Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Monthly Archives: February 2021

Zombie Laws

Wasserman, Howard, Zombie Laws (February 2, 2021). Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-02, Available at SSRN:

“Zombie laws” are the statutory remainder from constitutional litigation. Neither a judicial declaration of constitutional invalidity nor an injunction prohibiting enforcement removes or erases a challenged law from the books. The court stops the defendant executive official’s conduct in enforcing that law, but the law does not disappear or cease to exist as a statute. Such laws are “undead”—alive in remaining on the books, alive in being enforceable by a departmentlaist executive acting on independent constitutional judgment, but dead in that enforcement efforts are dead-on-arrival in court, where judicial precedent holding the law invalid binds and dictates the outcome in future litigation. This Article considers how Congress and state legislatures can control zombie laws, exploring four options. Congress could authorize universal injunctions prohibiting all future enforcement of the law against all rights-holders or procedural mechanisms to expand the practice scope of constitutional judgments; these options leave less room for future use of the zombie remainder. That may work on the margins. The real legislative power (federal or state) rests with control over substantive law and thus the control over the existence of zombie laws. A legislature could repeal zombie laws, eliminating future enforcement by leaving no law to enforce. Or a legislature could enable future enforcement and future constitutional litigation by leaving zombie laws untouched and even enacting new zombie laws, often “trigger laws” that exist but do not become enforceable until a triggering event, such as judicial overruling of precedent.”

Accidental Wiretaps: The Implications of False Positives By Always-Listening Devices For Privacy Law & Policy

Barrett, Lindsey and Liccardi, Ilaria, Accidental Wiretaps: The Implications of False Positives By Always-Listening Devices For Privacy Law & Policy (February 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: “Always-listening devices like smart speakers, smartphones, and other voice-activated technologies create enough privacy problems when working correctly. But these devices can also misinterpret what they hear, and thus… Continue Reading

Men in the Mix How to Engage Men on Issues Related to Gender in the Legal Profession

“A new report from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession called “Men in the Mix: How to Engage Men on Issues Related to Gender in the Legal Profession,” looks at how male colleagues can become allies in the ongoing journey to reach gender equity. The report is based on research gathered from focus… Continue Reading

4 of the Best Search Engines For Privacy

MakeTechEasier: “For the past several years, online privacy has been a prominent theme. Google, in particular, dominates almost all aspects of the Internet, which considering its business model, isn’t compatible with user privacy. As such, many are looking for Google alternatives, especially when it comes to search engines. In this post, we look at some… Continue Reading

Data Dashboard Informs Disabled Populations About Vaccine Rollout

Health Analytics – “A team from Johns Hopkins has created a data dashboard that shows how states are prioritizing people with disabilities in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The tool can also help people with disabilities determine when they’re eligible for shots, and provide policymakers with data to improve the system. Created by researchers, students, and… Continue Reading

The Little Magazine That Incubated Team Biden

The New York Times: “It has only 500 subscribers. And yet Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, a 15-year-old quarterly run by a three-person staff out of a small office blocks from the White House, may be one of the most influential publications of the post-Trump era. Six of President Biden’s 25 Cabinet-level officials and appointees,… Continue Reading

Why Opening Windows Is a Key to Reopening Schools

The New York Times -“The C.D.C. is urging communities to reopen schools as quickly as possible, but parents and teachers have raised questions about the quality of ventilation available in public school classrooms to protect against the coronavirus.We worked with a leading engineering firm and experts specializing in buildings systems to better understand the simple… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 27, 2021

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 27, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss, highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

What is an “algorithm”? It depends whom you ask

MIT Technology Review – “…In statistics and machine learning, we usually think of the algorithm as the set of instructions a computer executes to learn from data. In these fields, the resulting structured information is typically called a model. The information the computer learns from the data via the algorithm may look like “weights” by… Continue Reading