Drawing Lines of Sovereignty: State Habeas Doctrine and the Substance of States’ Rights in Confederate Conscription Cases

Winthrop Rutherfurd

Across the Confederacy, state judges uniformly claimed jurisdiction to issue habeas writs to confederate conscription officers on behalf of conscripts claiming unlawful detention. State judges based this authority to issue habeas writs to federal officers on the state habeas doctrine, pursuant to which a state court had coequal jurisdiction with federal courts to determine the lawfulness of a habeas petitioner’s detention. Today state habeas doctrine would constitute a gross violation of jurisdictional lines separating federal and state sovereignty; federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether a federal prisoner’s detention is lawful. Even during the antebellum period state habeas was constitutionally controversial, resulting in a robust and divided body of antebellum state and federal precedent, and featured in the broader judicial and political disputes over the boundaries of states’ rights.

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Race and the Law

Cassandra Conover

There was a time the law used the color of our skin for many reasons, to include the notion that our color made us inferior to others. Although white men worded the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 specifically so newly freed slaves would be protected citizens against unjust state actions, the acceptance of African Americans as 5/5 of a person versus the 3/5 of a person still contained in the Constitution was a bitter pill for many to swallow. The Jim Crow laws of segregation passed in several states from 1890 to 1945. Those laws were enacted “to subordinate blacks as a group to whites and to enforce rules favored by dominant whites.” Those laws were so strongly supported throughout the South.

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Anchors Aweigh: Analyzing Birthright Citizenship as Declared (Not Established) by the Fourteenth Amendment

Elizabeth Farrington

Much has been and will be said concerning President Donald Trump‘s immigration policies. The vast majority of commentary has focused on his plans to enforce existing policy by deporting undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States and, of course, to build a wall on the United States border with Mexico. Less has been said, however, about any potential plans to change existing law regarding birthright citizenship—the process by which children of undocumented immigrants born on United States soil are granted full citizenship status.

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Remarks on Campus Sexual Assault

Allison M. Tinsey

I was appalled to learn how the first-year criminal law curriculum addresses the subject of criminal sexual misconduct. Criminal sexual misconduct was the last topic covered in class and reserved for the last day of class. My section was forewarned of the upcoming conversation with an added bonus of knowing the material covered in class would not be on the exam. The assigned textbook reading on criminal sexual misconduct was condensed and edited. I heard a similar story from my friends in other sections: they were warned, told it would not be tested, and even given the option of not showing up to class that day.

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The Future of the Practice of Law: Can Alternative Business Structures for the Legal Profession Improve Access to Legal Services?

James M. McCauley

Nationwide, law school admissions have plummeted to levels not seen in years. From 2010 to 2015, applications were down by 38 percent and down by nearly one-half over the last eight years. Excluding perhaps some first-tier law schools, on the average, law schools are only placing about half of their new graduates in jobs that require a law degree and a law license. The American Bar Association (“ABA”) mandated disclosure policies which forced law schools to reveal that they pay stipends to graduates to work short-term jobs in an effort to beef up their placement statistics.

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Some Thoughts Raised by Magna Carta: The Popular Re-Election of Judges

W. Hamilton Bryson

I take as my text and begin with Chapter 29 of the final version of Magna Carta of 1225, which reads as follows:

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised of any freehold or of liberties or free customs . . . except by the lawful judgment . . . of his peers or by the law of the land . . . to no one shall we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

This is said to be one of only three parts of the Great Charter still in force in Great Britain. But this is rightly so, for it is the heart and soul of the statute.

This text ensures that a person’s property, body, and reputation will not be taken away before and without a trial in a court of law in which the judge observes the law and the due process thereof. This requires hearing the evidence and the arguments of all of the parties, after which, the judge applies the law to the facts of a case in order to reach a decision.

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Virginia Executioner to Wear a Cloak: Diversion from the Real Controversy

Paul G. Gill

Recent amendments to Virginia law made confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act identifying information for those who contract with the Commonwealth to compound drugs necessary to carry out an execution by lethal injection. The amendments were not without controversy. But debating whether to identify or cloak those who help an execution take place deflects attention from the real legislative question about capital punishment: Does it have benefits which outweigh its costs, financial and otherwise? This article briefly explores that question, suggesting that if execution is examined by evidence-based standards we otherwise commonly apply to sentencing, the answer is clear.

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Why the World Should Act Like Children: Using the Building Blocks Method to Combat Climate Change, Beginning with Methane

Eileen Waters

In 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) released an assessment report which stated the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” This certainty reflects years of data showing the global average surface temperature has been steadily increasing, and the past decade has been the warmest on record. This rise in temperature has been linked to a myriad of catastrophic current and future events that will negatively affect the world we live in. Just a few of these impacts, recognized by the IPCC, are: the dropping of agricultural yields, the spreading of diseases, the displacement of people living on coastlines, and the increase of weather related disasters.

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Through the Lens of Complex Systems Theory: Why Regulators Must Understand the Economy and Society as a Complex System

James Giudice*

Complex systems are constantly creating unpredictable phenomena that change and shape the world around us. These systems are comprised of relatively simple components whose interactions, controlled by no central authority, are guided by simple rules that give rise to complex behavior patterns and adaptation. Historically, scientists used reductionism as the primary means of understanding complex problems. This method attempts to make sense of the whole by dividing it into its smallest components, studying them from simplest to most complex, and putting them back together until the complete picture is seen.

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