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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2006

Law and Politics

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Infant Safe Haven Laws: Legislating In The Culture Of Life, Carol Sanger Jan 2006

Infant Safe Haven Laws: Legislating In The Culture Of Life, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

This Article analyzes the politics, implementation, and influence of Infant Safe Haven laws. These laws, enacted across the states in the early 2000s in response to much-publicized discoveries of dead and abandoned infants, provide for the legal abandonment of newborns. They offer new mothers immunity and anonymity in exchange for leaving their babies at designated Safe Havens. Yet despite widespread enactment, the laws have had relatively little impact on the phenomenon of infant abandonment. This Article explains why this is so, focusing particularly on a disconnect between the legislative scheme and the characteristics of neonaticidal mothers that makes the use ...


Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In Vieth v. Jubelirer, a narrow majority of the Supreme Court determined that, at least for the moment, partisan gerrymandering is nonjusticiable. Yet, strikingly, all nine members of the Court also agreed that, justiciable or not, partisan gerrymanders raise a constitutional question, and some gerrymanders are unconstitutional. However, the Court gave little attention to just why gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. The justices bounced back and forth between justiciability and the standards for proving gerrymandering without considering what constitutional harm gerrymandering poses. This Article considers the question of why partisan gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. It finds four constitutional arguments against gerrymandering ...


Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

As demonstrated by San Francisco's recent adoption of instant runoff voting and New York City's recent expansion of its program for funding candidates for municipal office, local governments around the country have been actively engaged in examining and revising electoral and governmental processes. These local initiatives include alternative voting systems, campaign finance reforms, conflicts of interest codes, term limits, and revisions to tax, budget and legislative procedures. These local innovations illustrate both the capacity of local governments to restructure basic features of their political organization and their interest in doing so. Local political innovations also test the scope ...