An inside look at Fisher

There’s a new book out on Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.  I have not read the book, but PLF friend Josh Blackman has the scoop on an interesting story about the Fisher decision in the book. According to Blackman (via Nina Totenberg), the case … Continue reading

Federal courts expanding disparate impact analysis in recent Voting Rights Act cases

Here on the Liberty Blog, we have often posted about the perils of “disparate impact” laws; that is, laws that allow courts to find illicit discrimination in a facially neutral action without any showing of improper intent (here, here, and here, … Continue reading

Race-based redistricting heads back to the Supreme Court

On November 12, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of legislative reapportionment cases: Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama.  Plaintiffs in these cases contend that the Alabama legislature violated the … Continue reading

Can governments rely on outdated rationales to justify onerous regulation?

In 1952, Emmett Ashford became the first African American umpire in organized baseball and Dwight Eisenhower was elected President of the United States. That same year, the Pennsylvania legislature decided that funeral homes needed to be heavily regulated. Under a 1952 … Continue reading

Understanding the difference between disparate treatment and disparate impact

There are two types of discrimination recognized by our various civil rights laws: disparate treatment and disparate impact. The former is conscious, intentional discrimination.  The latter is unintentional, and is demonstrated through statistical disparities.  Here on the Liberty Blog we have often … Continue reading

Private property versus public recreation: the debate continues

Earlier this month, I published a guest column about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States with Jurist, an online journal run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The article takes … Continue reading

Will Arkansas Game & Fish fix temporary takings?

Yesterday, the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review made my article, Will Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States Provide a Permanent Fix for Temporary Takings?, available online. Here is the abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Arkansas … Continue reading

Drakes Bay Oyster Company seeks review in US Supreme Court

Today, Drakes Bay Oyster Company filed its petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the federal government’s decision to shut down the oyster farm is immune from judicial review. The … Continue reading

Supreme Court hears oral argument in challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Hobby Lobby case challenging Obamacare’s requirement that employers provide their employees with health insurance coverage for contraceptives.  Hobby Lobby, Mardel, and Conestoga Wood—whose owners say the contraceptive mandate would force them … Continue reading