Category: Law Rev Forum


Sidebar Publishes Second in Series of Essays on Immigration Law

Sidebar is pleased to announce the publication of the second in our series of essays on immigration law, “Building Capacity for the Transnational Regulation of Migration” by Professor Cristina Rodríguez, currently visiting at Harvard Law School.

In this piece Professor Rodríguez argues that immigration cannot be addressed solely through unilateral regulation; rather, because migration is inherently international its management requires engagement with other governments.  She identifies some of the existing mechanisms of transnationalism in the U.S.-Mexico relationship and offers initial suggestions for their development.


The Yale Law Journal Online: Richard Lazarus and Sanford Levinson on the Supreme Court’s Certiorari Process


Concluding its series on proposed reforms to the certiorari process, The Yale Law Journal Online is pleased to present pieces by Richard Lazarus of the Georgetown Law Center and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas Law School.  Lazarus and Levinson approach the issue of the Supreme Court’s docket composition through a variety of perspectives, and shed light on the ongoing debate over whether the declining number of cases before the Court presents a problem for the American judicial system.

The Yale Law Journal Online and the Yale Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic will be a hosting a second conference on the subject on March 23, 2010 at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut.  Further details will be provided shortly.

Preferred Citations:

Richard J. Lazarus, Docket Capture at the High Court, 119 Yale L.J. Online 89 (2009), available at

Sanford Levinson, Assessing the Supreme Court’s Current Caseload: A Question of Law or Politics?, 119 Yale L.J. Online 99 (2010), available at


Iowa Law Review, Volume 95, Issue 1 (November 2009)

Iowa Law Review


Juvenile Justice: The Fourth Option
Christopher Slobogin & Mark R. Fondacaro

Testing Modern Trademark Law’s Theory of Harm
Mark P. McKenna

Ignorance Is Effectively Bliss: Collateral Consequences, Silence, and Misinformation in the Guilty-Plea Process
Jenny Roberts

Formalism and Pragmatism in Ruins (Mapping the Logics of Collapse)
Pierre Schlag


Making Taxes More Certain: Iowa State Legislators’ Guide to Combined Reporting
Lindsay C. McAfee

Rescuecom Corp. v. Google Inc.: A Conscious Analytical Shift
Jessica A.E. McKinney

An Iowa Immigration Raid Leads to Unprecedented Criminal Consequences: Why ICE Should Rethink the Postville Model
Cassie L. Peterson

Clearing the Air: Analyzing the Constitutionality of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act’s Gaming-Floor Exemption
Kevin D. Sherlock


The Yale Law Journal Online: Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson’s “If It Ain’t Broke . . .”


The Yale Law Journal Online is pleased to present its last publication of 2009.  The Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III addresses the recent calls to reform the Supreme Court’s certiorari process in this Essay, which cautions against reforms that may cause significant collateral damage to the American judicial system.  Judge Wilkinson addresses the recent contraction of the Supreme Court’s docket, challenging the notion that a smaller docket is cause for alarm.  He also challenges a number of the proposals on the table, invoking a historical perspective to argue against tampering with the fundamental structure and role of the Court.  These arguments continue Judge Wilkinson’s previous remarks on the subject at the Yale Law School-sponsored conference, “Important Questions of Federal Law.”

Preferred Citation: J. Harvie Wilkinson III, If It Ain’t Broke . . ., 119 YALE L.J. ONLINE 67 (2009), available at


The Yale Law Journal Online: Is It Important To Be Important?: Evaluating the Supreme Court’s Case-Selection Process


On September 19, 2009, Frederick Schauer discussed the state of the Supreme Court’s certiorari process at a conference sponsored by The Yale Law Journal Online and the Yale Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic.  Professor Schauer’s Essay on the topic, evaluating the dwindling caseload of the Court, the potential for an informational disadvantage on the part of the Justices themselves, and means by which a solution may be found, is now available on YLJ Online.


Sidebar Publishes Companion to “The Correspondence of Contract and Promise”

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Columbia Law Review’s Sidebar is pleased to announce the publication of a companion piece to  his article, “The Correspondence of Contract and Promise” by Professor Kraus of the University of Virginia School of Law.

In his article Professor Kraus claims that contract scholars have mistakenly presumed that they can assess the correspondence between contract and promise without first providing a theory of self-imposed moral responsibility that explains and justifies the promise principle.  To illustrate the dependence of correspondence accounts of contract law on a theory of self-imposed moral responsibility, Professor Kraus demonstrate how a “personal sovereignty” account of individual autonomyone of the most familiar and intuitive theories of self-imposed moral responsibilityexplains how and why, contrary to existing correspondence theories, promissory responsibility corresponds to the rights and duties recognized by contract.

In the companion piece, “Personal Sovereignty and Normative Power Skepticism,” Professor Kraus explains that according to the personal sovereignty account of promising, individuals have the normative power to undertake self-imposed moral responsibilities (i.e., moral obligations) because such a power enhances personal sovereignty.  Professor Kraus then describes the skeptical argument that has been leveled against theories of promissory obligation that posit a normative power to make a promise and argues that that argument has no force against the personal sovereignty account he offers.


PENNumbra publishes responses to The River Runs Dry: When Title VI Trumps State Anti–Affirmative Action Laws


PENNumbra‘s featured works are now available at

This issue contains responses to The River Runs Dry:  When Title VI Trumps State Anti–Affirmative Action Laws by Kimberly West-Faulcon.

In The River Runs Dry:  When Title VI Trumps State Anti–Affirmative Action Laws, Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon considers whether universities that completely abolish affirmative action to comply with state anti–affirmative action initiatives may actually be breaking the law with respect to Title VI. Using statistical tests for identifying Title VI disparate impact, she analyzes selective California and Washington public university admissions cycles after the enactment of anti–affirmative action laws and finds racial disparities in admissions to affirmative action–less universities of sufficient magnitude that, if unjustified, could establish that an institution has a compelling interest in considering race to comply with federal antidiscrimination law. Based on this analysis, she concludes that state anti–affirmative action laws may permit the consideration of race if undertaken to remedy federal “racial effect discrimination.”

In Do We Care Enough About Racial Inequality? Reflections on The River Runs Dry, Professor Guy-Uriel Charles asserts that while West-Faulcon has provided an apt legal tool to address racial inequality in education, the problem is not a lack of legal tools but the failure of the legal system to recognize the dignity of people of color in constitutional analysis. Charles argues that legal academics need to make not just legal arguments but a renewed case why we ought to care about racial inequality.

In Doctrinal Dilemma, Professor Girardeau Spann describes West-Faulcon’s argument as both analytically sound and enticingly clever but demonstrates that doctrinal arguments can likewise be developed by socially powerful opponents that are cogent enough to evade West-Faulcon’s conclusions. Consequently, Spann argues that legal scholars seeking to promote racial justice confront a serious dilemma: continue to make doctrinal arguments and reinforce the legitimacy of a social system that uses law as a tool for the continued oppression of racial minorities; or stop participating and risk losing those sporadic concession that even an oppressive social system must occasionally make to prevent bottled-up frustrations from ripening into serious threats of destabilizing change.

As always, please visit PENNumbra to read previous Responses and Debates, or to check out pdfs of the Penn Law Review‘s print edition articles.


Herrmann, Beck, and Burbank Debate Twombly and Iqbal


In Plausible Denial:  Should Congress Overrule Twombly and Iqbal?, Mark Herrmann and James Beck debate with Professor Stephen Burbank whether the plausibility standard set out in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal is a proper “recalibration” of the pleading rules or an illegitimate “innovation” and whether Congress would be wise to overrule it. In their Opening Statement, Herrmann and Beck argue that the drafters of the Federal Rules intentionally left Rule 8 ambiguous. The creation of new federal rights, liberalization of class action rules, and massive escalation of discovery costs warranted the retirement of the “no set of facts” language from the Court’s earlier interpretation of Rule 8. In their view, the new course set by the Supreme Court is the proper one.

Check back weekly as the debate unfolds. As always, please visit PENNumbra to read previous Responses and Debates, or to check out pdfs of the Penn Law Review‘s print edition articles.


Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 94:1 (December 2009)


The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce the fall edition of our new online companion journal, Minnesota Law Review Headnotes. In addition to serving as the online archive of the Law Review‘s print articles, available in PDF format, Headnotes also features original, online-only Response articles in which prominent academics respond to the articles the Law Review publishes. Comment fields are available at the end of each Response, and readers are encouraged to provide feedback.

In this issue of Headnotes Responses:

Peter Lee (UC Davis School of Law) responds to Pamela Samuelson‘s article, Are Patents on Interfaces Impeding Interoperability?. In Innovating Between and Within Technological Paradigms: A Response to Samuelson, Professor Lee builds on Professor Samuelson’s article to emphasize that the social costs and benefits of interface patents are highly context-specific. Invoking the concept of “technological paradigms,” Professor Lee argues that strong interface patents can promote significant technological advances in contested industries, but that ex post policy interventions may be necessary to curtail patents on industry standards.

Donald P. Judges (University of Arkansas) and Stephen J. Cribari (University of Minnesota Law School) respond to Ted Sampsell-Jones‘s article, Making Defendants Speak. In Speaking of Silence: A Response to Making Defendants Speak, Professors Judges and Cribari concentrate on explaining why they do not share Professor Sampsell-Jones’s underlying antipathy to the Fifth Amendment right to silence at trial. That antipathy, also frequently expressed by other commentators, is reflected in the article’s proposed rejection of Griffin v. California’s prohibition regarding adverse inferences from the defendant’s assertion of that right. The modern right to silence at trial, while perhaps more robust than framing-era practice, has emerged in a criminal justice system the scope and intrusiveness of which itself greatly exceeds framing-era experience. Griffin’s no-adverse-inference rule, and the right to silence at trial it helps to effectuate, are components of an interrelated cluster of protections, the centerpiece of which is the right to counsel, that reinforce the “test the prosecution” and “anti-inquisitorial” nature of today’s system. While neither theoretically tidy nor practically perfect, those protections at least offer a modicum of dignity which the authors believe many persons would want to have when faced with a powerful adversary in a dehumanizing process. Finally, the authors briefly note why they believe the purported benefits from the reforms proposed in Making Defendants Speak are illusory.


Sidebar Publishes Responses to October Issue of the Columbia Law Review

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Columbia Law Review’s Sidebar is pleased to announce the publication of three responses in conjunction with the October issue of the Columbia Law Review.

The first piece is a response to Noah D. Zatz’s article, Managing the Macaw: Third-Party Harassers, Accommodation, and the Disaggregation of Discriminatory Intent by Professor Tristin K. Green of Seton Hall Law School.  In his Article Professor Zatz exploits the anomaly in Title VII doctrine of employer liability for third-party harassment to develop a new theory of employment discrimination law which relies on the ideas of membership causation and employer responsibility.  In the Response, Professor Green criticizes Professor Zatz’s discussion of the applicability of his account to employer liability for the bias of a subordinate.  She argues that by failing to distinguish between direct and vicarious liability Professor Zatz creates a risk that courts will limit employer liability based on considerations of “notice” and “feasibility” even where traditionally strict liability has been imposed.

The second is a response to Darrell A.H. Miller’s article Guns as Smut: Defending the Home-Bound Second Amendment by Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law.  In his Article, Professor Miller suggests treating the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense the same as the right to own and view adult obscenity under the First Amendment—a robust right in the home, subject to near-plenary restriction by elected government everywhere else.  In the Response Professor Volokh challenges the analogy between guns and obscenity.  He notes that obscenity is one of the least protected and marginal categories of speech, while the personal right to bear arms is at the core of the second amendment.

Finally, we have published a reply to Professor Volokh by Professor Miller in which he points out that much of Professor Volokh’s Response is a challenge to the accuracy of the analogy, rather than to arguments that underpin the analogy and independently justify the home-bound Second Amendment.