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Daily Archives: September 28, 2020

Paper – Presidential Control of Elections

Manheim, Lisa Marshall, Presidential Control of Elections (June 1, 2020). Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 74, 2021 Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: – “In recent decades, Presidents of both political parties have asserted increasingly aggressive forms of influence over the administrative state. During this same period, Congress has expanded the role that the federal government plays in election administration. The convergence of these two trends leads to a troubling but underexamined phenomenon: presidential control of elections. Relying on their official powers, Presidents have the ability to affect the rules that govern elections, including elections meant to check and legitimize presidential powers in the first place. This self-serving arrangement heightens the risk of harms from political entrenchment, subordination of expertise, and disillusionment of the electorate. These harms, in turn, threaten to compromise election outcomes. By extension, they also threaten the electoral connection purportedly underlying the administrative state, and therefore the legitimacy of the work of the modern executive branch. This Article identifies, defines, and examines this phenomenon — presidential control of elections — and explores its broader implications. It demonstrates that, across the executive branch, this phenomenon manifests differently, and sometimes counterintuitively, in ways that tend to track how Congress has structured the relevant grant of power. Three forms dominate, with Presidents influencing election administration primarily through priority setting (for grants of power running through executive agencies), promotion of gridlock (for grants of power running through independent agencies), and idiosyncratic control (for grants of power running directly to the President). This analysis reveals that congressional efforts at insulation at times can backfire, with Presidents able to exercise particularly problematic forms of control over agencies that Congress designed in blunt ways to resist presidential influence. To that end, this Article proposes that Congress and the courts avoid trying to eliminate or otherwise indiscriminately curb presidential control of elections — a quixotic endeavor that would give rise to its own constitutional hurdles and normative harms. Instead, the legislative and judicial branches should identify specific areas where the President’s control over election administration lacks an effective check, and seek to empower other political actors in those spaces. [h/t Mary Whisner]

Hands On with Lexis+, New Premium Research Service from LexisNexis

Via LLRX – Hands On with Lexis+, New Premium Research Service from LexisNexis – Robert Ambrogi has authored the definitive review of Lexis+. His precise and expert review of the site, accompanied by relevant screen shots, is a must read guide for legal researchers as they consider whether to transition to this new platform. Ambrogi… Continue Reading

How to Identify a Phishing Attempt and Thwart It

Via LLRX – How to Identify a Phishing Attempt and Thwart It – There has been a huge surge in phishing attacks and swindles during the COVID-19 pandemic as more people are working remotely. The attacks and scams have been perpetrated against businesses and individuals alike. Catherine Sanders Reach talks about the increased importance for… Continue Reading

How to deal with Google’s and YouTube’s aggressive popups “When you visit Google’s main website for the first time, or after clearing cookies, you get a “before you continue” popup. On YouTube, another Google property, you will get a “sign in to YouTube” popup instead. You need to click on “I agree” on Google’s site or “no thanks” on YouTube to get rid… Continue Reading

Massive genetic study shows coronavirus mutating and potentially evolving amid rapid U.S. spread

Washington Post – “The largest U.S. genetic study of the virus, conducted in Houston, shows one viral strain outdistancing all of its competitors, and many potentially important mutations. Scientists in Houston on Wednesday released a study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus that reveals the virus’s continual accumulation of mutations, one of… Continue Reading

Can fake news really change behaviour? Evidence from a study of COVID-19 misinformation.

Greene, Ciara, and Gillian Murphy. “Can Fake News Really Change Behaviour? Evidence from a Study of COVID-19 Misinformation.” PsyArXiv, 24 July 2020. Web. “Previous research has argued that fake news may have grave consequences for health behaviour, but surprisingly, no empirical data have been provided to support this assumption. This issue takes on new urgency… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee

CRS report via LC – Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee, Updated September 28, 2020: “The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest appellate court in… Continue Reading

Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus, Dimensions, Web of Science, and OpenCitations’ COCI: a multidisciplinary comparison of coverage via citations

Martín-Martín, A., Thelwall, M., Orduna-Malea, E., & Delgado López-Cózar, E. (in press). Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus, Dimensions, Web of Science, and OpenCitations’ COCI: a multidisciplinary comparison of coverage via citations. Scientometrics, – “New sources of citation data have recently become available, such as Microsoft Academic, Dimensions, and the OpenCitations Index of CrossRef open DOI-to-DOI… Continue Reading

Many Americans Get News on YouTube

“Where News Organizations and Independent Producers Thrive Side by Side – Americans are as likely to often turn to independent channels as they are to established news organization channels; videos from independent news producers are more likely to cover subjects negatively, discuss conspiracy theories Most Americans use YouTube, the massive, Google-owned video-sharing website where users… Continue Reading

This site has over a dozen free tools to keep you from burning out

Fast Company – “When you’re working from home, it’s all too easy to develop some bad habits. Maybe you’re staring at the screen for too long without interruption, or hunching over your laptop with little regard for posture. Or perhaps you’re just working too much in the first place. A new website called Working Den… Continue Reading