Founded in 1927, Temple Law Review is a student-edited, quarterly journal dedicated to providing a forum for the expression of new legal thought and scholarly commentary on important developments, trends, and issues in the law.
A victim’s published letter not only indicts her rapist but also the fraternity culture that enabled such victimization. Exposés of a film executive not only reveal a serial predator but also a corporate culture that turned a blind eye to his violence. The reporting, in turn, brings accountability to groups—police departments, film companies, fraternities—that the law has long been unable, or unwilling, to reform.
The alien torture plaintiff faces a litany of barriers to entry to U.S. courts. These barriers include the state secrets privilege, the Alien Tort Statute’s (ATS) territoriality and well-established cause of action requirements, and immunities of all sorts. Even once a torture plaintiff’s foot is in the courthouse door, he faces the difficult task of establishing that the conduct at issue meets the torture standard and that the defendant is legally responsible for the conduct. This Comment, however, will focus on just one of the obstacles faced by the torture plaintiff: the political question doctrine (PQD).
Although the Supreme Court provided guidance on when a court should entertain a crime-fraud exception claim in United States v. Zolin, that case did not specify how much or what kind of proof is necessary, or how much evidence of intent by the client is required, for a court to invoke the exception and overcome the application of the privilege. State courts and the lower federal courts have since been left to grapple with this important issue on a case-by-case basis and have reached differing conclusions. This Article examines the law that has developed in this area since the Supreme Court decided Zolin and argues that setting too high a bar for application of the crime-fraud exception is inconsistent with the policy grounds that underlie the attorney-client privilege and can have serious adverse consequences for the administration of justice.
Scholars have long critiqued the principles that animate what I have termed the equal protection right to compete. Less attention, however, has been paid to whether existing doctrine actually promotes this vision of equality. One might presume that it does. Yet empirical findings spanning employment, law enforcement, and education suggest the opposite. Specifically, scholarship from the mind sciences reveals that common facially neutral evaluative tools—such as human judgment, standardized tests, and predictive algorithms—can systematically mismeasure an individual’s existing talent and potential (that is, merit) because of her race. Accordingly, when decisionmakers rely on such “racial mismeasures” to determine whom to hire or admit, they effectively compromise each candidate’s right to an individualized, meritocratic, and race-free review.
Despite congressional findings that all people are “presumed to be capable of engaging in gainful employment,” individuals with serious intellectual disabilities face barriers to obtaining and maintaining meaningful employment. One barrier to employment is the lack of funding for long-term job support, which many individuals with intellectual disabilities require. Although the primary method of funding long-term support is Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services Waivers, states limit the number of waivers available to their residents and leave many people on waiting lists for funding. Unfortunately, states are not required to provide a waiver to every eligible individual, as the Medicaid statute does not require that states give funding for community-based services to all. This lack of entitlement to a waiver results in an administrative failure and denial of equal employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
This Comment analyzes the firm resettlement bar—a statutory bar that denies asylum if the applicant received an offer of some type of permanent resettlement status in a third country that is not the United States or the applicant’s country of origin—by exploring its history and jurisprudence. This Comment argues that to lessen the risk of denial of meritorious asylum and refugee claims, the list of exceptions to the firm resettlement bar must be expanded to encompass situations where (1) citizens of the third country—not just the third country’s government—placed restrictive conditions on the asylum applicant, (2) fraudulent documents were used to gain entry into the third country, (3) the applicant has temporarily traveled from the third country back to the country of origin for good reason, or (4) the third country becomes dangerous after a formal offer of firm resettlement has been made.
Revenge porn is the posting of an intimate picture of another person without their consent. According to a study conducted by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, approximately 12% of study participants had either been victims of revenge porn or been threatened with revenge porn. Despite the prevalence and publicity of revenge porn, there are many barriers to criminal prosecution, including ineffective or nonexistent criminal laws and unresponsive police departments. To eliminate these barriers, Congress has considered passing a federal law. On a more local level, states have worked to protect victims by creating or strengthening state criminal statutes.
In 2012 Pennsylvania House Republicans won 72% of the House seats despite winning only 49% of the statewide popular vote. And in both the 2014 and 2016 congressional races, Republicans continued to win the same number of seats with approximately 54% of the statewide vote. The outcome was not just disproportionate congressional representation. One recent study found that the extreme partisan gerrymandering in Pennsylvania has eroded Pennsylvania voters’ trust in their elected representatives and allowed Pennsylvania’s representatives to be less responsive to Pennsylvania Democrats’ policy preferences.
In Pennsylvania, the growing demand for BWCs culminated in the passage of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 560 (S.B. 560) on July 7, 2017. The bill added Chapter 67A to Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, “clearing the way for the use of police body-worn cameras.” Although Chapter 67A does not require police departments to implement BWCs, supporters of the law believe that it will encourage more departments to begin using them. But much to the chagrin of civil rights activists and organizations like the ACLU, the law also provides sweeping restrictions on public access to the resulting BWC recordings. Chapter 67A both exempts all audio and video recordings made by law enforcement from Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and further limits public access by implementing a “heavily restrictive process for members of the public to obtain” such recordings.
The same March 2017 executive order that directed the EPA to reconsider existing greenhouse gas regulations also jettisoned the federal social cost of carbon (SCC), a set of standardized values developed during the Obama administration to monetize the climate change benefits of proposed regulations. Because agencies must justify major regulations through a largely monetized cost-benefit analysis (CBA), the resulting calculations play a critical role in determining both the stringency and viability of regulatory standards. President Trump’s order withdrew all documents relating to the federal SCC, including background technical documents detailing the economic costs of global warming. Although President Trump’s order did not prohibit agencies from attempting to calculate climate benefits, it required any subsequent analyses to follow strictly a 2003 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance document, Circular A-4, that directs agencies to discount steeply the value of preventing future harms and to focus on impacts within the United States. Indeed, President Trump’s EPA applied these limitations to assess the costs and benefits of repealing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and to support replacing it with much less effective power plant efficiency improvement guidelines.