Private International Law, John Linarelli Jan 2016

Toward A Political Theory For Private International Law, John Linarelli

Scholarly Works

Private international law presents a dilemma for legal and political philosophy. Legal and political philosophers have ignored private international law, with only a few scattered attempts to evaluate its claims. Private international law offers a powerful set of counterexamples that put into serious doubt attempts to link law’s authority only or primarily to relationships between states and citizens. No society, state, or other practice-mediated relationship can serve as grounds for the authority of private international law to persons to whom it applies but who are outside of such relationships. Private international law affects the normative situations of persons entirely ...


Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder Jan 2015

Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Political philosophers have long debated the problem of political and legal obligation: how the existence of a political community and its laws can affect our obligations. This paper applies Alon Harel’s argument that law has intrinsic value to this venerable problem. It interprets Harel’s argument as a Kantian claim that law enables us to treat our fellows with the respect they deserve, by requiring us not only to treat them decently, but to recognize decent treatment as their right.


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range ...


Empirical Doctrine, Jessie Allen Jan 2015

Empirical Doctrine, Jessie Allen

Articles

We can observe and measure how legal decision makers use formal legal authorities, but there is no way to empirically test the determinative capacity of legal doctrine itself. Yet, discussions of empirical studies of judicial behavior sometimes conflate judges’ attention to legal rules with legal rules determining outcomes. Doctrinal determinacy is not the same thing as legal predictability. The extent to which legal outcomes are predictable in given contexts is surely testable empirically. But the idea that doctrine’s capacity to produce or limit those outcomes can be measured empirically is fundamentally misguided. The problem is that to measure doctrinal ...


Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2014

Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today, most American workers do not have constitutional rights on the job. As The Workplace Constitution shows, this outcome was far from inevitable. Instead, American workers have a long history of fighting for such rights. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights advocates sought constitutional protections against racial discrimination by employers and unions. At the same time, a conservative right-to-work movement argued that the Constitution protected workers from having to join or support unions. Those two movements, with their shared aim of extending constitutional protections to American workers, were a potentially powerful combination. But they sought to use those protections to ...


Law And Artifice In Blackstone's Commentaries, Jessie Allen Jan 2014

Law And Artifice In Blackstone's Commentaries, Jessie Allen

Articles

William Blackstone is often identified as a natural law thinker for whom property rights were preeminent, but reading the Commentaries complicates that description. I propose that Blackstone’s concept of law is more concerned with human invention and artifice than with human nature. At the start of his treatise, Blackstone identifies security, liberty and property as “absolute” rights that form the foundation of English law. But while security and liberty are “inherent by nature in every individual” and “strictly natural,” Blackstone is only willing to say that “private property is probably founded in nature.” Moreover, Blackstone is clear that there ...


The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of common law copyright in Wheaton v. Peters and the more specific codification by the Copyright Act of 1976, courts have continued to play an active role in determining the scope of copyright. Four areas of continuing judicial innovation include fair use, misuse, third-party liability, and the first sale doctrine. Some commentators have advocated broad judicial power to revise and overturn statutes. Such sweeping judicial power is hard to reconcile with the democratic commitment to legislative supremacy. At the other extreme are those that view codification as completely displacing courts’ authority to develop legal ...


Privacy Law: Positive Theory And Normative Practice, Anita L. Allen Jan 2013

Privacy Law: Positive Theory And Normative Practice, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Nov 2012

The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Not all copying constitutes copyright infringement. Quite independent of fair use, copyright law requires that an act of copying be qualitatively and quantitatively significant enough or “substantially similar” for it to be actionable. Originating in the nineteenth century, and entirely the creation of courts, copyright’s requirement of “substantial similarity” has thus far received little attention as an independently meaningful normative dimension of the copyright entitlement. This Article offers a novel theory for copyright’s substantial-similarity requirement by placing it firmly at the center of the institution and its various goals and purposes. As a common-law-style device that mirrors the ...


Past Consideration Or Unconnected Consideration, Yihan Goh, Man Yip Sep 2012

Past Consideration Or Unconnected Consideration, Yihan Goh, Man Yip

Research Collection School Of Law

It is trite law that a valid and enforceable contract must be supported by consideration. The recent Court of Appeal case of Rainforest Trading Ltd v State Bank of India Singapore [2012] 2 SLR 713 is a further addition to the local jurisprudence on consideration, specifically the issue of past consideration. This note considers the specific issue of past consideration and argues that its label should be discarded in favour of a more realistic one that correctly emphasises its underlying concerns.


The Persistence Of Proximate Cause: How Legal Doctrine Thrives On Skepticism, Jessie Allen Jan 2012

The Persistence Of Proximate Cause: How Legal Doctrine Thrives On Skepticism, Jessie Allen

Articles

This Article starts with a puzzle: Why is the doctrinal approach to “proximate cause” so resilient despite longstanding criticism? Proximate cause is a particularly extreme example of doctrine that limps along despite near universal consensus that it cannot actually determine legal outcomes. Why doesn’t that widely recognized indeterminacy disable proximate cause as a decision-making device? To address this puzzle, I pick up a cue from the legal realists, a group of skeptical lawyers, law professors, and judges, who, in the 1920s and 1930s, compared legal doctrine to ritual magic. I take that comparison seriously, perhaps more seriously, and definitely ...


How Money For Legal Scholarship Disadvantages Feminism, Martha T. Mccluskey Dec 2011

How Money For Legal Scholarship Disadvantages Feminism, Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

A dramatic infusion of outside money has shaped legal theory over the last several decades, largely to the detriment of feminist theory. Nonetheless, the pervasive influence of this funding is largely ignored in scholarly discussions of legal theory. This denial helps reinforce the marginal position of feminist scholarship and of women in legal theory. Conservative activists and funders have understood the central role of developing community culture and institutions, and have helped shift the prevailing framework for discussion of many questions of theory and policy through substantial investments in law-and-economics centers and in the Federalist Society. Comparing the institutional resources ...


What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns Jan 2011

What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

The number of trials continues to decline andfederal civil trials have almost completely disappeared. This essay attempts to address the significance of this loss, to answer the obvious question, "So what?" It argues against taking a resigned or complacent attitude toward an important problem for our public culture. It presents a short description of the trial's internal structure, recounts different sorts of explanations, and offers an inventory of the kinds of wounds this development would inflict.


The Relation Of Theories Of Jurisprudence To International Politics And Law, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2011

The Relation Of Theories Of Jurisprudence To International Politics And Law, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

In this essay we shall be concerned with the real world relevance of theories of international law; that is, with the question of the theories themselves as a factor in international decision-making. To do this it is first necessary to review briefly the substance of the jurisprudential debate among legal scholars, then to view some basic jurisprudential ideas as factors in international views of "law," and finally to reach the question of the operative difference a study of these theories might make in world politics.


On The Connection Between Law And Justice, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2011

On The Connection Between Law And Justice, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

What does it mean to assert that judges should decide cases according to justice and not according to the law? Is there something incoherent in the question itself? That question will serve as our springboard in examining what is—or should be—the connection between justice and law. Legal and political theorists since the time of Plato have wrestled with the problem of whether justice is part of law or is simply a moral judgment about law. Nearly every writer on the subject has either concluded that justice is only a judgment about law or has offered no reason to ...


The First Principles Of Standing: Privilege, System Justification, And The Predictable Incoherence Of Article Iii, Christian Sundquist Jan 2011

The First Principles Of Standing: Privilege, System Justification, And The Predictable Incoherence Of Article Iii, Christian Sundquist

Articles

This Article examines the indeterminacy of standing doctrine by deconstructing recent desegregation, affirmative action, and racial profiling cases. This examination is an attempt to uncover the often unstated meta-principles that guide standing jurisprudence. The Article contends that the inherent indeterminacy of standing law can be understood as reflecting an unstated desire to protect racial and class privilege, which is accomplished through the dogma of individualism, equal opportunity (liberty), and “white innocence.” Relying on insights from System Justification Theory, a burgeoning field of social psychology, the Article argues that the seemingly incoherent results in racial standing cases can be understood as ...


The Intelligibility Of Extralegal State Action: A General Lesson For Debates On Public Emergencies And Legality, François Tanguay-Renaud Sep 2010

The Intelligibility Of Extralegal State Action: A General Lesson For Debates On Public Emergencies And Legality, François Tanguay-Renaud

Articles & Book Chapters

Some legal theorists deny that states can conceivably act extralegally in the sense of acting contrary to domestic law. This position finds its most robust articulation in the writings of Hans Kelsen and has more recently been taken up by David Dyzenhaus in the context of his work on emergencies and legality. This paper seeks to demystify their arguments and ultimately contend that we can intelligibly speak of the state as a legal wrongdoer or a legally unauthorized actor.


Self-Regulation Of Judicial Misconduct Could Be Mis-Regulation, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

Self-Regulation Of Judicial Misconduct Could Be Mis-Regulation, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

No matter what the profession, any charge that a fellow professional is guilty of malpractice is a prima facie invitation to other professionals to retreat to a guild mentality, denying that the infraction took place. The impetus to cover up is not primarily due to friendship toward the accused but rather to a general perception that disclosure would lead to public disrespect of the profession as a whole. Many judges may feel that their own standing in the community could be undermined by disclosures that other judges invent or misstate facts. The issue here is not which judges have integrity ...


Pragmatic Indeterminacy, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

Pragmatic Indeterminacy, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

If, as a result of taking Indeterminacy seriously, we revolutionize the way we teach law and the way we select judges, then we will also revolutionize the way cases are litigated (because the new judges will expect to hear a different kind of argumentation) and the way people order their lives in anticipation of the way their disputes will be decided by these new judges.


The Effect Of Legal Theories On Judicial Decisions, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

The Effect Of Legal Theories On Judicial Decisions, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

I draw a distinction in the beginning of this essay between judicial decision-making and a judge's decision-making. To persuade a judge, we should try to discover what her theories are. Across a range of theories, I offered well-known case examples typically cited as examples of each theory. Then I showed that the exact same theory used to justify or explain those case results could be used to justify or explain the opposite result in each of those cases.


Legal Realism Explains Nothing, Anthony D'Amato Jan 2010

Legal Realism Explains Nothing, Anthony D'Amato

Faculty Working Papers

I argue that American legal realism as derived from Oliver Wendell Holmes's prediction theory of law was misinterpreted, and that a deeper examination of law-as-prediction might help to reduce the pathology of judicial lawmaking that has been the unfortunate consequence of legal realism.