Your supervising attorney has assigned you to a research project relating to her client, Daniel Kim. Daniel has a house in New Jersey. During the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in 2020, he has been working from home since March 2020. Bored alone at home and scared to go out for shopping, he started growing vegetables including lettuce, tomato, green onions, and kale in his backyard for his own consumption. He also started making handcraft works for fun. However, Congress passed a new commercial law, Retail Protection and Price Control Act (RPPC) in February 2020 in order to protect retailers by controlling the price. Congress has legislative intent to stimulate the economy and protect manufacturers and retails to keep a moderate inflation rate and a higher price for products. For this purpose, the RPPC also imposed penalties on individuals who grow agricultural products in his/her own home and manufacture crafts which adversely affect commerce. Under the RPPC, individuals must apply for a permit to grow agricultural plants and to make crafts in order to avoid penalties.
FBI agents got information from informants on August 1, 2020, that Daniel Kim was growing agricultural products from his home. FBI agents started observing Daniel’s home for three weeks. Daniel did not go out of his home for three weeks. Without a warrant, FBA could not see his backyard surrounded by homes to identify the vegetables grown. Failing to gather evidence to search and seize the home, FBI agents started collecting trash bags coming out of the home. Instead of directly picking up trash bags from the curbside, they asked for aid from the trash collectors who conveyed the bags after collecting. Searching the trash bags, the FBI agents found vegetable remnants and ugly failed crafts. They also found shredded papers that they could reassemble to prove that some crafts were actually sold online and got paid from other buyers. Finally, on September 1, the FBI was issued a warrant to search Daniel’s home and found the vegetables in the backyard and in his refrigerators and crafts which were made on his table in a small room. Daniel was fined for $20,000 to obstruct the commerce under the RPPC.
Answer to the following questions:
(1) Is Daniel liable under the RPPC? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).
(2) Is the search by FBI agents of the trash bags from Daniel’s house legal? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).
Your supervising attorney has assigned you to a research project to answer to questions relating to her client, John Doe. John Doe started receiving his disability benefits under the Disability Insurance Benefits program in 2010. In March 2014, he received a questionnaire from the state agency charged with monitoring his medical condition. John completed the questionnaire, stating that his condition had not improved, and provided information on his recent doctor’s visits. The state agency then obtained reports from his physician and a psychiatric consultant. After reviewing all the documents submitted, the agency informed John by letter with reasons that it had made a tentative determination that his disability had ceased in May 2014. In his written response, John disputed one characterization of his medical condition and indicated that the agency already had enough evidence to establish his disability. The state agency then made its final determination that he had ceased to be disabled in May 2014. The determination was accepted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which notified John in July that his benefits would terminate after that month. The notification also advised him of his right to seek reconsideration by the state agency of this initial determination within six months.
John sued the state agency and SSA, challenging the constitutional validity of the administrative procedures. John relied on Goldberg v. Kelly, which established a right to an “evidentiary hearing” prior to termination of welfare benefits.
Will John win this case? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).
Your supervising attorney has assigned you to a research project to answer to questions relating to her client, Jane Lee, an Asian Massachusetts resident. Jane wanted to be a good leader in society. So, she decided to go to law school and started preparing the LSAT exam. She finally received 171 points and in November 2018, she applied to her dream law school, the Future Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, one of the top law schools in the U.S. She had a 3.9 GPA and received two recommendations from a famous lawyer and a law professor. Five months later, she received a letter stating that she was not accepted despite her excellent records. Later, she found out that the school has an affirmative action program to accept minority students from African-American, Native-Indian, and Hispanic groups in order to achieve student diversity through compliance with Regents of Univ. of Cal. V. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978). The policy requires admissions officials to evaluate each applicant based on all the information available in the file, including a personal statement, letters of recommendation, an essay describing how the applicant will contribute to Law School life and diversity, and the applicant’s GPA and LSAT score, recommenders’ enthusiasm, the quality of the undergraduate institution and the applicant’s essay, and the areas an difficulty of undergraduate course selection.
The Future Law School states in its admission policy that it is seeking to admit a group of students who individually and collectively are among the most capable, and it is looking for individuals with substantial promise for success in law school and a strong likelihood of succeeding in the practice of law and contributing in diverse ways to the wellbeing of others. The school also seeks a mix of students with varying backgrounds and experiences and who will respect and learn from each other. In particular, the Law school seeks to ensure that its efforts to achieve student body diversity complies with the Bakke court’s ruling on the use of race in university admissions. The policy clearly states that the highest possible score will not guarantee admission and a low score will not automatically disqualify an applicant. The policy does recognize many possible bases for diversity admissions, while reaffirming the Law School’s long-standing commitment to “one particular type of diversity,” that is, “racial and ethnic diversity with special reference to the inclusion of students from groups which have been historically discriminated against, like African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, who without this commitment might not be represented in our student body in meaningful numbers.” By enrolling a critical mass of minority students, the Law School seeks to ensure their ability to make unique contributions to the character of the Law School.
Jane decided to sue the Future Law School, alleging that the school discriminated against her on the basis of race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. She argued that the school used race as a “predominant factor” in admission, giving applicants who belong to certain minority groups a significantly greater chance of admission than students with similar credentials from disfavored racial groups and had no compelling interest to justify that use of race. Asians have also experienced discrimination but were not mentioned in the policy.
Can she win this case? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).
Your supervising attorney has assigned you to a research project to answer to questions relating to her client, Dr. Tiffany Doe, a physician. Dr. Doe has been running an abortion clinic in Massachusetts for the last ten years. On March 15, 2020, Massachusetts passed a new abortion act which added the following requirements:
(1) A woman seeking an abortion must give her informed consent prior to the procedure;
(2) A woman seeking an abortion must be provided with certain information at least 24 hours before the abortion is performed;
(3) A minor woman seeking an abortion must receive the informed consent of one parent;
(4) A woman seeking an abortion must sign a statement indicating that she has notified her husband; and
(5) Facilities providing abortion should report to the Department of Public Health.
On April 1, Dr. Doe and her same-sex partner, Emma Koh, finally decided to marry. After a marriage ceremony at the Boston Common, they attempted to obtain a marriage license from Boston City Hall. As required under Massachusetts Law, they completed notices of intention to marry on forms provided by the registry and presented these forms to a city clerk together with the required health forms and marriage license fees. However, the clerk refused to accept the notice of intention to marry and denied a marriage license to the couple on the ground that Massachusetts does not recognize same-sex marriage. Obtaining a marriage license is a necessary prerequisite to civil marriage in Massachusetts. The Department of Public Health is charged by statute with safeguarding public health and oversees the registry of vital records and statistics (registry), which enforce all laws relative to the issuance of marriage licenses and the keeping of marriage records.
(1) Dr. Doe would like to file a suit seeking a declaratory judgment that each of the provisions of a new Massachusetts abortion act passed on March 15, 2020, was unconstitutional on its face. How will the case come out? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).
(2) Dr. Doe also would like to sue the Department of Public Health, alleging that department’s policy and practice of denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated their constitutional rights. Can she win this case? Provide your legal opinion on this case using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Applicant, Conclusion).