Articles by Ben Leonard

Case Reviews

A Post Truth First Amendment

February 13, 2019 Ben Leonard 0

Introduction: Fake news has seen tremendous reach. Conspiracy theories are frequently peddled. President Donald Trump averaged more than 15 false statements per day in 2018. It’s fair to say that America is now in a post-truth era. To many Americans, truth just doesn’t matter as much as it once did. One First Amendment scholar, Sarah Haan—associate professor of law at Washington and Lee School of Law—thinks that post-truthism poses a constitutional law problem with regards to the First Amendment. “Post-truthism, which teaches that evidence-based reasoning lacks value, offers a normative framework for regulating information,” wrote Haan in her 2018 paper entitled “The Post-Truth First Amendment.” “Although post-truthism has become a popular culture trope, I argue that we should take it seriously as a theory of decision making and information use, and as a basis for law.” What exactly is post-truthism? Haan argues that most people still view the truth as […]

Case Reviews

NAACP v. McCrory: If N.C. voter ID constitutional amendment passes, will it hold up?

October 17, 2018 Ben Leonard 0

Summary: North Carolina’s law requiring voters to show ID’s was ruled unconstitutional in 2016, but lawmakers are trying to revive the provision with a state constitutional amendment in the November elections. After being struck down just months ahead of the 2016 election, North Carolina’s voter ID law has made a triumphant return. The proposed state constitutional amendment that voters will decide on Nov. 6 is expected to pass, with nearly 70 percent of adults in a September High Point University poll backing the proposed amendment. At first glance, it’s an idea that makes sense—voting is a fundamental right that should be protected. One needs an ID to get on an airplane or buy alcohol, so why is voting an exception? NAACP v. McCrory: Voter ID Law As A Politically-Motivated Move However, evidence suggests the Voter ID law is at best a politically-motivated move. First, the concept of voter fraud as […]