Posts February 12, 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
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:
The American Presidency [TOPIC 15]
Trump unveils11th round of judicial nominees [Wash Times / Texas Tribune, 2/12/18]:
President Trump announced his 11th wave of judicial nominees on Monday, intending to nominate nine federal judges including four federal circuit court picks.
Since taking office roughly one year ago, Mr. Trump faced an unprecedented amount of vacancies on the federal bench.
The mysterious oppo researcher working in the White House lawyer's office [Politico, 2/11/18]: Michael Roman, best known as a shadowy operative who oversaw a research unit for the Koch network, now occupies an unusual and undefined role in the Trump administration.
Trump shifts meaning of 'Drain the Swamp' [LA Times, 2/11/18]: Rather than kill the catchphrase he didn't love to begin with, Trump has done something more subversive: drained it of its meaning.
III. The Political System: Voting and Campaigns
How to Kill Partisan Gerrymandering [Slate, 2/12/18]: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just gave state courts a blueprint to strike down political redistricting.
‘Contempt for Court [Slate, 2/12/18]: Republican lawmakers are increasingly showing disdain for decisions made by the judicial branch -- and by extension the rule of law.
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:
Do Defendants Have the Right to Make Bad Decisions? [Justia, 2/12/18]: Professor Colb comments on the case before the US Supreme Court, McCoy v. Louisiana, in which the Court will decide whether a criminal defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to stop his attorney from announcing to a jury that his client killed the victims for whose murder he is standing trial. Colb considers the argument that the lawyer's behavior constituted deficient performance counsel and argues that in that case, the defendant's conviction should be reversed and remanded for a new trial.
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:
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:
Masterpiece Cakeshop: Beware the False Equivalence [“Take Care” blog, 2/12/18]: Earlier this week, a California state court held that under the First Amendment, a bakery owner may refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. The question is currently before the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissionand there’s a good chance that Justice Kennedy will determine its outcome. Unfortunately, Justice Kennedy may be in the grip of a false equivalence.