Should Prosecutors Worry About Having Jewish People on Capital Juries?
Verdict
by Austin Sarat
2d ago
On May 13, the New York Timespublished a story about discrimination in jury selection in death cases that was shocking, but not surprising. The story recounted longstanding efforts by prosecutors in Alameda County, California, to prevent people from serving as jurors in death penalty cases based on their race, gender, and religion. Last month, a federal judge ordered an inquiry into those allegations. As the Times explains, “The inquiry, which may involve as many as 35 cases from as far back as 1977, is just getting underway. But the district attorney’s office says it has already fo ..read more
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Death Penalty States Beware: Nitrogen Hypoxia Is Not the Solution to America’s Long History of Inhumane Executions
Verdict
by Austin Sarat
1w ago
On May 8, Alabama’s Republican Governor Kay Ivey set a date for the state’s second execution by nitrogen hypoxia. Her office announced that Alan Eugene Miller would be put to death sometime within thirty hours after 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2024. The governor’s action followed a decision by the Alabama Supreme Court granting the state attorney general’s request for permission to set Miller’s execution date. Miller was convicted and sentenced to death in July 2000 for killing three men in a workplace shooting. If Alabama goes forward with its plan, it will be Miller’s ..read more
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Political Animals: What Kristi Noem’s Dog Killing Says About the Rest of Us
Verdict
by Michael C. Dorf
1w ago
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has long been campaigning to be Donald Trump’s running mate in the upcoming presidential election, so it was hardly surprising that she recently released a book. Politicians seeking higher office frequently write (or have ghost-written for them) memoirs filled with cliches, heartwarming stories of the adversity they supposedly overcame, and the lessons that those experiences taught them (typically in the form of more cliches). What was surprising was that Noem’s new memoir includes a vignette that could well end her Vice Presidential aspirations: she ..read more
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Of Mass Torts, Multidistrict Litigation, and Collateral Estoppel: Notes on Justice Thomas’s Dissent from the Denial of Certiorari in E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Abbott
Verdict
by Laura Dooley and Rodger Citron
1w ago
As the current Supreme Court term approaches its final stretch, all eyes are on the blockbuster cases. By the time it adjourns this summer, the Court will have decided cases involving the prosecution of former President Donald Trump (and therefore the path of the next presidential election), the scope of the administrative state, and other consequential and controversial issues, including another case about the legality of abortion. Amid the tumult, it’s easy to overlook the “ordinary” cases before the Court. As Civil Procedure professors, we were intrigued by the Court’s dispositio ..read more
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What Campus Protests May Do to the 2024 Presidential Election
Verdict
by Austin Sarat
2w ago
It has been a long time since there have been protests on college campuses nationwide and worldwide. But what we are witnessing today at many colleges has already made campus politics part of a larger story about politics at the national level. On campus, protests about the ongoing war in Gaza, the plight of the Palestinian people, and responses to those protests are posing a severe challenge for university leaders. For example, at Emory University in Atlanta, the faculty senate voted “no confidence” in the university president after police were called to break up an encampment. W ..read more
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Why Even Ostensibly Peaceful Expressive “Encampments” at Universities Are Not Immune From Restrictions Under the First Amendment, With Special Attention to Some Analogies to Abortion Clinics
Verdict
by Vikram David Amar and Alan E. Brownstein
2w ago
Debates about the permissibility of protests on college campuses today seem fixated on the notion of violence. Protestors say that campus authorities have no business imposing discipline or involving police to make arrests insofar as the protestors are (in their view) doing nothing more than engaging in peaceful (that is, non-violent) protest. University administrators, by contrast, defend their actions to restrict the protests and protestors as being necessary and proper to assure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. The two sides seem to agree that openly violent protests—t ..read more
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Israeli Accountability to Civilians: World Central Kitchen Part II
Verdict
by Lesley Wexler
2w ago
The first post in this series provided a detailed account of the World Central Kitchen strike and the demands for independent investigations and criminal liability. This post focuses on the individual remedies, or lack thereof, available to the strike victims and others similarly situated in Gaza. To begin, what, if anything, has Israel done so far? An IDF spokesperson suggested the conclusion of the initial strike investigation showed Israel’s “humility to acknowledge errors, the courage to make amends and the resolve to learn from them.” Yet amends thus far are limited to apologie ..read more
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What Oklahoma Did to Clayton Lockett Ten Years Ago Changed the National Conversation About Botched Executions
Verdict
by Austin Sarat
2w ago
Ten years ago, on April 29, 2014, the state of Oklahoma put Clayton Lockett to death. He had been convicted and sentenced for the 1999 murder of Stephanie Neiman, a 19-year-old who graduated from high school two days before she was killed. Lockett’s execution was, however, horribly botched. What transpired during the time that Oklahoma prison officials tried to kill Clayton Lockett changed the national conversation about botched executions. It raised the public’s consciousness about what can go wrong during executions and moved the problem of botched executions from the periphery ..read more
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Can a Public High School Punish a Student for Asking a Question that Refers to “Illegal Aliens”? Part One in a Two-Part Series
Verdict
by Vikram David Amar and Jason Mazzone
3w ago
The two of us just finished co-teaching a law school class focused on the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and this semester has not lacked for plenty of cutting-edge, ripped-from-the headlines fodder for us to explore with our students. And even as university protests dominate the news cycle these days, battles over freedom of speech and permissible regulations of it continue to be waged in many other venues, including secondary (as distinguished from higher) education. We recently came across a dust-up at a high school in North Carolina and thought (in the true spirit of ..read more
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Mike Johnson’s Visit to Columbia Ups the Ante in the Right-Wing Attack on Universities
Verdict
by Austin Sarat
3w ago
Speaker Mike Johnson’s visit to Columbia University on Wednesday was a transparent, but nonetheless deeply disturbing, political gesture. It marks a serious escalation in the post-October 7, right-wing attack on universities. Johnson, who is third in line to the presidency, put aside the serious, constitutional responsibilities of his office to score points with MAGA critics who were upset with him for allowing a vote on aid to Ukraine. Johnson tried to out-DeSantis even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in attacking and interfering in higher education. In the last several months, the ..read more
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