UCLA Law Review Volume 57, Issue 6


Multijurisdictionality and Federalism: Assessing San Remo Hotel’s Effect on Regulatory Takings

Regulatory takings plaintiffs will increasingly litigate their cases in state court after San Remo Hotel v. City of San Francisco. Previous U.S. Supreme Court precedent held that in order to ripen federal constitutional takings claims, plaintiffs had to first request just compensation from state courts. In San Remo Hotel, the Court held that the federal courts would not make an exception to the rules of preclusion to allow frustrated plaintiffs to litigate their federal claims in federal court after losing on the merits of their state claims in state court. The decision has been characterized as “jurisdiction stripping” and has been widely criticized.

Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization

Computer scientists have recently undermined our faith in the privacy-protecting power of anonymization, the name for techniques that protect the privacy of individuals in large databases by deleting information like names and social security numbers. These scientists have demonstrated that they can often “reidentify” or “deanonymize” individuals hidden in anonymized data with astonishing ease. By understanding this research, we realize we have made a mistake, labored beneath a fundamental misunderstanding, which has assured us much less privacy than we have assumed. This mistake pervades nearly every information privacy law, regulation, and debate, yet regulators and legal scholars have paid it scant attention. We must respond to the surprising failure of anonymization, and this Article provides the tools to do so.

Trademark Intersectionality

Even though most scholars and judges treat intellectual property law as a predominantly content-neutral phenomenon, trademark law contains a statutory provision, section 2(a), that provides for the cancellation of marks that are “disparaging,” “immoral,” or “scandalous.” This provision has raised intrinsically powerful constitutional concerns, which invariably affect two central metaphors that are at war within trademark law: the marketplace of goods, which premises itself on the fixedness of intellectual properties, and the marketplace of ideas, which is premised on the very fluidity of language itself. Since the architecture of trademark law focuses only on how marks communicate information about a certain product or corporation within the marketplace of goods, it largely underestimates the more complex role that trademarks play within the marketplace of ideas. Conversely, by only taking into account a brand’s expressive implications, the provisions governing scandalous, disparaging, and immoral matter fail to substantively address the source-identifying functions that these marks often serve.

Reconsidering RLUIPA: Do Religious Land Use Protections Really Benefit Religious Land Users?

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), a federal statute enacted to safeguard religious freedoms from governmental interference, has been broadly and forcefully condemned by academics. In the decade since RLUIPA was passed, scholars have repeatedly denounced the statute as a tool that religious individuals and organizations may use to thwart municipal zoning plans and to undermine local communities’ land use needs. However, in criticizing RLUIPA, few authors have examined the statute’s real effects. Legal academia has largely ignored the growing body of case law that highlights the statute’s ineffectiveness and demonstrates that RLUIPA often fails to benefit or significantly privilege religious groups.

Ceremonial Deism and the Reasonable Religious Outsider

State invocations of God are common in the United States; indeed, the national motto is “In God We Trust.” Yet the Establishment Clause forbids the state from favoring some religions over others. Nonetheless, courts have found the national motto and other examples of what is termed ceremonial deism constitutional on the ground that the practices are longstanding, have de minimis and nonsectarian religious content, and achieve a secular goal. Therefore, they conclude, a reasonable person would not think that the state was endorsing religion.