Case Law

Case Law

North Carolina League of Conservation Voters v. Hall (Harper v. Hall)

April 7, 2022 Nicole Masarova 0

Facts: Gerrymandering was a tool used heavily during the late 90s and early 2000s,  in cases such as Shaw v. Reno and Vieth v. Jubelirer. It is an intentional attempt to increase the power of one political party in approaching elections through the manipulation of district mapping. Harper v. Hall is a case that demonstrates that the practice remains pervasive in modern politics. Filed on November 17, 2021, the case was centered on a recent gerrymandering attempt in North Carolina. The claim asserted that the proposed maps for the 2022 elections, also called the Enacted Congressional Plan, violated the “Free Elections Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and Free Speech and Free Assembly Clauses” of the North Carolina Constitution, which would thus violate the right to a fair and equal election. The goal of the suit was to block the adoption of these maps, with the hope of redrafting them. However, if […]

Case Law

United States v. Zubaydah

March 15, 2022 Halle Wagner 0

Despite the Biden administration’s approval of eighteen transfers, thirty-nine detainees remained at the military prison in the U.S. Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba as of January, 2021. Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn is one of those thirty-nine.  Held without charge by the United States for almost two decades, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, otherwise known as Abu Zubaydah, not only petitioned a federal court for his release, but also seeks to compel the United States Government to declassify evidence surrounding his treatment by the CIA prior to his arrival at Guantánamo Bay.  Facts of the Case: Since 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled on a case concerning state secrets privilege.  This judicially created, evidentiary privilege allows the federal government to resist court-ordered disclosure of information during litigation if there is a reasonable danger that such disclosure would harm the national security of the United States. State […]

Case Law

Leandro v. State of North Carolina

February 16, 2022 Nicole Masarova 0

For the last 28 years, North Carolina public school districts have been fighting to provide all students with the right to a “sound basic education.”  In 1994, five low-income school districts (Cumberland, Halifax, Hoke, Robeson, and Vance Counties) and families of those districts filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina for failing to provide “equal opportunity to a sound basic education.” The case was named Leandro after Robert Leandro, one of the children whose mother filed a lawsuit. During the lawsuit, a “sound basic education” was defined as one that includes trained teachers and principles, who receive additional, specialized training, with a school that can provide educational resources and support programs for learning capabilities or career development. The claim argued these basic necessities were not met, providing evidence of overcrowding in classrooms, a lack of resources, and poorly trained teachers. Hoke County, for example, only had about $3700 […]

Case Law

The Texas Abortion Law: What happened

February 12, 2022 Hanrui Huang 0

Introduction: For months, most women in Texas were not able to have legal abortions. A law passed by the Texas legislature, S.B. 8, both prohibited women from receiving abortions six weeks into pregnancy and allowed any private citizen to sue for damages against a person who “aids or abets” such abortions. The number of legal abortions in Texas fell 50% in September of 2021 compared to the same month in 2020. While states in the past had implemented abortion bans in a similar vein as Texas, there was no precedent for a state delegating the task of enforcing to citizens.    Facts of the Case(s): The Supreme Court agreed to hear two challenges against S.B. 8, one from the Department of Justice (D.O.J.) and another from Whole Woman’s Health. The first, from Whole Woman’s Health, asserted that Texas’s law violated a constitutional right to abortions guaranteed by Roe v. Wade and […]

Case Law

Dobbs v. Jackson

February 2, 2022 Dylan Tuchman 0

The right to an abortion has been a hotly contested issue in the United States for decades, and Dobbs v. Jackson is next in line to secure or deny abortion rights for women throughout the nation. This controversy has been the subject of many protests and rallies, creating intense animosity between those who consider themselves “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” Those who have been nominated to the Supreme Court are almost always asked their opinions on Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision which held that a woman’s right to an abortion is protected by the United States Constitution. In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides a “right to privacy” that guarantees a woman’s right to choose whether an abortion is the correct decision for her. The Court also determined the period of viability, also known as the earliest state of infant […]

Case Law

The Supreme Court’s Two Most Recent Abortion Decisions

January 19, 2022 Megan Gerges 0

Abortion has become one of the most contentious issues in contemporary American politics and court jurisprudence. The most well-known Supreme Court case–and the first–on the topic is Roe v. Wade (1973). The Court, in a 7-2 decision, held that a woman has a “fundamental right” to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment, which extends to abortions. Roe also famously created the trimester framework. Under this framework, states are not allowed to ban or regulate abortions during the first trimester of a pregnancy. During the second trimester, states could regulate only to the extent that it is “reasonably” related to the protection of a woman’s health. During the last trimester, fetal viability, the fetus’s ability to survive outside of the womb, provides states a “compelling” interest to regulate or even prohibit abortions (with some exceptions for the life and health of the mother).  Although Roe is the most famous abortion case, it […]

Case Law

In Re Pool

December 15, 2021 Nicole Masarova 0

Facts/Holding:  On June 11, 2021, the North Carolina Supreme Court concluded that censure of Judge Pool was appropriate, following a recommendation by the Judicial Standards Commission.  Censure is a formal statement of disapproval, with no physical or monetary consequences. It is a legal action often taken when a judge, cabinet member, or the president conducts themselves in a manner that violates the Code of Conduct they agree to when entering a position in government.  In the case of In Re Pool, C. Randy Pool had presided over a North Carolina general district court as a judge for 18 years, serving as a Chief Judge from 2006 until his retirement in November 2019. In 2019, a woman attempted to extort former Judge Pool by threatening to share sexually explicit messages the two shared if the former judge refused to pay her $5,000. This launched an investigation by the Judicial Standards Commission, […]

Case Law

The Constitutionality of Vaccine Mandates

November 17, 2021 Megan Gerges 0

It has been almost 22 months since the first U.S COVID-19 case, and the country has lost over 750,000 lives in that time span. This pandemic has not only generated massive change in how people structure their lives, but it has also raised important questions and debates about the role of government in public health and the constitutionality of certain public health measures.  This past September, Joe Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a regulatory agency with the Labor Department, to require private businesses with 100 or more employees to implement either COVID-19 vaccine mandates or require weekly testing. In early November, the order was officially given. There are many angles and complexities to this policy but it raises the general constitutional question of whether the federal government has the power to implement national vaccine mandates.  The United States has a long history of mandatory vaccines going back […]

Case Law

Carson v. Makin

November 15, 2021 Halle Wagner 0

In a 5-4 panel on June 30, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled to reverse and remand the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Thus, the Supreme Court concluded that tax-credit funded scholarships meant to help students attend private schools cannot exclude religious institutions from receiving funding simply because they are religious. However, next month on December 8, the Supreme Court will hear Carson v. Makin, a critical case concerning a challenge to the Maine Department of Education’s use of state tuition dollars to supplement nonsectarian schools. The justices will address the question of whether or not a state violates the constitution by operating a program providing students with money to attend private schools but inhibits them from attending schools providing religious instruction. As this question was left unresolved in Espinoza last summer, the Carson case demonstrates the potential to overturn the precedent set […]

Case Law

An Epic Battle Against Apple

November 11, 2021 Isabel Rask 0

Facts of the Case Epic Games, Inc. v. Apple Inc. is a recent high-profile lawsuit involving antitrust laws in the state of California. It has the potential to pave new paths for content creation companies, such as game developers like Epic, to profit from their products without certain traditional restrictions.  The story began in August 2020, when Epic Games, the owners of the extremely popular game Fortnite, created their own in-app payment system to bypass Apple’s App Store payment system. Typically, Apple takes a 30% revenue cut of any purchases made within apps, citing their role as distributors and required digital upkeep as grounds for the built-in charge. In response to Epic’s direct payment system, Fortnite was promptly removed from the App Store and Epic Games quickly filed a preliminary injunction against the tech giant. While ten counts of various kinds were levied against Apple, all but one were struck […]