Shari Motro - University of Richmond School of Law

We have alimony. We have palimony. Why don’t we have preglimony? Why don’t we recognize that when a woman gets pregnant with a man to whom she is not married, the pregnancy should be both parties’ responsibility?
I’m not talking about what happens if the pregnancy ultimately produces a child.… Read More »

Fortuity and Forensic Familial Identification

Natalie Ram

On July 7, 2010, Los Angeles police arrested a suspect in the Grim Sleeper murders, so-called because of a decade-long series of break-in killings. The critical lead in the case: a genetic profile in the state’s DNA database that was similar, but not identical, to the killer’s DNA. The partial… Read More »

A New Approach to Nineteenth-Century Religious Exemption Cases

Wesley J. Campbell

In Employment Division v. Smith (1990), the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not afford individuals a right to receive exemptions from neutral and generally applicable laws that incidentally burden their exercise of religion. Although Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, the Court’s decision came without any discussion… Read More »

Scarcity Amidst Wealth: The Law, Finance, and Culture of Elite University Endowments in Financial Crisis

Peter Conti-Brown

In late 2007 and early 2008, Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)—Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Finance Committee (“SFC”)—called higher education to attention by opening an inquiry into how elite universities manage their multibillion dollar endowments. Commentators during the previous decade had extolled the genius… Read More »

Harry Potter and the Trouble with Tort Theory

Scott Hershovitz

Imagine that upon graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter goes to law school. As a 1L, he takes torts from a professor with an economist’s view of the institution. She teaches Potter that tort law aims to minimize the sum of the costs of accidents and… Read More »

Guns, Fruits, Drugs, and Documents: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Responsibility for Real Evidence

Stephen Gillers

“My client came to my office with a loaded gun, burglar’s tools, and a stolen Picasso. These can each be traced to him through fingerprint evidence or in other ways. Theft of the Picasso is headline news, but police say they have no leads. What do I do now?”
A… Read More »

Collective Action Federalism: A General Theory of Article I, Section 8

Robert Cooter & Neil Siegel

The Framers of the United States Constitution wrote Article I, Section 8 in order to address some daunting collective action problems facing the young nation. They especially wanted to protect the states from military warfare by foreigners and from commercial warfare against one another. The states acted individually when they… Read More »

“Just Words”: Common Law and the Enforcement of State Constitutional Social and Economic Rights

Helen Hershkoff New York University School of Law

Since World War II, a number of countries abroad have adopted constitutions or amended these documents to include rights to goods and services such as public schooling, health care, and a clean environment. Skeptics argue that these positive “rights” deserve no place in a constitution; in particular, critics insist that… Read More »


Tom Ginsburg & Eric A. Posner

Many nation states have a two-tiered constitutional structure that establishes a superior state and a group of subordinate states that exercise overlapping control of a single population. The superior state (or what we will sometimes call the “superstate”) has a constitution (a “superconstitution”) and the subordinate states (which we will… Read More »

How State Supreme Courts Take Consequences Into Account: Toward a State-Centered Understanding of State Constitutionalism

Neal Devins - William & Mary Law School

Over the past thirty years, state supreme courts have eclipsed the U.S. Supreme Court in shaping the meaning of constitutional values, both in their home states and throughout the nation. State supreme courts, for example, have interpreted their constitutions to provide broader rights protections than U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of… Read More »