Should We Beware of “Ban-the-Box” Laws?

*Catalina Habeych

Recidivism rates in the United States are some of the highest in the world.  See Christina Sterbenz, Why Norway’s Prison System Is So Successful, Bus. Insider (Dec. 11, 2014, 1:31 PM),  Persons with a criminal history face high unemployment rates, which lead to higher recidivism rates based on various studies.  Sachi Barreiro, What Is a Ban-the-Box Law?, NOLO, (last visited June 15, 2020).  One possible contributor to the high levels of unemployment and recidivism among former offenders in the U.S. is the hiring practice of asking applicants to reveal information about prior convictions in their job applications.  See generally Nicole Fortier & Abigail Finkelman, Stemming the Tide of Recidivism: Banning ‘the Box’, Am. Prospect (May 14, 2014),  As a result, laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their criminal history on initial job applications have gained popularity throughout the U.S.  See Roy Maurer, Ban-the-Box Movement Goes Viral, SHRM (Mar. 10, 2016),

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The “Migrant Protection Protocol”: Why the Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Immigration Policy Does Not Protect Migrants, But Puts Them in Danger

*Emma Dorris

I. Introduction

In February 2019, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies sued the Trump Administration (the Administration) on behalf of “11 individual asylum seekers and organizational plaintiffs.”  Innovation Law Lab v. Wolf, ACLU (Mar. 9, 2020),; Kate Morrisey & Sandra Dibble, ACLU Sues Trump Administration over ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy for Asylum Seekers, San Diego Union-Tribune (Feb. 14, 2019, 2:40 PM),  The lawsuit challenges the Trump Administration’s implementation of its striking  immigration policy, the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” Policy, which forces “asylum seekers to return to Mexico and remain there while their cases are considered.”  Innovation Law Lab v. Wolf, supra

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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),  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),

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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),  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, (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., (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, (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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