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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 ...


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 ...


A Quantum Congress, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2014

A Quantum Congress, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

This article tries to address the problem of a corrupt and broken electoral system that has been captured by special interests through big money spending in political campaigns, while at the same time preserving the spirit of the Free Speech Clause of our Constitution. In doing so, this article first reviews and summarizes the different alternatives proposed as potential fixes for the campaign finance problem. It then explains why none of the proposed alternatives can accomplish the dual goals set out above. Finally, the article briefly sketches a proposal for a fundamental reworking of our representative democracy by substituting legislative ...


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 ...


Confrontational Contestation And Democratic Compromise: The Sunflower Movement And Its Aftermath, Brian Christopher Jones, Yen-Tu Su Dec 2014

Confrontational Contestation And Democratic Compromise: The Sunflower Movement And Its Aftermath, Brian Christopher Jones, Yen-Tu Su

Brian Christopher Jones

This piece describes the two conflicting governmental visions involved in the events surrounding the Taiwan Sunflower Movement, and attempts to justify the Movement from the perspective of democratic theory. In doing so we analyse the justifications Sunflower Movement leaders put forward for their occupation, and present a novel theory of “confrontational contestation”. The theory stems from the belief that the Sunflower Movement events represented a unique type of democratic disobedience, and new understandings regarding disobedience have emerged from these circumstances. The second part of our paper analyses the cases for and against prosecuting Sunflower Movement members. Ultimately, we decide that ...


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 ...


Is Social Media A Human Right? Exploring The Scope Of Internet Rights, Brian Christopher Jones Nov 2014

Is Social Media A Human Right? Exploring The Scope Of Internet Rights, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

This article explores the basis for social media being recognised as a human right, how such services have come to be seen as both democracy-enabing and rights-infringing, and further examines social media's contentious relationship with authoritarian regimes.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


"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 ...


State Constitutions And The Basic Structure Doctrine, Manoj Mate Dec 2013

State Constitutions And The Basic Structure Doctrine, Manoj Mate

Manoj S. Mate

cross the United States, voters in many states have enacted initiative constitutional amendments that abrogate protections for equality and fundamental rights. In most cases, state supreme courts have upheld the validity of these amendments, undermining protections for fundamental rights at the state level. This Article proposes a novel solution to this problem: it argues for the application of the basic structure doctrine in the review of constitutional amendments by state supreme courts. Under this doctrine, the Supreme Court of India (like constitutional courts in other nations) asserted the power to invalidate amendments that abrogate "basic features" of the Indian Constitution ...


The First Thing We Do, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2013

The First Thing We Do, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

There is currently a concerted effort to dumb down America. In the midst of this, the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recently agreed to propose that tenure for law professors be eliminated as a requirement for accreditation of law schools. This article analyzes the arguments for and against tenure in legal academia, and concludes that the main proposed justifications for eliminating tenure are highly questionable, at best. A lawyer is more than a legal technocrat. Lawyers are policy makers and public defenders. They are prosecutors and activists. And the ...


¿Con La Misma Vara? Los Altibajos De La Igual Protección De Las Leyes En Las Opiniones Del Juez Federico Hernández Denton, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2013

¿Con La Misma Vara? Los Altibajos De La Igual Protección De Las Leyes En Las Opiniones Del Juez Federico Hernández Denton, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

La carrera del juez presidente Federico Hernández Denton como juez del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico abarca cuatro distintas décadas durante las cuales la sociedad puertorriqueña ha experimentado dramáticos cambios. Desde los intentos por eliminar el hostigamiento sexual y la violencia doméstica hasta el desarrollo de los derechos civiles de los individuos y las parejas homosexuales; desde el cierre de las urbanizaciones adineradas y el enclaustre de la clase media hasta los despidos masivos en el gobierno y la constitucionalización de las escoltas de los ex gobernadores; los cambios experimentados por los puertorriqueños no nos han tocado a todos por ...


Grains Of Sand Or Butterfly Effect: Standing, The Legitimacy Of Precedent, And Reflections On Hollingsworth And Windsor, Maxwell L. Stearns Oct 2013

Grains Of Sand Or Butterfly Effect: Standing, The Legitimacy Of Precedent, And Reflections On Hollingsworth And Windsor, Maxwell L. Stearns

Maxwell L. Stearns

One test of whether a scholarly work has achieved canonical status is to ask respected scholars in the field which works, setting aside their own, are essential reads. William Fletcher’s article, The Structure of Standing, now in its twenty-fifth year, would almost certainly emerge at the top of any such lists among standing scholars. And yet, while many at this conference have built upon Fletcher’s insights, there remains notable disagreement concerning standing doctrine’s normative foundations. The central dispute concerns whether standing doctrine should be celebrated as furthering a “private-rights,” or instead, condemned as thwarting a “public-rights,” adjudicatory ...


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 ...


The United States Constitution And Its History Through The Barristers And Political, Allen E. Shoenberger Mar 2013

The United States Constitution And Its History Through The Barristers And Political, Allen E. Shoenberger

Allen E Shoenberger

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Chief Justice Roberts' Individual Mandate: The Lawless Medicine Of Nfib V. Sebelius, Gregory Magarian Feb 2013

Chief Justice Roberts' Individual Mandate: The Lawless Medicine Of Nfib V. Sebelius, Gregory Magarian

Gregory P. Magarian

After the U.S. Supreme Court in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius held nearly all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional, praise rained down on Chief Justice John Roberts. The Chief Justice’s lead opinion broke with his usual conservative allies on the Court by upholding the Act’s individual mandate under the Taxing Clause. Numerous academic and popular commentators have lauded the Chief Justice for his political courage and institutional pragmatism. In this essay, Professor Magarian challenges the heroic narrative surrounding the Chief Justice’s opinion. The essay contends that the opinion is, in ...


The Second Amendment´S Fixed Meaning And Multiple Purposes, Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger Jan 2013

The Second Amendment´S Fixed Meaning And Multiple Purposes, Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger

Thiago L. B. Sturzenegger

The Second Amendment’s Fixed Meaning and Multiple Purposes

The faith to the Constitution’s textual meaning may provide the interpreter with the ability to perceive the adaptability of a constitutional provision to different social and political contexts. The text of the Constitution refers to principles of law; principles that are indispensable in different ways throughout time. Textualism as a constitutional interpretation model may offer the path to a more versatile Constitution.

To support this statement, this work examines the cases in which the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The focal point of interest is the ...


Time And Judicial Review: Tempering The Temporal Effects Of Judicial Review, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov Dec 2012

Time And Judicial Review: Tempering The Temporal Effects Of Judicial Review, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

Dr. Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

This Article deals with a predicament inherent in judicial review: Under the traditional view, judicial declarations of unconstitutionality apply retrospectively, meaning that the law is treated as void from its inception — as if it was never enacted. This, however, means nullifying all the legal arrangements, rights, interests, and obligations that were established under its authority, which can have far-reaching ramifications for both public and private interests. The Article explores the Israeli Supreme Court's approach for dealing with potential negative consequences of retrospective voidance of statutes. It focuses on three main remedial strategies for tempering the temporal effects of invalidating ...


Emerging Technologies And Dwindling Speech, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2012

Emerging Technologies And Dwindling Speech, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

Inspired in part by the recent holding in Bland v. Roberts that the use of the “Like” feature in Facebook is not covered by the Free Speech Clause, this article makes a brief foray into the approach that courts have taken in the recent past towards questions of First Amendment coverage in the context of emerging technologies. Specifically, this article will take a closer look at how courts have dealt with the issue of functionality in the context of First Amendment coverage of computer source code. The analysis of this and other recent experiences, when put in a larger context ...


A Triumph Of Ill Conceived Language: The Linguistic Origins Of Guantamo’S “Rough Justice”, Brian Christopher Jones Dec 2012

A Triumph Of Ill Conceived Language: The Linguistic Origins Of Guantamo’S “Rough Justice”, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

Throughout the years, the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay has witnessed an abundance of intriguing linguistic words and phrases. For example, “Freedom Vanilla” replaced French Vanilla ice cream in the mess hall, and the area where journalists and others were often sequestered during their visits to the base was re-named “Camp Justice.” The list goes on. However, the language that has had the most significant impact throughout the years has been the words and phrases used in the administration of justice regarding the detainees being held on terrorism charges.Wall St. Journal Supreme Court reporter Jess Bravin’s book, The ...


Semiprocedural Judicial Review, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov Dec 2011

Semiprocedural Judicial Review, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

Dr. Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov

This Article explores a novel cross-national phenomenon: the emergence of a new judicial review model that merges procedural judicial review with substantive judicial review. While this model is not yet fully defined, it has already spurred much controversy. The Article explicates this emerging model, which it terms 'semiprocedural review,' and provides a theoretical exploration of both its justifications and its objectionable aspects. It concludes by evaluating semiprocedural review's overall justifiability and suggesting guiding principles for a more legitimate model of semiprocedural review. The Article pursues these goals through the unique perspective of juxtaposing semiprocedural review with 'pure procedural judicial ...


Decoding First Amendment Coverage Of Computer Source Code In The Age Of Youtube, Facebook And The Arab Spring, Jorge R. Roig Dec 2011

Decoding First Amendment Coverage Of Computer Source Code In The Age Of Youtube, Facebook And The Arab Spring, Jorge R. Roig

Jorge R Roig

Computer source code is the lifeblood of the Internet. It is also the brick and mortar of cyberspace. As such, it has been argued that the degree of control that a government can wield over code can be a powerful tool for controlling new technologies. With the advent and proliferation in the Internet of social networking media and platforms for the publication and sharing of user-generated content, the ability of individuals across the world to communicate with each other has reached truly revolutionary dimensions.
The influence of Facebook in the popular revolutions of the Arab Spring has been well documented ...


Fiduciary Principles And Statutory Form In Relation To The Necessary And Proper Clause: Potential Constitutional Implications For Congressional Short Titles, Brian Christopher Jones Dec 2011

Fiduciary Principles And Statutory Form In Relation To The Necessary And Proper Clause: Potential Constitutional Implications For Congressional Short Titles, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

This article explores the principles of fiduciary duty and statutory form in relation to the “proper” portion of the Necessary and Proper Clause, and especially in regard to congressional short titles for bills and laws. While the clause is one of the most influential and controversial constitutional phrases, its meaning remains shrouded in mystery. At some level amongst the founders, the Constitution was regarded as a grant of fiduciary duty from the government to its people; given this, the clause should be read from such a perspective, and the duties of loyalty and good faith, among others, come into play ...


The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

Among the various instruments in the toolbox of liberalism, the so-called “harm principle,” presented as the central thesis of John Stuart Mill’s classic On Liberty, has been one of the most popular. The harm principle has been widely embraced and invoked in both academic and popular debate about a variety of issues ranging from obscenity to drug regulation to abortion to same-sex marriage, and its influence is discernible in legal arguments and judicial opinions as well. Despite the principle’s apparent irresistibility, this essay argues that the principle is hollow. It is an empty vessel, alluring but without any ...


Justice Douglas, Justice O'Connor, And George Orwell: Does The Constitution Compel Us To Disown Our Past, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

Justice Douglas, Justice O'Connor, And George Orwell: Does The Constitution Compel Us To Disown Our Past, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

Justice William O. Douglas's majority opinion in Zorach v. Clauson famously asserted that "[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." What did Douglas mean, and was he right? More recently, in cases involving the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and other public expressions and symbols, the Supreme Court has said that the Constitution prohibits government from endorsing religion. Can Douglas's "Supreme Being" assertion be reconciled with the "no endorsement" prohibition? And does the more modern doctrine demand that we forget, falsify, or forswear our pervasively religious political heritage? This essay, presented as ...


The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

If there is any single theme that has provided the foundation of modern liberalism and has infused our more specific constitutional commitments to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, that theme is probably “freedom of conscience.” But some observers also perceive a progressive cheapening of conscience– even a sort of degradation. Such criticisms suggest the need for a contemporary rethinking of conscience. When we reverently invoke “conscience,” do we have any idea what we are talking about? Or are we just exploiting a venerable theme for rhetorical purposes without any clear sense of what “conscience” is or why it ...