Greetings, faithful (or maybe random—no judging) reader! We are back with our post-Thanksgiving-Break-end-of-semester rush post. What fun! We are quickly approaching the end of the semester, with 1.5 weeks of classes and finals left. This makes this the penultimate round-up post and the penultimate posts for the individual student bloggers this semester. Unlike the last few weeks of posts, this week’s entries are a bit more of a hodgepodge as far as topics go. The posts are still high-quality (better than this rambling opening, for sure), just a bit less thematically mashupable (that’s a word, right?). Without further ado, on to the posts!
Two of the posts do have a strong connection, even with distinct approaches to the shared topic. This time around Selma O. gives us a post that is, in her words, “less reflective of the existing political chaos.” Frankly, I think many of us need this break. Instead, Selma focuses on patent law, looking at a case that has been petitioned to the Court, and for which the US government recently submitted an amicus brief requesting the Court to take the case. The case in question is Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. Selma does a great job explaining this case, as well as several relevant precedents to this case. Elise must have also thought we all needed a break, as well (and I’d argue they are both right!). Elise, to honor the American past time of commerce, discusses an upcoming commerce-based case, which happens to also be Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. Whereas Selma discusses the patent law elements of the case, Elise discusses the commerce portions of this case, and a different precedent involved. Thus, both Elise’s and Selma’s post work well together to provide a robust view of this case, which the Court is scheduled to discuss in conference on December 2nd.
Tom’s and Taylor’s posts also pair up, in a way. Both of these posts address our new PEOTUS, but in rather different ways. Tom, in his post, looks at executive power. As his blog’s overarching theme is the separation of powers, he takes the opportunity of having a new PEOTUS to drill down into what executive power entails. He looks to the Constitution and previous presidents for guidance on executive power. Taylor’s post is a bit more free-from, as she continues to respond to PEOTUS and the various transition-related stories that have emerged since the election. There is certainly a lot of material for, and in, this post.
Grace writes about the Congressional power to tax and spend, looking at the Obamacare Case as an example. Grace provides a cogent explanation of the case and the legal issues involved. She manages to do this while also explaining the rather roundabout way in which Chief Justice Roberts redefines the individual mandate and its shared responsibility payment as a tax.
Amanda, in her post, takes on the topic of how the separation of powers has played out in the so-called war on terror. She breaks down various government interactions that got us involved in Afghanistan and then Iraq. She manages to do all of his while maintaining focus on the interplay of the separation of powers.
Ben discusses McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), the Supreme Court case that found an individual right to handgun ownership in the Second Amendment, and incorporated this right. Ben discusses the case, the rights involved, as well as his own reactions to it.
Finally, Erin’s post this week looks at a lawsuit filed in November 2014 against UNC Chapel Hill, challenging its admission policies as unconstitutional affirmative action. Erin discusses the specifics of the challenge and compares this case to Fisher II. Erin argues that the cases are almost identical, and that even with a Trump-appointed justice, Fisher II is likely to stand as precedent.