Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Law Lessong - The Court System Song

The next installment in the “Law Lessong” series is The Court System Song. This simple video and song from a Power Point presentation helps students consider the role of courts and the structure of court systems. Learn more about Law Lessongs from the post found here.  More videos may be found at my youtube channel. Please feel free to use them in the classroom or as assignments or in any way that they work for you as an educational resource.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Justice Scalia Says Natural Law is Relative

According to Justice Scalia's comments in the video below, "Natural Law" is whatever the majority says it is. So, if the majority decides that same sex marriage (for example) is not to be allowed, then that is what "nature" dictates. It follows, then, that if the majority votes that public corporations should not have the same free speech rights as natural persons, then that should be law, despite constitutional protection (as interpreted by the Supreme Court).  In reading Justice Scalia's comments during oral arguments and his decisions, one would conclude that Justice Scalia fancies himself an historian.  How many times in the course of American history has "natural law" been used to justify denial of basic rights to unpopular minorities? In a democracy, is there not a need for an institution that protects against the tyranny of the majority?

Justice Scalia also queries what qualities of judges make them more qualified to determine what the law is than the democratic majority. This video can be a good device to raise the counter-majoritarion difficulty for class.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hot Coffee Case Reenacted

According to the YouTube description, the video below was prepared by students in Robert Emerson's BLAW class at the University of Florida. It is billed as a "re-enactment" of the McDonald's coffee case.  That term may be a bit generous, but it is certainly informative and thought provoking.  Kudos to Bob and his students for their creativity and contributions to legal studies education.