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2014

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Shooing The Vultures Away From The Consumer Bankruptcy Carcass: Attorney Fees Owed By Debtors For Marital Dissolution Are Not Domestic Support Obligations, Christopher V. Davis Dec 2014

Shooing The Vultures Away From The Consumer Bankruptcy Carcass: Attorney Fees Owed By Debtors For Marital Dissolution Are Not Domestic Support Obligations, Christopher V. Davis

University of Massachusetts Law Review

This Note will focus on consumer bankruptcy related to chapter 7 and chapter 13 filings. Section I provides an introduction to DSOs and the goals of enforcing them through bankruptcy. Section I also discusses the impact of DSO status on the automatic stay, discharge, priority status for property distribution of the bankruptcy estate, capability to reach exempt property, and application to attorney fees. Section II argues that, where attorney fees are not owed to a spouse, former spouse, or child, and do not fit within an impact exception, the fees are not DSOs, but instead are merely general non-secured claims. …


Discharging Student Loans Via Bankruptcy: Undue Hardship Doctrine In The First Circuit, Anthony Bowers Dec 2014

Discharging Student Loans Via Bankruptcy: Undue Hardship Doctrine In The First Circuit, Anthony Bowers

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Student loans are presumptively non-dischargeable through bankruptcy, but the undue hardship doctrine provides an equitable “safety valve” for the indigent. To date, the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to select a single legal test for determining undue hardship under the United States Bankruptcy Code (“Bankruptcy Code”). Within the jurisdiction of the First Circuit, bankruptcy courts are free to choose an approach to evaluate undue hardship. In an effort to ensure consistency throughout the bankruptcy courts within the First Circuit, it would be ideal if the First Circuit would choose one of the undue hardship tests. However, …


The Unconstitutionality Of The Filibuster, Josh Chafetz Dec 2014

The Unconstitutionality Of The Filibuster, Josh Chafetz

Josh Chafetz

This Article, written for the Connecticut Law Review's 2010 "Is Our Constitutional Order Broken?" symposium, argues that the filibuster, as currently practiced, is unconstitutional.

After a brief introduction in Part I, Part II describes the current operation of the filibuster. Although the filibuster is often discussed in terms of "unlimited debate," this Part argues that its current operation is best understood in terms of a sixty-vote requirement to pass most bills and other measures through the Senate.

Part III presents a structural argument that this supermajority requirement for most Senate business is unconstitutional. This Part argues that the words "passed" …


Computer Programs Under The United States Intellectual Property System: Sui Generis Legislation Is Needed, Joseph Francis Agnelli, Iii Dec 2014

Computer Programs Under The United States Intellectual Property System: Sui Generis Legislation Is Needed, Joseph Francis Agnelli, Iii

University of Massachusetts Law Review

Section I of this article explores the different avenues of intellectual property protection presently available for computer software here in the United States. Section II then discusses how the European Community has resolved the computer program crisis under European intellectual property law. Lastly, section III will illustrate why sui generis legislation would be the paramount way for Congress to attack the intricacy that is created by computer programs under American intellectual property law.


State Sovereign Immunity And Intellectual Property: An Evaluation Of The Trademark Remedy Clarification Act’S Attempt To Subject States To Suit In Federal Courts For Trademark Infringements Under The Lanham Act, Jennifer L. Fessler Dec 2014

State Sovereign Immunity And Intellectual Property: An Evaluation Of The Trademark Remedy Clarification Act’S Attempt To Subject States To Suit In Federal Courts For Trademark Infringements Under The Lanham Act, Jennifer L. Fessler

University of Massachusetts Law Review

There are two things that can be learned from this paper. First, the analytical framework developed by the Court in City of Boerne is a stringent test that has considerably narrowed Congress’s ability to abrogate state’s Eleventh Amendment immunity through legislation. Second, only half of the battle was won when Congress enacted the Trademark Remedy Clarification Act. Although it met the new requirements the Court placed on legislative efforts in Atascadero, it is not able to meet the requirements that were later set forth in Seminole Tribe. The Rehnquist Court’s holdings indicate the Court’s active pursuit of state’s …


The Volcker Rule, Banking Entities, And Covered Funds Activities, Jeffrey Koh, Kyle Gaughan Dec 2014

The Volcker Rule, Banking Entities, And Covered Funds Activities, Jeffrey Koh, Kyle Gaughan

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

With the passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Congress instituted a host of new laws attempting to protect consumers from the types of risky trading that led to the 2008 economic crisis. However, many of the new rules and regulations, including the Volcker Rule, are yet to fully take effect. Among other restrictions, the Volcker Rule attempts to curtail risky trading by limiting banking entity investments in private equity and venture capital funds. As the Volcker Rule nears its implementation deadline, banking entities are concerned that they will face substantial losses in having to comply with the Volcker Rule by …


The Limits Of Enumeration, Richard A. Primus Dec 2014

The Limits Of Enumeration, Richard A. Primus

Articles

According to a well-known principle of constitutional interpretation here identified as the “internal-limits canon,” the powers of Congress must always be construed as authorizing less legislation than a general police power would. This Article argues that the internallimits canon is unsound. Whether the powers of Congress would in practice authorize any legislation that a police power would authorize is a matter of contingency: it depends on the relationship between the powers and the social world at a given time. There is no reason why, at a given time, the powers cannot turn out to authorize any legislation that a police …


Is Military Justice Sentencing On The March? Should It Be? And If So, Where Should It Head? Court-Martial Sentencing Process, Practice, And Issues, James E. Baker Dec 2014

Is Military Justice Sentencing On The March? Should It Be? And If So, Where Should It Head? Court-Martial Sentencing Process, Practice, And Issues, James E. Baker

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article starts with a sketch of the military justice system to orient readers. Understanding that structure, the article then describes the sentencing process for special and general courts-martial. The article follows by identifying two core military sentencing questions: First, should commanders have authority to grant clemency? Second, should the military justice system adopt sentencing guidelines? With respect to each topic presented, the article does not attempt to answer the questions nor offer prescriptions. Rather, it seeks to identify the principal fault lines around which debate should, or will likely, fall. The article next presents ‘‘nutshell’’ introductions to additional sentencing …


Passing The Torch But Sailing Too Close To The Wind: Congress’S Role In Authorizing Administrative Branches To Promulgate Regulations That Contemplate Criminal Sanctions, Reem Sadik Nov 2014

Passing The Torch But Sailing Too Close To The Wind: Congress’S Role In Authorizing Administrative Branches To Promulgate Regulations That Contemplate Criminal Sanctions, Reem Sadik

Legislation and Policy Brief

The Supreme Court has stated that Congress must simply “lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle” to which the agency must conform. If this is done, a court will find the delegation of broad authority to the agency to be constitutional. There is, however, an open issue regarding whether the “intelligible principle” standard applies to delegations of authority that allow for the promulgation of both civil and criminal penalties. In Touby v. United States, the Supreme Court was asked whether “something more than an ‘intelligible principle’ is required” when Congress authorizes an agency to issue regulations that contemplate …


Cgmp Violations Should Not Be Used As A Basis For Fca Actions Absent Fraud, Kyle Faget Oct 2014

Cgmp Violations Should Not Be Used As A Basis For Fca Actions Absent Fraud, Kyle Faget

Seattle University Law Review

Since Congress amended the False Claims Act (FCA) in 1986, the statute has evolved into a seemingly boundless weapon for enforcing other statutes and regulations applicable to every industry that accepts any form of government funding. Use of the FCA by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and by private citizens bringing actions on behalf of the U.S. government to enforce other statutes and regulations is particularly evident in the field of health care. The FCA has been utilized in actions where the allegations include off-label promotion of drugs, kickbacks, and violations of current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) by linking the …


A Comprehensive Administrative Solution To The Armed Career Criminal Act Debacle , Avi M. Kupfer Oct 2014

A Comprehensive Administrative Solution To The Armed Career Criminal Act Debacle , Avi M. Kupfer

Michigan Law Review

For thirty years, the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) has imposed a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence on those people convicted as felons in possession of a firearm or ammunition who have three prior convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense. Debate about the law has existed mainly within a larger discussion on the normative value of mandatory minimums. Assuming that the ACCA endures, however, administering it will continue to be a challenge. The approach that courts use to determine whether past convictions qualify as ACCA predicate offenses creates ex ante uncertainty and the potential for intercourt disparities. Furthermore, …


The Bias Of Neutrality: An Examination Of A Congressman's Motivations On The Issue Of Network Neutrality, Harrison Beau Bryant Sep 2014

The Bias Of Neutrality: An Examination Of A Congressman's Motivations On The Issue Of Network Neutrality, Harrison Beau Bryant

e-Research: A Journal of Undergraduate Work

The United States Congress is an institution that, especially in recent times, is continuously faced with more modern and complex problems. The political dilemma surrounding the issue of network neutrality is a perfect example of a highly complex and technical problem that members of Congress have been forced to think about and act on. Because use of the Internet has now been almost entirely integrated into American society, with nearly 80% of the U.S. population connected in one way or another, the Internet's priority as a subject of legislation has seen a meteoric rise in Congress (data.worldbank.org; opencongress.org). In fact, …


Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey Sep 2014

Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article explores the fundamental failure of Congress’ twenty-five-year quest to utilize disclosure as the primary tool to both regulate credit card issuers and educate consumers. From inception until present, reforms to this disclosure regime, even when premised on judgment and decision-making behavioralism, were nomothetic in orientation and ignored clear differences in population behavior and the heterogeniety of consumers. Current law prohibits credit card issuers from acquiring consumer socio-demographic data and prevents issuers and regulators from using market and policy experimentation to enhance disclosure’s efficacy. To explain why this regime was structured this way and why it must change, this …


Congress's (Less) Limited Power To Represent Itself In Court: A Comment On Grove And Devins, Jack M. Beermann Sep 2014

Congress's (Less) Limited Power To Represent Itself In Court: A Comment On Grove And Devins, Jack M. Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

In their recent article, Congress’s (Limited) Power to Represent Itself in Court, 99 Cornell L. Rev. 571 (2014) Tara Leigh Grove and Neal Devins make the case against congressional litigation in defense of the constitutionality of federal statutes. They conclude that Congress, or a single House of Congress, may not defend the constitutionality of federal statutes in court even when the Executive Branch has decided not to do so but may litigate only in furtherance of Congress’s investigatory and disciplinary powers. Grove and Devins claim that congressional litigation in support of the constitutionality of federal statutes violates two separate but …


Actually We Should Wait: Evaluating The Obama Administration’S Commitment To Unilateral Executive-Branch Action, William P. Marshall Aug 2014

Actually We Should Wait: Evaluating The Obama Administration’S Commitment To Unilateral Executive-Branch Action, William P. Marshall

Utah Law Review

This Article agrees with the premise that increased polarization in American politics has made the work of the executive branch more difficult and that this Congress in particular has failed to act responsibly. It also agrees that presidents may no longer be able to expect that members of Congress will abandon their partisan interests in favor of the common good.9 It does not agree, however, that separation-of-powers constraints on the presidency should be adjusted to reflect this new political dynamic.


Executive Power In The Obama Administration And The Decision To Seek Congressional Authorization For A Military Attack Against Syria: Implications For Theories Of Unilateral Action, Kenneth R. Mayer Aug 2014

Executive Power In The Obama Administration And The Decision To Seek Congressional Authorization For A Military Attack Against Syria: Implications For Theories Of Unilateral Action, Kenneth R. Mayer

Utah Law Review

The primary axiom of the unilateral-powers literature is that the institutional setting and political incentives that confront presidents push them to seek maximum discretion over policy. The straightforward implication is that presidents will seek control (Terry Moe calls it autonomy)—always contentious given the competitive political authority at the heart of separation of powers, but necessary to them given their interests and position in the political system. Empirically, presidents are expected to (and do) act unilaterally, moving first to put their stamp on policy and process, shape institutional structures, and alter the status quo to shift government outputs toward their preferred …


Holding The President Accountable To Constitutional Limits, Louis Fisher Aug 2014

Holding The President Accountable To Constitutional Limits, Louis Fisher

Utah Law Review

As with Congress and the judiciary, presidents have access to powers expressly stated in the Constitution and those necessarily implied in those grants. In highly limited circumstances, presidents may also exercise a “prerogative” (i.e., unilateral action), but that authority is frequently misunderstood and subject to abuse. Unlike those in the other branches, presidents lay claim to a host of powers far beyond enumerated and implied powers. In seizing steel mills in 1952 to prosecute the war in Korea, President Harry Truman acted on what he called an “inherent” power that was not subject to judicial or legislative checks. Presidents Richard …


Managing Political Polarization In Congress: A Case Study On The Use Of The Hastert Rule, Holly Fechner Aug 2014

Managing Political Polarization In Congress: A Case Study On The Use Of The Hastert Rule, Holly Fechner

Utah Law Review

This Article discusses the ideological polarization of Congress and of the Republican Party in particular. The rise of the Tea Party widened the ideological spectrum of members of the Republican caucus in Congress, especially in the House. To retain his leadership position and balance the competing factions in his caucus, Speaker Boehner routinely used a political and procedural tool known as the Hastert Rule.9 The Hastert Rule provides that the Speaker of the House will not schedule a bill for a floor vote unless a “majority of the majority” favors the legislation.


Preemption And United States V. South Carolina: Undermining Our Nation's Border And The Constitution's Border Between State And Federal Sovereignty, George E. Campsen Iii Jul 2014

Preemption And United States V. South Carolina: Undermining Our Nation's Border And The Constitution's Border Between State And Federal Sovereignty, George E. Campsen Iii

South Carolina Law Review

No abstract provided.


Professed Values, Constructive Interpretation, And Political History: Comments On Sotirios Barber, The Fallacies Of States' Rights, David B. Lyons Jul 2014

Professed Values, Constructive Interpretation, And Political History: Comments On Sotirios Barber, The Fallacies Of States' Rights, David B. Lyons

Faculty Scholarship

Our barely functioning Congress seems to embody the issues that this conference on constitutional dysfunction is meant to address. At this moment, however, congressional disarray may result less from institutional design than from our lasting heritage of white supremacy. Republican control of the House owes much to the party's Southern Strategy, which has exploited widespread dissatisfaction with the Democrats' official renunciation of racial stratification. That challenge to the American Way is exacerbated by the idea, outrageous to some, of a black President. That context has some bearing on this Symposium's topic of federalism. For, as Professor Larry Yackle reminds us, …


The Bond Court's Institutional Truce, Monica Hakimi Jun 2014

The Bond Court's Institutional Truce, Monica Hakimi

Articles

As many readers are aware, Bond v. United States is a quirky case. The federal government prosecuted under the implementing legislation for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) a betrayed wife who used chemical agents to try to harm her husband’s lover. The wife argued that, as applied to her, the implementing legislation violated the Tenth Amendment. She thus raised difficult questions about the scope of the treaty power and of Congress’s authority to implement treaties through the Necessary and Proper Clause. The Bond Court avoided those questions with a clear statement rule: “we can insist on a clear indication that …


Congressional Power And State Court Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia May 2014

Congressional Power And State Court Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

Federal laws that regulate state institutions give rise to what the Supreme Court has described as the oldest question of constitutional law. In recent years, the Court has confronted questions of congressional power to regulate state legislatures and executives, but has not directly confronted any question of congressional power to regulate state courts. Since the Founding, questions of congressional power to regulate state court jurisdiction of Article III cases have arisen - most notably, congressional power to assign jurisdiction of federal criminal cases to state courts. Today, significant questions of congressional power to regulate state court jurisdiction over non-Article III …


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay Apr 2014

Federalism And Phantom Economic Rights In Nfib V. Sibelius, Matthew Lindsay

All Faculty Scholarship

Few predicted that the constitutional fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would turn on Congress’ power to lay and collect taxes. Yet in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the centerpiece of the Act — the minimum coverage provision (MCP), commonly known as the “individual mandate” — as a tax. The unexpected basis of the Court’s holding has deflected attention from what may prove to be the decision’s more constitutionally consequential feature: that a majority of the Court agreed that Congress lacked authority under the Commerce Clause to penalize people who decline to purchase health insurance. …


S14rs Sgr No. 13 (H.R. 3978), Hilton Apr 2014

S14rs Sgr No. 13 (H.R. 3978), Hilton

Student Senate Enrolled Legislation

No abstract provided.


S14rs Sgr No. 34 (Federal Matching Program), Schwartzenburg, Grashoff Apr 2014

S14rs Sgr No. 34 (Federal Matching Program), Schwartzenburg, Grashoff

Student Senate Enrolled Legislation

No abstract provided.


The Filibuster And The Framing: Why The Cloture Rule Is Unconstitutional And What To Do About It, Dan T. Coenen Apr 2014

The Filibuster And The Framing: Why The Cloture Rule Is Unconstitutional And What To Do About It, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

The U.S. Senate’s handling of filibusters has changed dramatically in recent decades. As a result, the current sixty-vote requirement for invoking cloture of debate does not produce protracted speechmaking on the Senate floor, as did predecessors of this rule in earlier periods of our history. Rather, the upper chamber now functions under a “stealth filibuster” system that in practical effect requires action by a supermajority to pass proposed bills. This Article demonstrates why this system offends a constitutional mandate of legislative majoritarianism in light of well-established Framing-era understandings and governing substance-over-form principles of interpretation. Having established the presence of a …


The Travel Act At Fifty: Reflections On The Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department And Modern Federal Criminal Law Enforcement At Middle Age, Adam H. Kurland Apr 2014

The Travel Act At Fifty: Reflections On The Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department And Modern Federal Criminal Law Enforcement At Middle Age, Adam H. Kurland

Catholic University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law, Kristina Daugirdas, Julian Davis Mortenson Apr 2014

Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law, Kristina Daugirdas, Julian Davis Mortenson

Articles

• Another Mexican National Executed in Texas in Defiance of Avena Decision • Manhattan Arrest of Indian Consular Official Sparks Public Dispute Between the United States and India • United States Questions Claims Based on China’s “Nine-Dash Line” in the South China Sea • United States Takes Steps to Combat Illegal Trade in Wildlife • U.S. Compromises Facilitate Agreement on World Trade Organization’s Bali Package; Question Remains Whether Bali Package Requires Congressional Approval • Destruction of Syrian Chemical Arms Delayed • Iran Nuclear Agreement Is Implemented Notwithstanding Expressions of Distrust by Iran and the U.S. Congress


A Pragmatic Republic, If You Can Keep It, William R. Sherman Apr 2014

A Pragmatic Republic, If You Can Keep It, William R. Sherman

Michigan Law Review

These things we know to be true: Our modern administrative state is a leviathan unimaginable by the Founders. It stands on thin constitutional ice, on cracks between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It burdens and entangles state and local governments in schemes that threaten federalism. And it presents an irresolvable dilemma regarding democratic accountability and political independence. We know these things to be true because these precepts animate some of the most significant cases and public law scholarship of our time. Underlying our examination of administrative agencies is an assumption that the problems they present would have been bizarre …