The Jurisprudence of Mixed Motives
70 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2017 Last revised: 28 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 20, 2017
Legal results often turn on motive, and motive is often complex. How do various domains of law deal with mixed motives? Are we condemned by our darkest motive, forgiven according to our noblest, or something in between? This Article conducts a sweeping examination of motivations in the law, from Equal Protection and employment discrimination to insider trading and income taxation. It develops a precise descriptive vocabulary for categorizing the treatment of mixed motives in numerous areas of law. This framework yields several important insights. For example: nearly all domains of law pick among just four motive standards, and motive-based analysis is far more workable than commonly believed.
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