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

Public Law and Legal Theory Commons

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

Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

Certainty Vs. Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Dec 2018

Certainty Vs. Flexibility In The Conflict Of Laws, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Traditional choice of law theory conceives of certainty and flexibility as opposed values: increase one, and you inevitably decrease the other. This article challenges the received wisdom by reconceptualizing the distinction. Rather than caring about certainty or flexibility for their own sake, it suggests, we care about them because each makes it easier to promote a certain cluster of values. And while there may be a necessary tradeoff between certainty and flexibility, there is no necessary tradeoff between the clusters of values. It is possible to improve a choice of law system with regard to both of them. The article ...


A General Mitigation For Disturbance-Driven Crimes?: Psychic State, Personal Choice, And Normative Inquiries, Paul H. Robinson Oct 2018

A General Mitigation For Disturbance-Driven Crimes?: Psychic State, Personal Choice, And Normative Inquiries, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is argued here that the narrow provoked “heat of passion” mitigation available under current law ought to be significantly expanded to include not just murder but all felonies and not just “heat of passion” but potentially all mental or emotional disturbances, whenever the offender’s situation and capacities meaningfully reduce the offender’s blameworthiness for the violation. In determining eligibility for mitigation, the jury should take into account (a) the extent to which the offender was acting under the influence of mental or emotional disturbance (the psychic state inquiry), (b) given the offender’s situation and capacities, the extent ...


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 ...


Punitive Preemption And The First Amendment, Rachel Proctor May Aug 2018

Punitive Preemption And The First Amendment, Rachel Proctor May

San Diego Law Review

In recent years, state legislators have begun passing a new breed of “punitive” preemption laws–those that impose fines, civil and criminal sanctions, and other sanctions on local governments and their officials as a consequence of passing laws or enacting policies that are inconsistent with state laws. This represents a significant change from traditional preemption, under which a local government could enact laws based on its view of preempting state statutes and applicable state constitutional provisions and, if necessary, defend its interpretation in court. When punitive preemption prevents a local lawmaking process from taking place, the state forecloses a unique ...


Georgia State Law Review Symposium Keynote Address: Uncovering Forensic Flaws - An Outside Perspective, Spencer S. Hsu Aug 2018

Georgia State Law Review Symposium Keynote Address: Uncovering Forensic Flaws - An Outside Perspective, Spencer S. Hsu

Georgia State University Law Review

This transcript is a reproduction of the Keynote Address by Spencer Hsu at the 2017–2018 Georgia State University Law Review Symposium — From the Crime Scene to the Court room: The Future of Forensic Science Reform — on April 6, 2018.

Spencer Hsu is an investigative reporter at the Washington Post, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a national Emmy Award nominee.


Safety From Flawed Forensic Sciences Evidence, Boaz Sangero Aug 2018

Safety From Flawed Forensic Sciences Evidence, Boaz Sangero

Georgia State University Law Review

This article addresses the way to safety in the context of forensic sciences evidence. After presenting the current lack of safety, which I term “unsafety,” I raise some possible safety measures to contend with this. My suggestions are grounded on two bases: first, the specific analysis of each type of evidence in line with the most recent research on the subject; and second, modern safety theory and its application to the criminal justice system. It is important to stress that my proposals represent only some of the conceivable safety measures. Developing a comprehensive safety theory for the criminal justice system ...


Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing May 2018

Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing

Texas A&M Law Review

During the early stages of the Trump ICE age, America seemed to be witnessing and experiencing an unparalleled era of immigration enforcement. But is it unparalleled? Did we not label Barack Obama the “deporter-inchief?” Was it not George W. Bush who used the authority of the Patriot Act to round up nonimmigrants from Muslim and Arab countries, and did his ICE not commonly engage in armed raids at factories and other worksites? Are there not strong parallels that can be drawn between Trump enforcement plans and actions and those of other eras? What about the fear and hysteria that seems ...


Nuccio V. Nuccio: The Doctrine Of Equitable Estoppel Will Not Bar The Statute Of Limitations Defense In A Child Sexual Abuse Case Involving Repressed Memory, Christina J. D'Appolonia Mar 2018

Nuccio V. Nuccio: The Doctrine Of Equitable Estoppel Will Not Bar The Statute Of Limitations Defense In A Child Sexual Abuse Case Involving Repressed Memory, Christina J. D'Appolonia

Maine Law Review

Kathleen Nuccio alleged that she was sexually abused by her father when she was three years old. He continued to sexually abuse her for ten long years. He threatened her life when he held a chisel to her throat and vowed to kill her if she ever told anyone of the abuse. Luke Nuccio not only sexually defiled his daughter but also verbally abused her and physically beat her until she was seventeen years old. One such beating caused damage so severe to Kathleen's ear that she was forced to have surgery. Kathleen never spoke of the abuse during ...


High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler Feb 2018

High-Stakes Interpretation, Ryan D. Doerfler

Michigan Law Review

Courts look at text differently in high-stakes cases. Statutory language that would otherwise be “unambiguous” suddenly becomes “less than clear.” This, in turn, frees up courts to sidestep constitutional conflicts, avoid dramatic policy changes, and, more generally, get around undesirable outcomes. The standard account of this behavior is that courts’ failure to recognize “clear” or “unambiguous” meanings in such cases is motivated or disingenuous, and, at best, justified on instrumentalist grounds.

This Article challenges that account. It argues instead that, as a purely epistemic matter, it is more difficult to “know” what a text means—and, hence, more difficult to ...


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...


Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner Jan 2018

Teva And The Process Of Claim Construction, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., R. Polk Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed an oft-discussed jurisprudential disconnect between itself and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: whether patent claim construction was “legal” or “factual” in nature, and how much deference is due to district court decisionmaking in this area. In this Article, we closely examine the Teva opinion and situate it within modern claim construction jurisprudence. Our thesis is that the Teva holding is likely to have only very modest effects on the incidence of deference to district court claim construction but that for unexpected reasons the ...


The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve Jan 2018

The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure turn fifty in 2018. During the Rules’ half-century of existence, the number of federal appeals by self-represented, incarcerated litigants has grown dramatically. This article surveys ways in which the procedure for inmate appeals has evolved over the past 50 years, and examines the challenges of designing procedures with confined litigants in mind. In the initial decades under the Appellate Rules, the most visible developments concerning the procedure for inmate appeals arose from the interplay between court decisions and the federal rulemaking process. But, as court dockets swelled, the circuits also developed local case management ...


Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival Jan 2018

Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Trump Administration is rapidly turning the clock back on climate policy and environmental regulation. Despite overwhelming, peer-reviewed scientific evidence, administration officials eager to promote greater use of fossil fuels are disregarding climate science. This Article argues that this massive and historic deregulation may spawn yet another wave of legal innovation as litigants, including states and their political subdivisions, return to the common law to protect the health of the planet. Prior to the emergence of the major federal environmental laws in the 1970s, the common law of nuisance gave rise to the earliest environmental decisions in U.S. history ...


The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This excerpt from the recently published Shadow Vigilantes book argues that, while vigilantism, even moral vigilantism, can be dangerous to a society, the real danger is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse, but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect ...


Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2018

Still Living After Fifty Years: A Census Of Judicial Review Under The Pennsylvania Constitution Of 1968, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The year 2018 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968. The time seems ripe, therefore, to explore the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review under the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitution. This Article constitutes the first such comprehensive exploration.

The Article begins with an historical overview of the evolution of the Pennsylvania Constitution, culminating in the Constitution of 1968. It then presents a census of the 372 cases in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vindicated distinctive Pennsylvania Constitutional rights under the Constitution of 1968.

Analysis of these cases leads to three conclusions:

1. Exercise of independent ...


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 ...


Assessing The International Criminal Court, Hyeran Jo, Mitchell Radtke, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2018

Assessing The International Criminal Court, Hyeran Jo, Mitchell Radtke, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One of the most important issues surrounding international courts is whether they can further the dual causes of peace and justice. None has been more ambitious in this regard than the International Criminal Court (ICC). And yet the ICC has been the object of a good deal of criticism. Some people claim it has been an expensive use of resources that might have been directed to other purposes. Others claim that its accomplishments are meager because it has managed to try and convict so few people. And many commentators and researchers claim that the Court faces an inherent tension between ...


Undocumented Citizens Of The United States: The Repercussions Of Denying Birth Certificates, Anna L. Lichtenberger Jan 2018

Undocumented Citizens Of The United States: The Repercussions Of Denying Birth Certificates, Anna L. Lichtenberger

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming