Cracks in the Wall: The Persistent Influence
of Ideology in Establishment Clause Decisions

Gregory C. Sisk & Michael Heise In our ongoing empirical examination of religious liberty decisions in the federal courts, extended now into a third decade, we find the persistence of ideological influence in Establishment Clause decisions for the period of 2006–2015. Because a non-partisan judiciary is essential to preserve the rule of law, we should sound the alarm when partisan influences appear to be weighting the outcome.At the same time, one might take comfort in a systematic narrowing of the partisan gap in this most recent ten-year period for our study. For 1996–2005, we had found an Establishment Clause claimant’s chances…
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Court Packing, Senate Stonewalling, and the
Constitutional Politics of Judicial
Appointments Reform

Matthew A. Seligman Reforming the Supreme Court is at the center of the political and legal landscape for the first time in generations. The growing gap between the ideological composition of the Court, the democratic will of the electorate, and perceived procedural irregularities in the appointment of Justices over the last five years, has fueled calls for expanding the size of the Court. Those calls have triggered renewed efforts to repair the appointments process through term limits and a regularized appointments schedule. But in an age of peaking partisanship, the bipartisan cooperation that would be necessary for that proposal to pass…
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Law Enforcement Officers, Students, and the
School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Longitudinal

Jason P. Nance & Michael Heise Recent data indicate that a majority of schools now have regular contact with law enforcement officers, transforming the educational experience for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide. The proper role of police officers in schools, if any, has been hotly debated for years. But this debatewas elevated to an unprecedented level during the summer of 2020 following the tragic deaths of George Floyd and others, precipitating national calls to “defund the police” and leading many school districts to reconsider their relationships with law enforcement agencies. This debate over whether police officers belong in schools continues…
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Bringing Predictability to the Chaos of Punitive

Benjamin J. McMichael & W. Kip Viscusi  Punitive damages remain unique in the American legal system. Awarded in the civil context with none of the protections offered in criminal law, courts levy punitive damages to punish and deter. The Supreme Court of the United States has clearly stated that courts may only seek to achieve these two goals when imposing punitive damages. A closer reading of the Court’s punitive damages jurisprudence, however, reveals another goal that has largely been ignored: predictability. Unlikepunishment and deterrence, predictability is not a purpose for which to award punitive damages. Instead, the Court requires that,…
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The Great American Outdoors Act:
Refreshing America’s National Parks

Danika Marzillier From white sandy beaches and jagged, snow-capped mountains, national monuments and even some parks in urban neighborhoods, America’s federally managed public lands cover over a quarter of the country. From citizens looking to increase their daily step goals to all-out adventure enthusiast vacationers, a large and diverse group of Americans use these lands every day. Although public lands may often be imagined as places only for hikers and outdoor aficionados, their value to the general community should not be overlooked. Public lands offer breathtaking views, contribute to economic value, and conserve wildlife. They preserve historic sites, promote active lifestyles, and…
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Damned Causation

Elissa Philip Gentry The inherent mismatch between the questions law asks and the answers statistics provides has led courts to create arbitrary rules for statistical evidence. Adherence to these rules undermines deterrence goals and runs the risk of depriving recovery for whole categories of injuries. In response, some courts adopt new theories of recovery, relying on the loss of chance doctrine to provide some relief to injured plaintiffs. These solutions, however, only serve to exacerbate the fundamental misunderstanding of probabilities. While these doctrines largely operate within the context of medical malpractice, the increased ability to capture more statistical data may prompt…
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Green Is the New Black: Achieving Whole-
System Sustainability in U.S. Coffee via a
Hybrid Certification Scheme

Alexandra Eagle Near the village of Las Capucas, in the Copán region of Honduras, Omar Rodríguez Romero manages a coffee farm and a coffee farmer cooperative called Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL). COCAFCAL assists hundreds of small coffee farmers in the region with growing, processing, and distributing their coffee each season. Coffee is a labor of love, with trees requiring several seasons’ growth before producing a single coffee cherry. During the Honduran harvest season from December to March, coffee cherries bound for specialty coffee shops around the world must be carefully handpicked by teams of seasonal and permanent employees. COCAFCAL farmers…
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Generals of the Resistance: Multistate
Actions and Nationwide Injunctions

Elysa M. Dishman State attorneys general (AGs) have become leaders of the political resistance against recent presidential administrations. They are suing the federal government with increasing frequency, seeking nationwide injunctions that thwart presidential priorities and shape national policies.Nationwide injunctions have sparked considerable debate among jurists, scholars, and policymakers. However, the largely court-centric debate has overwhelmingly overlooked the role that state litigants and litigators play in shaping criticisms of the nationwide injunction. States and AGs have uniqueattributes, advantages, and incentives that allow them to frequently seek and successfully secure nationwide injunctions. And these advantages are enhanced when states litigate together. Because states…
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Challenging the EPA’s Authority to Exempt Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations from EPCRA’s Pollution Reporting Requirements

Catherine Swett The residents of Arlington and Tonopah, Arizona have some very smelly neighbors—the millions of chickens at Hickman’s Egg Ranch (“Hickman’s”). But an unpleasant odor is just one of the many environmental issues created by the concentrated animal feeding operation (“CAFO”). These two small towns, located just west of Phoenix, also deal with excessive dust, flies, and hazardous chemical emissions. Some residents even complain of nausea and breathing difficulty due to the ammonia released from the decomposing manure in the chicken houses.Full Article.
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Private Solutions to a Public Problem: Next Steps for Section 230

Tessa R. Patterson Humans do many small things every day that add up to grand numbers. For example, the average human spends about twenty-six years of her life asleep; around thirteen years at work; and four years and six months eating. There are also plenty of small things that, arguably, humans do not do enough. The typical human will only spend three years, one month, and three weeks of their life on vacation; one year and four months exercising; and one year and thirty days doing anything romantic.Full Article.
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