Category Archives: Ideas

Timing Controversial Decisions

Suppose that members of a state court are prepared to announce a highly controversial ruling. The court might be prepared to rule that a state must allow same-sex marriage, that a state may not continue affirmative action programs, or that … Continue reading

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Locke for the Masses: Property Rights and the Products of Collective Creativity

A concurring opinion in a First Circuit copyright case from the 1990s caught my attention when it came out, and I have been rolling its ideas around in my mind ever since. In the case, the court denied copyright protection … Continue reading

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The Sentencing Commission and Prosecutorial Discretion: The Role of the Courts in Policing Sentence Bargains

My topic is an important defect in the United States Sentencing Guidelines: their attempt to withhold from federal prosecutors the power to enter into sentence bargains pursuant to Rule 11(c)(1)(C) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. By “sentence bargain” … Continue reading

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How to Make a Patent Market

Imagine a stock market in which buyers and sellers couldn’t find out the prices at which anyone else sold a share of stock. If you wanted to buy (or sell) a share of stock, you would have to guess what … Continue reading

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Reflections on the First Years of the International Criminal Court

Adopted on July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) entered into force on July 1, 2002, and since that date, four situations have been referred to the Court, all concerning African countries, namely … Continue reading

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Are We Still Americans?

We are living in a time of crisis. Terrorists have struck our shores and promise to again. We are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and some believe we should add Iran to our battlefields. To protect us, the President … Continue reading

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Using Local Knowledge to Shrink the Individual Carbon Footprint

Entire texts have been devoted to exploring the meaning of the term “lifestyle” and sociological understandings of lifestyle are complex and nuanced. For present purposes, however, a more simple articulation of the term will suffice. Lifestyle can mean “mode of … Continue reading

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Name-Calling

Jennifer Hoffman identified as a woman. A classmate of mine in law school and a section-mate of mine during our first year, Jennifer wore no make-up, her short brown wavy hair parted to her right side, and an oxford shirt … Continue reading

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Small is the New Biglaw: Some Thoughts on Technology, Economics, and the Practice of Law

These are not happy times for either the practice or the teaching of law. On the practice side, law firms are folding and laying off lawyers in unprecedented numbers, while on the teaching side, many of us wonder whether the … Continue reading

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The Evolving Role of Physicians in a Reformed American Health Care System

Thank you for your kind introduction. I am going to make one factual correction which should be of interest to everybody. Technically I am the longest serving governor in history of the State of Vermont. The reason I am the … Continue reading

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