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Category Archives: Courts

Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers

Michaels, Andrew C., Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers (September 24, 2019). 88 University of Cincinnati Law Review _ (2020, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3459069
“A number of prominent contemporary legal scholars have recently argued in favor of replacing human legal decision-making with Artificial Intelligence, assuming that AI technology improves to a level they deem appropriate. I disagree, particularly as regards Article III judges, for four main reasons. First, human judges must strike a delicate balance between respect for precedent (the past), and adapting the law to unforeseen circumstances (the present/future), thus playing an important role in shaping the law that those arguing for robot judges do not adequately account for. Second, arguments for AI judges often seem inherently formalist in stating that robot judges would make fewer errors, overlooking the teachings of legal realism that not all cases have a clear right answer. Third, the loss of human judges would lead to a loss or diminishment of the human legal community, such that fewer people would be paying attention to the law, leaving the law more susceptible to being co-opted. Fourth, Article III judges play an important role as a check on the other two branches, a role which AI seems ill-equipped to replace and those arguing for AI judges do not account for. In short, proposals to automate the judiciary both under-appreciate and undervalue the human aspects of law, and the degree to which a human legal system contributes to the sense that we as a society govern ourselves. The potential benefits of an automated judiciary are better achieved in other ways, and do not justify the risks.”

‘Ignorance is not an excuse’: California draft rules on data privacy released

San Francisco Chronicle: “California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a series of draft regulations Thursday aimed at getting businesses to comply with the state’s landmark data privacy law, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, signed into law in June 2018, businesses must disclose to consumers the various kinds of… Continue Reading

SCOTUS ruling could completely alter lives of LGBTQ Americans

USA Today: “Four years ago, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, and many Americans believed the fight for LGBTQ equality was finally won. But that ruling did not address all the ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in their everyday lives. Same-sex partners can now legally marry, but in a majority of states you can still be… Continue Reading

Court rules FBI surveillance violated Americans’ rights

The Hill – “The secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ruled last year that some FBI surveillance violated the targets’ constitutional rights, the intelligence community revealed Tuesday. The ruling, a rare loss for the government on surveillance matters, found that the FBI may have violated the law, as well as constitutional protections against unreasonable searches, as it searched… Continue Reading

Martha Minow On Forgiveness In The Criminal Justice System

Berkman Klein Center – Harvard University – ““When Brandt Jean hugged the white police officer who had just been convicted of murdering his unarmed brother while he was in his own home, the act sparked a wider conversation about forgiveness, the law, and race in America. And while some saw officer Amber Guyger’s 10-year prison… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justices grant new cases for upcoming term

SCOTUS Blog – “The Supreme Court was already scheduled to take on a range of high-profile and potentially controversial issues in the next few months, including federal protection for LGBT employees, the Trump administration’s decision to end the program known as DACA, and gun rights….the Supreme Court’s new term, which starts [Monday October 7, 2019],… Continue Reading

Government Agrees to Preserve Records of Talks with Foreign Leaders

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Noah Bookbinder released the following statement: “Following our request yesterday for a temporary restraining order against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President mandating them to preserve records of the president’s communications and meetings with foreign leaders, the government has agreed to preserve… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court showdown over LGBTQ discrimination, explained

Vox – “The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers… Continue Reading

Hearing – The Federal Judiciary in the 21st Century

House Cmte. on the Judiciary – The Federal Judiciary in the 21st Century: Ensuring the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts – September 26, 2019 – Documents Witness List  A statement from Judge Steve Leben, Kansas Court of Appeals A letter from Judge Bridget Mary McCormack, Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court A letter from… Continue Reading

PACER Court Records ‘Can Never Be Free,’ Judge Says

House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing held September 26, 2019 – The Federal Judiciary in the 21st Century: Ensuring the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts – Statement by The Honorable Audrey G. Fleissig</a, >U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Missouri “…Based on the experiences of California and the FBI, upgrading the current Judiciary… Continue Reading

The Misadventure of Copyrighting State Law

Johnson, Eric E., The Misadventure of Copyrighting State Law (2019). Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 107, No. 4, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3446229 – “Many states have asserted copyright over their own official state legal texts, limiting access to those materials and attempting to monetize them. This Article aims to provide helpful analysis for state officials deciding… Continue Reading