Marialexa Natsis, The Balancing of Executive Emergency Powers As They Relate to the Pandemic and Eviction Control, 18 Hastings Bus. L.J. 213 (2022), Marialexa Natsis discusses California governor Gavin Newsome’s use of executive power to implement an eviction moratorium, including how challenges to similar uses of executive power were decided in other states. She discusses Friends of Danny Devito v. Wolf, noting that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that Governor Wolf’s use of executive orders was neither unduly oppressive nor a violation of the separation of powers, and the temporary order was not a Taking under the state constitution. She concludes that the similarities between the executive orders in Pennsylvania and California likely mean the California governor’s orders are constitutional as well.
Alicia Muir, Trust Issues: Using States’ Public Trust Doctrines to Advance Environmental Justice Claims, 46 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 707 (Spring, 2022), Alicia Muir discusses the possibility of pursuing environmental justice through state constitutions and common law rather than through the federal courts, using Pennsylvania as the main example. Muir reviews Article I, Section 27 and decisions by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that fleshed out the text of the Environmental Protection Amendment. She concludes that the public trust doctrine in Pennsylvania is a model for other states.
Ellen Brotman & Amy Coco, Pennsylvania Lawyers Behaving Badly: Is 8.4(G) a Solution?, 50 Hofstra L. Rev. 521 (2022), Ellen Brotman and Amy Coco argue that Pennsylvania’s adoption of Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g), which expands the definition of attorney misconduct to include harassment or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status, is a necessary use of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s authority to govern the practice of law under Article V, Section 10(c) of the state constitution.
Bertrall L. Ross II, Inequality, Anti-Republicanism, and Our Unique Second Amendment, 135 Harv. L. Rev. F. 491 (2022), Bertall L. Ross II discusses the colonial origins of the right to bear arms. Silver writes that the unique right to bear arms for self-defense in the Declaration of Rights of the original Pennsylvania Constitution extended a qualified right for collective self-defense, not individual self-defense.
Benjamin Silver, Nondelegation in the States, 75 Vand. L. Rev. 1211 (2022), Benjamin Silver reviews state courts’ use of the nondelegation doctrine, using Pennsylvania cases as a model. Silver discusses the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s statement in Protz v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Board that the nondelegation doctrine could be described as a natural corollary to the text of the separation-of-powers provision of the state constitution.
Elizabeth Wetzler, One Person’s Trash, Another Person’s Renewable Energy? Creating a Cleaner, More Just Renewable Portfolio Standard in Pennsylvania by Revoking Municipal Solid Waste’s Alternative Energy Designation, 94 Temp. L. Rev. 515 (2022), Elizabeth Wetzler writes that the legislature’s permitting of municipal solid waste incineration as an alternative energy source violates environmental protection rights under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Air and water pollution caused by this incineration disproportionately impacts environmental justice communities and unreasonably impairs the environmental rights of current and future Pennsylvanians.
Douglas Roeder & Katherine Pearson, Putting the Charity Back in Purely Public Charities, 93 Pa.B.A.Q. 101 (2022), Douglas Roeder and Katherine Pearson discuss the lack of definition of “purely public charity” in Article VIII, Section 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which allows tax exemptions for such charities. The article provides a history of evolving tests used by the courts to determine if an organization qualifies as a purely public charity, including requirements that an organization render services to those who cannot afford fees, even if the organization operates at a loss.
Carolyn Rice, Turning to the States: Why Voting Rights Advocates Should Bring Voter ID Challenges to State Courts and How to Identify a Friendly Forum: Lessons From The Post-Crawford Decisions, 24 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 541 (2022), Carolyn Rice discusses the impact of an increasingly conservative federal judiciary on challenges to voter ID laws and whether those challenges are more likely to succeed in state courts. The article points to a 2014 decision by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court striking down an unconstitutional voter ID law and holding that there is a fundamental right to vote under the state constitution.
Hayward Smith, Revising the History of the Independent State Legislature Doctrine, 53 St. Mary’s L.J. 445 (2022), Hayward Smith argues that there was significant overlap in the delegates the federal Constitutional Convention and the state conventions, suggesting a shared understanding of law. Several state conventions included election restrictions in early state constitutions, and so the federal Constitution was written with the understanding that state legislatures could be restricted by state constitutional restrictions on election laws. Smith points to a requirement to vote by ballot in the 1790 constitution of Pennsylvania to demonstrate election restrictions existed in the earliest state constitutions, many of which were drafted by delegates of the federal Constitutional Convention.