By: Ian Farrell & Nancy Leong
Opponents of same-sex marriage have recently adopted a curious new argument. The argument goes something like this. The Supreme Court has held that diversity is a compelling state interest in institutions of higher education. Opposite-sex marriage includes gender diversity, while same-sex marriage does not. Therefore, states may allow opposite-sex marriage while banning same-sex marriage—even if the ban triggers heightened scrutiny under equal protection or due process—because opposite-sex marriage furthers gender diversity, while same-sex marriage does not.
By: Andrew Tutt
In McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court tightened First Amendment limits on Congress’s authority to regulate campaign financing. McCutcheon ostensibly left in place the old regime that allows campaign-finance regulation so long as it strikes at quid pro quo corruption or its appearance. But two recurring themes in the McCutcheon opinion indicate that this standard will from hereon be more difficult to meet. One is that campaign-finance laws prevent individuals from participating meaningfully in democratic change. The second is that Congress cannot be trusted to pass campaign-finance laws because such laws are tainted by self-interest.
Not Helping: How Congressional Tinkering Harms Victims During the Post-Trial Phase of a Court-Martial
By: Zachary D Spilman
Congress made many changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. Among these are two changes to Article 60 of the UCMJ that address the participation of victims in the post-trial phase of a court-martial.
By: David L. Schwartz
The debate about patent trolls is everywhere. From the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors to Judge Richard Posner, the nearly unanimous view appears to be that patent “trolls” are evil. The argument is that since patent trolls do not manufacture any products, they are merely siphoning money from the “true” innovative firms, the manufacturers.
By Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C. Dorf
Most pundits and politicians, including the President, appear to assume that if the debt ceiling is reached, default would be necessary. Here, we observe a previously unnoticed deficiency in this assumption: Default would not only usurp congressional power to set spending levels; it also would not even satisfy the debt ceiling, because failure to pay money due on government obligations is a kind of borrowing, both for statutory and constitutional purposes.