One of the most noteworthy epidemics today’s youth face is the use of addictive nicotine products. The FDA has worked tirelessly to set limits on advertising and production, going so far as to attempt to ban products like fruit-flavored JUUL pods. The FDA has been trying to control the cyclic use of tobacco products across generations. Due to the creation of new smoking devices, efforts to end this cycle of teen smoking have become more difficult. The FDA wants to stop addiction where it starts and help protect the youth of America by limiting their exposure to nicotine and tobacco products.1
In the 2016 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) National Championship game, Alabama defeated the number one seed, Clemson, 45-40 in a game that had generated $274 million in revenue. March Madness, a month in which 68 teams are invited to compete against one another with the goal of advancing to the championship game, generates hundreds of million of dollars in revenue. Every day, hundreds of athletic programs exploit their athletes and strip them of the millions of dollars that they have worked hard for. Why can athletes generate such large amounts of money but still lack the compensation for what they achieve? Athletes bring attention to their schools, generate mass revenue, and promote their programs through any means; jersey sales in a store, schedules with their pictures on them, magazines highlighting upcoming athletes, commercials, and videogames, sometimes without the consent of the athlete. These athletes feel that they deserve compensation for their efforts.
The Guantánamo Bay Detention Center has achieved notorious status as a “legal black hole” in the years following the attacks of 9/11. With a legacy of human rights abuse and unclear status under US jurisdiction, Guantánamo lives up to its historical reputation as a place where law applies only where the United States government decides it does. In a country founded on ideals of individual rights and a government that respects those rights for all, how has the law been rendered so vulnerable to misuse?
You may have heard the term before: Universal Basic Income. It has been around for hundreds of years; Thomas Paine was a fan of it in the eighteenth century, Martin Luther King Jr. supported it in the twentieth century, and a Democratic Candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election is even running his platform based on Universal Basic Income. Given its age, why has the subject of Universal Basic Income been resurfacing in American conversations recently? In the United States, recent technological advances and the rise of automation have altered society. They have not only affected the tech industry, but have had major repercussions on American labor in general. As technology advances even further, a number of jobs may be replaced by automation, leaving many people struggling to find work. This, coupled with the growing problem of poverty and the disenfranchised middle class in the United States, puts a large strain on American society. The legal implications that the rising automation-takeover will have on the government are significant. What can the United States government do when a high percentage of manual labor jobs are replaced by automated technologies?
For millions of Americans being convicted of a felony is a life sentence, irrespective of the severity of their crime, or whether they served time in a correctional facility. To be convicted of a felony in the U.S criminal justice system is to be stripped of civil rights and privileges, to be subjected to exclusionary employment laws; it is -as Joshua Price described- to be condemned to permanent social exclusion and reduced to “modern subhumanity”(1). Attached to a criminal conviction are collateral consequences, referred to as “civil disabilities,” which deny those who are convicted of basic necessities such as eligibility for public housing and social welfare. These civil disabilities are spread throughout legal statutes at both the federal and state level, working together to construct profound barriers for ex-convicts trying to reenter society.
Any individual walking through a college campus can observe that sticker culture is surprisingly apparent among students. Students often display stickers on their laptops and school supplies as a means of self-expression and to positively identify with their environment. With limitless designs and sketches available online, student sticker customizations are entirely unique. Different student organizations often buy stickers in bulk and sell them around campuses as fundraisers, further encouraging these trends. Of the suppliers of these stickers, one of the most prominent is Redbubble, which has become the primary target for complaints against the industry.Founded in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia, Redbubble is a global online market in which independent artists submit original designs to be printed on a variety of products and sold. Redbubble has over 400,000 artists and designers who submit graphic works to be distributed to millions worldwide. (1) Artists who submit designs to Redbubble always maintain ownership of their work. They decide which products their work appears on and set the marginal profit earned. Redbubble determines the retail price by adding the artist’s margin to the base price. The base price covers Redbubble’s services and manufacturing costs.
The conditions in Thailand increase the vulnerability of migrant workers and foster an environment for forced labor, particularly within the fishing industry. In Thailand’s fishing industry, migrant fishers from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia are trafficked into fishing work by unscrupulous labor brokers on behalf of employers due to the high demand for cheap labor in the Thai economy. (1) In the study “Thailand: Forced Labor, Trafficking Persist in Fishing Fleets,” Human Rights Watch interviewed current and former fishers from Burma and Cambodia along with Thai government officials, boat owners and captains, civil society activists, fishing association representatives, and United Nations agency staff to find that at least 95 former fishers experienced documented incidents of human trafficking. (1) The report documents how poor working conditions, recruitment processes, terms of employment, and industry practices put vulnerable migrant workers into abusive situations that lead to forced labor. (2) The pattern of abuse that results in forced labor for migrant workers is primarily due to the lack of protection from labor laws and legislation to combat trafficking in the fishing industry. Although Thai government ratified the International labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 29 on forced labor in which they are required to stop the use of forced labor and passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act B.E. 2551, there is weak enforcement of these laws. (3)
Waze: Abiding by the Constitution while Avoiding the Law
The First Amendment declares that citizens have the right to freedom of speech, yet the New York Police Department is attempting to limit this right to protect citizens against drunk drivers. On February 2, 2019, the New York Police Department (NYPD) issued a cease-and-desist letter to Waze, a subsidiary of Google, demanding they remove any current data on police whereabouts on the navigation app. A cease-and-desist letter denotes a legally enforceable order from a court or government agency directing someone to stop engaging in a particular activity (in this case, tracking the location of police).(2) Further, the NYPD insisted that Waze continue to take “necessary precautions” to ensure their locations remain undisclosed on incoming data posted not only on this particular app, but also on any other mapping site they take ownership of.(1) The NYPD justified their issuance of the cease-and-desist letter by arguing that publication of police sightings are “a public danger” and are “potentially breaking the law, by helping other drivers avoid [DUI/DWI] checkpoints.”(3)
Rap and hip-hop’s association with violent and graphic images has always been contentious. Geraldo Rivera’s now-infamous comment “Hip-Hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years” is a clear indication of the thoughts of some towards these genres of music(1).
In a 1996 study performed by Carrie Fried at Indiana University, the lyrics of a song were presented to two groups of subjects as excerpts from a rap song and then as excerpts from a country song(2). When presented as a rap, subjects argued the lyrics were objectionable and merited some form of government regulation. When told excerpts were taken from a country song, the reception was less critical. Fried also noted the same phenomenon was apparent when subjects were told the lyrics were from a black singer versus a white singer.
Lester Packingham, a 21 year old college student, was convicted of taking “indecent liberties” with a minor in 2002. In line with North Carolina Law, he served a sentence of 10-12 months and then a 24 month supervision period upon release (1). Flash forward to 2010, where he posted a status on his Facebook that was thanking God in reference to a parking ticket that he was able to get dismissed. Despite the fact that his conviction had no special stipulations, he was arrested after posting that status due to North Carolina’s sex offender laws that prohibit previously convicted offenders from accessing social media websites altogether. Packingham argued that it violated his First Amendment rights. /Packingham v. North Carolina/ (2017) made its way to the Supreme Court and established important precedents for future sex offender cases, as well as questioned the validity of previous cases in dealing with sex offenses. It also brings up a much larger question: to what extent should previous sex offenses limit the rights of those that have been released?