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From the category archives:

Wilson Huhn

Jefferson Davis' Speech at Macon, Georgia, September 23, 1864: Worst Speech Ever?

April 17, 2012

Jefferson Davis' speech of September 23, 1864, was so bad that Americans North and South speculated that it was a spoof or a satire – but it was real and sincere. In this speech Davis greatly discouraged his own troops and vastly raised morale in the North; unpersuasively justified his removal of a popular, effective [...]

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Florida Cases Interpreting Section 776.041: Person Who "Initially Provoked" Incident May Not Claim Self Defense

April 15, 2012

In yesterday's post I discussed the effect of Section 776.041 of Florida law which codifies the common law rule that to claim self-defense a criminal defendant must not have been the aggressor. Under this statute George Zimmerman's guilt or innocence is likely to turn on whether the jury finds that he "initially provoked" the incident in which he shot [...]

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The Interplay of Sections 776.041 (Use of Force by Aggressor) and 776.013(3) (Stand Your Ground) in Zimmerman Case

April 14, 2012

The "Stand Your Ground" law explicitly provides that a person "has no duty to retreat" if he or she is "not engaged in an unlawful activity." However, another statute entitled "Use of Force by Aggressor" provides that if a person initially provokes the use of force then that person may not claim self-defense unless he [...]

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Investigators' Affidavit Emphasizes Zimmerman's Suspicion of Martin

April 13, 2012

Talking Points Memo has posted the affidavit filed by the special prosecutor's office explaining why there was probable cause to charge Zimmerman with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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Zimmerman's Low Burden of Proof on the Issue of Self Defense

April 13, 2012

In her news conference announcing that George Zimmerman was being charged with second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, Florida Special Prosecutor Angela Corey mentioned several times that self-defense is an "affirmative defense" under Florida law. She also said that "Stand Your Ground" is "a tough affirmative defense to overcome." It will be [...]

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Florida Statutes on Second Degree Murder and Manslaughter

April 12, 2012

George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder, which carries a possible penalty of life in prison. A possible lesser charge is manslaughter, for which he could be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. This post sets forth the relevant Florida statutes on homocide.

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Presentation by Professor Huhn Today At Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law

April 11, 2012

Professor Huhn will present a program today at 4:00 at Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law on Same Sex-Marriage and Reality-Based Legal Analysis. The program will summarize the present status of same-sex marriage laws and litigation in the United States, and describe this movement within the larger intellectual and jurisprudential context of Legal Realism [...]

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"Immorality" and Social Change

April 7, 2012

Social conservatives sincerely believe that they are defending "morality" when they condemn practices such as  birth control, women working outside the home, and same-sex marriage. Their view is that these practices are "immoral" because they threaten the fabric of society. They consider people who condone these social transformations to be fostering "immorality." They are mistaken. [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in Reichle v. Howards, No. 11-262: Should the Secret Service Have Immunity From Liability for an Alleged Retaliatory Arrest?

April 7, 2012

During oral argument in Reichle v. Howards the justices of the Supreme Court were understandably skeptical about allowing a man to sue a group of Secret Service agents for "retaliation" where there was probable cause for the agents to arrest the man. On the other hand, the Court struggled to find a way not to give the Secret Service [...]

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Why the Courts Must Presume that Economic Legislation is Constitutional

April 6, 2012

In yesterday's post I cited abundant authority in support of the principle that the courts must defer to the judgment of Congress in reviewing the constitutionality of economic legislation. Decisions under the Due Process, Equal Protection Clause, Spending Clause, and Commerce Clause all reveal the same idea, that the courts lack the power to second-guess [...]

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Attorney General Holder's Response to Judge Jerry Smith on the Separation of Powers

April 6, 2012

The Attorney General's letter is here. More below.

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Suppressed 2006 Zelikow Memo Against Torture Released

April 5, 2012

The State Department has released a copy of the February 15, 2006 memo by Philip Zelikow arguing that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used to question detainees were illegal. The Bush administration had sought to destroy all copies of the memo.

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