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Full-Text Articles in Law

Assessing Automated Administration, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai Apr 2022

Assessing Automated Administration, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To fulfill their responsibilities, governments rely on administrators and employees who, simply because they are human, are prone to individual and group decision-making errors. These errors have at times produced both major tragedies and minor inefficiencies. One potential strategy for overcoming cognitive limitations and group fallibilities is to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) tools that allow for the automation of governmental tasks, thereby reducing reliance on human decision-making. Yet as much as AI tools show promise for improving public administration, automation itself can fail or can generate controversy. Public administrators face the question of when exactly they should use automation ...


Purpose Proposals, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2022

Purpose Proposals, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Repurposing the corporation is the hot issue in corporate governance. Commentators, investors and increasingly issuers, maintain that corporations should shift their focus from maximizing profits for shareholders to generating value for a more expansive group of stakeholders. Corporations are also being called upon to address societal concerns – from climate change and voting rights to racial justice and wealth inequality.

The shareholder proposal rule, Rule 14a–8, offers one potential tool for repurposing the corporation. This Article describes the introduction of innovative proposals seeking to formalize corporate commitments to stakeholder governance. These “purpose proposals” reflect a new dynamic in the debate ...


The Political Dynamics Of Legislative Reform: Potential Drivers Of The Next Communications Statute, Christopher S. Yoo, Tiffany Keung Mar 2022

The Political Dynamics Of Legislative Reform: Potential Drivers Of The Next Communications Statute, Christopher S. Yoo, Tiffany Keung

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Although most studies of major communications reform legislation focus on the merits of their substantive provisions, analyzing the political dynamics that led to the enactment of such legislation can yield important insights. An examination of the tradeoffs that led the major industry segments to support the Telecommunications Act of 1996 provides a useful illustration of the political bargain that it embodies. Application of a similar analysis to the current context identifies seven components that could form the basis for the next communications statute: universal service, pole attachments, privacy, intermediary immunity, net neutrality, spectrum policy, and antitrust reform. Determining how these ...


Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Saifee Mar 2022

Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Saifee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article examines a hidden phenomenon in criminal punishment. People in prison, during their incarceration, have made important, sometimes extraordinary, strides toward reducing prison populations. In fact, stakeholders in many corners, from policymakers to researchers to abolitionists, have harnessed the legal and conceptual strategies generated inside the walls to pursue decarceral strategies outside the walls that were once considered impossible. Despite this outside use of inside moves, legal scholars and reform-minded actors have disregarded the potential of looking to people on the inside as partners in the long-term project of decarceration.

Building on the change-making agency and revolutionary ideation inside ...


The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan Mar 2022

The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Every jurisdiction in the United States gives criminal defendants “credit” against their sentence for the time they spend detained pretrial. In a world of mass incarceration and overcriminalization that disproportionately impacts people of color, this practice appears to be a welcome mechanism for mercy and justice. In fact, however, crediting detainees for time served is perverse. It harms the innocent. A defendant who is found not guilty, or whose case is dismissed, gets nothing. Crediting time served also allows the state to avoid internalizing the full costs of pretrial detention, thereby making overinclusive detention standards less expensive. Finally, crediting time ...


Moving Toward Personalized Law, Cary Coglianese Mar 2022

Moving Toward Personalized Law, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Rules operate as a tool of governance by making generalizations, thereby cutting down on government officials’ need to make individual determinations. But because they are generalizations, rules can result in inefficient or perverse outcomes due to their over- and under-inclusiveness. With the aid of advances in machine-learning algorithms, however, it is becoming increasingly possible to imagine governments shifting away from a predominant reliance on general rules and instead moving toward increased reliance on precise individual determinations—or on “personalized law,” to use the term Omri Ben-Shahar and Ariel Porat use in the title of their 2021 book. Among the various ...


Do Cops Know Who To Stop? Assessing Optimizing Models Of Police Behavior With A Natural Experiment, David S. Abrams, Hanming Fang, Priyanka Goonetilleke Mar 2022

Do Cops Know Who To Stop? Assessing Optimizing Models Of Police Behavior With A Natural Experiment, David S. Abrams, Hanming Fang, Priyanka Goonetilleke

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The standard economic model of police stops implies that the contraband hit rate should rise when the number of stops falls, ceteris paribus. We provide empirical corroboration of such optimizing models of police behavior by examining changes in stops and frisks around two extraordinary events of 2020 - the pandemic onset and the nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd. We find that hit rates from pedestrian and vehicle stops generally rose as stops and frisks fell dramatically. Using detailed data, we are able to rule out a number of alternative explanations, including changes in street population, crime, police allocation ...


Nonparty Interests In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang Feb 2022

Nonparty Interests In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contract law has one overarching goal: to advance the legitimate interests of the contracting parties. For the most part, scholars, judges, and parties embrace this party primacy norm, recognizing only a few exceptions, such as mandatory rules that bar enforcement of agreements that harm others. This Article describes a distinct species of previously unnoticed contract law rules that advance nonparty interests, which it calls “nonparty defaults."

In doing so, this Article makes three contributions to the contract law literature. First, it identifies nonparty defaults as a judicial technique. It shows how courts deviate from the party primary norm with surprising ...


Dismantling The “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race Equity, And Online Data-Protection Reform, Anita L. Allen Feb 2022

Dismantling The “Black Opticon”: Privacy, Race Equity, And Online Data-Protection Reform, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

African Americans online face three distinguishable but related categories of vulnerability to bias and discrimination that I dub the “Black Opticon”: discriminatory oversurveillance, discriminatory exclusion, and discriminatory predation. Escaping the Black Opticon is unlikely without acknowledgement of privacy’s unequal distribution and privacy law’s outmoded and unduly race-neutral façade. African Americans could benefit from race-conscious efforts to shape a more equitable digital public sphere through improved laws and legal institutions. This Essay critically elaborates the Black Opticon triad and considers whether the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (2021), the federal Data Protection Act (2021), and new resources for the ...


A Reader’S Guide To Legal Orientalism, Teemu Ruskola Feb 2022

A Reader’S Guide To Legal Orientalism, Teemu Ruskola

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

My book Legal Orientalism: China, the United States, and Modern Law (Harvard University Press 2013) was published in translation in China in 2016. This essay analyzes the Chinese reception of this book. Originally addressed to a North American readership, Legal Orientalism examines critically the asymmetric relationship in which Euro-American law and Chinese law stand to one another, the former regarding itself as an embodiment of universal values while viewing the latter’s as culturally particular ones. The essay explores what happens when a “Western” work of self-criticism is transmitted to an “Eastern” audience. In this context, it analyzes the politics ...


Antitrust Interoperability Remedies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2022

Antitrust Interoperability Remedies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Compelled interoperability can be a useful remedy for dominant firms, including large digital platforms, who violate the antitrust laws. They can address competition concerns without interfering unnecessarily with the structures that make digital platforms attractive and that have contributed so much to economic growth.

Given the wide variety of structures and business models for big tech, “interoperability” must be defined broadly. It can realistically include everything from “dynamic” interoperability that requires real time sharing of data and operations, to “static” interoperability which requires portability but not necessarily real time interactions. Also included are the compelled sharing of intellectual property or ...


Why Aim Law Toward Human Survival, John William Draper Feb 2022

Why Aim Law Toward Human Survival, John William Draper

Librarian Scholarship at Penn Law

Our legal system is contributing to humanity’s demise by failing to take account of our species’ situation. For example, in some cases law works against life and supports interests such as liberty or profit maximization.

If we do not act, science tells us that humanity bears a significant (and growing) risk of catastrophic failure. The significant risk inherent in the status quo is unacceptable and requires a response. We must act. It is getting hotter. When we decide to act, we need to make the right choice.

There is no better choice. You and all your relatives have rights ...


Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2022

Selling Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust enforcers and its other defenders have never done a good job of selling their field to the public. That is not entirely their fault. Antitrust is inherently technical, and a less engaging discipline to most people than, say, civil rights or criminal law. The more serious problem is that when the general press does talk about antitrust policy it naturally gravitates toward the fringes, both the far right and the far left. Extreme rhetoric makes for better press than the day-to-day operations of a technical enterprise. The extremes are often stated in overdramatized black-and-white terms that avoid the real ...


Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch Feb 2022

Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The GameStop trading frenzy in January 2021 was perhaps the highest profile example of the reemergence of capital market participation by retail investors, a marked shift from the growing domination of those markets by large institutional investors. Some commentators have greeted retail investing, which has been fueled by app-based brokerage accounts and social media, with alarm and called for regulatory reform. The goals of such reforms are twofold. First, critics argue that retail investors need greater protection from the risks of investing in the stock market. Second, they argue that the stock market, in term, needs protection from retail investors ...


Influence By Intimidation: Business Lobbying In The Regulatory Process, Alex Acs, Cary Coglianese Feb 2022

Influence By Intimidation: Business Lobbying In The Regulatory Process, Alex Acs, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Interest group influence in the policy process is often assumed to occur through a mechanism of exchange, persuasion, or subsidy. Here, we explore how business groups may also exert influence by intimidating policymakers—a form of persuasion, but one based not on the provision of policy information but of political information. We develop a theory where a business firm lobbies a regulator to communicate political information about its capacity to commit to future influence-seeking activities that would sanction the regulator. The regulator assesses the credibility of this message by evaluating the firm’s commitment to lobbying. Guided by our theory ...


Access To Medicines And Pharmaceutical Patents: Fulfilling The Promise Of Trips Article 31bis, Ezinne Miriam Igbokwe, Andrea Tosato Feb 2022

Access To Medicines And Pharmaceutical Patents: Fulfilling The Promise Of Trips Article 31bis, Ezinne Miriam Igbokwe, Andrea Tosato

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) is one of the cornerstones of the World Trade Organization (WTO). TRIPS requires all WTO member countries (Members) to adopt minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property (IP). This international treaty is highly controversial. Its critics claim that TRIPS imposes a wealth transfer from poorer Members (net IP importers) to richer ones (net IP exporters). Its supporters maintain that trade between developing and developed economies cannot thrive without an internationally-harmonized IP framework. The most contentious issue has long been the impact of the TRIPS patents regime on access to medicines ...


Administrative Law: Governing Economic And Social Governance, Cary Coglianese Jan 2022

Administrative Law: Governing Economic And Social Governance, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law refers to the body of legal doctrines, procedures, and practices that govern the operation of the myriad regulatory bodies and other administrative agencies that interact directly with individuals and businesses to shape economic and social outcomes. This law takes many forms in different legal systems around the world, but different systems of administrative law share in common a focus on three major issues: the formal structures of administrative agencies; the procedures that these agencies must follow to make regulations, grant licenses, or pursue other actions; and the doctrines governing judicial review of administrative decisions. In addressing these issues ...


Remodelling Criminal Insanity: Exploring Philosophical, Legal, And Medical Premises Of The Medical Model Used In Norwegian Law, Linda Gröning, Unn K. Haukvik, Stephen J. Morse, Susanna Radovic Jan 2022

Remodelling Criminal Insanity: Exploring Philosophical, Legal, And Medical Premises Of The Medical Model Used In Norwegian Law, Linda Gröning, Unn K. Haukvik, Stephen J. Morse, Susanna Radovic

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper clarifies the conceptual space of discussion of legal insanity by considering the virtues of the ‘medical model’ model that has been used in Norway for almost a century. The medical model identifies insanity exclusively with mental disorder, and especially with psychosis, without any requirement that the disorder causally influenced the commission of the crime. We explore the medical model from a transdisciplinary perspective and show how it can be utilised to systematise and reconsider the central philosophical, legal and medical premises involved in the insanity debate. A key concern is how recent transdiagnostic and dimensional approaches to psychosis ...


Municipal Fiber In The United States: A Financial Assessment, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert, Timothy P. Pfenninger Jan 2022

Municipal Fiber In The United States: A Financial Assessment, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert, Timothy P. Pfenninger

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite growing interest in broadband provided by municipally owned and operated fiber-to-the-home networks, the academic literature has yet to undertake a systematic assessment of these projects’ financial performance. To fill this gap, we utilize municipalities’ official reports to offer an empirical evaluation of the financial performance of every municipal fiber project in the U.S. operating in 2010 through 2019. An analysis of the actual performance of the resulting fifteen-project panel dataset reveals that none of the projects generated sufficient nominal cash flow in the short run to maintain solvency without infusions of additional cash from outside sources or debt ...


A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: Student Athlete Compensation And The Alston Antitrust Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2022

A Miser’S Rule Of Reason: Student Athlete Compensation And The Alston Antitrust Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The unanimous Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Alston is its most important probe of antitrust’s rule of reason in decades. The decision implicates several issues, including the role of antitrust in labor markets, how antitrust applies to institutions that have an educational mission as well as involvement in a large commercial enterprise, and how much leeway district courts should have in creating decrees that contemplate ongoing administration.

The Court accepted what has come to be the accepted framework: the plaintiff must make out a prima facie case of competitive harm. Then the burden shifts to the defendant to ...


The Progressives' Antitrust Toolbox, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2022

The Progressives' Antitrust Toolbox, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The period 1900 to 1930 was the Golden Age of antitrust theory, if not of enforcement. During that period courts and scholars developed nearly all of the tools that we use to this day to assess anticompetitive practices under the federal antitrust laws. In subsequent years antitrust policy veered to both the left and the right, but today seems to be returning to a position quite similar to the one that these Progressive adopted. Their principal contributions were (1) partial equilibrium analysis, which became the basis for concerns about economic concentration, the distinction between short- and long-run analysis, and later ...


Monopolizing And The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2022

Monopolizing And The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In one sentence § 2 of the Sherman Act condemns firms who “monopolize,” “attempt to monopolize” or “combine or conspire” to monopolize -- all without explanation. Section 2 is the antitrust law’s only provision that reaches entirely unilateral conduct, although it has often been used to reach collaborative conduct as well. In general, §2 requires greater amounts of individually held market power than do the other antitrust statutes, but it is less categorical about conduct. With one exception, however, the statute reads so broadly that criticisms of the nature that it is outdated cannot be based on faithful readings of the ...


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 ...


The Psychology Of Separation: Border Walls, Soft Power, And International Neighborliness, Diana C. Mutz, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2022

The Psychology Of Separation: Border Walls, Soft Power, And International Neighborliness, Diana C. Mutz, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This study assesses the impact of international border walls on evaluations of countries and on beliefs about bilateral relationships between states. Using a short video, we experimentally manipulate whether a border wall image appears in a broader description of the history and culture of a little-known country. In a third condition, we also indicate which bordering country built the wall. Demographically representative samples from the United States, Ireland, and Turkey responded similarly to these experimental treatments. Compared to a control group, border walls lowered evaluations of the bordering countries. They also signified hostile international relationships to third-party observers. Furthermore, the ...


Duty And Diversity, Chris Brummer, Leo E. Strine Jr. Jan 2022

Duty And Diversity, Chris Brummer, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the wake of the brutal deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, a slew of reforms from Wall Street to the West Coast have been introduced, all aimed at increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) in corporations. Yet the reforms face difficulties ranging from possible constitutional challenges to critical limitations in their scale, scope and degree of legal obligation and practical effects. In this Article, we provide an old answer to the new questions facing DEI policy, and offer the first close examination of how corporate law duties impel and facilitate corporate attention to diversity. Specifically, we show that ...


Algorithm Vs. Algorithm, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai Jan 2022

Algorithm Vs. Algorithm, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Critics raise alarm bells about governmental use of digital algorithms, charging that they are too complex, inscrutable, and prone to bias. A realistic assessment of digital algorithms, though, must acknowledge that government is already driven by algorithms of arguably greater complexity and potential for abuse: the algorithms implicit in human decision-making. The human brain operates algorithmically through complex neural networks. And when humans make collective decisions, they operate via algorithms too—those reflected in legislative, judicial, and administrative processes. Yet these human algorithms undeniably fail and are far from transparent. On an individual level, human decision-making suffers from memory limitations ...


Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Jan 2022

Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Historically, the law helped impecunious plaintiffs overcome their inherent disadvantage in civil litigation. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case: modern law has largely abandoned the mission of assisting the least well off. In this Essay, we propose a new remedy that can dramatically improve the fortunes of poor plaintiffs and thereby change the errant path of the law: preliminary damages. The unavailability of preliminary damages has dire implications for poor plaintiffs, especially those wronged by affluent individuals and corporations. Resource constrained plaintiffs cannot afford prolonged litigation on account of their limited financial means. Consequently, they are forced to either ...


Antitrust By Algorithm, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai Jan 2022

Antitrust By Algorithm, Cary Coglianese, Alicia Lai

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Technological innovation is changing private markets around the world. New advances in digital technology have created new opportunities for subtle and evasive forms of anticompetitive behavior by private firms. But some of these same technological advances could also help antitrust regulators improve their performance in detecting and responding to unlawful private conduct. We foresee that the growing digital complexity of the marketplace will necessitate that antitrust authorities increasingly rely on machine-learning algorithms to oversee market behavior. In making this transition, authorities will need to meet several key institutional challenges—building organizational capacity, avoiding legal pitfalls, and establishing public trust—to ...


Restoring The Rule Of Law Through Department Of Justice Reform, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter Jan 2022

Restoring The Rule Of Law Through Department Of Justice Reform, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the nation’s principal law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ) plays a unique role in protecting U.S. democracy. Even though the attorney general is appointed by the president and serves at the president’s pleasure, a recognition of the comparable independence of the DOJ from the political priorities of the rest of the executive branch has been critical for maintaining the department’s integrity and credibility over the course of its roughly 150-year history. The DOJ powerfully reinforces both rule of law norms and democratic governance when it faithfully conforms to law and ethics. But the ...


Presidential Accountability And The Rule Of Law: Can The President Claim Immunity If He Shoots Someone On Fifth Avenue?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter Jan 2022

Presidential Accountability And The Rule Of Law: Can The President Claim Immunity If He Shoots Someone On Fifth Avenue?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a sitting President be indicted while in office? This critical constitutional question has never been directly answered by any court or legislative body. The prevailing wisdom, however, is that, though he may be investigated, a sitting President is immune from actual prosecution. The concept of presidential immunity, however, has hastened the erosion of checks and balances in the federal government and weakened our ability to rein in renegade Presidents. It has enabled sitting Presidents to impede the enforcement of subpoenas and other tools of investigation by prosecutors, both federal and state, as well as to claim imperviousness to civil ...