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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Nov 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Michigan Law Review

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Life Cycle Costing And Food Systems: Concepts, Trends, And Challenges Of Impact Valuation, Katherine Fiedler, Steven Lord, Jason J. Czarnezki Oct 2018

Life Cycle Costing And Food Systems: Concepts, Trends, And Challenges Of Impact Valuation, Katherine Fiedler, Steven Lord, Jason J. Czarnezki

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Our global food systems create pervasive environmental, social, and health impacts. Impact valuation is an emerging concept that aims to quantify all environmental, social, and health costs of food systems in an attempt to make the true cost of food more transparent. It also is designed to facilitate the transformation of global food systems. The concept of impact valuation is emerging at the same time as, and partly as a response to, calls for the development of legal mechanisms to address environmental, social, and health concerns. Information has long been understood both as a necessary precursor for regulation and as ...


State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman Oct 2018

State Action And The Constitution's Middle Band, Louis Michael Seidman

Michigan Law Review

On conventional accounts, the state action doctrine is dichotomous. When the government acts, constitutional limits take hold and the government action is invalid if those limits are exceeded. When the government fails to act, the state action doctrine leaves decisions to individuals, who are permitted to violate what would otherwise be constitutional constraints.

It turns out though that the modern state action doctrine creates three rather than two domains. There is indeed a private, inner band where there is thought to be insufficient government action to trigger constitutional constraints, but often there is also a public, outer band where there ...


Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane Sep 2018

Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Antitrust law stands at its most fluid and negotiable moment in a generation. The bipartisan consensus that antitrust should solely focus on economic efficiency and consumer welfare has quite suddenly come under attack from prominent voices calling for a dramatically enhanced role for antitrust law in mediating a variety of social, economic, and political friction points, including employment, wealth inequality, data privacy and security, and democratic values. To the bewilderment of many observers, the ascendant pressures for antitrust reforms are flowing from both wings of the political spectrum, throwing into confusion a conventional understanding that pro-antitrust sentiment tacked left and ...


Why Is It Wrong To Punish Thought?, Gabriel S. Mendlow Jun 2018

Why Is It Wrong To Punish Thought?, Gabriel S. Mendlow

Articles

It’s a venerable maxim of criminal jurisprudence that the state must never punish people for their mere thoughts—for their beliefs, desires, fantasies, and unexecuted intentions. This maxim is all but unquestioned, yet its true justification is something of a mystery. In this Essay, I argue that each of the prevailing justifications is deficient, and I conclude by proposing a novel one. The proposed justification captures the widely shared intuition that punishing a person for her mere thoughts isn’t simply disfavored by the balance of reasons but is morally wrongful in itself, an intrinsic (i.e., consequence-independent) injustice ...


Fourth Amendment Fairness, Richard M. Re Jun 2018

Fourth Amendment Fairness, Richard M. Re

Michigan Law Review

Fourth Amendment doctrine is attentive to a wide range of interests, including security, informational privacy, and dignity. How should courts reconcile these competing concerns when deciding which searches and seizures are “unreasonable”? Current doctrine typically answers this question by pointing to interest aggregation: the various interests at stake are added up, placed on figurative scales, and compared, with the goal of promoting overall social welfare. But interest aggregation is disconnected from many settled doctrinal rules and leads to results that are unfair for individuals. The main alternative is originalism; but historical sources themselves suggest that the Fourth Amendment calls for ...


The People Against The Constitution, Aziz Z. Huq Apr 2018

The People Against The Constitution, Aziz Z. Huq

Michigan Law Review

A review of Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism?.


Use Your Words: On The "Speech" In "Freedom Of Speech", Leslie Kendrick Mar 2018

Use Your Words: On The "Speech" In "Freedom Of Speech", Leslie Kendrick

Michigan Law Review

Freedom of speech occupies a special place in American society. But what counts as “speech” is a contentious issue. In countless cases, courts struggle to distinguish highly protected speech from easily regulated economic activity. Skeptics view this struggle as evidence that speech is, in fact, not distinguishable from other forms of activity.

This Article refutes that view. It argues that speech is indeed distinct from other forms of activity, and that even accounts that deny this distinction actually admit it. It then argues that the features that make speech distinctive as a phenomenon also make it distinctive as a normative ...


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 ...


Beat It: Tax Reform And Tax Treaties, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2018

Beat It: Tax Reform And Tax Treaties, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes several provisions that may be viewed as potential violations of US tax treaties. However, most of those potential violations, such as new IRC section 951A and to a large extent new IRC section 59A, are covered by the Savings Clause (US model article 1(4)). The only remaining question is whether IRC section 59A (the “Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax”, or BEAT) violates the non-discrimination provision (article 24), which is exempted from the Savings Clause. The answer is no, because foreign related parties are not comparable to US related parties receiving interest or ...


How Terrible Is The New Tax Law? Reflections On Tra17, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2018

How Terrible Is The New Tax Law? Reflections On Tra17, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

Overall, TRA17 is not much worse than TRA86 or TRA14. It increases the deficit, but not by an impossible amount; it is distributionally skewed, but less so than is usually assumed; and its details are not terrible (on the international side they are a big improvement over prior law). There is one big problem, the pass through provisions, and we can only hope that as its horrible implications unfold it will be a prime candidate for repeal.


The Elephant Always Forgets: Tax Reform And The Wto, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2018

The Elephant Always Forgets: Tax Reform And The Wto, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The “Tax Cuts and Jobs ACT” (TCJA) enacted on December 22, 2017, includes several provisions that raise WTO compliance issues. At least one such provision, the Foreign-Derived Intangible Income (FDII) rule, is almost certain to draw a challenge in the WTO and is likely to lead to another US loss and resulting sanctions. This outcome would be another addition to the repeated losses suffered by the US for export subsidies from the 1970s to 2004, which led to the imposition of sanctions and the ultimate repeal of the offending regime. The important question for 2018 and beyond is whether the ...


Understanding Administrative Sanctioning As Corrective Justice, Eithan Y. Kidron Jan 2018

Understanding Administrative Sanctioning As Corrective Justice, Eithan Y. Kidron

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

When should a regulator prefer criminal sanctions over administrative sanctions? What procedural protections should apply if a process is labeled civil but the sanctions are, in fact, criminal in type? And can the state justifiably conduct parallel proceedings for punitive sanctions against the same person or entity for the same conduct?

Throughout the years, judges and scholars alike have tried to understand and classify administrative sanctioning. Common to all of these conceptions is their failure to provide a complete normative framework for this unique body of law, which in turn makes it difficult to identify its practical limits and to ...


Stock Market Manipulation And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel Rauterberg Jan 2018

Stock Market Manipulation And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel Rauterberg

Articles

More than eighty years after federal law first addressed stock market manipulation, the federal courts remain fractured by disagreement and confusion concerning manipulation law's most foundational issues. There remains, for example, a sharp split among the federal circuits concerning manipulation law's central question: Whether trading activity alone can ever be considered illegal manipulation under federal law? Academics have been similarly confused-economists and legal scholars cannot agree on whether manipulation is even possible in principle, let alone on how to properly address it in practice.


A Theory Of Constructive Interpretation For Customary International Law Identification, Nadia Banteka Jan 2018

A Theory Of Constructive Interpretation For Customary International Law Identification, Nadia Banteka

Michigan Journal of International Law

Scholars and judicial practice have long debated the nature of customary international law (“CIL”) as a source of international law, including its normative identification. Existing approaches to CIL identification largely follow the methods of induction and deduction. However, these methods are only two ends of a spectrum, and international law has yet to engage systematically with other methodological approaches that lay within this spectrum. This Article introduces a mid-spectrum approach by applying the theory of constructive interpretation to CIL identification. The Article introduces the guiding principles of constructive interpretation, examines the process of constructive interpretation in the abstract, and applies ...