Legal Commentary: Akhil Amar and Vikram Amar Archive Archive

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 Columns by Akhil and Vikram Amar - Page 2  Most Recent | Page 3 | Page 2 | Page 1  

CONSTITUTIONAL VICES:
SOME GAPS IN THE SYSTEM OF PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION AND TRANSFER OF EXECUTIVE POWER

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss the ways, over our history, the Constitution has addressed (and, at times, failed to address) issues relating to Presidential succession. What happens, for instance, if the President and Vice President are both arguably incapacitated at the same time? As the Amars explain, there is still no good answer to that question.
Friday, Jul. 26, 2002

EIGHTH AMENDMENT MATHEMATICS (PART TWO):
HOW THE ATKINS JUSTICES DIVIDED WHILE SUMMING

In Part Two of a two-part series, FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss additional mathematical questions raised by the Supreme Court's decision in Atkins v. Virginia. In Atkins, the Court held that mentally retarded convicts could not constitutionally be executed. In so holding, the Court relied on an increasing national consensus that such executions are cruel and unusual. But how is such a consensus calculated? The Amars weigh in on wrong, and right, way to figure out whether such a consensus exists.
Friday, Jul. 12, 2002

EIGHTH AMENDMENT MATHEMATICS (PART ONE):
HOW THE ATKINS JUSTICES DIVIDED WHEN SUMMING

In Part One of a two part series, FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss an important constitutional question: What statistics should count in the determination of whether there is an evolving national consensus that a particular kind of punishment violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishments"? The Amars evaluate the view that Justice Stevens recnently outlined in the Atkins decision banning execution of the mentally retarded, and the contrary view that Justice Scalia presented in dissent in the same case.
Friday, Jun. 28, 2002

"I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE SOMEBODY'S WATCHING ME":
A FOURTH AMENDMENT ANALYSIS OF THE FBI'S NEW SURVEILLANCE POLICY

Findlaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar weigh in on an important question: Does Attorney General Ashcroft's new FBI surveillance regulation violate the Fourth Amendment? In the course of explaining why it might or might not, the Amars isolate what they contend are a number of misconceptions that have hampered the Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Amendment.
Friday, Jun. 14, 2002

DOES THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT REQUIRE AN EMPLOYER TO WORK WITH A DISABLED EMPLOYEE TO FIND AN ACCOMMODATION?:
THE LINGERING QUESTION OF THE "INTERACTIVE PROCESS" REQUIREMENT

FindLaw columnist and U.C. Hastings law professor Vikram David Amar, and FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Dipanwita Deb Amar, take on two important unresolved legal questions: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and its accompanying EEOC regulations, does an employer have the obligation to work with a disabled employee to find a "reasonable accommodation" -- that is, a way the employee can still do his or her job despite a disability? If so, how should that obligation be enforced, if at all?
Friday, May. 31, 2002

A DIALOGUE ON WHY MANDATORY DNA TESTS ARE DIFFERENT FROM MANDATORY DRUG TESTS FOR FOURTH AMENDMENT PURPOSES
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar engage in a dialogue about Akhil's recent proposal that every American should be required to undergo a DNA test so that a national DNA database can be created -- in part, to ensure that innocent people are not wrongly convicted for crimes they did not commit. In the dialogue, Vik raises possible objections to the proposal, and tests Akhil's view on the Fourth Amendment status of the database against Akhil's view on the Fourth Amendment status of high school drug testing.
Friday, May. 17, 2002

THE FATAL FLAW IN FRANCE'S -- AND AMERICA'S --VOTING SYSTEM, AND HOW AN "INSTANT RUNOFF" SYSTEM MIGHT REMEDY IT
FindLaw columnists, Yale and UC Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar offer a way to prevent the phenomenon that has caused widespread protest in France -- the presence of LePen, rather than the more popular Jospin, in the runoff against Chirac for the Presidency -- from recurring, either there or in any U.S. federal or state election. The Amars explain how a Single Transferable Voting, or "instant runoff," system works, and how it would have affected situations ranging from the 2000 Presidential election in Florida, to the historic four-way Presidential race of 1860.
Friday, May. 03, 2002

DOES THE SUPREME COURT HATE THE NINTH CIRCUIT?:
A DIALOGUE ON WHY THAT APPEALS COURT FARES SO POORLY

FindLaw columnists, Yale and UC Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar employ statistical evidence and argumentation to take on a question that has nagged at Supreme Court lawyers for years: What accounts for the stunning frequency with which the Supreme Court reverses the decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit -- sometimes 9-0, and often with only a few dissenting votes?
Friday, Apr. 19, 2002

BREAKING CONSTITUTIONAL FAITH:
PRESIDENT BUSH AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar contend that Presidents have a duty to abide by their own interpretations of the Constitution. Accordingly, the Amars take issue with President Bush's recent decision to sign the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill despite having expressed strong qualms that it violates the First Amendment.
Friday, Apr. 05, 2002

THE SENATE WINS AN EARLY ROUND IN THE JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS TOURNAMENT - THE PICKERING CASE
FindLaw columnists, Yale and U.C. Hastings law professors, and "brothers in law" Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar discuss claims by President Bush and other Republicans that Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee engaged in foul play when they decided to block Charles Pickering's nomination, declining to send it to the full Senate. Does the Constitution requite full Senate consideration of Presidential judicial nominees? The Amars explain the answer.
Friday, Mar. 22, 2002

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