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 […]

International Law

Syrian Officials Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

November 4, 2019 Jonathan Schachter 0

German prosecutors are launching the first worldwide criminal trial over the crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime governed by President Bashar al-Assad.  Earlier this month, charges were filed by the German Federal Public Prosecutor against two former officials of Assad’s Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID). The case, which is set to take place in early 2020, is a monumental point in the process of taking action against the terror-invoking administration of Syria.  Since 2011, Syrian conflict groups have been at war with one another, targeting different people, most of whom happen to be civilians. In an attempt to take control of the nation, acts of terror, executions, and civilian disappearances have become common occurrences in the corrupt and war-torn land, all of which worry activists and international bodies. Who Are These Mystery Defendants? The two defendants, Anwar R. and Eyad A., have had their last names withheld by […]

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 […]

US Law

An Evaluation of Facebook’s Free Speech Policies

November 1, 2019 James McIntyre 0

After Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke at Georgetown University and testified on Capitol Hill in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Facebook and its free speech policies have once again come under harsh scrutiny. For years, Facebook has faced a wide range of criticisms regarding its free speech policies, many of which are back under public debate, after recent appearances by Mark Zuckerberg. A widely cited example of Facebook’s problems with free speech can be observed in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election when Facebook allowed misleading and factually inaccurate ads to run on its platform. Created by Russian “trolls,” these ads were disseminated from fake accounts that were not connected to actual people. Also, Facebook’s guidelines for removing hate speech have been accused of being insufficiently restrictive. One horrific example of this came last year when Facebook was used as a mechanism to help spark a genocide […]

International Law

How The United Nations Is Working To Reduce Hate Speech With Law

October 31, 2019 Vanessa Real Williams 0

Hate Speech Hate speech is a pervasive social phenomenon that threatens the human rights of its recipients. It occurs at all levels of society, not discriminating between democratic and authoritarian regimes. Many who spout hate speech may discount the power of their words, however, the violent history of the consequences of hate speech tell a different story. The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, cited the connection between hate speech and acts of mass violence such as the Rwandan, Bosnian, and Combodian genocides, as well as more recent acts of mass violence in the United States, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The increasing occurrences of violent acts provide more than enough evidence for the need for legal action to inhibit the use of hate speech in the public sphere.  Why are we talking about it now? Currently, international law prohibits the “incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence,” requiring that hate speech […]

International Law

Islamic Influence on Moroccan Abortion Law

October 29, 2019 Amanda Turner 0

Moroccan Law & Its Islamic Influence Moroccan law is greatly influenced by Islamic jurisprudence. There are four main schools of Islamic law: Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi, and Hanbali. Traditionally, the Maliki school of law has more heavily impacted Moroccan law. This school of law is credited to Malik ibn Anas, a Sunni Islamic jurist in the 8th century. The Hadith greatly influenced this school of law. The Hadith is the second most respected source of Sharia law in Islam.   Maliki School of Law’s View on Abortion  The Maliki School of Law differs from the other main three in many notable ways. One of these is its view on abortion. The Maliki beliefs in regards to abortion are the most severe of the four main schools of law because they forbid abortion, regardless of any circumstances such as rape or incest. Because of the Maliki School of Law’s prevalence in Morocco’s […]

Uncategorized

Fair Pay to Play Act: California Legislation Threatens NCAA Amateurism Rules

October 25, 2019 Lucy Callard 0

Summary: California’s controversial “Fair Pay to Play Act” makes NCAA rules and regulations on amateurism illegal starting in 2023. The new law has reinvigorated the debate on how the NCAA limits athletes abilities to earn compensation for their name, image, or likeness. From September 2017 to August 2018, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, known commonly as the NCAA, reported a revenue of over one billion dollars. Of the 460,000 college student-athletes who participated in NCAA sports in 2017-2018, zero received financial compensation for their athletic performances. Zion Williamson, formerly of Duke Men’s Basketball, and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama Football are household names; their faces are plastered on posters, and their names flash across television screens around the country. Nevertheless, during their collegiate careers, these star athletes and others like them receive no money for participation in NCAA competition. As the billion-dollar sports industry continues to grow, critics have voiced their […]

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 […]

US Law

Should Animals have Habeas Corpus Rights?

October 23, 2019 Natalia Nunez 0

Habeas corpus, which directly translates to “that you have the body,” grants people the right to contest their unlawful detention in a court of law. While this concept has traditionally applied to human beings, recent debates have attempted to extend this right to animals ‘imprisoned’ at zoos, particularly those with proven advanced cognitive abilities. The Beginning of the Debate: Tommy the Chimpanzee Tommy was found by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) living alone in a cage in a trailer park along Route 30 in Gloversville, New York. He was raised by Dave Sabo, a chimpanzee breeder notorious for mistreating his chimpanzees. Chimpanzees’ natural habitat is in the rainforest, where they develop complex social organizations. However, in Tommy’s cramped quarters, the closest semblances to this environment were painted concrete walls and a television playing cartoons. Tommy remains there today, although his lawyers aim to relocate him to the Save the Chimps […]

International Law

A Unified Patent for Europe: Decades in the Making

February 21, 2019 Eliza Farley 0

Since 2016 there have been negotiations within the European Union (EU) concerning a radical change of the patent system in Europe. At the moment, companies and citizens can apply for either national patents within a single country, or for a bundled patent that spans multiple countries. The establishment of this Unified Patent Court (UPC) would eliminate both of those options in favor of a unitary patent across all member nations. This idea is popular among European nations, as the European Patent Convention, which has overseen the passing of international patents since 1973, began passing unitary European patents for the past seven years. This originally started as a way for the EU to reduce translation and litigation costs, but member states favored the unified enforcement process for its simplicity and effectiveness. Despite this favor, the European Council and European Parliament have faced a number of challenges in actually implementing the Unitary […]