Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb analyzes a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holding that when a person with a cellphone inadvertently calls a third party, thereby exposing personal communications, the caller retains no reasonable expectation of privacy in the matters disclosed for purposes of the federal Wiretap Act.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb draws upon the outrage many people felt in response to a video allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts and tissue from abortions (video that was subsequently revealed to be edited so as to be intentionally misleading) in order to discuss a different area in which tissue and parts are bought and sold without evoking such broad outrage.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a proposal by Adam Benforado, author of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Justice, that one way to improve the criminal justice system would be to conduct and record trials outside of the jury’s presence, then to show edited versions of the recordings to juries after all of the evidence has been presented. Colb explains how this proposal could potentially improve the system and addresses some potential obstacles to its implementation.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, in which the Court held facially unconstitutional a statute requiring hotel operators to record, keep, and disclose upon demand by law enforcement certain information about their guests. Colb argues that the Court’s reliance on Planned Parenthood v. Casey to find the statute unconstitutional reinforces the link between substantive and procedural privacy.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb considers arguments for and against a moral duty by transgender individuals disclose their transgender status to potential sexual partners before having relations.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the potential downsides of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding earlier this year in Heien v. North Carolina, in which the Court held that a police officer could, consistent with the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizures, stop a driver for a behavior that the officer mistakenly but reasonably believes is illegal.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses actual versus perceived cruelty in the administration of capital punishment, as raised recently during oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Glossip v. Gross.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a question Justice Samuel Alito asked during oral argument last week in the same-sex marriage cases—whether non-romantic couples should have the right to marry.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the competing values at issue when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man on an airplane requests not to be seated next to a woman who is not his wife.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a recent criminal case out of Indiana, in which a woman was convicted and sentenced for feticide. Colb argues that while the situation as a whole is a tragedy, it also highlights a failure of the State of Indiana to have empathy for women in pain whose circumstances call for mercy rather than a pure retributive impulse.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb compares medical screening tests with dog sniffs for narcotics with respect to their propensity to yield Type I errors—also known as false positives. In particular, Colb references Justice Souter’s dissenting opinion in Illinois v. Caballes, in which he opined that the possibility that dogs would incorrectly indicate the presence of narcotics and lead to an invasive search meant that such dog sniffs constitute searches for Fourth Amendment purposes.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses how a pro-choice position on the issue of abortion might be reconciled with the position that a mother may rightfully grieve over a miscarriage.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a Michigan pediatrician’s decision not to see as a patient the infant child of a lesbian couple.
Sherry Colb, law professor at Cornell University, discusses a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court will decide whether, after completing a routine traffic stop, a police officer may briefly delay the release of the driver to permit a dog to sniff for narcotics.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the observed phenomenon of mental health clinicians’ empathy varying with the cause of the patient’s disorder, and compares this occurrence with juror empathy.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a recent New York law that bans tattoos of companion animals and compares it to a hypothetical law banning other types of animal cruelty.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the differences between the Fourth Amendment and the First Amendment with respect to the “fruit of the poisonous tree,” in the context of the recent Sony hack and widescale publication of the private data exposed by the cyber-attack.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb considers whether, why, and to what extent the law should proscribe sexual relations with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other permanent impairments on the basis of their incapacity to consent.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Elonis v. United States, in which the Court will consider what constitutes a “true threat.” Specifically, Colb considers whether the First Amendment right of free speech prevents criminalization of threatening speech only if the speaker intended to bring about fear of bodily harm or death, or if it is enough that a reasonable person uttering those words would have anticipated they would be interpreted as such a threat.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses whether there is a meaningful distinction between using juror testimony to invalidate the substance of a jury’s verdict and using the testimony to call into question the composition of the jury. Colb notes that a case raising that issue is before the U.S. Supreme Court this Term.