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In September 2015, the world learned that Volkswagen (VW) had rigged millions of its “clean diesel” vehicles with illegal software designed to cheat emissions tests. Tests carried out with the cheat device indicated that the cars were as clean as advertised; however, tests carried out without the cheat device revealed that the cars in fact emitted up to forty times the legal limit of polluting nitrogen oxides. The fraud, which some have taken to calling “Dieselgate,” lasted for over seven years. When affected owners learned that their cars were much more toxic than advertised, what were they upset about? Was it that their cars were now worth fewer dollars, or was it that they had been deceived into being bad global citizens when they thought they were being good? Continue reading “Why You Should Be Unsettled by the Biggest Automotive Settlement in History”
Gabrielle L. Palanca*
Once upon a time, two brewers, despite working for competing craft breweries, were good friends. This friendship led to the realization that each brewery had a beer named “Salvation” in its lineup. Being friends, perhaps it is not surprising that neither brewer, nor their respective breweries, pursued legal action in order to determine which brewery was legally entitled to the “Salvation” trademark and, in turn, which brewery should cease to use the name. What may be surprising, however, is that beyond resolving the dispute amicably, the two breweries swapped their “Salvation” beer recipes with one another, and then collaborated in creating “an even more complex and rich libation” that merged the best qualities of each beer. Two years later, this exchange among friendly brewers resulted in a new beer for distribution, amusingly named “Collaboration, not Litigation” ale. Continue reading “More Collaboration, Less Litigation: Analyzing Craft Beer Within Intellectual Property’s Negative Space”
The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule is experiencing death by a thousand cuts. Since the Supreme Court created the rule, its opinions have whittled away at the rule’s application with various exceptions and limitations. So it is today that the Court only finds exclusion appropriate where the benefits of suppressing evidence outweigh its costs. That rarely happens, says the Court. After all, what benefit could outweigh the cost of letting the guilty go free?
Apparently not the benefit of deterring the violation of an elementary Fourth Amendment principle: that no officer may conduct an investigatory stop absent reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. At least not in Utah v. Strieff. In that case, decided last summer, the Court held admissible drug-related evidence that an officer obtained after a concededly unconstitutional stop. Why? Because the officer, immediately after stopping Edward Strieff, discovered that Strieff had an outstanding arrest warrant, and this discovery sufficiently attenuated the connection between the unconstitutional stop and the officer’s discovery of the evidence.
This Comment discusses Utah v. Strieff in the larger context of the exclusionary rule’s movement toward meaninglessness. Continue reading “What Remains of the Exclusionary Rule?”
In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right that must be made available on equal terms.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, Brown v. Board of Education
A Colorado first-grader who sang lyrics from the song “Sexy and I Know It” to a peer was suspended for sexual harassment. In Grand Junction, Colorado, a third grade girl was suspended for violating the school’s dress code after shaving her head to express solidarity with a friend battling cancer. A second grade Loveland student was suspended for throwing an imaginary grenade during recess while “trying to save the world from evil.” In Colorado Springs, a severely disabled student was suspended after his mother accidentally packed yogurt mixed with medical marijuana in his lunchbox. Troubling though these instances may be, they offer only a microcosmic glimpse into the unjust and fractured extensive use of suspensions and expulsions in Colorado’s public schools. Continue reading “No More Hall Passes: A Call to Increase Due Process Protections for Colorado Students”