Legal Commentary: Akhil and Vikram Amar Archive

Archive

 Columns by Akhil and Vikram Amar - Page 1  Most Recent | Page 3 | Page 2 | Page 1  

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 CONFIRMATIONS

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 ELECTORAL COLLEGE

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 of terrorism."
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

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 Columns by Akhil Amar:

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 clearly unconstitutional.
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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