The editors of the Mercer Law Review have invited me to present my work on Ronald Coase, cattle trespass, and nuisance law at their Annual Symposium, which is scheduled to take place this Friday, October 7, 2022. (See the full schedule below.) The symposium is open to all and will be “live-streamed” for free, but you must register here. P.S.: My panel will take place in the early afternoon, starting at 12:45 PM Eastern, and my co-panelists include my colleague and friend Cathren Page (Mercer), who will speak on the problem of “post-truthism,” as well as Matt Saleh (Cornell), who will address the following fascinating question: How do law’s narratives construct one of its central objects: the human body? For my part, my talk will be devoted to one of the most famous legal narratives of all time: Ronald Coase’s cattle-trespass parable in his landmark paper “The Problem of Social Cost.” (The tentative title of my talk is “Coase’s Parable“.)
On this day (October 2) in 1789, President George Washington sent copies of 12 newly-proposed constitutional amendments to the legislatures of the States for their ratification. (The Congress had approved these first 12 amendments on September 28, 1789.) Only the last ten of these amendments, however, which are now known as the “Bill of Rights”, were ratified by the requisite number of States. One of the two unratified amendments is reprinted below:
“After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.“
Had this amendment been ratified, we could have had more than 6,000 representatives today, compared to the 435 we currently have! (More details about this unratified amendment are available here.)
On this day (September 28) in 1850, President Millard Filmore signed the 1851 naval appropriations bill, which abolished flogging as a form of punishment in the US Navy. Here, however, is a defense of flogging. See also this short essay on “flogging at sea“.
That is the title of this City Journal obituary of the North American philosopher and logician Saul A. Kripke, who died earlier this month at the age of 81 and whose most influential work were his 1970 lectures on “Naming and Necessity” (published in 1980 and available here). Among other things, I learned that the great Kripke (like H. L. A. Hart, another intellectual giant of the 20th century) never earned a doctorate.