Posts tagged Supreme Court
Inside the 14-Year Long Legal Battle Between Nestlé and Six Former Forced Laborers

There are an estimated 21 million victims of forced labor globally, generating an approximated 150 billion dollars in illegal profits each year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). [1] The criminal practice’s astounding profit-generation is largely attributed to its ability to be conveniently hidden within the long and murky supply chains of major corporations: in that Nike sneaker, morning Starbucks coffee, or H&M sweater that was just such a deal. [2]

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Assessing the Legality of Juliana v. United States

In recent months, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal has captured the nation’s attention, as it presents the first comprehensive legislative effort to combat global warming. However, in the discussion of the government’s responsibility to mitigate the effects of climate change, a certain case has been lost in the noise. Juliana v. United States is a class action lawsuit in which twenty-one plaintiffs (all undergraduates at various colleges and universities across the country) are suing United States executive agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency, for a violation of their constitutional rights.

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The Intellectual Property Implications of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

While most recent advancements in copyright law focus on mainstream technological or media-based infringements, intellectual property scholars were dealt a landmark decision in a more unconventional facet of the law: fashion. Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc (2017) [1], decided after 8 months of deliberation in the U.S. Supreme Court, examined a lawsuit brought forth by Varsity Brands when Star Athletica began to produce cheerleading uniforms with chevrons, zigzags, and other aesthetic elements similar in design to those produced by Varsity Brands, but at a far lower price [2].

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Forced Off His Land by a Frog

Edward Poitevent, a long-time Louisiana resident and proud business-owner, could not believe his ears when he was ordered to give up some of his land so that an endangered frog might breed there. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) believes that Poitevent and his neighbors’ total of 1,600 acres of land (Unit 1) is a critical habitat of the endangered dusky gopher frog, and therefore must be designated as such. However, the frog has not been seen in Louisiana for decades, so it is probable that the evacuation of Unit 1 would have no effect on the dusky gopher frog population.

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Implications of Lochner v. New York

The Lochner Era, spanning almost three decades from 1905 to 1937, was one of the most distinctive periods of Supreme Court history. An analysis of the Court’s decision inLochner v. New York (1905), the three decades emerging after the Lochner decision, and the events surrounding the Court’s eventual reversal of the decision in 1937 can reveal important implications for workers’ rights in our modern era.

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Child-Criminals: The Unclear Relationship between Children and the Justice System

It is estimated that in 2017, nearly 809,700 children under the age of 18 were arrested in the United States for crimes including burglary, arson, drug abuse, and homicide. [1] This statistic displays an intensifying debate in America: the treatment of children in the criminal justice system. While these youths were clearly convicted for violating the law, what remains unclear in the law is how these children should be distinguished from their adult criminal counterparts.

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A Civil Responsibility for Representation

The advent of American justice, in criminal proceedings, is often tied to the constitutional guarantee of the attorney. Our 6th Amendment promises that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to… have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” [1] This is a powerful promise our Founders codified, aiming to level the playing field for criminal defendants thereafter. In many ways, this pledge continues to represent the emphasis on individual rights in the American social contract. But when we take a step backwards, we are reminded that criminal proceedings have an often-overlooked twin: civil law.

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Mandatory Million-Dollar Donations: Examining Cy Pres Settlements

In 2014, six institutions received approximately $5.3 million total for the purpose of educating the public on Internet privacy. [1] This was not spurred by a kind donation or an altruistic, astute public relations move; rather, the District Court for the Northern District of California ordered Google to do so as part of the settlement of a class action lawsuit in which these institutions had no part. This practice of distributing money from class action settlements to third-party non-profit organizations is known as cy pres (pronounced “sigh pray”), [2] and Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that these settlements must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

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Should Facebook be Accessible to Sex Offenders? A First Amendment Analysis

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech.”[1] The Supreme Court has typically interpreted the term “speech” to incorporate a broad range of expressions, including the use of Internet.[2] However, the increasing use of the Internet and social media sites has led to debate as to what constitutes free speech in the digital age and if digital platforms should be made accessible to the entire public. Currently, Facebook’s accessibility to the public has been contested in relation to the right of sex offenders to use the site, as limiting their access conflicts with freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment. 

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