Chaidez v. United States and the Non-Retroactivity of New Rules in Criminal Law

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
Mike Hurst July 28, 2014

In Chaidez v. United States, the United States Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether its prior holding in Padilla v. Kentucky—that the Sixth Amendment requires an attorney for a criminal defendant to provide advice about the risk of deportation arising from a guilty plea—should apply retroactively, such that a person whose conviction became final before the Court decided Padilla could benefit from that decision....[Read Now!]

The Social Cost of Carbon

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
Susan E. Dudley, Brian Mannix July 24, 2014

In May 2013, the White House released a revised Technical Support Document (TSD) with a new estimate of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), to be used by various agencies when evaluating the benefits of emissions regulations, energy efficiency standards, renewable fuel mandates, technology subsidies, and other policies intended to mitigate global warming.  Federal agencies immediately began using the revised SCC to make regulatory decisions, prompting objections from the public and requests for an opportunity to comment on the SCC and the underlying models and analyses....[Read More!]

History and Recent Developments in Same-Sex Marriage Litigation

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
Austin R. Nimocks July 23, 2014

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive national survey of recent cases regarding same-sex marriage laws. The cases span over half the states and are being litigated in both federal and state courts. We hope this paper serves as a useful reference and guide to any questions you may have about the legal landscape of same-sex marriage....[Read Now!]

Redressing Politicized Spending

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1 February 2014
Daniel Z. Epstein March 25, 2014

White HouseFor the most part, Congress has failed to cabin agency discretionary funding powers. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued guidelines for agency spending, but these merely encourage a system of merit-based discretionary decision making.  And, unless backed by legislative teeth, these guidelines have proven ineffective as a check against politicized spending. However, judicial remedies are available for persons injured when political or other biases infect federal agency discretionary spending; these remedies would ensure fairness and remedy the harms associated with overbroad agency power. Therefore, this article reviews both statutory and constitutional remedies and suggests approaches claimants can take to obtain judicial review and thereby increase agency accountability for discretionary spending decisions. Part I analyzes the rise of politicized discretionary spending. Part II examines the current standards of review for discretionary agency decisions, including the Administrative Procedure Act, the Tucker Act, implied contractual duties, and suggested improvements to redressability. Part III discusses constitutional theories for challenging politicized decision making, including Bivens claims and procedural due process theories. This article concludes that congressional action clarifying that persons injured by politicized agency discretionary spending have standing would be useful to help check agency overreach....[Read More!]