Vol. 103 Issue 6

The exclusionary rule generally bars the use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal case, regardless of the defendant’s crime. However, using a combination of doctrinal analysis, social psychology theory, and original experimental data, this Article proposes a more cognitively complicated picture of how the rule may actually operate. In cases of egregious crime that people are highly motivated to punish, the exclusionary rule and its continually expanding exceptions present a fertile entry point for “motivated cognition,” a psychological process through which decision makers unknowingly reason toward their desired outcomes, seemingly within the constraints of the law.

In this series of experiments, when research participants acting as judges were faced with pivotal but illegally obtained evidence of a morally repugnant crime, they unknowingly construed the circumstances of the case in a manner that enabled them to invoke an exception to the exclusionary rule—thereby “cognitively cleansing” the tainted evidence to admit it and achieve their punishment goals without flouting the law. By contrast, when an identical illegal search uncovered evidence of a less reprehensible crime, participants were significantly more likely to suppress the evidence, construing the circumstances of the case to support the use of the exclusionary rule without exception. Even people’s judgments about the investigating police officers, who conducted exactly the same illegal search in both scenarios, depended on the egregiousness of the crime that the search happened to uncover. Critically, however, introducing awareness-generating instructions that alerted participants to the possibility that criminal egregiousness could drive their suppression judgments significantly curtailed the influence of this doctrinally irrelevant factor.

As a Los Angeles Times editor put it, “In essence, the [net neutrality] debate boils down to a question of what freedom online is most worth preserving: the freedom from regulation, or the freedom from interference by [Internet service providers].” Nearly four million comments were filed with the Federal Communications Commission to weigh in on the net neutrality rulemaking proceeding, eclipsing the previous record set when it received 1.4 million comments in response to Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. This Note seeks to explain some of the key legal and policy arguments embedded in those rulemaking comments. This Note also discusses the costs and benefits associated with the net neutrality rules approved by the FCC in March 2015.

Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu coined the term “net neutrality”—short for network neutrality. Net neutrality is synonymous with an “open Internet”: the idea that users should choose what lawful content, services, and applications to use online, without interference from Internet service providers (ISPs). To provide for an open Internet, the FCC adopted rules that apply to providers of “broadband Internet access service”—that is, mass-market retail service that provides the capability to send and receive data over the Internet. In general, there are two categories of broadband service: (1) “fixed” broadband service
provides Internet access at stationary locations (for example, home modems); and (2) “mobile” broadband service provides Internet access to users of mobile stations (for example, smartphones).

 

 

Patent policy is typically thought to be the product of the Patent and Trademark Office, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and, in some instances, the Supreme Court. This simple topography, however, understates the extent to which outsiders can shape the patent regime. Indeed, a variety of administrative actors influence patent policy through the exercise of their regulatory authority and administrative power.

This Article offers a novel description of the ways in which nonpatent agencies intervene into patent policy. In particular, it examines agency responses to conflicts between patent and other regulatory aims, uncovering a relative preference for complacency (“inaction”) and resort to outside help (“indirect action”) over regulation (“direct action”). This dynamic has the striking effect of shifting authority from nonpatent agencies to patent policymakers, thereby supplanting some regulatory designs with the patent regime’s more general incentives. This Article thus offers agencies new options for facing patent conflict, including an oft-overlooked theory of regulatory authority for patent-related regulation. Such intervention and regulation by nonpatent agencies can give rise to a more efficient and context-sensitive regime that is better aligned with other regulatory goals.

This Article concerns a relatively unseen form of labor that affects us all, but that disproportionately burdens women: admin. Admin is the office type work—both managerial and secretarial—that it takes to run a life or a household. Examples include completing paperwork, making grocery lists, coordinating schedules, mailing packages, and handling medical and benefits matters.

Both equity and efficiency are at stake here. Admin raises distributional concerns about those people—often women—who do more than their share of this work on behalf of others. Even when different-sex partners who both work outside the home aspire to equal distribution of household labor, it appears that the family’s admin is more often done by women. Appreciating the unequal distribution of this work helps us to see the costs of admin for everyone. These broader costs include wasted time, lost focus, and interpersonal tension. Though the types of admin demands that people face vary by gender, class, age, and culture, admin touches everyone.

The Article makes this form of labor more salient, both analytically, through an account of its features and costs, and practically, through proposals for public and private interventions. Admin is “sticky.” It frequently stays where it lands, whether with female partners of men, one member of a same-sex couple, an extended family member managing another’s affairs, or parents of some adult children of the so-called millennial generation. By demanding time and attention, admin impinges on leisure, sleep, relationships, and work.

Is your heart rate an intentional communication? The answer may not be clear, but what is certain is that the era of consumer wearable devices is upon us. For the first time in history, consumer devices are capable of monitoring sensitive vital sign information, and companies are readily collecting an inordinate amount of individual data. These devices are known as “wearables” and can monitor an individual’s heart rate, stress level, brain activity, respiration, body temperature, hydration level, and other related information. Wearables are worn on the wrist, head, ankle, or any other body part, and serve to computerize just about every daily function imaginable. Software can then be used to collect and store these personal health data. As the law currently stands, nothing is stopping health-app companies from selling this collected information
to third parties. In the end, individual privacy suffers tremendously when these data are disclosed, and companies are profiting from sensitive health information such as consumers’ heart rates. . . .

Imagine having the ability to become invisible by blending perfectly into your surroundings and to move before someone’s eyes completely unseen. No longer is this capability limited to the worlds of Harry Potter, comic books, and sci-fi thrillers. Invisibility is the future of military technology. But is invisibility technology a lawful tool of war?

The United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DOD) is currently funding research in invisibility technology for use in military operations. At least one defense contractor has recently released a prototype of an “invisibility cloak,” academic researchers have unveiled lenses that render the objects behind them undetectable to the human eye, and other companies are developing adaptive technologies for military vehicles that allow them to move unnoticed in any terrain. Once perfected, such technologies will make it possible for ordinary soldiers and special forces alike to advance toward the enemy and operate within its territory undetected. . . .