Juggling Rights and Utility: A Legal and Philosophical Framework for Analyzing Same-Sex Marriage in the Wake of United States v. Windsor

In June of 2013, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy authored the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act asan unconstitutional “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons.” Instead of applying the Supreme Court’s traditional tiers-of-scrutiny framework, Justice Kennedy’s due process and equal protection analysis weighed multiple factors: the significance of […]

Finding a Path Through the Political Thicket: In Defense of Partisan Gerrymandering’s Justiciability

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court declared partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional; in 2004, the Court declared it nonjusticiable. In between and since, scholars have debated over the precise harms of partisan gerrymandering, the wisdom of judicial intervention, and the feasibility of separating unconstitutional from legitimate redistricting schemes. This Comment adds to that literature by drawing for […]

Drones and Jones: The Fourth Amendment and Police Discretion in the Digital Age

Law enforcement agencies have begun deploying drones for routine domestic surveillance operations, unrestrained by constitutional scrutiny. Indeed, Congress has mandated a comprehensive integration of unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace no later than September 30, 2015. But does the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution proscribe such drone surveillance as an unreasonable search? […]

An Ad Hoc Rationalization of Employer Wrongdoing: The Dangers of the After-Acquired Evidence Defense

This piece offers an across-the-board policy and doctrinal critique of the “after-acquired evidence” (AAE) defense. This defense allows employers to escape liability for workplace wrongs by uncovering previously unknown evidence of past employee misconduct. Such a defense violates the basic aspirations of our legal system, which include treating each litigant equally despite his or her […]

Citizens, Residents, and the Body Politic

  For more than a century, courts and policymakers have described citizenship as a necessary marker of the political community, defining the boundaries of who participates in our democracy and on what terms. State and federal prohibitions on noncitizen voting remain largely unchallenged and immune from public controversy or scholarly scrutiny. Yet recent jurisprudence on […]

The Taking of Human Biological Products

Despite the Supreme Court invalidating human gene patents in the recent past, thousands of patents on other human biological products can still arguably be enforced. Although such patents do not cover these products inside our body, the moment one isolates them from our body and extracts them, the patent holder has an exclusionary right to […]

Recruiting Terrorism Informants: The Problems with Immigration Incentives and the S-6 Visa

Since the FBI’s post-9/11 establishment of a preventative stance toward terrorism has increased the need for intelligence, the agency has turned to the increased use of immigration law to recruit additional confidential informants. Using the threat of immigration consequences-particularly deportation-to produce terrorism intelligence presents novel problems for both the intelligence gathering process and the informants. […]

“Unless and Until It Proves To Be Necessary”: Applying Water Interest To Prevent Unjust Enrichment in Interstate Water Disputes

The Pecos River is a lifeline of water that flows through the arid region of eastern New Mexico and west Texas. Along its course, farmers use its waters for irrigation and communities use it for drinking water and recreation. Through much of the twentieth century, the river could not meet all the demands placed on […]

Equity’s New Frontier: Receiverships in Indian Country

Southern California’s Coachella Valley is one of the poorest regions in the country. Its location in Riverside County-which is within close proximity to some of the nation’s wealthiest citizens and also the U.S.-Mexico border-along with the county’s dependence onthe agriculture industry has contributed to a significant demand for low-wage farm workers, who often have a […]

Racial Dimensions of Property Value Protection Under the Fair Housing Act

Nearly fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, race-based residential segregation remains remarkably persistent, as do significant racial disparities in economic well-being. This Comment argues that one contributing factor to the persistence of segregation is different access to legal protections for property value enjoyed by minority and white homeowners. Historically, local land […]