political economy

September 13th, 2011

First Slide
Title: IMF Goals
• Help Membership Gov’s take advantage of the opportunities and manage challenges presented by Globalization and economic development.
• Provide analysis of economic trends and performance.
• Forecast and alert members of potential problems.
• Provide a forum for member countries to discuss economic policy.
• Provide know how to member countries on how to approach economic problems.
• Help developing countries to maintain macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.

Second Slide
Title: How does IMF accomplish these Goals?
• Surveillance
• Technical Assistance
• Lending

Third Slide: Case Study: 1982 Debt Crisis: Mexico in “the Lost Decade”

Criticisms to add:
IMF has been seen as politicized to support policy goals of its major shareholders.
Examples: IMF’s aid to mexico in the 90s. IMF’s aid to former communist states
IMF provides short term balance-of-payments problems instead of larger problems. The result is that many criticize the IMF for having an excessively short-term horizon and concentrating too much on cutting budget deficits and controlling credit while neglecting the core issues that affect a country’s capacity to produce goods and services. (“Why the IMF Needs Reform) Zanny Minton-Beddoes
Reluctance of member countries to increase IMF quotas has meant that the size of the resources made available to the fund has not kept pace with the size of the world economy as measured for instance by world trade. Also, the inability to change the quota system causes emerging market countries to be under represented and more mature countries to be overrepresented. (IMF: Victim of Its Own Success or Institutional Failure?) Paul R. Masson.


November 2nd, 2010

John Geddes Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 55, U.S. Supreme Court 2003.

Facts: In Houston, Texas, police were dispatched to a private residence in response to a reported weapons disturbance. When the police entered the apartment of one of the petitioners, the officers saw the two petitioners, both male, engaging in a sexual act. The sexual act was in violation of Texas law that prohibits deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex. Deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex is a class C misdemeanor in Texas and stays on the violators criminal record.

Procedural History: Harris County Criminal Court found the petitioners guilty. The Court of Appeals for the Texas Fourteenth District affirmed the convictions. Petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court and was granted cert.

Issues: Whether criminal convictions for adult consensual sexual intimacy in the home violate their vital interests in liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment thus over-ruling Bowers v. Hardwick.

Holding: yes

Reasoning: Previous Court decisions have established the right to make decisions regarding sexual conduct extends beyond the marital relationship. It is evident to the Court that these statutes would hinder homosexuals ability to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy because these statutes control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. The claim in Bowers that proscriptions against that conduct have ancient roots is cast in doubt because the concept of the homosexual as a distinct category of person did not emerge until the late 19th century and laws against sodomy were not enforced against consenting adults acting in private but rather against adults and minors. Since these acts define a homosexual’s personhood and autonomy, they should protected by the Due Process Clause.


November 2nd, 2010

State v. Mobbley, 650 P.2d 841, Court of Appeals of New Mexico 1982.

Facts: The defendant, Mobbley, was charged with harboring and aiding Andrew Needham knowing he had committed a felony with the intent to escape arrest. When the police came to the defendant’s house, she was harboring two felons, one being her husband and the other being Andrew Needham. When the police asked if they were in the house, she said no. But after hearing noises the police entered and found the two felons. Since the New Mexico harboring and aiding felons statute does not apply to wives and their husbands or close relatives, the defendant is only charged with aiding Needham. However, the defendant claims that she could not have revealed Needham without revealing her husband.

Procedural History: Trial Court dismissed the information. The Court of Appeals of New Mexico reversed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the information and ordered to reinstate the case on the trial court’s docket.

Issue: Whether the defendant is guilty of harboring and aiding a known felon when the harboring of the criminal is done with the expectation to protect her husband which is reasonable according to New Mexico law.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: Since common law tradition of accessories which later were enacted in New Mexico State only exempt relations of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, and brother or sister, the relationship between the defendant and Needham is not exempt. Since the language of the statute is clear there is no room for interpretation. Though the defendant was put in a dilemma, to add that additional exemption would to add words to the statute.


November 2nd, 2010

Gregg v. Georgia 428 U.S. 153. U.S. Supreme Court 1976

Facts: The petitioner, Gregg, was a convicted robber and murderer who was sentenced to death pursuant to a Georgia statute.

Procedural History: Trial Court convicted Gregg and sentenced him to the death penalty. Gregg appealed to every level in Georgia’s judicial system. All affirmed trial court’s decision. Gregg petitioned U.S. Supreme Court and was granted cert.

Issue: Whether the sentence of death for a crime of murder is a per se violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

Holding: No

Reasoning: The death penalty has been used throughout our history and that is evident by the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment stating that capital punishment cannot be used without due process of the law. The standards of decency towards the death penalty has not changed enough because a large proportion of American society continues to regard it as an appropriate and necessary criminal sanction. Since the death penalty serves the two purposes of retribution and deterrence of offensive conduct in which society finds morally outrageous. Since there is penological justification for the death penalty, it cannot result in the gratuitous infliction of suffering.


November 2nd, 2010

Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186. U.S. Supreme Court 1986.

Facts: In 1982, Hardwick was charged for violating Georgia’s anti-sodomy statute by committing sodomy with another male in the bedroom of his house. Hardwick challenged the constitutionality of the statute insofar it criminalized consensual sodomy.

Procedural History: Hardwick brought suit to Federal District Court. District Court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s decision. The Attorney General petitioned the Supreme Court and was granted cert.

Issues: Whether the due process clause in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution confers a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in sodomy.

Holding: No

Reasoning: In previous cases, the Court has labeled individual rights to marriage, procreation, and family relationships as fundamental rights. Since sodomy has no resemblance to these rights, sodomy is not a constitutionally protected act. Hardwick’s claim that sodomy is deeply rooted in our society is false because sodomy by common law tradition has been illegal before the bill of rights was signed. The claim that the sodomy should have been legal because it occurred because it occurred in the privacy of his own home does not work because if that were to be accepted it would lead to incest, adultery, and other sex crimes to be immune from prosecution.

Wisconsin v. yoder

November 2nd, 2010

Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, U.S. Supreme Court. (1972)

Facts: Members of the Older Amish religion and the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church were convicted of violating Wisconsin’s compulsory school attendance law. The law states that every child must attend public or private school up to age sixteen. The respondents want to withhold their children from attending school after the eighth grade because secondary schooling conflicts Amish principles that dictate their way of life and provide their salvation.

Procedural History: Trial court denied motion to dismiss the charges. The Wisconsin Circuit Court affirmed the convictions. Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the convictions. On petition from the State of Wisconsin, the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert.

Issues: Whether the State of Wisconsin’s objective of providing all children with the benefits of secondary schooling regardless of religious affiliation conflicts with the free exercise clause of the first amendment and the traditional right of parents to decide a child’s religious upbringing.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: The Amish people believe their salvation is dependent on their insulation from the influence of the outside world. Since public and private high schools wish to install principles such as individual competitiveness and subject children to pressures of the outside world, making Amish children attend secondary schooling would hinder the religious upbringing the Amish community values. The religious upbringing of Amish children is very important to the practice of the Amish religion. As a result, Wisconsin’s compulsory secondary schooling law infringes upon the free practice clause of the First Amendment. Also, the states claim that it is empowered, as parens patriae, to provide children secondary regardless of the parents wishes cannot be held by the free exercise clause because there would be no negative effect upon the mental health or physical health of Amish children if they did not attend two years of secondary schooling.

October 26th, 2010

Moore v. City of East Cleveland, Ohio 431 U.S. 494, U.S. Supreme Court. May 31, 1977.

Facts: Mrs. Inez Moore lives with her son and two grandsons in East Cleveland. The two children are first cousins. One of the grandsons, John Moore moved in after the death of his mother. Due to East Cleveland’s housing ordinance that only recognizes only a few categories of related individuals, her grandson was declared an illegal occupant of the house. She was ordered to have John removed from the dwelling. She did not comply and she received a criminal charge from the city.

Procedural History: Mrs. Moore moved to dismiss on grounds the ordinance was constitutionally invalid on its face. Motion was over-ruled. Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed after giving full consideration. Ohio Supreme Court denied review. Mrs. Moore appealed to the U.S Supreme Court. U.S. Supreme Court granted cert.

Issue: Whether East Cleveland’s narrow housing ordinance violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: The holding in Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas only affected unrelated individuals not family members related by blood, adoption, or marriage and does not apply to this case. Since this ordinance intruded on choices concerning family living arrangements, the City had to have compelling governmental interests for the regulation. Their stated objectives of avoiding financial burden for public schools, minimizing traffic, and preventing overcrowding were not significant reasons to burden liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

October 6th, 2010

Terry v. Ohio No. 67, Supreme Court of the United States. June 10, 1968.

Facts: Detective McFadden was patrolling his downtown beat when he noticed three men acting suspiciously outside a store. Mcfadden, under the suspicion it could be a robbery, approached the three men and conducted a stop and frisk. During the frisk, Mcfadden felt a gun underneath the clothing of Terry and Chilton. Mcfadden seized the weapons and Terry was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. During a hearing at trial court, Terry motioned to suppress the guns from the case. Trial court denied the motion because the court believed McFadden needed to perform the frisk in order to be safe from harm.

Procedural History: Appealed to the Court of Appeals for the eighth judicial district; ruling was upheld. Appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio. Appeal was dismissed. Appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. U.S. Supreme Court granted cert.

Issue: Whether a stop and frisk procedure used by a police officer on the street violates someone’s constitutionally protected rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Holding: No

Reasoning: Under the Fourth Amendment there is a narrow provision that allows an officer to frisk a person if he can reasonably infer that someone may be armed and dangerous. Since the officer did not go underneath the clothing of the three individuals, it can not be seen as a exploratory search. He was merely padding the outside to see if there were any weapons as a protective search. That kind of search is lawful under the Fourth Amendment.

October 6th, 2010

United States v. Ralph Arvizu No. 00-1519, U.S. Supreme Court. January 15, 2002.

Facts: After a sensor went off on a road known for drug smuggling, a federal border patrol agent went to the road and discovered Arvizu driving with a woman in the passenger seat and three kids in the back. While behind Arvizu, the border patrol agent noticed ten suspicious things about Arvizu’s driving. The border agent pulled Arvizu over and searched the car after he got permission from Arvizu. The border agent found 128.85 lbs of marijuana. Arvizu was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Arvizu motioned to suppress the evidence because the border agent did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle as required by the Fourth Amendment. The District Court denied the motion. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the District Court’s decision because it concluded that 7 out of the 10 factors that caused the border agent to pull over Arvizu had little to no weight in regards to reasonable suspicion.

Procedural History: District Court denied motion to suppress evidence. Arvizu appealed to The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Decision was overturned. United States petitioned the Supreme Court. Supreme Court granted cert.

Issue: Whether reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop can be found when the majority of the observable factors documented to raise the suspicion are found to carry little or no weight in reasonable-suspicion calculus.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: Whenever the Court measures reasonable-suspicion, it measures the totality of circumstances involved in the case in order to judge whether the arresting officer had a particularized and objective basis for suspecting a legal wrong doing. The Court of Appeals erred because it looked at each factor as a singular event and concluded that only three of the factors were relevant suspicions. Since all the factors must be viewed together, the collective suspicious qualities of each factor would provide reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

legal brief holmes

October 5th, 2010

Holmes v. South Carolina No.04-1327, Supreme Court of the United States. May 1, 2006.

Facts: Holmes was convicted of murder, first degree criminal sexual assault, first degree burglary and robbery, and was sentenced to death by a South Carolina jury. During his trial he motioned to have an expert witness give testimony refuting the credibility of the forensic evidence. Also, Holmes wanted to introduce evidence that another man was at the scene of the crime the morning of when it was committed and had said that he had committed the crime and that Holmes did not. The trial court excluded the third-party evidence stating it was inadmissible because it could not overcome the forensic evidence against him and it only merely casts a bare suspicion of another’s guilt.

Procedural History: Trial court convicted Holmes. Holmes appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court and the Court gave cert. South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s decision. Holmes appealed the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. Supreme Court gave cert.

Issue: Whether someone’s constitutionally protected right to a fair trial is violated by an evidence rule that prohibits him from presenting evidence of a third party’s guilt if the prosecution has produced forensic evidence that if held true, heavily supports a guilty verdict.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: The Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense. There are well established evidence rules that exclude evidence if its probative value is outweighed by other concerns like unfair prejudice, it confuses the issues, or the potential to mislead the jury. This evidence however does not have a practical purpose because it only serves to benefit the prosecution and prevent any questions of the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence.