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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 ...


Servotronics, Inc. V. Rolls-Royce Plc And The Boeing Company: Brief Of Professor Yanbai Andrea Wang As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Michael H. Mcginley May 2021

Servotronics, Inc. V. Rolls-Royce Plc And The Boeing Company: Brief Of Professor Yanbai Andrea Wang As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Michael H. Mcginley

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Rather than expressing a view on the issues raised and ably briefed by the parties, amicus submits this brief to inform the Court of the scholarly research she has conducted regarding Section 1782 proceedings since this Court’s seminal decision in Intel. As Section 1782 applications have proliferated, the lower courts have struggled to apply the Intel factors as this Court had envisioned. Especially in the context of Section 1782 applications submitted by parties to an international proceeding (as opposed to those made by the international tribunal itself), lower courts have frequently found themselves unable to analyze and apply the ...


Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse Feb 2021

Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter first considers the direction of the affirmative defense of legal insanity in the United States before John Hinckley was acquitted by reason of insanity in 1982 for attempting to assassinate President Reagan and others and the immediate aftermath of that acquittal. Since the middle of the 20th Century, the tale is one of the rise and fall of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code test for legal insanity. Then it turns to the constitutional decisions of the United States Supreme Court concerning the status of legal insanity. Finally, it addresses the substantive and procedural changes ...


Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its current form, fair use doctrine provides a personal defense that applies narrowly to the specific use by the specific user. The landmark case of Google v. Oracle, currently pending before the Supreme Court, illustrates why this is problematic. Even if the Court were to rule that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java API’s was fair, the ruling would not protect the numerous parties that developed Java applications for the Android operating system; it would only shelter Google and Google’s particular use. This is not an isolated problem; the per use/per user rule cuts across ...


Corporate Personhood And Limited Sovereignty, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2021

Corporate Personhood And Limited Sovereignty, Elizabeth Pollman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article, written for a symposium celebrating the work of Professor Margaret Blair, examines how corporate rights jurisprudence helped to shape the corporate form in the United States during the nineteenth century. It argues that as the corporate form became popular because of the way it facilitated capital lock-in, perpetual succession, and provided other favorable characteristics related to legal personality that separated the corporation from its participants, the Supreme Court provided crucial reinforcement of these entity features by recognizing corporations as rights-bearing legal persons separate from the government. Although the legal personality of corporations is a distinct concept from their ...


Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Mar 2020

Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In an earlier article, we argued that the Utah Supreme Court failed to follow and correctly apply clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Steiner v. Utah when the Utah high court held that an internally inconsistent and discriminatory state tax regime did not violate the dormant commerce clause. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court recently declined certiorari in Steiner, but the issue is unlikely to go away. Not every state high court will defy the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to apply the dormant commerce clause, and so the Court will sooner or later likely find itself facing conflicting interpretations ...


Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters Jan 2019

Kennedy's Legacy: A Principled Justice, Mitchell N. Berman, David Peters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

After three decades on the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy remains its most widely maligned member. Concentrating on his constitutional jurisprudence, critics from across the ideological spectrum have derided Justice Kennedy as “a self-aggrandizing turncoat,” “an unprincipled weathervane,” and, succinctly, “America’s worst Justice.” We believe that Kennedy is not as bereft of a constitutional theory as common wisdom maintains. To the contrary, this Article argues, his constitutional decisionmaking reflects a genuine grasp (less than perfect, more than rudimentary) of a coherent and, we think, compelling theory of constitutional law—the account, more or less, that one of has introduced in ...


Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 2019

Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Foreword, I make the case for an abolition constitutionalism that attends to the theorizing of prison abolitionists. In Part I, I provide a summary of prison abolition theory and highlight its foundational tenets that engage with the institution of slavery and its eradication. I discuss how abolition theorists view the current prison industrial complex as originating in, though distinct from, racialized chattel slavery and the racial capitalist regime that relied on and sustained it, and their movement as completing the “unfinished liberation” sought by slavery abolitionists in the past. Part II considers whether the U.S. Constitution is ...


The Myth Of Morrison: Securities Fraud Litigation Against Foreign Issuers, Robert Bartlett, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2019

The Myth Of Morrison: Securities Fraud Litigation Against Foreign Issuers, Robert Bartlett, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Using a sample of 388 securities fraud lawsuits filed between 2002 and 2017 against foreign issuers, we examine the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. We find that the description of Morrison as a steamroller, substantially ending litigation against foreign issuers, is a myth. Instead, we find that Morrison did not significantly change the type of litigation brought against foreign issuers, which, both before and after this case, focused on foreign issuers with a U.S. listing and substantial U.S. trading volume. Although dismissal rates rose post-Morrison, we find no ...


Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Oct 2018

Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this essay is to leverage archival research, data and theoretical perspectives presented in our book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, as a means to illuminate the prospects for retrenchment in the current political landscape. We follow the scheme of the book by separately considering the prospects for federal litigation retrenchment in three lawmaking sites: Congress, federal court rulemaking under the Rules Enabling Act, and the Supreme Court. Although pertinent data on current retrenchment initiatives are limited, our historical data and comparative institutional perspectives should afford a basis for informed prediction. Of course, little in ...


Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Texas Gulf Sulphur decision began what has become a fifty-year project of developing U.S. insider trading regulation through judicial lawmaking. During the course of that project, the courts developed a complex, fraud-based approach to determining the scope of liability. The approach has led, in many cases, to doctrinal uncertainty, a result that is reflected in the recent decisions in Newman, Salman, and Martoma.

n the face of this uncertainty, many commentators have called for a legislative solution. This article argues, however, that the true challenge of insider trading regulation is a lack of consensus about the appropriate scope ...


The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick Jan 2018

The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Event studies have become increasingly important in securities fraud litigation after the Supreme Court’s decision in Halliburton II. Litigants have used event study methodology, which empirically analyzes the relationship between the disclosure of corporate information and the issuer’s stock price, to provide evidence in the evaluation of key elements of federal securities fraud, including materiality, reliance, causation, and damages. As the use of event studies grows and they increasingly serve a gatekeeping function in determining whether litigation will proceed beyond a preliminary stage, it will be critical for courts to use them correctly.

This Article explores an array ...


The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2017

The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Justice Antonin Scalia was, by the time of his death last February, the Supreme Court’s best known and most influential member. He was also its most polarizing, a jurist whom most students of American law either love or hate. This essay, styled as a twenty-year retrospective on A Matter of Interpretation, Scalia’s Tanner lectures on statutory and constitutional interpretation, aims to prod partisans on both sides of our central legal and political divisions to better appreciate at least some of what their opponents see—the other side of Scalia’s legacy. Along the way, it critically assesses Scalia ...


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—is, and always has been, deeply intertwined with inequalities of race, class, gender, and region. Many if not most of the plaintiffs who challenged legal discrimination based on family status in the 1960s and 1970s were impoverished women, men, and children of color who made constitutional equality claims. Yet the constitutional law of the family is largely silent about the status-based impact of laws that prefer marriage and disadvantage non-marital families. While some lower courts engaged with race-, sex-, and wealth-based discrimination arguments in family status cases, the Supreme Court largely avoided recognizing ...


Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese Jan 2017

Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chevron doctrine’s apparent simplicity has long captivated judges, lawyers, and scholars. According to the standard formulation, Chevron involves just two straightforward steps: (1) Is a statute clear? (2) If not, is the agency’s interpretation of the statute reasonable? Despite the influence of this two-step framework, Chevron has come under fire in recent years. Some critics bemoan what they perceive as the Supreme Court’s incoherent application of the Chevron framework over time. Others argue that Chevron’s second step, which calls for courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions, amounts to an abdication ...


Applying Strict Scrutiny: An Empirical Analysis Of Free Exercise Cases, Caleb C. Wolanek, Heidi H. Liu Jan 2017

Applying Strict Scrutiny: An Empirical Analysis Of Free Exercise Cases, Caleb C. Wolanek, Heidi H. Liu

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Strict scrutiny and the free exercise of religion have had an uneasy relationship in American jurisprudence. In this Article, we trace the history of strict scrutiny in free exercise cases and outline how it applies today. Then, using a unique dataset of cases from a 25-year period, we detail the characteristics of these cases. Finally, we discuss the implications for future cases. Our research indicates that even though claimants currently win a large percentage of cases, those victories might not be durable.


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


A Solution In Search Of A Problem: Kelo Reform Over Ten Years, Wendell Pritchett Jan 2016

A Solution In Search Of A Problem: Kelo Reform Over Ten Years, Wendell Pritchett

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Kelo is NOT Dred Scott. Kelo is not only NOT Dred Scott, it was, as this Essay will argue, the right decision given the facts of the cases and the current state of legal jurisprudence. As an academic who has detailed the historic exploitation of eminent domain to uproot persons of color in this country, I find it interesting, and somewhat troubling, that the case has received so much criticism, much more criticism, I would argue, than other Supreme Court decisions that deserve condemnation. Certainly, eminent domain, like any other government power, must be regulated carefully. But upending the principles ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Nov 2015

Marriage (In)Equality And The Historical Legacies Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, I measure the majority’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges against two legacies of second-wave feminist legal advocacy: the largely successful campaign to make civil marriage formally gender-neutral; and the lesser-known struggle against laws and practices that penalized women who lived their lives outside of marriage. Obergefell obliquely acknowledges marriage equality’s debt to the first legacy without explicitly adopting sex equality arguments against same-sex marriage bans. The legacy of feminist campaigns for nonmarital equality, by contrast, is absent from Obergefell’s reasoning and belied by rhetoric that both glorifies marriage and implicitly disparages nonmarriage. Even so ...


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified ...


Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite a transformative half century of social change, marital status still matters. The marriage equality movement has drawn attention to the many benefits conferred in law by marriage at a time when the “marriage gap” between affluent and poor Americans widens and rates of nonmarital childbearing soar. This Essay explores the contested history of marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—through the lens of the “illegitimacy” cases of the 1960s and 1970s. Often remembered as a triumph for nonmarital families, these decisions defined the constitutional harm of illegitimacy classifications as the unjust punishment of innocent children for the “sins ...


The Ironies Of Affirmative Action, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

The Ironies Of Affirmative Action, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s most recent confrontation with race-based affirmative action, Fisher v. University of Texas, did not live up to people’s expectations—or their fears. The Court did not explicitly change the current approach in any substantial way. It did, however, signal that it wants race-based affirmative action to be subject to real strict scrutiny, not the watered-down version featured in Grutter v. Bollinger. That is a significant signal, because under real strict scrutiny, almost all race-based affirmative action programs are likely unconstitutional. This is especially true given the conceptual framework the Court has created for such programs ...


Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its most recent Halliburton II decision, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to overrule its prior decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. The Court reasoned that adherence to Basic was warranted by principles of stare decisis that operate with “special force” in the context of statutory interpretation. This Article offers an alternative justification for adhering to Basic—the collaboration between the Court and Congress that has led to the development of the private class action for federal securities fraud. The Article characterizes this collaboration as a lawmaking partnership and argues that such a partnership offers distinctive lawmaking advantages.

Halliburton ...


Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2015

Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The purpose of this article is to advance understanding of the role that federal court rulemaking has played in litigation reform. For that purpose, we created original data sets that include (1) information about every member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules who served from 1960 to 2013, and (2) every proposal for amending the Federal Rules that the Advisory Committee approved for consideration by the Standing Committee during the same period and that had implications for private enforcement. We show that, beginning in 1971, when a succession of Chief Justices appointed by Republican Presidents have chosen committee members ...


Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2014

Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The program of regulation through private litigation that Democratic Congresses purposefully created starting in the late 1960s soon met opposition emanating primarily from the Republican party. In the long campaign for retrenchment that began in the Reagan administration, consequential reform proved difficult and ultimately failed in Congress. Litigation reformers turned to the courts and, in marked contrast to their legislative failure, were well-rewarded, achieving growing rates of voting support from an increasingly conservative Supreme Court on issues curtailing private enforcement under individual statutes. We also demonstrate that the judiciary’s control of procedure has been central to the campaign to ...


Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2014

Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A district court has broad discretion in deciding whether a suit may be maintained as a class action. Variations on this phrase populate the class action jurisprudence of the federal courts. The power of the federal courts to exercise discretion when deciding whether to permit a suit to proceed as a class action has long been treated as an elemental component of a representative proceeding. It is therefore cause for surprise that there is no broad consensus regarding the nature and definition of this judicial discretion in the certification process. The federal courts have not coalesced around a clear or ...


Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie Jan 2013

Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article, which is based on and expands on an amicus brief the authors submitted to the United States Supreme Court, first provides the moral argument in favor of the insanity defense. It considers and rejects the most important moral counterargument and suggests that jurisdictions have considerable leeway in deciding what test best meets their legal and moral policies. The article then discusses why the two primary alternatives to the insanity defense, the negation of mens rea and considering mental disorder at sentencing, are insufficient to achieve the goal of responding justly to severely mentally disordered offenders. The last section ...