Monday, July 9, 2012

Constitutional Law and the Chocolate Restaurant

After working for a total of twelve hours yesterday, I practically passed out on my bed in exhaustion. Needless to say, I decided to skip out on my early morning study session in favor of be able to sleep in. 

Today, Jeffery was the one in charge of teaching the morning class. Chimel v. California, Arizona v. Hicks, and Katz. v. United States were amongst some of the cases that we reviewed today. Each of these cases dealt with rights granted by the Fourth Amendment, specifically those mentioned within its Search and Seizure Clause. 

One case that had a very big impact on deciding what is considered to be lawful and unlawful search and seizure was Chimel v. California. The case's central issue was whether warrantless search and seizures are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. The Court held that yes, warrantless search and seizures are only permissible when concerning the immediate area surrounding the suspect; even then, this exception is only in effect when the suspect is  either in the process grabbing of a weapon or destroying of evidence. When cited in other legal cases, this reasoning is often referred to as the "Chimel Rule". 

I spent my lunch period finalizing my research paper. I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to be finally done with that paper. I worked really long and hard on this assignment, so I'm really hoping that all of that effort didn't go to waste. Even though I know that it's not for a grade, I still wanted to try my best on it for for not only the evaluation that I'll be receiving at the end of the program, but for myself and my dream of becoming an accomplished writer. 

Since Jeffery taught the morning session, Luke was left to teach the afternoon class. After collecting the everyone's research papers, Luke started a discussion based on Patriot Act and the Guantanamo Bay torture cases, which were both enacted in post-9/paranoia. The discussion was about how the government was acting upon fear rather than reason, resulting in the nation-wide compromise of privacy and or due process for suspected citizens and non-citizens alike. In relation to the various surveillances conducted under the Patriot act, the discussion lead onto how the government is allowed to demand consumer information or search history from private companies without having to notify the consumer in question before or after making the demand.

In celebration of the end of our research paper, our class went out to dinner at Max Brenner--a chocolate themed restaurant located in Union Square. Or rather, the near majority of our class went to Max Brenner to celebrate.I went with Lizzy, Caroline, Alec, Robert, Mac, Joy, Yumiko, Eli, Lenny, Lucas, and Adrianne making for a total of 13 of 29 students attending the party. 

Max Brenner is really great restaurant; it's amazing how they incorporate chocolate into literally everything they make--from french fries coated in cocoa powder to pizzas and hamburgers made entirely out of dessert! They even had chocolate filled vats and pipes decorating the interior--it was like something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate factory! 

Chocolate pizza--it tastes just as good as it looks!
As may have already guessed, we fully enjoyed our time at Max Brenner. In fact, we ended up spending a total amount of $414.25! Scraping up the cash for all that food took quick some time and effort, but eventually were able gather enough money to pay for the meal and a tip. 

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