The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inflicted enormous losses on the insurance industry and businesses. In the wake of the disruptions occurring in the insurance market at the time, the government enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 to create a “temporary” federal backstop against catastrophic losses. This program subsidized private risk with public funds through a cost-sharing program for which the government does not receive any compensation. Congress has twice extended the program, which is now scheduled to sunset at the end of 2014, 12 years after this supposedly temporary program was instituted. Professor Rhee argues that, if there was some ambiguity about the program’s need before, there is none now. Terrorism risk is not more severe than other insurable risks such as natural catastrophes, and a federal backstop stakes public money to protect the insurance industry, and subsidize the terrorism risk insurance premiums for commercial policyholders. The private market is capable of underwriting this risk. This policy analysis suggests that the program should sunset as scheduled in 2014, thus ending this form of corporate welfare.
Robert Rhee, et. al, Tackling 'Arithmophobia': Teaching How to Read, Understand, and Analyze Financial Statements, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-64
This discussion presents different ideas on how to teach accounting and practical finance to law students.
Phoebe Haddon, Has the Roberts Court Plurality's Colorblind Rhetoric Finally Broken Brown's Promise?, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-67
judicial vision of equality and racial isolation in public education. By comparing efforts to promote educational equality from the Keyes era through today, this Essay asserts that the judiciary has wrongly embraced a colorblind interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause. In so doing, courts have impeded the progress of children in Denver and around the country, ignored highly instructive social science studies on the benefits of desegregation, and broken the constitutional promise of equal citizenship. For future policy makers and lawyers to address these persistent problems, legal educators must equip students with tools to reclaim legal conversations about freedom and equaltiy.
Karen H. Rothenberg and many others, Reflections on the Cost of 'Low Cost' Whole Genome Sequencing: Framing the Health Policy Debate, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-68
The cost of whole genome sequencing is dropping rapidly. There has been a great deal of enthusiasm about the potential for this technological advance to transform clinical care. Given the interest and significant investment in genomics, this seems an ideal time to consider what the evidence tells us about potential benefits and harms, particularly in the context of health care policy. The scale and pace of adoption of this powerful new technology should be driven by clinical need, clinical evidence, and a commitment to put patients at the centre of health care policy.
Robert Percival, Looking Backward, Looking Forward: The Next 40 Years of Environmental Law, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-69
The only certainty concerning predictions for the future of the environment is that most of them are likely to be wrong. This is illustrated by the fate of past predictions, such as those contained in Paul Ehrlich's Populations Bomb, Gregg Easterbrook's A Moment on the Earth, and Bjørn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist. While it is difficult to guess at the future of the environment, predictions concerning environmental law are even more hazardous because they turn in large part on the future of politics. After reviewing current political gridlock over environmental concerns, this Article considers contemporary forecasts of the fate of the planet (including those contained in Al Gore's The Future and the 2052 Report) and the role of technological change in creating opportunities for environmental progress.
Edward Papenfuse and Garrett Power, Legal History Seminar: Leading Maryland Cases, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-70
The goal of the seminar is to introduce law students to the use of historical reasoning as an aid in understanding legislation and court cases, and to the use of legal accounts and records as primary sources for historical inquiry.
Robert Percival, Risk, Uncertainty and Precaution: Lessons from the History of US Environmental Law, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-71
This chapter reviews controversies over regulatory policy through the lens of history. It discusses the precautionary principle and why it is valuable even if it does not purport to answer the question of how stringent regulatory policy should be. It also considers recent studies that assess whether regulatory policy is more precautionary in the United States or the European Union and why it is difficult to make confident, comparative conclusions. The chapter then examines the history of how precaution has been incorporated into U.S. environmental law. It demonstrates that, despite the law’s promise to prevent harm before it occurs, regulatory policy has been largely reactive, concentrating primarily on highly visible problems only after harm has become manifest. After reviewing the state of contemporary regulatory politics in the U.S., the chapter concludes by analyzing lessons that can be learned to improve future regulatory policy.