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JournalISSN: 1065-8254

William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 

About: William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Supreme court & Constitution. It has an ISSN identifier of 1065-8254. Over the lifetime, 504 publications have been published receiving 1706 citations.

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Journal Article
TL;DR: Early voting is a generalization of absentee voting and no-excuse absentee voting as discussed by the authors, and it has been widely used in the United States since the early 1990s, up to three weeks before the scheduled date of the election.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION The United States is in the midst of a reform era. After the controversy surrounding the 2000 election results, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. x As a result of HAVA, every state in the nation was required to establish a statewide voter registration system by 2006.2 Disabled citizens are guaranteed access to the polls.3 America's men and women in the armed forces have their ballots counted in a timely fashion.4 And Native Americans, Latinos, and other disadvantaged groups that have traditionally faced barriers to participation have had these barriers reduced or eliminated altogether.5 Since 2000, non-partisan groups, political parties, and candidate organizations have paid far closer attention to the mechanics of ballot counting.6 Legal challenges have forced some states to abandon mechanical vote-counting systems in favor of presumably more reliable technologies, such as optical character scanning and touchscreen.7 These are the reforms that were mandated by Congress, endorsed by the President, and are being implemented nationwide. There is, however, a quieter set of reforms that have been advancing across the nation for more than a decade, a set of reforms that have a far greater potential to change the way that elections are being conducted, not only in the United States but worldwide. Some states and localities have been systematically relaxing the requirements for absentee balloting;8 others provide for a period of in-person early voting in which citizens can cast their ballots as early as a month before election day;9 and finally, the State of Oregon mandated 100% voting by mail since 1998.10 For an increasing number of Americans, then, "election day" is a historical relic. Instead, ballots are cast at the individual's convenience, up to three weeks before the scheduled date of the election.11 Why has this change taken place? What consequences might this change have for the behavior of candidates, non-partisan political groups, and the voters themselves? Does early voting augur well for the quality of democratic decision making in the United States? This Article looks at these important political questions. In the first section, I describe the advancement of early voting systems, a process that started slowly in the 1980s but has accelerated rapidly in the past few years, followed by a review of the scholarly literature on the subject. Next, I propose a research agenda for scholars and policy reformers who are interested in early voting. I argue that, for campaigners, early voting alters their strategic calculus. It increases the uncertainty about turnout and as a result increases campaign costs. For voters, early voting provides an opportunity to express their preferences quickly and conveniently, but we are likely to observe this behavior only among the most well-informed and politically aware. Much less clear is how early voting impacts less well-informed voters. Finally, I provide a first set of insights to this research agenda, using a unique set of data on individual level ballot returns from the State of Oregon. The empirical results show that early voters, as expected, are those citizens who are more partisan, who live in areas with longer commute times, and have higher than average incomes and education levels. I close by suggesting avenues for future research, focusing particularly on how the rules of the game, the state of the campaign, and the makeup of the electorate interact in complex and sometimes unpredictable ways, thus making it difficult to predict the impact of early voting reforms on elections and electoral outcomes. I. WHAT IS EARLY VOTING? For the purposes of this Article, early voting is a blanket term used to describe any system where voters can cast their ballots before the official election day. This covers a bewildering array of different electoral systems in the United States and, increasingly, abroad. I primarily use the term to mean in-person early voting, noexcuse absentee balloting, and vote-by-mail (see Table 1 for a summary). …

36 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors compare the performance of the highest constitutional courts (e.g., "supreme" and "constitutional" courts) in different countries in the USA and Europe.
Abstract: and Concrete Review. Most CCs can exercise review in the absence of a concrete case or controversy; many can exercise concrete review as well. The range can be large, from governmental actors (including executives and 29 Id. 30 See id. (manuscript at 4 tbl. 1). [Vol. 10: 1 COMPARING JUDICIAL SELECTION SYSTEMS What do these distinctions mean for our inventory? Primarily, they forced us to consider what sorts of courts to include in it. While many possibilities presented themselves, given the key difference between the two models namely, whether constitutional review is centralized or decentralized we thought it was most prudent to focus only on rules governing the highest constitutional courts (e.g., "supreme courts" in American-type systems and "constitutional courts" in European ones) in the societies in our sample. In this way, we avoid mixing apples with oranges, though in our analysis, we remain sensitive to the differences in "supreme" and "constitutional" courts and illuminate them where they seem particularly

33 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Schabas as mentioned in this paper argued that Islamic states do not recognize the limited role of the death penalty articulated in the Islamic religion, and pointed out that Islam does not support capital punishment.
Abstract: Capital punishment is not practiced by a majority of the world's states. Anti-capital punishment domestic policies have led to an international law of human rights that emphatically prohibits cruel and inhuman punishment. International concern for the abolition of capital punishment has prompted Islamic states that still endorse and practice the death penalty to respond with equally compelling concerns based on the tenets of Islamic law. Professor William A. Schabas suggests that Islamic states view capital punishment according to the principles embodied in the Koran. Islamic law functions on the belief that all people have a right to life unless the administration of Islamic law determines otherwise. Professor Schabas emphasizes that capital punishment exists in the domestic law of all Islamic states, but the ways by which these states employ capital punishment are varied and inconsistent. Although Professor Schabas acknowledges that Islamic states correctly argue that capital punishment is an element of Islamic law, he maintains that Islamic states do not recognize the more limited role of the death penalty articulated by the Islamic religion.

28 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Ball and Katyal as discussed by the authors argue that despite the current backlash, same-sex marriage advocates have won more than they have lost, and they encourage gay and lesbian advocates to move the struggle from the courts to the culture, in order to persuade straight Americans that prohibitions on samesex marriage are unacceptable restrictions on equality.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION In their articles,1 Carlos Ball and Sonia Katyal step back from the heat of the moment to place two recent United States court cases concerning the rights of sexual minorities - Goodridge v. Department of Public Health2 and Lawrence v. Texas3 - into a broader perspective. Ball takes up the dimension of time. Comparing the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision in Goodridge to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education,4 he examines the phenomenon of social and legal backlash against controversial judicial opinions in the arena of civil rights, and reminds us that backlash is foreseeable, for civil rights struggle in the United States typically consists of "moments of heartening progress followed by instances of discouraging setbacks."5 Katyal takes up the dimension of space, examining possible implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence for the civil rights struggles of sexual minorities in post-colonial nations, India in particular. Both Ball and Katyal are cautiously optimistic. Ball wants gay rights advocates not to despair over the recent state and federal legislative backlash against same-sex marriage, but to move the struggle from the courts to the culture, in order to persuade straight Americans that prohibitions on same-sex marriage are unacceptable restrictions on equality.6 Taking the long view, Ball argues that despite the current backlash, same-sex marriage advocates have won more than they have lost.7 Adopting the intonations of the civil rights movement, he exhorts gay and lesbian activists to win the "hearts and minds of straight Americans,"8 and, in the last line of his article, insists "that the backlash can be "overcome."9 Katyal, too, speaks with hope. She points out that the Lawrence Court did not grant protection to a "minority," but rather spoke in terms of privacy and liberty, principles that are broadly applicable to all persons.10 For Katyal, the Court in Lawrence quietly moved away from the equality-based, analogical identity reasoning that gay and lesbian activists have often been pressured into - "We are just like black people! Just like straight people!" - and toward a substantive vision of sexual self-determination, which Katyal names "sexual sovereignty."11 Though Katyal acknowledges the flaws of Lawrence - above all its connection of sexual sovereignty to the home, a site that many feminist/queer activists and theorists view as a place of danger rather than security12 - she nonetheless wishes to celebrate Lawrence as an anti-essentialist "triumph."13 Both articles are rich and thought-provoking, and there is much to praise in them. I think Ball and Katyal are right to place these court decisions in a larger context of civil rights struggle across both time and space. It is appropriate, for instance, to discuss these decisions as inseparable from questions of racial subordination and postcolonial struggle.14 It is also always appropriate to identify and celebrate openings of possibility and moments of hope. Commentary necessitates critique, however, and, in my role as commentator on these papers, I mean to offer a caution - not as a substitute but as a supplement to the posture of hope and celebration. I argue that a usefully corrective lens through which to see Brown, Lawrence, and Goodridge is the lens of political economy. This lens enables us to see different stories with different lessons than the ones Ball and Katyal extract. From a political economy perspective, Brown tells a story of the role law plays in accomplishing, to use Re va Siegel' s apt phrase, "preservation-throughtransformation."15 Through this lens, both Goodridge and Lawrence maybe seen as beacons of hope (as they surely are), but they can also be seen as invitations to what Andrew Sullivan calls (though to him it's a good, if slightly bittersweet, thing) "the end of gay culture":16 the end, that is to say, of a queer movement that means anything other than the reconsolidation of preexisting relations of privilege and subordination. …

27 citations

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