Permissive Bankruptcy Abstention

Susan Block-Lieb
Parts I and II of this Article provide background discussions. Part I discusses the abstention doctrines applied outside the bankruptcy context. Part II describes the doctrines governing abstention from bankruptcy jurisdiction. Because the development of the bankruptcy abstention doctrines is complicated, Part II proceeds chronologically, beginning with the Supreme Court’s decision in Thompson v. Magnolia Petroleum Co., and concluding with a discussion of case law interpreting the current permissive bankruptcy…

Debunking the Sanctity of Precedent

David M. Becker
This Article addresses the question of how courts should interpret deviant language-language that falls well beyond the parameters of conventional phraseology. This Article concludes that courts should abandon precedent completely in favor of other governing factors-such as intent, custom, fairness and other policy considerations-because the benefits of ad hoc determination far outweigh the costs of inconsistent treatment of such language. To reach this conclusion, Part II first examines what courts…

Truth and Probability—Ironies in the Evolution of Social Choice Theory

Cheryl D. Block
Social choice theory explores the ways in which individual preferences or choices translate into group choices. One of the most devastating discoveries of social choice theory is sometimes known as the “voting paradox,” brought back to modem consciousness by economist, Kenneth Arrow, in his famous work entitled Social Choice and Individual Values. Roughly stated, the paradox is that voting in situations involving more than a simple, binary choice will not…

Article II, the Vacancies Act and the Appointment of “Acting” Executive Branch Officials

Brannon P. Denning
This Article looks at both the Vacancies Act, as well as the provisions with which the Administration countered, in the context of both the Lee nomination and one other case (largely ignored by the press) involving Duke law professor Walter E. Dellinger’s service as acting Solicitor General from July 1996 until August 1997. Contrary to Administration claims, I conclude that the Vacancies Act does apply to Justice Department officials, and…