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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Indefinite Deflection Of Congressional Standing, Nat Stern Oct 2015

The Indefinite Deflection Of Congressional Standing, Nat Stern

Scholarly Publications

Recent litigation brought or threatened against the administration of President Obama has brought to prominence the question of standing by Congress or its members to sue the President for nondefense or non-enforcement of federal law. Leading scholars in the field of congressional standing immediately expressed doubt that courts would entertain a suit seeking to compel enforcement of these provisions. This Article argues that the premise that suits of this sort can be maintained rests on a tenuous understanding of the Supreme Court's fitful treatment of standing by Congress or its members to sue the Executive.

The Court has never issued …


Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic M. Bloom, Nelson Tebbe Apr 2015

Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic M. Bloom, Nelson Tebbe

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

How should the Constitution change? In Originalism and the Good Constitution, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport argue that it ought to change in only one way: through the formal mechanisms set out in the Constitution’s own Article V. This is so, they claim, because provisions adopted by supermajority vote are more likely to be substantively good. The original Constitution was ratified in just that way, they say, and subsequent changes should be implemented similarly. McGinnis and Rappaport also contend that this substantive goodness is preserved best by a mode of originalist interpretation.

In this Review, we press two main arguments. …


Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe Jan 2015

Countersupermajoritarianism, Frederic Bloom, Nelson Tebbe

Publications

How should the Constitution change? In Originalism and the Good Constitution, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport argue that it ought to change in only one way: through the formal mechanisms set out in the Constitution’s own Article V. This is so, they claim, because provisions adopted by supermajority vote are more likely to be substantively good. The original Constitution was ratified in just that way, they say, and subsequent changes should be implemented similarly. McGinnis and Rappaport also contend that this substantive goodness is preserved best by a mode of originalist interpretation. In this Review, we press two main arguments. …


Legal Realism And The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

Legal Realism And The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

All Faculty Scholarship

What did legal realism bring to the conflict of laws? Why was the realist critique of the received wisdom so successful? And why, despite that success, is the realist movement in conflict of laws—and, indeed, the whole American choice of law revolution—seen as a failure?

In this Response, I suggest some brief answers to those questions. Realism, I suggest, is more successful than its critics think—though its project remains unfinished. A better understanding of realism's contributions can show us what work remains in the realist project.


The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman Jan 2015

The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman

All Faculty Scholarship

What parties know and think they know about contract law affects their obligations under the law and their intuitive obligations toward one another. Drawing on a series of new experimental questionnaire studies, this Article makes two contributions.First, it lays out what information and beliefs ordinary individuals have about how to form contracts with one another. We find that the colloquial understanding of contract law is almost entirely focused on formalization rather than actual assent, though the modern doctrine of contract formation takes the opposite stance. The second Part of the Article tries to get at whether this misunderstanding matters. Is …


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 determinacy, …


Efficient Contextualism, Peter M. Gerhart, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2015

Efficient Contextualism, Peter M. Gerhart, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article recommends an economic methodology of contract interpretation that enables the court to maximize the benefits of exchange for the parties and thereby enhance the institution of contracting. We recommend a methodology that asks the parties to identify the determinants of a surplus maximizing interpretation so that the court can determine whether the determinants raise issues that need to be tried. We thus avoid the false choice between textualist and contextualist methodologies, while allowing the parties and the court to avoid costly litigation. For textualist courts, our methodology helps the judge determine when the terms the parties used are …