Excluding the Exclusionary Rule

February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Excluding the Exclusionary Rule

A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Herring v. United States, providing for limitations on the application of the Exclusionary Rule in cases of police negligence. The ruling is ill-conceived, but certainly not outrageous. However, in a few pieces of dicta in his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts seems to […]

Coming and Going; the Going Part: Saucier Overruled

January 22, 2009 | Comments Off on Coming and Going; the Going Part: Saucier Overruled

Yesterday, in Pearson v. Callahan, the Supreme Court overruled Saucier v. Katz. This is a really big deal. Section 1983 makes it a crime for anyone to violate the civil rights of another citizen ‘under color of law’. Given that expansive language (which is just as expansive as it sounds), and the availability of private […]

Confrontation in a Scientific Age

November 19, 2008 | Comments Off on Confrontation in a Scientific Age

Fingerprints, DNA, CSI.  These terms are ubiquitous after the turn of the century and they are undeniable tools that the State and defendants alike can use to argue in criminal cases.  Behind the data lies a methodology and behind the numbers hides a face.  A decidedly modern question burns before the Supreme Court in the […]

Fox News v. FCC: Indecent Restrictions on TV Profanity?

November 10, 2008 | Comments Off on Fox News v. FCC: Indecent Restrictions on TV Profanity?

If a word describes something usually done in the bedroom or bathroom, then that word should only be used in private. That is the motto after which the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules regulating the use of profane language on broadcast television seem to be modeled. One cannot delve into the meaning and purpose of […]

No Unanimous Opinion on Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts

November 7, 2008 | Comments Off on No Unanimous Opinion on Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts

Among the cases that the Supreme Court declined to hear last month was Lee v. Louisiana.  In that case, Derick Todd Lee was convicted of second degree murder.  On its face, there is nothing odd about the case.  However, what is uncommon is that Lee was convicted by a non-unanimous jury verdict.  Louisiana and Oregon […]

The Presidential Election and the Subsequent Shaping of the Supreme Court

October 6, 2008 | Comments Off on The Presidential Election and the Subsequent Shaping of the Supreme Court

On Friday September 26th, following the moot court trial of FCC v. Fox Television Stations that Mark wrote about here and for the Marshall-Wythe Press, there was a panel discussion regarding the 2008 Presidential contest between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain and how the election’s outcome would affect the Supreme Court.  The panelists were […]

WTF? FCC v. Fox Television Stations

October 1, 2008 | Comments Off on WTF? FCC v. Fox Television Stations

On Friday night, a few of the nation’s leading law scholars argued whether fleeting expletives can be publicly broadcast without a fine. The moot court was scheduled as part of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law annual Supreme Court Preview. This year’s case, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, featured Tom Goldstein, one of the […]

Tom Goldstein visits W&M ACS

September 30, 2008 | Comments Off on Tom Goldstein visits W&M ACS

“That was the most enjoyable hour I have spent in all of law school.” Compliments like this have been pouring in for Tom Goldstein’s visit with W&M ACS this past Friday. His talk, titled “How a Supreme Court Practice Works”, gave us insight on Goldstein’s meteoric rise from law school “reject” to one of the […]

Bethesda Buses: An Opinion Worthy of a Dissent

May 27, 2008 | Comments Off on Bethesda Buses: An Opinion Worthy of a Dissent

Standing – the question of whether the plaintiffs in a case even has a case that a court has the power to hear – can be a very complicated issue, but courts tend to make it even more complicated than it should be by … well … getting it wrong. There are two common strategies […]

The ACS Trip to Our Nation’s Capital

March 30, 2008 | Comments Off on The ACS Trip to Our Nation’s Capital

Recently, ten members of William & Mary’s chapter of the American Constitution Society drove up to Washington, D.C. to explore some of the capital’s most important landmarks. The first stop of the day – not counting Wawa on I-95 – was the Supreme Court of the United States. After inquisitively checking out the many busts […]

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