Manual Override? Accardi, Skidmore, and the Legal Effect of the Social Security Administration’s HALLEX Manual

By:  Timothy H. Gray

 

The Social Security Administration’s Disability Insurance program encompasses a mammoth adjudicatory and appellate process, rivaling in size the entire federal judiciary. The SSDI is principally governed by validly promulgated regulations, but the SSA also uses an ...READ MORE

An “Unfortunate Bit of Legal Jargon”: Prosecutorial Vouching Applied to Cooperating Witnesses

By:  Rajan S. Trehan

 

Vouching, which developed out of the Supreme Court’s desire to protect the jury’s right to evaluate credibility, traditionally forbids prosecutorial statements designed to enhance or attest to the credibility of a government witness. This Note examines ...READ MORE

Red Flags in Federal Quarantine: The Questionable Constitutionality of Federal Quarantine After NFIB v. Sebelius

By:  Arjun K. Jaikumar

 

The Public Health Service Act (PHSA), codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 201–300, confers federal authority to institute medical quarantine and isolation measures in response to outbreaks of specific infectious diseases. Congress’s authority to pass the PHSA is ...READ MORE

 

Judges Behind Bars: The Intrusiveness Requirement’s Restriction on the Implementation of Relief Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act

By:  Kiira J. Johal

 

Since its enactment, the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (PLRA) has obstructed prisoners from bringing suit in federal court. In the relatively uncommon cases where prison lawsuits do succeed under the PLRA, the statute authorizes courts ...READ MORE

Erie and the First Amendment: State Anti-SLAPP Laws in Federal Court After Shady Grove

By:  Colin Quinlan

 

An increasing number of states have passed laws aimed at preventing the costs of litigation from burdening legitimate petitioning activity. These laws frequently include procedural protections, such as a special motion to dismiss. When state law claims are ...READ MORE

Unknown Elements: The Mens Rea Question in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii)’s Machine Gun Provision

By:  Stephanie Siyi Wu

 

18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii) imposes an additional mandatory minimum sentence of thirty years for the possession of a machine gun during and in relation to a drug trafficking or violent crime. Prior to 2010, federal courts commonly ...READ MORE

 

Protecting the One Percent: Relevant Women, Undue Burdens, and Unworkable Judicial Bypasses

By:  Alexandra Rex

 

The purpose of this Note is to analyze one widely enacted category of abortion regulations—parental involvement laws—and the effect of such regulations on their targeted group—pregnant minors. According to the Supreme Court, abortion regulations are constitutional only if ...READ MORE

Addressing What Isn’t There: How District Courts Manage the Threat of Rule 68′s Cost-Shifting Provisions in the Context of Class Actions

By:  Jack Starcher

 

For almost two decades now, courts have struggled with a seemingly irreconcilable conflict between Rule 23 class actions and Rule 68 offers of judgment. The apparent tension between these two rules arises in the limbo between the filing ...READ MORE

Why Wright Was Wrong: How the Third Circuit Misinterpreted the Bankruptcy Code . . . Again

By:  Alisha J. Turak

 

Whether a right to payment is a “claim” is one of the most important determinations in bankruptcy because only “claims” are subject to the bankruptcy process, including the all-important automatic stay and discharge provisions. The Bankruptcy Code ...READ MORE

 

Smile for the Camera, the World Is Going to See That Mug: The Dilemma of Privacy Interests in Mug Shots

By:  Gregory Nathaniel Wolfe

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), individuals can request certain agency records, including mug shots, from federal agencies. Until 1996, the policy of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) was to use FOIA’s broad law enforcement ...READ MORE

Qui Tam for Tax?: Lessons from the States

By:  Franziska Hertel

 

Tax fraud costs the federal government billions of dollars annually. Qui tam litigation, which features individuals bringing lawsuits on behalf of the government, is a powerful tool for the government in its fight against many types of fraud. ...READ MORE

The Arithmetic of Justice: Calculating Restitution for Mortgage Fraud

By:  T. Dietrich Hill

 

The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act requires restitution for federal crimes involving property. In particular, the defendant is required to return any property taken, or, if return is impossible, to pay for the victim’s loss, which may be ...READ MORE

 

The Regulator in Robes: Examining the SEC and the Delaware Court of Chancery’s Parallel Disclosure Regimes

By:  David Friedman

 

The Delaware Court of Chancery is a unique court that specializes in transactional jurisprudence. Due to Chancery’s expertise in and exposure to corporate litigation, its decisions act as “rules” for most corporate actors. However, Chancery is not the ...READ MORE

“Killing Time” in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Why Systematic Preexecution Delays on Death Row Are Cruel and Unusual

By:  Angela April Sun

 

In the nearly four decades since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the average time between sentencing and execution in the United States has steadily increased to 16.5 years as of the end of ...READ MORE

Defining “Found In”: Constructive Discovery and the Crime of Illegal Reentry

By:  Jason D. Anton

 

Over the past decade, the crime of illegal reentry has risen to prominence. It is not only the most common federal immigration charge, but also the most prosecuted federal crime. The cost of enforcing illegal reentry ...READ MORE

 

Casual or Coercive? Retention of Identification in Police-Citizen Encounters

By:  Aidan Taft Grano

 

In Bostick and Drayton, the Supreme Court announced that per se rules were inappropriate in answering the Fourth Amendment seizure question, “Would a reasonable citizen feel free to leave?” But when, if ever, can one factor in ...READ MORE

Pulling the Trigger: An Analysis of Circuit Court Review of the “Persecutor Bar”

By:  Martine Forneret

 

The Immigration and Nationality Act contains a provision, commonly referred to as the “persecutor bar” or “persecution of others bar,” which prohibits granting asylum to an alien who, although otherwise meeting the criteria for asylum, is determined to ...READ MORE

Keep ’Em Separated: Article I, Article V, and Congress’s Limited and Defined Role in the Process of Amending the Constitution

By:  Alexander White

 

In August 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act, allowing the United States to continue borrowing money to fulfill its legal obligations. The Act includes a provision that raises the debt ceiling by an additional $1.5 ...READ MORE

 

Deregulate but Still Disclose?: Disclosure Requirements for Ballot Question Advocacy After Citizens United v. FEC and Doe v. Reed

By:  Sean McMahon

 

A relatively unheralded aspect of the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. FEC is its strong affirmation of the constitutionality and utility of disclosure requirements for individuals and groups engaged in political advocacy. In both Citizens United ...READ MORE

The Confusion of Fusion: Inconsistent Application of the Establishment Clause Nondelegation Rule in State Courts

By:  Jun Xiang

 

It seems almost beyond dispute that if the Federal Establishment Clause prohibits anything, it prohibits religious institutions from wielding governmental power. So thought the U.S. Supreme Court in Larkin v. Grendel’s Den, Inc. when it announced that the delegation of governmental ...READ MORE