Category Archives: Yale Law Journal

Bans with Blocher

Professor Joseph Blocher talks about his recent article, Bans. He argues that, in certain areas of constitutional law, judges are particularly skeptical of laws that can be described as bans. For instance, some courts have held that laws that ban an entire “class of arms” are not subject to the usual means-ends balancing tests, but rather are automatically invalid. But, as Professor Blocher explains, figuring out when a law bans something is harder than it seems. Imagine a law prohibiting the sale of pink guns. Is that a general gun regulation, or a ban on pink guns? Professor Blocher describes three approaches to defining bans (functional, formal, and purposivist), and says, at least in Second Amendment doctrine, a functionalist approach is the best way for courts to resolve these issues.

How to Save the Supreme Court with Epps & Sitaraman


Professors Dan Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman talk about their recently published Feature, How to Save the Supreme Court. They argue that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation represents a stunning Republican victory after decades of increasingly partisan battles over control of the Court. The result is a Supreme Court whose Justices are likely to vote along party lines more consistently than ever before in American history. That development gravely threatens the Court’s legitimacy. If in the future roughly half of Americans lack confidence in the Supreme Court’s impartiality, its power to settle important legal questions will be in jeopardy. Moreover, many Democrats are already calling for changes like court-packing, which could provoke further escalation that would damage the Court’s image and the rule of law. The coming crisis can be stopped. But this will require a radical rethinking of how the Court has operated for more than two centuries. The Feature outlines a new framework for Supreme Court reform. The authors evaluate existing proposals and offer two of their own: the Supreme Court Lottery and the Balanced Bench. We can save what is good about the Court, they argue, but only if we are willing to transform it.

Cynthia Estlund on What We Should Do After Work


Will advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning put vast swaths of the labor force out of work or into fierce competition for the jobs that remain? Or, as in the past, will new jobs absorb workers displaced by automation? On this episode of the Yale Law Journal Podcast, co-hosts Cody Poplin and Emily Shire interview Professor Cynthia Estlund about her recently published Article, What Should We Do After Work? Automation and Employment Law, which tackles this topic head on. The Article argues that these questions have profound implications for the fortress of rights and benefits that has been constructed on the foundation of the employment relationship, and it charts a path for reforming that body of law in the face of justified anxiety and uncertainty about the future effect of automation on jobs.

YLJ Podcast: David Pozen on Transparency’s Ideological Drift


On this episode of the Yale Law Journal Podcast, co-hosts Cody Poplin and Sasha Dudding interview Professor David Pozen about his recently published Article, Transparency’s Ideological Drift. The Article traces transparency’s drift in the United States from a progressive to a more libertarian, or neoliberal, orientation and offers some reflections on the causes and consequences—and on the possibility of a reversal.

Federal Sentencing Error


What happens when a federal judge makes a mistake in calculating your sentence? On our first episode, we interview Kate Huddleston (YLS ’16) about her forthcoming piece “Federal Sentencing Error as Loss of Chance” and delve into the world of challenging sentences based on incorrect calculations under the federal Sentencing Guidelines.