Cohen publishes article on political question doctrine in wake of Zivotofsky

Harlan Grant Cohen, the Gabriel N. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an article examining the U.S. political question doctrine in light of recent Supreme Court litigation in Zivotofsky, which arose out of the request by U.S. citizens that their child, born in Jerusalem, be issued a passport designating “Israel” as the child’s birthplace. Entitled “A Politics-Reinforcing Political Question Doctrine,” Professor Cohen’s article appears at 49 Arizona State Law Journal 1 (2017).

The manuscript, which forms part of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

“The modern political question doctrine has long been criticized for shielding the political branches from proper judicial scrutiny and allowing the courts to abdicate their responsibilities. Critics of the doctrine thus cheered when the Supreme Court, in Zivotofsky I, announced a narrowing of the doctrine. Their joy though may have been short-lived. Almost immediately, Zivotofsky II demonstrated the dark side of judicial review of the separation of powers between Congress and the President: deciding separations of powers cases may permanently cut one of the political branches out of certain debates. Judicial scrutiny in a particular case could eliminate political scrutiny in many future ones.

“A return to the old political question doctrine, with its obsequious deference to political branch decisions, is not the answer. Instead, what is needed is a politics-reinforcing political question doctrine that can balance the need for robust review with the desire for robust debate. The uncertain boundaries between the political branches’ overlapping powers create space for political debate. Their overlapping powers allow different groups to access the political system and have a voice on policy. Deciding separation of powers questions once-and-for-all can shut off those access points, shutting down political debate. A politics-reinforcing political question doctrine preserves the space in the political system for those debates by turning the pre-Zivotofsky political question doctrine on its head. Whereas the pre-Zivotofsky political question suggested abstention when the branches were in agreement and scrutiny when they were opposed, a politics-reinforcing political question doctrine suggests the opposite, allowing live debates to continue while scrutinizing political settlements. In so doing, it brings pluralism and politics back into the political question analysis, encouraging democracy rather than deference.”

Honoring the Hon. Ural Glanville (JD’87), global public servant

glanville_2015Featured yesterday at CNN: a Georgia Law grad whose public service has spanned the globe.

He’s the Honorable Ural Glanville, who earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1987. Not only is he a long-time Judge on the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, but he’s also served as a top lawyer in the U.S. Army Reserve. (photo credit) CNN’s Octavio Blanco wrote that Judge Glanville

is the first African-American Army Reserve Judge Advocate to be promoted to the rank of General Officer.

His military posts have included: Brigadier General, Chief Judge (IMA) U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and Commanding General of the NATO Rule of Law Support Mission/Rule of Law Field Force in Afghanistan. He’s done tours there and in Kuwait, earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, and served as an adjunct professor  in the United States and in Europe.

The CNN article, Unlikely recruit becomes top legal adviser in the U.S. Army, details these achievements and the long road that Judge Glanville traveled – a road that, we’re honored to note, brought him to Athens for his undergraduate studies in history and his law degree.