AUTONOMY FEMINISM: AN ANTI-ESSENTIALIST CRITIQUE OF MANDATORY INTERVENTIONS IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
In the 1970s and 80s, feminists led the way in crafting and advocating for laws and policies to address domestic violence in the United States—and those feminists got it wrong. Desperate to find some way to force police to treat assaults against spouses as they would strangers, the battered women’s movement seized on the idea of mandatory arrest—relieving police of discretion and requiring them to make arrests whenever probable cause existed. But mandatory arrest also removed discretion from the women that the policy purported to serve—a trend that has come to characterize domestic violence law and policy. Later policy choices, like no-drop prosecution and bans on mediating in domestic violence cases, are similarly marked by their denial of decisionmaking to women who have been battered. Domestic violence law and policy prioritizes the goals of policymakers and battered women’s advocates—safety and batterer accountability—over the goals of individual women looking for a way to address the violence in their relationships. The shift of decisionmaking authority has profoundly negative implications for the autonomy of women who have been battered and reflects the influence of dominance feminism on the battered women’s movement. This Article argues that the time has come to shift the lens through which we view domestic violence law and policy from dominance feminism to anti-essentialist feminism, allowing us to see how problematic mandatory policies are and helping us to craft domestic violence law and policy that honors the goals and priorities of women who have been battered.
THE LAW CLERK PROXY WARS: SECRECY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND IDEOLOGY IN THE SUPREME COURT
Former Supreme Court law clerks are familiar with the moment that someone learns of their experience clerking on the Court. “Really? What did you do in that job? What are the Justices like? Is it true that . . . ?” And so it goes—a litany of fascinated questions about the Justices and the working of the Court. Interestingly, the questions from lawyers and non-lawyers are surprisingly similar and all bespeak an intense curiosity about the Court and the Justices. By talking to someone who was “there,” people hope they can come to better understand the institution.
OFFSETTING RISKS IN TORT LAW: THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES
According to prevailing tort law, a wrongdoer who can choose one of two courses of action, each having its own risks, and chooses negligently the riskier course of action, i.e., the one that has more expected harm, is held liable for the whole damage he caused to the injured party if the harm materializes. Prevailing tort law considers, therefore, only the harm that actually materialized and does not consider that there was also a risk of causing harm in the alternative that was not chosen, even if a lower one. That being the case, prevailing law examines only what happened in practice and ignores what would have happened if the injured party had been exposed, with certain probability, to other risks, even if lower, had the reduced-risk course of action been chosen.
WE COUNT TOO! ENDING THE DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY VOTERS
Terin M. Barbas
The Voting Rights Act fails to protect the voting rights of nearly five million American citizens by only providing voting assistance to four language groups, despite the over three hundred different languages spoken in the United States. By not assisting all limited English proficient (LEP) American citizens, the Voting Rights Act disenfranchises whole communities from the voting process. All American citizens should have the opportunity to vote, and Congress should ensure that all citizens can vote effectively.
This Note proposes an amendment to section 208 of the Voting Rights Act that would allow LEP American citizens to bring an assistant of their choice into the voting booth on Election Day. It then explores the shortcomings of the Voting Rights Act and the problems states have encountered when trying to respond to those problems. The proposed amendment would rejuvenate the right to vote in limited English-speaking communities, while halting discriminatory voting practices that target limited English-speaking voters. While others have proposed remedies to address LEP voter disenfranchisement, this Article is the first legislative solution that would increase voter participation nationwide, increase minority representation, facilitate greater minority assimilation into American society, and decrease election costs.
FLORIDA’S OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
Rachel E. Nordby
Although Florida’s Office of the Solicitor General was established only a decade ago, it has made the most of those ten years. This tenth anniversary benchmark provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the creation, development, and accomplishments of this unique office, which bears responsibility for advocating the interests of Florida and its citizens in a diverse array of appellate cases.
This Article will look back on the first ten years of Florida’s Office of the Solicitor General. Part II will examine the creation of the position and the role of the office. Next, Parts III, IV, and V will look at the tenures of Florida’s first three solicitors general. Then, this Article will propose in Part VI how the role of Florida’s solicitor general could be further developed and expanded. Part VII briefly concludes the Article.