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?”

Affirmative Action Still Being Challenged—Could the College Admissions Process Be in for a Change?

*Evan Raigrodski

Even in 2019, affirmative action in the college admissions process continues to be challenged.  Anemona Hartocollis, Harvard Won a Key Affirmative Action Battle.  But the War’s Not Over, N.Y. Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/harvard-admissions-lawsuit.html (last updated Nov. 5, 2019).  The latest lawsuit brought by the Students for Fair Admissions challenged Harvard University’s admissions practices arguing that the University discriminated against Asian-Americans in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  See Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard Coll., 397 F. Supp. 3d 126 (D. Mass. 2019).  In a decision laid down by Judge Allison Burroughs of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the court held that Harvard’s admissions process and its consideration of race were not discriminatory towards Asian-Americans.  Id. at 203–04.  However, this decision likely will not be the end of this action, as an appeal has already been filed and it has the potential to reach the Supreme Court.  Hartocollis, supra.  With a new conservative majority on the Court, the incorporation of race considerations in college admissions processes may be reconsidered, challenging the precedent set over forty years ago.  See id.Continue reading “Affirmative Action Still Being Challenged—Could the College Admissions Process Be in for a Change?”

The Third-Country Rule and United States Asylum Law

Cassandra Brumback*

Four months after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, he committed suicide in his Louisiana jail cell.  See Teo Armus, A Cuban Immigrant Asked for Asylum. After Months of Detention, He Killed Himself, ICE Says, Wash. Post (Oct. 17, 2019, 7:28 AM), https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/17/cuban-immigrant-asked-asylum-detention-killed-himself-ice/.  Hernandez-Diaz was one of approximately 590,000 asylum seekers to cross the southern border of the United States in 2019.  See Daniel Connolly, et al., Asylum Seekers in US Face Years of Waiting, Little Change of Winning Their Cases, USA Today (Sept. 25, 2019, 12:40 PM), https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/09/23/immigration-court-asylum-seekers-what-to-expect/2026541001/.  His death is the latest shock to arise from a particularly chaotic and volatile few months at the border, where the Trump Administration’s ever-changing set of asylum guidelines have instilled fear and hopelessness in the migrant community.  See Armus, supra. Continue reading “The Third-Country Rule and United States Asylum Law”

What Is Maryland Doing to Combat Violence in Our Schools?

Kelsey Lear*

On March 20, 2018, a 17-year-old student shot two others at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, Maryland before a school resource officer intervened.  See Eric Levenson, Maryland School Officer Stops Armed Student Who Shot 2 Others, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2018/03/20/us/great-mills-high-school-shooting/index.html (last updated Mar. 20, 2018, 7:24 PM).  The shooter killed one student and shot one other student before turning the gun on himself.  See Maryland High School Shooting: ‘I Was Just Shot in My School,’ Great Mills Student Says on 911 Call, Balt. Sun (Mar. 27, 2018, 10:50 AM), https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-great-mills-911-call-20180327-story.html.  This tragic incident triggered Maryland’s legislature to take swift action against gun violence in schools through the Maryland Safe to Learn Act (MSLA).  See Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-1501-12 (West 2018).Continue reading “What Is Maryland Doing to Combat Violence in Our Schools?”

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems: Legal & Regulatory Concerns Surrounding the Announcement of Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

 Kristin McManus*

On June 16, 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg formally announced the company’s plans to create a new digital cryptocurrency to be known as “Libra,” which will operate under Calibra, a subsidiary of Facebook.  See Bill Chapple, Facebook Unveils Libra Cryptocurrency, Sets Launch For 2020, Nat’l Pub. Radio (June 18, 2019, 12:12 PM), https://www.npr.org/2019/06/18/733701971/facebook-unveils-libra-cryptocurrency-sets-launch-for-2020.  The Libra Association released a white paper detailing its mission and outlining its plans for “a new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency, and a smart contract platform that together aim to create a new opportunity for responsible financial services innovation.”  Libra Ass’n Members, An Introduction to Libra (July 23, 2019).  The principal aims of Libra are: increasing financial inclusion worldwide, providing a system that will reduce transaction costs of monetary transfers, and providing alternate means of funding for small businesses that have been declined by traditional lenders.  See Osman Gazi Güçlütürk, Facebook’s Libra and Regulatory Issues, Medium (June 22, 2019), https://medium.com/@ogucluturk/facebooks-libra-and-regulatory-issues-3f4c3a677bd.  On paper, this sounds like a compelling addition to the current system, however, the Libra Association’s white paper is short on details and big on promises.  Eric Posner, The Trouble Starts if Facebook’s New Currency Succeeds, Atlantic (June 25, 2019), https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/dont-trust-libra-facebooks-new-cryptocurrency/592450/.Continue reading “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems: Legal & Regulatory Concerns Surrounding the Announcement of Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency”