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August 31, 2015

Legal and Psychological Considerations in Adolescents' End-of-Life Choices

In this essay, Professor Wilson reflects on the manner in which the law treats adolescents who are faced with end-of-life decisions. She begins by surveying the legal framework underlying end-of-life choices at the state and federal levels. She then discusses two decisionmakers - adolescents and adults - and the behavioral traits and biases that animate each when end-of-life decisions arise. In doing so, Wilson draws upon a rich body of empirical work on human decisionmaking. Wilson concludes that placing end-of-life decisions solely in the hands of adolescents or adults can result in suboptimal choices. She proposes the use of a bioethical mediator to counteract biases, reduce disagreement, and assist all parties in reaching the best possible outcome. 

August 17, 2015

The Value of Uncertainty

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the federal courts have heard arguments in disputes involving billions of dollars worth of securitized financial products—yet it is not clear that the federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over these cases. In this Essay, Cathy Hwang and Professor Benjamin P. Edwards advance possible explanations for why parties to these disputes do not raise this possible jurisdictional defect, which casts light on potential values of uncertainty in litigation more generally.

July 12, 2015

Crazy in Alabama: Judicial Process and the Last Stand Against Marriage Equality in the Land of George Wallace

In this essay, Professor Wasserman provides new insight into the procedural landscape of marriage-equality litigation in Alabama prior to the Supreme Court's recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. By drawing on the limited precedential force of lower federal courts' interpretations of the Constitution and the limited nature of injunctive relief, Wasserman argues that any description of the events in Alabama as "judicial defiance" - or as akin to Alabama's resistance to racial integration in the 1960s - is inaccurate. Wasserman concludes by analyzing Alabama officials' reactions to the Obergefell decision, taking the Obergefell aftermath to further illustrate that, as a matter of judicial procedure, the last stand against marriage equality in Alabama was not as crazy as some commentators have made it out to be.