Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Digital Commons Network

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 10 of 10

Full-Text Articles in Entire DC Network

Functioning Just Fine: The Unappreciated Value Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand, Paul M. Collins Jr. Jul 2013

Functioning Just Fine: The Unappreciated Value Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand, Paul M. Collins Jr.

Scholarly Works

Scholars, politicians, and legal commentators from across the ideological spectrum seem to agree that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process is broken and needs to be fixed. Reform proposals vary, but share a common assumption that if we do not do something the legitimacy of the Court will be at risk.

This Article presents an alternative view, arguing that the confirmation process is in fact functioning just fine. The way we confirm Supreme Court nominees today is not perfect, but nor is it all that bad. If there is a crisis facing the high Court today, it lies not ...


The Problem With Misdemeanor Representation, Erica J. Hashimoto Apr 2013

The Problem With Misdemeanor Representation, Erica J. Hashimoto

Scholarly Works

The failure to appoint counsel in misdemeanor cases may represent one of the most widespread violations of federal constitutional rights in criminal cases. A decade ago, in Alabama v. Shelton, the Supreme Court held that indigent defendants sentenced to suspended terms of incarceration in misdemeanor cases have a constitutional right to appointed counsel, even if the defendant is never actually incarcerated. Several factors contribute to this omission. First, some jurisdictions have simply refused to honor the Court's holding. Second, potentially unconstitutional barriers to the appointment of counsel-including prohibitively high fees imposed on defendants, failures to fully inform defendants of ...


Is Prayer Constitutional At Municipal Council Meetings?, Thomas A. Schweitzer Jan 2013

Is Prayer Constitutional At Municipal Council Meetings?, Thomas A. Schweitzer

Scholarly Works

The author discusses Galloway v. Town of Greece, a case which challenges official prayers at town council meetings. To provide the necessary background information for understanding the issues in Galloway, the author begins with a brief discussion of two other cases, Lemon v. Kurtzman and Marsh v. Chambers. The author then examines the district and circuit court decisions in Galloway and the Establishment Clause issues posed by the case. Next, the author notes issues raised by other lower court decisions involving legislative prayer after Marsh.

Towards the end of the article, to clarify and decide the constitutional issues, the author ...


Supreme Court Fortifies Qualified Immunity For Law Enforcement Officers In Warrant Cases, Martin Schwartz Jan 2013

Supreme Court Fortifies Qualified Immunity For Law Enforcement Officers In Warrant Cases, Martin Schwartz

Scholarly Works

This article analyzes the significance of the United States Supreme Court decision in Messerschmidt v. Millender, 132 S.Ct. 1652 (2012), upon §1983 Fourth Amendment claims asserted against state and local law enforcement officers who apply for and enforce warrants. Millender held that police officers who sought and executed a very broad warrant authorizing them to search a residence for guns and gang related material were protected by qualified immunity. The author asserts that §1983 plaintiffs, who seek to recover damages based upon either the application or execution of an allegedly unconstitutional warrant, will now have to overcome various layers ...


Supreme Court Holds Grand Jury Witnesses Absolutely Immune From § 1983 Liability, Martin Schwartz Jan 2013

Supreme Court Holds Grand Jury Witnesses Absolutely Immune From § 1983 Liability, Martin Schwartz

Scholarly Works

This article discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S. Ct. 1497 (2012), which extended the absolute witness immunity recognized in Briscoe v. LaHue, to grand jury witnesses. In an unanimous opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., the Court held that grand jury witnesses are absolutely immune from §1983 liability for their testimony, and even for conspiring to give false testimony.


Constitutional Value Judgments And Interpretive Theory Choice, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2013

Constitutional Value Judgments And Interpretive Theory Choice, Ian C. Bartrum

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


State Interests And The Duration Of Abortion Rights, Randy Beck Jan 2013

State Interests And The Duration Of Abortion Rights, Randy Beck

Scholarly Works

Few areas of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence have attracted as much attention in recent decades as the case law recognizing a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has exercised more influence over the Court’s abortion jurisprudence than perhaps any other sitting Justice. His jointly authored plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey reaffirmed the basic right to an abortion first recognized in Roe v. Wade, applying that right to regulations effective from the outset of pregnancy. Later opinions, particularly Justice Kennedy’s dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart and his majority opinion ...


Plunging Into Endless Difficulties: Medicaid And Coercion In National Federation Of Independent Business V. Sebelius, Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, Nicole Huberfield, Kevin Outterson Jan 2013

Plunging Into Endless Difficulties: Medicaid And Coercion In National Federation Of Independent Business V. Sebelius, Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, Nicole Huberfield, Kevin Outterson

Scholarly Works

Of the four discrete questions before the Court in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Medicaid expansion held the greatest potential for destabilization from both a statutory and a constitutional perspective. As authors of an amicus brief supporting the Medicaid expansion, and scholars with expertise in health law who have been cited by the Court, we show in this article why NFIB is likely to fulfill that promise.

For the first time in its history, the Court held federal legislation based upon the spending power to be unconstitutionally coercive. Chief Justice Roberts’ plurality (joined for future voting purposes ...


A Response To Beyond Separation: Professor Copeland’S Ambitious Proposal For “Integrative” Federalism, Elizabeth Weeks Jan 2013

A Response To Beyond Separation: Professor Copeland’S Ambitious Proposal For “Integrative” Federalism, Elizabeth Weeks

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


State Action Problems, Christian Turner Jan 2013

State Action Problems, Christian Turner

Scholarly Works

The state action doctrine is a mess. Explanations for why federal courts sometimes treat the private actions of private parties as public actions subject to the Constitution, like the Supreme Court did in Shelley v. Kraemer, are either vastly overinclusive or fail to explain our law and values. A better approach is to understand the state action doctrine in institutional terms. I introduce a two-step, institutionally focused state action theory that is a natural consequence of a broader public/private theory of legal systems. In the first step, a court identifies a “state action problem,” meaning a privately made law ...