Should the government be able to read your emails?

Short Video on Private Servers and the 4th Amendment in the Information Age featuring Amy Peikoff
Amy Peikoff February 10, 2016

Southwestern Law School’s Visiting Associate Professor Amy Peikoff explains the Third Party Doctrine of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Doctrine. Under the Third Party Doctrine, the government does not need a warrant in order to obtain information entrusted to a third party, such as a bank, cell phone company, or email server. Thus, individuals who utilize their personal server for email may effectively keep their emails private while those using a commercial email server such as gmail do not have the same privacy.

Applying the Rules of Statutory Construction

Short video featuring Carissa Hessick discussing Lockhart v. United States
Carissa Byrne Hessick October 28, 2015

Professor Carissa Hessick of the University of Utah discusses the application of the rules of statutory construction to the case Lockhart v. U.S., in which Lockhart pled guilty to receipt of child pornography.  The trial court enhanced Lockhart’s sentence because of his prior conviction for the sexual assault of an adult woman.  Lockhart objects to the sentencing enhancement, alleging that only prior convictions for crimes involving minors qualify under the relevant statute.  In contrast, the government argues that all prior sex offenses constitute prior convictions for purposes of sentencing enhancement.

When is a law too vague to be Constitutional?

Short video with Ilya Shapiro discussing Johnson v. United States
Ilya Shapiro April 18, 2015

Senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review, Ilya Shapiro explains the confusion concerning what constitutes a violent felony conviction under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act. In this upcoming Supreme Court case, Petitioner Johnson claims the ACCA is unconstitutionally vague while the government asserts that Johnson’s conviction for possession of a short-barreled shotgun satisfies the violent felony requirement of the statute.

Ilya Shapiro is co-counsel on the amicus brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Federal Defenders, Families against Mandatory Minimums and the Cato Institute in support of the Petitioner.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Warger v. Shauers - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 1-13-15 featuring Rachel Paulose
Rachel Kunjummen Paulose January 13, 2015

On December 8, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Warger v. Shauers. The question in this case was whether a party moving for a new trial may rely upon juror testimony regarding statements made during deliberations that suggest juror dishonesty during voir dire (the process by which potential jurors are questioned in order to determine if they are suitable to serve on a particular jury).

Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court, which held that Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) precludes a party seeking a new trial from using one juror’s affidavit of what another juror said in deliberations to demonstrate the other juror’s dishonesty during voir dire. The judgment of the Eighth Circuit was affirmed.

To discuss the case, we have Rachel Paulose, who is a former Senate Confirmed United States Attorney.