What is the Logan Act?

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Is the Logan Act somehow related to the Marvel Universe’s Wolverine and a prohibition against lacing a mutant’s skeleton with adamantium?  Well, no, Wolverine is Canadian and the actual act wouldn’t apply to him.  But it does have to do with the acts that occur between private US citizens and foreign governments, so the other X-Men may want to read up.

The Logan Act has been in the news a lot lately thanks to the exploits of ex-National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  The controversy there surrounds the communications that Flynn had with a Russian ambassador about the sanctions the Obama administration was imposing on Russia for their attempts at influencing the Presidential election.  Is what he did really a violation of the Logan Act?

Turning to the act, it reads:  “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

Does Red Bull Give You Wings?

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Not according to two class action lawsuits filed against the company and settled for $13 million in 2015.   The main basis of the suits was the claim that Red Bull misled consumers into paying higher prices for their products by touting the superiority of their beverage to say a regular cup of coffee, in spite of scientific evidence otherwise.  The company’s attorneys have chosen to characterize the payout as a gift to consumers and view the agreement as a nuisance settlement, although the company changed its marketing practices after the conclusion of the case.  So does Red Bull give you wings?  The jury is literally still out but do the research and come to your own conclusion using some of the links below.

Law 360 article for background info:

http://www.law360.com/articles/650701/red-bull-for-everybody-judge-oks-13m-false-ad-settlement

Staff Spotlight - Adam Mackie

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Thank you for reading the inaugural entry of a new series featured on the UConn Law Blog, titled “Staff Spotlight Series.” This series will include a variety of questions that staff can choose to answer. The goal of this series is to better acquaint the law school community to the library's exceptional staff.

This post features one of the new reference librarians at the law library, Adam Mackie. Adam joined us in September 2016. Prior to joining the library, he spent nearly the last decade working and studying in Hawaii and Japan. Adam will be providing reference and research assistance to library patrons, presenting formal and informal research instruction in law school courses, and developing research materials in a variety of formats.

How does your work fit into the core functions of the library/law school?

I think my role here at the law school is to connect patrons with all the valuable resources our library has to offer and to teach something about the research process along the way.

Public Education and the Separation of Powers

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On September 15, 2016, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen filed an application for certification to appeal Judge Moukawsher’s groundbreaking decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell directly to the Supreme Court, signaling a looming constitutional showdown between the legislature and judiciary over the future of public education in Connecticut.

Other states have had similar controversy over the legislature’s constitutional duty to provide education, prompting intense debate over the separation of powers on a par with the fundamental questions asked in Marbury v. MadisonIn Washington, for example, the court held the legislature in contempt for failing to adequately fund schools and fined them $100,000 a day until they came up with a plan to assuage the court’s concerns.  And yet, the legislature, in control of the purse strings, has not even set up the segregated account for the fines required of them by the court.  How can the judiciary force legislative action?