Law Quarterly

Hypocrite in Chief

Dec
23

“Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?” – @realDonaldTrump, 2012

On October 20, 2017 President Donald Trump issued an executive order that amended President Bush’s order of September 14, 2001 to state “the authorities available for use during a national emergency under sections 688 and 690 of title 10, United States Code, are… invoked and made available…” While this language doesn’t seem particularly explosive, and at the time didn’t receive much media attention, the reality is that Trump’s October 20th executive order grants the President immense power over retired military personnel. (more…)

Fake News and Government Censorship

Dec
17

It seems fitting that our country, in the past and the present has been deeply entrenched in wars. What made America in the 18th and 21st century so special are not the conflicts themselves though, but how it is that we adapt to such situations and what values we salvage from the forge. While the Revolutionary war was a fervent rejection of injustice, the war we find ourselves in today is waged with tongue-in-cheek vitriol and twitter-storms. What I’m so indirectly referring to, of course, is the war of words that the Trump administration is waging on all of the other American institutions, while the American public plays the role of the audience.

While that parallelism may be a stretch, there is an imperative at stake in the fight at hand, and that is maintaining the dignity of our democracy. The main point of peril here is not how this conflict manifests itself, but rather what this claim the President made mid-October entails, tweeting, “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” (more…)

Take a Knee for the First Amendment

Dec
11

Undoubtedly one of the greatest things that many Americans take pride in is the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. Giving people the right to freely express themselves through speech, press, or forms of protest, this amendment has been the backbone of a nation founded upon democratic principles. And what is comparable to people’s love of freedom? The love of football, of course. However what happens when the two ideas converge on the field in front of thousands of spectators and millions of fans all across the nation? (more…)

Parole: How Does it Work?

Dec
08

In 2008, Orenthal James Simpson was sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison for a bevy of charges stemming from a September 2007 robbery. However, his release just this past October on parole may have people wondering why, and how, he was granted this temporary release a whole 24 years short of his original sentence. Due to these circumstances, it seems like it is an appropriate time to revisit the idea of parole. How does it work? When is someone eligible for parole? How do they earn it? What happens afterwards? On the contrary, we will also briefly compare O.J.’s circumstances to that of noted serial killer Charles Manson in an effort to get a more diverse look at the process. (more…)

Hate Speech and Charlottesville

Dec
08

One of the most widely misunderstood aspects of the United States Constitution is one of the most well-known clauses: freedom of speech. While most people understand that speech is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution, they do not understand that hate speech is also protected under the First Amendment. Most people assume that when speech is targeted, hurtful, or morally wrong it is unconstitutional and therefore illegal, this misconception is easily seen through social media. After the Charlottesville protests, many people took to Twitter or Facebook to declare that the white-supremacists should be arrested for their speech alone. However, it has been shown through various Supreme Court cases that hate speech, including symbolic hate speech, is in fact protected and constitutional. (more…)