The Grasping Hand

Author: Ilya Somin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226456829
Release Date: 2016-11-29
Genre: Law

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could condemn fifteen residential properties in order to transfer them to a new private owner. Although the Fifth Amendment only permits the taking of private property for “public use,” the Court ruled that the transfer of condemned land to private parties for “economic development” is permitted by the Constitution—even if the government cannot prove that the expected development will ever actually happen. The Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London empowered the grasping hand of the state at the expense of the invisible hand of the market. In this detailed study of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in modern times, Ilya Somin argues that Kelo was a grave error. Economic development and “blight” condemnations are unconstitutional under both originalist and most “living constitution” theories of legal interpretation. They also victimize the poor and the politically weak for the benefit of powerful interest groups and often destroy more economic value than they create. Kelo itself exemplifies these patterns. The residents targeted for condemnation lacked the influence needed to combat the formidable government and corporate interests arrayed against them. Moreover, the city’s poorly conceived development plan ultimately failed: the condemned land lies empty to this day, occupied only by feral cats. The Supreme Court’s unpopular ruling triggered an unprecedented political reaction, with forty-five states passing new laws intended to limit the use of eminent domain. But many of the new laws impose few or no genuine constraints on takings. The Kelo backlash led to significant progress, but not nearly as much as it may have seemed. Despite its outcome, the closely divided 5-4 ruling shattered what many believed to be a consensus that virtually any condemnation qualifies as a public use under the Fifth Amendment. It also showed that there is widespread public opposition to eminent domain abuse. With controversy over takings sure to continue, The Grasping Hand offers the first book-length analysis of Kelo by a legal scholar, alongside a broader history of the dispute over public use and eminent domain and an evaluation of options for reform.

Overcharged

Author: Charles Silver
Publisher: Cato Institute
ISBN: 9781944424770
Release Date: 2018-07-03
Genre: Medical

Why is America's health care system so expensive? Why do hospitalized patients receive bills laden with inflated charges that com out of the blue from out-of-network providers or demands for services that weren't delivered? Why do we pay $600 for EpiPens that contain a dollar's worth of medicine? Why is more than $1 trillion - one out of every three dollars that passes through the system - lost to fraud, wasted on services that don't help patients, or otherwise misspent? Overcharged answers these questions. It shows that America's health care system, which replaces consumer choice with government control and third-party payment, is effectively designed to make health care as expensive as possible. Prices will fall, quality will improve, and medicine will become more patient-friendly only when consumers take charge and exert pressure from below. For this to happen, consumers must control the money. As Overcharged explains, when health care providers are subjected to the same competitive forces that shape other industries, they will either deliver better services more cheaply or risk being replaced by someone who will.

Takings

Author: Richard Allen EPSTEIN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674036550
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Law

If legal scholar Richard Epstein is right, then the New Deal is wrong, if not unconstitutional. Epstein develops a coherent normative theory that permits us to distinguish between permissible takings for public use and impermissible ones. He then examines a wide range of government regulations and taxes under a single comprehensive theory.

The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain

Author: Thomas J. Miceli
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139501309
Release Date: 2011-06-20
Genre: Political Science

Surveys the contributions that economic theory has made to the often contentious debate over the government's use of its power of eminent domain, as prescribed by the Fifth Amendment. It addresses such questions as: when should the government be allowed to take private property without the owner's consent? Does it depend on how the land will be used? Also, what amount of compensation is the landowner entitled to receive (if any)? The recent case of Kelo v. New London (2005) revitalized the debate, but it was only the latest skirmish in the ongoing struggle between advocates of strong governmental powers to acquire private property in the public interest and private property rights advocates. Written for a general audience, the book advances a coherent theory that views eminent domain within the context of the government's proper role in an economic system whose primary objective is to achieve efficient land use.

The Guardian of Every Other Right

Author: James W. Ely
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195323320
Release Date: 2008
Genre: History

This book considers the interplay of law, ideology, politics and economic change in shaping constitutional thought, and provides a historical perspective on the contemporary debate about property rights. The third edition has been completely revised and updated.

Learning to Love Form 1040

Author: Lawrence Zelenak
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226019086
Release Date: 2013-03-29
Genre: Law

No one likes paying taxes, much less the process of filing tax returns. For years, would-be reformers have advocated replacing the return-based mass income tax with a flat tax, federal sales tax, or some combination thereof. Congress itself has commissioned studies on the feasibility of a system of exact withholding. But might the much-maligned return-based taxation method serve an important yet overlooked civic purpose? In Learning to Love Form 1040, Lawrence Zelenak argues that filing taxes can strengthen fiscal citizenship by prompting taxpayers to reflect on the contract they have with their government and the value—or perceived lack of value—they receive in exchange for their money. Zelenak traces the mass income tax to its origins as a means for raising revenue during World War II. Even then, debates raged over the merits of consumption-based versus income taxation, as well as whether taxes should be withheld from payroll or paid at the time of filing. The result is the income tax system we have today—a system whose maddening complexity, intended to accommodate citizens in widely different circumstances, threatens to outweigh any civic benefits. If sitcoms and political cartoons are any indication, public understanding of the income tax is badly in need of a corrective. Zelenak clears up some of the most common misconceptions and closes with suggestions for how the current system could be substantially simplified to better serve its civic purpose.

Regulation Versus Litigation

Author: Daniel P. Kessler
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226432182
Release Date: 2011-02-01
Genre: Business & Economics

The efficacy of various political institutions is the subject of intense debate between proponents of broad legislative standards enforced through litigation and those who prefer regulation by administrative agencies. This book explores the trade-offs between litigation and regulation, the circumstances in which one approach may outperform the other, and the principles that affect the choice between addressing particular economic activities with one system or the other. Combining theoretical analysis with empirical investigation in a range of industries, including public health, financial markets, medical care, and workplace safety, Regulation versus Litigation sheds light on the costs and benefits of two important instruments of economic policy.

Democracy and Political Ignorance

Author: Ilya Somin
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804799355
Release Date: 2016-06-15
Genre: Law

One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know. The second edition of Democracy and Political Ignorance fully updates its analysis to include new and vital discussions on the implications of the "Big Sort" for politics, the link between political ignorance and the disproportionate political influence of the wealthy, assessment of proposed new strategies for increasing political knowledge, and up-to-date survey data on political ignorance during recent elections. Ilya Somin mines the depths of the current state of ignorance in America and reveals it as a major problem for democracy. He weighs various options for solving this problem, provocatively arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. People make better decisions when they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information—and to use it wisely.

Lawyers in Practice

Author: Leslie C. Levin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226475158
Release Date: 2012-03-30
Genre: Law

How do lawyers resolve ethical dilemmas in the everyday context of their practice? What are the issues that commonly arise, and how do lawyers determine the best ways to resolve them? Until recently, efforts to answer these questions have focused primarily on rules and legal doctrine rather than the real-life situations lawyers face in legal practice. The first book to present empirical research on ethical decision making in a variety of practice contexts, including corporate litigation, securities, immigration, and divorce law, Lawyers in Practice fills a substantial gap in the existing literature. Following an introduction emphasizing the increasing importance of understanding context in the legal profession, contributions focus on ethical dilemmas ranging from relatively narrow ethical issues to broader problems of professionalism, including the prosecutor’s obligation to disclose evidence, the management of conflicts of interest, and loyalty to clients and the court. Each chapter details the resolution of a dilemma from the practitioner’s point of view that is, in turn, set within a particular community of practice. Timely and practical, this book should be required reading for law students as well as students and scholars of law and society.

Failing Law Schools

Author: Brian Z. Tamanaha
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226923628
Release Date: 2012-06-18
Genre: Education

On the surface, law schools today are thriving. Enrollments are on the rise, and their resources are often the envy of every other university department. Law professors are among the highest paid and play key roles as public intellectuals, advisers, and government officials. Yet behind the flourishing facade, law schools are failing abjectly. Recent front-page stories have detailed widespread dubious practices, including false reporting of LSAT and GPA scores, misleading placement reports, and the fundamental failure to prepare graduates to enter the profession. Addressing all these problems and more in a ringing critique is renowned legal scholar Brian Z. Tamanaha. Piece by piece, Tamanaha lays out the how and why of the crisis and the likely consequences if the current trend continues. The out-of-pocket cost of obtaining a law degree at many schools now approaches $200,000. The average law school graduate’s debt is around $100,000—the highest it has ever been—while the legal job market is the worst in decades, with the scarce jobs offering starting salaries well below what is needed to handle such a debt load. At the heart of the problem, Tamanaha argues, are the economic demands and competitive pressures on law schools—driven by competition over U.S. News and World Report ranking. When paired with a lack of regulatory oversight, the work environment of professors, the limited information available to prospective students, and loan-based tuition financing, the result is a system that is fundamentally unsustainable. Growing concern with the crisis in legal education has led to high-profile coverage in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and many observers expect it soon will be the focus of congressional scrutiny. Bringing to the table his years of experience from within the legal academy, Tamanaha has provided the perfect resource for assessing what’s wrong with law schools and figuring out how to fix them.

A Student s Guide to Law School

Author: Andrew B. Ayers
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226067193
Release Date: 2013-10-13
Genre: Reference

Law school can be a joyous, soul-transforming challenge that leads to a rewarding career. It can also be an exhausting, self-limiting trap. It all depends on making smart decisions. When every advantage counts, A Student’s Guide to Law School is like having a personal mentor available at every turn. As a recent graduate and an appellate lawyer, Andrew Ayers knows how high the stakes are—he’s been there, and not only did he survive the experience, he graduated first in his class. In A Student’s Guide to Law School he shares invaluable insight on what it takes to make a successful law school journey. Originating in notes Ayers jotted down while commuting to his first clerkship with then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and refined throughout his first years as a lawyer, A Student’s Guide to Law School offers a unique balance of insider’s knowledge and professional advice. Organized in four parts, the first part looks at tests and grades, explaining what’s expected and exploring the seven choices students must make on exam day. The second part discusses the skills needed to be a successful law student, giving the reader easy-to-use tools to analyze legal materials and construct clear arguments. The third part contains advice on how to use studying, class work, and note-taking to find your best path. Finally, Ayers closes with a look beyond the classroom, showing students how the choices they make in law school will affect their career—and even determine the kind of lawyer they become. The first law school guide written by a recent top-ranked graduate, A Student’s Guide to Law School is relentlessly practical and thoroughly relevant to the law school experience of today’s students. With the tools and advice Ayers shares here, students can make the most of their investment in law school, and turn their valuable learning experiences into a meaningful career.

Confident Pluralism

Author: John D. Inazu
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226592572
Release Date: 2018-08-03
Genre: Law

In the three years since Donald Trump first announced his plans to run for president, the United States seems to become more dramatically polarized and divided with each passing month. There are seemingly irresolvable differences in the beliefs, values, and identities of citizens across the country that too often play out in our legal system in clashes on a range of topics such as the tensions between law enforcement and minority communities. How can we possibly argue for civic aspirations like tolerance, humility, and patience in our current moment? In Confident Pluralism, John D. Inazu analyzes the current state of the country, orients the contemporary United States within its broader history, and explores the ways that Americans can—and must—strive to live together peaceably despite our deeply engrained differences. Pluralism is one of the founding creeds of the United States—yet America’s society and legal system continues to face deep, unsolved structural problems in dealing with differing cultural anxieties and differing viewpoints. Inazu not only argues that it is possible to cohabitate peacefully in this country, but also lays out realistic guidelines for our society and legal system to achieve the new American dream through civic practices that value toleration over protest, humility over defensiveness, and persuasion over coercion. With a new preface that addresses the election of Donald Trump, the decline in civic discourse after the election, the Nazi march in Charlottesville, and more, this new edition of Confident Pluralism is an essential clarion call during one of the most troubled times in US history. Inazu argues for institutions that can work to bring people together as well as political institutions that will defend the unprotected. Confident Pluralism offers a refreshing argument for how the legal system can protect peoples’ personal beliefs and differences and provides a path forward to a healthier future of tolerance, humility, and patience.

Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers

Author: Jennifer Ann Drobac
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226301013
Release Date: 2016-02-02
Genre: Law

When we consider the concept of sexual abuse and harassment, our minds tend to jump either towards adults caught in unhealthy relationships or criminals who take advantage of children. But the millions of maturing teenagers who also deal with sexual harassment can fall between the cracks. When it comes to sexual relationships, adolescents pose a particular problem. Few teenagers possess all of the emotional and intellectual tools needed to navigate these threats, including the all too real advances made by supervisors, teachers, and mentors. In Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers, Jennifer Drobac explores the shockingly common problem of maturing adolescents who are harassed and exploited by adults in their lives. Reviewing the neuroscience and psychosocial evidence of adolescent development, she explains why teens are so vulnerable to adult harassers. Even today, in an age of increasing public awareness, criminal and civil law regarding the sexual abuse of minors remains tragically inept and irregular from state to state. Drobac uses six recent cases of teens suffering sexual harassment to illuminate the flaws and contradictions of this system, skillfully showing how our current laws fail to protect youths, and offering an array of imaginative legal reforms that could achieve increased justice for adolescent victims of sexual coercion.