On the Basis of Personality: How Harvard’s Admissions Policy Hurts Asian Americans and the Future of Affirmative Action

If being surrounded by diverse peers allows students to learn early on to purge themselves of implicit biases and avoid stereotyping their peers based on race or ethnicity, then the need for such race-based policies in college admissions is clear. Affirmative action’s goal of ensuring the advancement of minorities inherently includes the goal of removing biases against them in the professional world. This goal is especially relevant to Asian Americans, who are less likely than both African Americans and Hispanics to be promoted into management roles in the workforce. The value of a “diverse” education is diminished if affirmative action policies fail to reduce the false notion of Asian Americans inherently lacking leadership skills. More pressingly, affirmative action policies will fail Asian American graduates if they are not allowed in the classroom in the first place. [read more]

New Technology and Evidence: Issues with Admitting Social Media Evidence In Court

The skepticism as to the reliability of information acquired from social media as evidence in a motion for summary judgment or at trial appears to be often misplaced. Although social media evidence does pose problems related to identifying the true author of a post, the accessibility to direct information regarding an individual’s personal thoughts and ideas that social media provides is extremely valuable. [read more]

Is Regulation Cryptocurrencies’ Kryptonite?

Cryptocurrencies undoubtedly hold a lot of speculation in terms of value and regulation alike. Not only does the new form of currency give promise of expanding growth but the high volatility and criminal concerns lead politicians to seek possible legislative matters to combat these ills and fully effectuate the benefits that digital currency provides. Therefore, regulation may demonstrate to be a complement to the propagation of the technology rather than its kryptonite. [read more]

Plowing Past Preponderance

Clearly, a sexual assault allegation demands more sensitivity than normal considerations about a candidate’s qualifications. Accordingly, the decision makers (i.e. the Senate and the President) should publicly state that a decision to not appoint the candidate is only based on the uncertainty of the situation; it is not a guilty verdict. But being sensitive to the candidate surely does not require making him a Supreme Court justice. [read more]

The Alien Tort Statute and Beyond: Jurisdiction for Victims of International Human Rights Abuses in U.S. Courts

In 2002, Nigerian nationals who had been granted asylum in the U.S. sued Dutch and British oil companies in the Southern District of New York. Specifically, the plaintiffs accused the companies of aiding and abetting the Nigerian government in carrying out environmental damage and human rights abuses. During the mid-1990’s, oil accounted for 95% of the Nigeria’s export earnings. The plaintiffs’ homeland, Ogoniland,had been ravaged by oil production. Pipelines were constructed through farmers’ fields, polluting the soil and destroying crops. Water in local wells had become contaminated. Fish and trees had begun to die. The plaintiffs’ role in peacefully protestingoil extraction activities had made them a target of the reigning Nigerian military dictatorship. The lead plaintiff’s husband had been extrajudicially hanged. The plaintiffs stood no chance at a fair suit in Nigeria, but they deserved a chance at relief. The Nigerian plaintiffs sued under a statute enacted over two hundred years earlier. That statute was 28 U.S.C. §1350, better known as the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”). It reads: “[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” Id. The statute deals [read more]

Industrial Design: Reinterpreting the Useful Article Doctrine

The separability test’s current binary approach dooms opposing parties to talk past one another, each at a different level of abstraction, with courts only clumsily able to direct the proceedings. Courts could more productively channel discourse if they considered separability across a spectrum. By applying a spectrum, courts would be able to determine the sorts of designs that are truly worthy of copyright protection with greater precision and sophistication. [read more]
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