Feb 17th Today we discussed the notion of popular will.

**Neoliberalism-how countries relate to each other. Assumes countries are on an equal playing field but they are not.

European Union mainly creditor countries which loan money to debtor countries. However Greece is going bankrupt.

Romer vs. Evans Colorado legislature had no laws protecting the rights of homosexuals. Supreme Court said this was unconstitutional.

Ballot referendum- People by voting are directly making laws themselves. Most laws are passed by the legislature of the state. California has passed so many referendums that some argue it is ungovernable. California has on the ballot to scrap the constitution and make a new one. Be suspicious of whether a legislature will enact popular will. Most people are unhappy with congress, like their congress person, and have no idea what that person stands for.

How important is the idea of popular will. It is assumed that if the majority of the citizens in a democracy want something to happen it will, not always the case. Social cost of alcohol is larger than that of marijuana yet pot is illegal.
Reasons for legalizing it- Pot can be taxed. Less people will be behind bars for marijuana related crimes.
Reasons for keeping it illegal-may effect public health. How will it shift land usage. Government makes money off it being illegal.

Gay marriage is another topic we discussed concerning popular will. Claim against it is that it will destroy religion.

What is the difference between popular will and majority will? Does and or should our government act accordingly to either?

February 22, 2010
This is the last set of info to be covered before midterm.

Examples of popular will discussed in last class
-Legalization/Medicalization of Marijuanna
-Gay Marriage
-Citizens United (Corporations and 1st Ammendment Rights)

Why are we discussing popular will?
Whose will actually is popular will? Is it through voting or legislature?

What are some disadvantages of voting?
-Uninformed voters make popular will questionable.
-Some people just don't vote, which also affects true popular will.

Fact: 1 in 9 Americans live in California. California has been deemed ungovornable because of all the ammendments made to the constitution of California.

Fact: Colorado's ammendment in the 1990s says that you CANNOT be given "special rights" based on your sexual orientation.

Natural Law/ Legal Positivism vs Critical Legal Studies
*Most of our readings have been from a realist/positivist viewpoint

NATURAL LAW: Law is connected to morals. They are not the same, but they support each other. (Most Traditional View of Law)

LEGAL POSITIVISM: More mainstreamed. Connected to Legal Realism. Only describes law. (Lesser but still Traditional View)

CRITICAL LEGAL STUDIES: Not just describing law, seeing how law works for society, finding faults/ faulty laws. (Radical View)

Legal Positivism/ Natural Law
-Liberal Feminism

Critical Legal Studies
-"Radical" Feminism
-Critical Race Theory

Fact: The way our laws are set up, we cannot make adjustments to provide race and gender equality. Race and Gender interrelate too much to be considered separately.
Example: Almost everyone agrees with MLK, but is this degree of equality possible in America the way our government works?

Fact: The EEOC was developed in 1964 (Civil Rights Act)

Fact: As of 2008, the workforce has almost come to a clean, even break of 50% men and 50% women.

Discussion: EEOC vs Sears: EEOC accused Sears of not hiring enough women to occupy high commission jobs. Sears responded by stating that it was in fact the women who had no intrest in working these particular jobs.

  • How has society set Sears up for this lawsuit?

- Many things being sold based on commission were cars and lawncare equipment. These things for example are expected to be common knowlege to men, but not to women. This is only a stereotype that has evolved and made most women uncomfortable filling this type of role.
Example: Most women wouldn't even feel comfortable buying a car from another woman.

NEXT ASSIGNMENT: Due before Spring Break = Do research on the 3 topics discussed reguarding popular will. Post research to wiki. What are we learning about these issues? Where do these issues stand right now? Await further instruction……………….

MIDTERM EXAM: Will be a take home test e-mailed to blackboard on Friday this week.

WORK ON STUDY SHEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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