When Life Gives You Lemons, You Ignore Them: The State of the Lemon Test After American Legion v. American Humanist Society

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Lauren Malm. The Establishment Clause and the Lemon Test The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Commonly known as the “Establishment Clause,” this clause prohibits government promotion or entanglement with religion and religious organizations. While government can provide religious organizations with general public benefits like fire or police protection, the question becomes: at what point does government action move from general benefits to an unconstitutional establishment of religion? The Supreme Court attempted to distill all Establishment Clause jurisprudence into a single, three-pronged test in Lemon v. Kurtzman. To pass the Lemon test, a statute must have a “secular legislative purpose,” the primary effect must not “advance[] or inhibit[] religion,” and the statute must not foster an “excessive government entanglement with religion.”…
Read More

Attempted Murder is Violent, Murder is Not

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Alexandra Klein. In August of 2019, the Ninth Circuit held in United States v. Begay that second-degree murder was not a “crime of violence.” You read that right. Second-degree murder is categorically not a crime of violence. The Facts In 2013, Randly Begay was arguing in a car with his then girlfriend, Meghan Williams, regarding rumors that she was cheating on him with Roderick Ben. While Ben was in the car, Begay took out his gun and laid it on his leg. Begay continued to argue with Williams and then shot Ben in the head, stating he was not scared to go to prison for life. Subsequently, Begay was charged with and convicted of murder in the second degree and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The…
Read More

Unconstitutionally Listed for Life?

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Sierra Brown. Case Study: Phillip B. v. McKay In 2018, Phillip B. worked as a caregiver at New Horizons, a group home for male children. On July 6, 2018, a fifteen-year-old resident of the home called the Arizona Department of Child Safety (“DCS”), alleging that Phillip pressed his elbow against the throat of a thirteen-year-old resident, G.C., until he “made a gasping sound.” During its investigation, DCS interviewed two residents that were present during the incident, including the teen who called DCS. They provided similar accounts, explaining that G.C. was unable to breath when appellant forcibly pressed on his neck. However, G.C. told DCS that appellant had grabbed his shirt by the neck. DCS also interviewed appellant and another caregiver who was present at the scene. They consistently denied…
Read More

A Novel Solution to the Multiple Causation Problem

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Sterling Johnson. What is the proper method of allocating liability where A and B owe contract duties to C under separate contracts, and each breaches independently, and it is not reasonably possible to make a division of the damage caused by the separate breaches? This is called the multiple causation problem, and Arizona needs a statutory solution. Approaches Taken in Other Jurisdictions Arizona courts have not considered the multiple causation problem. The jurisdictions that have considered it generally adopt one of two solutions. In a majority of jurisdictions, if a defendant’s (A or B) breach of contract was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury, the defendant bears full responsibility for it even though there were other contributing causes. A substantial factor is defined as something that is…
Read More

The Supreme Court Begins to Hear the DACA Case

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Ava Esler. Background Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) was implemented by President Obama as a means to provide work authorization and prevent the removal of young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Since DACA was enacted by executive order in 2012, over 700,000 individuals have taken advantage of the program. This means that they are protected from removal and can apply for work authorization, as well as obtain a driver’s license and social security benefits. In keeping with one of his controversial campaign promises, President Trump announced that his administration was moving to officially terminate DACA on September 5, 2017 amidst significant backlash. On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments challenging President Trump’s formal termination of DACA. The high-stakes Supreme…
Read More

EA Sports, It’s (back?) in the Game

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Tyson Woodford. Background For me, O’Bannon v. NCAA (previously mentioned on this blog here and here) was a landmark case that impacted my daily life. Sure, it dealt with the NCAA profiting from the image and likeness of its uncompensated student athletes, but to me (not a college athlete) it just meant the death of my favorite video game. After the court’s decision, EA Sports discontinued their successful line of College Football and College Basketball games, thereby ending an era of building fictional dynasties and competing for virtual Heisman trophies. While the game has been kept on life support by a few dedicated individuals, the masses have lost access to the once popular game. (Look at the price for EA Sports NCAA Football 2014, it might surprise you.) Hope…
Read More

Why the Fourth Amendment Should Apply to Visual Body-Cavity Searches

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jay Dosad. Background In 2011, two hundred female inmates in an Illinois prison were marched to a beauty salon and a bathroom off of a gym. In full view of male and female cadets, correctional officers, and civilians, as guards screamed insults and derogatory statements, they were ordered to strip naked and bend over, spread their buttocks and vaginas, and cough. This is known as a “visual body-cavity search,” since the guards did not touch the prisoners. According to prison officials, the search was a cadet training exercise. After a prisoner claimed Fourth Amendment and Eighth Amendment violations, the case, Henry v. Hulett, eventually came before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2019, the Seventh Circuit’s holding rejected the argument that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches applied,…
Read More