Current Issue

Fetal Protection Laws: Moral Panic and the New Constitutional Battlefront

27 Aug 2014 01:32pm Michele Goodwin 

Increasingly, state statutes are the primary means through which legal norms affecting low-income pregnant women's autonomy, privacy, and liberty are introduced and shaped. Arrests, forced bed rests, compelled cesarean sections, and civil incarcerations of pregnant women in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin merely scratch the surface of a broad attack on pregnant women. This recent era of maternal policing reshapes physician and police interactions with pregnant women accused of violating fetal protection laws (FPLs); inspires (and sometimes requires) medical officials to breach confidentiality when treating pregnant women; motivates selective prosecution against poor women, particularly those of color; and evinces improper judicial deference to medical authority rather than law.

This Article makes three claims. First, it argues that doctors breach what should be an unwavering duty of confidentiality to pregnant patients by trampling the well-established expectations of the patient-physician relationship. Second, it argues that even if states' chief goal is to promote fetal health by enacting protectionist laws, punitive state interventions contravene that objective and indirectly undermine fetal health. Finally, the Article argues that FPLs unconstitutionally situate pregnant women as unequal citizens by unjustly denying them basic human and legal rights afforded other citizens.

Circuit

Defining the Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank: Who Decides?

12 Aug 2014 07:15pm Mystica M. Alexander 

The SEC and the Judiciary are at odds over whether an individual must report potential securities law violations directly to the SEC in order to qualify as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act. This Essay examines the statutory language at the heart of the conflict, the SEC regulation that potentially clarifies the scope of whistleblower protection, and the SEC's authority to interpret the Act. Ultimately, the author concludes that the SEC's expansive approach is more in line with the objectives of securities law enforcement.

The New "Human Equity" Transactions

26 Jun 2014 09:57am Shu-Yi Oei & Diane M. Ring 

Are we entering an era where investors can acquire an equity stake in an individual?  A new family of marketplace transactions provides individuals with financing for business, entrepreneurship, education, or diversification purposes in return for the individual's promise to pay a percentage of her income for a period of years. This Essay briefly discusses the legal, regulatory, and public policy issues these new transactions raise, and proposes an analytical approach to grappling with such issues.    

To Unseal or Not to Unseal: The Judiciary’s Role in Preventing Transparency in Electronic Surveillance Applications and Orders

03 Jun 2014 10:10pm Brian L. Owsley 

This essay addresses the issue of transparency in the judiciary regarding the sealing of applications for electronic surveillance.  Specifically, it concerns the experiences of a federal magistrate who attempted to unseal a number of surveillance applications and orders.    

 



The California Law Review is the preeminent legal publication at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
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