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Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha Jan 2021

Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters – the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the “anti-modalities ...


Getting The Most Out Of Extractive Industries Transparency: How A More Explicit Treatment Of Political Considerations Could Strengthen The Impact Of Transparency Efforts, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Sep 2020

Getting The Most Out Of Extractive Industries Transparency: How A More Explicit Treatment Of Political Considerations Could Strengthen The Impact Of Transparency Efforts, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Work on transparency in the extractive industries (EI) has achieved important successes over the last two decades. For example, significant commitments to disclosure have been secured, the volume of publicly available information about critical activities has increased considerably, and norms around certain information being in the public domain have been established. There is also a growing library of use cases for this information. Nonetheless, important work remains to be done to translate these efforts into impact.

Political context is crucial to determining the fate of transparency efforts. Therefore, grappling with political context more effectively will also be key to unlocking ...


How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2020

How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This essay has been written to set the context for a future issue of Daedalus, the quarterly of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, addressing the prospects of American administrative law in the Twenty-first Century. It recounts the growth of American government over the centuries since its founding, in response to the profound changes in the technology, economy, and scientific understandings it must deal with, under a Constitution written for the governance of a dispersed agrarian population operating with hand tools in a localized economy. It then suggests profound challenges of the present day facing administrative law’s development ...


For Coöperation And The Abolition Of Capital, Or, How To Get Beyond Our Extractive Punitive Society And Achieve A Just Society, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2020

For Coöperation And The Abolition Of Capital, Or, How To Get Beyond Our Extractive Punitive Society And Achieve A Just Society, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In hindsight, the term "capitalism" was always a misnomer, coined paradoxically by its critics in the nineteenth century. The term misleadingly suggests that the existence of capital produces a unique economic system or that capital itself is governed by economic laws. But that's an illusion. In truth, we do not live today in a system in which capital dictates our economic circumstances. Instead, we live under the tyranny of what I would call "tournament dirigisme": a type of state-directed gladiator sport where our political leaders bestow spoils on the wealthy, privileged elite.

We need to displace this tournament dirigisme ...


Antitrust & Corruption: Overruling Noerr, Tim Wu Jan 2020

Antitrust & Corruption: Overruling Noerr, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

We live in a time when concerns about influence over the American political process by powerful private interests have reached an apogee, both on the left and the right. Among the laws originally intended to fight excessive private influence over republican institutions were the antitrust laws, whose sponsors were concerned not just with monopoly, but also its influence over legislatures and politicians. While no one would claim that the antitrust laws were meant to be comprehensive anti-corruption laws, there can be little question that they were passed with concerns about the political influence of powerful firms and industry cartels.

Since ...


The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Jan 2020

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal constitution, they were drafted – and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended – to ...


Political Wine In A Judicial Bottle: Justice Sotomayor's Surprising Concurrence In Aurelius, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus Jan 2020

Political Wine In A Judicial Bottle: Justice Sotomayor's Surprising Concurrence In Aurelius, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

Justice Sotomayor just took sides in the debate over Puerto Rican decolonization. It happened when no one was looking, on June 1, 2020, in Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC, a case involving an Appointments Clause challenge to the mechanism for selecting the members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (“FOMB”). Although the Court unanimously upheld the appointments, Justice Sotomayor wrote separately to address an issue not raised by the parties, but directly relevant to a bitter, longstanding, and high-stakes political debate: the debate over Puerto Rican decolonization. According to ...


Strengthening The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Pathways For Bridging Law And Policy, Columbia Law School, 2020, Nobuhisa Ishizuka, Masahiro Kurosaki, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2020

Strengthening The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Pathways For Bridging Law And Policy, Columbia Law School, 2020, Nobuhisa Ishizuka, Masahiro Kurosaki, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

During the three years leading up to this year ’s 60th anniversary of the signing of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, a series of workshops were held under the joint sponsorship of Columbia Law School’s Center for Japanese Legal Studies and the National Defense Academy of Japan’s Center for Global Security. Bringing together experts in international law and political science primarily from the United States and Japan, the workshops examined how differing approaches to use of force and understandings of individual and collective self-defense in the two countries might adversely affect their alliance.

The workshop participants ...


Evaluating Constitutional Hardball: Two Fallacies And A Research Agenda, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Evaluating Constitutional Hardball: Two Fallacies And A Research Agenda, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This Reply addresses the responses by Professors David Bernstein and Jed Shugerman to our essay Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball. Bernstein's response, we argue, commits the common fallacy of equating reciprocity with symmetry: assuming that because constitutional hardball often "takes two" to play, both sides must be playing it in a similar manner. Shugerman's response, on the other hand, helps combat the common fallacy of equating aggressiveness with wrongfulness: assuming that because all acts of constitutional hardball strain norms of governance, all are similarly damaging to democracy. We suggest that whereas Bernstein's approach would set back the burgeoning effort ...


The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels: The Problem Of Truth In A Time Of Lying, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2019

The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels: The Problem Of Truth In A Time Of Lying, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This essay addresses the problem of truth today in light of the common belief, especially among progressives, that we have entered a post-truth age, as well as of the frequent claim that our post-truth society is the fault of postmodernists and their challenge to the objectivity of truth. The essay does not resolve the strategic question whether the post-truth argument is, as a purely tactical political matter, an effective approach to respond to the onslaught of misrepresentations and lies by President Donald Trump and the New Right. Instead, it explores the post-truth argument from a more synoptic perspective regarding the ...


Seeing Transparency More Clearly, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Seeing Transparency More Clearly, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, transparency has been proposed as the solution to, and the cause of, a remarkable range of public problems. The proliferation of seemingly contradictory claims about transparency becomes less puzzling, this essay argues, when one appreciates that transparency is not, in itself, a coherent normative ideal. Nor does it have a straightforward instrumental relationship to any primary goals of governance. To gain greater purchase on how transparency policies operate, scholars must therefore move beyond abstract assumptions and drill down into the specific legal, institutional, historical, political, and cultural contexts in which these policies are crafted and implemented. The ...


Edward Snowden, National Security Whistleblowing, And Civil Disobedience, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Edward Snowden, National Security Whistleblowing, And Civil Disobedience, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

No recent whistleblower has been more lionized or vilified than Edward Snowden. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and denounced as a "total traitor" deserving of the death penalty. In these debates, Snowden's defenders tend to portray him as a civil disobedient. Yet for a range of reasons, Snowden's situation does not map neatly onto traditional theories of civil disobedience. The same holds true for most cases of national security whistleblowing.

The contradictory and confused responses that these cases provoke, this essay suggests, are not just the product of polarized politics or insufficient information. Rather ...


Hardball And/As Anti-Hardball, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Hardball And/As Anti-Hardball, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Talk of constitutional hardball is in the air. Ever since Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court, liberal commentators have been pondering tactics such as impeachment, jurisdiction stripping, and especially "packing the court" to a degree that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Senate Republicans have played vigorous hardball on Supreme Court appointments in the past two Congresses, most obviously by refusing to consider Merrick Garland's nomination, and there is a strong desire among many Democrats to respond with equal or greater vigor.

Even before the Kavanaugh conflagration, the concept of constitutional hardball seemed to be ...


Constitutional Reform In Japan: Prospects, Process, And Implications, Nobuhisa Ishizuka Jan 2019

Constitutional Reform In Japan: Prospects, Process, And Implications, Nobuhisa Ishizuka

Faculty Scholarship

Japan's constitution has remained unchanged for over 70 years since its adoption. With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's re-election as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) in 2018, the issue of constitutional revision has gained renewed attention. On March 13, 2019 the Center for Japanese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School co-hosted, with the Council on Foreign Relations, a full-day conference on "Constitutional Reform in Japan: Prospect, Process, and Implications." Three panels of distinguished experts examined the domestic political landscape in Japan, provided comparative legal perspectives, and considered the political, strategic, and social implications ...


Investment Treaties, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, And Inequality: How International Investment Treaties Exacerbate Domestic Disparities, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Jan 2019

Investment Treaties, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, And Inequality: How International Investment Treaties Exacerbate Domestic Disparities, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Over roughly the past four decades, government officials from around the world have been erecting a framework of economic governance with major – but under-appreciated – implications for intra-national inequality. The components of this framework are thousands of bilateral and multilateral treaties designed to protect international investment. In many jurisdictions, the treaties have been concluded without public awareness or scrutiny or even much discussion or analysis by government officials – including those officials responsible for negotiating the agreements(Poulsen 2015) – and without an adequate understanding of how these agreements could affect intra-national inequality. Long imperceptible, the size and power of this framework for ...


Constitutional Reform In Japan, Nobuhisa Ishizuka Jan 2019

Constitutional Reform In Japan, Nobuhisa Ishizuka

Faculty Scholarship

Over seventy years ago it would have seemed inconceivable in the aftermath of a calamitous war that a complete reorientation of Japan into a pacifist society, modeled on Western principles of individual rights and democracy, would succeed in upending a deeply entrenched political order with roots dating back centuries.

The post-war Japanese constitution lies at the heart of this transformation. Drafted, negotiated and promulgated a mere fourteen months after Japan's formal surrender, it has remained a model of stability amidst transformational changes in the domestic and international political landscape. In the seventy-plus years since its adoption, it has not ...


Hardball And/As Anti-Hardball, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Hardball And/As Anti-Hardball, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many commentators have expressed alarm at the apparent rise of "constitutional hardball" in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. This short essay introduces the idea of "anti-hardball" as a potential antidote. Complicating matters, hardball and anti-hardball are not necessarily opposed in practice. Short-term hardball tactics will generally be more justified, the essay suggests, when tied to a longer-term anti-hardball strategy.


Critique & Praxis: A Pure Theory Of Illusions, Values, And Tactics, And An Answer To The Question: "What Is To Be Done?", Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2018

Critique & Praxis: A Pure Theory Of Illusions, Values, And Tactics, And An Answer To The Question: "What Is To Be Done?", Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

We are going through an unprecedented period of political instability. With the rise of the alt-right and of xenophobic sentiment, and the fallout of neoliberal government policies, our political future is at stake. These times call for the type of critical theory and praxis that gave rise to the Frankfurt School in the 1920s and to the critical ferment of the 1970s. Yet, in the face of our crises today, contemporary critical theory seems disarmed.

Critical theory is in disarray because of a wave of anti-foundational challenges in the 1960s that shattered the epistemological foundations of the Frankfurt School. The ...


Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In the formative periods of American "open government" law, the idea of transparency was linked with progressive politics. Advocates of transparency understood themselves to be promoting values such as bureaucratic rationality, social justice, and trust in public institutions. Transparency was meant to make government stronger and more egalitarian. In the twenty-first century, transparency is doing different work. Although a wide range of actors appeal to transparency in a wide range of contexts, the dominant strain in the policy discourse emphasizes its capacity to check administrative abuse, enhance private choice, and reduce other forms of regulation. Transparency is meant to make ...


Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many have argued that the United States' two major political parties have experienced "asymmetric polarization" in recent decades: The Republican Party has moved significantly further to the right than the Democratic Party has moved to the left. The practice of constitutional hardball, this Essay argues, has followed a similar – and causally related – trajectory. Since at least the mid-1990s, Republican officeholders have been more likely than their Democratic counterparts to push the constitutional envelope, straining unwritten norms of governance or disrupting established constitutional understandings. Both sides have done these things. But contrary to the apparent assumption of some legal scholars, they ...


Economic Individualism And Preference Formation, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 2018

Economic Individualism And Preference Formation, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

This note examines some issues involved in an attempt to go beyond the assumption, long-made by most economists, that people’s preferences are simply to be treated as “given” and that the principle of consumer sovereignty entails a refusal to consider some (or some people’s) revealed preferences as more authoritative than others. The most important break with that assumption has been the development of behavioral economics, which shows that people may not always know what they really want, and that economists have to develop a more critical approach, distinguishing people’s true preferences from those that are merely apparent ...


Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Asymmetric Constitutional Hardball, Joseph Fishkin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Many have argued that the United States' two major political parties have experienced "asymmetric polarization" in recent decades: The Republican Party has moved significantly further to the right than the Democratic Party has moved to the left. The practice of constitutional hardball, this Essay argues, has followed a similar – and causally related – trajectory. Since at least the mid-1990s, Republican officeholders have been more likely than their Democratic counterparts to push the constitutional envelope, straining unwritten norms of governance or disrupting established constitutional understandings. Both sides have done these things. But contrary to the apparent assumption of some legal scholars, they ...


Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In the formative periods of American "open government" law, the idea of transparency was linked with progressive politics. Advocates of transparency understood themselves to be promoting values such as bureaucratic rationality, social justice, and trust in public institutions. Transparency was meant to make government stronger and more egalitarian. In the twenty-first century, transparency is doing different work. Although a wide range of actors appeal to transparency in a wide range of contexts, the dominant strain in the policy discourse emphasizes its capacity to check administrative abuse, enhance private choice, and reduce other forms of regulation. Transparency is meant to make ...


The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of rulings that demonstrate the degree to which the First Amendment can be used to thwart economic and social welfare regulation – generating widespread accusations that the Court has created a "new Lochner." This introduction to the Columbia Law Review's Symposium on Free Expression in an Age of Inequality takes up three questions raised by these developments: Why has First Amendment law become such a prominent site for struggles over socioeconomic inequality? Does the First Amendment tradition contain egalitarian elements that could be recovered? And what might a ...


Activist Directors And Agency Costs: What Happens When An Activist Director Goes On The Board?, John C. Coffee Jr., Robert J. Jackson Jr., Joshua Mitts, Robert Bishop Jan 2018

Activist Directors And Agency Costs: What Happens When An Activist Director Goes On The Board?, John C. Coffee Jr., Robert J. Jackson Jr., Joshua Mitts, Robert Bishop

Faculty Scholarship

We develop and apply a new and more rigorous methodology by which to measure and understand both insider trading and the agency costs of hedge fund activism. We use quantitative data to show a systematic relationship between the appointment of a hedge fund nominated director to a corporate board and an increase in informed trading in that corporation’s stock (with the relationship being most pronounced when the fund’s slate of directors includes a hedge fund employee). This finding is important from two different perspectives. First, from a governance perspective, activist hedge funds represent a new and potent force ...


How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From the moment Donald Trump was elected President, critics have anguished over a breakdown in constitutional norms. History demonstrates, however, that constitutional norms are perpetually in flux. The principal source of instability is not that these unwritten rules can be destroyed by politicians who deny their legitimacy, their validity, or their value. Rather, the principal source of instability is that constitutional norms can be decomposed – dynamically interpreted and applied in ways that are held out as compliant but end up limiting their capacity to constrain the conduct of government officials.

This Article calls attention to that latent instability and, in ...


How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From the moment Donald Trump was elected president, critics have anguished over a breakdown in constitutional norms. History demonstrates, however, that constitutional norms are perpetually in flux. The principal source of instability is not that these unwritten rules can be destroyed by politicians who deny their legitimacy, their validity, or their value. Rather, the principal source of instability is that constitutional norms can be decomposed – dynamically interpreted and applied in ways that are held out as compliant but end up limiting their capacity to constrain the conduct of government officials.

This Article calls attention to that latent instability and, in ...


The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

The Search For An Egalitarian First Amendment, Jeremy K. Kessler, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of rulings that demonstrate the degree to which the First Amendment can be used to thwart economic and social welfare regulation – generating widespread accusations that the Court has created a "new Lochner." This introduction to the Columbia Law Review's Symposium on Free Expression in an Age of Inequality takes up three questions raised by these developments: Why has First Amendment law become such a prominent site for struggles over socioeconomic inequality? Does the First Amendment tradition contain egalitarian elements that could be recovered? And what might a ...


Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou Jan 2018

Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou

Faculty Scholarship

This is the introductory chapter of the book Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (Collins, Lester, Mantouvalou eds, OUP, 2018). It argues that labour law needs philosophical foundations and explains that careful reflection about underlying moral and political principles and values can serve to provide firm foundations and a clear sense of direction for labour law. At a time when many appear to doubt the value of labour laws and workers’ rights at all, the chapter suggests that it is necessary to reassert that the values and principles that provide the foundations for a system of labour law are not those ...


A Guide To The Guide To The Republican Better Way Plan, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2017

A Guide To The Guide To The Republican Better Way Plan, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

This special Issue of the Columbia Journal of Tax Law is bound to have both an immediate impact and a lasting significance. The immediate impact is assured because the sole focus of this Issue is the tax plan proposed by the Congressional Republicans as part of their broad reform agenda called A Better Way: Our Vision For A Confident America. As this Issue goes to print, the Better Way Plan (or the Plan for short) is being debated in the White House, on Capitol Hill, in the press, in academic circles, think tanks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and ...