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Bork’s ‘Legislative Intent’ and the Courts

 |  November 9, 2014

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Bork’s ‘Legislative Intent’ and the Courts – Douglas H. Ginsburg (George Mason University School of Law)

ABSTRACT: Robert H. Bork’s influence upon modern antitrust law is difficult to overstate. One of his lasting legacies is his analysis of the legislative history, text, and structure of the Sherman Act, which led him to conclude the intent of the Congress passing it was to maximize consumer welfare and economic efficiency. That conclusion was adopted by the Supreme Court in 1979 and has formed the foundation for antitrust policy and enforcement ever since. This article explains the rationale for Bork’s “consumer welfare” thesis, recounts the history of its rise and the objections it engendered from other academics, and summarizes its salutary effect upon antitrust law and business practices.