Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Public Law and Legal Theory Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

Special Interest Influence Under Direct Versus Representative Democracy, John G. Matsusaka Jul 2018

Special Interest Influence Under Direct Versus Representative Democracy, John G. Matsusaka

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The ability of economic interest groups to influence policy is a common theme in economics and political science. Most theories posit that interest group power arises from the ability to influence elected or appointed government officials through vote-buying, lobbying, or revolving doors; that is, by exploiting the representative part of democracy. This raises the question: does special interest influence decline when policy is chosen using direct democracy, without involvement of representatives? An analysis of the content of the universe of state-level ballot initiatives during 1904-2017 reveals that business interests have been worse off as a result of initiatives across major ...


The Trojan Horse Of Corporate Integration, Edward D. Kleinbard Aug 2016

The Trojan Horse Of Corporate Integration, Edward D. Kleinbard

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has invested significant resources, including hearings and staff reports, to make the case for an unusual form of corporate dividend integration – a corporate dividends-paid deduction, combined with a universal shareholder dividend withholding tax collected from the firm. This proposal would not reduce the cash tax outlays of U.S. corporations in respect of distributed or retained earnings. It would not reduce the aggregate tax burdens imposed on most shareholders, and in many plausible circumstances would raise those tax costs. It is a poorly targeted response to design weaknesses in the U.S. international corporate ...


Searching For Our Fiscal Soul, Edward D. Kleinbard Jul 2016

Searching For Our Fiscal Soul, Edward D. Kleinbard

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This is an extended version of a presentation made at TEDx Livermore 2016, the theme of which was the Economics of Empathy. Searching for Our Fiscal Soul argues that democracy is an exercise in empathy towards fellow citizens we do not know, and, if we did, might not like. We express that empathy through government spending, because that is how we actualize values that are important enough that we are willing to pay for them. This is our fiscal soul in action. Whether measured against the values we all routinely recite, or against the social environments achieved by peer countries ...


It's Tax Not Trade (Stupid), Edward J. Mccaffery Jul 2016

It's Tax Not Trade (Stupid), Edward J. Mccaffery

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Globalization, trade and other free market policies increase wealth. But the gains from trade are not being evenly spread among all citizens. People and politicians rage against foreigners. But it is the United States tax system, not trade, that ought to change, and wealthy Americans, not workers world-wide, who should be sharing the wealth. A nd it is the form of tax, not just its rate structure, that must reform, so that capital at last bears a meaningful share of the burden.


Beyond Willful Ignorance, Alexander F. Sarch Jan 2016

Beyond Willful Ignorance, Alexander F. Sarch

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The law allows willful ignorance to substitute for knowledge on the theory that these two mental states are equally culpable. This Article argues that, as a result, the law is also committed to allowing some forms of egregious non-willful ignorance—most importantly, reckless ignorance—to substitute for knowledge when the conditions of equal culpability are met. In addition to developing this theoretical argument, the Article argues that some courts already allow reckless ignorance to substitute for knowledge—namely, in cases governed by the collective knowledge doctrine. Allowing reckless ignorance to substitute for knowledge is thus not unprecedented. What’s more ...


Building Legal Order In Ancient Athens, Federica Carugati, Gillian K. Hadfield, Barry R. Weingast Oct 2015

Building Legal Order In Ancient Athens, Federica Carugati, Gillian K. Hadfield, Barry R. Weingast

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

How do democratic societies establish and maintain order in ways that are conducive to growth? Contemporary scholarship associates order, democracy, and growth with centralized rule of law institutions. In this article, we test the robustness of modern assumptions by turning to the case of ancient Athens. Democratic Athens was remarkably stable and prosperous, but the ancient city-state never developed extensively centralized rule of law institutions. Drawing on the “what-is-law” account of legal order elaborated by Hadfield and Weingast (2012),we show that Athens’ legal order relied on institutions that achieved common knowledge and incentive compatibility for enforcers in a largely ...


Life In The Law-Thick World: The Legal Resource Landscape For Ordinary Americans, Gillian K. Hadfield, Jamie Heine Jan 2015

Life In The Law-Thick World: The Legal Resource Landscape For Ordinary Americans, Gillian K. Hadfield, Jamie Heine

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Most advanced democracies are thick with law and regulation, rules that structure almost all social and economic relationships. Yet ordinary Americans, unlike their peers in other advanced systems, face this law-thick landscape with relatively few legal resources at their disposal. In this chapter, an updated version of Hadfield Higher Demand Lower Supply? A Comparative Assessment of the Legal Resource Landscape for Ordinary Americans (2009), we document what little data exists on the performance of legal markets for non-corporate clients in the U.S. Our results suggest that while the U.S. has nearly twice as many lawyers as comparable countries ...


What Is The Right To Privacy?, Andrei Marmor Dec 2014

What Is The Right To Privacy?, Andrei Marmor

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

A philosophical account of the right to privacy should explain what is the distinct interest that the right is there to protect, what it takes to secure it, and what would count as a violation of the right. In this paper I argue that the right to privacy is grounded on people’s interest in having a reasonable measure of control over ways in which they present themselves (and what is theirs) to others; I argue that in order to secure this kind of interest we need to have a reasonably secure and predictable environment about the flow of information ...


"Competitiveness" Has Nothing To Do With It, Edward D. Kleinbard Sep 2014

"Competitiveness" Has Nothing To Do With It, Edward D. Kleinbard

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The recent wave of corporate tax inversions has triggered interest in what motivates these tax-driven transactions now. Corporate executives have argued that inversions are explained by an “anti-competitive” U.S. tax environment, as evidenced by the federal corporate tax statutory rate, which is high by international standards, and by its “worldwide” tax base. This paper explains why this competitiveness narrative is largely fact-free, in part by using one recent articulation of that narrative (by Emerson Electric Co.’s former vice-chairman) as a case study.

The recent surge in interest in inversion transactions is explained primarily by U.S. based multinational ...


More Than A Woman: Insights Into Corporate Governance After The French Sex Quota, Darren Rosenblum, Daria Roithmayr Aug 2014

More Than A Woman: Insights Into Corporate Governance After The French Sex Quota, Darren Rosenblum, Daria Roithmayr

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In 2011, France enacted a Corporate Board Quota to establish a forty percent floor for either sex on corporate boards. Existing literature presumes that women will change the way firms function and that their presence in upper management will improve both governance and financial returns. To assess the potential impact of the quota, we interviewed twenty-four current and former corporate board members. Our analysis of these interviews generates two findings. First our results indicate that, at least in the view of board members, the sex quota has had an impact on the process of board decision making, but adding women ...


War-Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, Mary L. Dudziak Jan 2012

War-Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

When is wartime? On the surface, it is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," as the Administration announced an "end to conflict in Iraq," even though conflict on the ground is ongoing. It is no longer easy to distinguish between wartime and peacetime. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing ...


E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan Nov 2011

E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Prison rape is a form of gender violence. Men’s prisons institutionalize a toxic form of masculinity when they foster homophobia, physical violence and an institutional culture that requires inmates to prove their masculinity by fighting. Staff and inmate abusers alike target small, young, effeminate, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates. According to recent nationwide survey data, the two factors that most strongly predict an inmate’s risk of sexual abuse are (1) prior sexual victimization, and (2) gay, bisexual or transgender identity. Nonetheless, prison rape continues to be understood in accordance with an inaccurate stereotype that it is typically black-on-white ...


The Benefits Of A Right To Silence For The Innocent, Shmuel Leshem Nov 2011

The Benefits Of A Right To Silence For The Innocent, Shmuel Leshem

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This article shows that innocent suspects benefit from exercising their right to silence during criminal proceedings. We present a model in which a criminal suspect can either make a statement or remain silent during police interrogation. At trial, the jury observes informative but imperfect signals about the suspect's guilt and the truthfulness of the suspect's statement. We show that a right to silence benefits innocent suspects by providing them with a safer alternative to speech, as well as by reducing the probability of wrongful conviction for suspects who remain silent with and without a right to silence.


Lay Judgments Of Judicial Decision-Making, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich Jul 2011

Lay Judgments Of Judicial Decision-Making, Dan Simon, Nicholas Scurich

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This exploratory study examined lay people's evaluations of judicial decision-making, specifically of the judicial decision-making process and the judiciary's legitimacy. Seven hundred participants were presented with three judicial decisions, which were portrayed as following on the heels of solid and appropriate legal procedure. Each decision was accompanied by one of four types of reasoning. Participants were asked to evaluate the acceptability of the decisions, focusing on the manner in which they were made and the legitimacy of the decision-maker, regardless of their outcomes. The study yielded four findings. First, lay people’s judgments were highly contingent on the ...


Righting The Relationship Between Race And Religion In Law, Nomi M. Stolzenberg Jun 2011

Righting The Relationship Between Race And Religion In Law, Nomi M. Stolzenberg

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This review discusses the interrelationship of race and religion in law, the subject of Eve Darian-Smith's new book, which seeks to rectify the neglect of religion in the study of race and law and the parallel neglect of race in studies of law and religion. Concurring with the book’s basic propositions, that the segregation of race and religion into separate fields of legal studies needs to be overcome and the religious origins of fundamental liberal legal ideas need to be recognized, I tease out different ways in which race and religion can be “linked” and religion can “play ...


A Sword And A Shield: The Uses Of Law In The Bush Administration, Mary L. Dudziak Oct 2010

A Sword And A Shield: The Uses Of Law In The Bush Administration, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The Bush administration has been criticized for departures from the rule of law, but within the administration law was not ignored. Instead it was seen variously as a tool and as a potential threat to the operation of the executive branch. Two narratives compete for attention. In an era when the legality of torture was openly debated, the deployment of law in wartime seemed the most immediate issue. At the same time, however, a decades-long conservative movement to change American law was both significantly furthered and complicated, as Supreme Court appointments moved the Court to the right, but the lack ...


Unlimited War And Social Change: Unpacking The Cold War's Impact, Mary L. Dudziak Sep 2010

Unlimited War And Social Change: Unpacking The Cold War's Impact, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper is a draft chapter of a short book critically examining the way assumptions about the temporality of war inform American legal and political thought. In earlier work, I show that a set of ideas about time are a feature of the way we think about war. Historical progression is thought to consist in movement from one kind of time to another (from wartime to peacetime, to wartime, etc.). Wartime is thought of as an exception to normal life, inevitably followed by peacetime. Scholars who study the impact of war on American law and politics tend to work within ...


Just Say No: Birth Control In The Connecticut Supreme Court Before Griswold V. Connecticut, Mary L. Dudziak Jul 2010

Just Say No: Birth Control In The Connecticut Supreme Court Before Griswold V. Connecticut, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This essay examines the right to use birth control in Connecticut before Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). It is often assumed that the Connecticut birth control ban was not enforced, and consequently did not affect access to birth control in the state. Accordingly, the cases challenging the state statute have been viewed as not real cases or controversies deserving of court attention. This essay demonstrates that this view is erroneous. Connecticut law was enforced against the personnel of birth control clinics for aiding and abetting the use of contraceptives. Enforcement of the statute against those working in clinics kept birth control ...


The Congress Within The Congress: How Tax Expenditures Distort Our Budget And Our Political Processes, Edward D. Kleinbard Mar 2010

The Congress Within The Congress: How Tax Expenditures Distort Our Budget And Our Political Processes, Edward D. Kleinbard

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Tax expenditures have grown in importance to the point where they are now the dominant instruments for implementing new discretionary spending policies, and operate at a cost in forgone revenues unmatched since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. While it is true that some forms of government intervention are best delivered through the tax system, it cannot be the case that neutral design principles would lead to a situation where the federal government spends twice as much through tax expenditures as it does through explicit discretionary spending programs.

This paper, the Fourteenth Annual Woodworth Memorial Lecture, is a meditation on ...


Gendered Laws, Racial Stories, Kim S. Buchanan Sep 2009

Gendered Laws, Racial Stories, Kim S. Buchanan

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this Article, I argue that, in prisons and in Title VII jurisprudence, the legal response to same-sex sexual harassment and abuse enforces the norms of masculinity that abusers enact in the practice of such abuse and harassment. Prison guards and administrators routinely refuse to prevent or punish sexual abuse, telling the victim to “Be a man. Stand up and fight.” If he is raped, the victim is often told that he is—or has been made—“gay,” and therefore “liked it.” Similar norms, albeit in less violent and more coded form, inflect Title VII jurisprudence of same-sex sexual harassment ...


Law, War, And The History Of Time, Mary L. Dudziak Apr 2009

Law, War, And The History Of Time, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This paper examines wartime as a form of time, arguing that assumptions about the temporality of war are a feature of American legal thought. Time is thought to be linear and episodic, moving from one kind of time (peacetime) to another kind of time (wartime) in sequence. In this way of thinking, war is by definition temporary, so that war’s impact on law is limited in time. This understanding of war and time, however, is in tension with the practice of war in 20th century U.S. history, for American involvement in overseas military action has been continuous.

Drawing ...


Direct Democracy And Public Choice, Elizabeth Garrett Jan 2009

Direct Democracy And Public Choice, Elizabeth Garrett

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Public choice, with its focus on interest groups, relationships among institutions, and the importance of procedures and institutions in shaping policies, has been a significant influence on the literature studying direct democracy. Direct democracy encompasses two methods of providing voters with direct lawmaking authority – the initiative and the referendum – as well as a third method of directly influencing lawmakers outside of the regular electoral process – the recall. Twenty-seven states provide for the initiative, the popular referendum or both; and the legislative referendum is required in every state for adoption of constitutional amendments. When one considers that about half of the ...