Prosecution and the Electorate

By: Jacob Longman

Most countries do not elect their prosecutors. The United States, in fact, is the only country in the world that does. This brings a uniquely political tint to what, in other countries, is a purely administrative criminal justice system.

Originally, the United States was no different. Immediately following the Revolutionary War, governors and legislatures appointed district attorneys and prosecutors. Without getting into too much history, this began to change around the 1830’s and by the start of the Civil War, this was the case in about 75% of states. Today, only three states do not elect their district attorneys and Louisiana is not one of these.

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PILS Fall Day of Service

By: Liz Wong

To say the Fall Day of Service was a success would be an understatement. There was a record breaking number of participants this year according to 2L PILS Community Service Chair, Sara Richards. Last year, there were about 40 students that participated. With over 125 participants, the event received nothing but positive feedback both from students and the community. This year students were able to volunteer at a number of different sites: Habitat for Humanity, BREC, Connections for Life, Cat Haven, Companion Animal Alliance, Friends of the Animals, Thrift stores, and THRIVE.

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Night at the Museum: A Curated Tour with Professor Baier

By: Annie Beckstrom

 

(Above is audio of Annie’s interview with Prof. Baier.)

There comes a time during law school when one must venture into the unknown world of the fourth floor. Whether to meet with a professor in hopes of snagging a coveted old test or lay claim to a hidden study room, the first trip up the lobby elevator can induce feelings of anticipation and uncertainty. At first glance, the layout seems familiar to any academic institution. One will find a row of offices with doors propped open, some exuding a friendly invitation, others an “enter if you dare” appeal. A law professor is tucked away in each room, hidden behind heaping stacks of paperwork and a vast array of legal literature. Chatter between colleagues about a Socratic lecture gone awry can be heard down the hall. Stroll a little further and one will stumble upon an unexpected gem, the office LSU law students have coined, “Professor Baier’s Museum.”

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Chancellor Weiss Resigns: PMH Community Responds

By: Mallory Richard

Following an eight-year stint at the helm of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, former Chancellor, Jack Weiss, steps down this month, citing “major differences” with the Law Center faculty as his reason for resigning.

“I am proud of the many positive developments at the Law Center during my eight years as Chancellor and look forward to submitting the progress of the Law Center during those years to the judgment of history,” Weiss said in a July statement.

“Unfortunately, however, major policy differences with a vocal segment of the faculty have made it difficult, if not impossible, for me to continue to lead the Law Center on a day-to-day basis and to implement my vision for the Law Center’s future.”

Though the specific events that led to Weiss’s decision to resign remain unknown, his resignation comes on the heels of a petition signed by Law Center faculty calling for an “urgently needed” change in leadership. The petition, which surfaced as a result of a public record request filed by 2015 law school graduate, Kyle Alagood, is signed by 25 of the 33 Law Center’s tenure or tenure-track faculty members and was presented to LSU’s provost in May.

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Obergefell v. Hodges: Decision Debate

By: Alaina Richard

Had you been scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed on June 26, 2015, you might have seen a rather colorful display of newly updated rainbow-filtered profile pictures. On the day the Supreme Court handed down their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, there was a raucous and emotional response on the Internet, on the steps of the Supreme Court building, and even on the exterior of the White House. There is no dispute that the decision in Obergefell created a tidal wave of change that is still crashing down on the social and political foundation of our country. For some, it marked the end of a decades-long battle for what they viewed as (and what SCOTUS has now declared) a “fundamental right” – marriage for same gender couples. For others, it rattled their view and definition of an ancient institution – marriage between a man and a woman. It is somewhat moot to discuss the hesitancy many felt and still feel regarding the decision in favor of same gender couples. The highest court in the land has spoken and the issue of marriage as a fundamental right has been (somewhat) laid to rest. However, it is helpful to attempt to understand the social and political backlash that always accompanies major social change by delving into the arguments against the Supreme Court’s ruling, outlined in a dissenting opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts. And perhaps more importantly, many feel that this decision has unearthed a bevy of new questions that still beg to be answered.

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