Law Quarterly

Lethal Expression: Free Speech and Encouraging Suicide

Sep
27

The American political experiment was designed to promote free expression and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”– going so far as to etch these ideas into its founding documents. While scarcely anyone objects to the core of these principles, disagreement looms at the edges. When these values appear to collide, which prevails? Are acts of free expression–exercises in liberty–that appear to incentivize, encourage or valorize the termination of one’s life and the discontinuation of one’s pursuit of happiness afforded constitutional protection? (more…)

Mens Rea Reform and the Modern Regulatory State

Sep
27

During the spring of 2016, prior to the election of Donald Trump, Congress, without much fanfare, drafted and considered legislation for comprehensive criminal justice reform. This reform was primarily aimed at reducing mandatory minimum sentencing. However, many congressional Republicans, such as Congressmen Orrin Hatch and Jim Sensenbrenner, supported adding mens rea reform to the comprehensive criminal justice legislation. The subsequent dispute over the mens rea addendum fell mostly along partisan lines and ultimately derailed the entire legislative effort. (more…)