Now showing items 21-40 of 11950

    • In Search of the Public Interest

      Short, Jodi L. (2023)
      “Public interest” standards in statutory delegations to agencies represent the greatest hopes and the darkest fears of the U.S. administrative state. On the one hand, the public interest standard provides a vessel for agencies to infuse policymaking with the moral and ethical commitments of the community. On the other hand, regulation in the public interest opens the door to the arbitrary exercise of tyrannical state power. Despite the lofty aspirations and ominous warnings about regulation in the public interest, little is known about how agencies actually decide what is in the public interest when charged by statute to do so. This Article seeks to move beyond the rhetoric surrounding regulation in the public interest by conducting a grounded inquiry into how agencies implement public interest standards in the statutes they administer. Using data from agency adjudications under four different statutory schemes dating from the early twentieth century to the present, the study investigates how agencies define the public interest, whether agencies use public interest standards with unfettered discretion based on whatever criteria they wish (as some fear), and whether agencies apply public interest standards in ways that infuse policy making with common good or community values (as some hope).
    • The Whistleblower Industrial Complex

      Platt, Alexander I. (2023)
      Although the whistleblower programs (WBPs) created by Dodd-Frank have received universal acclaim, little is known about how they actually work. In 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received an average of forty-nine whistleblower tips every workday. Success depends on sifting through this avalanche of tips to determine which ones to investigate. To date, however, the tip-sifting process has been entirely shrouded in secrecy. This Article breaks new ground. It offers a rare look inside the WBPs administered by both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), shining a bright light on the critical role played by private whistleblower attorneys in the tip-sifting process. Using a new dataset comprised of information I obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, I find (among other things) that tipsters represented by lawyers appear to significantly outperform unrepresented ones, repeat-player lawyers appear to outperform first-timers, and lawyers who used to work at the SEC appear to outperform just about everybody. The upshot is that the SEC and CFTC have effectively privatized the tip-sifting function at the core of the WBPs. Private lawyers have earned hundreds of millions of dollars in fees from these programs, with a disproportionate share going to a concentrated group of well-connected, repeat players. Unlike traditional plaintiff-side securities attorneys and attorneys who represent clients seeking government payments in many other contexts, private whistleblower lawyers operate free from virtually all public accountability, transparency, or regulation. I highlight significant efficiency and accountability deficits imposed by this private outsourcing program and propose reforms to realign these private actors with the public interest.
    • Equal Treatment Agreements: Theory, Evidence & Policy

      Petrucci, Caley (2023)
      While the rise of dual-class companies—companies like Facebook, Google, and Visa, which have two or more classes of common stock that differ in voting rights—has been widely observed over the past decade, prior commentators have largely overlooked the important “equal treatment” agreements that are embedded in many dual-class charters. Equal treatment agreements require that stockholders are treated equally, for example by ensuring that all stockholders receive the same consideration per share in the sale of the company, thereby potentially taking away one of the most important benefits of holding the high-vote shares. Using an original database of 312 dual-class charters and their equal treatment agreements, this Article is the first to conduct a robust empirical analysis of equal (and unequal) treatment agreements in dual-class companies. As a policy matter, the Article identifies when such structures are desirable and efficient from a law-and-economics perspective. In doing so, this Article highlights certain agreements (which I term “unequal treatment agreements”) that require equal treatment except for a fixed proportion of disparate consideration as promising structures to facilitate efficient deals, deter inefficient deals, and manage moral hazard. Based on this analysis, the Article provides implications for stakeholders including founders, investors, practitioners, and courts.
    • The Corporate Governance of Public Utilities

      Kovvali, Aneil; Macey, Joshua C. (2023)
      Rate-regulated public utilities own and operate one-third of U.S generators and nearly all the transmission and distribution system. These firms receive special regulatory treatment because they are protected from competition and subject to rate caps. In the past decade, they also have been at the center of high-profile corporate scandals. They have bribed regulators to secure subsidies for coal-fired generators and nuclear reactors. They have caused wildfires and coal-ash spills that resulted in hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in liability. Their failure to maintain reliable electric service has contributed to catastrophic blackouts. Perhaps most consequentially, they have emerged as powerful opponents of state and federal climate action. This Article describes the unique corporate governance challenges public utilities face and argues that these governance challenges contribute to the pervasive inefficiencies and the frequency of corporate misconduct that characterize utility industries. American corporate law provides special protections to shareholders, such as the right to elect corporate boards and the requirement that directors and managers owe fiduciary duties to shareholders. The economic justification for these protections is that shareholders are the residual claimants of corporations: because they receive any value a corporation generates beyond what it owes to its fixed claimants, they have the appropriate incentives to pursue value-enhancing investments.
    • The Market for Corporate Criminals

      Jennings, Andrew K. (2023)
      This Article identifies problems and opportunities at the intersection of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate crime and compliance. In M&A, criminal successor liability is of particular importance, because it is quantitatively less predictable and qualitatively more threatening to buyers than successor liability in tort or contract. Private successor liability requires a buyer to bear bounded economic costs, which can in turn be reallocated to sellers via the contracting process. Criminal successor liability, however, threatens a buyer with non-indemnifiable and potentially ruinous punishment for another firm’s wrongful acts. This threat may inhibit the marketability of businesses that have criminal exposure, creating social cost in the form of inefficient allocations of corporate control. Such a result would be unfortunate because M&A could instead be a lever for promoting compliance. Yet criminal successor liability undermines this possibility and, in turn, the public’s interest in compliance. To countervail these problems, this Article proposes new prosecutorial policies that, through better-targeted sanctions and compliance-enhancing mergers, would promote M&A markets, deter corporate crime, and foster corporate reform.
    • Opening a Federal Reserve Account

      Andersen Hill, Julie (2023)
      To open bank accounts, new customers provide personal information and make a deposit. Within a few minutes (or perhaps a few days), new customers get access to payment services. For many years, the process financial institutions used to open accounts at Federal Reserve Banks was similar. Eligible banks filled out a one-page form and within a week received an account allowing them access to the Federal Reserve’s payment systems. Recently, however, Federal Reserve Banks have spent years considering account requests from novel banks. This Article examines the Federal Reserve’s process for evaluating requests for accounts. Using interviews, court documents, and other sources, it analyzes recent account requests from a cannabis credit union, a narrow bank, a public bank, a cryptocurrency custody bank, and a trust company. These requests reveal a lack of transparency and consistency. Most district Federal Reserve Banks do not explain how institutions should apply for accounts. It is not clear who decides whether to open the account. While the Federal Reserve Banks all evaluate risk associated with accounts and payments, the twelve Reserve Banks may not have the same risk tolerances. Decisions may be inconsistent. Even getting a decision can take years. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve’s recently adopted guidelines, which consist primarily of a risk identification framework, do not fix these problems.
    • Black Feminist Thought Grounds and Centers Us: A Reflection by Two Activists and Legal Workers

      Shabazz, BeKura W.; Sangoi, Lisa (2023)
      Working in and around the law for the past several years, we became acutely aware of—have felt in our bones—a certain paradox in the law: how legal resources and opportunities to shape the law are completely unavailable to the vast majority of people in the United States, and yet legal structures exert an enormous, tsunami-like force on those people, even those who are trained to work within those structures. Give birth to a baby who tests positive for opioids? The law says the state can take your baby away. How does the law govern when and how you can get your child back? Can you—and how often can you—visit your baby? What must you do to be reunited? How long can the agency that took your kid away stay in your life? The answers to all these questions should be readily available to you, but instead, they will likely be made up as you churn through the system.
    • Feminism, Legal Activism, and Sex Work: Reconciling to Move Forward

      D’Adamo, Kate (2023)
      When it comes to the sex trade, some principles of feminist legal theory have done grave damage to those on the ground. While intended to uplift, these principles have instead created more violence, discrimination, and gender-based hierarchies. Two main areas where feminist legal theory has failed to appreciate the lived realities of sex workers are its reliance on the criminal legal system and its limited view of who counts as a woman. While I wish to explore the relationship between theory and practice, I reject the idea that these are two separate spheres that should interact. This view posits that the interaction between theory and practice is a choice, but it is not. Sex work has inspired theories on how to understand and address certain issues related to transactional sex. The creation of theories and their implementation impacts people in the sex trades. This interaction is a constant reinforcing loop, but only theorists can choose to ignore it. While we should continually re-envision what lessons from the ground feminist legal theory can learn from, the exchange between theory and practice must begin with repair, and it must recognize the effect that feminist legal theory has already had on people who trade sex. This work must begin to repair the incredible damage done to sex workers as a result of the implementation of these theories.
    • Strategic Human Rights Litigation: A Feminist Reflection

      Yoshida, Keina (2023)
      In 2012, I was lucky enough to attend a Black feminist event at the Trafford Rape Crisis Centre in Manchester, United Kingdom, where Kimberlé W. Crenshaw and Sara Ahmed spoke about intersectional feminism. Ahmed explained that she often turns to the work of Audre Lorde as a feminist lifeline. Lifelines can be “anything or perhaps it is always something” and that something might be “words sent out by a writer, gathered in the form of a book, words that you hang on to, that can pull you out of an existence, which can, perhaps later, on another day, pull you into a more livable world.” Lorde’s work questioning whether the master’s tools could ever dismantle the master’s house, is among my lifelines. The question has taken on a different significance for me and has become central to my own thinking about strategic feminist praxis and the law. Can the law ever really dismantle patriarchy and challenge the oppression and discrimination women suffer through structural inequalities? What is the role of the master’s tools in all of this? How is the law complicit in such oppression?
    • At the Crossroads of Theory and Practice

      LaFleur, Greta (2023)
      This special issue fittingly concludes with mediations from a diverse group of advocates and practitioners on what relationship exists—or should exist—between feminist legal theory, on the one hand, and the practice of legal advocacy, on the other. Focusing on how feminist prerogatives guide how movements make use of, or eschew, the law, the writers whose advocacy is showcased in this section explore how and to what degree feminist legal theory has taken up the actual practice of law and advocacy as a site for intervention or the advancement of gender justice. Conversely, these four practitioners—two attorneys, one sex work policy advocate, one self-identified “non-attorney legal advocate,” and none of them law professors— also reflect on their own experiences of feminist lawyering and advocacy, considering to what degree their own praxis reflects, engages, or refuses the myriad insights and political priorities emphasized in feminist legal theory, as a body of thought. Across the three pieces, there are multiple points of convergence and divergence, but where these writers and advocates agree is around the fact that process, in movement lawyering work, is every bit as important as product. In other words, as authors BeKura Shabazz and Lisa Sangoi write, the question of “how social change is achieved is just as important as the social change that is achieved.”
    • A Feminist Defense of Transgender Sex Equality Rights

      MacKinnon, Catharine A. (2023)
      An emerging direction in sex equality law—one I have taught and sought for decades for both sexual orientation and transgender rights—is that discrimination against trans people is discrimination on the basis of sex, that is gender, the social meaning of sex. The Bostock decision recently recognized the simplest version of the argument. This recognition does not, contrary to allegations of anti-trans self-identified feminists, endanger women or feminism, including what some in this group call “women’s sex-based rights.” To begin with, women—in the United States anyway—do not have “sex-based rights” in the affirmative sense some in this group seem to think. We do have (precious few) negative rights to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex— which has almost always meant gender, actually—and so do men. If this invented term means a right to single-sex education for women, as against co-education, it has been on the thinnest possible legal ice for decades under the hegemony of gender neutrality. It may be that women’s schools continue to exist largely because no case challenging them has reached the Supreme Court in a very long time. I support women’s colleges and am glad to see them admitting anyone who identifies as a woman and graduating anyone they admit (some girls become boys these days). But the weight of sex discrimination law, built to be gender neutral since Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early cases, leans strongly against the constitutionality of women’s schools (and HBCUs under colorblindness), public or private.
    • Feminist Jurisprudence in Tribal Courts: An Untapped Opportunity

      Deer, Sarah (2023)
      What if every gendered legal issue was not burdened by over 200 years of patriarchal and racist precedent? How would feminists craft legal practices and structures in a way that would be grounded by a clear understanding of the harms of oppression and subjugation? These questions are not just rhetorical; this essay argues that a fresh perspective is possible in the context of an Indigenous feminist jurisprudence. Indigenous feminist legal theory (IFLT) is in its nascent stages as a contemporary academic discipline and praxis. It has largely been elucidated by legal scholars in Canada, including Emily Snyder, Val Napoleon, and John Borrows. Snyder explains that IFLT lies at the intersection of feminist legal theory, Indigenous feminist theory, and Indigenous legal theory.
    • Deterritorializing Abortion: Gender, Law, and Procedure

      Douglass, Patrice D. (2023)
      In the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization United States Supreme Court decision—which overturned the landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey—UC Berkeley Law Professor Khiara M. Bridges testified before the United States Congress about the potential catastrophic consequences of the ruling. Bridges discussed abortion as an issue impacting people with the capacity for pregnancy, which was met with intense opposition and disregard from Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley. He insisted that abortion was a “women’s right issue,” while pressuring Bridges to agree. However, in a clear and direct response, Bridges offered firm rebuttal, noting that this line of questioning from Hawley was transphobic, stating further, “Denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous.” This, she argues—and the argument presented here will agree—“opens up trans people to violence,” given that multiple genders are represented under the umbrella of people needing abortion access and care.
    • Ne Nya Sexpuritanerna

      Thusi, India (2023)
      The northbound train has just arrived at the Old Town train station in Scandic City. The subway conductor is looking for passengers on the platform before preparing for the train’s departure to the next stop. Jasmine and Rebecca hurry past the sliding doors of the well-maintained red train and feel a sense of relief that they caught it. As the ladies run into the train, the conductor shuts the doors and begins to direct the train toward its next destination, into downtown Scandic City. Scandic City is the capital city of Oceania, which is reputed to be a truly egalitarian society. Scandic City’s extensive police force includes “security officers” that handle low-level and quality-of-life offenses, as well as more professionalized “police officers.” This security organization is central to the democratic socialist agenda in Scandic City because the preservation of law and order is critical to the radical left agenda of the egalitarian New Radicals political party. This egalitarian society reflects the feminist vision of the world. The country has a well-developed statecraft for control, which—for the most stigmatized women and people in Oceania—is experienced as pain.
    • The Critique of Carceral Feminism

      Gruber, Aya (2023)
      Few scholarly arguments incense self-identified feminists—especially prominent ones—as much as the claim that feminism contributed to the racist, inhumane, and overbroad American penal system. Over the years, scholars from outside and within feminism have offered various historical, philosophical, and genealogical analyses of the feminist movement’s relationship to mass incarceration. These writings assert that powerful feminist ideologies and groups contributed materially to the growth of the criminal punishment system and served as powerful legitimators of penal authority in the last several decades. Critics of “carceral feminism” argue that feminists collaborated with the carceral state, often unintentionally, by among other things cementing raced and gendered narratives of crime victimhood, giving bipartisan credence to policing and prosecution programs, reinforcing the notion that the criminal system “works,” and bolstering the neoliberal precept that violence stems from individual choices rather than structural conditions.
    • Feminist Legal Theory and Praxis after Dobbs: Science, Politics, and Expertise

      Ahmed, Aziza (2023)
      Fifty years ago, in Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackmun set into motion the idea that abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor. That idea traveled from the Supreme Court decision to popular discourse; with it, came the notion that when it comes to reproduction, medical experts are a key part of women’s liberation. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court ignored the role of experts and threw the question of who should decide when and how a person has an abortion to the people. In my essay for this symposium issue dedicated to feminist legal praxis, I will argue that contestation around medical and epidemiological evidence will continue to shape the abortion debates despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision. Reproductive rights advocates need to continue to pay close attention to new battles occurring in the register of evidence, medicine, and expertise. Doing so will require reproductive rights advocates to examine purportedly neutral scientific and expert-based justifications in the legal regulation of the practice of medicine and medication more closely. This will create new and necessary avenues for legal advocacy, including challenging when and where legal institutions legitimate misinformation about abortion or limit access to abortion based on science and evidence. In taking on questions of expertise and evidence, abortion rights advocates can learn from the overlapping movement to end racial bias in medicine and medical technology.
    • On Marching Karens and Metaphorical Black Women

      Nash, Jennifer C. (2023)
      In 2021, the New York Times published “March of the Karens,” an article that described a figure who symbolizes all that is wrong with contemporary feminism: Karen. Ligaya Mishan describes Karen as an “interfering, hectoring white woman, the self-appointed hall monitor unloosed on the world, so assured of her status in society that she doesn’t hesitate to summon the authorities . . . for the most trivial and often wholly imaginary transgressions.” In a moment when leftist calls for abolishing and defunding the police proliferate, Karen enacts her power by enlisting and supporting the police in her violent anti-Black efforts all the while disavowing the power she wields. Karen calls the police on Black people engaged in the most ordinary of activities, including Black children selling water, Black people stenciling on their own homes, Black families barbecuing, and Black people bird-watching.
    • Distorting the Reconstruction: A Reflection on Dobbs

      Goodwin, Michele (2023)
      History will likely record Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization1 as the most devastating case of the Supreme Court’s 2021 term and perhaps one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time. However, the Dobbs decision offers an opportunity to revisit the damaged path to reproductive freedom, dating back to American slavery and bridge pathways forward with better understanding. This Essay offers a reflection on Dobbs, speaking to the origins of reproductive autonomy and justice concerns that preexisted Reconstruction. The Essay argues that by examining the antebellum archive, a different type of slavery and involuntary servitude comes into view, namely the involuntary reproductive servitude imposed on Black girls and women.
    • Social Reproduction in and of Feminist Legal Theory

      Dinner, Deborah (2023)
      My reflections on the subject of “origins” begin with social reproduction in feminist activism and thought. This topic is more commonplace in feminist scholarship outside of the legal academy. Feminist sociologists, political philosophers, and historians define social reproduction as the “various kinds of work—mental, manual, and emotional—aimed at providing the historically and socially, as well as biologically, defined care necessary to maintain existing life and to reproduce the next generation.” Social reproductive labor includes unpaid care work within families, kin networks, and communities as well as various forms of paid work. Such labor divides along racial as well as gender lines. The law’s role in distributing, rewarding, and regulating social reproductive labor is pivotal to the construction of gender, race, and class identities and inequalities.
    • The Winding Path Toward Gender Equality and the Advocates and Scholars Who Forged It

      Grossman, Joanna L. (2023)
      At its broadest, “feminist legal thought” describes the effort across generations to secure equality for women through law. The ideas that have emerged from this work can be loosely typed as “equality theories,” and the statutes, constitutional interpretations, and doctrines they inform can be tied together under the heading of “gender law.”