AWA Meets SCOTUS

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Public4 Comments on AWA Meets SCOTUS

This week the Supreme Court heard oral argument for a case very similar to the issue Appellate Writing & Advocacy students from last semester argued in briefs and before coaches, roommates, professors – anyone that would care to listen. Though the audio has yet to be released, I was eager to review the transcript released on Wednesday. Navarette v. California asks whether police can (and if so, under what circumstances) initiate an investigatory stop of a vehicle pursuant to a sparse anonymous tip. The case is different than most situations regarding anonymous tips for a variety of reasons, but most relevant is the nature and seriousness of the danger of drunk driving. It’s hard to separate the arguments I advanced as a student in Professor Greipp’s AWA course, but luckily, many of my and my fellow classmates’ arguments were voiced on Tuesday in the great hall. Continue reading “AWA Meets SCOTUS”

Restorative Justice is for Libertarians

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I remember joking with former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and leader of the Restorative Justice program at Marquette that I was taking her class on RJ because my wife made me. Liz wanted to know more about RJ, even if it was through me. I took the course begrudgingly, and to my surprise it quickly became a passion of mine here at Marquette.

Restorative Justice has a lot of appeal. Incredible outcomes for prisoners and victim participants that will renew your faith in the criminal justice system and in humanity. I, on the other hand, was drawn in because I am libertarian, and so is Restorative Justice. Continue reading “Restorative Justice is for Libertarians”

Harmonizing with the Cold and the People Close to Us

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Though many people bemoan cold weather, I want to share my adoration for freezing temperatures and crystalline precipitation. After living in Wisconsin and warmer places such as Texas and Hawai’i, I’ve come to one conclusion: I love Wisconsin winters.

In America, we complain about cold without debate; it’s disliked nearly universally. We separate into our homes and don’t like to venture out unless we must. We rush through our routines, and often pass up opportunities to socialize or participate in activity due to the temps. Business at restaurants and bars slows considerably. Some of us become serious complainers (somehow despising where we live while being free to leave).

This isn’t true everywhere. In Denmark, winter is a very special time with significance and meaning for Danes. The Danish have a word that doesn’t have a direct translation into English: “hygge” (pronounced HYU-gah), relates to words like “togetherness,” “coziness,” and “well-being.” The best attempt to define hygge describes it thusly: “an intentional chilling out of the spirit as a way to harmonize with – not combat or stave off – the darkness of winter, and an intentional meditative time created out of the much-maligned but potentially fruitful malady we desperately call cabin fever.” Hygge can also be used as a noun (“hyggeligt”). Our homes, restaurants and bars, even couches or blankets can be hyggeligts, depending on how we use them.  Continue reading “Harmonizing with the Cold and the People Close to Us”

Beyond the Cold, a Forecast for Legal Issues in 2014

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Welcome to the New Year, fellow Marquette Law students and faculty! I am pleased and proud to be writing to you as the student blogger of the month for January. I’ll hopefully contribute something useful to you all over these 31 days and nights as we venture into the great unknown that is 2014.

It seems apt to talk about the years ahead and behind as we mark the beginning of the former and the closing of the latter. For 2014, the economy appears to be finally heating up, and 2014 looks to be more like a Ferrari than a Fiat, and that is something to celebrate. There are exciting issues heading to or being considered by the Supreme Court, including recess appointments, contraceptive mandates for religious non-profits, and gun rights. Even the Circuit Courts are getting a lot of attention as we see splits forming in the handling of bulk collection of phone call data by the NSA. Congress actually closed out 2013 in the spirit of cooperation by passing a budget sans major tantrums on the Senate floor. I’ll be graduating this calendar year, marking the end of my formal education, and my cell phone contract is up, so there’s that. I wish us all luck and success in the coming year as students look for summer placements and graduating 3L’s look for permanent positions.  Continue reading “Beyond the Cold, a Forecast for Legal Issues in 2014”