Between the American public and its elected officials lies our system of election administration. With hanging chads and seven-hour lines on Election Day fresh in our collective memory, it is no wonder that 40% of voters stayed at home during the 2012 election. Yet despite universal consensus that low turnout is bad for a democratic government, the most significant proposals, of late, for reform in election law have been measures to create more barriers to voting.Read more.
It’s been two years since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Yet people’s emotions over the incident have yet to fade. From the shooting itself to Zimmerman’s controversial acquittal on all charges, tensions still run high.Read more.
The practice of stop and frisk has roots that extend back to 1968, when the Supreme Court found the practice constitutional in Terry v. Ohio. Since that ruling, the controversial police tactic has become a cornerstone of the NYPD’s efforts to deter crime and reduce the number of guns on the street. Indeed, former New York City Mayor Bloomberg and former NYPD Commissioner Kelly praised the program for causing a steady reduction in crime in New York City.Read more.
Popular culture has never had a problem glorifying or vilifying technology—this has been true for decades, centuries even.In his seminal work, 1984, George Orwell described a vision of the future: a dystopian nightmare where Big Brother is constantly watching you. On the other hand, in one of the most loved cartoons of all time, The Jetsons, producer Hanna-Barbera also described a vision of the future: a utopian dream where everything you ever imagined was possible through the advances of technology.Read more.
With its “irresistible, insistent groove, the bass line that keeps winding and pulsing and staying several steps ahead of boredom,” the New York Times declared Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” to be 2013’s official summer song. It is no wonder the song spent a record breaking sixteen weeks at the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it’s both catchy and familiar, the perfect combination for a summer smash hit.Read more.
Will Judge Scheindlin’s decision that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices are unconstitutional stand? Everyone seems to think so. On November 22, 2013, the Second Circuit denied the City of New York’s motion to vacate two decisions that ordered fundamental changes to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices . . .Read more.
Have you ever stopped to consider how the power of eminent domain could be used to prevent foreclosures and remediate the U.S. housing market crisis? Neither had I, until last year, when I read that California’s San Bernardino County proposed using eminent domain to condemn “underwater” (negative equity) mortgages in order to prevent widespread foreclosures.Read more.
On November 1, 2013, The District of Columbia Circuit court heard Gilardi v. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., a case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandate that requires large employers to cover employee’s birth control costs as part of their health insurance plans. Similar to several previous challenges to the mandate heard in other circuits, the employers objected to the requirement on religious grounds. In Gilardi, the employers, who owned produce businesses in Ohio, argued that their Catholic beliefs were burdened by the contraceptive mandate.Read more.
As the world globalizes, U.S. courts are presented with more foreign legal issues than ever before. For example, the amount of securities related cases filed in U.S. courts against international companies has increased tenfold, from six cases in 1996 to 61 cases in 2011.However, judges have been resistant to the application of foreign law. A key factor behind American judicial rejection of foreign law is that it depends on expert testimony. This is problematic, given that American judges may be unfamiliar with the subject matter. However, some U.S. judges have identified techniques to overcome any discomfort from using expert testimony to apply foreign law.Read more.
Have you ever posted a Facebook status that you later regretted? Or shamefully uploaded a photograph from a party only to wake up to many comments and “likes” from your friends on Facebook? If so, you may soon be able to demand the removal of this content from the Internet.Read more.