Albany Law Review

A student-run journal that publishes critical and analytical articles written by judges, lawyers, and law school professors, as well as notes and comments on legal topics written by Law Review members and other Albany Law School students. Academic and pro

Articles from Vol. 67, No. 3, Spring

A Dedication to Shirley S. Abrahamson
In July of 2004, Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson of Wisconsin will succeed me as President of the Conference of Chief Justices ("CCJ") and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts ("NCSC"). The Conference of Chief...
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A Divided Court in More Ways Than One: The Supreme Court of Delaware and Its Distinctive Model for Judicial Efficacy, 1997-2003
I. INTRODUCTION In recent years, the nation's focus on judicial affairs tends to concentrate on the most identifiable level, namely the Supreme Court of the United States. Most notably within the past year, the Supreme Courts' decisions in Grutter...
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Editor's Foreword
We honor Shirley S. Abrahamson with this issue of State Constitutional Commentary. The Chief Justice of Wisconsin, who has honored us by her continuing participation as an original member of our professional board of editors, joins an extraordinarily...
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Eroding the Public's Confidence in Judicial Impartiality: First Amendment Federal Jurisprudence and Special Interest Financing of Judicial Campaigns
The tension between the popular election of judges and the performance of the judiciary's core functions--impartiality and dedication to the enforcement of the rule of law regardless of the perceived popular will--has long been the subject of serious...
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Examining the Decline in Support for Merit Selection in the States
Popular support for constitutional change from judicial elections to merit selection systems has declined significantly over the past three decades. (1) The last state to adopt a merit selection system by constitutional amendment was New Mexico in...
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Expressive Liberties in the State Courts: Their Permissible Reach and Sanctioned Restraints
I. A BRIEF RETROSPECTIVE Freedom of expression has enjoyed a long history and, on significant occasions, an exalted status in the evolution of constitutional principles and the safeguards designed to prevent their abridgment. From early efforts...
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Human Rights in America, 1776-1849: Rediscovering the States' Contribution
WHY RIGHTS OF MAN? Individual possession of rights beyond the reach of any governmental power was not an invention of the American Revolution. The perception of being situated in a centuries-old common law tradition, reaching back at least to Magna...
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Judicial Diversity: Where Independence and Accountability Meet
A judge's lack of predisposition regarding the relevant legal issues in a case has never been thought a necessary component of equal justice.... Indeed, even if it were possible to select judges who did not have preconceived views on legal issues,...
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Now You See It, Now You Don't, Privacy and Search and Seizure in the Florida Constitution: Trying to Make Sense out of a Tangled Mess
We also agree with the state that our right-of-privacy provision, article I, section 23, (1) of the Florida Constitution, does not modify the applicability of article I, section 12, (2) particularly since the people adopted section 23 prior to the...
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Preface
This issue again offers many subjects of interest to those involved in the development of state constitutional law. Several articles give us important insights into both the historical development of and current problems relating to individual rights....
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Rethinking Politics and Judicial Selection during Contentious Times
Students of judicial selection are living through interesting times. Consider, for example, the continuing skirmishes on the same-sex marriage front in the culture wars. In November 2003 (and again in February 2004), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial...
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Shirley S. Abrahamson: An Exemplar of the American Law Institute
The authors of this addition to the chorus of voices singing the praises of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson share a mutual vantage point for viewing her achievements. (1) In view of our common observation platform--the American Law Institute--and...
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Terri Schiavo and the Law
This is not a law review article. Rather, it is a brief description of the legal battle over whether to remove the feeding and hydration tube which is keeping Terri Schiavo alive. The battle of and for "public opinion," (1) which has also been waged...
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The Competitiveness of Female Candidates in Judicial Elections: An Analysis of the North Carolina Trial Court Races
The extent to which state judgeships are accessible to women raises important concerns about using elections as a method of judicial selection. Even though the judicial selection debate has centered on whether the selection process should foster judicial...
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The Futile Quest for a System of Judicial "Merit" Selection
It is a mistake ... to try to establish and maintain, through ignorance, public esteem for our courts. --Judge Jerome Frank (1) I. INTRODUCTION The challenge in designing the optimal selection system for judges is that judicial independence...
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The Untouchables: The Impact of South Carolina's New Judicial Selection System on the South Carolina Supreme Court, 1997-2003
I. INTRODUCTION Although South Carolina has perennially been considered one of the nation's most rebellious states, the South Carolina Supreme Court has historically been extremely deferential to precedent. (1) However, in 1997, the South Carolina...
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Virtuous Judges and Electoral Politics: A Contradiction?
Judge Thomas J. Spargo serves as a fascinating poster-child in the debate on what's wrong (or right) with judicial elections. Judge Spargo, campaigning for re-election as Justice of the Berne Town Court in upstate New York, was accused of "failing...
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Why You Should Not Judge a Book by Its Cover: Looking beyond Party Affiliations to Discern Patterns in Judicial Decisionmaking in the North Carolina Supreme Court: An Analysis of Voting Trends in Criminal and Tort Cases from 1995-2002
I. INTRODUCTION The people of North Carolina have the power to elect the justices who sit on the state's Supreme Court. (1) Between 1995 and 2002, the registered voters of the state used this power to transform the court from one dominated by Democrats...
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With Courage and Passion: The Inspired Leadership of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson
To write of the many accomplishments of Shirley S. Abrahamson as a legal scholar, jurist, and chief justice in a short essay is to look at a masterpiece through a microscope. Each squint reveals a splash of the depth and substance of this remarkable...
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