UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar discusses a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that has received little attention despite its significance—Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar. In that case, a 5-4 majority of the Court upheld a Florida law that forbids candidates running in contested elections for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign contributions. Amar argues that the ruling provides important insights about First Amendment doctrine and also about the membership of the Roberts Court.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein continue their discussion of state religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs). Amar and Brownstein discuss the original purpose of state RFRAs, the pros and cons of enacting a general religious liberty statute as opposed to granting accommodations on a case-by-case basis, and the best way for states to move forward in light of these considerations.
Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf considers the intricacies of a question Justice Antonin Scalia posed during last week’s oral argument in the same-sex marriage cases—whether, if the Court finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, clergy who will not officiate at same-sex weddings must thereby forfeit the power to officiate at opposite-sex weddings.
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.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein discuss state religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs). In this first of a two-part series of columns, Amar and Brownstein argue that whether a state RFRA should apply in private litigation should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton describes how the conservative Christian agenda is steadily making its way into law, first through the federal RFRA, and then subsequently in other ways.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar comments on the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Texas’s rejection of a custom license plate application that included the Confederate flag. Specifically, Amar considers three First Amendment issues raised during the recent oral argument for that case.
In light of recent controversy in Indiana and Arkansas over RFRAs, Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf discusses the nuanced question whether courts should interpret a general RFRA to apply in private litigation if the statute is silent on the matter.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the dangers not only of the recently passed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), but also the even more extreme Arkansas RFRA that just passed in that state.
Cardozo Law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the danger of state RFRAs, particularly in light of Indiana’s recent passage of such a law. Hamilton cautions that such laws pose a serious threat to society and despite their name, do not “restore” nothing previously in laws.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan E. Brownstein discuss the so-called “Sodomite Suppression Act”—a recently proposed California initiative. Amar and Brownstein argue that despite the clear illegality and immorality of the proposed initiative, many of the suggestions that the attorney who proposed it be punished or that the initiative process be altered to prevent these types of initiatives are themselves unconstitutional in some cases, and at best ill-advised in other cases.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the recent unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holding that the Milwaukee Archdiocese is subject to the facially neutral bankruptcy laws against fraud during proceedings, despite its claims, based on free exercise arguments, to the contrary.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the recent push by certain organizations to increase their political spending while remaining anonymous.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton comments on the religious exemption regime in place in Idaho and critiques it for putting children at serious risk of harm.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda argues that in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders, we should even more fervently defend the freedom of speech rather than engage in self-censorship.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton calls upon state legislators to repeal the laws that permit parents to refuse to vaccinate their children to the children’s detriment as well as to the detriment of the public.
Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman and Stanford University law professor Lawrence Friedman discuss the ways in which legislation can (and cannot) address the phenomenon of “revenge porn.” Grossman and Friedman point out that while the similar offense of blackmail has existed for many years, only recently, with the aid of the Internet, has this new form of harassment become a serious issue for lawmakers to consider.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Holt v. Hobbs, holding that the Arkansas prison system’s beard-length requirements violate the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton explains how the “religious liberty” supported by conservative Republicans is thinly veiled discrimination against the LGBTQ community and women.
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.