April 28, 2008
Question 1 of exam
Word Limit: 1500 words
You are an aide to a newly elected Ohio state senator, Senator I.M. Sensibal. Senator Sensibal has just heard from some irrate constituents about the Ohio Supreme Court's recent ruling in Hyle v. Porter, 117 Ohio St.3d 165, 2008-Ohio-542 (Ohio S. Ct. Feb. 20, 2008) (available here). Senator Sensibal tells you that these constituents are part of a new public policy group calling itself Parents Energized to Remove Violators of Sexuality so Our Universe is Terrific (PERVS OUT). Senator Sensibal hands you a piece of the group’s printed literature that describes Hyle v. Porter as "a horrific travesty of a judicial decision in which a bunch of activist Ohio Supreme Court justices flagrantly lied about the intent and goals of the Ohio legislature’s efforts to keep Ohio children safe from repeat pervs like Gerry Porter."
Senator Sensibal tells you that the PERVS OUT group is asking every member of the Ohio state legislature to explain what he or she thinks about the Hyle v. Porter decision and how he or she plans to respond to the decision. Senator Sensibal explains that she told the PERVS OUT group that she would be studying the opinion together with her staff and would respond to their inquiry shortly. Senator Sensibal, in turn, tells you that she wants you to write a memo that (A) describes briefly the Hyle v. Porter ruling (which Senator Sensibal has not had a chance to read) and sets out the strong possible justification or legal explanation for the Ohio Supreme Court's ruling. Then, after this brief review of Hyle v. Porter and its possible merits, the Senator wants your memo to (B) suggest and assess how the Ohio legislature in general and how Senator Sensibal in particular ought to respond to Hyle v. Porter. (Most of your memo, Senator Sensibal emphasizes, should be devoted to part B because she wants you to briefly describe both the pros and cons of whatever suggestions you make for responding to Hyle v. Porter.)
Senator Sensibal explains to you that she is a new state senator who, after making lots of money in college during the first dot.com boom, ran for office based on a campaign focused on the need for the state to promote and display fiscal and tax responsibility. She also explains that, because she is single and does not have a family, she has not given much thought to sex offenders in general or to the issues raised in Hyle v. Porter. She further explains that the most vocal leaders of the new PERVS OUT group come from her state senate district, and thus she believes that her views on and reactions to Hyle v. Porter could readily become a focal point of the group’s attention. Finally, Senator Sensibal also explains to you that she is very interested in "doing the right thing" for the citizens of Ohio, but that she is also interested in preserving her political power and energies to focus on the fiscal and tax issues that drew her to the state capitol.
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Here is a quote from Justice Scalia:
Well, I have made that very point on occasions when I speak to law faculties and when I give a lecture at a law school. If they ask me how would I improve the current process of law teaching, I do make the point that what judges do nowadays is very little common law. But what they do almost all the time is that they interpret a text. They almost always have a text in front of them. And yet, at least when I went to law school, we didn’t have a single textual course in the first year.
And I think the law schools are changing that. I think that more and more of them are introducing a course on legislation, or on statutory construction, in the first year. I think that’s important, not just for what it teaches but for the perspective it gives to the novice lawyer. This is not a world of the common law. It’s a world in which textual interpretation is very important.
I hope it helps motivate.
Posted by: Hyatt | May 1, 2008 3:29:55 AM
A good place to start to beef up your home security would be locking your doors and windows even when you're at home. Then put a sign in your front yard that warns of a vicious guard dog. You'd be amazed at how effective that is and you don't even need to dog.
Posted by: vigilon | Jan 7, 2011 7:21:57 AM
I don't see any reason why this got so many complaints back when it was introduced.
Posted by: Houston Lawyer James West | Aug 3, 2014 3:34:35 PM