Hello again, and welcome back. The students have one last blog post, and are now working on their take-home exams and (possibly) getting started on the appellate brief portion of their moot court for this course. On top of that, they produced another round of stellar blog posts, including a great discussion regarding the Constitutionality of many recent events. War powers and immigration factor heavily into this week’s posts, with a nice dash of marijuana and federalism thrown in as well.
Annellis, Kelly F., Hermina, and Sung all discuss the recent U.S. military actions in Syria. Annelis takes a general approach to the discussion, while Kelly F., Hermina, and Sung all discuss the constitutionality of the President’s actions, and they do not all agree. Taken together, these posts create a mini-debate over the extent of presidential war powers. Annelis updates us on further developments in Syria regarding a “mystery” bombing, and the eventual U.S. (and allies) response.
Kelly F. explores the questionable constitutionality (or not) of the President’s recent decision to bomb Syria in retaliation for the alleged chemical weapons attack Assad released on Syrians. Hermina also discusses the not-clearly-constitutional decision for the President to unilaterally decide to bomb Syria. Sung addresses the Constitutionality of the president’s actions in Syria, albeit with a different argument from the other students addressing this topic.
Ryan and Dan continue to cover the developments involving California and the national government over immigration issues, while Tyena looks at the Court’s recent foray into deportations. Ryan writes about the increasing divisions between various localities and the state government in California over immigration and various attempts to make the state a sanctuary state. Dan’s discusses the importance of immigrant labor to California farms, and how Americans have long been moving away from farm labor, even at higher wages. Tyena discusses the very-recently-decided Supreme Court case Sessions v. Dimaya, and what the Court’s ruling means for deportations in the U.S.
After war powers and immigration, why not some light reading on federalism and current battles over marijuana? Jordyn and Brad take the issue straight on, while Tim looks at the related issue of drug courts. Jordyn discusses the federalism issues at play in the tensions between the national and state governments over the question of legalized marijuana, as well as the President’s seeming change of mind regarding his stance on legalization. Brad writes more in-depth about the president’s recent suggestion, in contrast to his attorney general’s position, that he is in favor of marijuana legalization, and what this might mean for federalism in the United States. Tim explains what drug courts are, their use in the U.S., and how they could offer a possible way to address the drug problem in the U.S.
Given that many of these posts touch on presidential power, Kelly S.’s post this week provides a nice review for what ties these all together. Kelly S. explores the various aspects of the presidency in our system of separation of powers across the three branches.
As if these posts weren’t informative enough, Kei, Chelsea, and Troy all provide a retrospective look at topics from the not-too-distant past that touch on key aspects of federal power and law. Kei writes about Elouise Cobell (Yellow Bird Woman) who spent 15 years fighting for a settlement over the Department of the Interior’s mismanagement of Native American land, a fight that ended when then-President Obama finally fulfilled the government’s obligations. Chelsea continues her historical review of the Court and judicial review by looking at several major cases coming out of the Burger Court. Troy discusses the federal minimum wage, questions of economic stagnation, and how these issues could have played out in the 2016 presidential election.