Ipse Dixit


Jeffrey Bellin on Fourth Amendment Textualism

Season 1, Ep. 287

In this episode, Jeffrey Bellin, Professor of Law and University Professor for Teaching Excellence at William & Mary Law School, discusses his paper "Fourth Amendment Textualism," forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review. Bellin begins by exploring the problems with current Fourth Amendment “search” jurisprudence and its reliance on Katz v. United States’ amorphous 'reasonable expectation of privacy' test. He notes that current Fourth Amendment doctrine is nonintuitive and unclear for both state actors and the general public, and recommends, instead, a textualist approach. He expounds upon the approach, defining “search” in an intuitive manner, as well as offering definitions for the remaining applicable textual components of the Fourth Amendment, “their” and "persons, houses, papers, and effects," and discusses how such an approach would work in the twenty-first century. He concludes by discussing why this approach might be an improvement, and what scholars, lawyers, and the courts should take away from his proposal. Bellin is on Twitter at @BellinJ.

This episode was hosted by Luce Nguyen, a college student and co-founder of the Oberlin Policy Research Institute, an undergraduate public policy research organization based at Oberlin College. Nguyen is on Twitter at @NguyenLuce.

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Aliza Shatzman on Holding Judges Accountable

Season 1, Ep. 758
In this episode, Aliza Shatzman, an attorney and advocate based in Washington, DC, discusses her article "Untouchable Judges? What I've learned about harassment in the judiciary, and what we can do to stop it," which will be published in the UCLA Journal of Gender & Law. Here is the abstract:Drawing from the author’s own experience of gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation during her clerkship and in the years following it by a former DC Superior Court judge, this Article analyzes the deficits in current federal and DC judicial reporting systems to demonstrate the urgent need for reform. I argue that harassment in the judiciary is pervasive, due to both enormous power disparities between judges and law clerks, and various institutional barriers that perpetuate misconduct and discourage reporting. I survey existing methods of judicial discipline in both the federal and DC Courts and argue that these provide insufficient redress for workplace misconduct. I then discuss the Judiciary Accountability Act (JAA) (HR 4827/S 2553), which would finally protect judiciary employees, including law clerks and federal public defenders, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enabling employees to sue their harassers and seek damages for harm done to their careers, reputations, and future earning potential. Furthermore, I argue that the DC Courts should be included in the JAA, because they are Article I courts created and regulated by Congress, and DC Courts judges are arguably federal judges for Title VII and disciplinary purposes. I also offer a variety of other proposed reforms, which would both strengthen the JAA and provide additional protections to uniquely vulnerable judiciary employees. I conclude by reflecting on my attempts to report the misconduct I experienced, how the systems failed me when I tried to report, and my efforts to seek justice for myself and accountability for the misbehaving former judge.This episode was hosted byBrian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Frye is on Twitter at@brianlfrye.