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Puerto Rico And The Right Of Accession, Joseph Blocher, Mitu Gulati 2018 Duke Law School

Puerto Rico And The Right Of Accession, Joseph Blocher, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

On June 11, 2017, Puerto Rico held a referendum on its legal status. Although turnout was low, 97% of ballots favored statehood, rather than independence or the status quo. The federal government, however, has financial and political reasons to resist this preference: Puerto Rico would bring with it a massive, unpayable debt, and the potential to swing the current balance of power in Congress. That then raises the two questions of whether Congress could decide expel Puerto Rico (give it “independence”) or is legally required to give it statehood (“accession”).

The answers are not obvious. International law, we argue, suggests ...


Constitutions And Bills Of Rights: Invigorating Or Placating Democracy?, Brian Christopher Jones 2017 University of Dundee

Constitutions And Bills Of Rights: Invigorating Or Placating Democracy?, Brian Christopher Jones

Brian Christopher Jones

Champions of constitutions and bills of rights regularly portray them as possessing significant, sometimes mysterious, powers. One characterisation is that newly implemented constitutions may invigorate a democracy, particularly at the ballot box. This article challenges that notion. In particular, it examines a number of jurisdictions that have recently implemented constitutions and bill of rights, finding that in many of them, voter turnout decreased after passage, sometimes significantly. As the argument for a codified British constitution endures, the findings of this paper provide provisional evidence that those advocating for such a device should be wary of touting its potentially invigorating democratic ...


Secession And Federalism In The United States: Tools For Managing Regional Conflict In A Pluralist Society, Erin Ryan 2017 Florida State University College of Law

Secession And Federalism In The United States: Tools For Managing Regional Conflict In A Pluralist Society, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This Article explores the use of federalism and secession as tools for managing regional conflict within pluralist governance, drawing on underappreciated features of the American experience.  Epic struggles to balance autonomy with interdependence have taken on new urgency as dissatisfaction with globalization inspires political cataclysms unimaginable just a few years ago—including ‘Brexit’ from the European Union and American threats to leave NATO.  The same impetus toward devolution also surfaces in heated intra-national conflicts.  Recent calls for secession in Scotland, Catalonia, Québec, the Sudan, and even the United States reveal multiple political contexts in which questions have been raised about ...


Boumediene V. Bush: Flashpoint In The Ongoing Struggle To Determine The Rights Of Guantanamo Detainees, Michael J. Anderson 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Boumediene V. Bush: Flashpoint In The Ongoing Struggle To Determine The Rights Of Guantanamo Detainees, Michael J. Anderson

Maine Law Review

Following the harrowing events of September 11, 2001, and pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed soon thereafter by Congress, the United States Armed Forces began capturing and detaining individuals at the Naval Air Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The choice of where to house these detainees was not random. Internal memoranda from the Justice Department reveal that the Naval Base was selected as a means of avoiding any legal entanglements that might ensue from such imprisonment. What resulted was what some commentators have called a “legal black hole” at Guantanamo, a place where any individual ...


A Constitutional Critique On The Criminalization Of Panhandling In Washington State, Drew Sena 2017 Seattle University School of Law

A Constitutional Critique On The Criminalization Of Panhandling In Washington State, Drew Sena

Seattle University Law Review

Individuals who have lost everything—their homes, jobs, and dignity—are often forced to live on the street. Those with no reasonable alternative can find themselves relying on the generosity of others just to survive. In response, citizens petition, legislatures enact, and officers enforce laws that criminalize signs of visible poverty. Municipalities have made considerable attempts to remove visible poverty from their cities by drafting legislation that disproportionately punishes people experiencing homelessness. This Note focuses on a particular subset of such legislation, laws that criminalize panhandling. Section I of this Note provides an overview of the First Amendment and the ...


Legal/Legislative Issues In Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted Suicide, Edward Grant 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Legal/Legislative Issues In Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted Suicide, Edward Grant

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Putting Faith Back Into Constitutional Scholarship: A Defense Of Originalism, Kathleen A. Brady 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Putting Faith Back Into Constitutional Scholarship: A Defense Of Originalism, Kathleen A. Brady

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


The Right To Self-Directed Death: Reconsidering An Ancient Proscription, G. Steven Neeley 2017 St. John's University School of Law

The Right To Self-Directed Death: Reconsidering An Ancient Proscription, G. Steven Neeley

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


The Crossroads Of A Legal Fiction And The Reality Of Families, Andrew L. Weinstein 2017 University of Maine School of Law

The Crossroads Of A Legal Fiction And The Reality Of Families, Andrew L. Weinstein

Maine Law Review

In Adoption of M.A., the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, held that an unmarried, same-sex couple could file a joint petition for adoption of two foster children in their care. This recent decision is only a fraction of a story that originated a long time ago when same-sex couples began raising children. This Comment begins by examining the role of the state courts and the United States Supreme Court in their exposition of family law relating to adoption by same-sex couples. The United States Supreme Court has periodically weighed in on family law and parenting ...


Does The End Justify The Means? The Clumsy And Circuitous Logic Of Blood Test Admissibility In Criminal Prosecutions In State V. Cormier, Kyle T. MacDonald 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Does The End Justify The Means? The Clumsy And Circuitous Logic Of Blood Test Admissibility In Criminal Prosecutions In State V. Cormier, Kyle T. Macdonald

Maine Law Review

In State v. Cormier, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, was asked to determine whether a Maine statute requiring law enforcement officers to test the blood of all drivers for intoxicants following a fatal motor vehicle collision violates the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution when the operation of the statute allows for the admission of those blood test results in a future criminal trial of the driver. In determining that the procedures of title 29-A, section 2522 of the Maine Revised Statutes are not violative of the Fourth Amendment, the Law Court effectively confirmed ...


Gun Control: Political Fears Trump Crime Control, Clayton E. Cramer, Joseph Edward Olson 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Gun Control: Political Fears Trump Crime Control, Clayton E. Cramer, Joseph Edward Olson

Maine Law Review

No matter how draconian, gun control laws are weakly enforced (at least in the United States) and seldom of any significant effect in reducing crime. The kind of citizen who will comply with a gun law is the opposite of the person who will use a gun to facilitate his or her crimes. The problem of weak enforcement is highlighted by a candid interview with the author of the District of Columbia’s 1968 gun registration scheme while the District’s 1975-76 gun ban was under consideration: The problem, [Hechinger] said, is the failure of the mayor and police department ...


The Role Of The State Attorney General In Preventing And Punishing Hate Crimes Through Civil Prosecution: Positive Experiences And Possible First Amendment Potholes, Amy Dieterich 2017 University of Maine School of Law

The Role Of The State Attorney General In Preventing And Punishing Hate Crimes Through Civil Prosecution: Positive Experiences And Possible First Amendment Potholes, Amy Dieterich

Maine Law Review

On July 3, 2006, Lewiston, Maine resident Brent Matthews threw a pig's head as "a joke" into the town's only mosque, frequented primarily by Somali refugees, during evening services. Because of Matthews' "joke," members of the mosque were required by Islamic law to clean the desecrated area seven times, attendance at the mosque decreased, and some members said they feared physical harm. Unfortunately for Matthews, Maine is one of eight states that has given its Attorney General the authority to seek a civil remedy for a violation of a citizen's civil rights, which can be pursued concurrently ...


A Proposal For Establishing Specialized Federal And State "Takings Courts", John Martinez 2017 University of Maine School of Law

A Proposal For Establishing Specialized Federal And State "Takings Courts", John Martinez

Maine Law Review

Takings doctrine is a mess. Let's just accept that and establish specialized federal and state "takings courts" to adjudicate takings claims. Takings claims arise when governmental conduct is alleged to detrimentally affect private property. Adjudication of takings claims may initially seem straightforward: the Fifth Amendment's Just Compensation Clause, as well as analogous state constitutional provisions, plainly provide that the government shall not take private property for public use without just compensation. In 1978, the United States Supreme Court confessed that takings analysis is hopelessly ad hoc. Decades later, in 2005, the Court abrogated a test for takings that ...


Ideological Plaintiffs, Administrative Lawmaking, Standing, And The Petition Clause, Karl S. Coplan 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Ideological Plaintiffs, Administrative Lawmaking, Standing, And The Petition Clause, Karl S. Coplan

Maine Law Review

Although Article I of the Constitution vests legislative power in the Congress, the lawmaking process in this country has evolved to involve all three branches. Congress enacts regulatory programs, but delegates to the executive branch the task of formulating and legislating the details of implementation through regulations. Once the executive branch agencies have acted, Article III courts routinely step in to review the consistency of these regulations with congressional mandates. In many cases, especially in the case of controversial regulations, the lawmaking process is not complete until judicial review. Entities burdened by such regulations-so-called "regulatory objects"-enjoy presumed standing to ...


Racism, Juries, And Justice: Addressing Post-Verdict Juror Testimony Of Racial Prejudice During Deliberations, Andrew C. Helman 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Racism, Juries, And Justice: Addressing Post-Verdict Juror Testimony Of Racial Prejudice During Deliberations, Andrew C. Helman

Maine Law Review

From the beginning, race played a role in the prosecution of Christopher McCowen for the rape and murder of well-known fashion writer Christa Worthington. To some, the trial was even a spectacle and treated as “one of the most spectacular homicide cases in [Massachusetts'] history.” It quickly became a “made-for-cable-news tale of the heiress fashion writer and her lowly Portuguese fisherman lover, illicit sex, and an out-of-wedlock child,” all set in a seaside village. McCowen, an African-American garbage man, was right in the middle of it; police and prosecutors did not believe his assertions that he had consensual sex with ...


"Another Day" Has Dawned: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Holds Laboratory Evidence Subject To The Confrontation Clause In State V. Mangos, Reid Hayton-Hull 2017 University of Maine School of Law

"Another Day" Has Dawned: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Holds Laboratory Evidence Subject To The Confrontation Clause In State V. Mangos, Reid Hayton-Hull

Maine Law Review

The Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause guarantees criminal defendants the right to “confront witnesses against them.” Specifically, the Clause ensures a criminal defendant's right to confront witnesses who testify against him by the unique medium, or “crucible,” of cross-examination. Although federal and state rules of evidence prohibiting hearsay and the Confrontation Clause are designed to protect similar interests, whether or not admission of a piece of evidence violates a defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause is a separate analysis than whether that same piece of evidence is admissible under a rule of evidence. In 2004, the United States ...


The Supreme Court's Long And Perhaps Unnecessary Struggle To Find A Standard Of Culpability To Regulate The Federal Exclusionary Remedy For Fourth/Fourteenth Amendment Violations, Melvyn H. Zarr 2017 University of Maine School of Law

The Supreme Court's Long And Perhaps Unnecessary Struggle To Find A Standard Of Culpability To Regulate The Federal Exclusionary Remedy For Fourth/Fourteenth Amendment Violations, Melvyn H. Zarr

Maine Law Review

On January 14, 2009, the United States Supreme Court decided Herring v. United States. In Herring, the defendant moved to suppress evidence that he alleged was seized as a result of an arrest that violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court approved the decision below to deny suppression of the evidence. The decision set off a flurry of speculation that the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule would not see its 100th birthday in 2014. A headline in the New York Times of January 31 declared: “Supreme Court Edging Closer to Repeal of Evidence Ruling ...


Establishing Guidelines For Attorney Representation Of Criminal Defendants At The Sentencing Phase Of Capital Trials, Adam Lamparello 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Establishing Guidelines For Attorney Representation Of Criminal Defendants At The Sentencing Phase Of Capital Trials, Adam Lamparello

Maine Law Review

In Strickland v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court issued a seminal holding that single-handedly rendered it nearly impossible for a capital defendant to demonstrate that he was the victim of ineffective assistance of counsel at the underlying trial or at sentencing. Indeed, due in substantial part to the fact that "Strickland was not intended to impose rigorous standards on criminal defense attorneys," the Court found ineffective assistance of counsel in only one case over the next sixteen years. Critically, however, during this time, both state and federal courts bore witness to some of the most horrific examples of death ...


Bray V. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic: Abortion Protesters Are Not Liable Under The Ku Klux Klan Act, Sue Mota 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Bray V. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic: Abortion Protesters Are Not Liable Under The Ku Klux Klan Act, Sue Mota

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Single-Subject Constitutional Amendments, Richard Albert 2017 Boston College Law School

Single-Subject Constitutional Amendments, Richard Albert

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

What makes a constitution difficult to amend? The answer varies across jurisdictions. In the United States, for example, the threshold problem is getting two-thirds of Congress to initiate an amendment—a virtually impossibility in our present day given that Congress has a hard enough time agreeing by a simple majority to pass a simple law. In Australia and Switzerland, it is largely the combination of subnational approval and referendal ratification that complicates matters. In Canada—the subject of this paper—constitutional amendment difficulty derives from similar challenges associated with initiation and ratification but perhaps even more from the use of ...


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