September 2017

  • September 28, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Sudha Setty, professor of law and associate dean, Western New England University School of Law. Her book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law, was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

    President Trump’s September 24 proclamation set forth immigration and entry restrictions that revised the restrictions in his January 27 and March 6 executive orders. In doing so, the administration attempted to reset the dispute over the extent of the president’s immigration and national security powers by claiming that the current administration policy was well-reasoned and the result of a lengthy deliberative process. The administration further argued that the new restrictions could not constitute a “Muslim ban” because North Korea and Venezuela, two of the eight nations included in the September 24 proclamation, are not Muslim-majority nations.

  • September 28, 2017
    Guest Post

     

     

    by Nestor M. Davidson, Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law, Fordham Law School
     
     
    Something has gone seriously awry in state-local relations. 
     
  • September 27, 2017
    Guest Post

     

    *This piece originally appeared on the EPI blog.

    by Celine McNicholas, Labor Counsel, Economic Policy Institute

    Today, EPI released a new paper by Cornell professor Alexander J.S. Colvin, which shows that more than half of all private sector non-union workers are currently subject to mandatory arbitration agreements—denying them access to the court system to resolve workplace disputes. Colvin also found that 41 percent of employees subject to mandatory arbitration also have waived their right to pursue work-related claims on a collective or class basis. Next week, the Supreme Court will consider whether arbitration agreements that include class and collective action waivers of all work-related claims are prohibited by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Court is scheduled to hear argument in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA (along with two other cases Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris and Epic Systems v. Lewis) on October 2.

    The NLRA guarantees workers the right to stand together for “mutual aid and protection” when seeking to improve their wages and working conditions. Employer interference with this right is prohibited. However, as Colvin’s report shows, employers are increasingly requiring workers to sign arbitration agreements that force them to waive their rights to collective actions and instead handle all workplace disputes as individuals. In practice, that means that even if many workers faced the same type of dispute at work, each individual employee must hire their own lawyer, and must resolve their disputes out of court, behind closed doors, with only their employer and a private arbitrator.

  • September 27, 2017

    by Belinda Macauley, ACS Vice President of Development and Senior Counsel

    Without question, ACS’s work has never been more important than it is today. We believe in the rule of law and that the law should be a force to improve the lives of all people. President Trump and his administration, on the other hand, have shown incredible hostility – and often blatant disregard – toward our Constitution, our system of checks and balances, and our judiciary. ACS is standing up to these assaults by collaborating with coalition partners on policy solutions and mobilizing a progressive legal network on many fronts to fight back. Below are some highlights of our recent efforts.

    Supporting State Attorneys General

    As independent government officials, state attorneys general can mount serious challenges to administrative actions, federal laws, and even their own state’s laws. Given the current political environment and the many issues to be addressed beyond, state AGs are often the only state officials able to protect the interests of their constituents. They are uniquely positioned to confront the challenges posed by the Trump Administration and a Department of Justice that has already begun to abdicate many of its prior roles and responsibilities in protecting critical rights.

  • September 26, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Joshua A. Douglas, law professor, University of Kentucky College of Law

    The Constitution can save us. Yes, the same document that gave us the Electoral College, unfettered presidential pardons, and deadlock in Congress can be our democracy’s savior – but only if we as a society actively embrace it through political participation. That means registering to vote and exercising the franchise.

    September 17 was Constitution Day, a nationwide celebration of our founding document. September 26 is National Voter Registration Day. These two days should cause all Americans to acknowledge the fundamental role that the Constitution and political participation plays to the foundation of our democracy. We all need to double down in our efforts to protect those sacred rights. And it need not require huge efforts or a ton of work: simply reminding your neighbor to register to vote can have a big impact.