In addition to his own blog launch, my colleague Eric Orts has agreed to occasionally blog for us for the next couple of weeks. He's the Guardsmark Professor here at Wharton, seconded in the Management Department, and is the director of the school's Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership. He's also the author of Business Persons. Welcome, Eric!
The Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law is now accepting applications for the Lowell Milken Institute Law Teaching Fellowship. This fellowship is a full-time, year-round, one or two academic-year position (approximately July 2015 through June 2016 or June 2017). The position involves law teaching, legal and policy research and writing, preparing to go on the law teaching market, and assisting with organizing projects such as conferences and workshops, and teaching. No degree will be offered as part of the Fellowship program. Only one fellowship will be offered.
Fellowship candidates must hold a JD degree from an ABA accredited law school and be committed to a career of law teaching and scholarship in the field of business law and policy. Applicants should have demonstrated an outstanding aptitude for independent legal research, preferably through research and/or writing as a law student or through exceptional legal experience after law school. Law Teaching Fellowship candidates must have strong academic records that will make them highly competitive for law teaching jobs.
More information on the fellowship can be found at http://lowellmilkeninstitute.law.ucla.edu/lowell-milken-institute-business-law-and-policy-teaching-fellowship/. Applications must be submitted by November 14, 2014.
So far we haven't said much about the strict scrutiny analysis that comes at the end of the Hobby Lobby opinion. That makes sense given our comparative advantage as corporate law scholars. However it does matter, both in general and for a few points we have discussed, such as Eric's call for paying attention to the interests of Hobby Lobby's employees and Jayne's skepticism as to whether a workable accommodation is truly available.
The majority assumed that assuring that women had access to contraception is a compelling interest, but argued that the mandate is not the least restrictive means to achieving that interest. The Alito opinion considers two alternatives, ultimately resting more on allowing Hobby Lobby to use the already existing accommmodation for religious nonprofits, under which the insurers pay for the contraceptive coverage. If this works, it means that the RFRA objection is met while the employees are still covered. I say "if" because the Court may yet strike down that accommodation as itself invalid under RFRA. That would be a nasty bait-and-switch, but given Justice Kennedy's concurrence, I remain hopeful that at least he will not do so.
The contrast between Alito and Kennedy illustrates at least a different tone in how they apply strict scrutiny. In law school we learn this is strict in theory but fatal in fact, which seems to fit Justice Alito's tone. However, sometimes the balancing is more nuanced and even-handed, as in Justice Kennedy's concurrence. Much anxiety over the opinion stems from a sense that Justice Alito's tone will prevail in future cases.
That could be problematic because of an inherent tension in RFRA. I am a big fan of the statute, but there is merit to some concern. RFRA applies to statutes that do not discriminate against religions either on their face or by intent, but only in effect as applied in some circumstances. Given our rich array of statutes and religious beliefs, that can happen quite a lot. If everytime it does we are going to re-write the law unless the government can satisfy a very toughly-applied strict scrutiny standard, we may be doing a lot of re-writing.
This concern isn't new. It is the core of Justice Scalia's refusal to follow a strict scrutiny standard in Employment Division v. Smith, the case that RFRA overturned. In essence, Scalia chose to follow rational basis scrutiny in such circumstances. But if strict scrutiny risks being too tough, rational basis scrutiny is too weak, providing in effect no religious liberty protection unless statutes explicitly regulate religion. Is a compromise possible?
That leads me to the missed opportunity and my doomed proposal.
The missed opportunity. There is of course an intermediate scrutiny standard of review available in constitutional law jurisprudence. That standard would allow a more even-handed weighing of the competing interests, not favoring plaintiffs as heavily as strict scrutiny or the government as heavily as rational basis. Moreover, precedent was readily available. In free speech cases (a clause separated from free exercise by a semi-colon), in time, place and manner cases the Court basically applies intermediate scrutiny. These cases occur where a statute does not regulate speech explicitly or by intent, but still has the effect of restricting speech--precisely analogous to the situation in Smith and RFRA.
So why did no one in Smith take the intermediate scrutiny route? Or, why didn't Congress do so in RFRA? Beats me. That is actually two missed opportunities.
The doomed proposal. It is still technically possible to re-visit the point. Congress could always amend RFRA. But the statute is now helplessly caught up in the culture wars, in stark contrast to the near unanimity of its passage. It is very hard to envision this weakening of RFRA passing as long as Republicans retain blocking power in the House, Senate, or Presidency.
Which leads to a more complicated version of the doomed proposal. What about a grand bargain? Republicans agree to amend the federal RFRA, and in return Democrats agree to pass the intermediate scrutiny version in a large number of states that currently have no RFRA. To my mind, it's not even a compromise--the result is better at both the federal and state levels. That's not the way the parties see it, but still each side gets a lot out of this. Alas, they both lose something too. Given the state of current politics, I can't see such a bargain working. The spirit of compromise is weak, and both sides are having too much fun rallying their bases with Hobby Lobby.
We are pleased to welcome Max Minzner for a guest blogging stint at the Conglomerate. Max is a Professor and the Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of New Mexico School of Law. In addition to teaching at UNM and Cardozo, Max has a wealth of experience in the public sector. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and as Special Counsel to the Director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Among his articles is the fantastic new piece (co-authored with Margaret Lemos), For-profit Public Enforcement which appeared this January in the Harvard Law Review.
We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Pollman as a guest blogger for the next two weeks. Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where she teaches business law courses and write about the entity status and constitutional rights of corporations, as well as on law and entrepreneurship. If you are interested in the trading of private company stock, you must read her excellent article on Information Issues on Wall Street 2.0, published last year in the Penn Law Review. Welcome, Elizabeth!
According to his web bio, Ted Sichelman of the University of San Diego School of Law "writes in the areas of intellectual property, law and entrepreneurship, empirical legal studies, law and economics, and computational legal studies, and tax law." Of course, you don't have to believe the bio ... you can also read his work for yourself. It's good stuff. I especially like the work at the intersection of law and entrepreneurship, like "Why Do Start-ups Patent?" and "Commercializing Patents." Ted will be guest blogging with us over the next two weeks, and we are very eager to see what is currently occupying his thoughts. Welcome, Ted!
Christopher Bruner is Professor of Law and Ethan Allen Faculty Fellow at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Christopher writes about corporate governance, and we recently linked to his excellent book, Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World. I am currently immersed in some of his papers on fiduciary law, and I am eager to read his upcoming posts. Welcome, Christopher!
Mike Burstein of Cardozo School of Law will be joining us as a guest blogger for the next two weeks. Mike writes about IP law, and I particularly enjoyed his article "Exchanging Information Without Intellectual Property," published last year in the Texas Law Review, which questions the need for intellectual property for the promotion of information markets. Also, check out his newer piece, "Rethinking Standing in Patent Challenges", forthcoming in The George Washington Law Review, which argues, "When ... market participants are deterred from engaging in innovative activity ... they have standing to bring what amounts to a quiet title action" before making costly investments. We are grateful to welcome Mike to the Glom.
After a delay caused by the well-publicized attack on Typepad, Robert Miller is poised to begin guest blogging. Robert is Professor of Law and F. Arnold Daum Fellow in Corporate Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, where he teaches Mergers and Acquisitions, Law and Economics, Corporate Finance, Business Associations, Antitrust, and Contracts. He is an experienced and insightful transactional lawyer, and we are grateful to have him for the next couple of weeks at the Glom. Welcome, Robert!
We have today concluded our Ribstein Memorial Symposium here at the University of Illinois College of Law. I can't think of a better way to honor the scholarly and personal legacy of Larry Ribstein, other than a week-long conference. I am grateful to our organizers, presenters and participants.
At the conference, Dean Bruce Smith announced that in conjunction with the Larry E. Ribstein Memorial Fund, our VAP program, before known as the Illinois Academic Fellowship Program, will from yesterday forward be known as the Larry E. Ribstein Academic Fellowship Program. Again, having this successful program bear his name is a perfect tribute. Larry worked very hard with each of our VAPs and on behalf of them. The fund "will support initiatives designed to advance the intellectual life of the College of Law, including a named faculty position, research support, and workshops for junior faculty members, as well as innovations designed to more effectively bridge the worlds of legal theory and legal practice, particularly in the area of business law." If you would like to learn more about the fund, and perhaps contribute to it as a way to honor Larry, you can find more information here.
You know how you get all those emails "inviting" you to a conference that takes place across the country tomorrow? Or yesterday? You weren't really invited. You were "noticed." This is not that kind of invitation.
As most readers know, my dear colleague, friend, and "friend of the Glom" Larry Ribstein passed away in December 2011. The University of Illinois College of Law has spent the better part of the last year designing an academic symposium composed of papers building on his huge and varied scholarly legacy. These papers will be published in our law review. We hope that many, many of his friends, colleagues, blog readers and fans will come to Champaign to continue exploring the ideas and themes he dedicated his career pursuing.
The information on the symposium is here. If you are coming, feel free to email me (email@example.com) or Carolyn Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get registered and get a password for the papers. I would love to see you, and we will treat you like an invited guest, not an interloper with a mass email "invite." Champaign is a couple/few hours away from notable urban centers with many law schools. If you decide to drive down and spend the night, know that the fanciest hotels in town are pretty cheap!
Here is the lineup:
|October 17, 2013:|
|8:00-9:00 a.m.||Breakfast at the College of Law|
|9:00-11:15 a.m.||1st Session: Legal Practice (Moderator: Bruce Smith)|
|11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||2nd Session: Jurisdictional Competition (Moderator: Verity Winship)|
|12:30-1:30 p.m.||Lunch at the College of Law|
|1:30-3:00 p.m.||3rd Session: Corporate Law I (Moderator: Christine Hurt)|
|3:15-4:45 p.m.||4th Session: Corporate Law II (Moderator: Jamelle Sharpe)|
|6 p.m.||Reception and Dinner|
|October 18, 2013:|
|7:45-8:45 a.m.||Breakfast at the College of Law|
|8:45-10:15 a.m.||5th Session: Corporate Law III (Arden Rowell)|
KELLEY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Department of Business Law and Ethics
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University seeks applications for open-rank, tenure-track positions in the Department of Business Law and Ethics, effective August 2014. The candidates selected will join a well-established department of 15 full-time faculty members who teach a variety of courses on legal topics and business ethics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
To be qualified, a candidate must have a J.D. degree and an excellent academic record and must demonstrate the potential for outstanding teaching and research in law and/or ethics. The ideal candidate will also have training in applied ethics or experience teaching business ethics.
Interested candidates should review the application requirements and submit their application at http://indiana.peopleadmin.com/postings/348. Candidates should direct any questions to Jane Mallor, Chair, Department of Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business, 1309 E 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 or email@example.com.
Application materials received by October 15, 2013, will be given full consideration.
Indiana University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.
From our friends at Wake Forest comes this announcement:
Wake Forest University School of Law welcomes applications for a Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) to teach Civil Procedure in the 2013-2014 academic year, and perhaps beyond. Additional information is here.
Thank you to our Masters for two days of provocative and insightful posts on what the Chick-fil-A controversy means for the current state of corporate social responsibility.
The complete set of posts in the forum can be viewed here.
For those of you looking for weekend reading, here is a (tiny) sample of very recent writings by scholars with a history of provocative writing on the field of CSR:
- Chris Bruner’s article Conceptions of Corporate Purpose in Post-Crisis Financial Firms; and
- Ian Lee’s chapter “The Role of Public Interest in Corporate Law” in the brand new Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporate Law (edited by Claire Hill and our very own Conglomerate Master, Brett McDonnell)
Claire and Brett’s new volume also includes contributions on “Corporate Constituencies” by Stephen Bainbridge, Margaret Blair, Chuck Whitehead, and our current Master Matt Bodie, as well as our own Gordon Smith.
There is a lot more good stuff in the Handbook – including chapters by Lisa Fairfax and our current Master Steven Davidoff. Congratulations to Claire, Brett, and their contributors!