SUBPRIME STANDARDIZATION: HOW RATING AGENCIES ALLOW PREDATORY LENDING TO FLOURISH IN THE SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET
Predatory lending is today’s most pressing consumer protection issue, costing American families over an estimated $9 billion a year. Predatory lending is particularly rampant in the subprime home equity loan market—inhabited largely by unsophisticated borrowers—where lenders have made billions upon billions of dollars of loans with abusive terms.2 After years of legislative and regulatory neglect, state governments have, in recent years, produced a variety of reforms and regulations on the terms and methods of lending in the subprime market, in an attempt to ameliorate the worst aspects of predatory lending.
A CONSENT THEORY OF UNCONSCIONABILITY: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF LAW IN ACTION
Larry A. DiMatteo; Bruch Louis Rich
Karl Llewellyn2 saw section 2-302, the doctrine of unconscionability, as providing a mandate for courts to police contracts. He did not see it as providing the machinery for accomplishing or guiding this grant of judical power. The doctrine of unconscionability and the best “machinery” for its implementation has been the source of scholarly discussion ever since. This Article attempts to provide empirical evidence, through the statistical analysis of cases, of how courts have applied this mandate and whether a discrete machinery has been developed in its implementation. Ultimately, the Article assesses whether a coherent machinery or analytical framework has been fabricated through forty years of jurisprudence.
PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF LABOR LAW
Labor law is an offspring of the social and political action of the working class movement. While this movement started its first revolts in seventeenth-century Europe, it was only capable of organizing itself in the nineteenth century when the old laws against combinations were repealed. During this period, socialist ideologues provided the intellectual substratum for the movement to flourish. Thus, in England, Robert Owen inspired the foundation of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union in 1834, Ferdinand Lassalle founded the General German Workers’ Union in 1863, and the following year Karl Marx was a chief actor in the creation of the International Working Men’s Association, usually called the First International. Governments conceded both democratic and labor law reforms under the pressure of uprisings, and toward the end of the century, when working class parties and trade unions consolidated their power, labor and industrial legislation was an essential feature of European law.
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR THE NONTRADITIONAL CHURCH: HOW DO WE GRANT TAX EXEMPTIONS TO PLACES OF WORSHIP AND NOT AMUSEMENT PARKS?
Sarah A. Lindquist
Is “Disney” a religion? While this seems like a ridiculous, nonlegal question, it is arguably at the heart of an emerging issue in constitutional and tax law. In February 2001, The Holy Land Experience (the “Holy Land”) opened its doors to the public in Orlando, Florida. Shortly thereafter, what has been dubbed a “tax battle of biblical proportions” began. According to many, the Holy Land is one of Orlando’s numerous tourist attractions—a theme park with a religious theme. According to others, it is akin to a church or museum, displaying biblical artifacts and reenacting biblical passages. Those in favor of labeling the Holy Land a theme park point to the fact that it was designed by the same firm that created Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, charges approximately $30 for admission, puts on theatrical shows, and has restaurants and gift shops. Those who characterize it as a church or museum point to the fact that it is owned and operated by the religious organization Zion’s Hope, is designed to bring the “life-changing message of Jesus Christ” to all people, houses the United States’ largest private collection of biblical texts and artifacts, and presents biblical reenactments.
OASIS OR MIRAGE? DESERT PALACE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE SUMMARY JUDGMENT LANDSCAPE
Kristina N. Klein
In the summer of 2003, the United States Supreme Court, in Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa, held that a plaintiff in a Title VII employment discrimination case no longer needed to produce direct evidence in order to receive a mixed-motive jury instruction. While the Court clearly overruled the direct evidence requirement set forth in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, it remains unclear what impact, if any, Desert Palace has beyond its narrow holding.
OPTING OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULA: FREE EXERCISE AND ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE IMPLICATIONS
From the Protestant-Catholic school wars of the mid-1800s to the prosecution of Amish parents in the 1960s and home schooling parents in the 1980s, societal rules enacted by the government have clashed with the conscientiously motivated activities of religious believers. Perhaps the greatest area of conflict between government regulation and religious belief is in the context of public school education. States undoubtedly have a strong interest in providing a public school education to their citizens. As the Supreme Court has stated, “Providing public schools ranks at the very apex of the function of a State.” The state’s interest in this regard, however, “is not totally free from a balancing process when it impinges on fundamental rights and interests, such as those specifically protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and the traditional interest of parents with respect to the religious upbringing of their children.” Thus, in some instances the state’s interest in providing public education must yield to those individual interests and rights deemed by the Court to be fundamental.