Governments and Legislation

By Any Other Name: Rational Basis Inquiry and the Federal Government’s Fiduciary Duty of Care

Written by: Gary Lawson & Guy I. Seidman

Abstract Under modern law, federal legislation is subject to “rational basis review” under the doctrinal rubric of “substantive due process.” That construction of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process of Law Clause is notoriously difficult to justify as a matter of original constitutional meaning. Something functionally very similar to substantive due process, however, is easily justifiable […]

William C. Matthews, Aventura Management, LLC v. Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association: Condominium Associations Beware

In late January 2013, the Third District Court of Appeal sent shockwaves throughout the real estate community with regards to condominium associations’ rights as unit owners. In AventuraManagement, LLC v. Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association1 (Spiaggia), the appellate court interpreted Florida Statute § 718.1162 in an unprecedented way. The court held that if a condominium association […]

Karl Gruss, Freedom of Information Act and Federal Licensing Procedures: Invoking Exemption 7(F) to Protect Examination Materials

The United States Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Milner v. Department of the Navy shut the door on an expansive interpretation of one of the nine enumerated exemptions to the public disclosure requirements mandated under the Freedom of Information Act. No longer can federal agencies seek cover behind the judicially crafted interpretation of Exemption 2 […]

Ellen English, “Camels Agree with your Throat" and Other Lies: Why Graphic Warnings are Necessary to Prevent Consumer Deception

The government’s latest attempt to protect consumers from the perils of tobacco use is in jeopardy. In 2009, Congress enacted the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which requires cigarette advertisements and packages to bear nine new textual health warnings and gives the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. In 2011, in compliance with the Act, the FDA issued […]

Robert J. Pushaw, Jr., The Paradox of the Obamacare Decision: How Can the Federal Government have Limited Unlimited Power?

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), sets forth the most important judicial examination of constitutional power since the New Deal era. The political and media frenzy over the Obamacare case has obscured its actual legal analysis and larger constitutional implications, which warrant more reflective […]

Chad Flanders, Pardons and the Theory of the “Second-Best”

This Article explains and defends a “second-best” theory of pardons. Pardons are second-best in two ways. First, pardons are second-best because they represent, in part, a response to a failure of justice: the person convicted was not actually guilty, or he or she was punished too harshly, or the punishment no longer fits the crime. In the familiar analogy, pardons […]