Constitutional Law

THE MYTH OF THE LABORATORIES OF DEMOCRACY

Charles W. Tyler* & Heather K. Gerken**

A classic constitutional parable teaches that our federal system of government allows states to function as “laboratories of democracy.” This tale has been passed down from generation to generation, often to justify constitutional protections for state autonomy from the federal government. But scholars have failed to explain how state governments manage to overcome numerous impediments to experimentation, including resource scarcity, free rider...

The Double Jeopardy Clause guarantees no individual will be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense. But, pursuant to the dual-sovereignty doctrine, multiple prosecutions for offenses stemming from the same conduct do not violate the Clause if the offenses charged arise under the laws of separate sovereigns, even if the laws are otherwise identical. The doctrine applies to tribal prosecutions, but its impact in Indian country is rarely studied....

GREENWASHING AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Amanda Shanor & Sarah E. Light*

Recent explosive growth in environmental and climate-related marketing claims by business firms has raised concerns about the truthfulness of these claims. Critics argue (or at least question whether) such claims constitute greenwashing, which refers to a set of deceptive marketing practices in which an entity publicly misrepresents or exaggerates the positive environmental impact of a product, a service, or the entity itself. The extent to which...

A COURT OF TWO MINDS

Bert I. Huang*

What do the Justices think they’re doing? They seem to act like appeals judges, who address questions of law as needed to reach a decision—and yet also like curators, who single out only certain questions as worthy of the Supreme Court’s attention. Most of the time, the Court’s “appellate mind” and its “curator mind” are aligned because the Justices choose to hear cases where a curated question of interest is also central to the...

Black communities have been surveilled by governmental institutions and law enforcement agencies throughout the history of the United States. Most recently, law enforcement has turned to monitoring social media, devoting an increasing number of resources and time to surveilling various social media platforms. Yet this rapid increase in law enforcement monitoring of social media has not been accompanied by a corresponding development in legal protections....

In 2018, the Supreme Court decided in Carpenter v. United States that the government requires a search warrant to access seven days or more of certain location data that comes from mobile devices. In 2020, however, news broke that different government agencies had purchased location data from data brokers and used them for law enforcement purposes. Because the Fourth Amendment does not regulate open market transactions, it is now an open...

ASSESSING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION’S DIVERSITY RATIONALE

Adam Chilton, Justin Driver, Jonathan S. Masur & Kyle Rozema*

Ever since Justice Lewis Powell’s opinion in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke made diversity in higher education a constitutionally acceptable rationale for affirmative action programs, the diversity rationale has received vehement criticism from across the ideological spectrum. Critics on the right argue that diversity efforts lead to “less meritorious” applicants being selected. Critics on the left charge that diversity...

Bostock v. Clayton County has been widely recognized as momentous for providing LGBTQ Americans with protection against workplace discrimination, helping to safeguard their economic wellbeing and dignity. But it also has the potential to impact sex discrimination jurisprudence even more broadly. This Note argues that Bostock fundamentally redefined what it means to discriminate because of sex, expanding the definition to include...

In Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court held that a Fourth Amendment reasonableness standard governed the analysis of any allegation that a law enforcement officer used excessive force during an arrest or investigatory stop. In particular, courts were to evaluate the reasonableness of the need to use force from the perspective of a hypothetical reasonable police officer at the scene. While this test seems straightforward, the Supreme Court...

In 2005, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency enacted a policy sanctioning its civil ICE agents to use strategic deception, known as “ruses,” to facilitate community immigration enforcement operations. This policy provided agents a means to overcome the limitation that civil immigration arrest warrants are administrative as opposed to judicial in nature, which effectively precluded agents from entering a target’s home without...