Connecticut Law Review Volume 44 – Issue 5

Prisons: The New Mental Health System

By the middle of the twentieth century, the United States was in crisis: over half a million Americans were in state mental hospitals.  Several changes, including the development of effective anti-psychotic medications and increased funding for the establishment of community mental health centers, made deinstitutionalization—the movement of the mentally ill from state hospitals to community-based […]

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Uploading Guilt: Adding a Virtual Records Exception to the Federal Rules of Evidence

The creation of email and social networking websites significantly altered the practice of law.  The wealth of information exchanged through emails, and postings on Facebook and MySpace has aided prosecutors, defense attorneys, and civil trial attorneys in litigating their cases.  But despite the prevalence of email and social networking evidence in the legal field, the […]

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Right About Wrongs? A Review of Fried & Fried’s Because It Is Wrong and the Implications of Their Arguments on the Use of Capital Punishment

In their recent book, Because It Is Wrong, former solicitor general and Harvard Law professor Charles Fried and his son, Suffolk University philosophy professor Gregory Fried, begin with the principle that morality is essential to the proper understanding of how to assess the exercise of power by the President of the United States.  In particular, […]

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Popular Constitutional Interpretation

This Essay evaluates the theory of popular constitutionalism by exploring the concept of constitutional fidelity and the practical requirements it imposes on the exercise of interpretive authority within constitutional democracies.  Popular constitutionalists argue that the people ought to play a greater role in the process of constitutional interpretation, and advocate for reforms that would make […]

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Confronting the Wizard of Oz: National Security, Expertise, and Secrecy

Aziz Rana’s account of the takeover of American national security by experts, and of the public’s acceptance of that state of affairs, offers an important and novel perspective on what ails us in national security today.  In this Comment, I suggest that while Rana is correct to identify our deference to experts as a central […]

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The Pre-NSC Origins of National Security Expertise

America’s contemporary security state—a massive bureaucracy staffed with military and civilian experts—is a dominant feature in current debates over national security policy.  Few decisions regarding war and diplomacy are made without consulting executive branch experts.  While many contend that the current national security bureaucracy is an outgrowth of the National Security Act of 1947 (NSC), […]

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The Rise of National Security Secrets

Professor Aziz Rana urges a broad and populist reconsideration of the idea that the administration and military are best positioned to make decisions about national security issues.  This Article calls for a rethinking of national security secrecy as well.  The centralization of security decision-making power in the early Cold War era fostered a culture of […]

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Constructing the Threat and the Role of the Expert Witness: A Response to Aziz Rana’s Who Decides on Security?

Aziz Rana’s article presents clearly the overlooked but crucial question of “Who Decides on Security?”  Namely, is determining who or what groups constitute a threat something that we are capable of making ourselves, or must we necessarily cede that authority to those in power—who supposedly have both the access to knowledge and the ability to […]

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Who Decides on Liberty?

Whether approached as a matter of executive discretion, judicial role, or individual rights, questions about security are never far removed from questions about liberty.  Tradeoffs between liberty and security often seem unavoidable.  Defenders of unbounded executive power argue that security relies on experts to whom citizens and courts alike must defer.  But, if the tradeoff […]

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Republican Virtue and Expert Discourse: A Response to Professor Rana

In this Article, the authors note their agreement with Professor Rana’s historical analysis of a major change in national security discourse and elaborate on their disagreement with his account of the theoretical underpinnings of this transition.  They locate their difference on the line between liberal and republican theory, arguing that the historical shift is from […]

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