Digital as Fundamental: Evaluating the Right to Internet Access in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

*Yitzchak Besser

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced tens of millions of Americans into their homes, as states across the country have ordered lockdowns and isolation protocols.  Minyvonne Burke & Isobel van Hagen, 75 Million Americans Under Virtual Lockdown After Italy Suffers Huge Rise in Deaths, NBC (Mar. 21, 2020, 9:30 AM), https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/75-million-americans-under-virtual-lockdown-after-italy-suffers-huge-n1165591.  These stay-at-home orders have dramatically altered how Americans view and use the Internet.  As options in the physical world have become restricted, people have turned to the digital world for alternatives.  Gregory Porumbescu, The Digital Divide Leaves Millions at a Disadvantage During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Conversation (Mar. 18, 2020, 8:07 AM), https://theconversation.com/the-digital-divide-leaves-millions-at-a-disadvantage-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-133608.

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Come on Maryland, Legalize Sports Betting Already!

*Samson Nabozny

In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to prohibit individual states from legalizing sports gambling, except Nevada due to a grandfathering provision.  See Pete Blackburn, Supreme Court Lets States Legalize Sports Betting, Rules Federal Ban Unconstitutional, CBS Sports (May 14, 2018, 2:39 PM), https://www.cbssports.com/general/news/supreme-court-lets-states-legalize-sports-betting-rules-federal-ban-unconstitutional/.  Until 2012, Nevada was the only state where sports and gambling fans could wager on the results and statistics of individual sports games.  See id.  However, that changed when former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ignored PAPSA and legalized sports betting.  See id.  Alleging that the legalization of sports gambling in New Jersey violated PAPSA, the NCAA and the four major professional sports leagues sued in federal court.  See id.Continue reading “Come on Maryland, Legalize Sports Betting Already!”

Is Obesity a Disability?

*Molly Shaffer

Since 1990, obesity in America has increased consistently.  See Obesity Rates: Adults, St. Childhood Obesity, https://stateofchildhoodobesity.org/adult-obesity/ (last updated Sept. 2019).  In 2018, 23% of adults in Colorado were obese, which was the lowest state percentage of obese adults.  Id.  Meanwhile, at the higher end of the spectrum, nearly 40% of adults in West Virginia and Mississippi were obese.  Id.  Obesity is defined as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health” and is diagnosed when an individual’s body mass index (BMI) exceeds thirty.  See Obesity, World Health Org., https://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/ (last visited Mar. 2, 2020).  Several causes can lead to obesity, such as lifestyle habits, physiological factors, diseases, and medications.  See Jerry R. Balentine, Obesity, MedicineNet, https://www.medicinenet.com/obesity_weight_loss/article.htm (last visited Mar. 2, 2020).  The prevalence of obesity is causing courts to begin considering whether obesity is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  See Richardson v. Chi. Transit Auth., 926 F.3d 881, 886–87 (7th Cir. 2019); see also Taylor v. Burlington N. R.R. Holdings, Inc., 444 P.3d 606, 608 (Wash. 2019).

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Do you Vape Bro?: The Vaping Crisis and State Judiciaries Response to State Bans

*Christian Coward

I.  Introduction

Tobacco has vast social, political, and economic influence in the United States.  See History of Tobacco, Tobacco Free Life, https://tobaccofreelife.org/tobacco/tobacco-history (last visited Mar. 5, 2020).  In the early twentieth century, smoking cigarettes became a paramount part of American culture post World War I.  Id.; see Livia Gershon, A Brief History of Tobacco in America, JSTOR Daily (June 10, 2016), https://daily.jstor.org/a-brief-history-of-tobacco-in-america/.  This trend occurred due to heavy advertising and the inclusion of cigarettes in soldiers’ rations during both world wars.  Id.  Total annual cigarette consumption for individual smoking adults grew from 54 cigarettes in 1900 to 4,345 in 1963.  Id.  The second half of the twentieth century was a different story.  See K. Michael Cummings & Robert N. Proctor, The Changing Public Image of Smoking in the United States: 1964–2014, 23 Am. Ass’n for Cancer Res. 32, 33 (2014).  The social acceptance of cigarette smoking began to decline after the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee released a report in 1964, which confirmed the negative health risks associated with smoking.  See id.; see Then and Now: 50 Years Since Cigarettes Linked to Cancer, ABC, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-11/smoking-then-and-now/5194104 (last updated Jan. 10, 2014, 7:13 PM).Continue reading “Do you Vape Bro?: The Vaping Crisis and State Judiciaries Response to State Bans”

The Meteoric Rise of Esports: What Legal Issues Threaten the Growth of This New Industry?

*Taylor Kitzmiller

I.  Esports’s Popularity Explosion

The playing and watching of video games has gone from a casual hobby enjoyed primarily by kids to a brand-new multibillion-dollar industry.  See Wayne Duggan, Breaking Down the Incredible Rise of Esports, Benzinga (Jan. 26, 2019, 4:06 PM), https://www.benzinga.com/general/education/19/01/13008304/breaking-down-the-incredible-rise-of-esports.  Esports is the fastest growing spectator sport in the world.  See id.  “The total number of esports viewers has more than tripled from 124 million in 2012 to 335 million in 2017” and “[t]he number could surpass 550 million by 2021.”  Id. Continue reading “The Meteoric Rise of Esports: What Legal Issues Threaten the Growth of This New Industry?”