International Law

New Greek Asylum Laws Attempt To Push Asylum Seekers Away

December 2, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

The Current State of Greek Asylum Seekers There are currently more than 96,600 refugees and migrants in Greece, and more than 35,000 of these migrants are asylum seekers living on five islands in squalid conditions. In of Oct. 31, 2019 alone, more asylum seekers have arrived in Greece than the total number of asylum seekers that arrived in 2018. Despite the influx of asylum seekers in 2019, Greece is still receiving less compared to 2015 and 2016. On two Aegean Islands holding asylum seekers, families have created shelters on steep hillsides in a struggle to survive. Furthermore, the government cut public healthcare funding for new asylum seekers in July, forcing people to seek help from NGOs or privately fund their own healthcare, which is a big issue for people with chronic illnesses and children needing immunizations to enroll in school. Tensions are rising between migrants and Greek citizens. Asylum seekers […]

International Law

Climate Change And Its Labyrinth Of Laws

November 27, 2019 Claire Oh 0

The 23rd of September marked an important day for climate protectors worldwide. Sixteen child petitioners — including Greta Thunberg and Alexandria Villasenor — from all around the world presented a legal complaint to the United Nations, arguing that their human rights were being violated by nations that were failing to give legislative attention to the pressing threat of climate change. Their petition shed light on an important aspect of climate change that lawmakers and politicians have been reluctant to address; climate change may not destroy their homes, but it most definitely will destroy their childrens’. The petition  argued that 5 countries, namely Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey, have been “recklessly causing and perpetuating life-threatening climate change [and] have failed to take necessary preventive and precautionary measures to respect, protect, and fulfill the petitioners’ rights.” The complaint, filed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, is […]

US Law

Trump Administration’s “Conscience Protection Rule” Struck Down By Federal Judge

November 25, 2019 Noah Charlick 0

The Introduction of the “Conscience Protection Rule” In early May, the Trump administration announced the finalization of a new “Conscience Protection Rule” to bolster protections for religious health care providers. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sought to strengthen the ability of health workers to deny care if certain procedures violated their moral or spiritual beliefs, including abortion, sex-reassignment surgery, sterilization, and physician-assisted suicide. Also known as the Final Rule, the “Conscience Protection Rule” strengthens existing laws including the Weldon amendment, the Church amendment, and the Coates/Snow amendment, which allow doctors, nurses, and other medical providers some freedom to opt out of procedures to which they object on religious or moral grounds. In support of the Rule, Roger Severino, Director of the HHS’s Office for Civil Rights, said, “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the healthcare field because they decline […]

US Law

Who Pays for Elections?: The Court Cases that Changed Campaign Finance

November 25, 2019 Lucy Callard 0

With less than 365 days until the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections, campaigning for the next president and congress of the United States is in full swing. As Democratic candidates slam super-PACs, who are unrestricted in their ability to raise and spend money, and “dark money” on the debate stages, campaign finance has become an important talking point as Nov. 2020 approaches. Though it may be difficult to imagine a campaign process without major donations from wealthy corporations and individuals, campaign finance has shifted dramatically over the last several decades. The passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 set the stage for current campaign finance regulations, but rulings by the Supreme Court have shaped federal laws into the finance system in place today. These monumental cases are still a source of contention today, and with the pressure from current officials and candidates alike, they are likely to be […]

International Law

Facebook’s Use Of International Law To Moderate Content

November 22, 2019 Jonathan Schachter 0

While speaking at Georgetown University on Oct. 17., CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook will not be implementing any further restrictions on bad speech on their servers. This comes to the dismay of many who hope that the flux of falsified information on Facebook will come to a curb following repeated calls for better policing of fake news on the platform.  An Attempt To “Preserve Free Speech” Zuckerberg defended his stance on the issue by saying that “You can’t impose tolerance top-down.” Zuckerberg referenced the growth of less liberal Chinese technology platforms as a warning that it is up to Facebook to preserve online free speech as different social media companies compete for global users. He used America as a standard for free speech and free speech policy enactment in comparison to the global scene where the platform reaches.  Legal Compliance Because it is a publicly traded company, Facebook has […]

International Law

A New Online Iron Curtain: Russian Internet Surveillance Law

November 19, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

Russia’s “Sovereign Internet” Law On Nov. 1, 2019, the Russian government finally enacted its new internet internet surveillance law that it adopted in April of this year. The Russian government refers to the law as the “Sovereign Internet Law,” a move to take control over Russia’s free internet. The Kremlin, Russia’s executive branch, framed the need for the law in light of potential external cyberattacks, the need for protection against foreign enemies such as the United States, and potential “emergencies” where the state deems censorship a necessary act.   The new system of governance over the internet allows the Russian government to track all free-flowing information and selectively block information that it deems to be a “threat”. Furthermore, the new law enables the government to reroute Russian users, without the knowledge of the users as to what they are being rerouted from or why. The enactment of the law required the […]

US Law

Power In Persistence: Unwrapping The Chicago Teachers’ Strike

November 18, 2019 Allison Kunstler 0

On Oct. 17, a Teacher’s Strike in Chicago erupted, keeping children and teachers out of the classroom for eleven days. The strike incurred after the Chicago Teachers’ Union and mayor Lori Lightfoot failed to reach an agreement for the new CBA. Ultimately, a compromise prompted the return to school, as union members were granted a raise, increased funding for sports and oversized classrooms, as well as five days to make up for the eleven days lost to the strike.    What Is a Teachers’ Strike? A strike is defined as “an organized refusal to work by employees as a means of protest. . . It is a tactic that may be used during contract negotiations if employees and employers cannot agree on terms of employment.” Since strikes are currently illegal in the majority of American states, “walkouts” have become a common replacement. The two convey barely noticeable differences and accomplish […]

Case Reviews

McAdams v. Marquette University: Expanding Academic Freedom

November 13, 2019 Emma Coleman 0

Introduction: Academic freedom encapsulates the protection of the free exchange of ideas among students and faculty of academic institutions. Although the Constitution does not explicitly include the right to academic freedom,  the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld it, citing the First and Fourteenth Amendments. In essence, academic freedom is necessary to allow institutions of higher education, their students, and their faculty members to function effectively without unreasonable governmental interference or institutional regulation, thereby advancing American society through the acquisition of knowledge.  In the United States, the creation of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 1915 formally introduced the notion of academic freedom. In 1940, this organization published its “Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” which outlined the primary goals of academic freedom at the time.It highlighted the importance of enforcing freedom in pursuing and publishing research, freedom of instructors to teach their discipline, and freedom “to […]

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaking in Washington, D.C. Photo taken by Gage Skidmore.
US Law

The Legality Of Trump’s Public Charge Rule

November 13, 2019 Ellen Wang 0

A nationwide injunction has been issued against the Trump Administration’s new “public charge” rule, which attempts to link immigration status to individual income and usage of public welfare programs. While the actual number of immigrants affected by the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement of these rules is relatively restricted and the policy is currently on hold, the damage has already been done. Large numbers of immigrants have already unenrolled from welfare programs out of fear and confusion.  Historical Background of “Public Charge” First introduced in the Immigration Act of 1882, the term “public charge” has been used to refer to prospective immigrants that are unable to take care of themselves due to poverty or disabilities. Being classified as a “public charge” constituted grounds for denial of legal entry or citizenship because the potential immigrant was viewed as far too dependent on the U.S. government.  Although a seemingly restrictive rule, few […]

US Law

Federal Judge Blocks Alabama’s Controversial Abortion Bill

November 11, 2019 Natalia Nunez 0

The Alabama Human Life Protection Act In May 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act (AHLPA), which was scheduled to take effect in November 2019. The bill criminalizes abortion by prohibiting the “performance or attempted performance” of abortions in Alabama, with the only exceptions being those performed “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother” and where the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Abortions performed following rape or incest are considered felony offenses under the AHLPA if they do not satisfy one of the exceptions. In addition, the AHLPA bans abortions for “an unborn child in utero at any stage of development,” omitting a time restriction commonly found in abortion laws in other states. The AHLPA outlines specific classifications and ramifications for the performance and attempted performance of an abortion in Alabama. Legislative Attorney Jon O. Shimabukuro of the […]