A central concern for any U.S. presidential administration is its relationship with the federal judiciary. For an administration, this relationship is potentially legacy making or breaking in two ways. First, what is the imprint that the administration leaves on the judiciary? Will a president have the opportunities and institutional capacity to change the political balance of the federal judiciary? Second, how will the judicial branch respond when the administration’s policy plans are, as many inevitably will be, challenged in the court system? Will the administration’s policy preferences be preserved and its agenda advanced, or will court decisions stymie important initiatives and restrict that agenda? This paper examines these questions with regard to the Obama administration’s record. The Obama era saw new levels of diversity in terms of judicial nominees and the courts did sometimes uphold key aspects of the Obama administration’s program to the chagrin of conservative opponents. Yet, with the benefit of two years hindsight, the evidence suggests that the Obama administration’s legacy with regard to both the central questions addressed in the paper was a diminished one. The administration’s capacity to reorient the federal bench was thwarted by the legislative branch, notably obstruction in Senate, with the consequences of that frustration highlighted by the rapid actions taken by the Trump administration and Senate Republicans in 2017-18. Furthermore, on balance, the decisions made by the federal judiciary on matters of significant concern to the Obama White House weakened rather than strengthened the administration’s legacy.
This article examines the relationship between Politics and Law in U.S. Supreme Court decision-making. It argues that three major developments in recent decades have combined to undermine the Court’s status as a legal and judicial institution, and instead define it as political actor, motivated by ideology and the personal policy predilections of the Court’s Justices. The first of these elements is the increasingly political and partisan nature of the Supreme Court appointment process, as witnessed by the recent Gorsuch and Kavanaugh nominations. The behaviour of the President and Senators in these controversial appointments conclusively demonstrates that the country’s leading politicians view the Court as primarily a political body rather than a legal one. The second element of the assault on the Court’s status as a judicial institution is the rise in influence of the behaviouralist school of Supreme Court analysis. Beginning with the work of academics such as Glendon Schubert, the behaviouralists employed new methods and theories in an attempt to debunk the Legal Model of Supreme Court decision-making and to replace it with what is known today as the Attitudinal Model. It forcibly argues that Supreme Court Justices are political in intent and decision, with legal language and arguments being no more than judicial camouflage to disguise their true nature. This applies equally to both conservative and liberal justices. The article identifies the third element of the assault on the status of the Court as a legal institution as coming from Originalist scholars, activists and judges who accuse liberal Justices of having abandoned traditional interpretive methods in favour of redefining the language of the Constitution to suit their progressive political agenda. Originalists acknowledge that their own interpretive methods may lead to results deemed unacceptable to contemporary Americans, but argue that it the duty of the political branches of government, not the courts, to modernise policy and practice. This article concludes that while Originalism has genuine appeal as a theory of interpretation, it is nevertheless both impractical and undesirable. Moreover, rather than returning the Court to the Legal Model, the Originalist campaign has only served to persuade many that the Attitudinal Model is an accurate one. However, the article also argues that the break with Originalism by the Warren Court over segregation has developed into a wholesale change in the Court’s role in American government, one that ill-becomes the unelected judiciary in a representative democracy. It is argued here that the best way to restore the legal and judicial identity of the Court would be a return to the emphasis on ‘judicial role’, once championed by great jurists such as Learned Hand, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis and John Harlan II. Judicial modesty and restraint would distinguish the Court from the political branches of American government. The Court should decide less and only where the case for a decision of unconstitutionality is very clear and very compelling.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), established in 1863, is the United States’ leading science and technology think-tank, with an active commitment to advising government. Over the last 150 years, the NAS has, both independently and in conjunction with the federal government, investigated and reported on various issues of importance, ranging from space exploration and biosecurity, to STEM education and immigration. Due to growing concerns about particular disciplines (and specifically their application in legal proceedings), one issue the NAS has reported on between 1992 and 2009 is forensic science. Specifically, the NAS has published six reports commenting on the status of forensic science evidence in the USA, namely DNA Technology in Forensic Science (1992), The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence (1996), The Polygraph and Lie Detection (2003), Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence (2004), Ballistic Imaging (2008), and Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (2009). The response of stakeholders (including from political, legal, and academic spheres) to these reports has varied, ranging from shifts in practice and full acknowledgement, to considerable struggles to effectuate systemic reform. Using the different experiences of two reports – Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence (2004) and Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (2009) – as a vehicle, this article suggests how the NAS can strengthen the impact of its forensic science reporting, and how stakeholders can better harness the expertise of the NAS.
Magdalena Flatscher-Thöni, Andrea M. Leiter and Hannes Winner
This paper assesses the widely held belief that damages for pain and suffering are random or arbitrary. In detail, we investigate whether damages for pain and suffering are systematically affected by individual-, injury- and procedural-specific characteristics and how important these factors are relative to each other. To uncover the predictability of these awards, we rely on a sample of German damages for pain and suffering awards including 2.244 verdicts. By estimating a standard regression model we observe that final awards are systematically influenced by the injury’s conditions, by the court level the case is brought in and by the engagement of a lawyer. Our findings let us conclude that damages for pain and suffering and the respective assessment process within the German judicial system are largely reasonable and transparent rather than random.
The 1992 constitution of Ghana and other national legislative instruments guarantee and promote free compulsory universal basic education for all Ghanaian children irrespective of their background. This has been the practice for many years. Even though these policies have chalked some successes, especially regarding school attendance and gender parity, there still remains some level of uncertainty as to whether all Ghanaian children, especially those with disabilities, benefit from these policies. Using secondary information available, the paper provides an overview of the existing legislative instruments that seek to promote the adoption of inclusive education policy in Ghana. Evidence from the literature reveals that there are restrictions within the current policy provisions which make inclusive education not possible for children living with disabilities. The paper concludes and recommends that there should be some modifications or new developments of inclusive education to enable the system to accommodate the diverse educational needs of children with disabilities.
This paper aims to establish a degree of existence of Hayek’s idea of governmental assembly in the Centre of Government (CoG), which is not only the technical, administrative support for the Prime Minister but has also a regulatory-coordinative, policy role. This paper’s focus is on CoG that is along with the classical tasks of the Prime Minister’s cabinet dedicated to systemic performance. Having this in mind a request was sent by the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia to other parliaments of the EU member states and Switzerland through the ECPRD net to gain information on the effectiveness of national CoGs and/or Prime Minister’s cabinets vis-à-vis their systemic arrangement. Results show the presence of effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and ethics of legislation in countries, but they are not systemic in the eyes of system theory. Countries need to strengthen the inter-agency collaboration, systemic assessment of the effectiveness of general decisions in the real-time dimension, they need to check the relevancy of agency’s reasons for a draft bill, there could be some performance indicators and possibilities to measure citizen satisfaction.
Ownership of the media was vested with the government, especially in the areas of issuance of licenses and renewal of such licenses, among others, through the National Broadcasting Commission empowered to carry out such salient responsibility. The empowerment of NBC through the enabling Decree in 1992 saw the emergence of private broadcast stations in Nigeria. But years after the deregulation of the broadcast media in Nigeria, the private broadcast stations and ownership are still bedeviled with some challenges, which If not well addressed, will leave them at cross roads; but if addressed properly, the sky would be too small to be their limit. To realize these, the study examined the challenges and prospects of private broadcast media using Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Rhythm 93.7fm as case studies. The survey method was used to expose the challenges faced by these stations and their prospects. In course of the study, the following findings, interalia, were discovered: that the private broadcast outfits are faced with challenges arising from poor facilities, government regulation and legislations, expensive equipment, welfare and debts. However, the study discovered that progress could be made if enabling environment would be created for them to strive.
Leopold Skoruša, Ondřej Horák, Radim Vičar and Tomáš Zbořil
The contribution will be devoted to the comparison of damages for non-proprietary loss in public and private sphere. The regulation of service relationship will be analysed in public area, in private area the legal regulation of health injuries in labour law. The aim of the contribution will be a critical analysis of the current state of legal regulation and the proposal de lege ferenda (approximation with labour law). The addressed question is of a fundamental importance for the area of public finances, the functioning of the public area and the enforcement of the rule of law. The historical-comparative method will be used. Particular attention will be paid to the transfer of damages for personal injury to the heir – while in service relationship, such claims terminate (not transferred to the heir), which was taken from the 1960s legislation. They do not terminate after the death in current private law, if recognized or at least claimed in court. Originally, the regulation of damages in public and private law was comparable; however, after the modernization of the private law (2012/14), the protection of persons in service and their relatives becomes weaker, even though it has traditionally been contrary to it in most institutes. Different legal regulations in labour and service law are baseless in the case of damages. The authors propose to modernize the relevant laws, to bring them closer to the Labour Code, both in the possibility of a reasonable increase in damages and in the transfer of damages for pain and diminished social function to the heir.
The objectives of this research were to create the trial and develop the creation of Executive Function-EF Model. The research consisted of 3 procedures, which were 1) The formation of sample, which was teachers and parents from the school under Suan Dusit University’s Network; 2) The trial of sample, which was children between 3-5 years old from 6 schools under Suan Dusit University’s Network; and 3) The development of key informants, which were the Executive Function-EF Model specialists in terms of measurement and evaluation and early childhood education, including the representatives of teacher, administrator, and parents from the school under Suan Dusit University’s Network. The content analysis was used in the qualitative data analysis. The average, standard deviation, and dependent t-test were used in the quantitative data analysis. The research results found that 1. The creation of Executive Function-EF Model consisted of 4 components, which were principle, objective, learning process, and evaluation; 2. The trial result of the creation of Executive Function-EF Model was that the development of creation of Executive Function-EF Model of preschool children in the overall image and each aspect after using the model was higher than before using the model with the statistically significance level of .001 and 3. The result of the development of creation of Executive Function-EF Model was that the creation of Executive Function-EF Model that was developed was suitable to be used and had the possibility to be put into practice in a high level.