Over at Jotwell I have a post discussing Fred Smith’s forthcoming paper “Undemocratic Restraint.”
With governmental surveillance becoming ever more ubiquitous, detailed, and automated, it’s become possible to imagine a regime of perfect surveillance, or an essentially boundless ability to detect crimes. Of course, perfect surveillance is now and may always remain hypothetical. But the prospect of digital panopticism is salient enough to appear in debates about real-life problems, and thinking about the extreme case of surveillance perfection might be a useful way of illuminating features of our more mundane reality. So the question arises: How might perfect surveillance alter our world?
Longtime readers may be interested in my recent essay on SCOTUS Repeaters, or cases that the US Supreme Court hears more than once. Here’s how my essay starts:
It’s every academic blogger’s dream to prompt an empirical study. Well, maybe not. But it was my dream, and Jason Iuliano and Ya Sheng Lin have made it a reality.
UCLA Law recently created some exciting opportunities, and I already know from conversations that at least some blog readers will want to know about them.
First, there are now two new programs offering full tuition scholarships to students. Information is here.
Second, there is an opening for a Director of the school’s new Criminal Justice Program, as described here.
If you’ve read this far, please feel free to reach out with questions!
Yesterday I wrote a SCOTUSBlog post on narrowing from below and Supreme Court signals — two ideas from a recent article of mine. The post updates the article in a couple ways, particularly by discussing signals’ surprisingly important role in the contraception coverage case Zubik v. Burwell.
Today the Court decided Williams v. Pennsylvania, which I’ve been covering over at SCOTUSBlog. The decision’s bottom-line rule is fairly intuitive, and the case directly affects only a relatively extreme set of recusal scenarios. But the logic of the decision may sweep more broadly–or so I suggest in my post.
One of the most interesting aspects of the ongoing litigation over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate concerns “signals.” As I’ve defined that term, signals occur when the Justices act in their official, adjudicatory capacities without establishing conventional precedent, but while nonetheless indicating some aspect of how lower courts should decide cases. In general, signals should guide lower courts when conventional precedent is ambiguous (see this post and this article). In her Zubik concurrence yesterday, Justice Sotomayor addressed signals’ increasingly salient role. But there is both more and less to Sotomayor’s opinion than meets the eye.