Free Exercise’s Lingering Ambiguity

It has become common, for example, for churches to demand that their ability to gather for worship not be considered less essential than the operation of liquor stores in those states that have designated the latter as “essential” businesses. In other words, these churches argue that the First Amendment does not permit states to prioritize pinot noir over prayer. Judges hearing these challenges have had to grapple with an old question imbued with new pandemic-related nuance: What constitutes discrimination against religion under the Free Exercise Clause? […]

Rule of Law from the Ground Up: Legal Curriculum Reform in Afghanistan

The rule of law, arguably the most cherished political ideal, remains elusive in many corners of the world. Since its formation in the mid-eighteenth century, Afghanistan has experienced episodes of “rule by law,” “rule of man,” and “rule of gun” much more so than the rule of law. This Article contributes to the literature by exploring the nexus between the rule of law and legal education in developing and transitional states. In particular, the Article examines the critical role of curriculum reform in bolstering the legal education system and, thereby, promoting a rule of law culture in Afghanistan. […]

Increasingly Antidemocratic? An Empirical Examination of the Supreme Court Nomination and Confirmation Process

Waiting to appoint a Supreme Court justice until after an election is just another way to tie the Court’s makeup to majoritarian and democratic processes. But is this sentiment right—is the Court, in fact, procedurally majoritarian? To answer this question, I explored the appointment and confirmation process behind each of the nine sitting Justices. […]

The Debt Collection Pandemic

Because American families’ finances are unlikely to recover as soon as the crisis ends, debt collection brought by the COVID-19 crisis also will not dissipate anytime soon. Even after the crisis ends, the need to implement comprehensive, longer-lasting solutions will remain. As we detail below, these solutions largely fall on the shoulders of the federal government, though state attorneys general have the necessary power to help people effectively. If the government continues on its present course, a debt collection pandemic will follow the coronavirus pandemic. […]

#MeToo Effects on Juror Decision Making

The modern #MeToo movement started in late 2017 and immediately had an impact on many aspects of society, bringing down over 200 powerful men in the first year and sparking swift legal change regarding the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims. But no research has been conducted into how the #MeToo movement has affected juror decision making in sexual assault cases. […]

Jurisdictional Transparency and Native American Women

While lawmakers have long known that Native American women experience gender-based violence at higher rates than any other population, lawmakers historically have addressed these harms by implementing jurisdictional changes: removing tribal jurisdiction entirely, limiting tribal jurisdiction, or returning jurisdiction to tribes in a piecemeal fashion. The result is a “jurisdictional maze” that law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and courts are unable to successfully administer to bring perpetrators to justice. […]

How Mobile Homes Correlate With Per Capita Income

Do lower-income parts of the U.S. have more mobile homes than higher-income ones? One might think so, based on a 2013 report from BBC News. This report found that “comparing the top 10 mobile home states with the 10 most deprived states suggests a loose correlation,” although it does not provide a way of substantiating such a claim at the sub-state level. […]

Filling The California Federal District Court Vacancies

President Donald Trump frequently argues that confirming federal appellate judges constitutes his quintessential success. The President and the Republican Senate majority have dramatically eclipsed appeals court records by appointing fifty-one conservative, young, and capable appellate court nominees, which leaves merely one vacancy across the country. Nonetheless, these approvals have imposed costs, especially among the plentiful district courts that address seventy-four openings in 677 judicial positions. […]