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Fordham Law School

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Nondelegation And The Legislative Versus Administrative Exactions Divide: Why Legislatively Imposed Exactions Do Not Require A More Searching Standard Of Review, Hunter Dominick Apr 2024

Nondelegation And The Legislative Versus Administrative Exactions Divide: Why Legislatively Imposed Exactions Do Not Require A More Searching Standard Of Review, Hunter Dominick

Fordham Law Review

As the United States continues to grow and urbanize, local governments have tried to manage this growth to mitigate the external impacts that new developments can cause. One method by which state and local governments seek to control growth within their borders is by imposing conditions on the issuance of building permits—otherwise known as exactions. Exactions, however, face federal constitutional limits under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard, the U.S. Supreme Court restricted exactions in …


The First Religious Charter School: A Viable Option For School Choice Or Prohibited Under The State Action Doctrine And Religion Clauses?, Julia Clementi Apr 2024

The First Religious Charter School: A Viable Option For School Choice Or Prohibited Under The State Action Doctrine And Religion Clauses?, Julia Clementi

Fordham Law Review

After the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses were ratified, church and state became increasingly divorced from one another, as practicing religion became a private activity on which the government could not encroach. This separation, however, was slow, and much credit is owed to the U.S. Supreme Court for its efforts to disentangle the two. One particular area in which the Supreme Court exercised its influence was the U.S. education system; the Court invoked the Religion Clauses and neutrality principles to rid public schools of religious influences and ensure that private religious schools could partake in government programs that were available to …


Long-Range Analogizing After Bruen: How To Resolve The Circuit Split On The Federal Felon-In-Possession Ban, Sean Phillips Apr 2024

Long-Range Analogizing After Bruen: How To Resolve The Circuit Split On The Federal Felon-In-Possession Ban, Sean Phillips

Fordham Law Review

In 2023, over the course of one week, two U.S. courts of appeals ruled on Second Amendment challenges to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the federal statute prohibiting firearm possession for those convicted of felonies. Both courts applied the U.S. Supreme Court’s “history and tradition” test from New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, criminal defendant Edell Jackson did not succeed. There, the court found that the nation’s history and tradition supported the validity of a law banning firearm possession by felons, regardless of the details of their …


Rereading Pico And The Equal Protection Clause, Johany G. Dubon Mar 2024

Rereading Pico And The Equal Protection Clause, Johany G. Dubon

Fordham Law Review

More than forty years ago, in Board of Education v. Pico, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a school board’s decision to remove books from its libraries. However, the Court’s response was heavily fractured, garnering seven separate opinions. In the plurality opinion, three justices stated that the implicit corollary to a student’s First Amendment right to free speech is the right to receive information. Thus, the plurality announced that the relevant inquiry for reviewing a school’s library book removal actions is whether the school officials intended to deny students access to ideas with which the officials disagreed. …


Charging Abortion, Milan Markovic Mar 2024

Charging Abortion, Milan Markovic

Fordham Law Review

As long as Roe v. Wade remained good law, prosecutors could largely avoid the question of abortion. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has now placed prosecutors at the forefront of the abortion wars. Some chief prosecutors in antiabortion states have pledged to not enforce antiabortion laws, whereas others are targeting even out-of-state providers. This post-Dobbs reality, wherein the ability to obtain an abortion depends not only on the politics of one’s state but also the policies of one’s local district attorney, has received minimal scrutiny from legal scholars.

Prosecutors have broad charging discretion, …


Expert Knowledge, Democratic Accountability, And The Unitary Executive, Barry Sullivan Nov 2023

Expert Knowledge, Democratic Accountability, And The Unitary Executive, Barry Sullivan

Fordham Law Review

Proponents of the “unitary executive” theory hold that “all federal officers exercising executive power must be subject to the direct control of the President.” But how, as a constitutional matter, should such presidential control be defined, and how should it be effectuated? Unitarians are not united. Kevin H. Rhodes and Professor Steven G. Calabresi identify at least three distinct versions of the theory, which reflect a diversity of responses to those questions. The strongest or most aggressive version (which may also find the least support in the relevant jurisprudence) holds that the President may “supplant any discretionary executive action taken …


The Diffuse Executive, Anya Bernstein, Cristina Rodriguez Nov 2023

The Diffuse Executive, Anya Bernstein, Cristina Rodriguez

Fordham Law Review

A unitary executive is an exacting ideal. It asks that all power in an administration be gathered in the person of the President, who should have full authority to determine the actions of officials and employees. Even if the President does not directly control every executive action (how could he?), when officials fail to implement presidential preferences, the unitary theory dictates that the President must have the power to remove them. The model posits a tightly organized hierarchy—every rung implementing the substantive decisions of the rung above, with orders flowing from the top: a command-and-control structure for government action. And, …


Article Iii, The Bill Of Rights, And Administrative Adjudication, John M. Golden, Thomas H. Lee Nov 2023

Article Iii, The Bill Of Rights, And Administrative Adjudication, John M. Golden, Thomas H. Lee

Fordham Law Review

Modern reconsideration of legal constraints on the federal administrative state has commonly focused on agency rulemaking but seems increasingly concerned with agency adjudication. In this Essay, we provide an overview of constitutional issues implicated by administrative adjudication. We specifically explain how and why the so-called public-rights doctrine generally allows federal administrative adjudication outside private-rights actions substantially linked to traditional actions in law, equity, or admiralty. We also discuss how constitutional provisions outside Article III—including Bill of Rights protections of individuals as against the federal government—may nonetheless require a role for Article III courts even in so called public rights cases, …


Police Officers, Policy, And Personnel Files: Prosecutorial Disclosure Obligations Above And Beyond Brady, Lauren Giles Nov 2023

Police Officers, Policy, And Personnel Files: Prosecutorial Disclosure Obligations Above And Beyond Brady, Lauren Giles

Fordham Law Review

Police officers play a significant role in the criminal trial process and are unlike any other witness who will take the stand. They are trained to testify, and jurors find them more credible than other witnesses, even though officers may have more incentive to lie than the ordinary witness. Despite the role of police officers in criminal proceedings, state statutes say virtually nothing about evidence used to impeach police officers, often contained in the officer’s personnel file. Worse still, the standard for disclosing information in an officer’s personnel file varies among and within states, resulting in inconsistent Brady disclosures. This …


Due Process Protections For Charter School Students In Long-Term Exclusionary Discipline Proceedings, Leah E. Soloff Nov 2023

Due Process Protections For Charter School Students In Long-Term Exclusionary Discipline Proceedings, Leah E. Soloff

Fordham Law Review

Charter schools—public schools that are subject to minimal state regulation—often employ high levels of exclusionary discipline. Because charter schools in many states are exempt from state laws regulating school discipline, the U.S. Constitution provides charter school students their only source of protections during such disciplinary proceedings. However, the constitutional due process protections afforded to public school students in disciplinary proceedings remain a source of significant disagreement among courts. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has established that public school students must be afforded due process protections in exclusionary discipline proceedings, the Court has yet to determine what process is actually due …


The Collateral Fallout From The Quest For A Unitary Executive, Harold J. Krent Nov 2023

The Collateral Fallout From The Quest For A Unitary Executive, Harold J. Krent

Fordham Law Review

To bolster a strong “Unitary Executive,” the Roberts Court has held that Congress can neither shield a single head of an administrative agency nor an inferior officer in an independent agency from removal at will. With respect to appointments, the Roberts Court has held that adjudicative officers in many executive agencies must now be appointed either by the President or a superior officer under the President’s supervision. As a result, dissenting Justices and academics have accused the Roberts Court of expanding Article II beyond both the constitutional text—which seemingly grants Congress the discretion to structure administrative agencies as it deems …


Americans For Prosperity Foundation V. Bonta: Protecting Free Speech And Its Implications For Campaign Finance Disclosures, Sara Lindsay Neier Oct 2023

Americans For Prosperity Foundation V. Bonta: Protecting Free Speech And Its Implications For Campaign Finance Disclosures, Sara Lindsay Neier

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

In 2021, the United States Supreme Court in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta considered the anonymous speech rights of charitable donors against the California Attorney General’s interest in preventing wrongdoing by charitable organizations. The Court applied exacting scrutiny, a standard traditionally applied to campaign finance disclosure laws, determining that California’s requirement was facially invalid as a violation of associational rights. Bonta did not concern campaign finance, making this application of exacting scrutiny novel. This Article considers the open questions raised by Bonta regarding how exacting scrutiny should be applied and what it means for the future of campaign finance …


The Case For Federal Deference To State Court Redistricting Rulings: Lessons From Ohio’S Districting Disaster, John Sullivan Baker Oct 2023

The Case For Federal Deference To State Court Redistricting Rulings: Lessons From Ohio’S Districting Disaster, John Sullivan Baker

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

In a watershed 2015 referendum, Ohioans decisively approved a state constitutional amendment that prohibited partisan gerrymandering of General Assembly districts and created the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Though the amendment mandated that the Commission draw proportional maps not primarily designed to favor or disfavor a political party, the Commission—composed of partisan elected officials—repeatedly enacted unconstitutional, heavily gerrymandered districting plans in blatant defiance of the Ohio Supreme Court.

After the Ohio Supreme Court struck down four of the Commission’s plans, leaving Ohio without state House and Senate maps just months before the 2022 general election, a group of voters sued in the …


Fertile Ground For Violent Extremists: A New Framework To Protect Military Servicemembers And Their Civil Liberties, Sarah Armstrong Oct 2023

Fertile Ground For Violent Extremists: A New Framework To Protect Military Servicemembers And Their Civil Liberties, Sarah Armstrong

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

Veterans and active-duty members of the armed forces are popular and vulnerable targets for recruitment by alt-right and violent white extremist (“VWE”) groups. As the United States government attempts to deal with an influx of violent hate groups throughout the country, both in the civilian and military context, it must respect the civil liberties of those investigated. This is critical because prosecutors often sweep with a broad brush when investigating resistance movements, and protestors of color and from marginalized backgrounds are disproportionately targeted. Further, on a constitutional level, every American has fundamental rights that cannot be abridged. Therefore, when dealing …


Why We Can’T Have Nice Things: Equality, Proportionality, And Our Abridged Voting Rights Regime, Michael Latner Oct 2023

Why We Can’T Have Nice Things: Equality, Proportionality, And Our Abridged Voting Rights Regime, Michael Latner

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

What constraints should the protection of political equality place on the design of electoral systems? With the exception of requiring approximate population equality across a jurisdiction’s districts, the U.S. voting rights regime accepts substantial disproportionality in voting strength. This Article addresses the current Supreme Court’s abandonment of the Second Reconstruction’s “one person, one vote” standard with regard to both racial and partisan gerrymandering, and assesses the role that Congress and political science have played in this transition. This Article argues that an unabridged voting rights regime must recognize a standard of proportional representation derived from the protection of individual political …


Discriminatory Intent Claims Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act, Amandeep S. Grewal Oct 2023

Discriminatory Intent Claims Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act, Amandeep S. Grewal

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

This Article addresses a new controversy over whether Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act prohibits laws that exhibit “only” discriminatory intent, in the absence of discriminatory results. Lower courts have long embraced an intent approach for Section 2. And the Department of Justice has rested its entire ongoing case against Georgia’s controversial voting bill on an intent approach.

However, this Article shows that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brnovich v. DNC effectively rejects the intent approach to Section 2. In April 2023, the Eleventh Circuit reversed its prior cases and now rejects an intent theory. This puts in peril …


Misunderstanding Meriwether, Brian Soucek, Ryan Chen Oct 2023

Misunderstanding Meriwether, Brian Soucek, Ryan Chen

Fordham Law Review

Meriwether v. Hartop is widely seen as one of the most important academic freedom and transgender rights cases of recent years. Whether praising it as a victory for free speech or condemning it as a threat to educational equality, commentators across the political spectrum have agreed on one thing: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did something big when it held that professors at public universities have a First Amendment right to misgender their students in class. But contrary to popular belief, Meriwether held no such thing. In fact, the Sixth Circuit could not have held what …


Taking Aim At New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act, Leo Bernabei Oct 2023

Taking Aim At New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act, Leo Bernabei

Fordham Law Review

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen that New York’s requirement, which mandated that applicants for concealed carry licenses show proper cause for carrying a handgun in public, violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Responding to the likely increase in individuals licensed to carry handguns in the state, New York enacted the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). This law bans all firearms from many places of public congregation, establishes a default rule that firearms are not allowed on private property without the owner or lessee’s permission, and sets additional …


Children Are Constitutionally Different, But Life Without Parole And De Facto Life Sentences Are Not: Extending Graham And Miller To De Facto Life Sentences, Ellen Brink Oct 2023

Children Are Constitutionally Different, But Life Without Parole And De Facto Life Sentences Are Not: Extending Graham And Miller To De Facto Life Sentences, Ellen Brink

Fordham Law Review

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s current juvenile sentencing jurisprudence, a juvenile may legally receive a prison sentence of hundreds of years without parole in instances in which a sentence of life without parole would be unconstitutional. This illogical state of affairs is the result of the Court’s silence on whether its holdings in Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama, which together limit the availability of juvenile life without parole sentences, also apply to so-called de facto life sentences. De facto life sentences are lengthy term-of-years sentences that confine offenders to prison for the majority, if not the entirety, …


Confronting Carpenter: Rethinking The Third-Party Doctrine And Location Information, Charlie Brownstein Oct 2023

Confronting Carpenter: Rethinking The Third-Party Doctrine And Location Information, Charlie Brownstein

Fordham Law Review

The third-party doctrine enables law enforcement officers to obtain personal information shared with third parties without a warrant. In an era of highly accessible technology, individuals’ location information is consistently being transmitted to third parties. Due to the third-party doctrine, this shared information has been available to law enforcement, without the individual knowing or having an opportunity to challenge this availability. Law enforcement has utilized this doctrine to obtain comprehensive information regarding individuals’ whereabouts over long periods of time.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently limited the reach of the third-party doctrine regarding location data held by cellphone providers. However, this …


Anything But Prideful: Free Speech And Conversion Therapy Bans, State-Federal Action Plans, And Rooting Out Medical Fraud, Jordan Hutt Oct 2023

Anything But Prideful: Free Speech And Conversion Therapy Bans, State-Federal Action Plans, And Rooting Out Medical Fraud, Jordan Hutt

Fordham Law Review

At a time when conversion therapy might seem archaic to many people, this practice remains prevalent across the United States and finds legal support in the halls of federal courthouses. In 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Otto v. City of Boca Raton, held that two ordinances banning conversion therapy in Boca Raton and Palm Beach violated First Amendment free speech rights. Specifically, Otto held that conversion therapy bans were content-based restrictions subject to strict scrutiny. Conversely, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits’ prior decisions upheld conversion therapy bans …


Voting Rights And The Electoral Process: Resolving Representation Issues Due To Felony Disenfranchisement And Prison Gerrymandering, Andrew Calabrese, Tim Gordon, Tianyi Lu May 2023

Voting Rights And The Electoral Process: Resolving Representation Issues Due To Felony Disenfranchisement And Prison Gerrymandering, Andrew Calabrese, Tim Gordon, Tianyi Lu

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

No abstract provided.


The New Laboratories Of Democracy, Gerald S. Dickinson May 2023

The New Laboratories Of Democracy, Gerald S. Dickinson

Fordham Law Voting Rights and Democracy Forum

No abstract provided.


Manufacturing Uncertainty In Constitutional Law, Ari Ezra Waldman May 2023

Manufacturing Uncertainty In Constitutional Law, Ari Ezra Waldman

Fordham Law Review

Civil rights litigation is awash in misinformation. Litigants have argued that abortion causes cancer, that gender-affirming hormone therapy for adolescents is irreversible, and that in-person voter fraud is a massive problem. But none of that is true. The conventional scholarly account about law and misinformation, disinformation, and dubious claims of fact focuses on the power of legislatures and amici to engage in perfunctory fact-finding and to rely on “alternative facts” or outright falsehoods to justify laws that harm and restrict the rights of marginalized populations. At the same time, the literature suggests that judges and the law are inundated with …


Imperialist Immigration Reform, Cori Alonso-Yoder Apr 2023

Imperialist Immigration Reform, Cori Alonso-Yoder

Fordham Law Review

For decades, one of the most challenging domestic policy matters has been immigration reform. Dogged by controversial notions of what makes for a “desirable” immigrant and debates about enforcement and amnesty, elected officials have largely given up on achieving comprehensive, bipartisan immigration solutions. The lack of federal action has led to an outdated and impractical legal framework, with state and local lawmakers unable to step into the breach. Well over 100 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court firmly stated that regulation of the U.S. immigration system is within the sole constitutional authority of the federal government.

Yet there is one …


Judicial Antifederalism, Anthony M. Ciolli Apr 2023

Judicial Antifederalism, Anthony M. Ciolli

Fordham Law Review

The United States has a colonies problem. The more than 3.5 million Americans who live in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands lack some of the most fundamental rights and protections, such as the right to vote. This is due to a series of decisions decided more than a century ago, collectively known as the Insular Cases, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the “half-civilized,” “savage,” “ignorant and lawless” “alien races” that inhabited America’s overseas territories were not entitled to the same constitutional rights and …


Don't Pull The Trigger On New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act: Addressing First And Second Amendment Concerns, Morgan Band Apr 2023

Don't Pull The Trigger On New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act: Addressing First And Second Amendment Concerns, Morgan Band

Fordham Law Review

Despite the increasing prevalence of mass shootings in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen struck down a 100-year-old New York statute that had restricted access to concealed carry permits. The statute had required applicants to demonstrate a “proper cause” for needing a concealed carry permit. But even if an applicant made the necessary showing, licensing officials retained discretion under the statute to decline to issue a permit. In striking down the statute, the Court distinguished between “may-issue” jurisdictions, such as New York, which give licensing officials discretion in …


License & (Gender) Registration, Please: A First Amendment Argument Against Compelled Driver's License Gender Markers, Lexi Meyer Apr 2023

License & (Gender) Registration, Please: A First Amendment Argument Against Compelled Driver's License Gender Markers, Lexi Meyer

Fordham Law Review

For as long as the United States has issued drivers’ licenses, licenses have indicated the holder’s gender in one form or another. Because drivers’ licenses are issued at the state level, states retain the authority to regulate the procedures for amending them. In some states, regulations include requirements that a transgender person undergo gender confirmation surgery before they can amend the gender marker on their driver’s license. Because many transgender people neither desire nor can afford gender confirmation surgery, these laws effectively preclude such people from obtaining gender-accurate identification. In doing so, these laws implicate multiple constitutional rights.

Lower courts …


Concepts Of Citizenship In The Controversy About Constitutional Citizenship For People Born In U.S. Territories, Janet M. Calvo Apr 2023

Concepts Of Citizenship In The Controversy About Constitutional Citizenship For People Born In U.S. Territories, Janet M. Calvo

Fordham Law Review

In 2019, the District of Utah in Fitisemanu v. United States rejected the Insular Cases and held that persons born in American Samoa acquired Fourteenth Amendment constitutional citizenship at birth. The Tenth Circuit reversed through an analysis that attempted to “repurpose” the Insular Cases. This Essay discusses the differing concepts of citizenship presented in Fitisemanu, which raise significant questions about the nature and import of American constitutional citizenship. The Supreme Court’s recent denial of certiorari in Fitisemanu unfortunately leaves these questions unresolved, further continuing the second-class status of individuals born in the territories and underscores the uncertainty of …


Looks Matter On Social Media: How Should Courts Determine Whether A Public Official Operates Their Social Media Account Under Color Of State Law?, John B. Tsimis Apr 2023

Looks Matter On Social Media: How Should Courts Determine Whether A Public Official Operates Their Social Media Account Under Color Of State Law?, John B. Tsimis

Fordham Law Review

The widespread use of social media has presented a novel legal landscape for the application of constitutionally protected rights—particularly the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The First Amendment prohibits the government from excluding citizens from a public forum on the basis of their viewpoints. Public officials acting under color of state law similarly may not use the authority of their offices to deprive citizens of their First Amendment rights.

However, the application of this protection in the context of social media has been inconsistent across federal circuit courts. Although these courts agree that viewpoint discrimination by the government on …