Emory Law Journal

Volume 59Issue 2
The 2009 Randolph W. Thrower Symposium, Executive Power: New Directions for the New Presidency?

Scaling Waller: How Courts Have Eroded the Sixth Amendment Public Trial Right

Daniel Levitas | 59 Emory L.J. 493 (2009)

American courts and legal commentators have long praised the Sixth Amendment public trial right, but courts often lack the willingness to enforce it. Although the Supreme Court has consistently held that violations of the public trial right belong to an exceedingly small class of constitutional errors requiring reversal, appellate courts persist in upholding improper courtroom closures even when the record shows that courts below have violated the applicable constitutional standard. When criminal trials are fatally fouled by structural, constitutional error of this kind, the reluctance of appellate courts to reverse is damaging in two ways—it encourages repetition of the same mistake, and it denigrates core values of individual rights that underlie our system of justice. This Comment argues for corrective action by explaining the rules governing courtroom closure, highlighting the errors often made by trial and appellate courts, and detailing the legal basis for more rigorous enforcement of the public trial right.

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Weighing the Value of Information: Why the Federal Government Should Require Nutrition Labeling for Food Served in Restaurants

Devon E. Winkles | 59 Emory L.J. 549 (2009)

Obesity has become a growing public health concern in the United States. State and local policymakers, as well as the federal government, have proposed and implemented a variety of measures to curb consumption of unhealthy food and promote healthy lifestyles. Providing nutrition information to consumers is one strategy that has been implemented, most notably in the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act of 1990. Such a strategy should again be employed to address overconsumption and over-marketing of high calorie food at restaurants, as well as to remedy the patchwork of menu labeling requirements that has been created in recent years and continues to expand. This Comment uses an interdisciplinary approach to weigh the regulatory design options available to lawmakers to address obesity, and particularly, the role consumption of restaurant food plays in contributing to obesity.

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