Monthly Archives: May 2011

More Coverage of Brown v. Plata

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The discussion about the Supreme Court’s landmark decision last week in Brown v. Plata continues unabated. There are basically two sides of the debate. Those predicting that a release of prisoners will create a crime wave in California, and therefore, the Supreme Court should not have upheld the release order. You can find these views [...]

Book Review: Giovanni’s Room

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Once again I’d like to thank the assigned readings from my classes for exposing me to a classic that I might not otherwise have had the time or notion to read. Every once in a while you come across one that reminds you why they are labeled classics in the first place. I hit pay [...]

New Merits Briefs Filed by Cockle Printing

We filed two merits briefs this week: the Petitioner’s Brief in Pacific Operators Offshore v. Valladolid, No. 10-507, filed on May 23, 2011; and the Petitioner’s Brief in Howes v. Fields, No. 10-680, filed on May 23, 2011.

Recent Court Opinions and Orders of Note

Opinions Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Whiting, 09-115, May 26, 2011 The federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) applies three general provisions that are relevant here: 1) it forbids the intentional hiring of undocumented workers, 2) it expressly preempts all state laws that impose sanctions on employers who hire [...]

Should Private Prison Guards Be Liable Under Bivens?

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The Supreme Court granted certiorari last week almost assuredly to reverse a Ninth Circuit ruling creating a Bivens action for prisoners wanting to sue prison personnel at privately-run correctional facilities. The case is Minneci, et al., v. Pollard, No. 10-1104. After having read the lower court decision and cert-stage briefs, I am of the opinion [...]

Jerry Brown, Meet Jerry Madden

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The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Brown v. Plata puts Governor Jerry Brown in the hot seat.   Prison reform in California is now mandated by law. The good news is that California can look to other states for help. One of those states, somewhat surprisingly, is Texas. This is not just because Texas is [...]

Recent Court Opinions and Orders of Note

Opinions Brown v. Plata, 09-1233, May 23, 2011 Since 1990, the State of California has consistently failed to meet court-ordered benchmarks to bring its prison healthcare system within standards that do not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Considering the trial court’s determination that California had exhausted its opportunities to remedy conditions, the bitterly divided [...]

Substantive due process as a promise of lawful rule, or, unconstitutionality as an “inside job”

I’ve just posted a revised version of my paper, Substantive Due Process And The Promise of Lawful Rule: A Conceptual Guide, on SSRN. This article is an attempt to explain the argument in favor of “substantive due process” (a misleading name in itself) less in terms of history than in terms of political philosophy and [...]
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So You Want To Go To Law School: An Interview With Author David Kazzie

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If you have never heard of David Kazzie, you are missing out on, well, your missing out on a lot of things. The guy is a lawyer but that label hardly does him justice. He is most known for his work on videos. He is the creator of “So You Want To Go To Law [...]
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New briefs challenging the Individual Mandate

Yesterday, I and representatives from several pro-freedom organizations filed this amicus brief in Seven-Sky v. Holder, the latest Court of Appeals case about the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I also filed briefs in the Fourth Circuit case and the Eleventh Circuit case. The briefs cover different—and very interesting—issues. As I [...]
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