Category Archives: Constitutional Law

Constitutional law news articles, reiews, notes and blog examples.

Project Reset in NYC – Lawyerless Transaction in the Criminal Justice System

Project Reset and Similar Programs – Lawyerless Transactions in the Criminal Justice System – An Appalling Due Process Disaster Project Reset is a criminal court diversion program in New York City that seeks to help people who have no prior arrests who are arrested for various “low level” misdemeanor offenses. Eligible participants are diverted from the Court system and instead offered the opportunity to attend a two hour workshop with the hope that after the workshop they will be less likely to offend again. People who comply with the terms of the diversion program never have to go to Court and their cases are declined to be prosecuted, so that they do not have a criminal record at the conclusion of the matter. According to a fact sheet prepared by the Office of Court Innovation, the original arrest is “sealed”. This eliminates the possibility of a criminal record or a warrant being issued, according to the Office of Court Innovation. The arrested….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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NOTE ON PUBLICATION SCHEDULE

RELIGION CLAUSE BLOG WILL BE ON A LIMITED AND SPORADIC PUBLICATION SCHEDULE BETWEEN SEPT. 24 AND OCT. 2.  REGULAR POSTINGS SHOULD RETURN ON OCT. 3... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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There’s A Problem With DNA Testing At Crime Labs – They Often Get It Wrong.

Boise State University Professor Dr. Greg Hampikian is a  Biologist whose work has identified persons wrongly accused and convicted of crimes. He is regarded as one of the foremost forensic DNA experts in the United States and beyond. He is the founder of the Idaho Innocence Project, which, along with other state Innocence Projects, has helped to clear hundreds of persons wrongly convicted. Those convictions have often been based on faulty science and false confessions. So when he tells us that DNA testing at crime labs is suspect and results may be misleading, we should pay attention. Dr. Hampikian’s op-ed in the New York Times yesterday should sound a bell for any person who faces criminal charges supported by DNA test results. Dr. Hampikian reports that in a recent reliability study, 74 out of 108 crime laboratories implicated an innocent person in a hypothetical bank robbery. Dr. Hampikian cites a study by the National Institute of Standards and Testing.….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Delahunty on Commonwealth and Commodity: Shakespeare's "King John"

Robert J. Delahunty, University of St. Thomas School of Law, is publishing Commonwealth and Commodity: Shakespeare's 'King John' in the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies. Here is the abstract.Shakespeare increasingly, and deservedly, enjoys the reputation of being a political thinker of the first rank. In his King John (ca. 1595) — one of his most infrequently performed and unappreciated plays — Shakespeare uses a twelfth century crisis over King John’s right to succeed to the Crown as a vehicle for exploring the subtle interplay of law, custom and power in the fashioning of political legitimacy. The play is an extended meditation on the effects of John’s illegitimate kingship. Shakespeare presents us with a decentered moral universe that is spiraling towards self-destruction and that is governed solely by the principle of power-seeking or “commodity.” The action of the play concerns how the disintegrating world of….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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[Eugene Volokh] No, Government Boycotts of Nike Aren't Constitutional

The government may not discriminate against businesses because of the political views the business (or its spokesman) has expressed.GoLocalProv News reports that the town council of a Providence-area town "voted 3-2 in favor of a resolution Monday night requesting the town and school department refrain from purchasing Nike products, after Colin Kaepernick became the recent face of the company." But any such boycott by the town and the schools would violate the First Amendment, just as Denver Airport's refusing to rent space to Chick-fil-A because of its executives' anti-same-sex-marriage stand would have done the same. (Ultimately, the Chick-fil-A seems to have been approved.) As the Supreme Court held, by a 7-2 vote, in Board of Comm'rs v. Umbehr (1996),"the First Amendment protects independent contractors from the termination of at-will government contracts in retaliation for their exercise of the freedom of speech." And while the Umbehr….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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