The Law Professor as Counterterrorist Tactician

Lawrence Rosenthal

89 Texas L. Rev. See Also 113

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Scholars have long sought to identify an optimal counterterrorist strategy, particularly in light of the September 11 attacks.  Professor Rosenthal responds to Professor Huq’s critique of the use of religious speech and statements of belief for counterterrorist purposes.  In doing so, Rosenthal argues that such statements may offer appropriate and reliable evidence of motive and intent, as in the case of Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, in investigations and prosecutions of terrorists.

Rosenthal identifies the costs associated with forgoing such an investigation of religious speech, and Professor Huq’s argument is not to the contrary.  Rosenthal argues that investigators and prosecutors must be able to rely on these statements just as they are used to initiate an investigation, and the costs of forgoing this reliance could be catastrophic.  Indeed, Huq’s proposal to identify insular groups may require reliance on statements of belief given the lack of information available otherwise.

Rosenthal concludes that the lack of implementation of Professor Huq’s proposals by accountable policy makers may suggest their limited value.

The Still-Elusive Quest to Make Sense of Veil-Piercing

David Millon

89 Texas L. Rev. See Also 15

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Prof. Millon argues that while Prof. Oh’s empirical study offers a valuable contribution to veil-piercing scholarship by analyzing cases of fraud as a distinct category, it falls short of explaining what is really going on in veil-piercing cases.  Because decision making in this area is driven by imperfectly understood and poorly articulated considerations of fairness and policy, an analysis of the factors cited by courts to justify veil-piercing will not adequately explain the outcomes of these cases.  Millon also challenges the common assumption that piercing is easier to justify in tort as opposed to contract cases by suggesting justifications for the relative frequency of piercing in contract cases.

Agency-Specific Precedents: Rational Ignorance or Deliberate Strategy

Kristin E. Hickman

89 Texas L. Rev. See Also 89

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Administrative law scholars have debated the seeming paradox of a field with general legal principles applied to a diverse group of agencies.  Professor Hickman responds to Professors Levy and Glicksman’s observation that judges tend to identify precedents from separate agencies, although this is problematic.  These precedents, according to Levy and Glicksman, arise from attorney specialization, an inability of attorneys to expand their knowledge to other areas, and an inability of judges to compensate for incomplete briefing.

While recognizing the validity of Professors Levy and Glicksman’s observation, Professor Hickman observes that this picture is incomplete and that the underlying causes of deviations from general principles are likely myriad. In particular, she argues that attorneys in some cases may have entirely rational and deliberate reasons for their limited briefing.

Drawing on her background in tax law, Professor Hickman argues, that both deliberate strategy and rational ignorance explain deviations from general principles of administrative law in tax regulation.  However, recent cases suggest some movement toward the Levy and Glicksman model of uniformity.

Solar Rights for Texas Property Owners

Sara C. Bronin

89 Texas L. Rev. See Also 79

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In response to Jamie France’s note, A Proposed Solar Access Law for the State of Texas, Professor Bronin urges future commentators to focus on three additional areas of inquiry related to proposed solar rights regimes. Bronin argues that such proposals would be strengthened by discussion of potential legal challenges to the proposals, related political issues, and renewable energy microgrids.

Ms. France’s proposal for the State of Texas includes the elimination of preexisting private property restrictions that negatively affect solar access.  Bronin argues that this proposal would be strengthened by a discussion of potential challenges under federal and state takings clauses.  Additionally, Ms. France’s suggestion that zoning ordinances protect homeowners’ solar access would benefit from a discussion of challenges that might be raised by home rule cities in Texas.  Furthermore, to provide a full perspective, a discussion of possible alternative rules for Houston, which lacks a zoning ordinance, might add to Ms. France’s proposal, according to Bronin.

Bronin also emphasizes that proposals for solar rights regimes, such as that of Ms. France, often affect various interest groups, and commentators should address the political issues that this creates. Specifically, in discussing Ms. France’s proposal for the State of Texas, Bronin identifies the lack of political support for small-scale renewable energy installations as opposed to large-scale projects, Texas’s current budget shortfall, and powerful interests groups that are affected by the proposal.

Finally, Bronin encourages other commentators to consider advocating for renewable energy microgrids.  Bronin has described these as “small-scale, low-voltage distributed generation between neighbors for energy derived from sources such as solar collectors, wind power systems, microturbines, geothermal wells, and fuel cells, which have minimal negative impact on the environment.”  Bronin believes that renewable energy microgrids “should be a key part of solar access regimes in any state.”

Intellectual Liability in Context

John M. Golden

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 211

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Professor Golden’s response to Professor Crane highlights the limitations on Prof. Crane’s thesis, notably the difficulties that accompany an attempt to precisely calculate awards sufficient to catalyze creative activity both in the short-term and long-term. Professor Golden also takes issue with Professor Crane’s arguments for permanent injunctions to nonpracticing patentees and his defense of private-bargaining as a method of circumventing questions of the court’s institutional competence in patent-rate setting.

Nixon‘s Revenge

Michael J. Gerhardt

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 43

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In his Response to Professor Sacharoff’s Article, Professor Gerhardt critiques the use of sources, contending that Professor Sacharoff reads too much into the “antimonarchical premises” of the Constitution and too little into other sources. Gerhardt suggests alternatives to Sacharoff’s reading of the structure and context of the Constitution, as well as precedents and analogies that might inform our judgment about the extent to which former presidents might or should have any control over executive privilege.

Optimal Tax Treaty Administrative Guidance

Craig M. Boise

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 175

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In his Response to Professor Kirsch, Professor Boise critiques the assertion that administrative regulations are superior to technical explanations in interpreting tax treaties. He explains three imperatives that any interpretation regime must meet (authoritativeness, comprehensiveness, and timeliness) before offering other alternatives on optimal treaty guidance.

Procedural Adequacy

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 55

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In her Response to Professor Tidmarsh’s Article articulating the “do no harm” principle, Professor Burch explores Tidmarsh’s theory from a procedural legitimacy perspective. She considers the assumption that in any given class action both attorneys and class representatives tend to act as self-interested homo economicus. She argues that (1) tailoring adequacy to egocentric behavior by providing a floor to minimally acceptable conduct creates a troubling anchor that is at odds with agency and ethical principles; and (2) this proposed change, particularly as it tolerates collusion and unequal treatment among class members, may adversely impact perceptions of procedural justice and class-action legitimacy.

Keeping Republics Republican

Rob Atkinson

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 235

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In his response to Prof. Brian Galle, Prof. Rob Atkinson offers a “republican philanthropy” perspective to Prof. Galle’s “charitable charity” approach. First, Prof. Atkinson helpfully places Prof. Galle’s thesis in the larger context of charity scholarship; he elucidates the history and differences between nonprofit and for-profit charitable institutions, comparing and contrasting them with governmental institutions. Prof. Atkinson argues that Prof. Galle’s approach makes a valuable contribution to rebutting the for-profit charity assumption that nonprofits are inefficient; however, he believes that governmental institutions are in the best position to provide charitable services. Using the University of Texas School of Law as an example, he demonstrates that republican philanthropies—institutions that are neither for-profit nor traditional “charitable charities”—sponsor important public goods like this debate itself.

Patent Valuation Theory and the Economics of Improvement

Amy L. Landers

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 163

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In her response to Professor Golden, Professor Landers identifies three threads that underlie the debate on patent remedies.  First, patent value may be difficult to define because of certain indeterminacies.  Second, economic and technological contingencies may distort the amounts paid for patents.  Third, principles of adaptation and implementation might bring the field to a theoretical consensus about patent value.  After analyzing Prof. Golden’s principles in the context of each thread, Prof. Landers proposes that, in order to bridge the differences in current theoretical viewpoints, the explicit addition of the economics of improvement is necessary.