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The "Horizontal Effect" Of Constitutional Rights, Stephen Gardbaum Dec 2003

The "Horizontal Effect" Of Constitutional Rights, Stephen Gardbaum

Michigan Law Review

Among the most fundamental issues in constitutional law is the scope of application of individual rights provisions and, in particular, their reach into the private sphere. This issue is also currently one of the most important and hotly debated in comparative constitutional law, where it is known under the rubric of "vertical" and "horizontal effect." These alternatives refer to whether constitutional rights regulate only the conduct of governmental actors in their dealings with private individuals (vertical) or also relations between private individuals (horizontal). In recent years, the horizontal position has been adopted to varying degrees, and after systematic scholarly and …


Boring Lessons: Defining The Limits Of A Teacher's First Amendment Right To Speak Through The Curriculum, R. Weston Donehower Dec 2003

Boring Lessons: Defining The Limits Of A Teacher's First Amendment Right To Speak Through The Curriculum, R. Weston Donehower

Michigan Law Review

Margaret Boring's classes were anything but boring. She taught Advanced Acting at Owen High School in rural Buncombe County, North Carolina, and her classes' performances regularly won regional and state awards. In the fall of 1991, Ms. Boring chose a controversial play, Independence by Lee Blessing, for her students to perform. Independence "powerfully depicts the dynamics within a dysfunctional, single-parent family - a divorced mother and three daughters; one a lesbian, another pregnant with an illegitimate child." Prior to the first performance at the school, Ms. Boring informed the principal of the play's title but not its content. After the …


First Amendment Equal Protection: On Discretion, Inequality, And Participation, Daniel P. Tokaji Jun 2003

First Amendment Equal Protection: On Discretion, Inequality, And Participation, Daniel P. Tokaji

Michigan Law Review

The tension between equality and discretion lies at the heart of some of the most vexing questions of constitutional law. The considerable discretion that many official decisionmakers wield raises the spectre that violations of equality norms will sometimes escape detection. This is true in a variety of settings, whether discretion lies over speakers' access to public fora, implementation of the death penalty, or the recounting of votes. Is the First Amendment violated, for example, when a city ordinance gives local officials broad discretion to determine the conditions under which political demonstrations may take place? Is equal protection denied where the …


The Heroes Of The First Amendment, Frederick Schauer May 2003

The Heroes Of The First Amendment, Frederick Schauer

Michigan Law Review

In 1950, Felix Frankfurter famously observed that "[i)t is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people." The circumstances of Justice Frankfurter's observation were hardly atypical, for his opinion arose in a Fourth Amendment case involving a man plainly guilty of the crime with which he had been charged - fraudulently altering postage stamps in order to make relatively ordinary ones especially valuable for collectors. Indeed, Fourth Amendment cases typically present the phenomenon that Frankfurter pithily identified, for most of the people injured by an …


Cyberdemons: Regulating A Truly World-Wide Web, Andrew P. Lycans May 2003

Cyberdemons: Regulating A Truly World-Wide Web, Andrew P. Lycans

Michigan Law Review

In the decade leading up to the twenty-first century, the number of Internet-related legal disputes grew exponentially. This growth continues into the new millennium, introducing old problems in a new context. For instance, in the field of copyright, Eric Eldred, the operator of a website dedicated to posting literary works already in the public domain, challenged the Copyright Term Extension Act ("CTEA"). The CTEA blocked his plans to post works copyrighted in 1923, works which under the previous statute would have entered the public domain in 1999. Looking to trademark law, the field has become obsessed of late with providing …


Discussing The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells May 2003

Discussing The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells

Michigan Law Review

Since the First Amendment's inception, Americans have agreed that free expression is foundational to our democratic way of life. Though we agree on this much, we have rarely agreed on much else regarding the appropriate parameters of free expression. Is the First Amendment absolute or does it allow some regulation of speech? Should the First Amendment protect offensive speech, pornography, flag-burning? Why do we protect speech - to promote the search for truth, to promote self-governance, or to protect individual autonomy?2 History is rife with disagreements regarding these issues to which there are no definitive answers. Certainly, the text of …


Ifeminism, Ashlie Warnick May 2003

Ifeminism, Ashlie Warnick

Michigan Law Review

Laws should be judged not by their words or intentions, but by their effects and consequences. When government enacts laws designed to benefit one group, society should judge those laws first by examining whether they have, in practice, provided a net benefit to the law's intended beneficiaries. Next, any such benefit must be weighed against the costs imposed on the rest of society. If the benefits outweigh the costs, this is a socially efficient law. Government should repeal a law when the costs it imposes outweigh its benefits. When laws do not provide a net benefit to the group they …


Civil Liberties And The Terrorism Prevention Paradigm: The Guilt By Association Critique, Robert M. Chesney May 2003

Civil Liberties And The Terrorism Prevention Paradigm: The Guilt By Association Critique, Robert M. Chesney

Michigan Law Review

Faysal Galab is a twenty-seven-year-old American citizen of Yemeni descent who was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is married, has three children, and used to run a gas station in the Buffalo suburb of Lackawanna. Perhaps you have heard of him; he will be spending some or all of the next ten years in federal prison because in spring of 2001 he and six other Lackawanna residents traveled to Afghanistan and trained with Al Qaeda.


The Campain-Finance Crucible: Is Laissez Fair?, Jamin B. Raskin May 2003

The Campain-Finance Crucible: Is Laissez Fair?, Jamin B. Raskin

Michigan Law Review

The 2001 passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act ("BCRA"), popularly known as "McCain-Feingold," set the stage for a momentous constitutional conflict in the United States Supreme Court in the 2003-04 Term. Among other things, the new legislation bans "soft money" contributions to the national political parties by corporations, labor unions, and individuals; prohibits state parties that are authorized to accept such contributions to spend the proceeds on activities related to federal elections; forbids federal candidates to participate in raising soft money; doubles the amount of "hard money" an individual can contribute in a federal election from $1,000 to $2,000 …


The Serpentine Wall Of Separation, John Witte Jr. May 2003

The Serpentine Wall Of Separation, John Witte Jr.

Michigan Law Review

The task of separating the secular from the religious in education is one of magnitude, intricacy, and delicacy, Justice Jackson wrote, concurring in McCollum v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court's first religion in public schools case. "To lay down a sweeping constitutional doctrine" of absolute separation of church and state "is to decree a uniform . . . unchanging standard for countless school boards representing and serving highly localized groups which not only differ from each other but which themselves from time to time change attitudes." If we persist in this experiment, Justice Jackson warned his brethren, "we are …


Disease And Cure?, L. A. Powe Jr. May 2003

Disease And Cure?, L. A. Powe Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Sunstein uses Franklin's remark to make two related points. First, citizens bear the burden of maintaining the American republic as a healthy, vibrant place; being a citizen is decidedly different from being a consumer. The former has duties, the latter wants (pp. 113-23). Second, and this is the gist of the slender book, the republic is jeopardized by the possibilities of the Internet. Sunstein assumes the correctness of MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte's conclusion that in the not-too-distant future we will be able to create a "Daily Me" on the Internet that will provide the personalized information (including news) that …


Section Five Overbreadth: The Facial Approach To Adjudicating Challenges Under Section Five Of The Fourteenth Amendment, Catherine Carroll Feb 2003

Section Five Overbreadth: The Facial Approach To Adjudicating Challenges Under Section Five Of The Fourteenth Amendment, Catherine Carroll

Michigan Law Review

In February 1996, the New York State Department of Transportation fired Joseph Kilcullen from his position as a snowplow driver in the Department's Highway Maintenance training program. Alleging that the state discharged him because of his epilepsy and learning disability, Kilcullen sued his former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which abrogated states' sovereign immunity and permitted private suits for damages against states in a federal court. Kilcullen asserted only that he was not treated the same as similarly situated non-disabled employees; his claim did not implicate the ADA's requirement that employers provide "reasonable accommodation" to disabled employees. …