Welcome to the SLU Law Journal Online! Here, we publish short pieces by students that provide insight and unique perspectives on the hottest legal issues currently facing our community, our nation, and our world. Please check back often as there is always new content being published.
The End of Cash Bail: As Simple as Sending a Text Message?
Pre-trial detainees make up more than 70% of the U.S. jail population. Dylan Ashdown discusses the frequently discriminatory bail practices across the United States and how some jurisdictions are starting to do away with cash bail.
TikTok is on the Clock, Will Democracy Stop?
On August 6, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order to deal with a supposed national emergency: TikTok. Jenna Koleson discusses how this severe response to abstract national security concerns sets a dangerous precedent for democracy.
The Future of Electioneering in Wyoming
Wyoming's electioneering law is among the most expansive in the country. In this article, Alex Beezley examines a recently filed lawsuit challenging the law and predicts how the court will decide the case based on the Supreme Court's reasoning in Burson v. Freeman.
Leveraging Quantum Technologies to Address the Next Pandemic
Will Saunders discusses quantum computing technologies and their ability to speed up our manufacturing processes through synthesizing new medications and detect deficiencies in our current supply chain structures to combat widespread diseases and prevent further spread. From complex molecular modeling to simulating future outbreaks, quantum technologies offer a means for better predictability and optimization for handling future outbreaks
COVID-19 and Public Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Getting Americans Safely Back to Restaurants, Theaters, Gyms, and “Normal”
Frank Griffin M.D., J.D.
THIS IS A PRELIMINARY EXPEDITED VERSION OF THE OFFICIAL ARTICLE TO BE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL VOLUME 65 NUMBER 2
COVID-19 permanently changed the way places of public accommodation like restaurants, theaters, medical facilities, arenas, gyms, and many other proprietors of mainstream American activities must operate in order to accommodate people with newly-defined, COVID-19-related disabilities under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The required modifications will affect all patrons and employees of these establishments. Under the ADA, places of public accommodation are barred from discriminating against people with disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, and facilities. Infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV have been categorized as disabilities under the ADA, and COVID-19 is defining new categories of individuals with disabilities (including individuals vulnerable to COVID-19 complications) as revealed in this paper. Places of public accommodation will be required to establish non-discriminatory methods to identify “direct threats,” to modify policies and procedures for COVID-19-related disability groups identified here, and remove structural barriers that discriminate against those same groups. Controversial measures like fever checkpoints, mandatory face masking, and required social distancing are discussed in depth and analyzed in light of the ADA’s requirements.
Got Milk: The Labeling Crisis Taking Over the Nation
The article by Eric Harmon is about the regulatory definition of milk, which defines it narrowly, and the FDA’s potential action to begin enforcing it. The article is focused on that potential and its impact on the plant-based milk industry and labeling of plant-based milks.
Sales Tax for Remote Sellers: Missouri’s Response in a Post-Wayfair World
Hannah Meehan discusses the removal of the "physical presence" requirement following South Dakota v. Wayfair and Missouri's potential responses.
Airborne Argus?: St. Louis, Persistent Surveillance Systems, and Stabilizing the Lofty Aims of Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence
In October of last year, the City of St. Louis considered implementing an unprecedented aerial surveillance program. In this article, Jacob Schlosser discusses this powerful but legally questionable system.
Geographic Indicators: Unexpected Fodder in Brexit Negotiations
The future of intellectual property, especially geographical indications, in the UK is increasingly murky. Libby McKown explores what will happen if GIs are used in the fray of hard negotiations about Brexit.
The First Step Act: Filling the Gap in Missouri
Although the federal government’s First Step Act is a move in the right direction when it comes to addressing criminal justice in America, states bear the responsibility of doing their part. In this article, Christopher Doyle-Lohse addresses the gaps Missouri must fill to achieve criminal justice reform.
The Right to Deregulate: The CFPB’s Authority to Remove the Ability-to-Pay Requirement as it Pertains to Payday Lenders
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing to rescind the rule requiring payday lenders to assess a borrower's ability to repay the loan. This article by Ben Davisson explores the Bureau's authority to rescind its own rule despite the potentially harmful effects on vulnerable low-income consumers.
'The' Ohio State University's Newest Trademark Application Draws Public Backlash
Ohio State University's attempt to trademark the word 'the' has been described as over broad and an attempt to abuse trademark protections. Alex Baldwin provides a look at other trademark applications that drew criticism from the general public, which might give insight to the application's fate.
Evolving Societal Norms and the Fourth Amendment: Government Tracking of Cellphone Locations in an Era of Commercial Tracking
In Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court found that a warrant was required to obtain historical location data obtained from cell-site records connected with cellphone use. In this article, Paul Tahan examines whether this holding is likely to remain good law in an era where the GPS location of a smartphone is becoming increasingly public.
Transgender Rights and the Missouri Human Rights Act: An Overview of R.M.A. v. Blue Springs R-IV School District
In this article, Michael Scott discusses how the Missouri Supreme Court, in R.M.A. v. Blue Springs R-IV School District, held that a transgender student had pled sufficient facts that his school district had discriminated against him on the grounds of his sex to survive a motion to dismiss.
Untangling the NLRB Joint-Employer in 2019
Recently the National Labor Relations Board has sought to change the joint-employer standard for the third time over the past 5 years, leaving employers, employees, and unions uncertain about the entire situation. In this article, Adrian Mehdirad discusses how to interpret the most recent NLRB standard.
A Cursory Overview of the St. Louis City-County Merger Proposal
In this article, Nick Luisetti summarizes the Better Together Coalition's proposal to merge the St. Louis City and County governments, and potential consequences to follow if the proposal passes a state-wide vote.
Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy
This article by Zachary Langrehr discusses the Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2019 and provides an overview of the current law governing the dischargeability of private educational debt.
President Donald Trump Has the Authority to Build the Wall Using Executive Funds
In this article, Jason Kusnerick argues that President Donald Trump has the authority to build the wall on the southern border of the U.S. by using executive funds against Congressional approval.
The Supreme Court to Consider Warrantless Blood Draws
In this article, Javairia Khan discusses how the Supreme Court has granted certiorari to hear a Wisconsin case about the constitutionality of warrantless blood draws of unconscious motorists.
Missouri: The Puppy Mill Capital of the World
Some suggest Missouri should adopt a law like California’s banning the retail sale of non-rescue dogs. Jared Jones argues that this would do little to change the state's reputation as the puppy mill capital of the world. Instead, Missouri must regulate breeders more restrictively.
An Ohio 'Test' Case Could Have Major Impact on Nation’s Fight Against Opioids
State and local governments across the country are filing lawsuits against a number of companies they claim are liable for the nation's opioid crisis. One of the first major cases will play out this October in Ohio. Jack James discusses how its outcome could be determinative of what direction the fight is heading.
Six Myths of Capping Pain and Suffering Damages
States have been split on whether to uphold or drop non-economic damage caps on damages for decades, hoping to lower medical malpractice lawsuits and insurance premiums for physicians. In this article, Katherine Hubbard discusses six of the many myths surrounding the debate.
The Beginning of the Next BAC Revolution?
In 1983, Utah led the charge in drunk-driving enforcement, lowering its legal BAC from 0.10 to 0.08. Now the Beehive State has once again lowed legal BAC limits. Ginny Hogan discusses whether this is the start of another BAC revolution.
Quotas: California’s Attempt to Crack Down on the Glass Ceiling
California's law requiring a minimum number of women as board directors for the state's publicly held companies went into effect Jan. 1, 2019. The law aims for corporate equality, but it may face several legal battles before the end of the year. Jessica Gottsacker explains some of the law's shortcomings.
Will the President Succeed in Ending Birthright Citizenship?
President Trump declared that he intends to eliminate birthright citizenship for non-citizens. Recognizing that an executive order to that effect would be challenged in the courts, this article by Lindsay Gilmore analyzes Supreme Court precedent and predicts the manner in which the courts would respond.