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Library of Congress Introduces Site Intended to Replace Thomas.gov

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The Library of Congress recently unveiled Congress.gov, a legislative information site that is intended to eventually replace Thomas.gov, the entity’s existing research site.

According to Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites, Congress.gov will have better search features and is designed to be more user friendly. It will also be easier to use on mobile devices.

Announced by the Library of Congress Sept. 19, the beta site includes legislation dating back to 2001 and profiles of Congress members. In the next few years, LawSites reports, the Congressional Record, Congressional Reports, Congressional Record Index and House and Senate calendars will be available on Congress.gov.

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Call for Papers: 100 Years Under the Income Tax

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

April 5, 2013 Northwestern University School of Law Tax Program, Chicago, Illinois

The Northwestern University School of Law Tax Program and the Northwestern University Law Review will host a symposium on the income tax, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment.

OVERVIEW: The symposium will consider not only the history and future of income as a tax base, but also its effect and future impact on various legal, social and political institutions. Topics of particular interest would include:
– The effect of the income tax on other substantive areas of law, including property, business associations, marital property law, and contracts;
– The effect of the income tax on social institutions including marriage, and other family relations;
– The effect of the income tax on the ways in which capital is accumulated and transferred.

We solicit the submission of unpublished papers addressing the evolution of the income tax over time, as well as its effect on legal, social and political institutions. Selected papers will appear in the Northwestern University Law Review.

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Preference will be given to unpublished works near completion; abstracts of no less than 750 words of works in progress may also be considered.

Please submit drafts as PDF documents no later than October 15, 2012 to: Prof. Charlotte Crane, ccrane@law.northwestern.edu

FURTHER INFORMATION: Decisions regarding the symposium program will be made by November 15, 2012. General inquiries regarding the conference should be directed to Charlotte Crane at the above address, or Michael Cooper at michael-cooper@law.northwestern.edu

Additional information regarding the Symposium can be found at: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/journals/lawreview/symposia.html

Call for Papers: New Voices in Administrative Law

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The AALS Administrative Law Section is pleased to host the first annual “New Voices in Administrative Law” program during the 2013 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. This purpose of this works-in-progress program is to bring together junior and senior administrative law scholars to help the junior scholars ready papers for the spring 2013 law review submission cycle.

For this program, we are seeking submissions from administrative law scholars with seven or fewer years of full-time teaching experience (not counting the 2012-13 academic year). Submissions should be drafts of papers relating to administrative law or regulatory practice that are near completion and expected to be submitted for the spring 2013 law review submission cycle.

To be considered for participation in the program, please send an email to Professor Jeffrey Lubbers, Chair Administrative Law Section, Washington College of Law, American University atJSL26@aol.com  and to Professor/Associate Director of the Association of American Law Schools Linda Jellum at ljellum@aals.org by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, October 12, 2012. In your email, please include the title of your paper, a short description of the context (e.g., “Rulemaking in the European Union”), and a full abstract. Full-time faculty members of AALS member schools, who have been teaching for seven or fewer years as of July 1, 2012, are eligible to submit papers. Sorry, foreign faculty, visiting faculty (who are not full-time on a member school faculty), faculty at non-member schools, adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and fellows are not eligible to submit.

To ensure an atmosphere conducive to feedback, space will be limited to 15 participants; any additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list and invited to participate on a space available basis only. Those individuals accepted into the program must submit a complete draft by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, November 30, 2012. Please submit your drafts electronically to the email addresses above. The draft should be accompanied by a cover letter with the author’s name, contact information, and confirmation that the submission meets the criteria identified in this call of papers. Submissions are limited to a maximum 40,000 word limit (including footnotes). Since this is a works-in-progress opportunity, submitted papers can be committed for publication prior to their submission, as long as they are not actually scheduled to be printed prior to May 1, 2013. Each professor may submit only one paper for consideration. No papers will be accepted after the deadline, and no one can participate without submitting a complete draft by the deadline above.

Professor Robin Wilson to Appear on Panel at Contraception and Conscience Symposium at Georgetown

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Contraception and Conscience:  A Symposium on Religious Liberty, Women’s Health, and the HHS Rule on Provision of Birth Control Coverage for Employees

Georgetown University Law Center


Friday, September 21, 2012
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

A conference examining the legal, theological, health, equality, and ethical issues relating to the recent Rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on “Coverage of Preventive Services Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
 
The symposium brings together legal, religious, and cultural scholars and practitioners for a day-long conversation about the increasingly contentious public debate surrounding the HHS Rule requiring employers to subsidize preventive health services for employees, the religious accommodations in the HHS rule, and the lawsuits filed by religious objectors challenging the rule.

Continental Breakfast—8:30-9:00

Introduction—9:00-9:10

Dean William M. Treanor, Georgetown University Law Center



Panel One – 9:10-10:45

The Legal Challenges to the HHS Contraception Rule.  What is the nature of the HHS Rule and its religious accommodations?  What is the status of the more than two dozen lawsuits challenging the HHS Rule?  How are the courts likely to resolve the statutory and constitutional issues?  How do claims of religious conscience apply to institutional employers, including for-profit employers?  What are the relevant state interests—should the Rule be viewed as simply about enabling access to preventive health care, or also about ensuring equality in the workplace?  How do these cases reflect broader trends in the development of the law of religious liberty?  How should HHS frame its promised additional religious accommodation?

Panelists: 
Martin Lederman, Georgetown University Law Center
; Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union; 
Melissa Rogers,Wake Forest University Divinity School, Center for Religion and Public Affairs; 
Robert Vischer, University of St. Thomas School of Law; 
Lori Windham, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Panel Two – 11:00-12:45

What is the Burden on Religious Exercise? Does the HHS Rule put religious employers to an untenable choice between obeying the law and honoring religious obligations, and if so, how?  Does it require individuals or entities to “cooperate with evil” in a manner that their faith forbids?  Does compliance with the law prevent them from “bearing witness” to their faith or create “scandal” by conveying endorsement of activities to which the employer morally objects?

Panelists: 
Lisa Sowle Cahill, Boston College 
Patrick Deneen, University of Notre Dame
; Cathleen Kaveny, University of Notre Dame; 
Michael Kessler, Georgetown University
; John Langan, S.J., Georgetown University; 
Robert Tuttle, George Washington University School of Law

Panel Three – 2:15-4:00

A Broader Focus.  How and why did this particular issue engender such concern and controversy?  What are the historical antecedents?  What does it tell us about how religious communities and institutions (especially those involved in provision of education and social services) can and should navigate rapidly changing norms in the public square?   What are the implications of this debate for preventive health services?  For women’s equality in the workplace and elsewhere in public life?  What are the ethical implications for physicians and other health-care providers?

Panelists: 
Gregg Bloche, Georgetown University Law Center; 
Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University
; Eduardo Peñalver, Cornell University Law School; 
Robin West, Georgetown University Law Center
; Robin Fretwell Wilson, Washington & Lee University School of Law

Please RSVP by September 19 to rsvp2@law.georgetown.edu

The conference is co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Center and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.  It is made possible through a grant from the Ford Foundation.

W&L Law Prof. Christopher Bruner on Russian Corporate Law Reform

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment

The following post comes from W&L Law professor Christopher Bruner. Bruner’s teaching and scholarship focuses on corporate law and securities regulation, including international and comparative dimensions of these subjects. Below, Bruner details his recent trip to Russia as part a team of corporate law experts to discuss corporate and securities law with lawyers and government representatives of the Russian Federation. 

Christopher Bruner

Christopher Bruner

During the week of September 10, I traveled to Russia with a delegation of corporate law experts to participate in events hosted by the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation.  The delegation also included Justice Henry duPont Ridgely of the Supreme Court of Delaware (the jurisdiction of incorporation for most U.S. public companies), as well as Roger Magnuson, a partner and Head of the National Strategic Litigation Group at Dorsey & Whitney, and Matthew Elkin, a corporate transactional partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius with substantial experience in cross-border investment.  The trip was sponsored by the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), a foundation funded by the U.S. government to promote Russia’s transition to a market economy.  This was my second USRF-sponsored trip to Russia (having traveled to Moscow and Rostov-on-Don in the same capacity in 2010), and my first trip around the world in a single week.  While circumnavigating the globe in eight days on five airlines is not a sustainable travel schedule, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

We began in Moscow, where we met with practicing corporate and securities lawyers to discuss their experiences with the commercial court system and their perceptions of Russian corporate law reform.  We then traveled to Vladivostok, the largest city in far eastern Russia and the country’s principal Pacific port,located approximately 40 miles from China and 80 miles from North Korea.  The city had recently hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, and the scope of infrastructural investment made in anticipation of APEC’s arrival was impressive, including a modernized airport and reconstructed highway connecting it to the city;new bridges,one of which connecting the city to nearby Russky Island now boasts the longest suspended section of any bridge in the world; a new university campus on Russky Island where APEC met, and which Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University will soon inhabit; and a natural gas pipeline from Sakhalin to fuel further growth.  It is eminently clear that Russia is turning its eyes to the Pacific – particularly having achieved its long-sought membership in the World Trade Organization in August – and that economic development in and around Vladivostok figures centrally in Russia’s larger strategic goals. 

While in Vladivostok we met with U.S. Consul General Sylvia Reed Curran to discuss business conditions in Russia’s far east, and toured the 5th Appellate Commercial Court.  While burdensome bureaucracy and official corruption in Russia remain widespread, and a substantial impediment to foreign investment, our hosts at the 5th Appellate Commercial Court took great, and justifiable, pride in the development of new technological capabilities and procedures that will genuinely improve the efficiency and transparency of their commercial court system. 

We then participated in two events at the invitation of the Supreme Commercial Court.  The first, hosted by the 5th Appellate Commercial Court, was a corporate law seminar for commercial court judges.  The seminar included judges from the Supreme Commercial Court, as well as the 5th Appellate Commercial Court and the Commercial Court for the Primorsky Region.  At this seminar we focused on topics requested by our Russian counterparts, mainly relating to investor remedies for wrongdoing by corporate managers and controlling shareholders.  I spoke about U.S. shareholders’ access to, and statutory right to demand, information relating to a corporation’s business activities – a topic of substantial interest to our counterparts in Russia, where abuse of minority shareholders in privately held companies remains widespread and legal protections continue to take shape. 

The next day we participated in an “Asia-Pacific Region Forum,” an event hosted annually by the Supreme Commercial Court since 2007 “to share experience,study the novelties in the legal and economic systems of the countries of the region and to discuss vital issues of the judicial protection of rights”.  Titled “Corporate Law: Best Practices for Regulation and Resolution of Disputes,”the Forum included judges from the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China,the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Supreme Court of Singapore;representatives from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Corporate Affairs Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); as well as practitioners and scholars from a number of countries. 

At the Forum I presented my recent scholarship on post-crisis U.S. corporate governance reforms, describing the on-going challenges we face here in America in seeking to identify and implement corporate governance structures properly calibrating financial risk incentives, and emphasizing how corporate governance dynamics differ in financial firms due to greater concerns about risk-taking.  I then moderated a panel on cross-border corporate relations, which emphasized dynamics of regulatory competition among countries.  This is a complex topic of substantial interest to our Russian counterparts, who genuinely value exposure to foreign regulatory models as they seek to improve their own corporate governance system, yet, like other countries, face the challenge of maintaining regulatory autonomy in an age of increasingly mobile investment capital. 

My involvement with USRF and acquaintance with judges and other representatives of Russia’s Supreme Commercial Court remain fascinating and deeply rewarding.  In evaluating Russia’s corporate legal system it is critical to remind ourselves that, until the 1990s, this was a centrally planned economy with a strongly authoritarian governmental structure.  While the challenges faced by Russia’s corporate law reformers remain substantial, I continue to be deeply impressed with their creativity and genuine openness to new ideas – to which I attribute the extraordinary progress they have made in laying the groundwork for a functional market economy in the historically brief post-Soviet period.

Call for Papers: GW Law Junior Business Scholars Workshop

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment

The Center for Law, Economics & Finance (C-LEAF) at The George Washington University Law School is pleased to announce its third annual Junior Faculty Business and Financial Law Workshop and Junior Faculty Scholarship Prizes.  The Workshop and Prizes are sponsored by Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. The Workshop will be held on April 5-6, 2013 at GW Law School in Washington, DC.

The Workshop supports and recognizes the work of young legal scholars in accounting, banking, bankruptcy, corporations, economics, finance and securities, while promoting interaction among them and selected senior faculty. By providing a forum for the exchange of creative ideas in these areas, C-LEAF also aims to encourage new and innovative scholarship.

Approximately ten papers will be chosen from those submitted for presentation at the Workshop pursuant to this Call for Papers. At the Workshop, one or more senior scholars will comment on each paper, followed by a general discussion of each paper among all participants. The Workshop audience will include invited young scholars, faculty from GW’s Law School and Business School, faculty from other institutions, and invited guests.

At the conclusion of the Workshop, three papers will be selected to receive Junior Faculty Scholarship Prizes of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively.  All prize winners will be invited to become Fellows of C-LEAF.* C-LEAF makes no publication commitment, but chosen papers will be featured on its website as part of the C-LEAF Working Paper series.

Junior scholars who have not yet received tenure, but have held a full-time academic appointment for less than seven years as of the submission date, are cordially invited to submit summaries or drafts of their papers.  Although published work is not eligible for submission, submissions may include work that has been accepted for publication. C-LEAF will cover hotel and meal expenses of all selected presenters.

Those interested in presenting a paper at the Workshop should submit a summary or draft, preferably by e-mail, on or before November 9, 2012.  To facilitate blind review, your name and other identifying information should be redacted from your paper submission.  Direct your submission, along with any inquiries related to the Workshop, to:

Professor Lisa M. Fairfax
Leroy Sorenson Merrifield Research Professor of Law
George Washington University Law School
2000 H Street, NW
WashingtonDC 20052
lfairfax@law.gwu.edu
 

Papers and Junior Faculty Scholarship Prizes will be selected after a blind review by members of the C-LEAF Executive Board. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by December 14, 2012. Please feel free to pass this Call for Papers along to any colleagues who may be interested.

NYU Law Review Switches From ExpressO to Scholastica

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Here’s something just in from the NYU Law Review:

Dear Authors,

The New York University Law Review is excited to announce that we will be transitioning to a new article submission service. Starting with our next submission cycle in February 2013, we will only accept submissions through Scholastica (www.scholasticahq.com) and will no longer accept submissions through ExpressO.

Institutions can create accounts to pay for their authors’ submissions to Scholastica, so authors affiliated with law schools will have the same payment experience they have had on ExpressO. Scholastica is committed to ensuring that authors are able to submit articles regardless of institutional support and will consider requests for fee waivers and other accommodations (info@scholasticahq.com). Additional information about Scholastica is available atwww.scholasticahq.com/law_reviews.

We look forward to reviewing your scholarship in the future and hope that you will continue to submit to our journal.

Sincerely,

Yan Cao
Editor-in-Chief
New York University Law Review

Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Call for Papers

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) invites the submission of papers in response to its annual Call for Papers.  As in the past, those who submit the best papers will be asked to present them at our next annual meeting which is scheduled for The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida, from August 4 – 10, 2013, and will receive a plaque commemorating their achievement.

Submissions may be on any topic related to law and may involve either an unpublished paper or an abstract.  However, in the past, the panel of judges has tended to favor completed papers over promising abstracts.

The submission deadline is December 1, 2012, and notifications will be made by February 1, 2013.  Submissions can be made by e-mailing a copy of your work to me.

If you have questions about the Call for Papers, please feel free to contact Russell Weaver by phone (502-852-6559), fax (502-852-0862) or e-mail (russ.weaver@louisville.edu).

Call for Applications: Law & Economics Workshops at George Mason

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies
2013 LEC Workshops for Law Professors

 

The George Mason Law & Economics Center invites applications for the following five 2013 Workshops for Law Professors. Each Workshop offers a unique opportunity to join colleagues from around the country to learn from some of the most well-respected scholars in the law-and-economics field. There is no tuition, and all but one program provides hotel rooms and group meals at no expense to the professors. The LEC will begin reviewing applications on October 15, 2012.

LEC Workshop for Law Professors on the Economics of Contracting
January 25-28, 2013
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL

LEC Workshop for Law Professors on the Economics of Litigation and Civil Procedure
January 25-28, 2013
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL

LEC Workshop for Law Professors on Public Choice Economics
January 25-28, 2013
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL

LEC Workshop for Law Professors on Empirical Methods
May 20-24, 2013
George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, VA

LEC Economics Institute for Law Professors
July 7-19, 2013
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, CO
If you have questions, please call or send an email to Jeff Smith, Coordinator, Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies, at 703.993.8382 or jsmithq@gmu.edu.

Professor Robin Wilson and W&L Law Alumnus Anthony Kreis on Perry v. Brown

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a recent commentary by Professor Robin Wilson and W&L Law alumnus Anthony Kreis featured on SCOTUSblog addressing same-sex marriage and Perry v. Brown:

The overlooked benefit of leaving Perry in place

 

Few decisions are so roundly criticized as the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Perry v. BrownSame-sex marriage opponents predictably called it a form of “judicial tyranny” while some marriage proponents described it as “dishonest and foolish.”  If the Supreme Court denies certiorari, it will likely satisfy neither side fully.

However, the denial of cert. would have the singular benefit, as the City of San Francisco suggests in its brief in opposition, of allowing the “significant constitutional questions” surrounding same-sex marriage to “percolate . . . [so that the] ‘perspective of time’ helps to shed more light on the weighty issues they present.” The need for percolation is particularly imperative because, as the city highlights, “this case raises issues that are currently the subject of intense legislative and popular debate.”

Not least among the issues being resolved by the state legislatures that have considered and sometimes recognized same-sex marriage legislatively is how best to balance compelling societal interests in our plural democratic society when recognizing same-sex marriage.

Through sometimes bruising legislative battles, nuanced laws recognizing same-sex marriage have been crafted in seven jurisdictions, where legislators have acknowledgedtwo compelling values – marriage equality and religious liberty.

These states have all acknowledged the impact of same-sex marriage laws on a wide swath of society that adheres to a heterosexual view of marriage. Each law provides religious liberty protections to the clergy, but then reaches beyond guarantees given by the First Amendment. A core of protections has emerged for religious organizations and individuals who cannot celebrate or facilitate any marriage when doing so would violate their religious convictions.

Although each law describes the exempt activities in slightly different terms, they generally allow objecting religious institutions and religious non-profits to step aside from providing “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if … related to the solemnization of a marriage [or] the celebration of a marriage.”  These statutes insulate religious organizations from civil suits for refusing to celebrate marriages, while six of the seven explicitly protect such organizations from punishment at the hands of the government.

All insulate religious not-for-profits, like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army, from the duty to celebrate or solemnize marriages that violate their religious tenets. Four extend these protections to benevolent religious organizations, like the Knights of Columbus, or to religious groups that sponsor marriage retreats or provide housing for married individuals. In New York, New Hampshire, and Washington, individual employees of these groups receive protection, too. Although many provisions were cobbled together in the pressure cooker of short legislative sessions and so are far from perfect, they nonetheless sweep far beyond the church sanctuary, providing accommodations that exceed what most scholars believe would be constitutionally demanded.

While accommodations obviously benefit religious objectors, accommodations have also become a pathway to social change for same-sex marriage advocates.  Indeed, as the legislators responsible for this legislation explain, marriage equality has shared an inseparable fate with religious liberty protections.

In New York, Maryland, and Washington, religious accommodations helped same-sex marriage advocates secure long-sought victories. Only months before the successful legislation, proposed legislation offering “faux” protections only to the clergy – who simply do not need it – failed to garner sufficient support  in all three states. After Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s same-sex marriage law in the summer of 2011, The New York Times observed that the religious exemptions were:

 just a few paragraphs, but they proved to be the most microscopically examined and debated — and the most pivotal — in the battle over same-sex marriage…. Language that Republican senators inserted into the bill legalizing same-sex marriage provided more expansive protections for religious organizations and helped pull the legislation over the finish line Friday night.

Others took note, like Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire.  Working with members of the legislature, Governor Gregoire drafted her own same-sex marriage legislation containing much more expansive religious liberty provisions than introducedpreviously.  Governor Gregoire said in a telephone interview:

I looked at what New York had done.  I worked with our gay community.  I told them that that was the only way I would introduce the bill.  There were some people who wanted to compromise on [the religious liberty protections] in the future.  But I said, “No,” that this was in part a reflection of my evolution on the issue, and it wasn’t compromisable.

As in New York and Washington, in Maryland religious liberty exemptions shifted the question for some legislators from whether to embrace marriage equality to howto balance that good with religious liberty.That shift resulted in successful legislation in 2012 where it had failed in 2011.  Speaker Busch of the Maryland House of Delegates said in an interview that revamped, more expansive religious liberty protections made the difference:

We didn’t want to inhibit any religious organization from practicing their beliefs.  One of the issues was the adoption issue.  We wanted to make sure we didn’t impede on the Catholic Church for adoption services.  … I know for a fact that for two or three delegates [including religious liberty protections] was an important component in their decision to vote for it.

Even in the earliest fights over same-sex marriage, religious liberty protections proved vital. In 2009, the New Hampshire House and Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill without meaningful religious liberty protections, by razor-thin majorities. Governor John Lynch then warned legislators, “If the legislature passes [religious liberty protections], I will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law. If the legislature doesn’t pass these provisions, I will veto it.” The legislature heeded his caution and New Hampshire has same-sex marriage today, notwithstanding later efforts to repeal that legislation.

Contrast these legislative victories with the defeat in Maine. There, Maine legislators stubbornly refused to include religious liberty protections in its 2009 same-sex marriage legislation. They enacted a law that allowed religious institutions to control their religious doctrines and protected clergy and authorized celebrants from fines or other penalties for refusing to “join persons in marriage.” It provided no other protection.

Later that year, Maine voters narrowly rejected Maine’s same-sex marriage law in a people’s veto –fifty-three percent to forty-seven percent. One way to read Maine’s experience is that same-sex marriage laws without meaningful religious liberty protections makes making the case for same-sex marriage much more difficult.

Whatever else may be said of leaving the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Perry intact, it will allow legislators in DelawareIllinoisNew JerseyRhode Island, and California to build on this burgeoning story of compromise – and that is a good thing for same-sex marriage supporters and opponents alike.

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