October 23, 2012

Vol. 40, No. 2, Spring 2008

Vol. 40, No. 2, Spring 2008

Publication Date: June 11, 2008



Patricia E. Salkin & Amy Lavine, The Genesis of RLUIPA and Federalism: Evaluating the Creation of a Federal Statutory Right and its Impact on Local Government, 40 URB. LAW. 195 (Spring 2008). The separation of religion and government is not always clearly delineated. Courts are often faced with religious controversies and must balance the free exercise of religion with governmental interests such as protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of citizens. Since 1990, Supreme Court holdings and Congressional legislation have attempted to find the proper balance. In response to the Supreme Court’s holdings, Congress enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993. But the Court ruled RFRA unconstitutional, so in 2000, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) to once again provide relief to individuals and organizations seeking religious freedoms. This paper reviews the judicial and legislative history leading up to the passing of RLUIPA and the judicial interpretation of this Act over the last seven years. The authors discuss the constitutionality of RLUIPA and how federalism concerns, separation of powers, and jurisdictional hooks under the Commerce and Spending Clauses have been addressed by the courts. The paper then explores the how courts are currently interpreting RLUIPA and the impact of the judicial decisions on local governments and communities.

Jocelyn Friedrichs Benson, One Person, One Vote: Protecting Access to the Franchise Through the Effective Administration of Election Procedures and Protections, 40 URB. LAW. 269 (Spring 2008). With the increasing likelihood of record voter turnout in the upcoming 2008 presidential election, it is critical that election administrators work to ensure that the voice of each eligible voter is heard, and that each vote is counted accurately. Part I of this article seeks to emphasize the important role that federal, state, and local governments, poll workers, political parties, and nonpartisan advocates play in ensuring fair and efficient elections. In addition to briefly discussing the general responsibilities of each entity before, during, and after Election Day, this article suggests several guidelines and standards which, if implemented together, could promote a baseline of uniformity to counteract some of the variations that challenge the reality of the one person, one vote principle on Election Day. Part II of the article provides an in-depth assessment of one particular area where these entities work together to promote the participation of voters protected under the federally mandated language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. This analysis reviews the Congressional decisions to extend and renew Section 203, including its most recent renewal in 2006, and its effectiveness and usefulness in American political law. Whether Poll workers, party officials, state administrators and the federal government, each entity plays an important role in ensuring that the outcome of an election accurately reflects the will of the voters.

Alan Woolever, Tax Increment Financing, Government Grants, and Developer Tax Consequences: An Analysis of Statutes, Regulations, Case Law, and Related Policy Considerations, 40 URB. LAW. 299 (Spring 2008). This article deals with the tax implications for developers involved in TIF redevelopment projects (government subsidized projects that use potential future appreciation in taxes to finance current improvements in blighted areas). When a developer takes on a TIF project, the governmental body financing the project grants the developer substantial amounts (potentially millions of dollars) of money and property. Under the tax code, these grants may be includible in the developer's gross income, which presents substantial tax burden on the developer and may kill the deal. The author discusses three possible ways that the developer may have these grants exempted from gross income: General Welfare Exclusion, Dominion and Control Exclusion Doctrine, or through Code Section 118 (and related case law).

Michael Kroopnick, Affording Baltimore: Public-Private Approaches to Workforce Housing, 40 URB. LAW. 331(Spring 2008). This article examines the problem of quality housing shortages for middle to low income families in urban and suburban communities. The author specifically looks at the Baltimore housing market as an example of the larger trend and examines ways in which the Baltimore city government has tried to address the problem, as well as suggesting ways in which those solutions might be applied to other communities.

Rebecca L. Anderson, The Rules in the Owners' Box: Lobbying Regulations in State Legislatures, 40 URB. LAW. 375 (Spring 2008). Lobbyists are paid advocates who may represent clients with widely divergent or even contradictory interests over the course of a career. In theory and in practice, the entire legislator-lobbyist relationship can seem like a long-term, polymorphous conflict of interest. Federal and state laws regulating influence-peddling from the outside are relatively recent and did not merit much attention until the mid-twentieth century. Part I of this article investigates the separate development of federal and state conflict of interest and lobbying laws. Part II examines current federal and state conflict of interest and lobbying laws and closely investigates Hawaii's Code of Ethics as an example of a state ethics code. Part III surveys regulations across jurisdictions (the states and the federal government) and looks for trends to emerge. Part IV examines legislation from the 2007 Hawaii state legislative session, and compares proposed legislation to existing Hawaii law and that of other states. Part V makes recommendations for the future of lobbying legislation in Hawaii and elsewhere.

With Cases Notes on:

Cherry Hill Vineyard, LLC v. Baldacci

Fitzgerald v. Barnstable Sch. Comm.

Doe v. Mich. Dep't of State Police

Dubay v. Wells

Keweenaw Bay Indian Cmty. v. Rising

Digrugilliers v. Indianapolis

Miller v. Rite Aid Corp.

Mamo v. Dist. of Columbia

National Pride at Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan

Biggers v. City of Bainbridge Island


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