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Weekly Roundup: October 28, 2022


At the Blog

On Monday, Noah Zatz set twitter ablaze by arguing that in condemning the Court (or other institutions) for being anti-democratic, we must maintain a conception of law that is distinct from politics, for democratic institutions themselves require such a conception. As he writes, “Let’s stipulate that some democratic process makes an important policy decision on political grounds. What happens next? Some concrete question or dispute arises that implicates the democratically established policy. For the prior democratic process to have been anything but a waste of time, it must constrain how this subsequent question or dispute is resolved. Subsequent decision-makers (whether judicial, executive, or legislative) must do something other than simply impose their point-in-time ‘political’ judgment about the best outcome. They are not writing on a blank slate but instead should faithfully implement the approach already authorized democratically. Isn’t this gap, this constraint, this democratic direction, law?”

On Wednesday, Carly Knight took us back to the 19th century to explain how the the image of the corporation as a “creature” or a “creation” of the state came to be replaced by an understanding of the corporation as a “pure creature of the market.” As she argues, this transformation required not only changes in legal form but also new analogies, symbols, and legal ideas about corporations: “The view of the corporation as a creature of the state was displaced by two alternative theories of the corporation: ‘aggregate’ and ‘natural entity’ theories. While these theories were radically different in substance, they were united on one important point: they both agreed that the state recognized, but did not create, corporations. Instead, both theories drew a connection between corporations and natural persons.”

And on Thursday, Scott Skinner-Thompson reviewed recent books by Paisley Currah and Eric Stanley, reflecting on the limits of state visibility and recognition as a strategy for trans emancipation. As he writes, “to different degrees and in distinct registers, Stanley and Currah urge those who care about trans/queer people and anti-subordination to focus on imagining redistributive ways of being together that do not rely on rigid state classifications, the visible identities they produce, and the tendencies they quash. Rather, it is the beautiful nonconforming tendencies of transness that model ways of becoming ungovernable and living together through critical praxis.”

In LPE Land

In case you missed it (or want to relive the magic): A recording of our event with Sara Nelson & Amy Kapcynsski is now available, as is a recording of our panel on “The Future of Worker Power.” Be forewarned: we have received widespread reports of experiencing chills or feeling incredibly moved from those who attended the talks.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Talha Syed will be presenting a paper on “Legal Realism and CLS from an LPE Perspective” to the LPE Society at UC Berkeley, with an available zoom option. If you plan to attend, please RSVP at this link.

Over at Digging a Hole, Sam Moyn and David Schleicher interview Gary Gerstle about his new book, The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order.

In Chartbook #164 (but #1 in our heart), Adam Tooze offers a perceptive if depressing analysis of the current politics of inflation.

For those in New Haven on November 3, Saule Omarova will be offering an introduction to the “Law and Political Economy of Central Banking,” with a focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve system.