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1911 Triangle Factory Fire — Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Dec 2016

1911 Triangle Factory Fire — Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

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Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around …


Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas Aug 2016

Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas

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Far too many reporters and pundits collapse law into politics, assuming that the left–right divide between Democratic and Republican appointees neatly explains politically liberal versus politically conservative outcomes at the Supreme Court. The late Justice Antonin Scalia defied such caricatures. His consistent judicial philosophy made him the leading exponent of originalism, textualism, and formalism in American law, and over the course of his three decades on the Court, he changed the terms of judicial debate. Now, as a result, supporters and critics alike start with the plain meaning of the statutory or constitutional text rather than loose appeals to legislative …


Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese

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This paper offers a retrospective assessment of economist George Stigler’s classic article, The Theory of Economic Regulation. Stigler argued that regulation is a product that, just like any other product, is produced in a market, and that it can be acquired from the governmental “marketplace” by business firms to serve their private interests and create barriers to entry for potential competitors. He challenged the idea that regulation arises solely to serve the public interest and demonstrated that important political advantages held by businesses can contribute to industry capture of the regulatory process. Although his argument was largely based on …


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

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Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S. administrative …


The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2016

The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo

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What are the proper bounds of executive discretion in the regulatory state, especially over administrative decisions not to take enforcement actions? This question, which, just by asking it, would seem to cast into some doubt the seemingly absolute discretion the executive branch has until now been thought to possess, has become the focal point of the latest debate to emerge over the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. That ever‐growing, heated debate is what motivated more than two dozen distinguished scholars to gather for a two‐day conference held late last year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a conference organized …


Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2016

Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay reviews Jacob S. Hacker's and Paul Pierson's very engaging book, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget what Made America Prosper (2016).


Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay, written as a response to John F. Duffy and Richard Hynes, Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property, 102 VA. L. REV. 1 (2016), argues that the patent exhaustion (first sale) doctrine developed as a creature of federalism, intended to divide the line between the law of patents, which by that time had become exclusively federal, and the law of patented things, which were governed by the states. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century courts were explicit on the point, in decisions stretching from the 1850s well into the twentieth century.

By the second half of …


A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2016

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Few still believe that Puerto Rico is capable of meeting all of its financial obligations and continuing to provide basic services. The territory is already in default, and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Is there a way forward? We think there is. In this short article, we outline a two-part plan for correcting Puerto Rico’s most urgent fiscal and financial problems.

The first step is to create an independent financial control board that has authority over Puerto Rico’s budgets and related issues. Notwithstanding concerns that an externally imposed financial control board (FCB) may interfere with the decision making processes of democratically …


Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons Mar 2016

Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons

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Whether and how violence can be controlled to spare innocent lives is a central issue in international relations. The most ambitious effort to date has been the International Criminal Court (ICC), designed to enhance security and safety by preventing egregious human rights abuses and deterring international crimes. We offer the first systematic assessment of the ICC's deterrent effects for both state and nonstate actors. Although no institution can deter all actors, the ICC can deter some governments and those rebel groups that seek legitimacy. We find support for this conditional impact of the ICC cross-nationally. Our work has implications for …


“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer Feb 2016

“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer

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Two decades after Justice Douglas coined “injury in fact” as the token of admission to federal court under Article III, Justice Scalia sealed it into the constitutional canon in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. In the two decades since Lujan, Justice Scalia has thrown increasingly pointed barbs at the permissive standing doctrine of the Warren Court, maintaining it is founded on impermissible recognition of “Psychic Injury.” Justice Scalia and his acolytes take the position that Article III requires a tough minded, common sense and practical approach. Injuries in fact must be "tangible" "direct" "concrete" "de facto" realities in time and …


Book Review (Reviewing Louis Fisher's Congress: Protecting Individual Rights), Adeen Postar Jan 2016

Book Review (Reviewing Louis Fisher's Congress: Protecting Individual Rights), Adeen Postar

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Fisher is currently the Scholar in Residence at the Constitution Project, and is well known for his many years as Senior Specialist on Separation of Powers at the Congressional Research Service and as Specialist in Constitutional Law at the Law Library of Congress. He has extensive experience testifying before Congress on topics that include Congress and the constitution, war powers, executive power and privilege, and several aspects of the federal budget and its processes. He has written numerous books on these topics, including (to name only a few) The President and Congress: Power and Policy (1972); Defending Congress and the …


Comparison Excluding Commitments: Incommensurability, Adjudication, And The Unnoticed Example Of Trade Disputes, Sungjoon Cho, Richard Warner Jan 2016

Comparison Excluding Commitments: Incommensurability, Adjudication, And The Unnoticed Example Of Trade Disputes, Sungjoon Cho, Richard Warner

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We claim that there are important cases of “incommensurability” in public policymaking, in which all relevant reasons are not always comparable on a common scale as better, worse, or equally good. Courts often fail to confront this. We are by no means the first to contend that incommensurability exists. Yet incommensurability’s proponents have failed to sway the courts mainly because they overlook the fact that there are two types of incommensurability. The first (“incompleteness incommensurability”) consists of the lack of any appropriate metric for making the comparison. We argue that this type of incommensurability is relatively unproblematic in that courts …


Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

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Government officials who run administrative agencies must make countless decisions every day about what issues and work to prioritize. These agenda-setting decisions hold enormous implications for the shape of law and public policy, but they have received remarkably little attention by either administrative law scholars or social scientists who study the bureaucracy. Existing research offers few insights about the institutions, norms, and inputs that shape and constrain agency discretion over their agendas or about the strategies that officials employ in choosing to elevate certain issues while putting others on the back burner. In this article, we advance the study of …


Governmental Intervention In An Economic Crisis, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2016

Governmental Intervention In An Economic Crisis, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr.

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This paper articulates a framework both for assessing the various government bailouts that took place at the onset of Great Recession and for guiding future rescue efforts when they become necessary. The goals for those engineering a bailout should be to be as transparent as possible, to articulate clearly the reason for the intervention, to respect existing priorities among investors, to exercise control only at the top level where such efforts can be seen by the public, and to exit as soon as possible. By these metrics, some of the recent bailouts should be applauded, while others fell short. We …


The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2016

The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

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This article is part of a larger project to study the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law from an institutional perspective. In a series of articles emerging from the project, we show how the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court (wielding both judicial power under Article III of the Constitution and delegated legislative power under the Rules Enabling Act) fared in efforts to reverse or dull the effects of statutory and other incentives for private enforcement. An institutional perspective helps to explain the outcome we document: the long-term erosion of the infrastructure of private enforcement as a result of …


Motivating Without Mandates: The Role Of Voluntary Programs In Environmental Governance, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash Jan 2016

Motivating Without Mandates: The Role Of Voluntary Programs In Environmental Governance, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash

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For the last several decades, governments around the world have tried to use so-called voluntary programs to motivate private firms to act proactively to protect the environment. Unlike conventional environmental regulation, voluntary programs offer businesses flexibility to adopt cost-effective measures to reduce environmental impacts. Rather than prodding firms to act through threats of enforcement, they aim to entice firms to move forward by offering various kinds of positive incentives, ranging from public recognition to limited forms of regulatory relief. Despite the theoretical appeal of voluntary programs, their proper role in government’s environmental toolkit depends on the empirical evidence of how …


The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters

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Scholars, lawyers, and, indeed, the public at large increasingly worry about what purposive presidential inaction in enforcing statutory programs means for the rule of law and how such discretionary inaction can fit within a constitutional structure that compels Presidents to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Yet those who have recognized the problem have been hesitant to assign a role for the court in policing the constitutional limits they articulate, mostly because of the strain on judicial capacity that any formulation of Take Care Clause review would cause. In this Article, I argue that courts still can and …


What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

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Equality in criminal sentencing often translates into equalizing outcomes and stamping out variations, whether race-based, geographic, or random. This approach conflates the concept of equality with one contestable conception focused on outputs and numbers, not inputs and processes. Racial equality is crucial, but a concern with eliminating racism has hypertrophied well beyond race. Equalizing outcomes seems appealing as a neutral way to dodge contentious substantive policy debates about the purposes of punishment. But it actually privileges deterrence and incapacitation over rehabilitation, subjective elements of retribution, and procedural justice, and it provides little normative guidance for punishment. It also has unintended …


The Fight For Equal Protection: Reconstruction-Redemption Redux, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Patricia Stottlemyer Jan 2016

The Fight For Equal Protection: Reconstruction-Redemption Redux, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Patricia Stottlemyer

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With Justice Scalia gone, and Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy in their late seventies, there is the possibility of significant movement on the Supreme Court in the next several years. A two-justice shift could upend almost any area of constitutional law, but the possible movement in race-based equal protection jurisprudence provides a particularly revealing window into the larger trends at work. In the battle over equal protection, two strongly opposed visions of the Constitution contend against each other, and a change in the Court’s composition may determine the outcome of that struggle. In this essay, we set out the current state …


The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2016

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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One enduring historical debate concerns whether the American Constitution was intended to be "classical" -- referring to a theory of statecraft that maximizes the role of private markets and minimizes the role of government in economic affairs. The most central and powerful proposition of classical constitutionalism is that the government's role in economic development should be minimal. First, private rights in property and contract exist prior to any community needs for development. Second, if a particular project is worthwhile the market itself will make it occur. Third, when the government attempts to induce development politics inevitably distorts the decision making. …


Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2016

Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk

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Contrary to popular opinion, the Supreme Court has not yet resolved whether lobbying is constitutionally protected. Belying this fact, courts, Congress, and scholars mistakenly assume that lobbying is protected under the Petition Clause. Because scholars have shared the mistaken assumption that the Petition Clause protects the practice of “lobbying”, no research to date has looked closely at the Petition Clause doctrine and the history of petitioning in relation to lobbying. In a recent opinion addressing petitioning in another context, the Supreme Court unearthed the long history behind the right to petition and argued for the importance of this history for …


Governance Reform And The Judicial Role In Municipal Bankruptcy, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2016

Governance Reform And The Judicial Role In Municipal Bankruptcy, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Recent proceedings involving large municipalities such as Detroit, Stockton, and Vallejo illustrate both the utility and the limitations of using the Bankruptcy Code to adjust municipal debt. In this article, we contend that, to truly resolve the distress of a substantial city, municipal bankruptcy needs to do more than simply provide immediate debt relief. Debt adjustment alone does nothing to remedy the fragmented decision-making and incentives for expanding municipal budgets that underlie municipal distress. Unless bankruptcy also addresses governance dysfunction, the city may slide right back into financial crisis. Governance restructuring has long been an essential element of corporate bankruptcy. …


Voter Ignorance And Deliberative Democracy, Chad Flanders Jan 2016

Voter Ignorance And Deliberative Democracy, Chad Flanders

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American voters are shockingly ignorant about politics. Not only do they not know basic facts about the structure of American government (what the three branches are, etc.) or the views of the major political parties, they do not really know in many cases even what they believe about politics, because what they believe can be manipulated depending on how pollsters ask the questions. People may oppose welfare, for instance, but favor increasing money transfers to the poor-which is pretty much what welfare is.2 Even worse, when voters are motivated to seek out more information, and do seek out that information, …