Promise Enforcement in Mortgage Lending: How U.S. Borrowers and Lenders Can See Themselves as Part of a Shared Goal Article
Homeownership: American Dream or Illusion of Empowerment? Article
Date of Publication:
Kristen David Adams, Homeownership: American Dream or Illusion of Empowerment?, 60 S.C. L. Rev. 573 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
In this Article, I endeavor to show that because Americans value homeownership so much — in fact, more than we should — we have placed ourselves in an untenable position as a country and now find ourselves in the midst of a well-documented housing crisis. In addition, we have used the primacy of homeownership as an excuse not to fulfill our country’s commitment to provide housing assistance to those persons who need it most. We have done this in part by undervaluing quality, affordable rental property (and quality renters) just as we have overvalued homeownership (and homeowners). Some have used the word “myth” in talking about the American view of homeownership; however, the word I prefer is “illusion,” which I intend to be less pejorative while still acknowledging that homeownership does not always deliver the benefits it promises, particularly for lower income homeowners. This Article is not particularly concerned with the question of who is to blame for the current housing crisis, because I believe fault in this context is too complicated to be laid at the feet of just one party or another. Part II of this Article examines the median American household, mortgage, and house, concluding that many Americans cannot afford the homes they have purchased. Next, Part III addresses the question of why our country overvalues homeownership to such an extent that it now finds itself in this position. In doing so, Part III examines the many benefits that homeownership supposedly provides to both individuals and society. Part IV contrasts society’s customary treatment of homeownership as a virtue with its stigmatization of renters, concluding that the latter is unfounded. Part IV also explores how the very interests that have promoted homeownership have also benefited most from its growth. Part V considers several factors that contributed to the real estate boom that culminated in the mid-2000s, including homeowners’ treatment of mortgage debt as wealth, financing options such as no-down-payment and interest-only loans, increased utilization of home equity loans, and certain features of subprime lending. Part VI concludes by suggesting that universal homeownership does not provide the benefits Americans have come to expect from it and proposing four steps policymakers should follow in creating healthier, more sustainable housing policy.
Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll and Moral Dirigisme: Toward A Reformation of Drug and Prostitution Regulations Article
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Michèle Alexandre, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll and Moral Dirigisme: Toward A Reformation of Drug and Prostitution Regulations, 78 UMKC L. Rev. 101 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
This Article builds upon various scholarly critics of moralistic laws to argue that legal prohibition of drugs and prostitution is inefficient. In so doing, it relies on economists’ scholarship, which has demonstrated that the high costs of regulation are not justified, considering the minimal success of these regulations as well as the harm caused by those regulations. Philosophers, for millennia, have grappled with formulating principles of morality and have attempted to determine which of those principles ought to be codified and imposed as societal rules of law on individuals. Attempts to coerce individuals into adopting certain behavioral patterns or forgo destructive ones have been referred to as “moral dirigisme”. Moral dirigisme manifests itself in “the attempt or tendency to control certain kinds of moral behavior by formal legal means." (See, e.g., Mario J. Rizzo, The Problem of Moral Dirigisme: A New Argument Against Moralistic Legislation, 1 N.Y.U. J.L. & LIBERTY 789, 791 (2005). Moral dirigisme (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty 13 (Stefan Collini ed., 1989) (1859) is an economic term, which describes an economic structure for which the government provides strong direction. (See generally Élie Cohen, Le Colbertisme “High Tech”: Économie Des Telecom et du Grand Projet (1992); David Baker, The Political Economy of Fascism: Myth or Reality, or Myth and Reality?, 11 NEW POL. ECON., 157, 227-50 (2006). The term dirigisme derives from the French word diriger, which means to guide. (see WordReference.com, French to English Dictionary, (last visited Sept. 3, 2009). Moral dirigisme, by analogy, refers to the underlying philosophy which believes that moral behaviors can be changed through formal regulation. It is referred to, by Mario J. Rizzo, as “the attempt or tendency to control certain kinds of moral behavior by formal legal means.” (See Rizzo, supra note 2, at 791). Rizzo views acts by the state to prohibit or authorize certain conduct of individuals in an attempt to force them to act morally as flawed. Id. The laws prohibiting drugs and prostitution serve as perfect examples of implementation of a moral dirigiste philosophy. I contend in this Article that the dirigiste approach to drugs and prostitution is erroneous and inefficient.
From Plato’s Socrates to Kant’s Categorical Imperatives to Hume’s observations, philosophers have confronted the nebulous intersection of absolutely necessary laws and purely beneficence-inducing laws, which cannot be implanted as a product of coercion. While the principles of justice have generally been perceived as capable of inspiring precise laws, other principles such as those guiding beneficence have been viewed by philosophers as more contingent on the individual’s state of mind or circumstances and less likely to be regulated by formal rules. This Article explores the proper role the law should play in regulating behaviors (such as drug use and/or in prostitution) that society deems harmful, but that are resistant to prohibition. Additionally, it considers items deemed harmful to the public, but not subject to any form of prohibition. Furthermore, it re-examines the consequences of U.S. drug and prostitution policy, focusing on the inevitable “black market” effects of the punitive style of enforcement, and initiates serious consideration of policy alternatives to discourage drug use and limit the number of vulnerable women engaging in prostitution.
Consequently, the Article is divided as follows. Part II considers the inefficiency of the prohibition of drugs and prostitution. Part III discusses the underlying legal and philosophical theories that support prohibitory legislation and analyzes why prohibition of drugs and prostitution, although a popular default mechanism, is ineffective at eradicating these behaviors. Part III also identifies the Smithian-Humean view of justice as a basis to evaluate prohibition-based laws. Part IV explores the issues inherent in the prohibition of drugs and considers alternative approaches. Part V explores issues that result from the prohibition of prostitution and Part VI proposes an alternative framework to the prohibition of prostitution. Part VII explores ways of preventing pro-prostitution regulations from strengthening the sex trafficking market. Finally, Part VIII borrows from philosophical frameworks to formulate a standard that helps differentiate between effective and ineffective prohibition. Through an analysis of the unintended effects of prohibition, this Article provides a strong economic and legal argument for the legalization of prostitution and, at the very least, marginal changes in U.S. drug policy.
When Freedom Is Not Free: Investigating the First Amendment’s Potential for Providing Protection Against Sexual Profiling in the Public Workplace Article
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Michèle Alexandre, When Freedom Is Not Free: Investigating the First Amendment’s Potential for Providing Protection Against Sexual Profiling in the Public Workplace, 15 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 377 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
This article explores the ways in which bodily expression can constitute symbolic speech that courts should protect pursuant to the First Amendment of the Constitution. In a previous article, I referred to this type of bodily speech as “body protest.” Body protest can refer to actions that individuals undertake to assert their autonomy, identity, and freedom from societal restrictions. For women, body protest may be used “to challenge gender restrictions and to activate women-centric legal reforms.” For example, women may express body protest through dance, dress, or performance arts. These individuals are often sexually profiled because of how they use their bodies. This article analyzes the sexual profiling issues inherent in grooming cases within the context of First Amendment jurisprudence in the public employment sphere and argues that the First Amendment's protection of freedom of expression offers a basis to expand upon personal rights in grooming cases.
The goal of this article is to argue that by placing body protest and other expression that occurs in public employment appropriately within the scope of the First Amendment, society can eradicate widespread gender bias in the workplace. Part I of this article discusses why the First Amendment should be strengthened as a cause of action in gender-based grooming cases. Part II presents evidence of sexual profiling in rape cases, which reflect society's attitudes towards women's grooming choices. Parts III and IV analyze sexual profiling in the workplace, the treatment of gender-based grooming policies and sex stereotyping under Title VII, and the utilization of conduct as gender-based expression under the First Amendment. Part V *378 seeks to reconcile sexual profiling claims brought under the First Amendment with Supreme Court jurisprudence from Pickering v. Board of Education, Connick v. Myers, and Garcetti v. Ceballos. And last, Part VI considers the possibility of learning by analogy from the sexual orientation cases.
“Girls Gone Wild” and Rape Law: Revising the Contractual Concept of Consent & Ensuring an Unbiased Application of “Reasonable Doubt” When the Victim Is Non-Traditional Article
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Michèle Alexandre, “Girls Gone Wild” and Rape Law: Revising the Contractual Concept of Consent & Ensuring an Unbiased Application of “Reasonable Doubt” When the Victim Is Non-Traditional, 17 Am. U. J. Gender & Soc. Pol'y & L. 41 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
This article, entitled “Girls Gone Wild” and Rape Law: Revising Contractual Concept of Consent and Ensuring an Unbiased Application of "Reasonable Doubt” When the Victim Is Non-Traditional (American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, Volume 17, Number 1, 2009), argues that the traditional contractual standard for consent applied in rape cases is erroneous and particularly harmful to non-traditional rape victims. It, therefore, proposes a change to what is coined by the author as a “continuum-based” standard of consent. Courts’ treatment of non-traditional rape victims when applying the traditional contractual consent standard perpetuates gender biases that nullify the very purpose of the rape shield laws. These decisions are full of sexist assumptions and inferences about the victim’s sexual behavior, which courts use to justify their decisions to allow evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct. This type of evidence unfailingly permeates the jury’s decision as to whether or not the alleged victim’s behavior and past acts are worthy of protection.
Adding Players to the Game: Parentage Determinations When Assisted Reproductive Technology is Used to Create Families Article
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Linda S. Anderson, Adding Players to the Game: Parentage Determinations When Assisted Reproductive Technology is Used to Create Families, 62 Ark. L. Rev. 29 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
Though some forms of assisted reproduction (ART) have been available for a long time, more recent scientific advances in reproductive technology created opportunities for more people to build families, but consequently caused confusion about who should be considered a parent. In addition, changing family relationships have caused questions about who should be considered a parent.
This article attempts to compare the way various courts identify the legal parents of a child born through assisted reproductive technology. After updating existing discussions about the way parentage decisions are made in ART situations the article provides additional support for creating a predictable and consistent approach to situations that scientific advances force courts and legislatures to address.
With little statutory guidance and constrained by individual and varying state law and public policy, courts have attempted to fashion results while generally trying to avoid usurping legislative powers. This article suggests that until legislatures establish clear guidelines for identifying parents, intent to create a child to raise as one’s own should determine parentage when any form of ART is utilized. In fact, as legislatures tackle this complicated issue, intent can provide a reasonable determining factor of a legal parent.
The Twilight Zone of Insolvency: New Developments in Fiduciary Duty Jurisprudence that May Affect Directors and Officers in the Zone of Insolvency Article
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Andrew D. Appleby and Jonathan T. Edwards, The Twilight Zone of Insolvency: New Developments in Fiduciary Duty Jurisprudence that May Affect Directors and Officers in the Zone of Insolvency, 18 Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice 3 Art. 2 (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
Three’s Company: Stone v. Ritter and the Improper Characterization of Good Faith in the Fiduciary Duty Triad Article
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Andrew D. Appleby and Matthew D. Montaingne, Three’s Company: Stone v. Ritter and the Improper Characterization of Good Faith in the Fiduciary Duty Triad, 62 Ark. L. Rev. 431– (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
In Stone v. Ritter, the Delaware Supreme Court attempted to end the debate revolving around good faith’s role in director fiduciary liability. The Stone court finally cleared up some doctrinal issues when it explicitly stated that good faith is not a freestanding duty on the level of care and loyalty. However, the court created a host of new questions and concerns - particularly in director oversight cases - when it included good faith solely as a subsidiary element of the duty of loyalty. The Stone court incorrectly held that the fiduciary duty of loyalty is not limited to cases involving a conflict of interest; loyalty also now encompasses director oversight cases. The court should have recognized that good faith is a necessary subsidiary element of both the duty of loyalty and the duty of care, and left director oversight in the realm of care.
The extent of director oversight liability under Stone remains to be seen. Whether the Chancery can appropriately apply the reformulated Caremark/Disney standard is anybody’s guess. If the recent contradictory decisions in Bear Stearns, Ryan, and Bridgeport are any indication, clarity and consistency in Delaware fiduciary law is a chimera.Fortunately, the Delaware Supreme Court’s cogent analysis in Lyondell, however, should provide some much needed post-Stone guidance.
In the wake of the current economic crisis, the Delaware courts need to recognize that the Stone formulation of good faith is inaccurate. The Delaware courts must also recognize that good faith is the overarching fiduciary goal, and thus, a necessary element of both the duty of loyalty and the duty of care.
This article examines Stone, including the factual basis and rationale of both the Chancery Court and the Delaware Supreme Court. This article then provides a concise history of Delaware’s constant repositioning of directors’ fiduciary duties. The article then analyzes the Delaware Supreme Court’s doctrinal shift regarding good faith and the duty of loyalty. This analysis includes both the conceptual and practical implications of good faith as a component of loyalty. This article also analyzes the Stone court’s improper repositioning of Caremark cases solely into the realm of loyalty. Additionally, this article analyzes the potential changes in section 102(b)(7) after the Delaware Supreme Court’s improper shift of good faith from care to loyalty, as well as the most recent - and inconsistent - post-Stone cases. This article concludes with a glance at the future of director liability and a proposed solution to the new quagmire presented by Stone. In brief, the Delaware courts need to recognize that good faith is the overarching fiduciary goal, and thus a necessary element of both the duty of loyalty and the duty of care. Further, the Delaware courts need to reverse Stone’s reframing of director oversight claims as primarily loyalty claims and reincorporate the appropriate Caremark duty of care framework.
Pay at the Pump: How $11 Per Gallon Gasoline can Solve the United States’ Most Pressing Challenges Article
Date of Publication:
Andrew D. Appleby, Pay at the Pump: How $11 Per Gallon Gasoline can Solve the United States’ Most Pressing Challenges, 40 Cumb. L. Rev. 3– (2009)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
The United States of America currently faces unprecedented challenges. If our nation fails to effectively answer these challenges - such as fragile national security, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and potentially catastrophic climate change - we will lose our position as a world power. One problem underlies all of the United States’ challenges: Dependence on foreign oil. If the United States can dramatically reduce its oil dependence, the direct effect would be less exposure to Middle Eastern turmoil, dampened competitive pressures in Asia, significantly reduced funds flowing to terrorist activities, and a revived economy.
This article proposes a detailed plan that would efficiently and effectively eliminate the United States’ foreign oil dependence. The foundation of this novel proposal is a significantly increased gasoline tax that would eliminate gasoline consumption and consequently solve our nation’s most pressing challenges.
This article begins by analyzing the root problem of the United States’ most pressing challenges: Staggering foreign oil consumption. This article examines the wide-ranging effects of our immense oil consumption on virtually all aspects of life - including national security, climate change, the world economy, the environment, and public health. This article then proposes a simple solution: A federal gasoline tax large enough to reduce consumer demand to practically zero. A significantly increased gasoline tax is the ideal solution; nothing else so simple can have such an immense impact on all our nation’s most pressing challenges. The discussion begins with the general economic principles underlying a gasoline tax, and then moves to a detailed plan to effectively implement such a gasoline tax. Although virtually all economists support an increased gasoline tax, this article is the first to thoroughly propose such a substantial tax combined with the elimination of fuel economy standards. This article also analyzes the Obama administration’s most recent efforts to stimulate the economy and fight climate change. This article then discusses the results of the proposed gasoline tax and its accompanying precipitous drop in fossil-fuel demand. The article concludes with a detailed look at the alternative-energy solutions that would quickly proliferate in a society devoid of gasoline demand.
This article presents a novel and timely proposal that would efficiently and effectively eliminate the United States’ foreign oil dependence, and at the same time immediately stimulate the economy and build a foundation for long-term economic growth. Hopefully this article will begin the discussion that prompts the United States to lead an international shift toward sustainable growth and prosperity.