9781259427008

Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Legal Issues

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781259427008

  • ISBN10:

    1259427005

  • Edition: 17th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/7/2015
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

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Summary

The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Collection on Create, or you can search by topic, author, or keywords. Each Taking Sides issues is thoughtfully framed with Learning Outcomes, an Issue Summary, an Introduction, and an Exploring the Issue section featuring Critical Thinking and Reflection, Is There Common Ground?, and Additional Resources and Internet References. Go to McGraw-Hill Create™ at www.mcgrawhillcreate.com, click on the "Collections" tab, and select The Taking Sides Collection to browse the entire Collection. Select individual Taking Sides issues to enhance your course, or access and select the entire Katsh: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Legal Issues, 17/e ExpressBook for an easy, pre-built teaching resource. An online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing material is available for each Taking Sides volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit the Create Central Online Learning Center at www.mhhe.com/createcentral for more details.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Legal Issues, 17/e

Ethan Katsh, editor

 

UNIT: Law and Terrorism

 

Issue 1.  Should U.S. Citizens Who Are Declared to Be "Enemy Combatants" Be Able to Contest Their Detention Before a Judge?

 

Yes: Sandra Day O'Connor, from "Majority Opinion, Hamdi et al. v. Rumsfeld", United States Supreme Court (2004).

 

No: Clarence Thomas, from "Minority Opinion, Hamdi et al. v. Rumsfeld", United States Supreme Court (2004).

 

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor finds that the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress does not authorize the indefinite detainment of a person found to be an “enemy combatant.” Justice Clarence Thomas believes that the detention of an “enemy combatant” is permitted under the federal government’s war powers.

 

Issue 2.  Does the President Possess Constitutional Authority to Order Wiretaps on U.S. Citizens?

 

Yes: Memorandum Released by the U.S. Department of Justice, from "Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency Described by the President", United States Department of Justice (2006).

 

No: Letter to Congress, from "Letter to Congress from 14 Law Professors and Former Government Attorneys to Congressional Leaders", United States Congress (2006).

 

The Department of Justice argues that the Constitution gives the President the right to engage in electronic surveillance, with or without congressional approval or judicial oversight. It further claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping program ordered by President Bush does not violate federal law, specifically the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), because such surveillance falls under the auspices of the military response to the 9/11 attacks, which was authorized by Congress. Several lawyers with expertise in constitutional law or experience in the federal government argue that the NSA wiretapping program violates FISA and the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They further argue that the President does not have any inherent authority either to engage in warrantless wiretapping or to violate federal law that limits such surveillance.

 

UNIT: Law and the Individual

 

Issue 3.  Are Violent Video Games Protected by the First Amendment?

 

Yes: Antonin Scalia, from "Majority Opinion, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association", United States Supreme Court (2011).

 

No: Stephen Breyer, from "Dissenting Opinion, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association", United States Supreme Court (2011).

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argues that legislation creating a whole new category of speech that is banned only for children violates the First Amendment. Justice Stephen Breyer believes that the California law restricting the purchase of video games by minors is clear.

 

Issue 4.  Can States Ban Physician Aid-in-Dying for Terminally Ill Patients?

 

Yes: William H. Rehnquist, from "Majority Opinion, Washington et al. v. Glucksberg et al.", United States Supreme Court (1997).

 

No: Stephen Reinhardt, from "Majority Opinion, Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington", United States Supreme Court (1996).

 

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, writing one of six opinions of a unanimous Court in Washington v. Glucksberg, rules that although patients have the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment, “physician-assisted suicide” is not constitutionally protected, and states may ban that practice. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing the majority opinion for the Ninth Circuit case that became Washington v. Glucksberg when it reached the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that criminalizing physician assistance in hastening the death of competent, terminally ill patients who request life-ending prescriptions violates the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.

 

Issue 5.  Does the Sharing of Music Files Through the Internet Violate Copyright Laws?

 

Yes: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from "Concurring Opinion, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios v. Grokster", United States Supreme Court (2005).

 

No: Stephen Breyer, from "Concurring Opinion, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios v. Grokster", United States Supreme Court (2005).

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes that copyright laws are violated by a company when its software is used primarily for illegal file sharing, and lawful uses in the future are unlikely. Justice Stephen Breyer does not want copyright laws to hinder technological innovation and is more willing to take into account the potential use of the software for lawful file sharing.

 

Issue 6.  Is the Eighth Amendment Protection Violated If Prisoners Are Deprived of Basic Sustenance?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Majority Opinion, Brown v. Plata", United States Supreme Court (2011).

 

No: Antonin Scalia, from "Dissenting Opinion, Brown v. Plata", United States Supreme Court (2011).

 

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy rules that if a prison deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, the courts have a responsibility to remedy the resulting violation of the Eighth Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia believes that a ruling that may result in the release of 40,000 prisoners is unwarranted and unprecedented.

 

UNIT: Law and the State

 

Issue 7.  Is it Constitutional to Open a Town Meeting with a Prayer?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Majority Opinion, Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

No: Justice Kagan, et al., from "Dissenting Opinion, Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the Majority, affirms the right of local government bodies to hold a prayer prior to conducting official business maintaining that the history of the United States is consistent with such a practice, and thus the Establishment Clause is not implicated. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting from the Court’s opinion, argues that prayer prior to local town meetings is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution and is materially different from prayer held in other governmental forums, which had been previously upheld by the Court.

 

Issue 8.  Is a Strip Search of Middle School Students that is Aimed at Finding Drugs Prohibited Under the Fourth Amendment?

 

Yes: David Souter, from "Majority Opinion, Safford Unified School District, et al. v. April Redding", United States Supreme Court (2009).

 

No: Clarence Thomas, from "Dissenting Opinion, Safford Unified School District, et al., v. April Redding", United States Supreme Court (2009).

 

Supreme Court Justice David Souter holds that a search in school requires a reasonable belief that evidence of wrongdoing will be found and that the search is not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argues that the Fourth Amendment is not violated when there is reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of drugs banned by school policy and the search is in an area where small pills could be concealed.

 

Issue 9.  Is a Dog Sniffing for Drugs Outside a Home a Search Prohibited by the Fourth Amendment?

 

Yes: Antonin Scalia, from "Majority Opinion, Florida v. Jardines", United States Supreme Court (2013).

 

No: Samuel Anthony Alito Jr., from "Dissenting Opinion, Florida v. Jardines", United States Supreme Court (2013).

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia finds that it is a search and a violation of the Fourth Amendment when police obtain evidence by allowing a trained dog to physically enter and occupy an area outside a home in which permission has not been obtained from the home owner. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito disagrees that there was a trespass here or that the dog sniff could be considered an invasion of any reasonable expectation of privacy given that one can expect that odors will float outside of a house.

 

Issue 10.  Does the "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" Clause of the Eighth Amendment Bar the Imposition of the Death Penalty on Juveniles?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Majority Opinion, Roper v. Simmons", United States Supreme Court (2005).

 

No: Antonin Scalia, from "Dissenting Opinion, Roper v. Simmons", United States Supreme Court (2005).

 

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy holds that the Constitution prohibits the execution of a person who was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia believes that the Constitution does not preclude the execution of a juvenile.

 

Issue 11.  Should the Federal Government Require That All Internet Traffic Be Treated Equally?

 

Yes: Marvin Ammori, from "The Case for Net Neutrality", Foreign Affairs (2014).

 

No: Deborah T. Tate, from "Net Neutrality 10 Years Later: A Still Unconvinced Commissioner", Federal Communications Law Journal (2014).

 

Attorney Marvin Ammori argues that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should regulate Internet service providers to assure that some websites are neither given preferential treatment nor charged arbitrary fees in order to reach end users. Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate argues that the benefits of an open Internet are best preserved and protected by free market forces, not government agencies like the FCC.

 

Issue 12.  Can a Facebook Poster Be Punished If a "Friend" Finds It Threatening?

 

Yes: Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. et al., from "Brief for the United States, Elonis v. United States", United States Supreme Court (2015).

 

No: John Elwood et al., from "Brief for the Petitioner, Elonis v. United States", United States Supreme Court (2015).

 

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. argues that if a reasonable person would feel threatened by a Facebook post, it should be considered a true threat culpable under criminal law. Supreme Court litigator John Elwood argues that in order for a Facebook post to be considered a true threat, the poster must specifically intend that it be read as threatening.

 

UNIT: Law and the Community

 

Issue 13.  Is there a Constitutional Right to Possess a Firearm for Private Use?

 

Yes: Antonin Scalia, from "Majority Opinion, District of Columbia, et al., v. Dick Anthony Heller", United States Supreme Court (2008).

 

No: John Paul Stevens, from "Dissenting Opinion, District of Columbia, et al., v. Dick Anthony Heller", United States Supreme Court (2008).

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argues that the Second Amendment protects the right of a private citizen to own a handgun for self-defense. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens argues that a previous case, United States v. Miller, held that the Second Amendment did not protect the right of a private citizen to own a handgun for self-defense.

 

Issue 14.  Are Blanket Prohibitions on Cross Burnings Unconstitutional?

 

Yes: Sandra Day O'Connor, from "Majority Opinion, Virginia v. Barry Elton Black, Richard J. Elliott, and Jonathan O’Mara", United States Supreme Court (2003).

 

No: Clarence Thomas, from "Dissenting Opinion, Virginia v. Barry Elton Black, Richard J. Elliott, and Jonathan O’Mara", United States Supreme Court (2003).

 

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor argues that part of a Virginia statute proscribing cross burning with the intent to intimidate is constitutional because it is content discrimination based on the very reasons that make it constitutional; however, part of the statute is unconstitutional insofar as it requires an inference of intent to intimidate solely based on the action of cross burning itself, which is symbolic speech. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas disagrees with part of the statute being held unconstitutional, arguing that the history and nature of cross burning in the United States inextricably links the act to threatening and menacing violence and that the intent to intimidate can therefore be inferred solely from the act of cross burning itself.

 

Issue 15.  Does the Fourth Amendment Permit the Police to Collect DNA from People Arrested, but Not Yet Convicted on Felony Charges?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Majority Opinion, Maryland v. King", United States Supreme Court (2013).

 

No: Antonin Scalia, from "Dissenting Opinion, Maryland v. King", United States Supreme Court (2013).

 

Justice Anthony Kennedy rules that using a cheek swab to collect a person’s DNA during post-arrest processing is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment because it is predominantly used to confirm the identity of the arrestee. Justice Antonin Scalia argues that DNA collection at the time of arrest is an unreasonable search because the arrestee’s DNA profile is predominantly used to investigate unrelated crimes.

 

Issue 16.  Is Same-Sex Marriage Protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

 

Yes: Martha Craig Daughtrey, from "Dissenting Opinion, DeBoer v. Snyder", United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (2014).

 

No: Jeffrey S. Sutton, from "Majority Opinion, DeBoer v. Snyder", United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (2014).

 

Senior Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey argues that the majority is shirking its responsibility to uphold constitutional guarantees of equal protection by not striking down state same-sex marriage bans. Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton argues that state bans on same-sex marriage do not violate the guarantees of equal protection in the U.S. Constitution and that changes in marriage policy should occur through the democratic process, not litigation.

 

Issue 17.  Does the First Amendment Protect Unlimited Donations by a Single Contributor on Behalf of Political Candidates?

 

Yes: John Roberts, from "Plurality Opinion, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

No: Stephen Breyer, from "Dissenting Opinion, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

Chief Justice John Roberts holds that the First Amendment protects unlimited aggregate donations to political candidates and causes from a single source. Limits on campaign contributions are constitutionally permissible only if they prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption, and aggregate limits do not serve this purpose. Justice Stephen Breyer argues that aggregate limits on campaign contributions are permissible under the First Amendment because those limits serve to prevent political corruption and the appearance of corruption.

 

Issue 18.  Are Voter-Approved Bans on Race-Conscious Public University Admissions Policies Permitted Under the Fourteenth Amendment?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Plurality Opinion, Bill Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) et al.", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

No: Sonia Sotomayor, from "Dissenting Opinion, Bill Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) et al.", United States Supreme Court (2014).

 

Justice Anthony Kennedy holds that voters may choose to prohibit the consideration of racial preferences in public college and university admissions, and that such a prohibition does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor argues that banning consideration of racial preferences in university admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause by subjecting laws designed to benefit minorities to a more burdensome political process than all other laws.

 

Issue 19.  Is it Unconstitutional for States to Imprison Undocumented Immigrants?

 

Yes: Anthony Kennedy, from "Majority Opinion, Arizona v. United States", United States Supreme Court (2012).

 

No: Antonin Scalia, from "Dissenting Opinion, Arizona v. United States", United States Supreme Court (2012).

 

Justice Anthony Kennedy argues that a recent state law making it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in Arizona impinges on the U.S. federal government’s authority to regulate immigration. Justice Antonin Scalia argues that it is not unconstitutional for a state to supplement U.S. federal immigration law with its own, harsher penalties for illegal immigration.

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