Case Reviews

Case Reviews

United States v. Robert Boling, Jr. et al – Assessing Federal Action To Address Elder Fraud

October 20, 2020 Cameron Page 0

Facts of the Case United States of America v. Robert Boling Jr., et al. details the indictment of five individuals for the perpetration of a multifaceted identity-theft and fraud scheme targeting thousands of United States veterans and service members between July 2014 and July 2019. Frederick Brown–a former U.S. Army civilian medical records administrator–exploited his post by illegally providing Robert Boling, Jr. with personal identification information (PII) belonging to thousands of U.S. military-affiliated individuals, including active service members and their dependents, employees of the Department of Defense and, predominantly, veterans. Boling then co-conspired with Allan Kerr and Jongmin Seok, utilizing the stolen PII data to access and steal from victims’ bank accounts, disability funds, and veteran benefit pay-outs via the Department of Defense benefits portal. Thereafter, Trorice Crawford recruited upward of thirty individuals as “money mules” to launder the stolen funds. Crawford then facilitated the remittance of these funds to […]

Case Reviews

Aftermath of the Youth Climate Change Lawsuit

January 30, 2020 Dominique Karesh 0

Introduction: In 2015, 21 youth plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the United States and several executive branch officers, including former President Obama and President Trump. The plaintiffs of the Juliana v. United States suit, who are all between the ages of 12 and 23, argued that government inaction in regards to climate change violated their “fundamental constitutional rights to freedom from deprivation of life, liberty, and property.” The plaintiffs were able to meet the requirements for standing with proof that they were adversely affected by the climate crisis. For instance, Levi Draheim, a 12-year-old plaintiff, had been injured by repeat evacuations during worsening storms. At the time, the Juliana suit was one of many climate change lawsuits making their way to the US court system. The youth lawsuit stood out because it challenged the federal government, rather than fossil fuel companies themselves. As climate change remains a pressing issue, the […]

Case Reviews

Kansas v. Garcia

January 22, 2020 John Markis 0

Kansas v. Garcia focuses on the arrests and subsequent convictions of three men in separate incidents. The eponymous defendant, Ramiro Garcia, who worked as a line cook in Olathe, Kansas, was stopped in 2012 for a simple speeding violation. Upon closer inspection, the police officer on duty discovered that authorities were already searching for Garcia; by seizing his federal employment document, the Employment Eligibility Verification, known colloquially as his I-9, detectives assessed that Garcia had falsified his social security number and charged him with identity theft. Garcia was initially found guilty in Johnson County, yet the Kansas Supreme Court overturned this ruling after appeal because of the fact that the I-9 is a federal document. In effect, the Kansas Supreme Court negated prosecutors’ ability to present federally mandated statutes as evidence of disobedience of state law.    The Supreme Court will thus answer whether states have the capacity to determine their […]

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 […]

Case Reviews

Rucho v. Common Cause—The Future of Partisan Gerrymandering

November 10, 2019 Annika Agrawal 0

Introduction On June 27, 2019, the Supreme Court jointly decided Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek—two pivotal cases that defined the role of the federal courts in cases of extreme partisan gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is a political technique that has been utilized for centuries by both major political parties in order to stack elections in their favor by drawing legislative boundary maps in such a way that advantage one party. This is often done by packing one party’s supporters into as few districts as possible and/or splitting up that party’s supporters into various districts so they cannot gain a majority. The Supreme Court has heard cases of gerrymandering in the past; however, those issues were tied to racial gerrymandering. These two cases were the first to explicitly question the legality of gerrymandering purely on a partisan basis. Facts of the Case On Jan. 9, 2018, a federal court struck […]

Case Reviews

Department of Commerce v. New York: The Question of Citizenship

November 5, 2019 Caroline Kincaid 0

Introduction The United States Census has been taken every ten years since 1790. The census aims to gather information about the population, which is then utilized to calculate the number of seats each state will have in the United States House of Representatives. The census has never directly asked if the respondent is a citizen of the United States. However, under President Donald Trump’s administration, the United States Census Bureau planned to include the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States,” on the 2020 census form that will be sent to all households in the country.  On June 27, 2019, the United States Supreme Court blocked the plan to include the citizenship question on the census because the government gave a “contrived” reason for requesting the information. However, the court didn’t rule out the possibility of any future citizenship questions.  Why inquiring about citizenship is controversial On […]

Case Reviews

Cameron et al v. Apple Inc: Defining an Illegal Monopoly in the Technology Sector

November 2, 2019 Arjun Rao 0

Introduction Big technology companies have seen an unprecedented increase in success within the past decade, but some would argue that their achievements have been at the cost of smaller companies. Tech giants such as Google, Apple, and Facebook challenge longstanding antitrust laws — regulations that prevent monopolies from crushing competition — with the emergence of new software and data. One example is Apple’s $250 billion in cash on hand that is often used to acquire small startups which sell similar products to them. App developers are also pursuing these claims.  In recent years, the App Store has become increasingly popular among developers and consumers. The store features more than 2 million apps that are used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. However, despite the abundance of apps, Apple’s competitors claim that Apple uses the App Store to promote their own services in favor of rivals. Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, and […]

Case Reviews

June Medical Services v. Gee: What to Know About the Abortion Suit Before SCOTUS Hears it

October 24, 2019 Ganesh Pentapalli 0

Introduction On October 4th, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the pivotal civil cases June Medical Services v. Gee and its accompanying Gee v. June Medical Services within the next few months. Over 45 years after abortion was legalized, this civil rights issue could be revisited as the upcoming litigation battle and subsequent decision will determine the accessibility and legality of abortions for years to come. The main point of contention in this upcoming landmark case is the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act (La. HB 388), which is a law that aims to “provide for the requirements of physicians who perform abortions.”   Background of Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act This Louisiana law, which is at the heart of this case, has a complicated history. Originally passed in 2014, the law essentially states that abortion providers must have the ability to admit patients at hospitals […]

Case Reviews

A Post Truth First Amendment

February 13, 2019 Ben Leonard 0

Introduction: Fake news has seen tremendous reach. Conspiracy theories are frequently peddled. President Donald Trump averaged more than 15 false statements per day in 2018. It’s fair to say that America is now in a post-truth era. To many Americans, truth just doesn’t matter as much as it once did. One First Amendment scholar, Sarah Haan—associate professor of law at Washington and Lee School of Law—thinks that post-truthism poses a constitutional law problem with regards to the First Amendment. “Post-truthism, which teaches that evidence-based reasoning lacks value, offers a normative framework for regulating information,” wrote Haan in her 2018 paper entitled “The Post-Truth First Amendment.” “Although post-truthism has become a popular culture trope, I argue that we should take it seriously as a theory of decision making and information use, and as a basis for law.” What exactly is post-truthism? Haan argues that most people still view the truth as […]

Case Reviews

United States v. Walker: Using the Criminal Justice System to End the Opioid Crisis

November 13, 2018 Samia Noor 0

The status quo of using plea deals to evade trials in the criminal justice system may be on the path to reform due to one Judge’s decision to deny a plea deal. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, in the southern district of West Virginia decided that the criminal justice system should be used as a platform for the public to learn about the opioid crisis. In United States v. Walker (2017), Charles York Walker was asking for a plea deal after being indicted on heroin distribution and a firearm violation. The prosecutor and Walker entered into a plea agreement, and the defendant was officially charged with a single count of possession of heroin in January 2017. The defendant had pleaded guilty, and while Judge Goodwin accepted this plea, he wanted to investigate further before accepting the proposed plea agreement. Goodwin asserted that the United States is a “participatory democracy”, and that […]