Online Essays

Online Essays

The War Chest Problem: Why Transferring Unspent Campaign Funds Violates The First Amendment

In an ideal world, political candidates would raise the exact amount of funds they would need to mount a winning campaign in the current election and spend every penny. Campaign finance jurisprudence implicitly assumes that candidates will do just that. In reality, incumbents raise funds even when they have no serious opponents and no real need to spend. After an election, those unspent funds must go somewhere, and every state has a policy allowingContinue reading “The War Chest Problem: Why Transferring Unspent Campaign Funds Violates The First Amendment”

A Deficit of Deserts: The Case for a Pandemic Excess Profits Tax

The global COVID-19 pandemic caused, inter alia, the economic balance in the United States to tilt wildly. In earlier decades, such extreme social and economic upheaval led Congress to pass a special tax on those who benefitted from the crisis, known as an excess profits tax. This paper analyzes the relevant tax policy considerations of bringing back a similar excess profits tax, modeled off of the excess profits tax of World War II, asContinue reading “A Deficit of Deserts: The Case for a Pandemic Excess Profits Tax”

Fair Housing, Unfair Housing

ABSTRACT The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, promulgated under the Obama administration and swiftly repealed under the Trump administration, was the most significant fair housing effort in decades. But for all its ambitions, the rule had a fundamental weakness. It was (intentionally) focused on process and not able to support prescriptive, readily-enforceable mandates to improve racial equity in housing. This Essay argues that this weakness stems from the open-ended meaning of “fair housing.” WithContinue reading “Fair Housing, Unfair Housing”

Plagiarism Pedagogy: Why Teaching Plagiarism Should be a Fundamental Part of Legal Education

As a practicing lawyer, if you aren’t plagiarizing, you’re committing malpractice. Litigators copy forms and arguments from winning briefs rather than bill their clients for reinventing the wheel. Transactional lawyers copy enforceable agreements to ensure their agreements are enforceable too. Partners routinely present documents prepared by associates (and sometimes even paralegals) as their own work. And judges are the most prolific plagiarists of all, copying briefs, opinions, treatises, and legal and nonlegal scholarship, adoptingContinue reading “Plagiarism Pedagogy: Why Teaching Plagiarism Should be a Fundamental Part of Legal Education”

Edwards v. M’Connel: Hiding Behind Legal Principles

Edwards v. M’Connel[i] is cited by a Tennessee state law treatise on res judicata, the legal principle stating that a prior court’s decision is conclusive on another if it was “between the same parties or their privies.”[ii] Edwards’ importance to legal studies and slavery studies is far-reaching. Edwards is an example of how judges reinforced slavery by presenting their decisions as if they were based on impartial legal principles. At best, judges were usingContinue reading “Edwards v. M’Connel: Hiding Behind Legal Principles”

A “Host” of Problems: Airbnbs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Use of condos for hosting Airbnbs has become increasingly popular, not only in places like the Bay Area and Southern California, but also in Midwestern cities like Cincinnati, Ohio. As of October 2017, the Cincinnati Business Journal estimates that there are at least 580 active Airbnb hosts in the metro area.[i] Several of the most popular units are located in Over-the-Rhine (OTR). In little over a decade, OTR has transformed from a neighborhood describedContinue reading “A “Host” of Problems: Airbnbs in Cincinnati, Ohio”

Say Goodbye to Shopping Malls: America’s Shift Towards Technology and Ease

Despite 94% of American consumers who say that they believe doing business within their local communities is important, 2017 ended with a staggering number of over 6,700 brick and mortar stores closing.[i] Famous brands such as Walgreens, Nike, and Footlocker have decided to eliminate physical locations and shift their sales to the online market. With online retailers such as Amazon providing e-commerce platforms for low cost products to be delivered—sometimes within a day—undifferentiated retailContinue reading “Say Goodbye to Shopping Malls: America’s Shift Towards Technology and Ease”

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