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Past Issues

SUMMER 2017
by Daisy Evariz

There has been a decrease in the gender gap within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This essay explores the facts that reveal that the gender gap is a prominent issue specifically in the engineering workforce, the efforts being implemented to break this gap and their limitations, as well as what can be done to eliminate the gender gap in the future.

by Edgar Carerro

Abraham Lincoln and Henry David Thoreau, though both similarly at the forefront of American history, offer up completely contradictory views on the adherence to law. While Thoreau advocated for civil disobedience in the face of injustice, Lincoln held the opinion that the law was to be adhered to in all cases, until such a time that the bad law was repealed. This article sides with Thoreau and argues that Lincoln’s view isn’t substantiated when laws violated basic human rights.

by Raya Koreh

The Supreme Court resists acknowledging the seriousness of this crime, striking down provisions that would give survivors of gender-based assault the remedial powers of the federal courts and the protection of law enforcement officials. This essay will address two such cases, US v. Morrison and Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, in order to uncover patterns in the justice system’s (mis)handling of cases involving violence against women, suggest the inadequacy of US law to address violence against women, and to propose remedies. Part I of this essay justifies the selection of these two Supreme Court cases. Part II introduces the feminist and sociological framework used to challenge the Court’s decisions. Part III applies these frameworks to Morrison and Castle Rock and argues that these decisions reinforce harmful notions of a private/public divide, operate under assumptions of women’s subordinate worth, and implicitly sanction men’s power and sovereignty through law. Part IV analyzes the revaluation of Castle Rock by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States. Part V addresses lessons learned from the failure of US law to protect women, the potential benefit of international legal processes, and recommendations for future action.

by W. Tanner Gildea

In response to the use of chemical weapons on Idlib Province in Syria, President Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk cruise missile strikes on Syrian military targets. Following a fact pattern, I will conclude that while the April 6, 2017 U.S. strike on Syria’s Al Shayrat air force base was not strictly legal under international law, it meets many principles of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Further emerging international norms of responsibility regarding the force of way may exempt the U.S. from international legal condemnation.

by Nataliya Palinchak

Russia has been charged with illegal activity in its aggression toward Crimea concerning the nation’s annexation of the area. This article evaluates the legality of those actions, in addition to the operations that allowed for Crimea to join the nation of Ukraine in the first place. Following an assessment of this successful Russian annexation, this article will gauge the situation in Lithuania and analyze the legality of a possible encroachment there.

by Derek Lee

The legal defense of two of France’s most prolific food exports, Roquefort Cheese and Champagne, identifies a difference in law for geographic indications in the United States and England. While many companies are protected from indications domestically, the legal hoops they must jump abroad are many. An evaluation of the cases of the Community of Roquefort and Champagne in this article sheds light on the process by which Italian companies are seeking to protect their brand in United States and English markets today.

by Scott Kall

For centuries, our court system has been thought as independent and unbending to societal pressure, something our forefathers and many eminent scholars today claim is the greatest success of our judiciary. Using literary analysis to analyze the gay rights movement’s rhetoric and growth, and relevant legal decisions, I have found a clear connection between the language and methods of the movement and the case law surrounding it. In other words, as the approach of advocates and other players in the gay rights movement changed, those changes manifested themselves in the legal pertaining to the homosexual community. This case directly contrasts the notions and ideals at the foundation of our judicial set up, and upon further study of other cases, this contrast may appear more concrete. These findings feed into the debate on whether we truly want our court system to be independent, or perhaps more realistically, how great of an influence we want the public to hold.

by Lucas Ward

This essay examines the constitutionality of federal and state prison labor mechanisms by weighing them against the 13th and 8th amendments. The essay begins with a brief history of the 13th Amendment and involuntary servitude in America, beginning with slavery, and how the use of involuntary servitude remained legal in the case of punishment for a crime. The essay concludes with the argument that although the 13th Amendment did in fact leave the door open for the use of involuntary servitude in prisons, the punishments and practices that surround the incarcerated labor force should be deemed unconstitutional based on the 8th Amendment.

by David Leeds

Contemporaneous print publications' reactions to Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's decision in Ex Parte Merryman—condemning President Lincoln's unilateral suspension of the writ of habeas corpus—reveal how political leaders on both sides of the Civil War attacked the political legitimacy of either the Lincoln administration or the Union judiciary in order to explain or rationalize their political beliefs.

by Katherine Hung

Mary Beth Tinker, the woman at the center of the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District Supreme Court decision, spoke to the HCLR about her recent work and First Amendment rights in the United States.

by Janani Krishnan-Jha

Despite the international uproar caused by the gang rape of 23-year-old “Nirbhaya” and the promise following the 2014 election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s laws regarding rape are still drastically behind the times. India’s penal code still makes allowances for rape within marriage and does not address the rape of young boys or non-binary genders, but there may be hope further down the road.

by Sapna Rampersaud

Following a leaked video of University of Oklahoma students partaking a racist chant advocating for the exclusion of African Americans from their fraternity, University President, David Boren, expelled two such students who were members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity. This essay will argue that, even though the chant was clearly racist, this response to the incident is unconstitutional and detrimental to the free-speech environment on college campuses across the nation.           

by Mara Roth

This essay analyzes the opinions in the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder to determine how legal actors should assess the continued necessity of legal safeguards and whether or not their repeal is advisable—specifically with concern to those safeguards that protect minority voting rights. It suggests that legal actors must look beyond perceived increases in equality when deciding to repeal a legal safeguard, and it uses Justice Ginsberg’s dissenting opinion to establish three criteria that legal actors should consider before repealing a legal safeguard: if the safeguard currently serves a protective function, if the damage from repealing the safeguard would be hard to repair, and if the political climate provides incentives to violate the right that the safeguard protects. The essay then applies these criteria to the current debate over the necessity of laws safeguarding majority-minority voting districts.

by Nick Danby

Tensions in the Middle East reached unprecedented levels on June 5, 2017, after four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) imposed a host of sanctions upon a fellow GCC member, Qatar, for their alleged support of extremist groups and strong relations with countries like Iran. If reconciliation can not be achieved between both parties, antagonism and non-cooperation will run rampant—worse than it has for the past century. In addition, the four nations attempting to change Qatar's foreign policy through these measures put the international legal concept of noninterventionism in a precarious position.

by Scott Kall

For centuries, our court system has been thought as independent and unbending to societal pressure, something our forefathers and many eminent scholars today claim is the greatest success of our judiciary. Using literary analysis to analyze the gay rights movement’s rhetoric and growth, and relevant legal decisions, I have found a clear connection between the language and methods of the movement and the case law surrounding it. In other words, as the approach of advocates and other players in the gay rights movement changed, those changes manifested themselves in the legal pertaining to the homosexual community. This case directly contrasts the notions and ideals at the foundation of our judicial set up, and upon further study of other cases, this contrast may appear more concrete. These findings feed into the debate on whether we truly want our court system to be independent, or perhaps more realistically, how great of an influence we want the public to hold.

by Luke Minton

Despite electing a Dalit as the President of India, the largely ceremonial office does little to mend the broken civil rights protections for the populations of the nation that are most vulnerable. With discrimination originating as far back as the allocation of wide jurisdiction to the president under the Indian Constitution, the majority party's rise has put the civil rights protections at risk. The new president can aid in alleviating the religious violence being perpetrated in the nation by passing clearer statutory frameworks for prosecuting human rights offenses, placing legal pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party for its stance on religious militant groups, increasing mandated sentence requirements for hate crimes, and repealing Constitutional Order 19.