118 Yale L.J. 2 (2008).
This Article argues that courts can, and often should, implement constitutional guarantees by crafting doctrines that raise the costs to government decisionmakers of enacting constitutionally problematic policies. This indirect approach may implement a kind of implicit balancing of interests, in which the damage to constitutional values is weighed against the strength of the government’s interest in the challenged policy, more effectively than alternative approaches. When the government has better information than the reviewing court about the effect of the challenged policy on constitutionally relevant interests, heightened enactment costs act as a kind of screening device: if the government would still enact a given policy in the face of substantial additional enactment costs, the probability that the policy serves significant government interests is likely to be higher. This Article first develops the theoretical argument as to how (and under what conditions) doctrines that manipulate legislative enactment costs may be more effective tools for judicial implementation of the Constitution than doctrines that require direct judicial assessment of the relative strength of the competing interests. The Article further contends that the federal judiciary already has the capacity to fashion doctrines that function in this way, and indeed current doctrine influences legislative enactment costs more than has generally been appreciated.
118 Yale L.J. 64 (2008).
Who should ensure that statutes are interpreted to reflect background norms left unaddressed by Congress—norms like respect for the rights of regulated parties, protection of the interests of states and Native American tribes, avoidance of government bias, and the separation of powers? On the one hand, courts have traditionally sought to protect these constitutionally inspired values by applying “normative” canons of construction. On the other hand, after the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision, authority to interpret unclear regulatory statutes generally belongs not to judges, but to agencies. This question has polarized courts and commentators. A majority, including the Supreme Court, adopts a categorical approach in which canons “trump” Chevron, displacing the agency’s interpretive role altogether. A minority, including the Ninth Circuit, concludes the opposite: that courts should not apply canons, but instead should leave full interpretive discretion to agencies. This Article rejects both categorical approaches and proposes an alternate analytic framework. It argues that whether an agency policy comports with background norms should be considered as part of Chevron’s case-by-case, step-two inquiry into whether the policy is reasonable. Unlike the categorical approaches, this context-sensitive solution creates incentives for robust agency norm protection in the first instance, but also permits courts to apply normative canons independently when administrative decisionmaking either offers little advantage, or fails to account for the background values it implicates. This solution also cabins judicial discretion to resolve broader policy questions and compels courts to be clearer about when, and why, different canonic formulations should apply and the implications for agency input. In sum, it best enlists the capacity of the administrative state to promote accountable and informed deliberation on the balance between regulatory goals and norms of constitutional dimension.
118 Yale L.J. 126 (2008).
In the United States, corporations—as entities—can be criminally tried and convicted for crimes committed by individual directors, managers, and even low-level employees. From a comparative perspective, such corporate liability marks the United States as relatively unique. Few other Western countries impose entity liability, and those that do impose such liability comparatively infrequently and under the threat of far less serious punishment. The question of why the United States—and the United States virtually alone—imposes corporate criminal liability has been the subject of limited scholarly attention. This Note seeks to fill that void through the prism of comparative law. Using Germany—a country that imposes no corporate criminal liability—as a foil, this Note argues that the American doctrine can best be explained not through criminal theory but rather through criminal procedure. American criminal procedure imposes unique difficulties on American investigators and prosecutors seeking to root out individual white-collar criminals. But it also imparts powers to those prosecutors that are unknown to their German counterparts. Among them is the power to threaten criminal indictment, one that allows prosecutors to force American corporations to cooperate, to waive the attorney-client privilege, and to cut ties to individual employees under investigation, thereby facilitating the prosecution of those individual defendants. Using differences in criminal procedure rather than criminal theory to explain the uniquely American doctrine, this Note concludes by suggesting how the criminal procedure approach can best be used to understand—and potentially to reform—an American system that critics increasingly decry as broken.