Death from the Public Domain?

Kevin Outterson

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 45

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In this comment, Professor Outterson challenges Professor Roin’s argument that pharmaceutical innovation and public health are harmed by the patent doctrines of non-obviousness and novelty.

He argues that obscure or accidental publications are not actually pushing too many inventions into the public domain and thus substantially limiting the patent eligibility of subsequent pharmaceutical inventions. Outterson particularly disputes Roin’s use of the pain medication Ultracet as an example of such harm. After reviewing the factual circumstances surrounding the drug’s design, the patent application process, and subsequent litigation challenges, he concludes that: the disclosure of the prior art that limited Ultracet’s patentability was not inadvertent; that Ultracet was successfully patented and commercialized notwithstanding the public domain (and did not unduly suffer from free riding); and that ultimately Ultracet was not a particularly valuable drug. The Ultracet case explored in this comment raises very interesting counterpoints to Roin’s claims concerning the real-world harms caused by the non-obviousness and novelty doctrines.

Candide Meets the Sherman Act

William Shieber

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 37

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In this comment, William Shieber argues that Professor Crane’s analysis is fundamentally flawed for two reasons.  First, Shieber suggests that Crane’s measure of how to judge political interest—considering references to antitrust issues in presidential candidate speeches, and considering the absence of direct Presidential involvement in filing antitrust suits—is wanting.  Second, Shieber considers the fact that both the Federal Trade Commission and the DOJ, the agencies responsible for antitrust enforcement, are overseen by political appointees.  From this, Shieber argues that one cannot remove the values of these appointees from the regulatory process, which necessarily means that the ultimate decisions made by these agencies have a substantial political component.  For these reasons, Shieber disagrees with Crane’s conclusion that U.S. antitrust enforcement has declined in political salience.

Pangloss Responds

Daniel A. Crane

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 43

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In his response to Mr. Shieber’s comment, Professor Crane clarifies that his article does not suggest antitrust decisions are apolitical.  Crane agrees with Shieber that the ideological bent of the administration has some effect on antitrust outcomes.  However, Crane notes that antitrust has ceased to be a campaign issue and is almost completely absent from political debate.  Crane also criticizes Shieber’s use of the Bush administration’s settlement of the Microsoft antitrust case to support his opinion that antitrust enforcement is still highly partisan without first noting that the D.C. Circuit opinion—handed down at the very beginning of the Bush administration—damaged the government’s bargaining position.

Control Killings

Deborah Tuerkheimer

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 117

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In this comment, Professor Tuerkheimer advances the notion of “control killings,” or viewing domestic violence homicide as the final act in a pattern of various forms of abusive conduct.

She begins by noting that the Supreme Court evinced a fairly sophisticated understanding of domestic violence as a pattern of conduct in Giles, but that it was still wanting in some respects.  The Court overlooks the centrality of power and control to the batterer’s design, and so fails to capture the true essence of battering.  Next, she focuses on Professor Lininger’s third per se rule—inferring intent to silence a victim  from a history of abuse and isolation.  This, she says, raises the complex issues that need to be addressed properly.  Professor Lininger suggests that the inquiry under this rule would properly be to quantify the amount of domestic violence necessarily entailing an intent to silence the victim, but Professor Tuerkheimer is not convinced.  She believes that the aim should be to focus on demystifying the connection between the murder and the past abuse.  This would require lower courts to recognize that the central feature of domestic violence is power/control and that homicide in this context is the ultimate act of control.  She then proceeds to provide evidence that the central feature of domestic violence is power or control over the victim, including conduct other than acts of physical violence.  Finally, Professor Tuerkheimer concludes that in the forfeiture context courts should be concerned whether the defendant has, through all of his battering conduct, acted to reinforce the victim’s connection to him, fortifying her reluctance to ally herself with the state against him in a prosecution.

Response: Directing Military Operations

Michael D. Ramsey

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 29

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In this Comment to Professor Prakash’s article, Professor Ramsey disagrees with Prakash’s contention that the Constitution does not grant the President any exclusive military powers.

In particular, Ramsey takes issue with Prakash’s view that Congress’s constitutional power “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces” gives Congress all-encompassing military power.  He finds that although the Constitution grants Congress the authority to pass standing laws regulating general military conduct, the Constitution does not grant Congress the power to direct battlefield operations.  Comparing the Constitution’s language to that of its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, Ramsey argues that the President, alone, has the power to direct military operations, and congressional attempts to exercise such authority would be unconstitutional.

Being Heard after Giles: Comments on the Sound of Silence

Myrna S. Raeder

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 105

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In this comment, Professor Raeder examines the major claims in Professor Lininger’s article, agreeing with some but not all of his suggestions.

First, she agrees that an originalist approach to the Confrontation Clause will not work in the domestic violence context because domestic violence was not even criminalized at the time of the founding, and explores this area further.  Next, she examines the per se rules that Professor Lininger proposed for inferring intent to silence the victim in domestic violence cases.  While she thinks these rules will help simplify forfeiture decisions and believes they should provide sufficient evidence of forfeiture, she would add that the rules should be rebuttable presumptions.  The defendant should be able to rebut whether in the individual case they actually prove the existence of the inferred or actual intent supporting forfeiture.  Also, she believes that it would be appropriate to allow the admission of other forms of evidence sufficient to prove forfeiture.  Specifically, she would expand Professor Lininger’s per se rules to include two other categories: proof that the defendant has an abusive personality, and proof that the decedent suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, explaining why this would be helpful.  Finally, she focuses on Professor Lininger’s efforts to redefine the forfeiture hearsay exception.  She believes that it would still be better to confine the exception to the witness tampering context because it lacks reliability, and can be more directly dealt with by other hearsay exceptions.

Privacy and Fictitious Contracts

David A. Anderson

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 11

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In this comment to Intellectual Privacy by Neil Richards, Professor Anderson discusses the problems inherent with a binary legal classification system that treats information as either all private or all public in an age where communications technologies make the line between private and public information blurry at best.

He approves of the shift in law that recognizes the difference between, for example, a conversation overheard by one’s coworkers, which may be repeated to their families over dinner, and a conversation overheard by the microphone of a undercover investigative reporter, which may be broadcast to the world.  Professor Anderson then calls for reform of the legal fiction that governs check-the-box information-surrender provisions.  He calls those provisions what they are: contracts of adhesion, and suggests discarding the fiction altogether in favor of a solution that does not allow private entities to force us to disclose private information under the pretense that our disclosure is voluntary.

A Response to The Sound of Silence

Andrew King-Ries

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 85

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In this comment, Professor King-Ries explores Professor Lininger’s proposed solution to the conundrum created by the Supreme Court’s decision in Giles v. California, regarding forfeiture by wrongdoing in the domestic violence context.

Professor Lininger advocates the creation of bright-line rules for determining when it is appropriate to infer a defendant’s intent to prevent his victim from testifying.  Profesor King-Ries agrees this is the right approach but finds the rules incomplete.  Instead, Professor King-Ries believes that whenever the prosecution can establish that a battering relationship exists between the defendant and the victim, it is appropriate to infer the defendant’s intent to prevent the victim from testifying for the purposes of the forfeiture by wrongdoing doctrine.   However, Professor King-Ries explains that a battering relationship can involve more than just violent conduct—such as control over financial resources, or emotional isolation—and that because Professor Lininger’s bright-line rules focus only on the violence aspect, they may be inadequate.  For example, a defendant’s confiscation of the victim’s credit cards after the victim’s reporting of a violent incident might be far more effective at preventing testimony than a punch, but it would fall outside Professor Lininger’s per se rule regarding acts of violence during the pendency of the prosecution.

The Where and Why of Intellectual Privacy

Marc Jonathan Blitz

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 15

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In this comment, Professor Blitz argues that professor Richards’ concept of Intellectual Privacy could benefit from a little less First Amendment theory in one area, and a little more in another.  In particular, Professor Blitz takes issue with how Professor Richards defines the activities that come within the scope of intellectual privacy protections, suggesting that this area should utilize less First Amendment theory.

Additionally, however, Professor Blitz suggests that Intellectual Privacy could use a better understanding as to why solitary and private intellectual exploration is an important First Amendment value.

Form, Function, and Justiciability

Anthony J. Bellia

86 Texas L. Rev. See Also 1

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In his response to Professor Siegel’s Article, Professor Bellia takes a closer look at some of the Article’s conclusions.  In particular, Professor Bellia responds to the assertion that congressional power to generate justiciability demonstrates the purposelessness of justiciability doctrines.  Are justiciability doctrines an effective limit on federal power?  If constraining the power of a federal institution can be a legitimate constitutional purpose in itself, does congressional control over justiciability act as a real, and not merely illusory, limit on judicial power?

Professor Bellia examines important historical thought on the subject—including James Madison’s concerns expressed at the Federal Convention and John Marshall’s writings in a number of Marshall Court decisions—as evidence that persons knowledgeable in law reasonably understood the forms that limited judicial power to function as constitutional limitations.  The result places the analysis at the center of a fundamental separation-of-powers debate over the respective roles of Congress and the federal courts.