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Category: Notes

Note

Policing the Police Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983: Rethinking Monell to Impose Municipal Liability on the Basis of Respondeat Superior

Jordyn Manly, J.D. Candidate, Cornell Law School, 2022

The callous murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police in 2020 sparked nationwide protests surrounding racial injustice and ignited calls to “defund thepolice.” But while technological advances have led to a rise in highly publicized instances of such injustices, police brutality and misconduct are not novel concepts. Indeed, police misconduct…

Apr 2022

Note

America, Land of the Fee: A Constitutional Analysis of Federal Filing Fees

Marissa Smith, B.S., University of Texas at Austin, 2017; J.D., Cornell Law School, 2022

This Note will examine the Fee’s [the first hurdle for litigants taking their claims to federal court: the $402 fee charged at filing] impact on those of low-to-moderate income that are ineligible for IFP status. Further, this Note will look at the disproportionate impact the Fee has on racial minorities. This Note will then argue…

Apr 2022

Note

Independence in the Interregnum: Delayed Presidential Transitions and the GSA Administrator’s Ascertainment Under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963

Christopher D. Johnson, Cornell Law Class of 2021; Articles Editor, Cornell Law Review, Volume 106

If presidential transitions are so important, should a political appointee whose performance is subject to the control and direction of the outgoing President have virtually unfettered discretion to determine whether they have the resources they need to succeed? This Note answers that question in thenegative. It argues that the ascertainment the PTA assigns to the…

Apr 2022

Note

Stealing From the Poor: Regulating Robinhood’s Exchange-Traded Options for Retails Investors

Chris Mao, J.D. Candidate, Cornell Law School Class of 2022

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinhood, a brokerage-free stock trading app, saw a meteoric rise in account holders, with Americans seeking new income streams during times of economic hardship, unemployment, and, at times, sheer boredom. The ensuing trading activity significantly impacted the country’s stock market—a result of not only Robinhood’s three million new…

Apr 2022

Note

The Missing Civility in Civil Damages: A Proposed Guidelines Structure for Calculating Punitive Damages

Ashley Stamegna, J.D. Candidate, Cornell Law School, 2022; B.S., University of Connecticut, Health Care Management, 2019

“[P]unitive damages are out of control”11. W. Kip Viscusi, The Social Costs of Punitive Damages Against Corporations in Environmental and Safety Torts, 87 GEO. L.J. 285, 333 (1998).—or so tort reformers say. The past two decades have witnessed heated debates over a range of tort reform proposals, from punitive damages caps to complete punitive damages…

Feb 2022

Note

Cookies and Wires: Can Facebook Lure Users Into Divulging Information Under the Wiretap Act’s Party Exception?

Richard T. Wang, B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, 2017; J.D. Candidate, Cornell Law School, 2022

The advent of the Internet brought immeasurable benefits11. See Lisa Eadicicco, Obama Wants to Reclassify the Internet by Turning It Into a Utility, BUSINESS INSIDER (Nov. 10, 2014, 9:36 AM), https:// www.businessinsider.com/president-obama-thinks-the-internet-should-be-autility-2014-11 [https://perma.cc/FZD2-C9TS] (noting that former-President Barack Obama argued that the FCC should recognize the Internet as a vital service); Internet Access Is ‘a Fundamental…

Feb 2022

Note

“Are We There Yet?” No.: The Numbers That Support Adopting Automatic Appeals in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings

Thomas G. Shannan, Cornell Law School’s Frank H.T. Rhodes 2021–2023 Public Interest Fellow, Citizens Concerned for Children, Inc.; J.D., Cornell Law School, 2021; B.S., Vanderbilt University, 2017.

The United States juvenile justice system is grossly inadequate on a national level. For over a century, juvenile courts in various forms have been heralded as benign mechanisms that offer an alternative for “troubled youth” who commit acts that would constitute crimes if committed by adults.11. See, e.g., Youth in the Justice System: An Overview,…

Nov 2021

Note

Bostock v. Clayton County: The Implications of a Binary Bias

A. Russell, J.D. Candidate 2022, Cornell Law School; B.A. in Theater, Film & Media Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies, Haverford College, 2014.

This Note focuses specifically on the implications of Bostock v. Clayton County for nonbinary people. Although part of the broader transgender community, nonbinary people do not directly enter into the Court’s analysis.11. Vin Gurrieri, Questions About ‘Nonbinary’ Bias Linger After LGBT Ruling, LAW 360 (June 19, 2020), https://www.law360.com/articles/1284955/questions-about-nonbinary-bias-linger-after-lgbt-ruling [https://perma.cc/CML7V9WD]. Indeed, the only mention of gender…

Nov 2021

Note

Trending Towards Leniency: What Millenium Laboratories & In re Plavix Marketing Teach About the Future of the False Claims Act’s First-to-File Rule

Zachary Sizemore, Cornell Law School, J.D. 2021.

Part I of this Note will discuss the history and development of the FCA, including its original purpose and modern use, why Congress added the first-to-file rule, and how the provision traditionally operated to bar later-filed claims. Part II will discuss the First and Third Circuits’ case law and overall jurisprudence regarding the first-to-file rule. It will also illustrate the First and Third Circuits’ FCA jurisprudence as a whole by looking to how the First and Third Circuits decided certain other issues arising under or related to the FCA. Part III will then discuss the factors that led to the circuits’ decisions in Millenium Labs and In re Plavix Marketing. This includes a mix of both external factors—like the rulings of other circuits—and internal factors, like the First and Third Circuits’ jurisprudence: their continued leniency in cases involving the FCA and their case law signaling the eventual recharacterization of the rule as nonjurisdictional. Part IV will briefly extract some lessons that these decisions can teach about what to look for in determining how a circuit might interpret the rule going forward, and based on these, predict that the Ninth Circuit will soon join these circuits in holding that the rule is nonjurisdictional. The Note will ultimately conclude that the decisions were simply a product of the First and Third Circuits’ FCA case law and the fact that federal courts should be more lenient on plaintiffs bringing claims under the FCA.

Sep 2021

Note

Finding Benevolent Neutrality in Land Use: RLUIPA’s Equal Terms Provision and the Human Flourishing Theory of Property

Hun Lee, B.A., Catholic University of Korea, 2016; J.D., Cornell Law School, 2021.

This Note will examine the circuit courts’ different approaches to interpreting the Equal Terms provision and suggest that the provision should be interpreted from the perspective of property law rather than the current judicial framework, which is inapt to resolve the inherent tension underlying RLUIPA and First Amendment jurisprudence. The Note will first identify this tension in Part I by surveying the history of RLUIPA in relation to the evolution of First Amendment jurisprudence. Part II will analyze the different approaches that circuit courts have taken to interpret RLUIPA’s Equal Terms provision, concluding that existing judicial approaches and the commentaries thereof call for an alternative approach informed by principles of property law. Part III will introduce a property theory based on the concept of human flourishing, arguing that the theory can provide an effective interpretive framework that may resolve issues regarding religious land use such as the interpretation of RLUIPA’s Equal Terms provision.

Sep 2021

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