Harm-Avoider Constitutionalism

How does the Supreme Court decide difficult questions of constitutional law? Standard accounts point to a range of interpretive approaches such as originalism, common law constitutionalism, political process theory, interest-balancing, and constitutional pluralism. And once the list of commonly used interpretive approaches is set, normative debates often follow over which is best. In this Article, […]

The Legality of Ranked-Choice Voting

With the rise of extreme polarization, intense political divisiveness, and gridlocked government, many Americans are turning to reforms of the democratic processes that create incentives for candidates and officeholders to appeal to broader coalitions. A centerpiece of these efforts is ranked-choice voting (RCV). RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference: first, second, […]

Democratizing the Supreme Court

Progressives are taking Supreme Court reform seriously for the first time in almost a century. Owing to the rise of the political and academic left following the 2008 financial crisis and the hotly contested appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, progressives increasingly view the Supreme Court as posing a serious challenge to the […]

Rethinking Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct laws are a combination of common law offenses aimed at protecting the public order, peace, and tranquility. Yet, contrary to common legal conceptions, the criminalization of disorderly conduct is not just about policing behavior that threatens to disrupt public order or even the public’s peace and tranquility. Policing disorderly conduct reflects and reinforces […]

The End of School Policing

Police officers have become permanent fixtures in public schools. The sharp increase in the number of school police officers over the last twenty years has generated a substantial body of critical legal scholarship. Critics question whether police make students safer. They argue that any safety benefits must be weighed against the significant role the police […]

Fair Use as Cultural Appropriation

Over the last four decades, scholars from diverse disciplines have documented a wide variety of cultural appropriations from Indigenous peoples and the harms these have inflicted. Copyright law provides at least some protection against appropriations of Indigenous culture—particularly for copyrightable songs, dances, oral histories, and other forms of Indigenous cultural creativity. But it is admittedly […]

Franchisor Power as Employment Control

Labor and employment laws are systematically underenforced in low-wage, franchised workplaces. Union contracts, and the benefits and protections they provide, are nonexistent. The Fight for Fifteen movement has brought attention to the low wages, systemic violations of workers’ rights, and lack of collective representation in fast-food franchises. Given that franchisees can be judgment-proof and cannot […]

Profiting From Our Pain: Privileged Access to Social Impact Investing

Social impacting investing has become the latest trend to permeate the financial markets. With massive anticipated funding gaps for sustainable development goals, and a millennial-driven thirst for doing good while doing well, this trend is likely to continue in the coming decades. This burgeoning industry is poised to experience yet an additional boost, since it […]

Visible Policing: Technology, Transparency, and Democratic Control

Law enforcement has an opacity problem. Police use sophisticated technologies to monitor individuals, surveil communities, and predict behaviors in increasingly intrusive ways. But legal institutions have struggled to understand—let alone set limits on—new investigative methods and techniques for two major reasons. First, new surveillance technology tends to operate in opaque and unaccountable ways, augmenting police […]

Originality’s Other Path

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has famously spoken of a “historic kinship” between patent and copyright doctrine, the family resemblance is sometimes hard to see. One of the biggest differences between them today is how much ingenuity they require for earning protection. Obtaining a patent requires an invention so innovative that it would not have […]