DRUG TESTING, INDIVIDUALIZED SUSPICION, AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT:
THE SUPREME COURT'S UPCOMING CHOICE BETWEEN TWO COMPETING APPROACHES
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss an important Fourth Amendment case in which the Supreme Court will soon hear oral argument. The case involves a school board policy under which every student at a high school who participates in extracurricular activities must undergo a drug test. The Amars discuss both the specifics of the case and their more general views on the Fourth Amendment test the Court should apply in such a case.
Friday, Mar. 08, 2002
TAKING THE FIFTH AND MIS-TAKING IT:
A DIALOGUE ON COMPELLED SELF-INCRIMINATION
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that "No person . . . shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." In a
thought-provoking dialogue, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and
"brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss what the
Amendment means. For instance, when someone is compelled to testify before
Congress, does the Amendment provide narrow "testimonial" immunity,
preventing only the introduction of the testimony itself in a criminal trial?
Or does it also confer broad "use-fruits" immunity, which also would exclude
from a criminal trial all leads and fruits generated by that testimony?
Friday, Feb. 22, 2002
WE LIKE MIKE:
AN OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY IN SUPPORT OF JUDICIAL NOMINEE MICHAEL MCCONNELL
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in
law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar, in an impassioned open letter to
Senator Leahy, make the case for why they believe liberals and conservatives
alike should support the nomination of Professor Michael McConnell to the
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Amars contend that McConnell is, in many
ways, not just a good nominee but an ideal one, and reply to critics who have
faulted him for his views on the Constitution's religion clauses by arguing
that his views are actually quite moderate.
Friday, Feb. 08, 2002
GROUND RULES FOR SENATORS FACING JUDICIAL NOMINEES:
THE QUESTIONS SENATORS SHOULD ASK, AND DECLINE TO ASK, WHEN EVALUATING POTENTIAL JUDGES AND JUSTICES
In Part Two of a two-part series on appointments and confirmations, FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss what types of questions Senators might want to ask judicial nominees should and should not be off limits. The Amars' analysis is carefully tailored to take into account the position for which the nominee has been nominated, as well as his or her prior experience.
Friday, Jan. 25, 2002
THE GROUND RULES OF THE APPOINTMENTS GAME:
UNDERSTANDING THE STRUCTURE OF NOMINATIONS AND
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss the institutional powers and constraints, both Constitutional and practical, that govern nominations and confirmations for positions in the executive and the judiciary. The Amars have formulated six basic rules that help explain the power dynamic between the President and the Senate; they are especially timely now, when President Bush has recently made use of his recess appointment power and when many positions remain unstaffed.
Friday, Jan. 11, 2002
HOW TO ACHIEVE DIRECT NATIONAL ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT
WITHOUT AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION:
PART THREE OF A
THREE- PART SERIES ON THE 2000 ELECTION AND THE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar present two ingenious ways in which, without any Constitutional amendment, the nation could move to what would, in effect, be a system of direct national election of the President, thereby bypassing the electoral college system and ensuring that the winner of the popular vote would win the election. The system could also ensure uniform national voting standards in Presidential elections -- solving the equal protection issues that plagued the 2000 Florida election.
Friday, Dec. 28, 2001
A CRITIQUE OF THE TOP TEN MODERN ARGUMENTS FOR THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
PART TWO OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON 2000 ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar take aim at the top ten modern arguments for the electoral college. The Amars contend that most arguments against direct Presidential elections would, if accepted, destroy our longstanding tradition of direct gubernatorial elections, too. Others simply do not outweigh the fundamental one person, one vote principle.
Friday, Dec. 14, 2001
HISTORY, SLAVERY, SEXISM, THE SOUTH, AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
PART ONE OF A THREE-PART SERIES ON THE 2000 ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar explain the deep flaws in traditional explanations for why we have the electoral college, rather than a simpler direct election system, in Presidential elections. The Amars contend the electoral college is not really about giving smaller states a bigger voice; instead, the system has tainted origins relating to north/south tensions, slavery, and even the denial of women's suffrage.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2001
THE NEW REGULATION ALLOWING FEDERAL
AGENTS TO MONITOR ATTORNEY-CLIENT CONVERSATIONS:
WHY IT THREATENS FOURTH AMENDMENT VALUES
FindLaw columnists and law professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar
weigh in on the new Department of Justice regulation relating to
attorney-client communications. The regulation would allow federal agents to
monitor traditionally confidential meetings between inmates (including
detainees and those held as witnesses) and their attorneys, whenever Attorney
General Ashcroft determines that "reasonable suspicion exists to believe that
an inmate may use the communications with attorneys . . . to facilitate acts
Friday, Nov. 16, 2001
GUNS AND THE CONSTITUTION:
TELLING THE RIGHT SECOND AMENDMENT STORY
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in
law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss the Fifth Circuit's recent
decision recognizing an individual Second Amendment right to bear arms. The
Amars contend that whether or not one agrees with the court's conclusion, the
story it told to get there was seriously flawed.
Friday, Nov. 02, 2001
ACT LOCALLY, THINK GLOBALLY, PART ONE:
WHY TIMOTHY MCVEIGH'S TRIAL WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
In Part One of a two part series on constitutional issues raised by the trial
of Timothy McVeigh, FindLaw columnist and Yale law professor Akhil Reed
Amar contends that moving McVeigh's trial from Oklahoma to Colorado was
Friday, Jul. 13, 2001
ACT LOCALLY, THINK GLOBALLY, PART TWO:
WHY EVOLVING INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS MAY HAVE RENDERED THE DEATH PENALTY UNCONSTITUTIONAL
In Part Two of a two-part series on constitutional issues raised by the trial
of Timothy McVeigh, Yale law professor, author, and FindLaw columnist
Akhil Reed Amar discusses how international views on the death penalty may be
relevant to interpretation of the Eighth Amendment. An emerging trend among
the fifty states on death penalty issues can inform our reading of the words
"cruel" and "unusual"; Amar asks whether an international trend, like the
EU's anti-death-penalty stance, can do the same.
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2001
POSTSCRIPT: DIALLO AND THE BOSTON MASSACRE
Monday, May 1, 2000
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