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.
Kevin R. Miller
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (“ELEC”) recently issued an Advisory Opinion that allows 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.
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.
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.
COMING SOON!: Volume 67, Issue 3
American Bar Association Approves Merger Creating Rutgers Law School.
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts cites four articles from Volume 67, Issue 3, in the 1st drug-patent-settlement ruling since its June publication.
Congratulations to Dean Ronald K. Chen ’83 for Receiving the Parker A. Small Public Service Award.