Access to Justice

Access to Justice. American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dædalus, Winter 2019.

“Access to Justice” – the first open access issue of Dædalus – features twenty-four essays that examine the national crisis in civil legal services facing poor and low-income Americans: from the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, to the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, to the opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies, professional innovations, and fresh ways of thinking about the crisis. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Where the Public Stands on Key Issues That Could Come before the Supreme Court

Where the public stands on key issues that could come before the Supreme Court. Pew Research Center. John Gramlich. August 30, 2018.

 On October 6, the Senate voted  to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, following a contentious confirmation battle. Kavanaugh will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in July after three decades on the court.

After the Senate’s deliberations over Kavanaugh, here’s a look at where the public stands on some of the major legal, political and social issues that could come before the justices in the years ahead, based on surveys conducted by Pew Research Center. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Congress’s Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein

Congress’s Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Sarah Herman Peck. August 9, 2018

  Article III of the Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. Notably, it empowers federal courts to hear “cases” and “controversies.” The Constitution further creates a federal judiciary with significant independence, providing federal judges with life tenure and prohibiting diminutions of judges’ salaries. But the Framers also granted Congress the power to regulate the federal courts in numerous ways. For instance, Article III authorizes Congress to determine what classes of “cases” and “controversies” inferior courts have jurisdiction to review. Additionally, Article III’s Exceptions Clause grants Congress the power to make “exceptions” and “regulations” to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction. Congress sometimes exercises this power by “stripping” federal courts of jurisdiction to hear a class of cases. Congress has gone so far as to eliminate a court’s jurisdiction to review a particular case in the midst of litigation. More generally, Congress may influence judicial resolutions by amending the substantive law underlying particular litigation of interest to the legislature.

 [PDF format, 26 pages].

Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee

Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Barry J. McMillion. June 27, 2018

 The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest appellate court in the federal judiciary. Appointments are usually infrequent, as a vacancy on the nine-member Court may occur only once or twice, or never at all, during a particular President’s years in office. Under the Constitution, Justices on the Supreme Court receive what can amount to lifetime appointments which, by constitutional design, helps ensure the Court’s independence from the President and Congress.

 [PDF format, 27 pages].

Intellectual Property and the International Trade Commission: An Examination of the Role of the ITC in Protecting IP Rights

Intellectual Property and the International Trade Commission: An Examination of the Role of the ITC in Protecting IP Rights. Center for Strategic & International Studies. William Alan Reinsch, Jonathan Robison, Andrew Lepczyk. June 22, 2018

 Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 has been a powerful tool for protecting U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights and the U.S. market from unfair competition for nearly 100 years. The statute empowers the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban imports of goods that inappropriately use U.S. intellectual property. Since it was last amended in 1988, however, new issues have emerged with the law and the Commission’s role in enforcing its provisions. As the economy modernizes and intellectual property enters the digital realm, we examine the ITC and its role in enforcing IP rights and suggest possible ways the ITC can modernize its operations to better confront the challenges of the twenty-first century. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 36 pages].

Alternative Forms of Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors

Alternative Forms of Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors. Urban Institute. Lilly Yu et al. March 21, 2018.

  Human trafficking survivors do not typically find the traditional criminal justice system’s punitive outcomes for traffickers to match their views of justice, favoring alternative approaches. Drawing from qualitative interviews with 80 survivors of sex and labor trafficking, this brief documents survivors’ experiences with and perceptions of alternative practices, including procedural, restorative, and transitional justice. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages].

Money for Something: Music Licensing in the 21st Century

Money for Something: Music Licensing in the 21st Century. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Dana A. Scherer. April 6, 2018

 Songwriters and recording artists are legally permitted to get paid for (1) reproductions and public performances of the notes and lyrics they create (the musical works), as well as (2) reproductions, distributions, and certain digital performances of the recorded sound of their voices combined with instruments (the sound recordings). The amount they get paid, as well as their control over their music, depends on market forces, contracts among a variety of private-sector entities, and laws governing copyright and competition policy. 

Congress first enacted laws governing music licensing in 1909, when music was primarily distributed through physical media such as sheet music and phonograph records. At the time, some Members of Congress expressed concerns that absent a statutory requirement to make musical works widely available, licensees could use exclusive access to musical works to thwart competition. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) expressed similar concerns in the 1940s, when it entered into consent decrees requiring music publishers to license music to radio broadcast stations.

 [PDF format, 32 pages].