It is easy to do the right thing when people are watching. When you know you are being judged or scrutinized, you tend to be on your best behavior. People slow down when they see a police car, they sit up straighter if the teacher is watching, and they follow the rules when the referee is on the field. But “the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” The same could be said for administrative agencies. This “fourth branch of the government” makes, applies, and enforces rules that dictate how we live our life, from the food we eat, to the water we drink and the air we breathe. Some have called this type of centralized power undemocratic, and it understandably raises questions about the legitimacy of the administrative state. How can agencies’ actions be legitimate when they often are judge, jury, and executioner? Such circumstances highlight the importance of “character” within an agency: how faithfully it adheres to the rules guiding decision making, how open it is with people impacted by those decisions, and how frequently it changes course to address concerns from those impacted by agency decisions. Read more.
The rapid growth of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has created an increase in the number of pre-embryos that exist in the world outside of the female body. With the numerical increase in pre-embryos in existence, comes the question of how to legally classify these pre- embryos and what the effects of possible classification will have on ex- isting areas of law. Should they continue to be treated as property? Should we apply the same principles as embryos that are implanted in a women’s body? Do we give them the legal status of a person or child? These questions are complex and can be sensitive as they are often ex- plored through both a legal and moral lens. Read more.
On May 30, 2018, the New Jersey Legislature enacted the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. New Jersey had previously held for thirty years that surrogacy was against the public policy of the state and was considered “baby-selling.” The New Jersey Supreme Court has now recognized the challenges of those who are situationally and medically infertile, as well as the promising nature of reproductive biotechnological advances, and found that it is within the public policy of this State to provide new legal options for those who are seeking reproductive assistance in the form of gestational surrogacy. Advances in reproductive biotechnology over the last three decades have provided families facing reproductive challenges with many more options for having children. Further, society’s acceptance and awareness of the unique reproductive challenges of LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples has heavily influenced the New Jersey Legislature. Read more.
When we think of disability accommodations, we think of those accommodations that we readily see in the world around us. We think of ramps. We think of elevators. We think of walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. We also think of these accommodations as long-term, per- manent structures. We think of how these aid people with disabilities in moving around their house, running errands in public places, and with working around an office environment. Read more.