November 2010 Archives

November 28, 2010

WELCOME!

Michael Waterstone Welcome to Summary Judgments, the new Loyola Law School, Los Angeles faculty blog. Intended to be read by lawyers, judges, scholars and students, this blog will offer commentary on legal and policy issues as well as highlight the academic pursuits of the Loyola community.

This forum will feature professors' analyses of legal matters ripped from the headlines. That will be complemented by periodic digests of faculty members' scholarly work and prolific media commentary. From time to time, we'll post summaries of the many academic events Loyola hosts on campus, from law review symposia to policy colloquia. Most importantly, this blog will serve as a clearinghouse for the wide variety of viewpoints here at Loyola Law School.

We will debut this blog with the "11 on '11" series. Eleven members of the Loyola faculty will offer commentary on what they expect to be the most significant legal developments in their respective fields in 2011. My colleague and blogger extraordinaire Rick Hasen will open the series by commenting on McComish v. Bennett, a case challenging the matching funds provision of Arizona's public financing law.

Thanks for joining us. We hope you return often!

-Professor Michael Waterstone, Associate Dean for Research and Academic Centers

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November 28, 2010

Rick Hasen By Professor Rick Hasen

It is with great pleasure that I kick off the "11 on '11" series at Summary Judgments, the new Loyola Law School, Los Angeles faculty blog. The series asks us to identify what is likely to be the most significant legal development in our field in 2011. In the field of campaign finance, the big story is likely to be the continued demise in public financing of campaigns, a development caused by both court rulings and legislative inertia.

As early as tomorrow morning, I expect the United States Supreme Court to agree to hear McComish v. Bennett, a case challenging the matching funds provision of Arizona's public financing law. Under the law, a candidate for state office who agrees to take public financing in lieu of private funds to finance a campaign receives extra public financing when the candidate faces a wealthy opponent who spends large sums in the election or by large independent expenditures against the candidate accepting public financing. As I explained in a June post at the Election Law Blog, I expect the Court to not only take this case, but to reverse the Ninth Circuit and strike down the Arizona public financing system. (To be clear, that's not a result I favor: the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the case, and Judge Kleinfeld's concurrence, offer strong reasons to reach a contrary decision in this case and uphold the Arizona regime).

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November 8, 2010

By Professor Brietta Clark

Brietta Clark For the past few years, the California legislature has been trying to deal with its fiscal crisis by cutting Medi-Cal spending dramatically. Medi-Cal is California's version of Medicaid -- it is a joint federal-state program that benefits significantly from federal funding, and is also subject to federal law. Health care providers and beneficiaries have used federal law to challenge recent state cuts in federal courts, pretty successfully so far.

The latest round in this battle between providers and the state occurred a few weeks ago, in California Association of Rural Health Clinics v. Maxwell-Jolly (CARHC). CARHC challenged a law enacted last year that eliminated coverage for certain services, including adult dental, podiatry and chiropractic serivces, provided by Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. RHCs and FQHCs are located in medically underserved areas, and they are required to treat people without regard to their ability to pay.

Read more at Prof. Clark's Health Care Justice Blog.

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November 2, 2010

By Professor F. Jay Dougherty

Jay Dougherty The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in the case of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n. This case is a facial challenge to California's recent attempt to regulate minors' access to certain "violent videogames".  In U.S. law, certain sexual material--obscenity--is excluded from other "speech" protected from government regulation by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has, however, permitted laws that limit a minor's access to certain sexual material that would not be "obscene" as to an adult, and that don't unduly restrict an adult's access to such material. But historically, violent material has been viewed as fully protected speech, and "obscenity" has been carefully limited to sexual material. The rare instances where violent speech can be unlawful involve speech that is intended to and likely to cause imminent unlawful behavior. That rationale is not the core justification for the California statute in this case. Rather, the argument is that violent material will cause psychological harm to minors. Hence, in this case, California asked the Court to treat violence for the first time much like obscenity--permit states to limit minors' access to material, even if that material would clearly be protected unregulable speech as to an adult.

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November 1, 2010

John NocklebyProfessor John Nockleby, director of Loyola's Civil Justice Program and founder of its Journalist Law School, was awarded the rank of Honorary Diplomate by the American Board of Trial Advocates.

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