What Law Review Articles Had a Major Influence on the Law?
posted by Daniel Solove
Al Brophy’s post about Roy Lucas’s law review article helping to form the intellectual foundations for Roe v. Wade has got me thinking about other law review articles that have had a lasting influence on the law.
Over on his new blog, Follow the Flag, Alan Tauber mentions Abbot Lawrence Lowell, The Status of Our New Possessions – A Third View, 13 Harv. L. Rev. 21 (1899), which formed the basis for the Territorial Incorporation Doctrine.
I’m most familiar with the articles in my field, privacy law, which has two law review articles having a major impact on the law.
First is Samuel D. Warren & Louis D. Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890), a law review article that spawned the four privacy torts, most of which have been adopted in most states.
William L. Prosser, Privacy, 48 Cal. L. Rev. 383 (1960), also had an impact in the development of privacy law, as his formulations of the privacy torts were adopted by the Restatement of Torts, and they are the most common formulations of the torts today. [Of course, it helped that Prosser was the Reporter for the Second Restatement of Torts.]
Can anybody identify others? I’m looking for law review articles that have had a major influence on the law — statutory law or court decisions. I’m not looking for just a local impact — so if an article just influenced a particular state court decision or law, this isn’t broad enough. I want to identify articles that have changed the law in numerous states (as with the Warren and Brandeis article) or sparked a federal law. I’m also not looking for articles that are merely cited a lot by court decisions; I’m looking for ones that influenced a particular doctrine. Of course, articles can be influential in other ways, such as influencing other scholars, etc., but I want to keep the focus of this question on articles having a major legal impact.