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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Right To Free Exercise Of Religion In Prisons: How Courts Should Determine Sincerity Of Religious Belief Under Rluipa, Noha Moustafa Oct 2014

The Right To Free Exercise Of Religion In Prisons: How Courts Should Determine Sincerity Of Religious Belief Under Rluipa, Noha Moustafa

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Religion plays a vital role in the daily lives of many prisoners. For incarcerated persons, a connection to the divine can provide comfort during periods of isolation from their family and community. From a policy perspective, spiritual development and religious practice promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism in inmates. While prisoners forfeit many of their civil liberties, Congress has ensured that religious exercise is not among them. As Congress enhanced religious freedom protections for prisoners, prison facilities became increasingly concerned that prisoners would feign religiosity to gain certain religious accommodations. To counter this concern, prison facilities conditioned accommodations on the sincerity …


A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski May 2014

A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski

Michigan Law Review

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration passed a rule revising compelled disclaimers on tobacco products pursuant to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The rule required that tobacco warnings include something new: all tobacco products now had to bear one of nine graphic images to accompany the text. Tobacco companies filed suit contesting the constitutionality of the rule, arguing that the government violated their right to free commercial speech by compelling disclosure of the graphic content. Yet First Amendment jurisprudence lacks a doctrinally consistent standard for reviewing such compelled disclosures. Courts’ analyses typically depend on whether the …


Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol Apr 2014

Globally Speaking—Honoring The Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis, Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Globally speaking, international law and the vast majority of domestic legal systems strive to protect the right to freedom of expression. The United States' First Amendment provides an early historical protection of speech-a safeguard now embraced around the world. The extent of this protection, however, varies among states. The United States stands alone in excluding countervailing considerations of equality, dignitary, or privacy interests that would favor restrictions on speech. The gravamen of the argument supporting such American exceptionalism is that free expression is necessary in a democracy. Totalitarianism, the libertarian narrative goes, thrives on government control of information to the …


The Tools Of Political Dissent: A First Amendment Guide To Gun Registries, Thomas E. Kadri Apr 2014

The Tools Of Political Dissent: A First Amendment Guide To Gun Registries, Thomas E. Kadri

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

On December 23, 2012, a newspaper in upstate New York published a provocative map. On it appeared the names and addresses of thousands of gun owners in nearby counties, all precisely pinpointed for the world to browse. The source of this information: publicly available data drawn from the state’s gun registry. Legislators were quick to respond. Within a month, a new law offered gun owners the chance to permanently remove their identities from the registry with a simple call to their county clerk. The map raised interesting questions about broadcasting personal information, but a more fundamental question remains: Are these …


Institutional Autonomy And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel Apr 2014

Institutional Autonomy And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

This Review makes two claims. The first is that Paul Horwitz’s excellent book, First Amendment Institutions, depicts the institutionalist movement in robust and provocative form. The second is that it would be a mistake to assume from its immersion in First Amendment jurisprudence (not to mention its title) that the book’s implications are limited to the First Amendment. Professor Horwitz presents First Amendment institutionalism as a wide-ranging theory of constitutional structure whose focus is as much on constraining the authority of political government as it is on facilitating expression. These are the terms on which the book’s argument — and, …


Is Religious Freedom Irrational?, Michael Stokes Paulsen Apr 2014

Is Religious Freedom Irrational?, Michael Stokes Paulsen

Michigan Law Review

Brian Leiter is almost exactly half right. There is no convincing secular-liberal argument for religious liberty, in the sense of unique accommodation of religious beliefs and practices specifically because they are religious. Indeed, from a thoroughgoing secularist perspective — from a stance of committed disbelief in the possible reality of God or religious truth, and perhaps also from the perspective of unswerving agnosticism — “toleration” of religion is almost intolerably foolish. Affirmatively protecting the free exercise of religion, in the strong sense of freedom of persons and groups to act on religious convictions in ways opposed to secular legal norms, …


Toward A Multiple Consciousness Of Language: A Tribute To Professor Mari Matsuda, Shannon Gilreath Mar 2014

Toward A Multiple Consciousness Of Language: A Tribute To Professor Mari Matsuda, Shannon Gilreath

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

I am thrilled to be part of this commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Professor Matsuda's influential article Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story. I first read Matsuda's essay as a law student when, I must confess, the mind-numbing one-dimensionality of the law-as one must learn it in the prevailing method-drove me a little crazy. Law school is an environment where the Socratic method reduces people's stories-the stuff of which law is made-to something lawyers like to call "the facts," and where real-life people, in whom I saw so much of myself-people like Michael Hardwick, for example-get …


Fumbling The First Amendment: The Right Of Publicity Goes 2-0 Against Freedom Of Expression, Thomas E. Kadri Jan 2014

Fumbling The First Amendment: The Right Of Publicity Goes 2-0 Against Freedom Of Expression, Thomas E. Kadri

Michigan Law Review

Two circuits in one summer found in favor of college athletes in right-of-publicity suits filed against the makers of the NCAA Football videogame. Both panels split 2–1; both applied the transformative use test; both dissenters predicted chilling consequences. By insisting that the likeness of each player be “transformed,” the Third and Ninth Circuits employed a test that imperils the use of realistic depictions of public figures in expressive works. This standard could have frosty implications for artists in a range of media: docudramas, biographies, and works of historical fiction may be at risk. This Comment examines the tension between the …


The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge To Public Accommodations Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

There seems to be a broad consensus that Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race discrimination in “place[s] of public accommodation,” was a remarkable success. But the consensus is illusory. Laws prohibiting discrimination by public accommodations currently exist under a significant legal threat. And this threat is merely the latest iteration in the controversy over public accommodations laws that began as early as Reconstruction. This Article begins by discussing the controversy in the Reconstruction and Civil Rights Eras over the penetration of antidiscrimination principles into the realm of private businesses’ choice of customers. Although the …


Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Four years ago, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that for-profit corporations possess a First Amendment right to make independent campaign expenditures. In so doing, the United States Supreme Court invited speculation that such corporations might possess other First Amendment rights as well. The petitioners in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius are now arguing that for-profit corporations are among the intended beneficiaries of the Free Exercise Clause and, along with the respondents in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that they also qualify as “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Neither suggestion follows inexorably from Citizens United, …


Material Falsity In Defamation Cases: The Supreme Court's Call For Contextual Analysis, Charles D. Tobin, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2014

Material Falsity In Defamation Cases: The Supreme Court's Call For Contextual Analysis, Charles D. Tobin, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

In the book The Phantom Tollbooth, one of the characters, Milo, declares that he comes from a faraway land called Context. After a circuitous journey through many strange cities, bearing names that have meanings Milo struggles to understand, he finds himself back at home in his bedroom.

Context, by and large, is the home base for courts in defining the boundaries between actionable and nonactionable speech. Often, after circuitous travels through precedent and logic, courts meander back to the simple notion that the meaning and legal significance of words are determined by their context.


Zombies Among Us: Injunctions In Defamation Cases Come Back From The Dead, Jim Stewart, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2014

Zombies Among Us: Injunctions In Defamation Cases Come Back From The Dead, Jim Stewart, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

Here's a scary thought: an individual, unhappy with negative statements that have been made about him, sues for defamation and persuades the trial court to issue an injunction prohibiting the speaker from engaging in that speech again. An appellate court reviews the injunction and, in large measure, upholds it. This creepy scenario brings shudders to free speech and media advocates, who have long viewed such injunctions as prior restraints that the First Amendment forbids in all but the most extreme and extraordinary cases. As a recent decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals demonstrates, however, decades of United States Supreme …