Latest & Greatest – Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law

 Edited by Maria Manoli and Sandy Belle Habchi  Published by McGill University Centre for Research in Air and Space Law  KZD 1145 .M366 2017

Edited by Maria Manoli and Sandy Belle Habchi

Published by McGill University Centre for Research in Air and Space Law

KZD 1145 .M366 2017

The newest edition to the space law collection at Harris County Law Library is Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law, a selection of papers that had been presented at the 4th Manfred Lachs Conference on Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law held in Montreal, Canada.  An interdisciplinary look at issues facing the exploration and commercial exploitation of outer space, Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law examines technological developments that provide greater accessibility to the far reaches of the universe and the new threats that emerge with the advent of these advances. In this regard, the papers cover such topics as anti-satellite technologies, security concerns in and regulatory control of the Proto-zone, and conflicts relating to radio frequency interference. The participants also considered areas of potential conflict, such as those involving space weapons, active debris removal, and the selling of lunar resources. From a legal standpoint, some of the issues tackled included the intersecting challenges of space security and cybersecurity, the legal challenges arising from the action of non-state actors in outer space, and the rules of engagement for military space operations. Lastly, Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law looks to the future by analyzing the prospects for space arms control and global space governance.

If the future of outer space is of interest to you, have a look at Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law. Another book in the Monograph Series that might pique your curiosity is NewSpace Commercialisation and the Law, which was featured in a previous Latest & Greatest blog post.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the conference is named for Manfred Lachs, a Polish diplomat and jurist who was a great influence on the development of international law following World War II.

Latest & Greatest – Rights of Prisoners

 By Michael B. Mushlin  Published by Thomson Reuters  KF 9731 .G6 2017   

By Michael B. Mushlin

Published by Thomson Reuters

KF 9731 .G6 2017

 

New to the library is the updated and revised Fifth Edition of Rights of Prisoners by Michael B. Mushlin. This four-volume set incorporates the sweeping changes in prison law that resulted from the more than dozen cases before the United States Supreme Court dealing with prisoners’ rights as well as federal and state legislation dealing with the treatment of prisoners. Mushlin begins his treatise with an historical overview of prisoners’ rights and a discussion of the standards used to determine whether a prisoner’s rights have been violated. He then focuses upon specific violations of constitutional amendments, such as the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In this regard, the author raises such issues as solitary confinement, use of force by prison personnel and assaults by other inmates, and prison conditions. The Eighth Amendment also comes into play when there are allegations about the inadequacy of medical care. Mushlin details the specific types of care required and the right of an inmate to refuse treatment. Other constitutionally-based issues discussed include discrimination, free speech, religious freedom, privacy rights, prison labor, and due process rights in disciplinary proceedings.

The author also devotes several chapters to topics that involve the management of prisons, such as classification decisions, transfers, and detainers. Other rights addressed include a prisoner’s right to access the courts, visitation rights, rights to send and receive written correspondence, and the right of access to the media and the corresponding right of prisons to limit or restrict such rights . Mushlin also looks at the civil disabilities imposed upon prisoners during their incarceration and any attendant constitutional issues raised by the laws that impose such disabilities. He also analyzes the Prison Litigation Reform Act and the impact it has had on jail and prison litigation. He looks at its most important provisions like the standards for prospective relief, the exhaustion requirement, the physical injury requirement, and in forma pauperis.

Mushlin ends his treatise with an examination of the private prison industry, its history, and the arguments surrounding the issue of whether the government can delegate the authority to operate prisons to a private entity.

Rights of Prisoners is a wonderful resource for those seeking to protect the rights of incarcerated clients or to keep abreast of the evolving law governing prisons. Find it here at the Harris County Law Library in our criminal law section.

Kincare Forms for Voluntary Non-Parent Caregivers

As summer approaches, requests for information about the supervision of a child by a non-parent caregiver are on the rise. Fortunately, TexasLawHelp.org and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services have the forms and information that grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, and other blood relatives may use to establish their rights as caregivers. These rights, which are put into place as part of the Kincare program*, allow a voluntary non-parent caregiver to enroll a child in school or daycare, make decisions regarding his or her medical well-being, sign school permission slips, and take other steps to ensure the child's welfare and safety.

To learn more about the Kincare program, TexasLawHelp.org is the perfect place to start. Download a copy of the Texas Kincare Primer to find answers to commonly asked questions about the authorization agreement for non-parent or voluntary caregivers.  Also available on TexasLawHelp.org is a form for consent to medical treatment by a non-parent or voluntary caregiver. Take a look at both forms to determine which will best meet your needs and the needs of the child in your care.

As always, if you have any questions about the Kincare program, we recommend that you consult an attorney. The Harris County Law Library partners with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, who provide free legal assistance for this or any civil legal concern five days a week in the basement at 1019 Congress. Volunteer lawyers are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Please note that the Kincare program is different from the Kinship Care program, which is designed for children in CPS care. For information about the Kinship Care program, please visit the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website. 

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Judicial Review

 Justice John Marshall was the first to flex SCOTUS's Judicial Review muscle. 

Justice John Marshall was the first to flex SCOTUS's Judicial Review muscle. 

There is a commonly held, but incorrect, belief that Judicial Review in the United States began with Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803). While this ruling marked the first time the Supreme Court held a law passed by Congress to be unconstitutional, the roots of Judicial Review in our land go even deeper, stemming beyond the Constitutional Convention, beyond Federalist No. 78, and even beyond 18th century British colonization in North America.

Jamestown, the first successful, permanent British settlement in North America, was established by the Virginia Company of London in 1607. Puritan separatists landed near Plymouth Rock in 1620. Judicial review existed in some form or another in 17th century England until William of Orange overthrew James II in 1688, but remained in the collective consciousness of the geographically separate North American colonists. By the time the Constitutional Convention rolled around in 1787, a majority of the newly formed states had already witnessed the power of Judicial Review exercised by their own supreme courts.

 Despite dying in Greenwich Village in 1804, Alexander Hamilton can now be seen nightly on Broadway.

Despite dying in Greenwich Village in 1804, Alexander Hamilton can now be seen nightly on Broadway.

Though the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists argued over the level of power the Federal Judiciary should be able to wield over the co-equal Executive and Legislative branches, the record is clear that Judicial Review was a foregone conclusion on both sides, and the question was one of limitation. Jefferson fretted that the Judicial Branch would become the ultimate arbiters of what is or is not Constitutional, and would rule like oligarchs. Hamilton argued that the Judiciary was the weakest branch, and that its existence would ensure its own continued weakness by encouraging the Legislative and Executive Branches to preemptively conform their works to Constitutional restraints.

 The 1953 Warren Court attempted to desegregate American schools through its  Brown  ruling.

The 1953 Warren Court attempted to desegregate American schools through its Brown ruling.