Author: University of Baltimore Law Review Staff

Issues to Watch

It’s Time to Reform the Supreme Court, But How?


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*Andrew M. Harvey

During the past few months, there has been a highly contested debate regarding the Supreme Court.  Michael Klarman, Why Democrats Should Pack the Supreme Court, Take Care Blog (Oct. 15, 2018), https://takecareblog.com/blog/why-democrats-should-pack-the-supreme-court; Lee Drutman, It’s Time for Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices, Vox (June 27, 2018, 3:57 PM), https://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2018/6/27/17511030/supreme-court-term-limits-retirement.  It has been said that “democracy doesn’t matter” anymore, and the only true goal is “holding and accumulating power.”  Klarman, supra.  To combat this issue, individuals from both parties have introduced proposals for changing the current composition of the Supreme Court.  See generally Klarman, supra; Drutman, supra.  Two of the proposals that have received the most attention are judicial term limits and court-packing. (more…)

Issues to Watch

It’s Not as Easy as It Looks: Why the NCAA Refuses to Pay College Athletes What They Rightfully Deserve


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*Liam Edward Rhodes

I.  Plenty of Money to Go Around

To pay, or not to pay, that is the question.  Traditionally, the thought of paying college athletes additional compensation in addition to receiving free cost of attendance was vehemently criticized by those who wanted to protect amateurism and the integrity of college athletics.  Ivan Maisel, Paying Players Might Create Havoc, ESPN (July 15, 2011), http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/6768571/legal-issues-arise-paying-student-athletes.  Receiving more than the already large price tag of up to $250,000 in tuition, room and board, school supplies, medical care, physical training, and various educational fees may seem excessive to the ordinary fan.  Id.  However, a mere $250,000, which is only the best-case scenario, pales in comparison to the amount of revenue many top college programs generate from athletics.  See NCAA Finances, USA Today, http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/ (last visited Jan. 18, 2019). (more…)

Issues to Watch

A Long-Standing Double Jeopardy Exception Is in Jeopardy of Being Overruled by the Supreme Court


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*Emma J. Dorris

I.  INTRODUCTION

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “no person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”  U.S. Const. amend. V.  This constitutional protection, which prohibits the government from prosecuting individuals twice for the same crime, is known as the Double Jeopardy Clause.  See David Cole & Somil Trivedi, It’s Time to Close a Loophole in the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Rule, aclu (Sept. 12, 2018, 11:30 AM), https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/its-time-close-loophole-constitutions-double-jeopardy-rule.

However, almost one hundred years ago, in United States v. Lanza, the Supreme Court upheld the federal prosecution of defendants who had already been tried and convicted in state court for the same crime, holding that “an act denounced as a crime by both national and state sovereignties is an offense against the peace and dignity of both and may be punished by each.” United States v. Lanza, 260 U.S. 377, 382 (1922).  This has come to be known as the “separate sovereigns” exception and it “allows state and federal prosecutors to bring separate charges for the same alleged crime.”  Cole & Trivedi, supra.  The Supreme Court recently heard arguments on December 5, 2018, for Gamble v. United States, a case that directly challenges the separate sovereigns exception to the Double Jeopardy Clause.  Gamble v. United States, SCOTUSblog, http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/gamble-v-united-states/ (last visited Jan. 18, 2019). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Voting Rights for the Disabled: The Need for a Clear Standard


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*Christina Araviakis

Recently, voting has become a larger issue in public discourse than it has been in years past, which has made the right to vote increasingly valuable.  See Priya Khatkhate, Taking Away the Vote, A.B.A. J. Mag., Oct. 2018, at 9–10, http://dashboard.mazsystems.com/webreader/57776?page=10.  However, little attention has been given to the lack of a legal standard for determining whether disabled people who are under guardianship or conservatorship should lose their right to vote.  See id.

When Jack Vaile turned eighteen in 2016, he was looking forward to his first opportunity to vote in California.  Id.  During the same year, due to Jack’s cerebral palsy and autism, Lou Vaile, Jack’s father, was granted conservatorship over Jack by a California judge.  Id.  This was meant to help with Jack’s medical decisions.  Id.  However, in the process, the judge also took away Jack’s voting rights.  Id.  Although Jack had cerebral palsy and autism, he used an assistive device to communicate, and he had been doing his research to take part in the primary elections in 2016.  Id.  Jack’s father states, “Jack was really excited about the election process. He had done research. He was totally stoked to vote in the primaries in the election—and then I got this piece of paper in the mail. I was sick. I didn’t even know how to tell him.”  Id.  Like many other people going through the guardianship or conservatorship process, the Vailes did not know that Jack’s voting rights were on the table if conservatorship was granted.  Id. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Scandalous and Immoral Trademarks Are (Almost) In!


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*Reginald Smallwood

Imagine that you are Native American and you are invited to a Washington Redskins (Redskins) game.  Or you are Asian and you are invited to the concert of an Asian-American band called “The Slants.”  Now imagine that you are in the mall and see a mannequin in the Urban Outfitters’ window wearing a t-shirt that says “FUCT.”  Is any one of these phrases more offensive than the others?  Should these word marks be registrable and protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)?  In Tam, the United States Supreme Court held that the USPTO could not deny registration to disparaging trademarks.  Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___, 137 S. Ct. 1744, 1747 (2017).  Now, the Court has the opportunity to determine if the USPTO can deny registration to scandalous and immoral trademarks.  See In re Brunetti, 877 F.3d 1330, 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2017). (more…)