In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without parole for juvenile homicide offenders. Despite Justice Kagan’s protestations, the Court was not eliminating an outlying vestige of once common, brutal punishment, but instead a practice that was common. The holding suggests the Court may be willing to take a more activist role in monitoring state criminal justice systems.
Articles by: Samuel Weiss
Congress has required the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate military drones into U.S. airspace. Past efforts to militarize police forces should make us wary about the influence drones could have in domestic policing.
Last month, a federal court in Michigan had the opportunity to confront the constitutional problems that sex offender registries present. The court ducked them by resolving the case on a narrow question of statutory interpretation, missing the chance to examine whether the registrations are constitutionally acceptable.