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How SCOTUS has diminished private enforcement of federal rights

October 16, 2017

Profs. Burbank and Farhang discuss their new book which investigates the pushback against private enforcement

Post date: October 16, 2017

One of the primary mechanisms for the enforcement of civil rights laws is the ability of plaintiffs to recover their attorney’s fees if they prevail in private litigation. This method of enforcing rights is called private enforcement, and it has been a central instrument to implement social and economic policy since the 1960s. But the rise of private enforcement led to a counterrevolution aimed at curtailing it, and that counterrevolution is the focus of a new book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, by Penn Law professor Stephen B. Burbank and his co-author, Sean Farhang.





Stephen B. Burbank
David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice

Sean Farhang
Professor of Law, and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science


Jen Leonard
Penn Law