43 Stetson L. Rev. i (2013-2014)

handle is hein.journals/stet43 and id is 1 raw text is: STETSON LAW REVIEW

VOLUME 43                            FALL 2013                            NUMBER I
INTRODUCTION                                                      Robert Batey       1
ARTICLES
Mens Rea and Constitutional Law: A Report Card for
the Florida Supreme Court in State v. Adkins                      Robert Batey      3
This Article analyzes the Florida Supreme Court decision in State v.
Adkins, 96 So. 3d 412 (Fla. 2012), and how each justice decided the issue.
The Court set out to definitively decide a controversial issue involving
Section 893.13 of the Florida Statutes, a law that arguably made drug
possession a strict liability offense. However, no majority was reached; the
Court was split into a three-justice plurality, with two concurrences and
two dissents. A professor at heart, Batey analyzes the approach each
justice took in reaching a decision and assigns them all grades based on
the legal deduction, reasoning, and justification found in each opinion.
Arguing that no real conclusion was reached to this difficult legal issue,
Professor Batey explores the shortcomings in each justice's interpretation
of the law and how the issue should have been decided given each justice's
prior history and ideological views, as well as by the precedent set by the
Court itself.
Piercing Pearson: Is Qualified Immunity Curbing
Students' Religious Speech Rights?                      Matthew J. Shechtman       17
The First Amendment protects private discourse and individual contri-
bution to the marketplace of ideas; it also limits the government's ability
to impose religious views on its citizenry, while promising to guard the
peoples' rights to practice the religion of their choice. These fundamental
rights are focal points for extensive and controversial religious speech
jurisprudence. The extent of these speech rights depends predominantly
on who the relevant speaker is: the government may regulate its own
speech but is hamstrung from endorsing religion, while private speech
enjoys expansive constitutional protection and is not limited by the Estab-
lishment Clause. Identifying the speaker can sometimes be a difficult
endeavor, however; one such example is of utmost concern to a large, yet
distinct, subset of the population-public school students.
Accordingly, this Article focuses on student religious speech in public
schools and the First Amendment's protection thereof. This inquiry is
informed by student speech jurisprudence, the axiomatic prohibition
against viewpoint discrimination, and government avoidance of Estab-
lishment Clause violations. This complicated and oftentimes contradictory
caselaw is troubling in its own right, yet is circumscribed even further by
another major concern that inhibits students' free speech rights-qualified
immunity.
Qualified immunity protects government officials from civil liability
under certain circumstances. This defense does not, however, protect a
government official who infringes on a student's (1) clearly established
(2) constitutional rights. This two-prong test is meant to protect gov-
ernment officials' reasonable discretionary actions. Of some concern,
however, the Supreme Court has generally advised lower courts to reach
the clearly established prong before the constitutional violation prong.

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