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    Course Schedule Spring 2024

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    The Brief (Edition #32, February 2024)

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    Election Subversion and the Writ of Mandamus

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    Election subversion threatens democratic self-governance. Recently, we have seen election officials try to manipulate the rules after an election, defy accepted legal procedures for dispute resolution, and try to delay results or hand an election to a losing candidate. Such actions, if successful, would render the right to vote illusory. These threats call for a response. But rather than recommend the development of novel tools to address the problem, this Article argues that a readily available mechanism is at hand for courts to address election subversion: the writ of mandamus. This Article is the first comprehensive piece to situate the writ of mandamus within contemporary election law disputes. This Article traces the history and application of the writ of mandamus in election disputes and posits that it is uniquely situated to help courts prevent election subversion. Federal and state laws delineate clear and mandatory responsibilities for election officials after votes have been cast in an election. Congress’s recently-enacted Electoral Count Reform Act strengthens the legal obligations placed upon election officials in presidential elections in particular. Courts can order state election officials to certify election results and to transmit those results to victorious candidates or the appropriate branch of government. If election officials refuse, courts can proceed to alternative mechanisms of enforcing the judgment, including expeditiously directing another actor to perform the appropriate election administration tasks. Mandamus is particularly valuable— more valuable than ordinary injunctive relief—because of the original jurisdiction in many state supreme courts to handle these disputes, which avoids the delay of a layered appellate process. This Article demonstrates the value of the existing remedy of mandamus to avoid election subversion. It then suggests ways that states strengthen the law around mandamus to ensure that election administration occurs in a timely and effective manner

    An Interview with W.C. Jefferson (part one)

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    So what it is, is that we\u27re not all born equal, but what we all should have is a chance to be the best we can be. -- Jeff Jefferson ------------------------------------ The first part of Jefferson’s oral history took place via Zoom on September 26, 2023. Jefferson started by discussing his undergraduate education at Central State in Ohio, where he participated in ROTC. Afterwards, he joined the army and completed two tours in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He then discussed starting law school and how he balanced work and family during his 1L year. Jefferson described a meeting with then-Dean James Whyte, and the effort to recruit more Black students that resulted from it. The last bit of the interview touched on law school facilities, class and faculty, and the namesake of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/oralhist_all/1006/thumbnail.jp

    Second Amendment Exceptionalism: Public Expression and Public Carry

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    In New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, the Supreme Court recognized a right to carry firearms in public places. The scope of that right will depend on where, why, and how governments regulated public carry during the eighteenth and perhaps nineteenth centuries. The Court claimed that its turn to history for determining the scope of Second Amendment rights “accords with” and “comports with” how the Court has interpreted First Amendment rights. This Article examines and rejects that claim, both in general and specifically as it applies to the public exercise of Second Amendment rights. Although Bruen purports to seek interpretive parity, the Court is construing the Second Amendment as an exceptional super-right. Second Amendment doctrines are shaping up to be the mirror opposite of First Amendment public forum and time, place, and manner doctrines. Although governments will retain broad authority to restrict and sometimes ban public expression, they may have very limited authority to restrict or ban public carry. Indeed, if courts apply a rigid historical standard to public carry laws, Americans will have stronger rights to carry firearms in public places than to speak there—an anomalous and astonishing result in a democracy committed to peaceful discourse. Recognizing a public carry super-right will produce dangerous disparities in terms of the scope of fundamental rights, chill public expression, and privilege self-defense over self-government

    Faculty Meeting Minutes (April 2023)

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    The One Trap Every Trump Prosecutor Needs to Avoid

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    The Brief (Edition #24, February 2023)

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    Table of Contents (v. 64, no. 6)

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    Introduction to Online Study Aids at the Wolf Law Library

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    Reference librarian Chris Byrne introduces the different types of study aids for exams available to students at William & Mary Law School. Includes how to navigate the law library\u27s website to access the aids. Please note: video is best viewed at 720p. This setting can be adjusted by clicking the HD icon at the bottom of the video screen


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