A prime focus of police-reform advocates is the transparency of police discipline. Indeed, transparency is one of, the most popular accountability solutions for a wide swath of policing problems. This Article examines the “transparency cure” as it applies to Police Disciplinary Records (“PDRs”). These records are part of an officer’s personnel file and contain reported wrongdoing from supervisors, Internal Affairs Bureaus, and Citizen Complaint Review Boards.
This Article argues that making PDRs public is worthy of skeptical examination. It problematizes the notion that transparency is a worthy end goal for those who desire to see police-reform in general. Transparency is often seen as a solution with no downside, but this Article argues that, in the realm of PDRs, it comes with at least two major tradeoffs. First, making PDRs public will may lead to the accountability that advocates seek, and in fact may cause retrenchment from police departments. Second, transparency on an individual level necessarily comes with major privacy tradeoffs.
The problem with individualized transparency is not theoretical. In fact, it has been much critiqued by scholars in a different but comparable realm: the wide dissemination of criminal records. PDRs and criminal records have similar problems: due process issues, inaccuracy, arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, and permanent reputational harm. Indeed, the rhetoric used by law enforcement to defend their privacy rights sounds almost identical to the critiques that scholars make of criminal record transparency.
This Article argues that the comparison of PDRs and criminal records is instructive because it allows us to view criminal records through a new lens. As with criminal record publication, forced PDR transparency will likely not solve the problems advocates hope it will. Thus, this Article concludes that a more nuanced regime should be put in place for PDRs, and that advocates should use law enforcement rhetoric to support a more privacy-protective regime for criminal records.
Article II of the Constitution grants the president power to appoint “Ambassadors” and “other public Ministers” with the advice and consent of the Senate. By all accounts, this language requires Senate confirmation for the appointment of resident ambassadors and other diplomats of similar rank and tenure. Yet these are hardly the only agents of U.S. foreign relations. Ad hoc diplomats—individuals chosen exclusively by the president to complete limited and temporary assignments—play a comparably significant role in addressing international crises, negotiating treaties, and otherwise executing foreign policy.
This Article critically examines the appointments process for such irregular agents. An orthodox view holds it permissible for the president to dispatch any ad hoc diplomat without Senate confirmation, but this view does not accord with the original meaning of Article II. Scrutinizing text and an extensive collection of original historical sources, I show that, under a formalist reading of the Constitution, the appointment of most ad hoc diplomats requires the advice and consent of the Senate because these agents are typically “public Ministers” and “Officers of the United States” under the Appointments Clause.
The analysis makes several contributions. First, it provides the first thorough account of the original meaning of “public Ministers”—a term that appears several times in the Constitution but lacks precise contours in contemporary scholarship and practice. Second, for formalists, the analysis reorients longstanding debates about the process of treaty-making and empowers the Senate to exert greater influence over a wide variety of presidential initiatives, including communications with North Korea, the renegotiation of trade agreements, the campaign to defeat ISIS, and the stabilization of Ukraine, all of which have relied on the work of ad hoc diplomats. At a time of trepidation over the nature of U.S. foreign policy, such influence might operate as a stabilizing force. Third, the analysis illuminates rhetorical and doctrinal maneuvers that have facilitated the rise of the modern presidency, including historical revisionism and the marginalization of international law as an input in constitutional interpretation. These maneuvers complicate the political valence of originalism and cast the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—a key proponent of the orthodox view—as a motivated expositor of the separation of powers.
From copy rooms to boardrooms, many Americans have succumbed to the siren song of insider trading. As U.S. companies have gone international, so too have corporate secrets ripe for exploitation. With the growth of overseas derivatives based on U.S. stock, foreigners are able to engage in insider trading to a similar extent as Americans.
But in Morrison v. National Australia Bank , the Supreme Court limited the reach of the statutory insider-trading prohibition to transactions taking place in U.S. territory or transactions in securities listed on U.S. exchanges. Neither condition applies to overseas insider trading using derivatives. However, courts have reasoned that when the trader’s broker hedges by buying stock on a U.S. exchange, that transaction can be attributed to the trader, thus bringing the scheme within Morrison .
This hedging theory depends on the acts of third parties—the brokers—to create insider-trading liability, thus giving arbitrary windfalls to blameworthy traders and creating both evidentiary and legal hurdles for U.S. enforcement. Because Morrison has backed courts into this unworkable corner, it should not govern in insider-trading cases.
There is a fix: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act abrogated Morrison for enforcement actions, albeit imperfectly. By abandoning the theory in favor of Dodd-Frank’s pragmatic standard, courts can more nimbly and forcefully protect U.S. markets from foreign fraud.