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The United States has always been more than simply a group of united states. The constitutional history of national union and component states is linked to a third category: federal territory. This Article uses an integrated history of territory, statehood, and union to develop a new framework for analyzing constitutional statehood. Three historical periods are crucial—the Founding Era, the Civil War, and Reconstruction—as times when statehood was especially malleable as a matter of constitutional law. During each of those formative periods, the most important constitutional struggles about statehood and the union involved federal territories.
While the technology underlying cryptocurrencies is new, the economics is centuries old. Oftentimes, lawmakers are so focused on understanding a new technological innovation that they fail to ask what exactly is being created. In this case, the new technology has recreated circulating private money in the form of stablecoins, which are similar to the banknotes that circulated in many countries during the nineteenth century. The implication is that stablecoin issuers are unregulated banks. Based on lessons learned from economic theory and financial history, we argue that circulating private money is not an effective medium of exchange because it is not always accepted at par and its issuers are vulnerable to destabilizing bank runs.
This Essay argues that bankruptcy proceedings are well-suited to resolving mass tort claims. Mass tort cases create a collective action problem that encourages claimants who are worried about available recoveries to race to the courthouse to collect ahead of others. This race can destroy going concern value and lead to the dismemberment of valuable firms. Coordination among claimants is difficult as each one seeks to maximize its own recoveries. These are the very collective action and holdout problems that bankruptcy proceedings are designed to solve. As such, bankruptcy proceedings are appropriate means of resolving mass torts as long as they leave tort victims no worse off than they would have otherwise been.