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Introduction to American Law. 5 questions on the US legal system.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF LAW & MANAGEMENT SCHOOL OF LAW LAW5HAL Introduction to American Law ESSAY Tutor: Prof. Thomas Lundmark Resources I. Articles 1. The Harvard Law Review, The Constitutional Status of Sexual Orientation: Homosexuality As a Suspect Classification (1985), Vol. 98, No. 6, 1285-1309. 2. American Bar Association, Judicial Selection: The Process of Choosing Judges (2008), American Bar Association, American Judicature Society, June 2008, 1-23. II. Books 1. Thomas Lundmark, Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law (2nd ed, 2008). 2. E. Allan Farnsworth, An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (3rd ed, 1999). 3. Henry Steiner, Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals (3rd ed, 2008). 4. Kermit L. Hall, By and For the People - Constitutional Rights in American History (1st ed, 1991). 5. Peter Butt, Concise Australian Legal Dictionary (3rd ed, 2004). III. Cases 1. United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995). 2. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000). 3. Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005). 4. Brandenburg v . Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). 5. Chaplinsky v. State of New Hampshire, 315 U.S.568 (1942). 6. Lewis v. City of New Orleans, 415 U.S.130 (1974). 7. Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell 485 U.S. 46 (1988). IV. Internet 1. http://www.spiegel.de. 2. http://www.quotationspage.com. 3. http://research.lawyers.com. 4. http://www.abanet.org/judind. 5. http://www.judicialselection.com. 6. http://www.nytimes.com. 7. http://www.wisconsin.gov.com. 8. http://www.voterguide.com. 9. http://www.state.ak.us. V. Other 1. Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, PowerPoint Slides (Winter 2009). Coursework Question 1: In many American states, judges are elected rather than appointed. Please briefly describe the appointment process in one state. Do you agree with state judges being elected in this manner? What might be done to improve the process? - Justice is meant to be impartial - Today all judges in the U.S. are members of the bar. They almost always come to the bench following several years of law practice, whether as private lawyers, prosecutors, or public defenders. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover that this "special class" needs a special protection and has to be classified as a "suspect class" for equal protection. For many years it has been a common theory that obese people tend to have hypertension and therefore have a higher risk to sustain a myocardial infarction compared to "normal people". But according to a survey done by the University of Michigan from 1999 to 2004 many obese people show rather normal blood test results.26 The results seem to depend on things like smoking, the amount of movement, and the age much more then on pure body mass index. So a high body mass is not equivalent to an increased health risk, as long as it is moved adequately. The risk of cardiovascular diseases increase for older people, smokers, and people being inactive concerning sports. Thus all these groups would have to be "special classes" and deserves a special protection as well. In this manner morbid obese people would be not concern to a "suspect class" of equal protection. On the contrary to strict scrutiny and a "suspect class" stands the "Mere Rationality" Test and a "non suspect class". Within the U.S. a "suspect class" can be defined as a group of people recognisable by immutable traits, such as race or national origin for example, who are more likely to be the subject of a history of discrimination. They are therefore entitled to equal protection through judicial scrutiny of any laws that unconstitutionally discriminates against or negatively affects the group.27 There are various levels of protection under the term "suspect class" with numerous groups such as the mentally and psychically disabled and homosexuals only receiving an "intermediate" level of scrutiny. The groups receiving the most protections are racial and religious groups who have the long history of discriminatory laws and face numerous disadvantages. In order to that have morbidly obese people not such a long history of discriminatory laws. ...read more.

Conclusion

6, 1285-1309. 23 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slides 10 (4). 24 There are three levels of review governmental action. Basically one distinction between "rational relations", "intermediate" and "strict scrutiny". 25 Spiegel Online, <http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,571545,00.html> at 08 August 2009. 26 Spiegel Online, <http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,571545,00.html> at 08 August 2009. 27 Lawyers Research, <http://research.lawyers.com/glossary/suspect-class.html> at 09 August 2009. 28 Kermit L. Hall, By and For the People - Constitutional Rights in American History (1st ed, 1991) 43. 29 Henry Steiner, Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals (3rd ed, 2008) 639. 30 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slides 9 (6). 31 For instance, in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) a conviction of a Ku Klux Klan member was overturned because of protected political speech. 32 First, the regulation must serve a significant governmental interest; Second, the regulation must be narrowly tailored; Third, the state must leave open alternative channels for communicating the information. 33 Quotations, Abraham Lincoln <http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Abraham _Lincoln/> at 05 August 2009. 34 For instance, in Chaplinsky v. State of New Hampshire, 315 U.S.568 (1942) were a Jehovah's Witness called a city marshal a "God-damned racketeer" and were arrested and convicted under state law. 35 Lewis v. City of New Orleans, 415 U.S.130 (1974). 36 For instance, in Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell 485 U.S. 46 (1988) were the "Hustler" published a satire about a protestant minister. 37 Quotations, Benjamin Franklin <http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Benjamin_Franklin/> at 05 August 2009. 38 Thomas Lundmark, Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law (2nd ed, 2008) 169. 39 Question 3: 1. 40 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 10 (25). 41 Question 3: 1. 42 Wisconsin, <http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/discrimination_civil_rights/publication_erd_14266_pweb.htm> at 12 August 2009. 43 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 10 (10). 44 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 10 (12). 45 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 9 (3). 46 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 8 (4). 47 Thomas Lundmark, Introduction to American Law - GBL, Slide 8 (11). ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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