In the fourth installment of the Spring 2012 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Matthew Lister, Visiting Assistant Professor at Villanova School of Law, came to speak last week about his paper, Guest-Worker Programs: A Discussion and Partial Defense.
In the paper, Professor Lister argues that a well-crafted guest-worker program is both compatible with liberal principles of justice and likely to form an important part of a sensible immigration policy for the near future. He addresses many of the controversial aspects of guest-worker programs, including how the high potential for abuse seen in earlier programs can be avoided. The paper thus recommends using a well-crafted guest-worker program over restricted borders or nearly open borders as alternatives.
Many thanks to Professor Lister for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the third installment of the Spring 2012 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Richard Albert, Assistant Professor of Law at Boston College, came to speak last week about his paper, Our Amoral Constitution.
In the paper, Professor Albert argues that the United States Constitution has no inherent morality associated with it. He draws from text, theory, history, and political practice to argue that the moral code of the United States Constitution is amoral. The paper illustrates that the Constitution entrenches no final judgment as to right or wrong, good or evil, virtuous or vicious, and that this suggest that the American constitutional tradition is oriented towards process, rather than content. To this end, Prof. Albert argues that there are no limitations, for better or for worse, on what may be amended via Article V, granting the blessing of legitimacy any amendment that successfully navigates the procedural strictures enshrined in the text of the Constitution.
Many thanks to Professor Albert for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the third installment of the Spring 2012 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor john a. powell (lower case), formerly of the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University and presently the Director of the Haas Diversity Research Center and Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley, came to speak last Monday about his recent paper, Beyond Public/Private: Understanding Excessive Corporate Prerogative.
Professor powell makes the argument, in its simplest form, that the expansion and exercise of corporate power coincides with and makes concomitant disempowerment of people of color. Historically, he observes that the Lochner era, which defined and expanded corporate prerogatives, was the same era as Jim Crow, which narrowed the meaning and reach of civil rights. He asserts that the public/private distinction that has been used to establish many of these prerogatives, is flawed. The paper argues that there are four domains: public, private, non-public/non-private, and corporate. Thus, the exercise of excessive corporate prerogative is not only a threat to the public sphere, but the private sphere and the non-public/non-private as well. Ultimately, Prof. powell argues that we cannot achieve racial justice, economic justice, protection of our environment, or enjoy a strong democracy unless we have a realignment of corporations.
Many thanks to Professor powell for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the second installment of the Spring 2012 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor David Skeel, the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, came to speak Monday about the draft of his article, States of Bankruptcy.
The paper discusses the possibility of allowing states to file for bankruptcy. In the article, Professor Skeel makes a case for the creation of a bankruptcy structure for individual states. He outlines that most of the traditional benefits from a bankruptcy framework would potentially exist for states, as well. Such benefits include establishing a more coherent priority structure for state obligations, providing additional restructuring tools, and helping to more equitably distribute the sacrifice of bankruptcy among creditors. Professor Skeel then addresses many of the principal concerns, including the constitutionality of a state bankruptcy and the potential for severley damaging credit ratings bondholder trust. Ultimately, Prof. Skeel concludes that bankruptcy would significantly improve on the existing strategies for dealing with a state’s financial collapse.
Many thanks to Professor Skeel for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the first installment of the Spring 2012 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Tara L. Grove, Assistant Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, came to speak Friday about the draft of her article, The Exceptions Clause as a Structural Safeguard.
The Exceptions Clause of the Constitution, which provides that the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction is subject to “such Exceptions, and … such Regulations as the Congress shall make,” has long been viewed as a threat to the Court’s central constitutional function: establishing definitive and uniform rules of federal law. In the article, Professor Grove argues that the clause has been fundamentally misunderstood. Indeed, she argues that Congress has a strong incentive to use its control over federal jurisdiction to promote the Court’s role in settling disputed federal questions. When the Court’s docket grew unmanageable, Congress used the Exceptions Clause to replace the Court’s mandatory review with discretionary review. Prof. Grove asserts that Congress has used its power to safeguard the Supreme Court’s essential role in the constitutional scheme rather than undermine it.
Many thanks to Professor Grove for visiting W&L and sharing her paper with the faculty.
In the sixth and final installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Greg Lastowka of the Rugters School of Law-Camden, came to speak today about his new book, Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds and amateur creativity.
Professor Lastowka discussed amateur creativity and its growing place in media production. Once viewed as a minor offshoot of creative works, amateurs now create content that rivals professional content. He pointed to the recent news that CNN let go of 50 photographers because amateur photographers are producing similar content for free. Prof. Lastowka then discussed the liability of user-generated content in virtual worlds. Who is responsible if a user creates infringing content using tools provided by the world’s creator? In response, Prof. Lastowka suggested broad means to change copyright that might allow amateur works to flourish, even derivative ones, while protecting professional work.
Many thanks to Professor Lastowka for visiting W&L and sharing his ideas with the faculty.
In the fifth installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Kristin Henning, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown Law, came to speak yesterday about the draft of her article, Criminalizing Normal Adolescent Behavior in Communities of Color.
In the article, Prof. Henning discusses the growing number of criminal actions brought against youths who are engaging in normal adolescent delinquency. While the Supreme Court has recognized youth as a mitigating factor in the criminal justice system, juvenile justice policy appears to be shifting in the opposite direction – enforcing punitive responses rather than a rehabilitative response. She then discusses the disproportionate representation of youth of color in formal charging situations and how the broad discretion afforded to juvenile courts and the confidentiality of the proceedings provide few safeguards against bias and abuse. In the end, she attempts to tie all these concerns together and begin a conversation of how to reform the juvenile system for equal justice across all juveniles.
Many thanks to Professor Henning for visiting W&L and sharing her paper with the faculty.
In the fourth installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Nehal Bhuta, Assistant Professor of International Affairs at The New School for Public Engagement, came to speak today about his article, Rethinking the Universality of Human Rights: A Comparative Historical Proposal for the Idea of “Common Ground” with Other Moral Traditions.
In the article, Prof. Bhuta discusses his approach to finding common ground between Islamic legal thought and practice and the law and practice of international human rights. A common approach is to start from premises about the underlying rationale or purposes of the rules and identify common values and purposes by deduction or induction. The danger, however, is that these premises may be marred by contemporary political thought, skewing the results of the comparison. Therefore, Prof. Bhuta suggests that rather than start from a comparative axiological list of values and norms, the exercise should engage in comparative histories of the present configurations of norms and values. This will relativize both sets of values by trying to grasp their meaning and social significance within specific formations of politics, place and power.
Professor Bhuta’s article will be a chapter in the forthcoming publication, Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground?, to be published by the Oxford University Press in 2012. Many thanks to Professor Bhuta for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the third installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Christopher Tomlins, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, came to speak Friday about his article, After Critical Legal History.
In the paper, Prof. Tomlins outlines his distinct statement of theory and practice for legal history. He starts by supplying a short history of Critical Legal History and critiques its central claims. He then situates his critiques in more general critiques of current modes of critical theorizing and their product. Ultimately, he develops three points of conceptual purchase: scope, scale, and structure.
Many thanks to Professor Tomlins for visiting W&L and sharing his paper with the faculty.
In the second installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Dayna Matthew, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, came to speak today about her book proposal, entitled Heal Our Land: A Behavioral Realist’s Proposal to Reverse Health Disparities in America.
Social science has demonstrated that African-Americans are more likely to receive different and inferior medical treatment from physicians. In the case of a patient presenting chest pains, Prof. Matthew points to studies that indicate they are less likely to receive thrombolysis, adequate pain medication, and a heart transplant. African-Americans are also more likely to be denied insurance coverage for the treatment. She hopes to offer a body of social science evidence in order to understand how the law can better address the injustice of racial and ethnic health disparities. Ultimately, she wants to open the discussion and shape the law to employ regulatory, judicial, and statutory measures that can better respond to the implicit biases.
Many thanks to Professor Matthew for visiting W&L and sharing her ideas with the faculty.