Featured Content

THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
The Honorable Barry T. Albin

In this speech, given to the Monmouth County Bar Association in November 2013, New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin addresses the vital importance of an independent judiciary, and how that independence hangs in the balance if judges and justices are considered for tenure based on the political popularity of their decisions. The speech is downloadable here and will be featured in Volume 66, Issue 2 of Rutgers Law Review.

Commentaries

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS FROM HEALTH CARE LAWS: HAVE WE GONE OVERBOARD?
Martha Swartz

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the United States Supreme Court Affirmed that a for-profit corporation owned by people with strong religious beliefs can impose its religious beliefs on its employees, ignoring both the employees’ own religious beliefs, and their important health interests. The decision allows closely held corporations to deprive their employees of employer-financed insurance coverage for contraception. There was no scientific basis for the corporations’ conclusion that certain types of contraception (the Intrauterine Device, or “IUD,” for example) caused abortions, which would conflict with their religious beliefs, but that fact did not matter to the Court since, by tradition, the Court does not inquire into the basis of a person’s religious beliefs, and, notably, the corporations were treated like persons.

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N.J. ELEC ALLOWS CHRISTIE CAMPAIGN TO FUND SUBPOENA RESPONSE, PROMPTING UNCERTAINTY AND STRUCTURAL QUESTIONS
Kevin R. Miller

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (“ELEC”) recently issued an Advisory Opinion allowing Governor Christie’s campaign corporation to expend campaign funds on legal fees incurred in responding to subpoenas from the New Jersey State Legislature and the United States Attorney’s Office. This commentary recommends that ELEC now engage in a rulemaking to codify its nuanced interpretation of its governing statutes and regulations. Nonetheless, this commentary questions whether ELEC could even validly issue the Advisory Opinion, as the Commission’s voting membership in this matter was diminished by half due to a recusal and a vacant commissioner seat. To help cure this structural issue, this commentary urges Governor Christie to exercise his executive authority to appoint a fourth commissioner to ELEC.

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FINDING ROOM IN THE CRIMINAL LAW FOR THE DESUETUDE PRINCIPLE
Paul J. Larkin, Jr., Esq.

A problem facing the criminal justice system today is the phenomenon known as “overcriminalization,” the neologism given to the overuse and misuse of the criminal law. This commentary argues that courts should rely on “the desuetude principle” to remedy the problem: little-used criminal statutes should be interpreted narrowly to avoid broad, unanticipated applications.

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IN THE WAKE OF THE ZIMMER DECISION, CAN A TORT PLAINTIFF INTRODUCE EVIDENCE OF A SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AWARD AT THE TIME OF TRIAL?
Patrick D. Heller, Esq.

In Villanueva v. Zimmer, the Appellate Division settled an arguably open issue of law in the personal injury context. Specifically, the court analyzed and determined the evidentiary value of personal injury plaintiffs’ Social Security Administration disability awards at the time of the injured party’s trial. The decision provides much needed guidance for plaintiff’s lawyers and the defense bar in addressing Social Security disability awards in personal injury cases.

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2014-2015 Final Masthead-page-001

Don’t Miss Volume 66, Issue 1!
In the issue: articles from Irene Scharf, Carlo A. Pedrioli, and Mark Thomson; an essay from Kenneth M. Casebeer; and notes from Eugene Chernett, Hope Delaney Skibitsky, and Michael S. Woodruff

FORTHCOMING ISSUE

COMING SOON!: Volume 66, Issue 2

SPECIAL SECTION

A New Type of War
The Story of the FAA and NORAD Response to the September 11, 2001 Attacks

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