JSP Scope

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ashley Rubin wins LSA Best Grad Paper Prize

Ashley Rubin's paper, "Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity at Eastern State Penitentiary: A Study of the Variation in Sentence Length, 1829-1871," has been selected by the Law and Society Association to receive the 2010 prize for best graduate student paper next month in Chicago. Congratulations to Ashley and to Malcolm Feeley for nominating the paper. The abstract follows:

Multiple theories have been generated and tested to explain the presence or absence of sentencing disparities at all levels of the criminal justice system. Yet these theories have been derived from and explain data coming primarily from the last fifty or so years. Consequently, little is known about the longevity of the contemporary sentencing literature’s explanatory power beyond this period. This project tests the leading theories in the literature by examining the presence of disparities in and influences on prison sentence length in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania. The basic hypotheses explaining contemporary sentencing disparities, including the various group threat theories, court community perspective, and focal concerns, are tested on data for over 6,000 inmates sentenced to Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary between 1829 and 1871. This study finds that several contemporary theories have explanatory power for the nineteenth century, suggesting that the social dynamics and decision-making practices that influence sentencing outcomes remain relatively consistent over time.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Doug Spencer Publishes in the Election Law Journal

JSP graduate student Douglas Spencer has published his article (with Zachary Markovits), "Long Lines at Polling Stations? Observations from an Election Day Field Study" in the recent issue of the Election Law Journal.

Ming Chen Publishes in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law

JSP graduate student Ming Chen is publishing her article "Alienated: A Reworking of the Racialization Thesis after September 11th" in a symposium on LatCrit in a forthcoming issue of the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and Law (read the SSRN version). Ming's article was praised in a post by Dean Kevin Johnson on ImmigrationProf Blog.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James Philip's Working Paper Reaches Top Ten on SSRN Journal of Experimental and Empirical Studies

The paper by JSP student James Philips and Edward Carter of Brigham Young, titled "Gender and U. S. Supreme Court Oral Argument on the Roberts Court: An Empirical Examination of the Sotomayor Hypothesis," is currently listed at number 7 in the current hits section of SSRN's Journal of Experimental and Empirical Studies. The article has also gotten a lot of comments in the legal blogosphere: SCOTUS Blog
; the blog How Appealing; and the Legal Theory Blog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Megan Wachspress Publishes Article in the International Journal of Law in Context

JSP doctoral student Megan Wachspress has published her article,"Rethinking sovereignty with reference to history and anthropology", in Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2009), pp. 315-330 of the International Journal of Law in Context
. The volume was a special issue on socio-legal studies and the humanities.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jamie Rowen Defends Court Trials for 9/11 Suspects in SF Chron Op-Ed

JSP student Jamie Rowen published an opinion column in the San Francisco Chronicle responding to critics of the Obama Administration's decision to try at least some of the 9/11 terror suspects in federal court (rather than military tribunals).

Why do lawmakers question law in 9/11 trial?

I just returned from Sarajevo where there were daily updates on the trial of Radovan Karadzic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shauhin Talesh Publishes article in the Law & Society Review

JSP student Shauhin Talesh published his article, "The Privatization of Public Legal Rights: How Manufacturers Construct the Meaning of Consumer Law," in Volume 43, Issue 3, of the Law & Society Review, 527-62. An earlier version won the 2008, Sociology of Law (ASA), best graduate student paper prize. Congratulations Shauhin!

Abstract: This article demonstrates how the content and meaning of California's consumer protection laws were shaped by automobile manufacturers, the very group these laws were designed to regulate. My analysis draws on and links two literatures that examine the relationship between law and organizations but often overlook one another: political science studies of how businesses influence public legal institutions, and neo-institutional sociology studies of how organizations shape law within their organizational field. By integrating these literatures, I develop an "institutional-political" theory that demonstrates how organizations' construction of law and compliance within an organizational field shapes the meaning of law among legislators and judges. This study examines case law and more than 35 years of California legislative history concerning its consumer warranty laws. Using institutional and political analysis, I show how auto manufacturers, who were initially subject to powerful consumer protection laws, weakened the impact of these laws by creating dispute resolution venues. The legislature and courts subsequently incorporated private dispute resolution venues into statutes and court decisions and made consumer rights and remedies largely contingent on consumers first using manufacturer-sponsored venues. Organizational venue creation resulted in public legal rights being redefined and controlled by private organizations.

Monday, September 28, 2009

James Phillips' article forthcoming in Santa Clara Law Review

First year JSP graduate student James Phillip's is publishing a new co-authored article (with Edward Carter of Brigham Young) in the 2010 Volume of the Santa Clara Law Review. The article (you can read the draft on SSRN here) provides an empirical look at how Supreme Court oral argument behavior effects decision making.