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Akron Law Café

The Looming Cable Monopoly

By Lynn Published: January 28, 2011

Cardozo law professor, Susan Crawford, takes a close look at Verizon's decision to pull out of FiOS (fiber optic service) and how this clears the way for cable companies' monopoly of high-speed internet.  The article is online here and PDF here.   

More about this issue here and additional commentary here.

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Akron Law Announces New Criminal Expungement Clinic

By Diana Published: January 27, 2011

Yesterday, Akron Law announced its new clinic program, the Akron Law Criminal Expungement Clinic. Aviva Wilcher, an Akron Law graduate, will direct the program and Professor J. Dean Carro will oversee the program. The Clinic is funded from a $10,000 grant from the City of Akron. Under the direction of Wilcox and Carro, Akron Law students will assist those convicted of nonviolent crimes in having them expunged from their record. Read more about this intiative here, here and here .

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11 Police Officers Shot in 24 Hours: Are You Sure Guns Shouldn't Be Regulated?

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 26, 2011

Do you feel safer knowing that more and more Americans are arming themselves with more and more firepower?  The police don't.

Tamara Lush and Mitch Stacy of the Associated Press filed this report, Fla. officer deaths cap deadly 24 hours for police:

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Separate Schools: The Copley Township Case

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 25, 2011

Ed Meyer of the Beacon-Journal reported last Wednesday about an Akron woman who was convicted of a crime for having misrepresented where her children lived so that they could attend a public school in another district.  In this post I will describe some of the constitutional law aspects of this case and propose a solution.

Meyer's article, Mom jailed for records falsification: Akron teacher's aide who sent girls to Copley also loses chance at license, describes how a Summit County jury found the woman guilty of records falsification for listing the children as living at her father's address in Copley instead with her in Akron.  She did this so that the children could attend a better public school than the one in her district.

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Terrorism, Protests, and Democracy

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 25, 2011

There are so many stories at the moment involving terrorism, protests, and a yearning for democracy.

The terrible bombing at Domodedova Airport that killed 35 in Moscow has elicited a threat of "retribution" from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  Although Chechen rebels are suspected of responsibility for the blast, no-one has claimed responsibility.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement condemning the "terrorist attack."

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New Guest Blogger Coming to Business Law Prof Blog

By Stefan Published: January 23, 2011

Prof. C. Steven Bradford, Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law, will be guest-blogging at the BLPB for the next month.  You can find some additional info on Prof. Bradford here.

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Batting .500

By Stefan Published: January 22, 2011

My week: One new published article and one bad prediction.  Details here.

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By Wilson Huhn Published: January 19, 2011

     My son and I had lunch yesterday, and a word came up.

     After class yesterday I met my oldest son at a restaurant near his apartment house - I drove, he walked.  We each ordered our favorites at the counter; flatbread pizza for him, blackened chicken for me.  We sat on a small balcony over the main floor.  Three young men, about 16 years old, were sitting at our favorite table in front of the tv, so Jess and I sat at the table next to them.  There was no-one else on the balcony.

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Revell v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 18, 2011

     The Supreme Court today refused to hear the appeal of an "accidental traveller" who was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a firearm.

     Gregg Revell's 1983 action against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey came to an end today when the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal from a decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing his case.

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Supreme Court Refuses Appeal in D.C. Same-Sex Marriage Case

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 18, 2011

     Earlier today the Supreme Court turned down an appeal by persons seeking overturn the District of Columbia laws recognizing same-sex marriage.

     Here is the AP report of the Supreme Court's decision not to hear this case, as published at Yahoo News, and here is Gabriel Arana's take on Supreme Court's action at The American Prospect.

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Martin Luther King "I have a dream" Speech

By Stefan Published: January 17, 2011

Click on the post title to get to the video.

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Stasis and Change, Myth and Reality, Belief and Faith

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 17, 2011

     Let me begin by confessing that I am a stargazer. 

     I love the fact that the stars appear every night.  Okay, not here in Cleveland, the land of seasonal affective disorder, but nevertheless they are there above the clouds, marching up over the horizon in the same order, in the same relation to each other, the same brightness, the same colors, burning brightly.  They are there during the day as well, constantly shining; we cannot see them because we are blinded by the sun - okay, not here in Cleveland - but they are there, apparently forever.

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Upcoming Conference on Dodd-Frank

By Stefan Published: January 15, 2011

The Chapman University School of Law is hosting and I'll be presenting.  You can find more info here.

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BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Report

By Lynn Published: January 14, 2011

The National Commission of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill released its final report this week.  The report explores the causes and consequences of the BP disaster and in a separate document, lists recommendations for decision makers.  The full report in PDF is available here and the recommendations report is here.

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More Thoughts on the Arizona Shootings: GOP Official Steps Down Because of Threats

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 14, 2011

     Many of you think I went overboard in my reaction to the shooting of Representative Gibbons and the murders of several others.  You do not see any connection between those events and the nature of political discourse or gun control.  You consider these acts to be isolated events, the responsibility of a single individual.  But consider these developments:

     Edythe Jensen of AZCentral in an article entitled Gabrielle Giffords' Arizona Shooting Prompts Resignations reports that Anthony Miller, an African-American Republican  leader in Arizona, has stepped down because of threats:

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Demogoguery 101

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 14, 2011

To be effective, demogogues need follow only a few basic rules. 

1.  Distinguish your opponents.  You must break the bonds that tie you together - the common ground of humanity, citizenship, community, and even family must be broken so that the seeds of hatred can be planted.  It is necessary to identify how your opponents are fundamentally different from the group to which you make your appeal.  Many different distinctions can be drawn:

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"Angels" Plan to Respond to the Westboro Church Protesters

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 12, 2011

     According to this report from CNN, the Westboro Church intends to protest the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the recent Arizona shootings.  Nearly all Americans are united in their reaction to the Westboro Church. 

     Nearly everybody is cheered by the plans of people such as Chelsea Cohen, Christin Gilmer, and other Tuscon residents to wear 8 by 10 foot "angel wings" to spare the Green family from the anti-gay and anti-Catholic venom spewing from this small fundamentalist sect.  Arizona politicians are also universal in their reaction to the planned protest.  According to CNN, Democratic and Republican officials are calling for residents to form a barricade along the streets, and the Arizona legislature swiftly enacted a bill prohibiting protests within 300 feet of a funeral.   This is an issue that unites nearly all Americans; regardless of ideology or political party, the Westboro group arouses our indignation, and we are encouraged by the thought that Green family will not only be spared the sight of the protesters, but also that they will know how many people are grieving with them.

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Escape to Warm Weather and Earn CLE Credit

By Diana Published: January 10, 2011

The Akron Law Winter Institute, which will be held Feb. 9 - 12 in Naples, Fla.,  will offer twelve hours of CLE credit, as well as a beachfront dinner, a golf-outing, tennis, sight-seeing and more. View the complete program here and registration details here. Early bird registration discount is available until Jan. 12.

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Some Questions for My Conservative Friends in the Wake of the Arizona Shootings

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 9, 2011

I invite you to respond.

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Stunned Nation Questions Role of Political Vitriol in Arizona Shooting

By Stefan Published: January 8, 2011

Some links and a relevant quote here.

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Health Care Financing Reform (122): Efforts to Repeal the PPACA

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 7, 2011

     According to Max Fisher of the AtlanticWire in his article Can Democrats Defend Health Care From Repeal Campaign?, on January 12, the House will vote on whether to repeal the PPACA.  Will this law be repealed?

     No, it will not be repealed.

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Balancing the Budget (2): Appointment of William Daley as White House Chief of Staff

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 7, 2011

     Many pundits have observed that President Obama's appointment of William Daley as his new Chief of Staff signals a move to the center.  (See, for example, Max Fisher at The AtlanticWire, What Staff Changes Reveal About White House Policy and Political Aims.)  This may be particularly important with respect the administration's plans to reduce the deficit.

     Ben Feller (AP) filed the article Obama chooses William Daley for Chief of Staff.  Feller reports that Daley served on the board of Third Way, a centrist group:

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The Mount Soledad Cross Case

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 6, 2011

     There is a huge cross - 29 feet tall and weighing 24 tons - on federal land at Mount Soledad in San Diego, California.  Two days ago the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the existence of this cross on government land constitutes a violation of the Establishment Clause.

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Is the Nexus-of-Contracts Theory of the Corporation Unraveling?

By Stefan Published: January 6, 2011

You'll find a relevant abstract and link here.

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Arizona Preparing to Challenge U.S. Citizenship of Children of Undocumented Aliens

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 5, 2011

     The State of Arizona is at it again!  Lawmakers there are planning to challenge the citizenship of persons born in the United States whose parents are here illegally.  There are two problems with this.  First, for over 130 years the courts have said that the United States Constitution makes these people citizens.  Second, Arizona has no power whatsoever to define who is and who is not a citizen of the United States.

     Jeremy Duda of Arizona Capitol Times filed an article Date set for unveiling of birthright citizenship bill in which he reports that Arizona lawmakers intend to propose a law that will force the Supreme Court to consider whether children born to "illegal aliens" are really citizens of the United States.  Duda states:

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Free the Seven Samurai

By Brant Published: January 3, 2011

Here's a compilation of copyright-protected works that would have entered the public domain this year if not for the 1978 amendments to the Copyright Act that extended the copyright term. It includes the classic Kurasawa movie "The Seven Samurai." That means there are no free copies posted on the internet (legally), and a new DVD is priced at $49.95, although of course you can get cheaper copies used or on Amazon. That's as opposed to "It's a Wonderful Life," which on the one hand is available cheaper and on the internet, and on the other hand was colorized against the Director's wishes. Paradoxically (or predictably, if you follow these arguments more closely), "It's a Wonderful Life" is far better known partly because, due to a clerical error, it was thought to be entirely in the public domain and was therefore aired repeatedly on television during the 1970's and 80's. The really cheap used VHS copies for sale online are presumably those that were mass-produced during that period.

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Balancing the Budget (1): Bipartisan Efforts

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 3, 2011

     There are a number of serious challenges facing the American people, including climate change, unlawful immigration, and budget deficits.  This year, in addition to writing about constitutional issues, I will attempt to provide information about these problems and legislative proposals for solving them.  The first topic I will address is the federal budget.

     On December 23, 2010, Michael O'Brien of The Hill posted an article entitled Obama will start the new year with a focus on the federal budget and deficit, in which he reported that the principal subject that President Obama will discuss in his State of the Union Address will be the federal deficit and the national debt.

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Work-Life Balance: House Music for Those New Year's Resolutions

By Stefan Published: January 2, 2011

I've posted a couple of links to some great House music podcasts here.

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Ezra Klein's Gaffe: Belittling the Constititution by Considering Only the Text

By Wilson Huhn Published: January 1, 2011

     Ezra Klein, a columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, put his foot in it on national television two days ago when he said that the Constitution was "written more than 100 years ago" and "confusing," implying that it is irrelevant to today's society.  Breaking news, Ezra: the Constitution is the foundation for all of American law, and its meaning extends far beyond the words in the document.

     Klein made these remarks in an interview with Norah O'Donnell:

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