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Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Dec 2017

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Major legislative actions during the early part of the 115th Congress have undermined the central argument for regulatory reform measures such as the REINS Act, a bill that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations. Proponents of the REINS Act argue that it would make the federal regulatory system more democratic by shifting responsibility for regulatory decisions away from unelected bureaucrats and toward the people’s representatives in Congress. But separate legislative actions in the opening of the 115th Congress only call this argument into question. Congress’s most significant initiatives during this period — its derailed attempts to ...


Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2017

Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The notion of “democratizing criminal law” has an initial appeal because, after all, we believe in the importance of democracy and because criminal law is so important – it protects us from the most egregious wrongs and is the vehicle by which we allow the most serious governmental intrusions in the lives of individuals. Given criminal law’s special status, isn’t it appropriate that this most important and most intrusive governmental power be subject to the constraints of democratic determination?

But perhaps the initial appeal of this grand principle must give way to practical realities. As much as we are ...


The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Aug 2016

The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Sean Farhang

This article is part of a larger project to study the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law from an institutional perspective. In a series of articles emerging from the project, we show how the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court (wielding both judicial power under Article III of the Constitution and delegated legislative power under the Rules Enabling Act) fared in efforts to reverse or dull the effects of statutory and other incentives for private enforcement. An institutional perspective helps to explain the outcome we document: the long-term erosion of the infrastructure of private enforcement as a result of ...


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S ...


Is Government Really Broken?, Cary Coglianese Jan 2016

Is Government Really Broken?, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The widespread public angst that surfaced around the 2016 presidential election in the United States revealed that many Americans believe their government has become badly broken. Given the serious problems that continue to persist in society—crime, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, discrimination, and more—these beliefs in a government breakdown are understandable. Yet a breakdown is actually far from self-evident. In this paper, I explain how diagnoses of governmental performance depend on the perspective from which current conditions in the country are viewed. Certainly when judged against a standard of perfection, America has a long way to go. But perfection is ...


The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2016

The Subterranean Counterrevolution: The Supreme Court, The Media, And Litigation Retrenchment, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is part of a larger project to study the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law from an institutional perspective. In a series of articles emerging from the project, we show how the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court (wielding both judicial power under Article III of the Constitution and delegated legislative power under the Rules Enabling Act) fared in efforts to reverse or dull the effects of statutory and other incentives for private enforcement. An institutional perspective helps to explain the outcome we document: the long-term erosion of the infrastructure of private enforcement as a result of ...


A Quantum Congress, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2014

A Quantum Congress, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

This article tries to address the problem of a corrupt and broken electoral system that has been captured by special interests through big money spending in political campaigns, while at the same time preserving the spirit of the Free Speech Clause of our Constitution. In doing so, this article first reviews and summarizes the different alternatives proposed as potential fixes for the campaign finance problem. It then explains why none of the proposed alternatives can accomplish the dual goals set out above. Finally, the article briefly sketches a proposal for a fundamental reworking of our representative democracy by substituting legislative ...


Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent Aug 2014

Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent

Doctoral Dissertations

What do community interpreting for the Deaf in western societies, conference interpreting for the European Parliament, and language brokering in international management have in common? Academic research and professional training have historically emphasized the linguistic and cognitive challenges of interpreting, neglecting or ignoring the social aspects that structure communication. All forms of interpreting are inherently social; they involve relationships among at least three people and two languages. The contexts explored here, American Sign Language/English interpreting and spoken language interpreting within the European Parliament, show that simultaneous interpreting involves attitudes, norms and values about intercultural communication that overemphasize information and ...


Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...


Neoliberalism And The Law: How Historical Materialism Can Illuminate Recent Governmental And Judicial Decision Making, Justin Schwartz Jan 2013

Neoliberalism And The Law: How Historical Materialism Can Illuminate Recent Governmental And Judicial Decision Making, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Neoliberalism can be understood as the deregulation of the economy from political control by deliberate action or inaction of the state. As such it is both constituted by the law and deeply affects it. I show how the methods of historical materialism can illuminate this phenomenon in all three branches of the the U.S. government. Considering the example the global financial crisis of 2007-08 that began with the housing bubble developing from trade in unregulated and overvalued mortgage backed securities, I show how the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which established a firewall between commercial and investment banking, allowed ...


Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Jan 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...


The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of common law copyright in Wheaton v. Peters and the more specific codification by the Copyright Act of 1976, courts have continued to play an active role in determining the scope of copyright. Four areas of continuing judicial innovation include fair use, misuse, third-party liability, and the first sale doctrine. Some commentators have advocated broad judicial power to revise and overturn statutes. Such sweeping judicial power is hard to reconcile with the democratic commitment to legislative supremacy. At the other extreme are those that view codification as completely displacing courts’ authority to develop legal ...


Atlantean Prose And The Search For Democracy, Nick J. Sciullo Dec 2008

Atlantean Prose And The Search For Democracy, Nick J. Sciullo

Nick J. Sciullo

Atlantis, the Lost City, has been a focal point of folklore, archeological inquiry, literary criticism, and mystic interpretation. It has boggled the brilliant, confused scientists, and sparked the interest of children. "Skeptics, archaeologists, geologists, and anthropologists may rant and rave, but the myth of Atlantis endures. In every generation, someone emerges to champion the cause and to embroider the story." But the significance of Atlantean prose as an avenue through which to best understand critical legal thought has not been explored in depth. To be sure, there have been numerous books, articles, and opinions analyzing Atlantis, but little attention has ...