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.
Professor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his article, Did You Hear the One About Chief Justice Burger and the Itinerant Litigant?, 15 Green bag 2d 25 (2011), in The Green Bag Journal of Law.
In the article, Prof. Peppers addresses the topic of Supreme Court humor. Rather than cover humor displayed by the justices, he focuses on the clerks. Prof. Peppers uses original documents and records held by the Powell Archives, housed at the Washington and Lee School of Law. He uncovers a wealth of humor and history during Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.’s tenure on the Court and shares it in the article.