Democracy and the Fourth Seat: Kagan’s Jurisprudence, Stevens’s Legacy

Introduction On October 22, 2019, Justice Elena Kagan sat down with Professor Suzette Malveaux, director of the Byron White Center for the Study of Constitutional Law, for the Eighth Annual John Paul Stevens Lecture. (Text of the full lecture can be found here.) What made Justice Kagan’s visit to Colorado Law particularly special was the opportunity for her to honor her predecessor on the bench—the namesake of the lecture series—only three months after the country lost him at the age of ninety-nine. In 2011, Justice Continue reading →

Project Protect Food Systems’ Colorado Coronavirus Crisis Essential Food System Worker Policy Response Agenda

PDF: Marks, Knapp, and Civita, Food System Worker Policy Response Agenda PROJECT PROTECT FOOD SYSTEMS: The Colorado Food System Workers Rapid Response Team is composed of immigrants, farmers, scholars, activists, unions, and workers across Colorado working to identify, elevate and address the needs of the people who contribute their labor to all parts of the food system. Federal relief directed toward the agriculture sector prioritized the needs of business owners, but largely ignored the specific vulnerabilities and needs of Food System Workers. Inattention to the plight Continue reading →

Criminal Law in Crisis

PDF: Levin, Criminal Law in Crisis Introduction On April 5, 2020, Michael Tyson, a 53-year old man arrested for a technical parole-violation, became the first reported person on Rikers Island to die from COVID-19.[2] By April 20, over two-thirds of the people incarcerated in Ohio’s Mario Correctional Institution had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and over twenty percent of Ohio’s 12,919 confirmed cases had been traced to the state’s prison system.[3] By April 30, prisons or jails had been identified as the source of eight Continue reading →

An Old View of the Cathedral: Intellectual Property Under the Colorado Uniform Partnership Act

The Colorado Uniform Partnership Act (“CUPA”) contains a subtle shortcoming. CUPA is a default statute that only operates in the absence of a governing agreement between two partners formed at the outset of the partnership. As with most things in this life, partnerships inevitably come to an end. When this happens, a partner is said to have “dissociated” from the partnership. Typically, this is followed by a dissolution of the partnership itself. Rather than terminating at that point, the partnership then goes into what is Continue reading →

Two Legal Mothers: Cementing Parental Rights for Lesbian Parents in Colorado

Two married couples decide to have a child via artificial reproduction. One parent in each couple will carry and give birth to the child. The other parent has no biological relationship with the child. One is an opposite-sex couple. Because they are married, they know that the father will automatically be considered the legal father. But the other couple is a lesbian couple. Leading up to the birth, the lesbian couple seeks out a lawyer and expresses concern regarding the nonbiological parent’s legal status. Because Continue reading →

Drug Conspiracy Sentencing and Social Injustice

The D.C. Circuit in United States v. Stoddard confronted a landmine of criminal and socioeconomic justice issues when it held that mandatory minimum sentences for drug conspiracy offenses should be imposed based on the amount of drugs attributable to the individual defendant (the individualized approach) as opposed to the amount of drugs attributable to the conspiracy as a whole (the conspiracy-wide approach). This decision reflects a nationwide circuit split implicating the courts and lawmakers’ ideological balancing of the issues of justice, liberty, public safety, and Continue reading →

A Short History of the Choice-of-Law Clause

In the field of conflict of laws, private actors are generally granted the power to choose the law to govern their contracts. This is the doctrine of party autonomy. In recent years, this doctrine has been the subject of several excellent histories that draw upon judicial opinions, scholarly writings, and legislative enactments to chronicle changing attitudes toward party autonomy over time. A moment’s reflection, however, reveals that judges, scholars, and legislatures are not the most important actors in this story. The true protagonists are the Continue reading →

Dustbowl Waters: Doctrinal and Legislative Solutions to Save the Ogallala Aquifer before both Time and Water Run Out

Eighty-three years after the Dust Bowl, residents of America’s High Plains face a dire threat: their primary aquifer faces depletion, and entire sections of the country are set to run out of groundwater by the end of the century or sooner. The Ogallala Aquifer provides a significant amount of America’s agricultural irrigation water and is a primary source of drinking water for Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. This Article argues that policymakers should slow the Aquifer’s depletion rate by Continue reading →

Solving the Pro Bono Mismatch

The pro bono interests of law firm lawyers tend to differ from the actual legal needs of the poor. This difference results in the mismatch problem or the incongruence between the interests of firm lawyers and the needs of the poor. Today, the mismatch problem has resulted in law firm lawyers’ increased demand of immigration matters while legal needs are greatest in housing and family law. This leaves nonprofit legal services organizations scrambling to find pro bono representation for poor clients or otherwise relying on Continue reading →

Concepts, not Nomenclature: Universal Injunctions, Declaratory Judgments, Opinions, and Precedent

Introduction The battle lines are drawn on the permissibility and validity of so-called “nationwide” injunctions—injunctions in federal constitutional litigation purporting to halt government enforcement of a challenged law[2] against all possible targets of that law and to protect all rights holders against enforcement, not only the parties to the action. Courts are divided—some granting,[3] with attempts at justification,[4] others rejecting, in practice if not in concept.[5] Justices Thomas and Gorsuch have weighed in against them.[6] Scholars supporting their validity[7] and scholars rejecting them as impermissible[8] Continue reading →