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  • Charlottesville, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and a Potential Constitutional Crisis: Can the Government Regulate Armed Protests?

    In this note I will argue why the government can regulate armed protests. To do this, I will provide two separate methods of regulation and then argue which is the better option. The first method of regulation will use U.S. v. O’Brien, to enforce the removal of guns from all protests. This method of regulation, which bans all guns at protests, has received support from three law review articles. I will critique these findings. The second method of regulation will require the government to characterize certain armed protest conduct as expression unprotected by the First Amendment. Lastly, I will review a proposed armed protest regulation and explain its flaws.

  • How Foreign States and Terrorist Organizations Use Social Media to Undermine U.S. Democracy

    While it may not be surprising to hear that social media has changed the way humans communicate with each other, the fact that social media is being used to negatively affect and undermine U.S. democracy may be less obvious. As this paper will discuss, popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google have confirmed that millions of site users were exposed to Russian-controlled accounts whose purpose was to spread disinformation about the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election in an effort to either influence the outcome of the election, or discredit our democracy and divide American citizens. Additionally, terrorist groups such as ISIS have used social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and KIK to connect with teens and young adults in Western countries in an effort to recruit them and spread ISIS propaganda. Efforts to combat these challenges, however, have caused numerous conflicts with U.S. laws and Constitutional rights, including the incredible protections afforded to free speech in the U.S.; the leniency that has been given to social media companies in laws such as the “small items” exception to the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Communications Decency Act Section 230(c)(1); court decisions in cases such as Fields v. Twitter, Inc., 881 F.3d 739 (9th Cir. 2018), Gonzalez v. Google, Inc., 282 F. Supp. 3d 1150 (N.D. Cal. 2017), and Cohen v. Facebook, Inc., 252 F. Supp. 3d 140 (E.D.N.Y. 2017); and the rejection of legislation such as H.R. 3654 Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015, S. 2517 Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2016, and H.R. 4820 Combatting Terrorist Recruitment Act of 2016. This paper will explore how both Russian and ISIS national security threats affect U.S. democracy, and the steps that social media companies and the U.S. legislature have taken to combat such foreign threats.

  • The United States' Global Ranking Regarding Workers' Rights: Comparing Three Countries' Positions on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining

    While the United States has substantial labor law policy in place, and workers’ rights are theoretically protected by statutes and case law, its global ranking according to international organizations such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) highlights systematic violations of rights. This paper will address the involvement of international organizations dedicated to improving labor standards globally and discuss three countries’ rankings: Finland, with a low global ranking, indicating rare instances of labor law violations; Thailand, with a high global ranking; and the United States, with the same ranking as Thailand, highlighting similar labor relations violations. This paper will conclude with options for the United States to improve its global labor ranking.

Past Issues

  • The Recent Clashes and Collaborations between Technology Companies and the U.S. Government in Serving National Security

    When it comes to serving national security in the digital age, the role that technology companies are playing has become more and more critical, presenting a challenge for the U.S. Government, in finding a way of reconciling the public interest for national security, as well as technology companies’ private interest for privacy and independence. In the matter of serving national security, the U.S. Government often requires cooperation and compliance from private technology giants, who often have firsthand or exclusive knowledge or access to help produce intelligence the U.S. Government needs to defend national security. On the one hand, technology giants have the obligation and a corporate citizen’s duty to aid the U.S. Government in gathering information under the USA Freedom Act or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. On the other hand, however, technology companies also need to maintain corporate responsibilities owed to its users and customers, in protecting their rights to privacy, as well as freedom of speech. It is the balance of these two interests that creates a clash. This comment will mainly highlight those moments when clashes occur, and analyze those moments when collaborations take place, in the hopes of exploring remedies in law to further nurture the cooperation between technology companies and the U.S. Government in better serving national security.

  • E Pluribus Unum - Should Women Be Required to Register for Selective Service?

    Our national motto – Out of Many, One – symbolizes unity. E Pluribus Unum captured the new republic’s spirit of tolerance, solidarity, and nationalism. This concept helps us visualize a nation where its citizens are people from many different backgrounds, races, religions, and nationalities that come together as a united nation where equal rights are accorded to all of its citizens. Thus, a person’s gender would have no bearing on his/her exercise of rights. This paper sets out to build a connection between militarization and gender and make a solid argument as to why women should be mandated to register for selective service.

  • The Effeminate Patriot - Deconstructing “Sex” in Marine Combat Roles

    For more than 150 years, women have had the daunting task of arguing the legitimacy of our obligation and ability to participate in the protection and defense of this country. In fact, it was only the increasing demand of manpower of World War II that compelled Congress to allow women to pursue noncombatant military roles. Still, official legislation and military policies continued to warp the perceptions of female ability and authority in the military by placing severe limitations on women’s military opportunities. Today, women can no longer be excluded from assignments to units and positions “whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.” For proponents of gender inclusion, the standards serve as a de facto barrier for women in obtaining these positions; for opponents, national security is far too valuable to compromise for the sake for social engineering. Notably, this debate also raises a critical feminist concern: in a nation where military participation is a fundamental part of citizenship, women are inevitably estopped from becoming full citizens where the extent of our military obligation and service is systematically hindered compared to the rest of our cohort.

  • Double Trouble - The Errors of the Dual Sovereignity Doctrine in Light of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle

    The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, "No person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." As interpreted by the Supreme Court, this provision bars multiple prosecutions by entities with the same sovereignty, but allows multiple prosecutions when initiated by entities where “the same act may be an offense or transgression of the laws of both. This idea is known as the dual sovereignty doctrine. Inherent in this doctrine’s functioning is the recognition of the entity as a separate sovereign, which as the Supreme Court has opined, is dependent on a narrow question of “whether the prosecutorial powers of the two jurisdictions have independent origins—or said, conversely, whether those powers derive from the same ‘ultimate source.’” In later Supreme Court cases challenging multiple prosecutions on the basis of Double Jeopardy, separate sovereign status was extended to states and tribal nations using the dual sovereignty doctrine. Absent from this extension are United States territories, specifically, what is arguably the closest territory, Puerto Rico.

  • Mind the Gap - Unemployment Discrimination

    The Equal Opportunity Commission's prohibited practices explicitly state that an employer may not discriminate against unemployment status. There is an exception to this, but only if the discrimination (1) does not “significantly disadvantage people of a particular race, color, national origin, religion or sex” and (2) it helps the employer “accurately identify responsible and reliable employees.” However, first and foremost, unemployment discrimination does significantly disadvantage people of a particular sex and a particular race or color. Specifically, a gap in employment on a resume, no matter the reason, can vitiate an employee’s chance of being hired and an employer may utilize this legal loophole to hire individuals with fewer periods of unemployment, statistically: married, white men. In this vein, women, particularly mothers in the workforce, are significantly disadvantaged because they are statistically more likely to have periods of unemployment on their resume due to time taken off for childcare. Additionally, unemployment discrimination based on resume gaps also seriously disadvantages certain races and individuals of color as well because blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be arrested or convicted of crimes and are more likely to be pulled over in traffic stops and the ensuing incarceration leads to noticeable resume gaps.

  • Physician-Assisted Suicide in the United States: An Appeal to Allow an Individual Suffering From a Chronic Progressive Illness to Opt for Physician Assisted Suicide Prior to the Six-Month Terminal Illness Requirement

    This article exposes the hot button issue of physicial assited suicide from a legal perspective by discussing the history of the laws addressing this issue in the United States as well as other countries. The author also explains in great detail certain chronic progressive medical conditions to give a better understanding of a patients' desire for physician-assisted suicide, and legally what should be done.

  • The Criminalization of Indebtedness: The Contemporary Legal Ideologies of Debtors' Prisons and the Recent Revivification of Peonage

    This article discusses the issues faced with Debtors' Prisons, a truly ancient method of punishment for people who do not pay their debts (and a likely origin for the Lannisters' catch-phrase). The author discusses how peonage is this day and age has delibitating ramifications, and also addresses the reforms states have used to combat modern-day debt servitude.

  • "Right To Try" Laws: Does The Legislature Need to 'Try Harder'?

    This article discusses the controversial "Right to Try" Laws enacted after the D.C. Court of Appeals held that terminally ill patients hace a constitutional right to access experimental drug treatments. The author reports the historical background, practical problems with these laws, and includes proposals that try to fix these problems.

  • The Police-ie: A New Kind of Selfie the Implementation of Police Body-Worn Cameras in New York

    In today’s day in age, technology has found its role as the driving force behind innovative procedures aimed to deter crime. From surveillance cameras to dash-mounted video cameras, technological innovation has continually shaped law enforcement policies and procedures. Body-worn camera (BWC) systems serve as the most recent technological innovation with the capacity to reshape policing. BWCs can serve as a tool to aid in the reduction of exposure to litigation and unwarranted citizens’ complaints by promoting transparency and accountability. Both law enforcement and local communities stand to benefit from the deployment of BWCs. This article examines recent publications pertaining to BWCs, the existing usage of BWCs, and recent events pointing to the necessity of immediate BWC employment. Ultimately, this article supports the implementation and deployment of BWCs by police departments by emphasizing the benefits of recording interactions with police, while remaining neutral, yet aware of the downfalls.

  • The Conundrum Left in Elonis' Wake: Did Congress Intend for a Subjective Reading of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c)?

    The right to engage in the free exchange of ideas and speak one’s mind free from government interference is a fundamental right granted by the First Amendment. However, this right is not absolute. There are certain categories of speech that the government is free to regulate. The focus of this Note will examine the true threat doctrine exception and its codification under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), which criminalizes the act of sending threatening messages through interstate commerce. This Note will also examine the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Elonis v. United States, and discuss the two important questions that still remain. First, whether section 875(c) can be satisfied with a showing of recklessness, and second, whether Congress intended to include a requirement for the speaker to intend to threaten.