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  • Challenge to Colorado TABOR Flouts Supreme Court Precedents

    A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Colorado legislators have standing to challenge the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) because it limits their ability to vote on tax proposals. The court also rejected the state’s argument that only Congress—not the federal … More

    Second Circuit Rebukes Trial Judge in NYC Stop and Frisk Case

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently entered an important order in the case involving the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) controversial “stop and frisk” policy. For some time, the NYPD has vigorously pursued “stop and frisk” in an effort to reduce gun-related violence. Officers stop … More

    What Is a “Reasonable” “Search” or “Seizure” in the Age of New Technologies?

    The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting “unreasonable searches and seizures.” However difficult it previously may have been to define a “reasonable” search or seizure, 21st-century technology makes that job far more difficult. There is virtually no aspect of life that cannot be captured, analyzed, and stored in 0s … More

    Boyer v. Louisiana: A Conflict in Constitutional Rights Postponed

    How should courts respond when the legislature does not adequately fund operation of the criminal justice system and thereby denies a defendant his constitutional rights? The Supreme Court avoided answering that question Monday, but the Court cannot avoid it forever. Fifty years ago the Supreme Court held in Gideon v. … More

    Supreme Court Strikes a Blow to State Court Bias

    In a unanimous opinion yesterday by Justice Stephen Breyer in Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, the Supreme Court concluded that plaintiffs’ attorneys can’t evade federal law on class action lawsuits through a self-serving stipulation designed to keep a case in state court and out of the federal system. Like … More

    Send in the Lawyers: The House Passes the Senate’s Violence Against Women Act

    Yesterday the House gave up any effort to pass its own version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and accepted the Senate bill, which now goes to the President for his signature. In so doing the House decided not to revise the Senate provision expanding Indian tribal court jurisdiction … More

    "Violence Against Women" Act: House Bill Better but Still Flawed

    The House has proposed its own reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It is an improvement over the Senate bill, but it, too, suffers from constitutional problems. As discussed in a previous Heritage posting and in a recent law review article, if enacted into law, the Senate VAWA … More

    "Violence Against Women Act" Violates the Constitution

    The Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) violates Articles II and III of the Constitution. The bill would authorize Indian tribal courts to adjudicate certain domestic violence criminal charges against non-Indians and to enter a final judgment authorizing the confinement of convicted offenders. At present, tribal courts … More

    On the Death of Judge Robert Bork

    The world saw Judge Robert H. Bork, the public figure. He was in the public eye as a solicitor general, a circuit judge, and—most famously—as a nominee to the Supreme Court.  Those who knew him as a Yale Law School professor, an author, and a legal commentator would have had … More

    Do We Need a New Law to Make Stealing Illegal?

    Everyone agrees that stealing should be a crime. Theft has been an offense in every society that has recognized property rights. Theft was a crime under the English common law; every state outlaws theft today; and theft of federal property (or property in interstate commerce) is a crime under federal … More