Vol. 105 Issue 5

Machine-learning algorithms are transforming large segments of the economy as they fuel innovation in search engines, self-driving cars, product marketing, and medical imaging, among many other technologies. As machine learning’s use expands across all facets of society, anxiety has emerged about the intrusion of algorithmic machines into facets of life previously dependent on human judgment. Alarm bells sounding over the diffusion of artificial intelligence throughout the private sector only portend greater anxiety about digital robots replacing humans in the governmental sphere. A few administrative agencies have already begun to adopt this technology, while others have clear potential in the near term to use algorithms to shape official decisions over both rulemaking and adjudication. It is no longer fanciful to envision a future in which government agencies could effectively make law by robot, a prospect that understandably conjures up dystopian images of individuals surrendering their liberty to the control of computerized overlords. Should society be alarmed by governmental use of machine-learning applications?

The platform economy raises important new questions about public accommodation laws. Such laws originally were enacted to prohibit establishments open to the public—for example, hotels, restaurants, taxi services, and retail businesses—from discriminating on the basis of characteristics such as race, color, religion, and national origin. Platform economy businesses are functional substitutes for these traditional public accommodations. Yet existing public accommodation laws are not always a good fit for the unique features of the platform economy.This Article is the first to argue that public accommodation laws must evolve to address race discrimination in the platform economy.

The current tax relationship between the United States and the European Union is tense. Since 2013, the United States and EU member states have, through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), worked to combat multinational enterprises engaging in tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Approximately one-quarter of undergraduate students are parents. Most collegiate programs, however, are not prepared to meet the unique needs of student-parents. Many postsecondary institutions with residential campuses have policies that explicitly or implicitly exclude student-parents from living in university-provided housing. When housing for student-parents is provided, there are often insufficient units to serve all student families. Although university-provided housing is often expensive, it may be less expensive than off-campus alternatives, especially in destination cities. Additionally, universities often tout the benefits university-provided housing offers students.

When an insider trades in his own corporation’s stock while in possession of material, nonpublic information, courts apply what is called the “classical theory” of insider trading. This theory is the foundation of U.S. insider trading law. It has been invoked in every court opinion on the subject for the past three decades. Yet, this Article argues that the theory is an unqualified failure. The reason? Because it fails to do what a theory must, which is to explain settled law and provide answers to unsettled law that are intuitively appealing. We need a new theory for the classic case of insider trading, and the best candidate for the job is staring us in the face—the misappropriation theory, which historically has applied only to insider trading involving corporate “outsiders,” is superior to the classical theory.

Faced with too-short (or nonexistent) maternity leaves, inflexible work schedules, and the soaring costs of childcare in the United States, many new mothers temporarily leave the workforce to care for their young children. Although media attention has focused on the “opt-out” mom, many more mothers are squeezed out of the external workplace. But mothers that try to return to work may discover that it is difficult to do so, as employers have been shown to be less likely to hire mothers than others. A mother that does reenter may find that even short periods out of work cost (sometimes far) more than the income foregone during her intended time out and may result in a reduction in her overall earning potential, retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits. This may contribute to severe economic hardships among divorced mothers and their children, the underrepresentation of women in high-level leadership positions, and a wage gap between mothers and others, to name a few problems.

This Article examines a relatively recent addition to the institutional architecture of financial regulation in the United States: the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). In particular, it draws attention to a flaw in the design of the FSOC’s power to designate nonbank financial companies as “systemically important” financial institutions, commonly known as “SIFIs.” Specifically, the Article argues that the binary nature of the designation power has underappreciated costs, which hinder the FSOC’s stability goals.