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Can the Excessive Fines Clause Mitigate the LFO Crisis? An Assessment of the Caselaw

By Michael O'Hear | February 21, 2024

By Michael O’Hear. Full Text. The nation’s increasing use of fees, fines, forfeiture, and restitution has resulted in chronic debt burdens for millions of poor and working-class Americans. These legal financial obligations (LFOs) likely entrench racial and socioeconomic divides and contribute to the breakdown of trust in the police and courts in disadvantaged communities. One…

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Article

Subjective Costs of Tax Compliance

By Jonathan H. Choi and Ariel Jurow Kleiman | February 21, 2024

By Jonathan H. Choi and Ariel Jurow Kleiman. Full Text. This Article introduces and estimates the “subjective costs” of tax compliance, which are costs of tax compliance that people experience directly and individually. To measure these costs, we conducted a survey experiment assessing how much taxpayers would pay to reduce the unpleasantness associated with filing…

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Article

Making Whole, Making Better, and Accommodating Resilience

By Erik Encarnacion | February 21, 2024

By Erik Encarnacion. Full Text. The conventional story about compensatory damages is that they aim to make plaintiffs whole, but not better off. This make-whole ideal implies that courts should subtract material gains from compensatory awards because otherwise plaintiffs would be unjustly enriched. This Article undermines this conventional wisdom in three ways. First, it highlights…

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Article

The Roberts Court and the Unraveling of Labor Law

By Courtlyn G. Roser-Jones | February 21, 2024

By Courtlyn G. Roser-Jones. Full Text. Labor law comprises several doctrines and procedures that oversee the relationships between employers, unions, and the workers they represent. These doctrines—the duty of fair representation, exclusivity, good-faith bargaining, captive-audience speech, and rights of equal access—are all component threads to a tapestry designed to facilitate widespread organizing and collective bargaining.…

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Article

Multi-Parent Custody

By Jessica Feinberg | February 21, 2024

By Jessica Feinberg. Full Text. In recent years, a number of jurisdictions have enacted laws recognizing that a child may have more than two legal parents (multi-parentage). Recognition of multi-parentage represents a significant change to the legal framework governing parentage— for most of U.S. history, it was well established that a child could have a…

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Note

Throuples and Family Law

By Philip de Sa e Silva | February 21, 2024

By Philip de Sa e Silva. Full Text. As throuples and other forms of polyamorous relationships gain visibility and acceptance, courts will have to confront the legal issues that will likely arise when a throuple forms and when it dissolves. How should courts determine child custody for three equally situated parents? How should courts divide…

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Note

Americon Dream: Social Pressures and Lackluster Regulation Allow Multi-Level Marketing Companies to Function as De Facto Pyramid Schemes

By Lindsay R. Maher | February 21, 2024

By Lindsay R. Maher. Full Text. The entrepreneurial spirit goes to the heart of the American Dream. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Put your nose to the grindstone. If you could just be given the tools to get started, you, too, can make something of yourself with hard work and perseverance. This mindset drives…

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Note

In Defense of Pickering: When a Public Employee’s Social Media Speech, Particularly Political Speech, Conflicts with Their Employer’s Public Service

By Abby Ward | February 21, 2024

By Abby Ward. Full Text. With the rise of social media and the United States’ increasing political polarization, public employees take to social media to post about political issues such as race and policing. But when public employees make posts on political issues in an inflammatory or controversial way, public employers often discipline or fire…

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Headnote

Teaching “Is This Case Rightly Decided?”

By Steven Arrigg Koh | April 15, 2024

By Steven Arrigg Koh. Full Text. “Is this case rightly decided?” From the first week of law school, every law student must grapple with this classroom question. This Essay argues that this vital question is problematically under-specified, creating imprecision in thinking about law. This Essay thus advocates that law professors should present students with a…

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Articles, Essays, & Tributes

Can the Excessive Fines Clause Mitigate the LFO Crisis? An Assessment of the Caselaw

February 21, 2024

By Michael O’Hear. Full Text. The nation’s increasing use of fees, fines, forfeiture, and restitution has resulted in chronic debt burdens for millions of poor and working-class Americans. These legal financial obligations (LFOs) likely entrench racial and socioeconomic divides and contribute to the breakdown of trust in the police and courts in disadvantaged communities. One…

Subjective Costs of Tax Compliance

February 21, 2024

By Jonathan H. Choi and Ariel Jurow Kleiman. Full Text. This Article introduces and estimates the “subjective costs” of tax compliance, which are costs of tax compliance that people experience directly and individually. To measure these costs, we conducted a survey experiment assessing how much taxpayers would pay to reduce the unpleasantness associated with filing…

Making Whole, Making Better, and Accommodating Resilience

February 21, 2024

By Erik Encarnacion. Full Text. The conventional story about compensatory damages is that they aim to make plaintiffs whole, but not better off. This make-whole ideal implies that courts should subtract material gains from compensatory awards because otherwise plaintiffs would be unjustly enriched. This Article undermines this conventional wisdom in three ways. First, it highlights…

The Roberts Court and the Unraveling of Labor Law

February 21, 2024

By Courtlyn G. Roser-Jones. Full Text. Labor law comprises several doctrines and procedures that oversee the relationships between employers, unions, and the workers they represent. These doctrines—the duty of fair representation, exclusivity, good-faith bargaining, captive-audience speech, and rights of equal access—are all component threads to a tapestry designed to facilitate widespread organizing and collective bargaining.…

Multi-Parent Custody

February 21, 2024

By Jessica Feinberg. Full Text. In recent years, a number of jurisdictions have enacted laws recognizing that a child may have more than two legal parents (multi-parentage). Recognition of multi-parentage represents a significant change to the legal framework governing parentage— for most of U.S. history, it was well established that a child could have a…

Notes

Throuples and Family Law

February 21, 2024

By Philip de Sa e Silva. Full Text. As throuples and other forms of polyamorous relationships gain visibility and acceptance, courts will have to confront the legal issues that will likely arise when a throuple forms and when it dissolves. How should courts determine child custody for three equally situated parents? How should courts divide…

In Defense of Pickering: When a Public Employee’s Social Media Speech, Particularly Political Speech, Conflicts with Their Employer’s Public Service

February 21, 2024

By Abby Ward. Full Text. With the rise of social media and the United States’ increasing political polarization, public employees take to social media to post about political issues such as race and policing. But when public employees make posts on political issues in an inflammatory or controversial way, public employers often discipline or fire…

Headnotes

Thirty-Five Years of Inaction: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Medicaid Equal Access Provision

March 2, 2024

By Delaram Takyar. Full Text. In 1989, Congress amended the Social Security Act to ensure that Medicaid recipients would have the same access to medical providers as people covered by private insurance and Medicare. This was meant to remedy the wide disparities in access to…

Teaching “Is This Case Rightly Decided?”

April 15, 2024

By Steven Arrigg Koh. Full Text. “Is this case rightly decided?” From the first week of law school, every law student must grapple with this classroom question. This Essay argues that this vital question is problematically under-specified, creating imprecision in thinking about law. This Essay…

De Novo Blog

Elon Take the Wheel

January 24, 2017

ELON TAKE THE WHEEL: MAJOR CHALLENGES THAT AUTONOMOUS CARS WILL PRESENT TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM By: Stephen Maier, Volume 101 Staff Member In May 2016, 40-year-old Joshua Brown was driving a Tesla Model S in “Autopilot mode” when a semi turned in front of him.[1]…

Re-Introducing “Stop and Frisk” or Revisiting It?

January 23, 2017

RE-INTRODUCING “STOP AND FRISK” OR REVISITING IT? By: Anabel Cassady, Volume 101 Staff Member On the evening of August 20, 2008, Leroy Downs was stopped by two plainclothes officers outside his home while making a phone call to a friend.[1] Downs was a black male…

DACA on the Docket

January 19, 2017

DACA ON THE DOCKET By: Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100 Lead Articles Editor [1] On December 9, 2016, Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin introduced the Bridge Act, which would provide temporary protection for undocumented children and young adults who have received immigration benefits under President…

Frozen Embryo Forum Shopping

January 18, 2017

FROZEN EMBRYO FORUM SHOPPING: HOW CONFLICTS OF LAW INHIBIT THE LAWSUIT AGAINST SOFIA VERGARA By: Joseph T. Janochoski, Volume 101 Staff Member In December 2016, actress Sofía Vergara[1] was named as the sole defendant in a Louisiana lawsuit filed by her own frozen embryos.[2] The…

Inclusive Communities and the Question of Impact

December 8, 2016

INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES AND THE QUESTION OF IMPACT: PRO-PLAINTIFF? By: Lauren Clatch, Volume 101 Staff Member In the summer of 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Texas Dep’t of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. regarding the viability of disparate impact claims under…

Phasing Out Private Prisons Is an Important Symbolic Gesture

December 6, 2016

PHASING OUT PRIVATE PRISONS IS AN IMPORTANT SYMBOLIC GESTURE By: Claire Williams, Volume 101 Staff Member On August 18th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would begin to phase out its use of private prisons, “either declin[ing] to renew that contract or substantially…

Creeping on the Constitution

November 29, 2016

CREEPING ON THE CONSTITUTION: FIRST AMENDMENT IMPLICATIONS OF THE 2016 CLOWN CRAZE By: Bethany Davidson, Volume 101 Staff Member On August 24, 2016, the property manager of an apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina posted a concerning letter on residents’ doors.[1] The letter addressed multiple…

Is Auer Deference on the Way Out?

November 28, 2016

IS AUER DEFERENCE ON THE WAY OUT? By: Trevor Matthews, Volume 101 Staff Member In Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand, later reaffirmed in Auer v. Robbins, the Supreme Court announced a deferential standard of review for agency rules which interpret binding notice and comment…

Helping Others Die

November 17, 2016

HELPING OTHERS DIE: COMPARING POLICIES IN BELGIUM TO THOSE IN THE U.S. By: Ellie Bastian, Volume 101 Staff Member In the opening scenes of the Italian film Miele a woman makes her monthly journey from Europe to a Mexican pharmacy to buy Lamputin, a drug…

From “Let Us Pray” to “Let Us Reconsider”

November 15, 2016

FROM “LET US PRAY” TO “LET US RECONSIDER”: THE FOURTH CIRCUIT GRANTS EN BANC REVIEW IN LUND V. ROWAN COUNTY By: Rachel Leitschuck, Volume 101 Staff Member “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . .…