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Can Dna Be Speech?, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2015

Can Dna Be Speech?, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

DNA is generally regarded as the basic building block of life itself. In the most fundamental sense, DNA is nothing more than a chemical compound, albeit a very complex and peculiar one. DNA is an information-carrying molecule. The specific sequence of base pairs contained in a DNA molecule carries with it genetic information, and encodes for the creation of particular proteins. When taken as a whole, the DNA contained in a single human cell is a complete blueprint and instruction manual for the creation of that human being.
In this article we discuss myriad current and developing ways in which ...


Preliminary Warnings On 'Constitutional' Idolatry, Brian Christopher Jones Dec 2015

Preliminary Warnings On 'Constitutional' Idolatry, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

Although contemporary societies covet the notion of a written constitution, the UK still stands as one of the few jurisdictions not in possession such a single document. Yet recently there has been renewed discussion regarding whether the UK should draft its own constitution (or at least entrench some form of constitutional law). A recent House of Commons committee report thoroughly analysed this prospect, and many scholars and practitioners consider such a result inevitable. This piece argues that such a document should not be drafted, but if it is, it should surely not be called a "Constitution". Difficulties arise because over ...


The Conservatives’ 2015 Fiscal Charter: A Wanting Desire For Constitutional Change, Brian Christopher Jones, Paolo Sandro Oct 2015

The Conservatives’ 2015 Fiscal Charter: A Wanting Desire For Constitutional Change, Brian Christopher Jones, Paolo Sandro

Brian Christopher Jones

The UK Conservatives’ "Charter for Budget Responsibility" has, with the aid of a number of Labour MPs, passed the House of Commons. The charter's intention is that of committing the current and future Governments into running a permanent budget surplus – a sinister attempt to bind future governments as regards fiscal policy. Its inconsistency with the opposition against the EU Fiscal Compact in 2011/12 exposes, though, how much the Conservative's desire to constitutionalize fiscal surplus policy in the UK is wanting.


Dangerous Dicta, David Gray Oct 2015

Dangerous Dicta, David Gray

David C. Gray

In United States v. Heller, the Court held that individuals have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms apart from their associations with state militias. Although that holding was and remains controversial, less attention has been paid to what the Heller Court had to say about the Fourth Amendment. Writing for the Court in Heller, Justice Scalia asserts that the phrase “right of the people” in the Fourth Amendment “unambiguously refers to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights or rights that may only be exercised through participation in some corporate body.” By any definition, this is dicta. It is ...


California Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Inclusionary Zoning As Land Use Regulation And Not An Exaction, Tim Iglesias Aug 2015

California Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Inclusionary Zoning As Land Use Regulation And Not An Exaction, Tim Iglesias

Tim Iglesias

Local governments, housing advocates, and people who need affordable housing won a solid victory in the California Supreme Court's unanimous opinion in California Bldg. Indus. Ass'n v. City of San Jose. In a complex 64-page opinion that is clearly drafted and rigorously argued, the court held that inclusionary zoning is a constitutionally permissible strategy to produce affordable housing and to promote economic integration that is subject to rational basis review and not heightened scrutiny.

This article outlines the factual and legal background of the case and discusses the court's reasoning in reaching its decision, including the court ...


Why Personhood Matters, Tamara R. Piety Dec 2014

Why Personhood Matters, Tamara R. Piety

Tamara R. Piety

One of the most controversial aspect of the Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby is its treatment of corporate personhood. Many members of the public object to the notion that corporations should have the same rights as human beings. Yet many scholars claim that this concern is misplaced. In this article I argue that concern about corporate personhood is not misplaced because the personhood metaphor conceals the degree to which there has not been an adequate justification given for extending fundamental rights to corporations. Focusing on personhood allows us to push on the metaphor to ask ...


Conscience And Complicity: Assessing Pleas For Religious Exemptions After Hobby Lobby, Amy Sepinwall Dec 2014

Conscience And Complicity: Assessing Pleas For Religious Exemptions After Hobby Lobby, Amy Sepinwall

Amy J. Sepinwall

In the paradigmatic case of conscientious objection, the objector claims that his religion forbids him from actively participating in a wrong (e.g., by fighting in a war). In the religious challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, on the other hand, employers claim that their religious convictions forbid them from merely subsidizing insurance through which their employees might commit a wrong (e.g., by using contraception). The understanding of complicity underpinning these challenges is vastly more expansive than what standard legal doctrine or moral theory contemplates. Courts routinely reject claims of conscientious objection to taxes that fund ...


Disparaging The Supreme Court: Is Scotus In Serious Trouble?, Brian Christopher Jones Dec 2014

Disparaging The Supreme Court: Is Scotus In Serious Trouble?, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

The piece argues that the Court is now subject to the widest and most sophisticated disparagement it has ever experienced, and that the tumultuous terms over the past two years have especially shown its vulnerability. Journalists and the general public are now thinking and speaking about the institution in a much different light than previously, and a deeper conversation about the proper role of the Court, especially in regard to constitutional review, has only just begun. Also, the piece argues that the justices’ disparagement of each other has contributed to this wider criticism, and that the recent health care and ...


Assessing The Constitutionality Of Legislation: Constitutional Review In Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, Brian Christopher Jones Dec 2014

Assessing The Constitutionality Of Legislation: Constitutional Review In Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

This article examines the constitutional interpretative authority of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, while incorporating international viewpoints on constitutional review primarily from the United Kingdom and United States. It contends that Taiwan possesses an over-reliance on legal constitutionalism and strong judicial review, which hinders Legislative Yuan interpretative authority. Author interviews from Legislative Yuan insiders demonstrate that lawmakers and staffers may not actively be thinking about the constitutionality of the bills they are presenting, and that they possess few, if any, official consultation options when seeking advice on constitutional questions. In essence, the interviews displayed clear evidence of judicial overhang. The article ...


The Future Of Polyamorous Marriage: Lessons From The Marriage Equality Struggle, Hadar Aviram, Gwendolyn Manriquez Leachman Aug 2014

The Future Of Polyamorous Marriage: Lessons From The Marriage Equality Struggle, Hadar Aviram, Gwendolyn Manriquez Leachman

Hadar Aviram

Amidst the recent legal victories and growing public support for same-sex marriage, numerous polyamorous individuals have expressed interest in pursuing legal recognition for marriages between more than two consenting adults. This Article explores the possibilities that exist for such a polyamorous marriage equality campaign, in light of the theoretical literature on law and social movements, as well as our own original and secondary research on polyamorous and LGBT communities. Among other issues, we examine the prospect of prioritizing the marriage struggle over other forms of nonmarital relationship recognition; pragmatic regulative challenges, like taxation, healthcare, and immigration; and how law and ...


Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi Mar 2014

Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi

Lili Levi

Abstract: As technology undermines the economic model supporting traditional newspapers, power shifts from the watchdog press to those it watches. Worldwide calls for increased press “responsibility” are one result. Pending British press reform provides a troubling example with far-ranging implications for freedom of the press. Under the guise of modest press self-regulation, the U.K. is currently poised to upend 300 years of press freedom via the recently-approved Royal Charter for Self-Regulation of the Press. The Royal Charter was adopted in response to the moral panic engendered by Britain’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal. An example of 20th Century regulation ...


Preventing Balkanization Or Facilitating Racial Domination: A Critique Of The New Equal Protection, Darren L. Hutchinson Mar 2014

Preventing Balkanization Or Facilitating Racial Domination: A Critique Of The New Equal Protection, Darren L. Hutchinson

Darren L Hutchinson

Abstract

Preventing Balkanization or Facilitating Racial Domination: A Critique of the

New Equal Protection

The Supreme Court requires that equal protection plaintiffs prove defendants acted with discriminatory intent. The intent rule has insulated from judicial invalidation numerous policies that harmfully impact racial and ethnic minorities. Court doctrine also mandates that state actors remain colorblind. The colorblindness doctrine has caused the Court to invalidate many policies that were designed to ameliorate the conditions of racial inequality. Taken together, these two equality doctrines facilitate racial domination. The Court justifies this outcome on the ground that the Constitution does not protect “group rights ...


The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide, Christopher W. Schmidt Mar 2014

The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide, Christopher W. Schmidt

Christopher W. Schmidt

Contemporary legal discourse differentiates “civil rights” from “civil liberties.” The former are generally understood as protections against discriminatory treatment, the latter as freedom from oppressive government authority. This Essay explains how this differentiation arose and considers its consequences.

Although there is a certain inherent logic to the civil rights-civil liberties divide, it in fact is the product of the unique circumstances of a particular moment in history. In the early years of the Cold War, liberal anticommunists sought to distinguish their incipient interest in the cause of racial equality from their belief that national security required limitations on the speech ...


Interpreting Acronyms And Epithets: Examining The Jurisprudential Significance (Or Lack Thereof), Brian Christopher Jones Feb 2014

Interpreting Acronyms And Epithets: Examining The Jurisprudential Significance (Or Lack Thereof), Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

Given the rise in short title sophistication and their prominent use as evidence in U.S. v. Windsor, this essay argues that acronym short titles are a relatively unexplored interpretive phenomenon. Examining how acronyms should be approached in jurisprudence, the essay further explains how many titles are designed around a symbolic epithet, thus calling into question the interpretative value of such titles. Additionally, the essay touches on the recent NY and D.C. decisions regarding the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection system, and how the USA PATRIOT acronym may have played a symbolic (psycholinguistic) role.


Religious Associations: Hosanna-Tabor And The Instrumental Value Of Religious Groups, Ashutosh Bhagwat Feb 2014

Religious Associations: Hosanna-Tabor And The Instrumental Value Of Religious Groups, Ashutosh Bhagwat

Ashutosh Bhagwat

In its 2012 decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church & Sch. V. EEOC, the Supreme Court held that the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment require recognition of a “ministerial exception” to general antidiscrimination statutes (in that case, the ADA), because religious institutions must have autonomy in selecting their ministers. In the course of its analysis, however, the Court made a very interesting move. In response to the government’s argument that the case could be resolved under the general First Amendment right of association, the Court responded that this position was “untenable,” and indeed “remarkable,” because the very existence of the ...


"Not Without Political Power": Gays And Lesbians, Equal Protection, And The Suspect Class Doctrine, Darren Hutchinson Dec 2013

"Not Without Political Power": Gays And Lesbians, Equal Protection, And The Suspect Class Doctrine, Darren Hutchinson

Darren L Hutchinson

The Supreme Court purportedly utilizes the suspect class doctrine in order to balance institutional concerns with the protection of important constitutional rights. The Court, however, inconsistently applies this doctrine, and it has not precisely defined its contours. The political powerlessness factor is especially undertheorized and contradictorily applied. Nevertheless, this factor has become salient in recent equal protection cases brought by gay and lesbian plaintiffs.

A growing body of and federal and state-court precedent addresses the flaws of the Court’s suspect class doctrine. This Article discusses the inadequacies of the suspect class doctrine and highlights problems within the emerging scholarship ...


Sacred Cows, Holy Wars: Exploring The Limits Of Law In The Regulation Of Raw Milk And Kosher Meat, Kenneth Lasson Dec 2013

Sacred Cows, Holy Wars: Exploring The Limits Of Law In The Regulation Of Raw Milk And Kosher Meat, Kenneth Lasson

Kenneth Lasson

SACRED COWS, HOLY WARS Exploring the Limits of Law in the Regulation of Raw Milk and Kosher Meat By Kenneth Lasson Abstract In a free society law and religion seldom coincide comfortably, tending instead to reflect the inherent tension that often resides between the two. This is nowhere more apparent than in America, where the underlying principle upon which the first freedom enunciated by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights is based ‒ the separation of church and state – is conceptually at odds with the pragmatic compromises that may be reached. But our adherence to the primacy of individual rights and ...


Article: No Child Left Behind: Why Race-Based Achievement Goals Violate The Equal Protection Clause, Ayriel Bland Apr 2013

Article: No Child Left Behind: Why Race-Based Achievement Goals Violate The Equal Protection Clause, Ayriel Bland

Ayriel Bland

In 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was passed under President George W. Bush with the goal of increasing academic proficiency for all children in the United States by 2014. Yet, many states struggled to meet this goal and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education allowed states to apply for waivers and bypass the 2014 deadline. Some states implemented waivers though race-based achievement standards. For example, Florida in October 2012, established that by 2018, 74 percent of African American and 81 percent of Hispanic students had to be proficient in math and reading, in comparison to 88 ...


All That Heaven Will Allow: A Statistical Analysis Of The Co-Existence Of Same Sex Marriage And Gay Matrimonial Bans, Deirdre Bowen Apr 2013

All That Heaven Will Allow: A Statistical Analysis Of The Co-Existence Of Same Sex Marriage And Gay Matrimonial Bans, Deirdre Bowen

Deirdre M Bowen

This article offers the first analysis to date of national data evaluating whether defense of marriage acts (mini or super-DOMAs) preserve and stabilize the family. After finding that they do not—just as same sex marriage does not appear to destabilize families—the article analyzes what variables are, in fact, associated with family stability. Specifically, those variables are: families below the poverty line; men and women married three or more times; religiosity; percent conservative versus liberal in a state; disposable income; percent with bachelor’s degree; and median age of first marriage. Next, the article applies the sociological concepts of ...


Dancing Around Equality: Public Schools And Prejudice At The Prom, Jeffrey S. Thomas Mar 2013

Dancing Around Equality: Public Schools And Prejudice At The Prom, Jeffrey S. Thomas

Jeffrey S. Thomas

No abstract provided.


Deadly Dicta: Roe’S “Unwanted Motherhood”, Gonzales’S “Women’S Regret” And The Shifting Narrative Of Abortion Jurisprudence, Stacy A. Scaldo Mar 2013

Deadly Dicta: Roe’S “Unwanted Motherhood”, Gonzales’S “Women’S Regret” And The Shifting Narrative Of Abortion Jurisprudence, Stacy A. Scaldo

Stacy A Scaldo

For thirty-four years, the narrative of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the issue of abortion was firmly focused on the pregnant woman. From the initial finding that the right to an abortion stemmed from a constitutional right to privacy[1], through the test applied and refined to determine when that right was abridged[2], to the striking of statutes found to over-regulate that right[3], the conversation from the Court’s perspective maintained a singular focus. Pro-life arguments focusing on the fetus as the equal or greater party of interest were systematically pushed aside by the Court.[4] The consequences of ...


Religions As Sovereigns: Why Religion Is "Special", Elizabeth A. Clark Feb 2013

Religions As Sovereigns: Why Religion Is "Special", Elizabeth A. Clark

Elizabeth A. Clark

Commentators increasingly challenge religion’s privileged legal status, arguing that it is not “special” or distinct from other associations or philosophical or conscientious claims. I propose that religion is “special” because it functions metaphorically as a legal sovereign, asserting supreme authority over a realm of human life. Under a religion-as-sovereign theory, religious freedom can be understood as at least partial deference to a religious sovereign in a system of shared or overlapping sovereignty. This Article suggests that federalism, which also involves shared sovereignty, can provide a useful heuristic device for examining religious freedom. Specifically, the Article examines a range of ...


I Wanna Marry You: The Irrelevancy And Distraction Of Doma, Deirdre Bowen Feb 2013

I Wanna Marry You: The Irrelevancy And Distraction Of Doma, Deirdre Bowen

Deirdre M Bowen

This article offers the only empirical analysis to date of national data evaluating the claim that defense of marriage acts (DOMAs) preserve and stabilize the family. The article examines marriage and divorce changes in trends for every state over the last ten years for which data is available comparing changes, if any, before and after a DOMA was enacted or same sex marriage was permitted. After concluding that DOMA does not play a role in either divorce or marriage changes in trends or rates, the article explores what variables are, in fact, correlated with family stability. Given that poverty, religiosity ...


The Right To Quantitative Privacy, David Gray, Danielle Citron Dec 2012

The Right To Quantitative Privacy, David Gray, Danielle Citron

David C. Gray

We are at the cusp of a historic shift in our conceptions of the Fourth Amendment driven by dramatic advances in surveillance technology. Governments and their private sector agents continue to invest billions of dollars in massive data-mining projects, advanced analytics, fusion centers, and aerial drones, all without serious consideration of the constitutional issues that these technologies raise. In United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court signaled an end to its silent acquiescence in this expanding surveillance state. In that case, five justices signed concurring opinions defending a revolutionary proposition: that citizens have Fourth Amendment interests in substantial quantities of ...


A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls And Potential Of The Mosaic Theory Of Fourth Amendment Privacy, David Gray, Danielle Citron Dec 2012

A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls And Potential Of The Mosaic Theory Of Fourth Amendment Privacy, David Gray, Danielle Citron

David C. Gray

On January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a landmark non-decision in United States v. Jones. In that case, officers used a GPS-enabled device to track a suspect’s public movements for four weeks, amassing a considerable amount of data in the process. Although ultimately resolved on narrow grounds, five Justices joined concurring opinions in Jones expressing sympathy for some version of the “mosaic theory” of Fourth Amendment privacy. This theory holds that we maintain reasonable expectations of privacy in certain quantities of information even if we do not have such expectations in the constituent parts. This Article examines and ...


Sacred Cows, Holy Wars: Exploring The Limits Of Law In The Regulation Of Raw Milk And Kosher Meat, Kenneth Lasson Dec 2012

Sacred Cows, Holy Wars: Exploring The Limits Of Law In The Regulation Of Raw Milk And Kosher Meat, Kenneth Lasson

Kenneth Lasson

In a free society law and religion seldom coincide comfortably, tending instead to reflect the inherent tension that often resides between the two. This is nowhere more apparent than in America, where the underlying principle upon which the first freedom enunciated by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights is based ‒ the separation of church and state – is conceptually at odds with the pragmatic compromises that may be reached. But our adherence to the primacy of individual rights and civil liberties ‒ that any activity must be permitted if it is not imposed upon others without their consent, and if it does ...


Banning High Capacity Magazines: Heller And The Right To Bear Arms, Matthew Eitelberg Dec 2012

Banning High Capacity Magazines: Heller And The Right To Bear Arms, Matthew Eitelberg

Matthew J Eitelberg

The debate over gun control, once moribund, is now the topic of political conversation in state legislatures and in Congress. The massacre of 20 schoolchildren and 6 school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School has made gun control a very real possibility. One target of recent gun control measures is a prohibition on the sale and manufacture of detachable high-capacity magazines for semiautomatic weapons. Presently, at the state and federal level, legislation has been proposed, or is in the process of being implemented, that would prohibit the sale and manufacture of detachable high-capacity magazines for semiautomatic weapons. Such proposals implicate ...


The Right To Quantitative Privacy, David C. Gray, Danielle Keats Citron Dec 2012

The Right To Quantitative Privacy, David C. Gray, Danielle Keats Citron

Danielle Keats Citron

We are at the cusp of a historic shift in our conceptions of the Fourth Amendment driven by dramatic advances in surveillance technology. Governments and their private sector agents continue to invest billions of dollars in massive data-mining projects, advanced analytics, fusion centers, and aerial drones, all without serious consideration of the constitutional issues that these technologies raise. In United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court signaled an end to its silent acquiescence in this expanding surveillance state. In that case, five justices signed concurring opinions defending a revolutionary proposition: that citizens have Fourth Amendment interests in substantial quantities of ...


Framing Inclusionary Zoning: Exploring The Legality Of Local Inclusionary Zoning And Its Potential To Meet Affordable Housing Needs, Tim Iglesias Dec 2012

Framing Inclusionary Zoning: Exploring The Legality Of Local Inclusionary Zoning And Its Potential To Meet Affordable Housing Needs, Tim Iglesias

Tim Iglesias

Whether local inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinances can make significant contributions towards meeting affordable housing needs depends in large part on its legality. Courts have not developed a consistent jurisprudence regarding IZ ordinances. The legality of IZ ordinances depends upon how they are framed by the governments who enact them, the opponents who challenge them, and the courts that decide the cases. After a brief introduction, this article explores why framing is possible and likely in judicial review of IZ as well as why it matters. Next, the article analyzes the case law to demonstrate how framing has operated to affect ...


A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls And Potential Of The Mosaic Theory Of Fourth Amendment Privacy, David C. Gray, Danielle Keats Citron Dec 2012

A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls And Potential Of The Mosaic Theory Of Fourth Amendment Privacy, David C. Gray, Danielle Keats Citron

Danielle Keats Citron

On January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a landmark non-decision in United States v. Jones. In that case, officers used a GPS-enabled device to track a suspect’s public movements for four weeks, amassing a considerable amount of data in the process. Although ultimately resolved on narrow grounds, five Justices joined concurring opinions in Jones expressing sympathy for some version of the “mosaic theory” of Fourth Amendment privacy. This theory holds that we maintain reasonable expectations of privacy in certain quantities of information even if we do not have such expectations in the constituent parts. This Article examines and ...