Category Archives: Constitutional Law

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

[Eugene Volokh] “Your Honor, My Stomach Just Naturally Produced Alcohol”

"Auto-brewery syndrome" (or "gut fermentation syndrome") is apparently a thing — but, the Maine high court says, the judge permissibly excluded a particular expert who wanted to testify this thing might have happened in this case.From State v. Burbank, decided a week ago: John M. Burbank appeals from a judgment convicting him of operating under the influence [with a blood alcohol level of 0.31] …. Burbank contends that the trial court erred by excluding testimony of [a witness] Burbank had designated … as [an expert] to testify that at the time of his arrest he had a condition known as "auto-brewery syndrome" [also called "gut-fermentation syndrome"] a phenomenon associated with the production of alcohol within the body itself under certain circumstances. … The court first concluded that, although auto-brewery syndrome may well exist as a physiological phenomenon, Burbank's witness was not qualified to testify about it….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Justices add constitutional question to citizenship case

On April 23, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the challenge to the decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. The justices had originally granted review to decide whether that decision violated federal laws governing administrative agencies, but today the justices announced that they will also consider whether the decision violates the Constitution. The justices’ order adding the constitutional issue to the case came four days after U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco sent a letter to Scott Harris, the clerk of the Supreme Court. The letter informed Harris (and, by extension, the justices) that a federal district court in California had ruled that the addition of the citizenship question violates both federal administrative laws and the Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires the “actual Enumeration” of the U.S. population every 10 years, to allow congressional representatives to be evenly divided among….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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DHS’s Own Statistics Show That It Is Lying About a Border-Security Crisis

The Trump administration continues to misrepresent statistics to manufacture a crisis that doesn’t exist. Last week, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security and Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, testified at the same time in different congressional hearings. They seemed to be in a competition to see who could be more misleading about border realities.  Nielsen claimed that she lacked “context” to address what Politifact has determined to be false: President Trump’s claim in January that a border wall is justified since there were “never so many apprehensions ever in our history.” McAleenan continued to defend the administration’s obsession with preventing Central American families and children from applying for asylum, asking Congress to lengthen their detention and end the fair process they are due under U.S. and international law.  What dominated both….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Kentucky Just Banned Abortion

Two new laws passed this week are part of coordinated effort to ban abortion nationwide. The Kentucky Legislature passed two bills on this week, and unless a court blocks them, abortion will effectively be banned in the state. One bill, passed on Thursday night, prohibits abortion after six weeks in pregnancy before most women even know that they are pregnant.  The other, passed late Wednesday night, bans abortion if a woman is seeking it because of a fetal diagnosis. The ACLU is challenging both laws, asking a judge to block them immediately to ensure that the only abortion provider in Kentucky, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, does not have to turn patients away.  This is not a hard legal case. Banning abortion has been unconstitutional under more than 40 years of Supreme Court precedent, starting with Roe v. Wade. The politicians who passed these laws know that, but they are hoping that these laws will be the means the Supreme Court….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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[Keith E. Whittington] Madison Wept

And the senators said to the president, "pretty please?"Sen. Mike Lee came up with a quite reasonable bill to curb presidential discretion to declare national emergencies and make Congress more affirmatively responsible for the actions that might be pursued during such emergencies. It might not be perfect, but it would be a significant improvement to the current statutory framework, a reasonable check on presidential abuse of emergency powers, and a step toward having Congress assume its proper constitutional responsibilities. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Andy Biggs. Such a reform should have been passed long ago, but it often takes an abuse of power to generate the political will to curb power. And sometimes that isn't even enough. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that there would be no vote on any such legislation. For Pelosi, as for everyone else, partisan point-scoring is more important than reclaiming congressional power.….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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