Using Health Data to Inform Disability Policy in Delaware

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 1, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

As with all people, the health status of people living with disabilities can be linked to health risk behaviors. This paper explores behavior, health, and disability through the utilization of data taken from a health monitoring survey implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the Behavioral Risk F actor Surveillance System (BRFSS), for years 2006, 2007, and 2008. My purpose is to begin a discussion about the extent to which health status indicators, health risk behaviors, and chronic health conditions among adults with disabilities reported in the BRFSS can influence disability and health policy in the State of Delaware. The analysis demonstrates the need for health advocates and policymakers to consider using the BRFSS to create and implement disability health policy.

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Paul Galonsky is a Disability Policy Leadership Fellow at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. 

A New Subpoena

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 1, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the government’s use of national security letters (NSLs) has generated substantial controversy. F ar from its popular image as draconian, intrusive, and constitutionally suspect, the current NSL is a weak, limited instrument, generally inadequate to its task. The NSL should be replaced by a new National Security Subpoena, patterned after federal grand jury and administrative subpoenas, both of which have long legal pedigrees. They have evolved on parallel legal tracks over time as primary fact-finding tools of what courts have recognized as the federal government’s power of inquiry, issued on what amounts to low-threshold reasonable suspicion. Reserving enforcement of federal subpoenas to Article III courts has successfully preserved a constitutional balance by allowing reasonable federal investigation while preserving individual rights against abusive or inappropriate invasions of privacy. Many years of experience with grand jury and the commonly-used administrative subpoenas have proven them to be models for a transformed NSL–one better suited to a world of bioterrorism and dirty bombs. The 2006 amendments to the Patriot Act, for the first time extending statutory judicial review to national security letters, laid the groundwork for replacing the outmoded, cumbersome, and controversial NSL with something much more useful. The new subpoena would substantially improve investigators’ effectiveness while enhanced executive supervision and independent judicial review would ensure enforcement of constitutional limits.

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Christophir Kerr is a J.D. graduate of the Steston University College of Law. 

How the Supreme Court Affirmed Arbitrary Action in Public Employment

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 1, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

This article critiques the Supreme Court’s recent exclusion of class-of-one equal protection in the public employment context in Engquist v. Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. The argument proceeds in three parts. Part I examines Olech v. Village of Willowbrook, the unanimous per curiam decision that first articulated class-of-one equal protection. For almost a decade, every circuit but the Ninth that considered the question of extending Olech to the public employment context did so while wrestling to create an appropriate test. In Engquist, the Supreme Court unconvincingly distinguished Olech and went against a near consensus in the circuits to hold that class-of-one equal protection has no place in the public employment context. Part II examines the Court’s rationale for its holding, particularly the emphasis that the Court places on the at-will rule of employment. The section argues that the courts have consistently over- simplified the at-will rule in the private sector that creates more of an aspiration than a presumption. In the public sector, the at-will rule has never existed in a coherent form, and therefore should not have been used by the Court as a balance to a constitutional protection. Part III examines the practical effects of Engquist and shows that the case would have had minimal practical effects no matter which way the Court went. But even without direct practical effects, Engquist is a major decision that will have a significant impact on the future of labor and employment law.

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Moshe Zvi Marat is a J.D. graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Governance, Technology and the Search for Modernity in Kenya

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 1, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece.

An ICT policy that produces broad access quickly is better than one that does not. Accordingly, success in ICT policymaking can be measured by three empirical measures: speed of passage, scope of implementation, and distribution, as well as one normative measure, process. “Process” represents an important normative dimension of ICT policymaking. Process measures the extent to which the ICT policymaking involves the citizenry, as represented by individuals, civil society groups, local private sector groups, and ideally, urban and rural residents (“wananchi”). Kenya is a case of slow speed of passage, low scope of implementation, low distribution, but high process. The political history of Kenya’s ICT policymaking explains why this county, with such capable people and relatively open ICT policymaking, has struggled to keep up with its poorer neighbors.

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Wagria Bowman is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi.

The Effect of the ESA on Forest landowners

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 1, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the most powerful environmental law in the United States. However, in order to ensure the survival of listed species, the ESA imposes restrictions on lands that can prevent landowners from developing or altering their property. These restrictions often lead to arguments that the ESA imposes significant financial harm on landowners. This essay explores the connection between ESA regulations and widespread financial harm to forest landowners. Given the difficulty in studying large-scale effects to landowners, anecdotal case studies are the primary source of information, serving as the impetus to ESA opposition and fueling speculation and controversy on the total financial effects of ESA regulations on forest landowners. Despite their difficulties, large-scale empirical studies are needed to determine the widespread effect of the ESA on landowners and to make any necessary changes to the ESA’s current restrictions.

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Ryan Meezkowski is an Instructor at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland.