BEHIND THE LOCKED DOOR OF AN AMERICAN GRAND JURY: ITS HISTORY, ITS SECRECY, AND ITS PROCESS
The purpose of our Constitution is to create a government that protects people from each other. The purpose of our Bill of Rights is to protect each of us from our government. Fundamental in any ordered system of government is an understanding that the people have the right to be free from crime. But, even more important, the people have a right to be free from a government that takes life, liberty, and property without due process of law.
PREACHING TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOIR: THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE, RACHEL BAUCHMAN, AND THE SEARCH FOR THE ELUSIVE BRIGHT LINE
Julian R. Kossow
The U.S. Supreme Court has a long tradition of protecting religious freedom in this country. Yet for those who are most anxious about the separation of church and state, a dark specter has begun to haunt America. Religious freedom and the First Amendment principles that helped make this country great are being threatened. A hue and cry has arisen. The religious right has repeatedly expressed its desire to make America a “Christian nation.” A majority of American citizens now want to return prayer to public schools.
FRED RODELL’S CASE AGAINST THE LAW
The society of lawyers is doing quite well, thank you, what with a great many of this country’s 900,000 lawyers paying their country club dues out of petty cash. Yet, for these proud toilers in the billable-hours trade—one attorney at law for every 300 Americans—and for the 50,000 new attorneys entering the legal profession annually, there’s a lining not so silvery. Anti-lawyer elements, agitated by the mumbo jumbo that lawyers use to lord it over the common herd, are raising lawyer-bashing to record heights. Bombarded by these negative reviews, a nervous lawyer is surely tempted of late to do a Richard Nixon and announce: “I am not a shyster.”
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY
Four years ago, I examined the crucial duty to appoint federal judges that the Constitution imposes upon the President of the United States. I observed that the Chief Executive nominates and, with the Senate’s advice and consent, appoints these officers who serve for life and resolve controversies that involve Americans’ most essential liberties. Because 1992 was an election year, I assessed the judicial selection record that President George Bush had compiled during his four years in office.
I found that the Bush Administration had named 182 lawyers to the federal bench. Nearly nineteen percent of those appointees were women and five and one-half percent were African-Americans. I observed that President Bush’s judicial selection record surpassed that of President Ronald Reagan and was comparable to the record of President Jimmy Carter. I admonished that there was considerably more to choosing judges than simply counting the percentages of women and minorities named. For instance, some evidence indicated that the Bush Administration’s female and minority appointees had political and philosophical viewpoints and judicial temperaments that closely resembled those of the judges whom they joined on the federal bench.
Now that another presidential election year has commenced, it is important to evaluate the record of choosing judges that President Bill Clinton has compiled. Moreover, the Clinton Administration’s judicial selection record can be profitably compared with the campaign promises regarding judicial selection that Candidate Clinton made when he was running for the presidency and with the records of his predecessors
THE POWER LINE DILEMMA: COMPENSATION FOR DIMINISHED PROPERTY VALUE CAUSED BY FEAR OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS
Andrew James Schutt
Electromagnetic field (EMF) litigation is fast becoming the “asbestos of the 90s” as concern over the potential adverse health effects from EMF has spawned extensive litigation. With claims arising in many forms, especially in the areas of property damage and personal injury, a potential plaintiff has an array of legal theories from which to choose. In fact, EMF litigation could become more common than asbestos litigation because the prevalence of EMF could lead to a higher number of potential plaintiffs.
SUMMARIZING PRIOR WITNESS TESTIMONY: ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE, PEDAGOGICAL DEVICE, OR VIOLATION OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE?
Emilia A. Quesada
According to Federal Rule of Evidence 1006, the only summaries of evidence that may be introduced at trial are those that recapitulate the contents of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs that cannot be conveniently examined in court. Rule 1006, however, does not mention the admissibility of summaries of prior in-court testimony, nor does any other rule of evidence. Further, the notes of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence do not address the admissibility of summary testimony.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS REFORM AND THE DEATH OF THE LOCAL EXCHANGE MONOPOLY
Miles W. Hughes
Telecommunications in the United States is a $700 billion industry that comprises approximately one-sixth of our nation’s economy. A subset of this industry is the $90 billion local telephone exchange market. Until recently, this enormously profitable market operated as a natural monopoly in which a small number of regional telephone companies provided local exchange services within exclusive territories. The federal government and many states such as Florida endorsed this anti-competitive environment. However, recent telecommunications reforms aim to dismantle the local exchange monopoly. With the reforms, Congress and the Florida Legislature hope to create a competitive local exchange market in which hundreds of telecommunications companies provide consumers with a broad array of advanced telecommunications services at reasonable prices. This Comment explores whether the telecommunications reforms will successfully achieve their goal.
FREEING THE LAW: CASE REPORTER COPYRIGHT AND THE UNIVERSAL CITATION SYSTEM
James H. Wyman
The striking and seemingly sudden rise of the Internet has had a dramatic effect upon public access to information. For a minimal monthly fee—or even for no charge—citizens with a computer and a modem are able to instantly browse anything from their Senator’s most recent musings in the Congressional Record to the latest notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. Perhaps nowhere have the ramifications of such readily available information been as intensely debated as they have been in the legal profession. For twenty years, case law has been electronically available to the bench and bar via the WESTLAW and LEXIS computer-assisted legal research services, albeit at a steep price. The prospect of an extensive body of case law archived on the Internet and inexpensive CD-ROMs has engendered a stormy and sometimes cantankerous debate among information activists, law librarians, and legal publishers.