Posts February 14, 2018
These are the 2,18 that are accumulated in our weekly newsletter which goes out throughout the school year. The posts are organized by the major units in our Constitutional Law (5th ed.) student textbook
I. Introduction to Law, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court [See TOPICS 1-10 in the 5th edition of Constitutional Law] Some recent articles that are relevant to this unit
The judiciary must deal with #MeToo -- and with what I know [ABA Jpournal, 2/13/18]: Time magazine recently named “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year in recognition of the #MeToo movement and the people who have spoken out about sexual assault. Some of the Silence Breakers led to national storylines chronicling the downfall of powerful men who used their positions to commit sexual assaults and get away with it—until now. And some of the Silence Breakers simply tweeted or posted #metoo, often sharing for the first time, with that simple hashtag, a hint at what they’d suffered.
II. Defining the Political System: Federalism and Checks and Balances [See TOPICS 11-15 in the 5th edition of Constitutional Law] Some recent articles that are relevant to this unit:
Iowa Supreme Court to hear challenge to 72-hour waiting period for abortions
[Des Moines Register, 2/13/18]: The Iowa Supreme Court will hear a challenge this week to a provision in a law passed last year that would require women to wait a minimum of three days before they could obtain an abortion.
The American Presidency [TOPIC 15]
House Republicans Open Investigation Into White House Handling Of Porter Scandal pNPR, 2/14/18]: The White House's story about who knew what when about accusations of domestic violence against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter has been anything but clear.
Second federal judge blocks DACA repeal
[Jurist, 2/14/18]: A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives undocumented immigrants brought into the US as children, known as "Dreamers," protection from deportation. The lawsuit was originally filed by 17 state …
III. The Political System: Voting and Campaigns
Suited up: Do voters have a right to wear political garb at the polling booth? [The Economist, 2/13/18]: A Minnesota law barring politics at the polls arrives at the Supreme Court.
Legislation and the Legislative Process [TOPICS 16-20]
A look at the new whistleblower protections [Capitol Weekly, 2/13/18]: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law whistleblower protections for Capitol staffers. Now, legislative employees will have the same protections as all other state employees. But a question arises: Will the new law, which passed both Democrat-controlled houses without a dissenting vote, really make much of a difference?
Walters: Capitol harassment cases handled inconsistently [CalMatters, 2/13/18]: Four years ago, the state Senate was thrown into turmoil by the simultaneous prosecution of three senators on unrelated felony charges.
California's Legislature should require a formal vote to kill bills, Republican lawmaker says [LA Times, 2/13/18]: Republican state lawmaker whose bill to protect legislative staff from workplace retaliation was killed four times without a formal vote says it’s time to change the rules of the Legislature. “Don’t keep passing the buck,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore). “That’s a cowardly way of doing business.”
IV. Cminal Law and Procedure (4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments) [See TOPICS 21-28 in the 5th edition of Constitutional Law] Some recent articles that are relevant to this unit:
V. 1st Amendment (Speech, Religion, Press and Assembly) [See TOPICS 29-33 in the 5th edition of Constitutional Law] Some recent articles that are relevant to this unit:
Podcast: The First Amendment and Symbolic Speech [Newseum, 2/13/18]: Expressive acts, like kneeling during the national anhem or burning the American flag, are considered “symbolic speech” — but are they protected under the First Amendment?
San Ramon high school students ban national anthem from rallies [SF Chron, 2/13/18]: Students at California High School in San Ramon decided at a recent pep rally that the national anthem will no longer be played, bucking tradition and drawing the school into a national controversy about what and whom the anthem represents.
VI. 14th Amendment, Discrimination, Privacy, Working, Citizenship & Immigration [See TOPICS 34-41 in the 5th edition of Constitutional Law] Some recent articles that are relevant to this unit:
Court rules Gardendale can't form school system, finds racial motives; city to appeal [Birmingham News, 2/13/18]: A federal appeals court ruled today that can't form its own school system and agreed with a judge's finding that racial motives were involved in the attempt to split from the Jefferson County system.
In Alabama Case, Desegregation History Defeats District's Secession
[School Law Blog, 2/14/18]: This week's federal appeals court decision rejecting a predominantly white Alabama community's effort to secede from a larger, more racially diverse county school district was a case of desegregation history triumphing over a purported effort to restore "local control."
The Bogus 'Free Speech' Argument Against Unions [The Atlantic, 21418]: The latest attempt to use the Supreme Court to eviscerate a key liberal constituency seems like a thoroughly partisan operation.