Semiotic Disobedience

Sonia K. Katyal
Nearly twenty years ago, a prominent media studies professor, John Fiske, coined the term “semiotic democracy” to describe a world where audiences freely and widely engage in the use of cultural symbols in response to the forces of media. A semiotic democracy enables the audience, to a varying degree, to “resist,” “subvert,” and “recode” certain cultural symbols to express meanings that are different from the ones intended by their creators,…

The Expressive Impact of Patents

Timothy R. Holbrook
Patents represent a quid pro quo between the public and the inventor: in exchange for disclosing the invention, the inventor receives the right to exclude others from practicing her invention. They therefore serve as a source of technical information. Patents also communicate information to markets and companies that serve to reduce various transaction costs, allowing more efficient transactions and investment. Patents consequently communicate various types of information beyond the technical.…

The Green Costs of Kelo: Economic Development Takings and Environmental Protection

Jonathan H. Adler and Ilya Somin
This Article provides the first detailed analysis of the environmental effects of Kelo and economic development takings generally. It contends that environmentalist support for economic development takings is misguided, and that the rule embodied by the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision is bad for property owners and environmental protection alike. There is a strong environmental rationale for strictly limiting or prohibiting the use of eminent domain for economic development. Part I…

De-Rigging Elections: Direct Democracy and the Future of Redistricting Reform

I propose direct democracy as the best solution, a distinctly political solution, to the problems of contemporary gerrymandering. By requiring direct democratic approval by the general electorate for passage of any statewide redistricting plan, direct democracy invites the public into civic engagement about the fundamental issues of democratic governance that a democracy ought to embrace. In Part II, I briefly describe redistricting reform efforts to transfer greater responsibility for redistricting…