What are the constitutional limits on a state’s power to tax a trust with no connection to the state, other than the accident that a potential beneficiary lives there? The Supreme Court of the United States will take up this question this term in the context of North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust. The case involves North Carolina’s income taxation of a trust with a contingent beneficiary, meaning someone who is eligible, but not certain, to receive a distribution or benefit from the trust, who resides in that state.
This article considers Gitanjali Nain Gill’s recent book Environmental Justice in India, the first comprehensive look at India’s National Green Tribunal. In addition to assessing issues concerning the best ways to integrate science into judicial decisionmaking and highlighting India’s failure to maintain good environmental data, it argues that the Tribunal’s record reveals several crucial challenges for India’s environmental future.
The recent wave of commentary on Masterpiece Cakeshop sounded a common theme: disappointment, even frustration. This article contends that Masterpiece is a flawed decision because of its fundamental incompleteness. Despite being held out as an opinion on religious liberty, Kennedy’s decision omits any discussion of whether the state interest might outweigh the baker’s religious freedom.
Language lives in the present, though we often approach it as though it was settled in the past. But those yearning for the meanings of some bygone era, like those endeavoring to deduce a single, correct meaning from the words on a page, are deluded. The intractable problem of induction scuttles these projects, and reveals that we cannot ask “What does it mean?” without also asking, “To whom?”
This essay explores interpretive debates over constitutional powers and rights. It aims to explain how opposing viewpoints about power/rights and moral reading/originalism could both accurately reflect the theories on which the nation was founded. The essay proposes that the Constitution itself is a bifurcated text created by the existence of America’s two foundings establishing state governments and the federal or national government.
This Article looks to local California jurisdictions’ experiences in regulating electronic smoking devices to examine the mechanisms by which state and local policies converge. It concludes that, over time, California jurisdictions tended to adopt broader and more effective regulations of such devices, and that the experiences of localities may have shaped policy at the state level as well.
This article illustrates the present-day impact of racialization of U.S. immigration law through a critical analysis of Section 240A(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Immigration scholars have discussed the amorphous, unworkable nature of this provision, but the article delves a step further to consider its secondary cultural impact.
In State v. McPhaul, the North Carolina appellate panel found error in admitting expert testimony on latent fingerprinting based on the lack of evidence of reliability. The panel did not reverse the defendant’s conviction, finding the error to be harmless. This essay describes the scientific status of fingerprint evidence, the facts and the judicial reasoning in McPhaul, and the implications of the decision.