University of Southern California

Volume 82, Number 6 (September, 2009)

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    Rewriting Frankenstein Contracts: Workout Prohibitions in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities
    Article by Anna Gelpern & Adam J. Levitin

    Modification-proof contracts boost commitment and can help overcome information problems. But when such rigid contracts are ubiquitous, they can function as social suicide pacts, compelling enforcement despite significant externalities. At the heart of the current financial crisis is a contract designed to be hyperrigid: the pooling and servicing agreement (“PSA”), which governs residential mortgage securitization. The PSA combines formal, structural, and functional barriers to its own modificat...

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    Courts and The Politics of Backlash: Marriage Equality Litigation, Then and Now
    Article by Jane S. Schacter

    Groundbreaking decisions on same-sex marriage, particularly those from the Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California supreme courts, have generated widespread political backlash in the form of state constitutional amendments and statutes, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), a proposed federal constitutional amendment, and more. By contrast, the first state supreme court decision to strike down a ban on interracial marriage—Perez v. Sharp, decided by the California Supreme Court in 1948—w...

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    The Western Climate Initiative: Cross-Border Collaboration and Constitutional Structure in the United States and Canada
    Note by Jeremy Lawrence

    Scientists have reached a consensus that global warming is a looming threat. A surprisingly large number of national politicians are lagging behind. The U.S. federal government, though making some strides toward reducing national greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, has only addressed the problem in a piecemeal and halting fashion. In its place, the states have taken the lead. In Canada, the provinces have likewise taken the initiative in the face of federal inaction. In light of these locally...

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    Rightful Prosecution or Wrongful Persecution? Abuse of Honest Services Fraud for Political Purpose
    Note by Alexa Lawson-Remer

    Last year, the country watched incredulously as Congress investigated whether the Department of Justice and the White House had used the U.S. Attorneys' Office for political advantage....

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