Does Justice Kavanaugh Have an Ethical Obligation to Recuse Himself from Certain Cases?

By Olivia Firmand On Saturday, October 6, 2018, the United States Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.[1] The confirmation came days after a contentious eight-hour hearing during which Justice Kavanaugh denied Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault from an incident thirty-six years ago.[2]  During Kavanaugh’s opening statement to […]

Out of Sight, Underground, Dead, or in the Streets: The Failure of Woodhull Freedom Foundation v. United Statesand the Consequences of FOSTA

By Alix Bruce On April 11, 2018, President Trump signed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) into law as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017.[1]  The Act, in an attempt to prevent sex trafficking, amends Section 230 of the […]

Volume 27, Symposium Edition

The following articles were published in the symposium edition of The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. For subscription information, please check out our Subscription page. ARTICLES Letter from the EditorDavid McGee ForwardJamie Raskin IntroductionStephen Wermiel There Isn’t Any DumpsterJill Imgrund Engle Mitigating the “LGBT Disconnect”: Title IX’s Protections of Transgender […]

How Universal is Universal Jurisdiction?

By Andrew Johnson The violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses that have occurred in Syria since 2011 have been well-documented.[1]  The Assad Regime has perpetrated attacks against civilians, tortured and executed political prisoners, starved the Syrian people through siege warfare, and used chemical weapons indiscriminately.[2]  There is no question that these acts constitute […]

Madison v. Alabama: An Eighth Amendment Win, or A False Sense of Security?

By Marissa Ditkowsky On February 28, 2019, the Supreme Court decided Madison v. Alabama.[1]  The Court expanded the previously established tests under Panetti and Ford, holding that executing an individual experiencing dementia who does not comprehend why he is facing execution may violate the Eighth Amendment.[2]  On its face, this decision appears to be a […]

The Marie Colvin Case: Difficulties Holding Foreign Nations Accountable

By Gabriella Marki After dedicating her life to reporting the truth on the front lines of wars and battlefields, war correspondent Marie Colvin was brutally killed in the Baba Amr neighborhood within the city of Homs, Syria in February 2012.[1] Four years after her death, Cathleen Colvin, the sister of Marie Colvin, along with Scott […]

Excited or Incitement? Freedom of Speech on Social Media Platforms

By Katherine Wahl “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”[1] Free Speech is a constitutional right.[2]  The […]

Spring 2018 Symposium: Archive

Church and State: A Symposium on Religion and Individual Rights When:  March 30th, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM Where: Washington College of Law, Warren Building Room NT08 What:  This symposium discussed the legal issues surrounding religion and individual rights through two panels.  The first panel, God in the Classroom, discussed legal issues surrounding religion in the context of […]

Legacies of Police Brutality and New Hope

By William Mabry IV Police brutality and other violent police misconduct disproportionately affect communities of color, and in particular, Black communities.[1] An appalling example of police brutality occurred in 1991 when four police officers stopped Rodney King for driving under the influence, forced King to exit his car, tasered him, and then continuously beat him before […]

Lighting a “Fyre” Under Instagram Influencers

Teagan Sebba The infamous “Fyre Festival” has sparked outrage again through the release of both a Netflix and a Hulu documentary that highlight the epic failure of Billy MacFarland’s fantasy festival in the Bahamas.[1]  The Fyre Festival would have been one of the first of its kind, as it promised huge headlining acts, luxury accommodations, and […]

Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction from Text Messages and the “Virtually Present” Defendant

By Fae Patton Content Warning: Suicide In the days leading up to her boyfriend’s suicide, seventeen-year-old Michelle Carter texted him four times urging him, “You just [have] to do it.”[1]  Recently, a Massachusetts judge ordered Carter, now twenty-two, to begin serving a fifteen-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter because of those text messages and phone call conversations […]

Right to Choose—Death by a Thousand Cuts

By Andy Ball On June 28, two Louisiana doctors asked the Supreme Court of the United States to stay a law that would restrict access to abortions across the state.[1]  The law, known as The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act or Act 620, requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of […]