Case Reviews

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 […]

Case Reviews

State v. Downey: Reflective Of Lingering Price Gouging Dissatisfaction After Florence And Michael Subside

October 26, 2018 Dominique Karesh 0

Summary: In the wake of hurricanes Florence and Michael, hundreds of price gouging complaints have been filed in the state of North Carolina, drawing attention to North Carolina’s price gouging laws in a state of emergency. In the threat of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency. The state’s price gouging law immediately went into effect, which defines gouging as charging “unreasonably excessive” prices for goods needed in an emergency. Even with this law banning the practice, the wake of Florence has left the North Carolina Attorney General’s office with over 800 price gouging complaints. Several lawsuits have been filed against various companies for exploiting such a state of emergency. One particular case, State v. Downey, leaves a question for those that oppose gouging laws: is having an exorbitantly expensive option really better than having none? State v. Downey Summary On October 17th, State Attorney […]

Case Reviews

NAACP v. McCrory: If N.C. voter ID constitutional amendment passes, will it hold up?

October 17, 2018 Ben Leonard 0

Summary: North Carolina’s law requiring voters to show ID’s was ruled unconstitutional in 2016, but lawmakers are trying to revive the provision with a state constitutional amendment in the November elections. After being struck down just months ahead of the 2016 election, North Carolina’s voter ID law has made a triumphant return. The proposed state constitutional amendment that voters will decide on Nov. 6 is expected to pass, with nearly 70 percent of adults in a September High Point University poll backing the proposed amendment. At first glance, it’s an idea that makes sense—voting is a fundamental right that should be protected. One needs an ID to get on an airplane or buy alcohol, so why is voting an exception? NAACP v. McCrory: Voter ID Law As A Politically-Motivated Move However, evidence suggests the Voter ID law is at best a politically-motivated move. First, the concept of voter fraud as […]

Case Reviews

Cooper v. Harris

October 4, 2017 Neelesh Moorthy 0

By Neelesh Moorthy | October 4, 2017   Introduction   In May 2017, the Supreme Court struck down two North Carolina congressional districts (CD1 and CD12) as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The State argued regarding CD1 that race-based redistricting was done to comply with sections two and five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This defense reflected an inherent tension in the Court’s jurisprudence: simultaneously condemning race-based redistricting while mandating it in certain circumstances. Responding to CD12, North Carolina argued that they engaged in partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering. The Supreme Court rejected both arguments, unanimously for CD1 but split 5-3 with regards to CD12. This article argues that the Court reached the correct outcome for CD1, but ignored its own precedent when evaluating CD12. Whatever one thinks of the outcome of this case, however, North Carolina redistricting is not free from legal contestation. The drafters of CD12 openly acknowledged […]

Case Reviews

Beck v. McDonald: Standing Requirements in Consumer Data Breach Suits

May 2, 2017 Haley Amster 0

Cybersecurity and consumer data breaches pose a real and continuing concern, as theft of sensitive information leaves its victims vulnerable to incidents of identity fraud. However, court precedent has shown a reluctance to hear any cases that cannot prove “certainly impending” harm from such theft. The Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty has guided later court decisions on these issues. In Clapper, plaintiffs sued to have the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 declared unconstitutional. The plaintiffs claimed that the U.S. government was likely to use FISA to seize their communications with third parties overseas, who would have shared sensitive information with the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The Court found that the plaintiffs failed to meet Article III standing requirements to bring their lawsuit in court, as the court was not certain that the government would intercept any of the plaintiffs’ communications, and any risk of future harm was too […]

Case Reviews

Murr v. Wisconsin: Will the Takings Clause be Redefined?

April 29, 2017 Audrey Kornkven 0

On March 20th, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard a case that addressed a familiar issue: property rights. Though many people may consider property rights a clearly defined issue, Murr v. Wisconsin would highlight just how vague much of the law surrounding ownership and takings is. This case involves a family, the Murrs, who inherited two lots from their parents: one with a home, and one without. One would think that, because these lots deeded and taxed individually, they would be treated as separate properties. Taxation is a legal, regulatory action. Common sense indicates that all other legal, regulatory action would follow similar procedures. Back in 2004, the four Murr children decided to sell the open lot, which was originally intended to be an investment. Thanks to a zoning ordinance, they were unable to build on the lot or to sell it individually. This new ordinance treated the two […]