University of Southern California

Volume 79, Number 5 (July, 2006)

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    Copyright and Incomplete Historiographies: Of Piracy, Propertization, and Thomas Jefferson
    Article by Justin Hughes

    Because we learn from history, we also try to teach from history. Persuasive discourse of all kinds is replete with historical examples – some true and applicable to the issue at hand, some one but not the other, and some neither. Beginning in the 1990s, intellectual property scholars began providing descriptive accounts of a tremendous strengthening of copyright laws, expressing the normative view that this trend needs to be arrested, if not reversed. This thoughtful body of scholarly literatur...

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    Due Process and Punitive Damages: The Error of Federal Excessiveness Jurisprudence
    Article by A. Benjamin Spencer

    The Supreme Court, in a line of several cases over the past decade, has established a rigorous federal constitutional excessiveness review for punitive damages awards based on the Due Process Clause. As a matter of substantive due process, says the Court, punitive awards must be evaluated by three “guideposts” set forth in BMW of North America v. Gore: the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct, the ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, and a comparison of the amount of...

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    Waiting for Watergate: The Long Road to FEC Reform
    Note by Lauren Eber

    In a February 2005 press conference about his proposed 527 Reform Act of 2005, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) vehemently expressed his views about the Federal Election Commission: “the Federal Election Commission has failed to do their duty….This is a corrupt organization. And I don’t use the word lightly. We need to reform the Federal Election Commission.” This was not McCain’s first public contribution to the litany of derogatory rhetoric about the FEC, which has been called the “Failure to Enforc...

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    Controlling Our Borders Through Enhanced Employer Sanctions
    Note by Jeffrey L. Ehrenpreis

    As a nation built by immigrants, the United States has historically maintained a generally pro-immigration policy. For many Americans, however, the current immigration system appears broken. Proponents of tighter immigration controls often point to the fact that two of the terrorists involved in the attacks on September 11, 2001 received approval of their immigration applications six months after the attacks took place. This oversight proved especially embarrassing to the then Immigration and Na...


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