Tyrell Williams Memorial Lecture

Key Implications of the Dodd-Frank Act for Independent Regulatory Agencies

Joel Seligman
The enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act both transcends and transforms financial regulation. The immediate setting of the law is by now a familiar one. By 2008, there was an urgent need for a fundamental restructuring of federal financial regulation, primarily based on three overlapping causes. First, an ongoing economic emergency initially rooted in our housing and credit markets, which has been succeeded by the…

Offsetting and the Consumption of Social Responsibility

Ezra Rosser
This Article examines the relationship between individual consumption and consumption-based harms by focusing on the rise in consumption offsetting. Carbon offsets are but the leading edge of a rise in consumer options for offsetting externalities associated with consumption. Moving from examples of quasi offsetting to environmental offsetting and the possibility of poverty offset institutions, I argue that offsetting provides a valuable mechanism for individuals to correct for the harms associated…

In Defense of the Substance-Procedure Dichotomy

John Hart famously observed, “We were all brought up on sophisticated talk about the fluidity of the line between substance and procedure,” but for most of Erie’s history, the Supreme Court has answered the question “Does this state law govern in federal court?” with a “yes” or a “no.” Beginning, however, with Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, and continuing with Semtek v. Lockheed Martin and the dissenting opinion in Shady…

Activist Distressed Debtholders: The New Barbarians at the Gate?

The term “corporate raiders” previously struck fear in the hearts of corporate boards and management teams. It generally refers to investors who target undervalued, cash-flush or mismanaged companies and initiate a hostile takeover of the company. Corporate raiders earned their name in part because of their focus on value extraction, which could entail dismantling a company and selling off its crown jewels. Today, the term often conjures up images of…

Toward a Reality-Based Constitutional Theory

Despite the alleged triumph of legal realism and the empirical turn of closely related fields such as judicial behavior, a startling number of constitutional theorists continue to approach their work as a purely conceptual enterprise. This is particularly true of originalists, but it is true of many others as well. Indeed, much of normative constitutional theory as it is presently practiced resembles a recreational debating society more than a serious…