Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Smart on Crime”: Re-Examining Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Author: Cameron Downer, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

A Plea for Reform

On March 30, 2012, United States District Judge, John Gleeson, urged Attorney General Eric Holder to reform mandatory minimum sentences.[1] In an opinion relating to the mandatory five-year sentence imposed on a low-level drug dealer, Judge Gleeson addressed the injustice that occurs when mandatory minimum sentences are applied to low-level drug offenders.[2] In closing, the Judge stated that he had reason to believe that Eric Holder would be receptive to his request for reform.[3] Judge Gleeson was right.

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Will Divorce Equality Bring Marriage Equality?

Author: Ryan Goellner, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

This November, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a suit to dissolve a same-sex marriage performed outside the state, and will be deciding two important issues: (1) whether Texas courts have jurisdiction to hear such suit, and (2) whether Texas laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are constitutional. The Court’s decision on these issues could heavily influence similar litigation across the United States. Since the Court is likely to uphold the Texas laws at issue, their decision will not bode well for couples seeking marriage equality in a state with similar laws.

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No More Horsing Around with the Ohio Revised Code

Author: Chris Tieke, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

The Ohio Supreme Court sets a common approach to interpreting statutorily created torts and immunities: Smith v. Landfair, Horvath v. Ish, and Houdek v. ThyssenKrupp Materials, N.A., Inc.

Today, state legislatures play an increasingly important role in creating and implementing statutes that define, and sometimes limit, tort liability.  In tension with this increased activism by legislatures is the traditional role of courts in creating common law principles and traditions of recovery for tort claims.  With legislatures willing to become more involved in determining when actions may give rise to civil liability, much of a court’s work has shifted to applying rules of statutory interpretation.  Knowing that a court uses rules of statutory construction to interpret statutes is Law School 101.  More important, however, is to understand which rules the court applies and the manner in which the court applies them to cases when a particular statute is at issue.  The recent Ohio Supreme Court cases of Smith v. Landfair, Horvath v. Ish, and Houdek v. ThyssenKrupp Materials, N.A., Inc. have clarified the Court’s approach to statutory interpretation with regard to statutory torts and immunities. [1]

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