Monthly Archives: June 2010

Oil Spill Changing Landscape of Florida Vacation Rentals

With the BP oil slick closing in on coastlines from Louisiana to Florida, owners of vacation rental properties are bracing for an unsteady summer season. (6/6/10 ABC News, Clark Fouraker)… Read Article

1. “Property managers on the Gulf coast aren’t letting their customers run east without a fight.” Discuss the measures taken by vacation rental managers to attract customers.

2. What did Amy Baker say about predicting the economic damage from the oil?

Supreme Court: Petition Signers Can’t Keep Names Secret

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, June 24 that petition signers on state ballot referenda do not have a constitutional right to keep their names anonymous. (6/24/10 ABC News, Ariane de Vogue and Ann H. Sloan) … Read Article

1. Discuss First Amendment scholars’ opinion on the Supreme Court’s ruling.

2. Discuss the caveat provided by Justice Samuel Alito in the Supreme Court’s majority ruling.

Supreme Court Overturns Strict Handgun Bans

In a 5-4 decision the  Supreme Court today ruled that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is applicable to all states and municipalities. The ruling will most likely overturn Chicago’s strict ban on handguns. (6/28/10 ABC News, Ariane de Vogue) … Read Article

1. Chicago Corporation Counsel Mara S. Georges argued that the Court should leave it up to the states and cities to regulate handguns. Do you agree with this point of view? On what constitutional basis do you think she makes her argument?

2. Justice Alito was also careful to note that in some cases the right to bear arms can be limited. Under what circumstance does Justice Alito considers limitation on the right to bear arms?

Health Care Law: A Review 90 Days Later

Three months after the $938 billion health care bill was signed into law, questions abound about whether the Obama administration can meet all the deadlines in the massive law while dealing with the political pressures of Congress. (6/28/10 ABC News, Huma Khan) … Read Article

1. Republicans have the Department of Health and Human Services of missing key deadlines. Discuss some the key deadlines missed and some of the important deadlines already met.

2. Discuss how seniors and young adults have already benefited from the law.

(Video)World Economic Summit: Leaders Declare War on Deficit Spending

Wary of slamming on the stimulus brakes too quickly but shaken by the European debt crisis, world leaders pledged Sunday to slash government deficits in the most industrialized nations in half by 2013, with wiggle room to meet the goal. (6/27/10 Associated Press, Mark Smith)

1. Discuss how this year’s summit marks a shift from the last summit in Pittsburg.

2. Discuss the signs that G20 leaders declared war on government debt at the summit.

(Video)Kagan on the Hot Seat for Confirmation Hearing

Elena Kagan pledged to be a model of impartiality and restraint if approved for the Supreme Court, “a wondrous instutition,” she said at the outset of Senate confirmation hearings. (6/28/10 Associated Press, Jerry Bodlander)

1. Discuss the Republicans’  opposition to Kagan’s qualification as a Supreme Court Justice.

2. “It’s not a coronation but a confirmation process,” said Senator Jeff Sessions. Discuss the next stage in the confirmation process, now that the opening statement is out of the way.

(Poll)Polisci Students’ Opinion On BP’s CEO

In a recent poll, we asked MPSL students their opinion on BP’s CEO taking time off for leisure. The result: about 45% of respondents think it was inappropriate for Tony Hayward to take time off for leisure in the midst of the oil spill disaster; about 46% think it is not inappropriate; while about 9% is not sure whether it is inappropriate for BP’s CEO to take time off for leisure. Results were retrieved on 6/28/10, 8:00 PM PST.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward drew some sharp criticisms for taking time off for leisure in the midst of the oil spill disaster. What do you think?