Friday, November 7, 2008

The Teaching Assistant

Hello Fellow Law Profs!  Even in a week like this one, we still have to teach.  So, here are some of the other legal stories you might have missed.

Executive Branch - Despite this week's election, George W. Bush remains President of the United States for the time being.  On the domestic front, as my co-bloggers and I have reported, there is always a chance that a "lame duck" administration will try to pass as many regulations in its final days as possible.  True to that adage, the Bush administration been passing "midnight regulations" at a breakneck pace.  The American Consititution Society has a detailed article listing some of the most relevant regulations passed at this time.   

In the foreign policy arena, ScotusBlog reports that Judge Thomas Hogan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has entered a case management order that will apply to approximately 113 cases filed by Guantanamo Bay detainees.  Click on the link for full analysis and a link to the order.  This should be an interesting supplement to your discussion of Hamdi, Hamdan, and Boumediene.


For some reason, preemption seems to be the hot topic of this term.  Rick Hills of PrawfsBlawg reports that a judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that New York City fuel regulations for taxicabs were preempted by federal standards.  The issue?  New York City regulations would require all cabs licensed by the city to use vehicles with a fuel efficiency standard greater than thirty miles to the gallon.  In a well reasoned opinion, the court rejected each of the city's arguments and found that there was preemption.  The full opinion is here.  

ACS blog also discusses preemption.  A post by Allison Zieve, counsel in last term's Riegel v. Medtronic, provides an astute analysis of this term's preemption cases - Altria v. Good and Wyeth v. Levine.  Her discussion of these cases should be enlightening for you and your students.

Equal Protection/Fundamental Rights

FindLaw has some facts that your students might find interesting as you discuss equal protection:  The FBI reports that while hate crimes were down overall in 2007, the number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation actually increased.  Overall, roughly half of all hate crimes are based on race, followed by religion and sexual orientation.  The FBI statistics can be found here

That's all for this week.  See you next time!


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