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),  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), (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). 


Issues to Watch

Trade War Tweets: Is a Mandate by the President to Order American Companies to Find Alternatives to Chinese Companies a Valid Presidential Power Under the Emergency Economic Powers Act?

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Jenna McGreevy*

President Donald Trump started a Twitter storm on the morning of Friday, August 23, 2019, that continued into the late evening as a new attempt to address the ongoing trade war with China.  See Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), Twitter (Aug. 23, 2019, 10:59 AM),  This series of tweets, a common form of communication used by the current President with the American people, caught the attention of many as it issued a new set of “orders” to all American businesses.  See id.  Specifically, President Trump “hereby ordered [American companies] to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”  Id. (more…)


Help UB Law Host an Exceptional Academic Event: Fall 2019 Symposium

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In conjunction with the publication of University of Baltimore Law Review, Vol. 49, the School of Law will host a two-day symposium on Nov. 15 and 16, 2019

Chosen by the Law Review student staff the Black Law Student Association and the Criminal Law Association, the theme of the conference is the history of American enslavement, its evolution, and its ongoing effects on our criminal justice system.

Titled 400 Years: Slavery and the Criminal Justice System, the symposium is a unique opportunity for scholars, writers, practitioners and activists to share ideas and discourse on the following topics and many more:

    • The effects of slavery on the foundations of our current legal system
    • The transatlantic slave trade’s impact today’s African American communities
    • Criminal justice policies that adversely affect African Americans
    • Mass incarceration and African American civil liberties.

Admission is free and open to the public, thanks to UB Law alumni and friends who generously donate to fund important programming like this symposium.

For more information or to make a donation, visit or contact Alana Glover at

Please follow us on Instagram: @400Years_Symposium