Print Issues

Volume 59, Issue 1


Historian in the Cellar

by  George Fisher

In 1981, Lawrence Friedman and Robert Percival published The Roots of Justice, their study of the criminal justice system of Alameda County between 1870 and 1910. Working in the sooty port town of Oakland, they unearthed records of prisons, press, courts, and cops. Then they reconstructed the entire criminal justice system, from curbside police discipline…


Efficiency and Tax Incentives

The Case for Refundable Tax Credits
by  Lily L. Batchelder, Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. & Peter R. Orszag

Each year the federal individual income tax code provides over $500 billion worth of incentives intended to encourage socially beneficial activities, such as charitable contributions, homeownership, and education. This is an enormous investment, exceeding our budget for national defense and amounting to about 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The design of these tax incentives…


Antitrust and the Supremacy Clause

by  Richard Squire

In the course of damning the market giant Standard Oil, the Supreme Court declared that the purpose of the Sherman Antitrust Act is to prevent "monopoly and the acts which produce the same result as monopoly." The Constitution's Supremacy Clause, in turn, requires preemption--that is, non-enforcement--of state laws that conflict with a federal statute. Put…


The Law of Other States

by  Eric A. Posner & Cass R. Sunstein

The question of whether courts should consult the laws of "other states" has produced intense controversy. But in some ways, this practice is entirely routine; within the United States, state courts regularly consult the decisions of other state courts in deciding on the common law, the interpretation of statutory law, and even the meaning of…


Sorting the Revolutionary from the Terrorist

The Delicate Application of the "Political Offense" Exception in U.S. Extradition Cases
by  David M. Lieberman

The political offense exception--the principle that an individual cannot be extradited to face criminal prosecution for a "political" act--has long been a staple of extradition law. Its existence is a matter of international consensus; almost every modern treaty contains boilerplate language exempting such offenses from its provisions. That consensus abruptly ends, however, at the task…