Issues to Watch

The Battle to Pay College Athletes: Why the Solution Lies in the Legislature


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Taylor Kitzmiller*

I.  The Argument to Pay College Athletes

Picture this, a worker dedicating countless hours each week to perfect their craft and generating millions of dollars for their employer all the while, laying their health on the line.  People from all over the country tune in to watch this worker perform their skills on the biggest stage.  Their employer’s revenue from television deals, ticket sales, and merchandise is fueled solely by the worker’s performance; however, this worker is never compensated.  This unthinkably unbalanced business model depicts the relationship between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and college athletes. Sarah Lytal, Comment, Ending the Amateurism Façade: Pay College Athletes, 9 Hous. L. Rev.: Off the Rec. Articles 158, 162 (2019). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Plan vs. Action: How Special Education Law Is Evolving in the Wake of Endrew


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Kelsey Lear*

Today, a higher number of special education students are benefiting from the dedicated service of the United States education system than ever before.  See Joel McFarland et al., The Condition of Education 2019, Nat’l Ctr. for Educ. Stat., 60 (May 22, 2019), https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019144.pdf.  Students who qualify “are those identified by a team of professionals as having a disability that adversely affects academic performance and as being in need of special education and related services.”  Id.  During the 2017–2018 school year, 7.0 million students between the ages of three and twenty-one received special education services, which accounted for 13.7% of all public-school students in the country.  Id.  This was an increase from the 6.4 million students who received special education services during the 2011–2012 school year.  Id.  The United States Legislature has sought to protect these students through the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  See generally 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2012). (more…)

Issues to Watch

A Republic, If You Can Tweak It: The Supreme Court Absolves Itself of Gerrymandering Duties


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Andrew Will*

On June 27, 2019, the Supreme Court failed to purge one of the nation’s most persistent political plagues.  See Rucho v. Common Cause, 139 S. Ct. 2484 (2019).  In the consolidated opinion of Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, penned by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that partisan gerrymandering presents a nonjusticiable political question in federal courts.  Id. at 2506–07 (citing Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 217 (1962)).  The Court’s holding, supported by a 5–4 conservative majority, rendered federal courts powerless to reconcile the political practice of district manipulation.  Id.  (more…)

Issues to Watch

‘Just Do It’: Allyson Felix, Nike, and the Path Towards Ending Pregnancy Discrimination in Professional Athletic Contracts


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Cassandra Brumback*

Allyson Felix (Felix) was once one of Nike’s most marketed athletes.  Allyson Felix, Allyson Felix: My Own Nike Pregnancy Story, N.Y. Times (May 22, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/opinion/allyson-felix-pregnancy-nike.html.  She holds nine Olympic medals and is the United States’ most decorated female runner of all time.  Id.  However, when Felix told Nike she was pregnant in 2018, Nike proposed a 70% pay reduction.  Id.  This did not sit well with Felix, who fought for a contractual guarantee that she would not be penalized for her pregnancy.  Id.  Nike refused, causing Felix to break from the company and secure a more beneficial contract with the women-focused apparel brand Athleta in July 2019.  Chris Chavez, Allyson Felix Signs Athleta Sponsorship After Nike Dispute for Maternity Policy Change, Sports Illustrated (July 31, 2019), https://www.si.com/olympics/2019/07/31/allyson-felix-athleta-sponsorship-nike-maternity-leave-policy. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Post-Decriminalization Era: Maryland Court of Appeals Holds that the Mere Odor of Marijuana is Not Enough for a Probable Cause Search of a Person


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Madison Buchness* 

 In 2014, the Maryland General Assembly decriminalized the possession of less than ten grams of marijuana.  See Robinson v. State152 A.3d 661673 (Md. 2017).  Possession of less than ten grams of marijuana is now a “civil offense” under Maryland law and resultin the issuance of a civil citation and a fine Id.  The decriminalization of marijuana in Maryland has brought to light the issue of an illegal search and seizure solely based on the odor of marijuana.  See id.  The Fourth Amendment protects the people’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.  State v. Johnson183 A.3d 119128 (Md. 2018).  In 2019, the Maryland Court of Appeals began its opinion with the title of Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are aChangin’[,]” subsequently holding that the mere odor of marijuana is not enough to give police officers probable cause to search and arrest a person.  Pacheco v. State214 A.3d 505, 508, 518 (Md. 2019). 

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