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The Wrong Choice To Address School Choice: Espinoza V. Montana Department Of Revenue, Brooke Reczka Apr 2020

The Wrong Choice To Address School Choice: Espinoza V. Montana Department Of Revenue, Brooke Reczka

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

For many school-choice advocates, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is the chance to extend the Supreme Court’s decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer in 2017. In Trinity Lutheran, the Supreme Court held that a state’s exclusion of a church from a public benefit program to resurface playgrounds discriminated against religion in violation of the Free Exercise Clause. Many school-choice proponents hope to extend the Trinity Lutheran holding from playgrounds materials to school funding and thus strike down religion-based exclusions in school voucher programs. However, Espinoza is the wrong vehicle to do so ...


Has Revenge Become A Justification To Legitimize The Death Penalty?, Jordan Ryan Apr 2020

Has Revenge Become A Justification To Legitimize The Death Penalty?, Jordan Ryan

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Revenge has played a role in criminal justice systems for thousands of years. From the Code of Hammurabi, to the Bible, to modern Supreme Court jurisprudence, revenge, or “getting even,” has been a consideration in how wrongdoers are punished, especially with respect to the imposition of the death penalty. Historically, revenge has not been viewed as a legitimate justification for punishment under American legal principles. However, in the past year, both the United States Supreme Court and the Department of Justice have signaled that revenge may well have a legitimate role in justifying the death penalty.

This Note will explore ...


Stand In The Place Where Data Live: Data Breaches As Article Iii Injuries, Jason Wasserman Apr 2020

Stand In The Place Where Data Live: Data Breaches As Article Iii Injuries, Jason Wasserman

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Every day, another hacker gains unauthorized access to information, be it credit card data from grocery stores or fingerprint records from federal databases. Bad actors who orchestrate these data breaches, if they can be found, face clear criminal liability. Still, a hacker’s conviction may not be satisfying to victims whose data was accessed, and so victims may seek proper redress through lawsuits against compromised organizations. In those lawsuits, plaintiff-victims allege promising theories, including that the compromised organization negligently caused the data breach or broke an implied contract to protect customers’ personal information.

However, many federal courts see a data ...


Pretrial And Error: The Use Of Statements Inadmissible At Trial In Preliminary Proceedings, Erin Hughes Apr 2020

Pretrial And Error: The Use Of Statements Inadmissible At Trial In Preliminary Proceedings, Erin Hughes

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

This Note argues that a “criminal case,” as provided by the Fifth Amendment, begins with the initiation of adversarial judicial criminal proceedings, whether that commencement occurs through a formal charge, a preliminary hearing, indictment, information, or arraignment. A broad understanding of the Fifth Amendment’s scope aligns with the Second, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits’ analysis. In particular, this Note endorses the in-depth analysis provided by the Tenth Circuit in its determination that a “criminal case” under the Fifth Amendment includes preliminary proceedings. This Note further offers an analysis of past Supreme Court precedent as well as policy rationales that ...


Campus Sexual Assault And Due Process, Ilana Frier Apr 2020

Campus Sexual Assault And Due Process, Ilana Frier

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

College women experience rape and sexual assault at alarmingly high rates. One highly publicized statistic, famously asserted by President Obama, states that one in five women experience sexual assault while attending college. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education radically expanded its involvement in campus sexual misconduct adjudications, encouraging vigorous enforcement. Sustained regulatory and public pressure effectuated some positive change for victims. However, a proliferation of litigation also followed. Students found responsible of campus sexual assault, most of whom were males, increasingly began suing their schools alleging due process violations in their adjudications. In 2018, the Trump administration's ...


Dhs V. Regents Of The University Of California: Administrative Law Concerns In Repealing Daca, Charles Fendrych Mar 2020

Dhs V. Regents Of The University Of California: Administrative Law Concerns In Repealing Daca, Charles Fendrych

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

On its surface, deferred action is simple: it is a decision by Executive Branch officials to postpone deportation proceedings against an individual or group that is otherwise eligible to be removed from the United States.Deferred action is an exercise of the Executive’s inherent authority to manage its policies, but is not expressly grounded in statute Despite this lack of statutory authority, Congress and the Supreme Court have historically recognized deferred action policies. Indeed, records of such Executive discretion date back to the early twentieth century.The Executive, grounding its justification in humanitarian concerns, has continued to institute categorical ...


Questioning The Definition Of "Sex" In Title Vii: Bostock V. Clayton County, Ga., Katherine Carter Feb 2020

Questioning The Definition Of "Sex" In Title Vii: Bostock V. Clayton County, Ga., Katherine Carter

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In October of 2019, the Supreme Court heard the arguments of two cases presenting the same inquiry: whether Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Currently, twenty-one states as well as the District of Columbia expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation by statute or regulation. Other states offer protection in the form of agency interpretation or court ruling. However, for the remaining states with no established protections, Title VII stands as the only potential safeguard against sexual orientation discrimination.

The following Commentary considers the case of Gerald Bostock, a gay man ...


Contracting Free From Racial Animus: Comcast Corporation V. National Association Of African American-Owned Media And Entertainment Studios, Catherine Tarantino Feb 2020

Contracting Free From Racial Animus: Comcast Corporation V. National Association Of African American-Owned Media And Entertainment Studios, Catherine Tarantino

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The United States has come a long way in promoting racial equality since the 1866 and 1964 Civil Rights Acts, but racial animus still plays an impermissible role in many contracting and employment decisions. Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media and Entertainment Studios offers the Supreme Court the opportunity to decide which causal standard applies to claims alleging racial bias in contracting under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Specifically, the Court will decide whether § 1981 requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that racial animus was the but-for cause or simply a motivating-factor in the defendant’s refusal to ...


Kahler V. Kansas: The End Of The Insanity Defense?, Eric Roytman Feb 2020

Kahler V. Kansas: The End Of The Insanity Defense?, Eric Roytman

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In 1995, Kansas, along with a small number of other states, passed a statute abrogating the widely recognized common law insanity defense. At common law, a defendant could raise the defense when a mental illness impaired his ability to distinguish right from wrong, allowing him to escape liability even when the elements of the crime were otherwise fulfilled. However, under Kansas’ statutory scheme, evidence of a defendant’s mental illness can only be used to negate the mens rea element of the offense. In other words, evidence of mental illness is only relevant when it shows that the defendant lacked ...


Kansas V. Glover And The Issue Of Reasonable Suspicion, Zach Kumar Jan 2020

Kansas V. Glover And The Issue Of Reasonable Suspicion, Zach Kumar

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

It is settled law that an officer may initiate a traffic stop when there is articulable and reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. In Kansas v. Glover, the Supreme Court has an opportunity to clarify what constitutes “reasonable suspicion.” The Court will determine whether it is reasonable for an officer to seize a vehicle if the registered owner has a revoked license and there is no information to suggest that the person driving is not the owner of the car. This Commentary argues that the Court should uphold the ...


Historical Gloss, Madisonian Liquidation, And The Originalism Debate, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2020

Historical Gloss, Madisonian Liquidation, And The Originalism Debate, Curtis A. Bradley, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution is old, relatively brief, and very difficult to amend. In its original form, the Constitution was primarily a framework for a new national government, and for 230 years the national government has operated under that framework even as conditions have changed in ways beyond the Founders’ conceivable imaginations. The framework has survived in no small part because government institutions have themselves played an important role in helping to fill in and clarify the framework through their practices and interactions, informed by the realities of governance. Courts, the political branches, and academic commentators commonly give weight to ...


Let History Repeat Itself: Solving Originalism's History Problem In Interpreting The Establishment Clause, Neil Joseph Nov 2019

Let History Repeat Itself: Solving Originalism's History Problem In Interpreting The Establishment Clause, Neil Joseph

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The Supreme Court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence is all over the place. The current justices have widely divergent views on the Establishment Clause's meaning, and the Lemon test has been widely panned by several justices. Originalist judges, however, have had a fairly consistent approach to interpreting the Establishment Clause. This largely stems from their reliance on history. This Note argues that their use of history in analyzing the Establishment Clause is flawed. Originalist Establishment Clause jurisprudence has been and is criticized for being unprincipled. And those criticisms are correct. Originalists encounter such criticism because the justices struggle to reconcile ...


Gamble V. United States: A Commentary, Kayla Mullen May 2019

Gamble V. United States: A Commentary, Kayla Mullen

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Under the judicially created dual-sovereignty exception, a defendant may be prosecuted by state and federal governments for the same conduct, due to the fact that the state and federal government constitute two separate sovereignties. The doctrine is grounded in the idea that each sovereign derives its power from independent sources—the federal government from the Constitution and the states from their inherent police power, preserved to them by the Tenth Amendment—and thus, each sovereign may determine what constitutes an offense against its peace and dignity in an exercise of its own sovereignty. Under this exception, defendants, by a single ...


Litigating War: The Justiciability Of Executive War Power, Chris Smith May 2019

Litigating War: The Justiciability Of Executive War Power, Chris Smith

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Courts frequently dismiss claims against the Executive’s use of the war power as being non-justiciable political questions. This lack of a judicial check has created a situation in which meaningful checks and balances on the war power are found only in the Executive Branch itself. But the Constitution places the bulk of war powers in the hands of Congress. Executive usurpation of Congress’s constitutional prerogative to initiate hostilities has significantly weakened the separation of powers. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Congress sought to reassert its constitutional authority over war-making decisions by passing the War Powers Resolution ...


The Race Horse That Wouldn't Die: On Herrera V. Wyoming, Benjamin Cantor May 2019

The Race Horse That Wouldn't Die: On Herrera V. Wyoming, Benjamin Cantor

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In Herrera v. Wyoming, the Supreme Court is considering how to reconcile the Crow Tribe’s hunting right with Wyoming’s sovereignty. This endeavor requires examining nineteenth-century treaties and precedents to decipher the intents of the Crow Tribe and the United States government. If the Court’s decision includes a clear articulation of whether Native American treaty rights may be truncated by mere implication, tribes nationwide may be at risk of losing treaty rights they have enjoyed for centuries. In making its decision, the Supreme Court will also have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of overturning precedent and of ...


A Test Of Sovereignty: Franchise Tax Board Of The State Of California V. Gilbert P. Hyatt, Timothy Dill Apr 2019

A Test Of Sovereignty: Franchise Tax Board Of The State Of California V. Gilbert P. Hyatt, Timothy Dill

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, the Supreme Court considers whether to overrule Nevada v. Hall, a 1979 Supreme Court decision. Hall permitted a State to be haled into the court of another State without its consent. In 2016, an evenly divided Supreme Court affirmed Hall 4-4 when faced with the same question, and following a remand to the Nevada Supreme Court, the Court has granted certiorari on this question once again. This Commentary contends that Hall was wrongly decided and should be overruled. The Constitution’s ratification did not alter the status of common-law State sovereign immunity ...


Apple V. Pepper: Applying The Indirect Purchaser Rule To Online Platforms, Jason Wasserman Apr 2019

Apple V. Pepper: Applying The Indirect Purchaser Rule To Online Platforms, Jason Wasserman

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Long-established antitrust precedent bars customers who buy a firm’s product through intermediaries from suing that firm for antitrust damages. In Apple Inc. v. Pepper, this “indirect purchaser rule” is brought into the smartphone age in a price-fixing dispute between technology giant Apple and iPhone users. This case will determine whether iPhone users buy smartphone applications directly from Apple through the App Store, or if Apple is merely an intermediary seller-agent of app developers. The indirect purchase rule is generally considered settled precedent. How the rule should apply to online platforms, however, differs between circuit courts, which have split on ...


Legislator-Led Legislative Prayer And The Search For Religious Neutrality, Aishwarya Masrani Apr 2019

Legislator-Led Legislative Prayer And The Search For Religious Neutrality, Aishwarya Masrani

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Leading a group in prayer in a public setting blurs the line between public and private. Such blurring implicates a constitutional tension between the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. This tension is magnified when the constitutionality of prayer is questioned in the context of democratic participation. Current Supreme Court precedent holds legislative prayer to be constitutional, but the relevant cases, Marsh v. Chambers and Town of Greece, NY v. Galloway, do not address the specific constitutionality of legislator-led prayer. There is currently a circuit split on the subject: in Bormuth v. County of Jackson, the United States ...


Swords Into Plowshares: Nuclear Power And The Atomic Energy Act’S Preemptive Scope In Virginia Uranium, Inc. V. Warren, Francis X. Liesman Mar 2019

Swords Into Plowshares: Nuclear Power And The Atomic Energy Act’S Preemptive Scope In Virginia Uranium, Inc. V. Warren, Francis X. Liesman

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

This commentary highlights the considerations the Supreme Court should attend to in its decision in Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, both in construing § 2021(k) and in reviewing the Fourth Circuit’s reading of precedent from other circuits and from the Court’s prior opinions. Specifically, the Court must clarify how to interpret § 2021(k)’s activities component in concert with its “for purposes” language and determine the importance of the particular underlying activity the state seeks to regulate in a preemption analysis under the Atomic Energy Act. Clarification is necessary to ensure that courts properly effectuate Congress’s intent ...


Timbs V. Indiana: The Constitutionality Of Civil Forfeiture When Used By States, Kris Fernandez Mar 2019

Timbs V. Indiana: The Constitutionality Of Civil Forfeiture When Used By States, Kris Fernandez

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In Timbs v. Indiana, Petitioner Tyson Timbs asks the Supreme Court to incorporate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment against the states, providing extra protection for individuals against fines and forfeiture that are “grossly disproportionate” to the harm caused. The decision to incorporate the Excessive Fines Clause and the guidelines for applying that incorporation would have a substantial effect on governments, which often rely on the revenue gained from forfeiture. This commentary argues that the Supreme Court of the United States should incorporate the Excessive Fines Clause based on historical support of an individual’s right to be ...


Stepping Into The Breach: State Constitutions As A Vehicle For Advancing Rights-Based Climate Litigation, Benjamin T. Sharp Mar 2019

Stepping Into The Breach: State Constitutions As A Vehicle For Advancing Rights-Based Climate Litigation, Benjamin T. Sharp

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The perceived failures of the political branches to mitigate climate change have led climate change activists to seek alternative means to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; many are turning to litigation. The claims in these cases rely on a variety of legal bases, but this Note will focus on those cases claiming that governments’ failures to prevent climate change amount to violations of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Rights-based climate change litigation is likely to increase in the future. Among the most prominent of the surviving rights-based cases is Juliana v ...


Bucklew V. Precythe: The Power Of Assumptions And Lethal Injection, Renata Gomez Mar 2019

Bucklew V. Precythe: The Power Of Assumptions And Lethal Injection, Renata Gomez

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Once again, the Supreme Court of the United States has an opportunity to determine the extent to which death-row inmates can bring as-applied challenges to the states’ method of execution and prevent possible botched executions. In Bucklew v. Precythe, the Court will confront the assumptions that the execution team is equipped to handle any execution and that the procedure will go as planned. Additionally, the Court will determine whether the standard articulated in Glossip v. Gross, which requires inmates asserting facial challenges to the states’ method of execution to plead a readily available alternative method of execution, further extends to ...


Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Originalism And The Law Of The Past, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Originalism has long been criticized for its “law office history” and other historical sins. But a recent “positive turn” in originalist thought may help make peace between history and law. On this theory, originalism is best understood as a claim about our modern law — which borrows many of its rules, constitutional or otherwise, from the law of the past. Our law happens to be the Founders’ law, unless lawfully changed.

This theory has three important implications for the role of history in law. First, whether and how past law matters today is a question of current law, not of history ...


Immigration Detainers, Local Discretion, And State Law's Historical Constraints, Kate Evans Jan 2019

Immigration Detainers, Local Discretion, And State Law's Historical Constraints, Kate Evans

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Response: Rights As Trumps Of What?, Joseph Blocher Jan 2019

Response: Rights As Trumps Of What?, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher Jan 2019

Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

Law often prioritizes justified true beliefs. Evidence, even if probative and correct, must have a proper foundation. Expert witness testimony must be the product of reliable principles and methods. Prosecutors are not permitted to trick juries into convicting a defendant, even if that defendant is truly guilty. Judges’ reasons, and not just the correctness of their holdings, are the engines of precedent. Lawyers are, in short, familiar with the notion that one must be right for the right reasons.

And yet the standard epistemic theory of the First Amendment—that the marketplace of ideas is the “best test of truth ...


Owning Heller, Darrell A. H. Miller Jan 2019

Owning Heller, Darrell A. H. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

Recent historical research using big-data techniques casts doubt on whether District of Columbia v. Heller was rightly decided according to originalist methods. These new discoveries put originalists in a bind. Do they embrace “faint hearted” originalism: the idea that as between the need for stability in prior decision making, settled expectations, and the coherence of the law, some adulterated decisions must remain enforced for the greater good? Or do they follow Justice Thomas’s reasoning in Gamble v. United States, remain stout-hearted, and reject any prior decision that cannot be supported by the common linguistic usage of the founding era ...


Supreme Court As Superweapon: A Response To Epps & Sitaraman, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Supreme Court As Superweapon: A Response To Epps & Sitaraman, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

Is the Supreme Court's legitimacy in crisis? Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman argue that it is. In their Feature, How to Save the Supreme Court, they suggest legally radical reforms to restore a politically moderate Court. Unfortunately, their proposals might destroy the Court's legitimacy in order to save it. And their case that there is any crisis may fail to persuade a reader with different legal or political priors. If the Supreme Court needs saving, it will be saving from itself, and from too broad a conception of its own legal omnipotence. A Court that seems unbound by ...


Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Grounding Originalism, William Baude, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

How should we interpret the Constitution? The “positive turn” in legal scholarship treats constitutional interpretation, like the interpretation of statutes or contracts, as governed by legal rules grounded in actual practice. In our legal system, that practice requires a certain form of originalism: our system’s official story is that we follow the law of the Founding, plus all lawful changes made since.

Or so we’ve argued. Yet this answer produces its own set of questions. How can practice solve our problems, when there are so many theories of law, each giving practice a different role? Why look to ...


The Emergence Of The American Constitutional Law Tradition, H. Jefferson Powell Jan 2019

The Emergence Of The American Constitutional Law Tradition, H. Jefferson Powell

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.