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Kicked Out, Kicked Again: The Discharge Review Boards’ Illiberal Application of Liberal Consideration for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Rather than continue this pattern of punishing veterans for having mental health conditions—commander kicks them out and the discharge review board kicks them again—veterans deserve the opportunity for true relief in recognition of their service and the mental health condition they developed due to that service. […]

Diversity to Deradicalize

In articulating a new explanation of Powell’s motives in Bakke, this Article not only calls into question the prevailing understanding that Powell was motivated by his commitment to racial justice, it also complicates a more critical view of the diversity rationale that locates the Court’s endorsement of “the educational benefits of diversity” in a recognition that exposure to racial minorities confers benefits onto Whites. Under this theory, Powell’s endorsement of diversity stemmed from an awareness that White college students needed exposure to the views of students of color to be effective leaders in an increasingly multiracial society. […]

States of Inequality: Fiscal Federalism, Unequal States, and Unequal People

Two potential solutions that have been proposed for addressing the fiscal disparity among states are (1) following the lead of other federal nations and adopting a system of interstate fiscal equalization or (2) ending federalism and fully nationalizing key programs. As I will discuss, neither of these polar solutions is feasible or desirable. Instead, drawing on contemporary federalism scholarship and on scholarship in the area of fiscal federalism, I will argue that the federal government should address fiscal disparities by engaging in calibrated matching grants across an array of programs. […]

Looking to Hybrid Species for the Future of Coral Reefs

Although corals can hybridize and adapt to the threat of climate change, the existing legal framework in the United States is insufficient to ensure their protection. This regulatory gap leaves hybrid corals exposed to local and regional stressors. But legal protections, like the corals themselves, can adapt and evolve. If we value coral reefs, we should modify the legal framework that protects corals and related marine ecosystems to encompass naturally occurring resiliency tools such as hybrid corals. […]

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The Single Transferable Vote and Proportional Representation in the People’s House

To achieve adequate representation, House elections should strive to achieve as few distortions of the popular will as possible, while maintaining identifiable, local representation. Most U.S. elections are first-past-the-post, also known as single-member district plurality systems (SMDP). SMDP produces identifiable local representatives but fails to accurately reflect voter sentiment. Instead, House elections should implement a single-transferable vote system (STV) within multimember districts. […]

Unmarked Agents, Accountability, and the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine

No state agents have been impressed into service. But the anti-commandeering doctrine is based on a theory of political accountability, which is undermined by these unmarked federal agents. Thus, while there is no formal commandeering happening, the federal government’s use of unmarked agents creates exactly the kind of confusion in the lines of political accountability that the anti-commandeering doctrine is designed to prevent. […]

Heroizing Restorative Justice: Steven Universe and Rewriting Justice Narratives through Superhero Cartoons

Steven Universe, a children’s cartoon that follows the lives and adventures of the half-human, half-alien boy Steven Universe and his family of intergalactic space aliens, “the Crystal Gems,” upends these narratives, instead modeling restorative justice principles—empathetic, dialogue-based communication, non-punitive conflict resolution, and communal healing—for children. […]

Social Media Censorship, Free Speech, and the Super Apps

The controversies over social media center on some fundamental ideas—namely, free speech and its societal value. Historians debate why the Framers chose to add the protection of free speech to the First Amendment. But depending on one’s legal philosophy, the Framers’ intentions should not be the only issue on this matter. Like with most normative questions, the value of free speech splits into two camps of thought: the utilitarian and the deontology. […]

The Supreme Court and the 117th Congress

If the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor is confirmed before the 2020 presidential election or in the post-election lame-duck period, and if Democrats come to have unified control of government on January 20, 2021, how can they respond legislatively to the Court’s new 6-3 conservative ideological balance? This Essay frames a hypothetical 117th Congress’s options, discusses its four simplest legislative responses—expand the Court, limit its certiorari discretion, restrict its jurisdiction, or reroute its jurisdiction—and offers model statutory language for enacting those responses. […]

Abolish the Bar Exam

The bar exam must be abolished in order for the legal profession to better achieve full and equal participation in the justice system, and a competent, ethical, and diverse legal profession. […]