Faculty Blog, Friedman

The Supreme Court Declines to Resolve Yet Another Lower Court Conflict  

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is unhappy again – not with a substantive ruling by the court, but with a decision by the majority to decline to hear a particular case. Last year, Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, dissented from a decision by the majority – one in a long line – not to… Continue reading The Supreme Court Declines to Resolve Yet Another Lower Court Conflict  

Faculty Blog, Professor Manus

The Latest Decision in the Keystone XL Saga: The State Department Fails to Explain an Environmental Reversal

This is a story that begins and ends with global warming. That global warming is happening and that human activities contribute to it is the overwhelming consensus of the science community, decades-deep in studies and expertise. That is a fact. I've heard and considered the proposition that all the scientists could be wrong -- doggedly… Continue reading The Latest Decision in the Keystone XL Saga: The State Department Fails to Explain an Environmental Reversal

Faculty Blog, Haynes

Government Abuse of Power

In October of 2018, the Department of Homeland Security sent a “subpoena/summons” to an immigration attorney.  The document stated: “You are requested not to disclose the existence of this summons for an indefinite period of time. The government works for, and at the behest of, the people.”  The “subpoena/summons” requested  the private attorney to supply… Continue reading Government Abuse of Power

Faculty Blog, Laplante

Plural Justice: A Holistic Approach to Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding

Transitional justice processes often are too narrow and technocratic. Restorative and retributive justice alone may not lead to a stable peace, because it does not resolve underlying grievances that led to violent conflict. Therefore, transitional justice should incorporate conflict resolution, civil rights and participation, as well as socioeconomic and redistributive justice to address historical marginalization.… Continue reading Plural Justice: A Holistic Approach to Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding

Faculty Blog, Friedman

Moving Forward: Supreme Court Appointments After Kavanaugh

In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing in early 2016, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate declined to give its advice on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the high court, much less its consent. That move, along with the Republican-led elimination of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, has led to a… Continue reading Moving Forward: Supreme Court Appointments After Kavanaugh

Faculty Blog, Singer

Decoding Judge Kavanaugh’s “Open Mind” on Supreme Court Cameras

In one of the more substantive moments of this month’s Supreme Court Confirmation Theater, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was asked whether he would support broadcasting video of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments. Kavanaugh demurred, saying only that he would keep “an open mind” on the issue. Given that most members of the Supreme Court have come… Continue reading Decoding Judge Kavanaugh’s “Open Mind” on Supreme Court Cameras

Faculty Blog, Professor Natasha Varyani

Wayfair.com: What a Sales Tax Case Reveals about Federalism, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and the Direction of Supreme Court Jurisprudence

The authority of States to impose taxes on remote sellers is an issue that calls up various constitutional principles, including (but not limited to) fundamental questions about federalism, the Due Process Clause, and the Commerce Clause.  Last term, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the Court was asked yet again whether a seller with no… Continue reading Wayfair.com: What a Sales Tax Case Reveals about Federalism, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and the Direction of Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Faculty Blog, Teixeira de Sousa

Left-to-Work for Less

Missouri voters gave the American labor movement a very welcome bit of good news earlier this month when by a 2-1 margin they refused to become the 28th state in the nation to adopt right-to-work legislation in the private sector.  Coming on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which held… Continue reading Left-to-Work for Less

Faculty Blog

Putting Korematsu to Rest, Not a Moment Too Soon

More than a few commentators have noted the U.S. Supreme Court’s effort in Trump v. Hawaii, the travel ban case, to put to rest any lingering doubt about the validity of one of the nation’s most notorious judicial precedents, Korematsu v. United States. In that World War II-era case, the Court upheld the government-mandated internment… Continue reading Putting Korematsu to Rest, Not a Moment Too Soon

Faculty Blog, Tax Policy, Taxation, U.S. Supreme Court

Faculty Blog: SCOTUS to Hear eCommerce Sales Tax Case

By: Natasha Varyani, Adjunct Professor of Law The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., addressing the issue of when sales tax needs to be collected by online retailers engaged in eCommerce.  In its 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota, the Court ruled that a retailer must have a “physical presence” in a state in order to be subject to that jurisdiction’s sales and use tax laws.  The Court in Quill was revisiting its 1967 holding in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue, in which it reviewed the authority of a state to impose its sales and tax laws on an out of state entity doing business in state. Both Bellas Hess and Quill dealt with retailers that conducted sales through mail order, and their only presence in state was the catalogue of products offered.  The Court in Quill cited “tremendous social, economic, commercial and legal innovations” that had occurred in the twenty-five years that had passed since its holding in Bellas Hess to justify overruling that former holding.