Law

The Relationship between Law and Economics

Guido Calabresi— A century and a half ago John Stuart Mill said of English philosopher and political radical Jeremy Bentham, in effect, that he approached the world as a stranger. And, if the world did not fit his theory, utilitarianism, he dismissed what the world did as nonsense. Mill then said

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Reforming the US Prison System

Anne-Marie Cusac— Reentering society is difficult for many prisoners. But twenty-year-old Jazmine Smith has gained something during her prison sentence that many inmates don’t have—a high school education at a charter school. The Georgia prison system’s first high school class of fifteen graduated in July. Smith acknowledged the challenge that

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Why the Constitution Matters

Happy Constitution Day! In Why the Constitution Matters, Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet poses a seemingly simple question and provides us with a thoroughly unexpected answer, forcing us to question our understanding of the Constitution. He broadens our understanding of the Constitution and shows us how this document structures our

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The World’s First Corporations

It is commonly believed that the first corporations were English and Dutch trading corporations from the 1600s. But Germain Sicard, in an overlooked 1952 thesis, argued that the first corporations arose much earlier, in mills from the 1300s in Toulouse, France. His landmark research brings these mills to life and

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Do Workers Deserve Wages Sufficient to Live On?

Joseph William Singer— Should we raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour? Those who say yes seek wages sufficient to sustain workers; those who say no argue that this will increase business costs, leading to layoffs of the very people we are trying to help. Would an increase help

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Makah Whaling and Their Historical Relationship to the Sea

Joshua Reid— This last March, the National Marine Fisheries Service invited public input on a recently released draft environmental impact statement that evaluates the Makah Nation’s request to resume hunting gray whales off the coast of Washington State. Most of the feedback on the government website that is collecting this

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Tolerating Intolerance: Fanaticism and Free Speech

Stephen Eric Bronner— An old friend once told me that being a decent person means having a guilty conscience. And there was enough to feel guilty about as 2015 unfolded. Ethical uncertainty over how a liberal society should deal with the intolerant has become strikingly evident following the murders of four French

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Americanizing the Ten Commandments

Michael Coogan— In 2001, Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, installed a massive monument featuring the Ten Commandments in the courthouse rotunda. When ordered by a federal judge to have it taken away because it violated the establishment clause of the U. S. Constitution, Moore refused, and

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The Children of the Amistad

Benjamin N. Lawrance— March 9 marks the 174th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision U.S. v Amistad, one of the most celebrated U.S. “freedom suits.” Since the case’s conclusion in 1841, the charismatic leadership of Cinqué (Sengbe Pieh) and the rhetorical prowess of former President John Quincy Adams and others

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The Social Media Myth

Philip N. Howard— Since the great tragedy of Charlie Hebdo, politicians and pundits around the world have succumbed to the notion that social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are to blame for violent online extremism. They argue that social media is not only a conduit for terrorists it is

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