Case Reviews

Case Reviews

Cooper v. Harris

October 4, 2017 Neelesh Moorthy 0

By Neelesh Moorthy | October 4, 2017   Introduction   In May 2017, the Supreme Court struck down two North Carolina congressional districts (CD1 and CD12) as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The State argued regarding CD1 that race-based redistricting was done to comply with sections two and five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This defense reflected an inherent tension in the Court’s jurisprudence: simultaneously condemning race-based redistricting while mandating it in certain circumstances. Responding to CD12, North Carolina argued that they engaged in partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering. The Supreme Court rejected both arguments, unanimously for CD1 but split 5-3 with regards to CD12. This article argues that the Court reached the correct outcome for CD1, but ignored its own precedent when evaluating CD12. Whatever one thinks of the outcome of this case, however, North Carolina redistricting is not free from legal contestation. The drafters of CD12 openly acknowledged […]

Case Reviews

Beck v. McDonald: Standing Requirements in Consumer Data Breach Suits

May 2, 2017 Haley Amster 0

Cybersecurity and consumer data breaches pose a real and continuing concern, as theft of sensitive information leaves its victims vulnerable to incidents of identity fraud. However, court precedent has shown a reluctance to hear any cases that cannot prove “certainly impending” harm from such theft. The Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty has guided later court decisions on these issues. In Clapper, plaintiffs sued to have the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 declared unconstitutional. The plaintiffs claimed that the U.S. government was likely to use FISA to seize their communications with third parties overseas, who would have shared sensitive information with the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The Court found that the plaintiffs failed to meet Article III standing requirements to bring their lawsuit in court, as the court was not certain that the government would intercept any of the plaintiffs’ communications, and any risk of future harm was too […]

Case Reviews

Murr v. Wisconsin: Will the Takings Clause be Redefined?

April 29, 2017 Audrey Kornkven 0

On March 20th, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard a case that addressed a familiar issue: property rights. Though many people may consider property rights a clearly defined issue, Murr v. Wisconsin would highlight just how vague much of the law surrounding ownership and takings is. This case involves a family, the Murrs, who inherited two lots from their parents: one with a home, and one without. One would think that, because these lots deeded and taxed individually, they would be treated as separate properties. Taxation is a legal, regulatory action. Common sense indicates that all other legal, regulatory action would follow similar procedures. Back in 2004, the four Murr children decided to sell the open lot, which was originally intended to be an investment. Thanks to a zoning ordinance, they were unable to build on the lot or to sell it individually. This new ordinance treated the two […]