Tag: constitutional law

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Due Process and Judicial Elections

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On June 8, 2009
In a pleasantly surprising decision, the Supreme Court today held 5-4 (along predictable ideological lines with Kennedy as the swing vote) that West Virginia judge Brent Benjamin violated the due process rights of plaintiffs in a civil suit when he refused to recuse himself despite the fact that the chairman of the company appealing the […]
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Pleasant Surprises

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On March 4, 2009

Diana Levine, a professional musician, developed gangrene after taking Phenergan through a direct injection and had her arm amputated below the elbow. A jury in Vermont held that the drug’s manu

Awkwardness

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On January 21, 2009
The Bush administration authorized the waterboarding of prisoners. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is prohibited by the Convention Against Torture, to which the U.S. is a signatory. This treaty requires a state to prosecute officals under its jurisdiction who violated the treaty. The U.S. Constitution makes this treaty binding law on U.S. officials, including Barack Obama, […]

Sixth Amendment Switches

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On January 19, 2009

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Apprendi v. New Jersey that under the 6th Amendment’s right to a jury trial, any factor that increased a defendant’s sentence had to either 1)be admitte

Gutting the Exclusionary Rule

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On January 15, 2009
For people who care about civil liberties, it was definitely not a good thing when the Roberts Court decided to hear an exclusionary rule case this term. The Court’s Wednesday decision in Herring v. U.S. confirmed these fears, holding that evidence obtained after an illegal search (police conducted a search based on an expired warrant, […]

The Powell Precedent

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On December 31, 2008

My vacation has limited my blog reading, so I assume someone else has already discussed this. But since I haven’t seen it much, I feel compelled to point out that missed in many discussions abou

Sandy Levinson, a professor of law and political science, has been arguing for several years now that academics pay way too much attention, relatively speaking, to the rights provisions of the Constitution, and not nearly enough to what he calls its hard-wired structural features. One reason this is so is obvious: the hard-wired features don’t […]
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