Aquifers and Democracy: Enforcing Voter Equal Protection to Save California’s Imperiled Groundwater and Redeem Local Government

California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) allows local entities that represent landowners, government agencies, or private companies, rather than the public, to take on exclusive power to regulate and manage imperiled groundwater resources. In at least some cases, under SGMA these entities are governed and controlled in ways that violate the one person, one vote […]

Under the Cloak of Brain Science: Risk Assessments, Parole, and the Powerful Guise of Objectivity

This Note examines the adoption of two psychological risk assessment protocols used on “lifers” by the California Board of Parole Hearings in preparation for parole suitability hearings. Probation and parole agencies employ risk assessment protocols across state and federal jurisdictions to measure the likelihood that an individual will pose a danger to society if released […]

Odd Man Out: A Comparative Critique of the Federal Arbitration Act’s Article III Shortcomings

Arbitration is an issue of considerable national concern. Yet as the Supreme Court continues to broaden the Federal Arbitration Act’s (FAA) “liberal federal policy favoring arbitration agreements,” few viable challenges to the FAA’s expansion remain. One would be hard-pressed to find a doctrinal framework so permissive of delegating judicial power to non-Article III tribunals. Meanwhile, […]

“The Mellow Pot-Smoker”: White Individualism in Marijuana Legalization Campaigns

Recreational marijuana is now legal in several states as a result of ballot initiative campaigns. A number of campaigns have framed marijuana legalization using what this Note calls “white individualism.” They have put forth messages and images to implicitly suggest that white, hardworking, middle-class marijuana consumers are deserving beneficiaries of legalized marijuana. This Note examines […]

The Private Nondelegation Doctrine: Preventing the Delegation of Regulatory Authority to Private Parties and International Organizations 

Liberty requires accountability. When citizens cannot readily identify the source of legislation or regulation that affects their lives, Government officials can wield power without owning up to the consequences. One way the Government can regulate without accountability is by passing off a Government operation as an independent private concern. —Justice Samuel Alito

It Wasn’t Me—Unintended Targets of Arrest Warrants 

Innocent people are being arrested multiple times on arrest warrants intended for others. By virtue of sharing a name with someone who is the legitimate target of law enforcement, these innocent people experience unfair disruptions in their lives almost any time they have contact with law enforcement. As of today, the courts afford them no […]

A “Source” of Error: Computer Code, Criminal Defendants, and the Constitution

Evidence created by computer programs dominates modern criminal trials. From DNA to fingerprints to facial recognition evidence, criminal courts are confronting a deluge of evidence that is generated by computer programs. In a worrying trend, a growing number of courts have insulated this evidence from adversarial testing by preventing defendants from accessing the source code […]

Towards Moderate Teacher Tenure Reform in California: An Efficiency-Effectiveness Framework and the Legacy of Vergara

This Note offers an efficiency-effectiveness framework for evaluating the success of school finance and teacher tenure court-ordered legislative reforms. In June 2014, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down California’s teacher tenure laws as unconstitutional in the landmark case Vergara v. State. While the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order […]

A Velvet Hammer: The Criminalization of Motherhood and the New Maternalism

In 2014, Tennessee became the first state to criminalize the use of narcotics during pregnancy. While women have been prosecuted for the outcomes of their pregnancies and for the use of drugs during their pregnancies in the past decades, Tennessee is the first state to explicitly authorize prosecutors to bring criminal charges against pregnant women […]