Month: February 2022

US Law

President Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee

February 28, 2022 Megan Gerges 0

In late January of 2022, it was announced that Justice Stephen Breyer would be retiring after almost 30 years on the Supreme Court of the United States. A liberal Bill Clinton appointee, Justice Breyer has been a part of many influential Court decisions including United States v. Virginia (1996), Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), and Mahanoy Area School District v. B. L. (2021).  Following this announcement, President Biden reaffirmed his campaign promise to nominate the first Black female justice to the Supreme Court. This generated criticism from some Republicans who argue that President Biden’s vow is offensive because it focuses on the identity of the nominee rather than on who is the best qualified candidate. Democrats argue that it is important to take into consideration demographics so that the Supreme Court is a representative institution, and that […]

No Picture
US Law

Democrats Must Get Their House in Order or They May Lose it

February 21, 2022 Vineet Chovatia 0

In January 2021, the Democratic Party assumed power in both houses of Congress and the White House with plans to pass landmark legislation on voting rights, climate change, and infrastructure. Just a year later, with the Build Back Better plan stalled and no viable path to passing voting rights reforms, the Democrats find their agenda sputtering and their momentum all but lost. Losses across the board in 2021 statewide races have led to many Democrats projecting large-scale defeat in the 2022 midterm elections.  After President Biden maintained an approval rating above 50% for the first several months of his presidency, his approval rating has sunk to 41% in recent polling. Along with  President Biden’s worsening approval, the Democratic Party has seen much of its gains following the 2021 election lost to the GOP. In a 14 point backslide, only 42% of Americans identify as Democrats with the GOP gaining considerable […]

International Law

Russo-Ukrainian Crisis and Rising Oil Prices Threaten Climate Change

February 18, 2022 Erin Yu 0

Global tensions, as well as oil prices, have soared to new heights following recent threats of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. While discussion surrounding the conflict has thus far been centered on implications to national security and foreign relations, the issue is also set to have major effects on climate change efforts that countries around the globe have been developing for years.  The histories of Russia and Ukraine are deeply intertwined, and conflict between the two countries has existed for generations, from Ukraine’s entrance into the Soviet Union in 1922 to its independence in 1991. Since 1991, Russia has persistently refused to acknowledge Ukraine’s independence, as demonstrated by Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and a series of Russian cyber attacks between 2016 and 2017. Russia also continues to maintain a military presence near Ukraine, currently stationing nearly 130,000 troops at the Ukrainian border. In December 2021, […]

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 […]

International Law

Number of Climate Litigation Suits Heats Up

February 1, 2022 Erin Yu 0

As the climate crisis rapidly accelerates, legislative bodies around the globe have been under fire for their inaction. A growing multitude of frustrated individuals have turned their attention to the court system in search of new avenues for climate action. In the past three years alone, climate litigation suits doubled from 884 cases in 24 countries to 1,550 cases in 38 countries, revealing an exponential increase in public concerns for the environment as well as a rising dependence on the courts to kickstart government action on climate change. This influx of cases has pushed courts to confront and even rethink their judicial powers and duties in relation to climate action. Large-scale court decisions on climate change have long been unprecedented because issues as vast as climate change typically warrant broad policy changes that are beyond the power of the courts. However, two recent climate suits in Europe have seen remarkable […]