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Essay

The Genius of the Personal Benefit Test

by  Jonathan R. Macey  

Introduction On October 5, when the U.S. Supreme Court hears Salman v. United States, it will focus on the role of the “personal benefit” test in insider trading law for the first time since the test was established in the now iconic 1983 case Dirks v. SEC. Dirks reaffirmed the principle that trading on the…

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Essay

The SEC, Administrative Usurpation, and Insider Trading

by  A.C. Pritchard  

The history of insider trading law is a tale of administrative usurpation and legislative acquiescence. Congress has never enacted a prohibition against insider trading, much less defined it. Instead, the SEC has led in defining insider trading, albeit without the formality of rulemaking, and subject to varying degrees of oversight by the courts. The reason…

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Essay

Family Ties

Salman and the Scope of Insider Trading
by  Jill E. Fisch  

Introduction This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Salman v. United States to consider the scope of insider trading liability under the federal securities laws. Specifically, the Court will consider the legal standard for tippee liability, a standard that it first articulated in its 1983 decision in Dirks v. SEC. Dirks considered…

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Essay

Informational Cronyism

by  Donald C. Langevoort  

I. The Issues in Salman If Maher Kara, the Citigroup analyst at the center of the Salman case now before the Supreme Court, was forbidden under SEC Rule 10b-5 from trading securities for his own account while in possession of the valuable secrets to which his job gave him access, should he instead be able…

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Essay

Salman v. United States

Insider Trading’s Tipping Point?
by  Donna M. Nagy  

The Supreme Court’s 2016 term officially begins on the first Monday in October. But corporate insiders, securities analysts, and professional traders (as well as securities lawyers and scholars) are focusing their attention on Wednesday, October 5, when the Court, for the first time in nearly two decades, will hear argument in an insider trading case.…

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Essay

Bakke to the Future

Affirmative Action After Fisher
by  Yuvraj Joshi  

Introduction On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, allowing affirmative action in college admissions to continue. No single feature of Fisher surprised court watchers more than its author, Justice Anthony Kennedy. As Richard Primus wrote in the New York Times: “[T]he most deceptive…

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Response

Data Institutionalism

A Reply to Andrew Woods
by  Zachary D. Clopton  

In Against Data Exceptionalism, Andrew Keane Woods explores “one of the greatest societal and technological shifts in recent years,” which manifests in the “same old” questions about government power. The global cloud is an important feature of modern technological life that has significant consequences for individual privacy, law enforcement, and governance. Yet, as Woods suggests,…

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Essay

Sexual Assault as a Law of War Violation and U.S. Service Members’ Duty to Report

by  Chris Jenks & Jay Morse  

Introduction This Essay considers when U.S. service members deployed to Afghanistan are obligated to report allegations of sexual assault by Afghan security forces (ASF) against Afghan nationals to the U.S. military. The answer requires applying a longstanding Department of Defense (DOD) policy for reporting law of war (LOW) violations and hinges on when sexual assault…

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Essay

FERC v. EPSA

Functionalism and the Electricity Industry of the Future
by  Matthew R. Christiansen  

  Introduction The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) may ultimately rank among the most significant energy law cases of all time. Unsurprisingly, the case has received considerable attention within legal circles and even within the popular press. EPSA upheld one of the Federal Energy Regulatory…

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Essay

In Defense of Corruption

CNN Debates, the Press Clause, and Campaign Finance Regulation
by  Michael Francus  

Introduction This election cycle, CNN’s Republican presidential debates have twice violated campaign finance law, specifically by failing to issue invitations based on “pre-established objective criteria.” These violations went unpunished, not because of the ineptitude of the regulators, but because of the absurdity of the regulation violated, which presumes that television debates violate campaign finance law,…

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Essay

Because and Effect

Another Take on Inclusive Communities
by  Lee Anne Fennell  

Introduction What does “because of race” mean in an antidiscrimination statute like the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA)? The question arose last Term in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., the case in which the Supreme Court recognized a disparate impact cause of action in the FHA. In…

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Essay

Who Should Define Injuries for Article III Standing?

by  Daniel Townsend  

Introduction In November, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, one of the Term’s most talked-about cases. The case presents a relatively unsympathetic plaintiff, Thomas Robins, and the prospect of sizeable class action damages. That combination may explain why one particular narrative has become popular in both mainstream media and legal-industry press…

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Essay

The Many Meanings of “Because Of”

A Comment on Inclusive Communities Project
by  Noah D. Zatz  

Introduction The Supreme Court recently surprised many observers by upholding disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in a case called Inclusive Communities Project. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion ratcheted down the hostility to disparate impact analysis recently on display in his Ricci v. DeStefano opinion and in other earlier opinions he had joined.…

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Essay

Government Speech and Political Courage

by  Helen Norton  

Among the most prominent examples of government speech is a state’s choice to fly—or not to fly—the Confederate flag above or adjacent to its capitol. The recent vigorous public debates in South Carolina and elsewhere across the country reveal the potential power of governments’ expressive choices, including their power to inform, celebrate, cajole, wound, and…

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Essay

The Court and Overcriminalization

by  Michael Pierce  

Introduction In both Bond v. United States and Yates v. United States, the Supreme Court reversed federal criminal convictions. Neither defendant’s conduct was constitutionally protected; there were no procedural irregularities in either trial, no vagueness or overbreadth issues, and no police misconduct. Instead, each case involved prosecuting a small-time individual with a big-time statute: In…

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Essay

Retroactivity, the Due Process Clause, and the Federal Question in Montgomery v. Louisiana

by  Jason M. Zarrow & William H. Milliken  

Introduction The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Montgomery v. Louisiana to determine whether the Court’s holding in Miller v. Alabama, that “the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders,” applies retroactively to cases on collateral review. That question is important in its own…

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Response

Isolating Litigants

A Response to Pamela Bookman
by  Alan M. Trammell  

This Essay is a response to Pamela K. Bookman’s Litigation Isolationism.

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Essay

The Original Meaning of Constitutional Inventors

Resolving the Unanswered Question of the MadStad Litigation
by  Alexander J. Kasner  

Introduction In litigation that garnered national attention, a “garage inventor” of a new design for motorcycle windshields challenged the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) as unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution’s Patent Clause. The basis of the challenge in the case—MadStad Engineering, Inc. v. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office—uncoils as a pleasing syllogism: the AIA transitioned…

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Essay

Substantive Due Process as a Two-Way Street

How the Court Can Reconcile Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty
by  Mark L. Rienzi  

Introduction Last month, the potential conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty prompted death threats, arson threats, and the temporary closure of a small-town pizzeria in Indiana. The restaurant’s owner had admitted to a reporter that she could not cater a hypothetical same-sex wedding because of her religious beliefs (even though she otherwise serves gay…

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Response

Widening the Aperture on Fourth Amendment Interests

A Comment on Orin Kerr’s The Fourth Amendment and the Global Internet
by  David G. Delaney  

Introduction In The Fourth Amendment and the Global Internet, Orin Kerr highlights several important Fourth Amendment questions that few courts have addressed. But in “offer[ing] a general framework for applying the Fourth Amendment to a global computer network in a way that maintains the existing territorial conception of the Fourth Amendment,” Kerr’s article focuses too narrowly…

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