IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT ABORTION:
WHAT THE "UNBORN CHILD" HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL REVEALS ABOUT OUR SELECTIVE CAPACITY FOR EMPATHY
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses a deeper issue behind Secretary of Health and Human Services' Tommy Thompson's proposal to define fetuses as unborn children, so that prenatal care for low-income women comes within the ambit of the federal children's health care statute. Some critics have faulted Thompson's proposal as implicitly "pro-life" and anti-abortion, but Colb contends it has another, less-discussed flaw.
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002
THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN KANSAS V. CRANE:
WHICH "DANGEROUS" PEOPLE CAN BE INCARCERATED?
FindLaw columnist, University of Pennsylvania visiting law professor, and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the Supreme Court's recently issued opinion regarding what must be shown before a person can be civilly committed simply on grounds of future dangerousness, rather than as punishment for a crime. Colb takes issue with both the majority opinion and the dissent, contending that both will open a Pandora's box by allowing aggressive state governments to civilly commit people upon an evidentiary showing that, Colb contends, is both misguided and not sufficiently demanding.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002
THE SECOND CIRCUIT'S RECENT REVERSAL OF TWO GUILTY VERDICTS
IN THE YANKEL ROSENBAUM KILLING, AND THE
THE DIFFICULT ISSUE OF RACE-CONSCIOUS JURY SELECTION
FindLaw columnist, University of Pennsylvania visiting law professor, and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses a recent federal Court of Appeals ruling that reversed two verdicts of guilty on federal civil rights violations charges arising from the killing of Yankel Rosenbaum. The reason for the reversals was that the district judge had induced the defense to consent to the selection of a juror who, like Rosenbaum, was Jewish -- despite the fact that the juror had confessed he was biased -- in exchange for the selection of another juror who, like the defendants, was African-American. Colb raises the issue of whether race should ever be taken into account in jury selection, especially in racially-charged murder trials, and argues that it sometimes should.
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2002
THE OMINOUS IMPLICATIONS OF A SUPREME COURT FOURTH AMENDMENT
WHY GIVING PRIOR NOTICE OF A PRIVACY INVASION DOES
NOT MITIGATE ITS SERIOUSNESS
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the implications of the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Knights. Although the decision addresses the rights of those on probation, Colb explains how it could be used in the future to limit the privacy rights of all citizens, if its principle that prior notice of a search can negate its unconstitutionality is applied more broadly.
Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2002
A THREAT BY ANY OTHER NAME:
DO THE NUREMBERG FILES CROSS THE FIRST AMENDMENT LINE?
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the First Amendment
opinion in the "Nuremberg Files" case, a three-judge panel ruling that the 9th circuit court of appeals is now
rehearing en banc. There, the court originally held that a pro-life website's listing of abortion providers --
including cross-outs of the names of those who had died -- constituted constitutionally-protected speech. Colb
argues, however, that the list could reasonably have been interpreted by the jury instead as an unprotected
"hit list" of threats.
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2001
SUING CLERGY FOR DIVULGING CONFIDENCES:
WHY THE NEW YORK COURT OF APPEALS WAS WRONG TO HOLD THAT A WOMAN COULD NOT SUE FOR VIOLATION OF THE CLERGY-PENITENT PRIVILEGE
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses a recent holding by New York's highest court concerning the clergy-penitent privilege. In the case, a Jewish woman sued two rabbis for violating the privilege, alleging that they improperly disclosed her confidences to her husband, who then submitted affirmations from them in the course of the couple's divorce proceedings. The court held that as an evidence rule, the privilege cannot give rise to a lawsuit, but Colb strongly disagrees.
Wednesday, Dec. 05, 2001
A CREEPING THEOCRACY:
HOW THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
USES ITS POWER TO ENFORCE RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry F. Colb takes issue with Bush Administration policy in the area of stem cell research, protecting abortion clinics, and physician-assisted suicide. Colb contends that in each of these areas, the President or Attorney General Ashcroft is violating the Constitution by acting with clearly religious motivations.
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2001
THE PROBLEM WITH MAINSTREAM ATTITUDES TOWARD DATE RAPE
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the issues of how law school professors should teach their students about rape, and whether date rape should be seen as less serious than stranger rape.
Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2001
THE UPCOMING SUPREME COURT "SEXUAL PREDATOR" CASE:
WHY MENTAL ILLNESS SHOULD NOT GOVERN CIVIL COMMITMENT
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the "sexual
predator" case that the Supreme Court will hear next week. That case
involves a man, Michael Crane, who has served his sentence for committing a
sex crime and is now opposing the State of Kansas' attempt to further confine
him civilly, pursuant to a Kansas statute, as a sexual predator. Crane
argues that he cannot be civilly confined under the statute, because
psychiatrists have found that he retains control over his own actions. Colb
discusses the complex intersection of post-John Hinckley insanity defense
statutes, civil commitment traditions, and principles of criminal
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2001
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