By Heath Hardman, Albany Government Law Review
The fields of social science and psychology continue to make advances in human understanding, and courts sometimes make use of this information. But how can attorneys broaden their access to this information when representing victims of domestic violence? One way is by requesting that a court take judicial notice of certain legislative facts concerning domestic violence. While an attorney can support this request by citing scholarly sources, the court, in its discretion, need not grant the request. Citing legislative materials, such as sponsor’s memos, letters and statements of support, and bill jackets may increase an attorney’s chances of moving a court to take judicial notice of a legislative fact. After all, if the legislature cites the fact as part of its justification in enacting a law, and the court is required to enforce the law, surely the fact is compelling. Indeed, some courts have in fact cited the legislature’s reliance on certain facts when taking judicial notice of legislative facts or relying on them for decision making.
By Joanna Pericone, Albany Government Law Review
In 1977 a fire damaged the building of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Department. The employees were moved to a temporary building that posed several dangerous and uncomfortable working conditions. The building was essentially unheated, electrical cords blew fuses and posed a walking hazard because they were strewn across the floor. One of the two toilets in the building was backed up and there were only two exits in the building, one of which was blocked and the other was hard to open. After the employees took their work and reported to another temporary building, their supervisor ordered them to go back to the deplorable building, but the employees refused to return. The New York Court of Appeals held that the workers had engaged in an unlawful strike, in violation of New York’s Civil Service Law, and that they were subsequently liable for sanctions imposed by their employer. Although the conditions of the workplace created a “fire trap” and the strike was prompted out of concerns for safety, the Court found this to be irrelevant; under New York’s Public Employee’s Fair Employment Act, commonly known as the Taylor Law, the reason for a public employee participating in any kind of a work stoppage is not pertinent when determining whether an unlawful strike has occurred. 
By Hunter Raines, Albany Government Law Review
Some may recall the shocking headline last year resulting from the failure of the United States Congress to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, costing thousands of jobs and foregoing billions of dollars in government revenue. Perhaps a few were more concerned with whether or not airlines should have adjusted their fares by the amount of the federal aviation tax that no longer applied upon expiration of the FAA’s bill to question what possible debate could exist with whether or not the FAA should be funded. In truth, however, the debate was centered not on whether or not to federally regulate aviation, but, inter alia, how and where to subsidize certain large commercial airlines for flying routes that “just [do not] make sense” absent a government subsidy. This article argues that the proper role for the majority of these funds is not corporate (and community) welfare, but to undertake capital projects to improve infrastructure at existing, commercially sustainable airports without increasing the cost to the tenant airlines or the traveling public. This article’s analysis will focus primarily on New York State.
By Anne Jeliff, Albany Government Law Review
The New York State legislature has become synonymous with inactivity and lack of transparency. Due to its role as host to this governing body, the city of Albany has seen its name suffer as well, having been labeled as “the capital of inertia,” “Corruption Central,” a town that “has. . .earned a special place” among the “pantheon of ethically challenged politicians,” and a “culture” of “overall dysfunction.” Sadly, the city and its resident lawmakers have earned this reputation. Albany has distinguished itself as one of the most inefficient and consistently corrupt seats of State government in the country. Continue reading