Faculty publications

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Does the Past Predict the Future?: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Iowa Supreme Court Use of Legislative History as a Window into Statutory Construction in Iowa
    (Drake University Law School, 2015) Wallace, Karen; Wallace, Karen
    This Article provides an empirical analysis of Iowa Supreme Court decisions from 2004–2013 that employ legislative history in interpreting Iowa statutes. It answers the question: When the Iowa Supreme Court consults legislative history in construing an Iowa statute, what specific types of materials are cited? Further, this Article provides an overview of statutory drafting and construction in Iowa and discusses the inherent uncertainties of statutory interpretation, using Sallee v. Stewart and State v. Heemstra to illustrate the variance in how the court decides whether historical analysis applies to a case, and, if so, what it means. Although a precise formula for “correctly” reading a statute cannot be formulated, this Article suggests some practices that will help ensure as thorough a reading of an Iowa statute as possible. This Article concludes with two recommendations for the Iowa Supreme Court. First, consistently cite Iowa Code Section 4.6(3) when using legislative history to determine legislative intent. Second, formulate a more complex rule on the use of bill explanations in determining legislative intent, neither abandoning them completely nor always using them, but instead considering them as an extrinsic source of evidence for understanding a statute only when appropriate after analyzing the bill’s amendment history.
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    A Study of American Zoning Board Composition and Public Attitudes Toward Zoning Issues
    (American Bar Association, 2008) Anderson, Jerry; Renninger, Emily; Brees, Aaron
    The authors surveyed zoning boards in the over 100 of the largest U.S. cities to determine the occupational composition of board members. It comes as no surprise that the boards are overwhelming populated with white-collar citizens, with business owners and real estate development the most prevalent occupations represented. The authors then conducted a survey of citizens to determine whether this skewed board composition makes any difference to the decision-making process. The study concludes that the composition of the board does matter, but not always in ways one might predict.
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    Protection for the Powerless: Political Economy History Lessons for the Animal Welfare Movement
    (Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy, 2011-01) Anderson, Jerry
    In the last several decades, animal agriculture has experienced a dramatic shift in production methods, from family farms to concentrated industrial operations, with societal consequences comparable to the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. The new confinement operations raise significant moral questions regarding the humane treatment of animals subject to modern methods that emphasize economics over animal welfare. The success of the animal welfare movement, however, hinges on whether society will adopt regulations, based on moral considerations, that are directly opposed to its economic self-interest. The situation is remarkably similar to the plight of child laborers caught in the transformation of manufacturing methods during the Industrial Revolution. This article uses the history of child labor reform to construct a model for how society enacts protections for politically powerless groups, such as children and animals. Using the insights of new social movement theory, the article concludes that animal welfare reform will require a complex mixture of resources, including the difficult task of norm development. While the path to such reform is long, the child labor history shows that success is possible.
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    Britain’s Right to Roam: Redefining the Landowner's Bundle of Sticks
    (Foreign Relations, 2007) Anderson, Jerry L.
    Britain recently enacted a “right to roam” in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW) 2000. At first glance, CRoW appears to be a dramatic curtailment of the landowner’s traditional right to exclude; it opens up all private land classified as “mountain, moor, heath, or down” to the public for hiking and picnicking. Yet, when viewed in the light of history, CRoW may be seen as partially restoring to the commoner rights lost during the enclosure period, when the commons system ended. CRoW also represents a return to a functional rather than spatial form of land ownership, allowing more than one party to have rights in a particular piece of land. The new law highlights some important public values regarding freedom of access that have been all but forgotten in the United States. The law calls into question U.S. Supreme Court precedent that has enshrined the right to exclude as an “essential” stick in the bundle of property rights and serves as a powerful alternative to the Court’s formalistic notion of property rights. Given the differences in its history, culture, and legal system, the United States is unlikely to follow Britain’s lead in enacting a right to roam; nevertheless, the study of CRoW contains valuable lessons for Americans.
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    Zoning Bias II: A Study of Oregon's Zoning Commission Composition Restrictions
    (American Bar Association, 2006) Anderson, Jerry L.
    This article summarizes an empirical survey of Oregon planning commissions, to determine whether Oregon's occupational restrictions on commission appointments are working. An earlier survey found that zoning boards in Iowa were heavily populated with white-collar occupations, with many having a direct or indirect connection to land development work. Oregon's occupational restrictions appear to have reduced the number of appointees who are tied to development, but the commissions are still skewed toward white-collar representation. The article concludes that legal restrictions should be tightened to achieve the goal of broader occupational distribution.