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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

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Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane Mar 2021

Antitrust Antitextualism, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Judges and scholars frequently describe antitrust as a common-law system predicated on open-textured statutes, but that description fails to capture a historically persistent phenomenon:judicial disregard of the plain meaning of the statutory texts and manifest purposes of Congress. This pattern of judicial nullification is not evenly distributed: when the courts have deviated from the plain meaning or congressional purpose, they have uniformly done so to limit the reach of antitrust liability or curtail the labor exemption to the benefit of industrial interests. This phenomenon cannot be explained solely or even primarily as a tug-of-war between a progressive Congress and conservative …


The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

The Tempting Of Antitrust: Robert Bork And The Goals Of Antitrust Policy, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Of all Robert Bork’s many important contributions to antitrust law, none was more significant than his identification of economic efficiency, disguised as consumer welfare, as the sole normative objective of U.S. antitrust law. The Supreme Court relied primarily on Bork’s argument that Congress intended the Sherman Act to advance consumer welfare in making its landmark statement in Reiter v. Sonotone that “Congress designed the Sherman Act as a ‘consumer welfare prescription.’” This singular normative vision proved foundational to the reorientation of antitrust law away from an interventionist, populist, Brandeisian, and vaguely Jeffersonian conception of antitrust law as a constraint on …


Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2013

Antitrust And The Judicial Virtues, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Although commentators frequently debate how judges should decide antitrust cases substantively, little attention has been paid to theories of judicial virtue in antitrust decision making. This essay considers four pairings of virtues: (1) striving for substantive purity versus conceding to institutional realism; (2) incrementalism versus generalism; (3) presenting a unified face versus candidly conceding differences among judges on an appellate panel; and (4) adhering strictly to stare decisis versus freely updating precedents to reflect evolving economic learning or conditions. While recognizing the complexities that sometimes pull judges in the opposite direction, this Article gives the nod to institutional realism, incrementalism, …