Recent Commentary from Inter Alia

YLPR’s online edition
Evan C. Zoldan
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 10:30am

In its recent Bank Markazi opinion, the Supreme Court of the United States permitted Congress to direct judgment in favor of a particular party in a pending case. This Essay explains why the Court’s failure to invalidate targeted legislation is inconsistent with constitutional history, text, and widely held jurisprudential commitments.

Katherine Shaw
Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 4:30pm

Step into any conversation about campaign finance regulation in 2016, and you’re likely to encounter the view that while the Supreme Court is well on its way to dismantling most of the legal framework that has governed money in elections for nearly forty years, disclosure requirements remain on secure constitutional footing. For many advocates of campaign finance regulation, this is a rare source of comfort in a landscape that is otherwise relentlessly bleak. But it is a decidedly second-best alternative to more robust modes of regulation. I hope in this short piece to strike a cautionary note: to suggest that, for too long, advocates of campaign finance regulation have both taken disclosure for granted and failed to take disclosure sufficiently seriously. This is understandable; until recently, disclosure questions nearly always arose in the context of challenges to other campaign finance regulations, and disclosure has invariably been treated, by both courts and advocates, as something of an afterthought. But in a dramatically shrunken regulatory landscape, there is an increasingly urgent need to develop a stronger and more fully realized set of arguments for the constitutionality of disclosure—not only with an eye to potentially expanding existing disclosure requirements, but also in order to strengthen the constitutional foundations of the existing disclosure regime.

Jennifer A. Heerwig
Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 3:45pm

I suggest in this essay that, at least from a social science perspective, the system of disclosure that currently governs the hard money system falls short of meeting some basic goals of transparency. Before describing how this system currently operates, I first suggest why we should even continue to care about hard money disclosure in an age of dark money, and offer a brief social scientific perspective on the study of money in politics. Having situated disclosure in this context, I then outline the contours of campaign finance disclosure in the federal system for individual contributors. I then suggest a few policy recommendations drawn from my work with Katherine Shaw.

Cara McClellan
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 2:45pm

Recently, some have argued that universities “are in a double bind.” They are required under Title VI to ensure that their campuses do not create a hostile environment for women and minorities. On the other hand, they face liability for violating students’ First Amendment rights if they act to punish students whose speech led to a hostile environment. In this essay, I argue that addressing hostile environment discrimination fits within the school’s authority to restrict speech under its pedagogical responsibility to prevent disruptions. Regardless of whether there is a noisy uproar or the threat of violence, by definition, hostile environment discrimination interferes with the right of students to access the educational program because it creates exclusion. This is a disruption in the most fundamental sense of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, and a university must have the authority to provide redress.

William Jefferson Clinton
Thursday, August 6, 2015 - 9:15am

The following essay by President Clinton appears in Volume 33, Issue 2 of the Yale Law & Policy Review