UW LSJ 375 - The Relationship Between Law and Justice

Unformatted text preview:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014LSJ 375--Day #5!The Relationship Between Law and Justice Deshaney v. Winnebago:!! -theory and practice are inseparable (cannot be disentangled) !Legal Positivism:!! -put in place by the sovereign, if we want to understand what the law is we find who put the law into place and that is the law !Five Minutes of Legal:!!Legal Naturalism:!! -more based on morals!! -we can study the laws as it is, without considering what it "ought to be" (what a legal naturalist would not say)!! -cannot talk about what is without talking about what ought to be !•what natural law is saying is there is an essential relationship between law and the law that is laid down by people !--the law is the law only when it is in accord of what is true (pineapple vs. veggies) !Natural Law: can be problematic because people have different sets of moral standards--how do we know what is right?!!!!!!Deshaney v. Winnebago !first name: (plaintiff) the one who is asking the court to do something. At appellate level you are petitioning the court--filing a petition. (the names switch because now you are appealing and you are asking the court to do something) this is the person who filed the case ! ! ! ! ! ! Slide 1!•Basic elements of Supreme Court Decision: syllabus, majority opinion (s) and notes, dissenting opinion(s) and noes!•There are two major issues in DeShaney: one of LAW, and one of JUSTICE, Our key concern: how are they related? !•Law: Did the defendants violate Joshua Deshaney's 14th Amendment rights, thereby creating liability under 42 U.S.C. 1983 (the civil rights act) !•Justice: was the court's ruling fundamentally just or unjust, and by what moral standards !! -powerful illustration of the tragedy of power !•Remember: the U.S. Supreme Court only rules on constitutional questions, not guilt or innocence. Remedies under criminal law and state tort law were foreclosed !! -legal formalizim vs. legal activism !!!!!!Slide 2!1Tuesday, April 15, 2014•The main legal conflict in DeShaney is between formalism and activism !•Formalism: Judges follow the "letter of the law," and make strict, literal, logical interpretations, even in the face of tragic consequences!! -the law does not have a whole lot of stretch--we cant stretch the law because we feel bad. We have to interpret the law for what it is is literally !•Activism: Judges follow the "spirit of the law" and interpret the law in light of its supposed underlying intent !! -you cant just follow what the letter of the law is because times and values change. Can't just read what is on the page but need to stretch the law to consider things that weren't considered by people when they made the law!•The Relevant laws in DeShaney are the 14th Amendment (1868) and the Civil Rights Act of 1871 !! -14th Amendment !! ! -brief & short language, but is applied to complex cases!! -Civil Rights Act of 1871 !•Compare the brevity of the 14th amendment with the complexity of the case. The Court's task is to interpret complex fact patterns in light of very concise laws. What does the law really mean? !!!!!!Slide 3 !•The 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War to address complex issues created by the abolition of slavery!! -"the doctrine of supremacy" --US law is the law of the land. its not as if states and local laws dont contradict federal law, but sometimes local govts. can give you more but CANNOT take away !! -you can never be given less in a state than you are given in the constitution!! -"nor shall any state deprive.........." applies to deshaney !! -state can only take things from you after due process !Two Kinds of Due Process: !! -Procedural: the government has to follow a certain procedure or set of procedures before it takes something from you. Before they lock you up, or make you pay a fine, it must follow a certain set of procedures. !! -Substantive: the government owes you something of significance because they have com. the government compromises your liberty or property interests, it must then take care of substantive things that you would otherwise been able to take care of yourself (clothing, food, medical care, shelter) --when the government compromises you taking care of yourself they must then provide for those deprivations (does not have to be super nice or extravagant but must provide for the basic things you would provide for yourself) !! -Joshua's Substantive right was harm when Winnebago country ignored what was happening from him. Not a procedural due process claim, but a substantive due process claim. (Joshua was like someone in jail or a state facility, just as the state has responsibilities of those who are locked up, they violated his right of due process in the 14th amendment in not ensuring he has liberty, life or..)!•Core Rights: Privileges and immunities of citizenship, due process and equal protection!2Tuesday, April 15, 2014•Landmark 14th Amendment cases: Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and Roe v. Wade (1973) !•The Civil Rights Act of 1871 (originally called the Klu Klux Klan Act) gave "teeth" to the 14th Amendment by creating the right to sue government officials for alleged constitutional violations !! -now you have a specific statutory remedy to sue officials that use their power to advance their own agenda (under color of authority) !! -you can't use government power to advert peoples constitutional rights !! -you cant sue someone who isn't acting under color of authority !**When those social workers failed to step in and help they were violating the substantive portion of due process law !•In Deshaney, Joshua sued Winnebago County and several individual defendants for alleged violations of his 14th Amendment rights!!!!!!Slide Four !•The key legal question; Under the 14th Amendment, did Joshua have a protected, "Liberty interest in bodily integrity??' !•Joshua's case is obviously tragic, but were his constitutional rights violated?!! -the state knew what was going on (for years) !! -this case is not about the criminal culpability of Randy (his father) although he served only 2.5 years !•1984: Joshua's father beats him into a permanent coma. Case filed 1985. !!1986: summary judgement granted to defendants !•Summary judgement=dismissal of a civil case without trial, because the material facts are undisputed, and grounds for judgement exist as a matter of law. A very common and highly controversial legal procedure!•1987: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms

View Full Document

UW LSJ 375 - The Relationship Between Law and Justice

Download The Relationship Between Law and Justice
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...

Join to view The Relationship Between Law and Justice and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view The Relationship Between Law and Justice 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.


By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?