Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Smart”ALEC? How Stand Your Ground Laws Became Entrenched Nationwide

By Sushila Rao The distressing tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death has also unwittingly drawn attention to the role played by an influential but hitherto low-profile organization in getting Stand Your Ground Laws enacted nation-wide.  American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a business-funded group which describes itself as  pursuing a nonpartisan agenda, but has been attacked…

Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi: The Beginning of a Movement

By Najan Farley Trayvon Martin’s shooting along with the beating death of Shaima Alawadi has elevated the serious issues of race and religion in the national discourse and consciousness. Although there are many who still debate the influence of race in the Trayvon Martin shooting, I am firmly of the opinion that race and gender…

How Predictive is Oral Argument Questioning?

By David Yin The mainstream media and legal blogosphere have covered the oral arguments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act litigation (Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Florida) ad nauseam. The NYTimes certified, ”[t]here is no tea-leaf reading like Supreme Court tea-leaf reading” and excerpted commentary from notable sources: Lyle Denniston from SCOTUSBlog determined that the argument ended “with Kennedy,…

Its ‘Regulation’ if You’re Already There

By Mark Wilson Reading the brief for the states opposing the Affordable Care Act, one is properly acquainted with the definition of a Jeremiad: “a prolonged lamentation or complaint; also, a cautionary or angry harangue.” The states’ brief is lean on legal arguments and long on exhortations that, if the Supreme Court upholds the mandatory coverage provision of…

Trayvon’s Killing Exposes Festering Wounds of Racism

By Billy Corriher When the lives of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin collided on February 26, neither one could have understood what was happening. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer, and he mistakenly thought this skinny teenager, walking down the street with candy, was some sort of threat.  Martin, on the other hand, had no…

The Wages of Obstruction

By Yevgeny Shrago The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule today that would effectively end the construction of coal-fired power plants in the United States.  The rule, known as a new sources performance standard, will limit the carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt of electricity produced to 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide, nearly half the the coal plant…

UK Equal Marriage Consultation

By Peter Dunne What is the optimal means of achieving social change? Are the courts the most appropriate vehicle for implementing progress? Does impact litigation really short-circuit the democratic process? An interesting comparison can be made in the ways which the United States and the United Kingdom both repealed their abortion and sodomy prohibitions. In…

Egyptian Policemen who Killed 22 People Given Suspended Sentences

By Sushila Rao In what Egyptian activists condemn as the latest in a series of acquittals and lenient sentences for policemen accused of the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising, a court in Egypt has handed down suspended one-year sentences to 11 policemen accused of killing 22 protesters and wounding 44 others on…

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