Asserting Influence and Power in the 21st Century: The NLRB Focuses on Assisting Non-Union Employees

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
Elizabeth Milito July 29, 2014

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act)2 is a 78-year-old law that outlines employees’ rights to unionize and bargain collectively in private sector workplaces. Pursuant to the NLRA, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board)3 is an independent federal agency charged with conducting union elections and investigating and remedying unfair labor practices. Although the Act governs private sector employers and employees, most non-unionized employers have little appreciation for the breadth of the NLRA and the Board’s jurisdiction....[Read More!]

Ninth Circuit Upholds Professor’s First Amendment Claim in Demers v. Austin

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
Arthur Willner July 29, 2014

The decades-long debate over whether the First Amendment protects government-employed academics whose comments fail the “political correctness” test will ultimately be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, but until then, free speech advocates in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit can take heart from a recent decision that upholds the rights of public employee professors to speak freely on matters of public interest...[Read More!]

An Originalist Future

Engage Volume 15, Issue 1
John O. McGinnis, Michael B. Rappaport July 29, 2014

Orginalism is enjoying a comeback in constitutional law.  The idea that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the meaning that was fixed at the time it was enacted was commonplace in the early republic. For instance, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, wrote: “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation.  In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution.  And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable . . . exercise of its powers.”  Orginalism continued to be dominant until the New Deal...[Read More!]

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!]