Category Archives: Constitutional Law

The Voting Rights Act Is Living On Borrowed Time

Tagged , , , |
On Monday, the Supreme Court will announce some opinions, one of which could be Shelby County v. Holder, the case questioning whether the Voting Rights Act is constitutional. This is not a case that I paid great attention to, until I enrolled in a Supreme Court decisionmaking class at my law school. In class I sat [...]

The Long Life and Now Death of the Virginia Sodomy Statute

Tagged , , , , , , |
Even though the Supreme Court invalidated this country’s sodomy laws ten years ago in Lawrence v. Texas, the State of Virginia has continued to press forward with prosecuting a few people for consensual sex acts. That is until yesterday, when a panel of the Fourth Circuit held the Virginia statue is unconstitutional as applied to [...]

Who Says Judges Can’t Be Funny?

Tagged , , |
This has to be the single most brilliant opinion I’ve ever read. Judge Jeffrey Sutton proceeds to eviscerate the Memphis Police Department and a district court judge who has annoyed me (in fairness, judges probably annoy every lawyer when they rule against that lawyer – it doesn’t mean that the judge is stupid or even [...]

Yale Kamisar’s Interactive Article on Miranda

The Washington Law Review recently published an interactive article written by Professor Yale Kamisar entitled, The Rise, Decline, and Fall (?) of Miranda. The article provides hyperlinks to source documents, including key cases, memoranda, and recordings of Supreme Court oral arguments. You can find the article here. For those of you unfamiliar with Kamisar’s work, he is widely [...]

Road to Washington

Tagged , , |
To quote my Constitutional Law professor, G. Michael Fenner, “it’s about power.” Last month, Cockle Printing filed two petitions for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court: Wyoming v. USDA, et al., and Colorado Mining Association v. USDA, et al. [The Court has vided these cases at: 11-1378 and 11-1384, respectively]. Petitioners asked whether [...]
Also posted in Supreme Court |( Leave a comment)

Does Tasering a Pregnant Woman Over a Speeding Ticket Violate the Fourth Amendment?

Adam Liptak at the New York Times has this great piece about a petition for certiorari asking the Court to grant a case involving some Seattle police officers, who tasered a pregnant woman because she refused to sign a speeding ticket. The police officers won on qualified immunity grounds in a divided en banc decision from the [...]
Also posted in Supreme Court |( Leave a comment)

Seventh Circuit Throws Out Ban On Audio Recording Police Officers

Tagged , , |
Illinois has one of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to people audio recording police officers in public. But then again, Illinois is also known for a long history of police corruption, and maybe the State thought it could prevent a few civil rights settlements by banning people from recording their interactions with police. Whatever the motivation behind the law, it doesn’t [...]

UCLA Law Professors Duel at the Supreme Court

Tagged , , , , |
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in United States v. Alvarez. At issue in this case is whether the Stolen Valor Act, 18 U.S.C. § 704(b)–which makes it a crime to falsely represent that you have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States–is [...]
Also posted in Supreme Court |( Leave a comment)

The Best Coverage of the Ninth Circuit’s Prop. 8 Ruling

This was a big week for same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit struck down California’s Proposition 8 on equal protection grounds. Then on Wednesday, the state of Washington voted to approve gay marriage. A lot has been written in the last few days and here is some of the best coverage by people on both [...]
Also posted in Uncategorized |( Leave a comment)

Judge Kozinski Says that You Still Have the Right to Choose Your Roommate

Tagged , , , , , |
Thanks to Judge Alex Kozinski you won’t have to worry about being forced to shack up with the slobby guy, the party girl, the all-night video game nerd, or the quiet but hateful passive aggressive. Neo-conservatives won’t be coerced into sharing their early mornings crammed in a bathroom brushing their teeth with a polite progressive. And Catholics [...]