Category «Constitutional Law»

13 Ways Overturning Roe v. Wade Affects You (even if you think it doesn’t)

Kathy Biehl is a lawyer licensed in two states, as well as a prolific multidisciplinary author and writer. Roe v. Wade has been settled law during her entire career. In this article Biehl succinctly and expertly identifies how the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a draft of which was “leaked” on May 2, 2022, will impact many facets of our society as well as our democracy.

Subjects: Congress, Constitutional Law, Ethics, Health, Human Rights, Legal Profession, Legal Research, Privacy

How democracy gets eroded – lessons from a Nixon expert

Ken Hughes is a researcher with the Presidential Recordings Program of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Hughes argues that erosion in American democracy depends on the conspiracy theory, destructive and demonstrably false, that the 2020 election was stolen. As the author of several books on Richard Nixon – who, before Trump, was the biggest conspiracy theorist to inhabit the White House that we know of – Hughes sees conspiracy theories less as failures of rationality and more as triumphs of rationalization.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Law, Government Resources, Legal Research

Steve Bannon is held in criminal contempt of Congress, pushing key question over presidential power to the courts

Jennifer L. Selin Professor of Constitutional Democracy, reviews how this battle between the two branches of government over access to presidential information raises questions about the constitutional authority of Congress and how lawmakers acquire the information needed to hold the executive branch accountable in the U.S. system of separation of powers.

Subjects: Congress, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Government Resources, Legal Research, United States Law

Masks and mandates: How individual rights and government regulation are both necessary for a free society

Professor Martha Ackelsberg is political theorist – she studies how communities are organized, how power is exercised and how people relate to one another in and between communities. Through talking to friends, and thinking about the protests against COVID-19-related restrictions that have taken place around the country – she concluded that many people do not understand that individual rights and state power are not really opposites. The laws and policies that governments enact set the framework for the exercise of our rights. So, inaction on the part of government does not necessarily empower citizens. It can, effectively, take away our power, leaving us less able to act to address our needs.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Healthcare, Legal Research, Legislative, United States Law

You have rights when you go to vote – and many people are there to help if there’s trouble at the polls

Despite all the challenges to this year’s election – long lines, calls for voter intimidation, baseless claims of fraud – voting is a fundamental civil right. As a political scientist who studies campaigns and elections, Daniel R. Birdsong has confidence in American democracy. Lots of people are working at the polls and behind the scenes to ensure election 2020 runs smoothly and safely. In this article Birdsong outlines your rights as a voter and explain where to turn if you encounter trouble at the polls.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Law, Free Speech, KM, Legal Research, Librarian Resources

Why there’s so much legal uncertainty about resolving a disputed presidential election

As stated in this article by Richard Pildes, Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University – the Constitution does not create rules or an institutional structure for resolving a modern, disputed presidential election. It provides a fail-safe mechanism for only one situation, which has not happened since 1824: If no candidate gets the necessary majority of votes in the Electoral College, then the House picks the president from the top three Electoral College candidates. But that’s not the path the most disputed presidential elections have taken since 1824. Nor is it the likely path if this year brings us to that dark place.

Subjects: Congress, Constitutional Law, Legal Education, Legal Research, United States Law

Research on voting by mail says it’s safe – from fraud and disease

As millions of Americans prepare to vote in November – and in many cases, primaries and state and local elections through the summer as well – lots of people are talking about voting by mail. Prof. Edie Goldenberg explains why it is a way to protect the integrity of the country’s voting system and to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, which continues to spread widely in the U.S.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Education, Health, KM, Legal Research

Negotiating Justice: The New Constitutional Spectrum of Plea Bargaining

Ken Strutin focuses on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, and the upcoming appeal in Burt v. Titlow in regard to placing plea bargaining front and center on the national stage. As a result, they have divided practitioners and scholars into two camps: (1) those who consider the rulings to be a new statement in the law of plea bargaining and right to effective assistance of counsel; and (2) those who believe they are only a restatement of established principles. These cases have generated interest in the centrality and regulation of plea bargaining, the ethics and effectiveness of defense counsel as negotiator, the oversight of prosecutors regarding charging decisions, sentence recommendations and pre-trial discovery, and the scope of federal habeas corpus review and remedies. Ken’s article is a comprehensive annotated guide to high court opinions, scholarship and commentary regarding the themes addressed by the Supreme Court in Lafler and Frye as well as their implications for the administration of criminal justice.

Subjects: Constitutional Law, Court Resources, Criminal Law, Features, Legal Research, Supreme Court, United States Law