Issue Archives

Introduction President Donald Trump has quickly marshalled the powers of the presidency to challenge President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy. Facing an increasingly intransigent Congress, the Obama Administration placed significant emphasis on rulemaking and other administrative actions to push its progressive agenda. Whatever the merits of this approach, many of these actions are not safe from […]

County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, the Supreme Court’s recent decision rejecting shooting victims’ excessive force claims, has been written off as yet another case in which police violence has no civil rights consequences. The Court found that the deputies who shot Jennifer Garcia and Angel Mendez fifteen times used reasonable force because Mendez was holding a BB gun. But the deputies barged in on Garcia and Mendez while they were napping...

  Early in 2013, in the midst of interviews conducted by several upstate bar associations reviewing candidates for a seat on the New York Court of Appeals, I sat down at lunch and met Sheila Abdus-Salaam. I was not in my element, and I’m sure she noticed that when she decided to sit next to […]

  Our lives are measured by the impact we have on the lives of others. We are valued when we labor not for ourselves alone, but with an eye toward building a world better than the one we have known. By that measure, Sheila was a giant. She inspired us with her vision and bright­ened […]

Historically, the legal system justified family law’s rules and policies through morality, common sense, and prevailing cultural norms. In a sharp departure, and consistent with a broader trend across the legal system, empirical evidence increasingly dominates the regulation of families.
There is much to celebrate in this empirical turn. Properly used, empirical evidence in family law can help the state act more effectively and efficiently,...

Legislatures often instruct judges to impose harsher punishments on people who have prior criminal convictions—for example, a conviction for a “crime of violence” or for a “crime involving moral turpitude.” But how are judges to determine whether a person has such a conviction? In Mathis v. United States, the Supreme Court clarified that judges can rely on only the legal “elements” of prior convictions, not the factual “means”...