Our Latest Issue: Volume 18, Issue 1

Introducing Our Blog: The Croson Effect & Its Remedies

By: Ishani Chokshi

Volume 17, Issue 2

Volume 17, Issue 1

Volume 16, Issue 2

Towards an Equitable Review of Pre-Embryo and Divorce Disputes for Women

By: Lilah Kleban | November 23, 2022

Pre-embryos, procured through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), become a source of dispute when couples divorce or separate before using them. Particularly, couples may fight over who has decision-making power to use or not use the frozen pre-embryos for pregnancy. State courts across jurisdictions typically apply one of three categorical approaches: disposition contracts, contemporaneous mutual consent, or a balancing interests test. Each approach fails to provide courts with structures to fully evaluate each party’s interests at the time of dispute and account for inherent sex and gender differences that impact their stakes in the dispute. This Note proposes a modified balancing test that accounts for couples’ changing interests over time and provides defined balancing factors to ensure commensurate weight for sex and gender differences between parties.

An Avenue for Corruption: Super PACs and the Common Vendor Loophole

By: Matt Choi | November 23, 2022

In their campaign efforts, Super PACs and political candidates often engage professional media agencies or political consulting firms to aid them in production and placement of advertisements on media outlets, planning of advertising efforts, and planning campaign strategy. But an increasing number of Super PACs have taken to hiring the same media agencies and consulting firms as the candidates they support. Through the use of a so-called “common vendor,” Super PACs and their supported candidates can coordinate advertising strategies with each other without triggering the federal limits on spending and fundraising. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the public must recognize the threat that the unregulated use of common vendors poses to our electoral democracy. Because the FEC has adopted regulations that make bringing complaints regarding common vendors nearly impossible, Super PACs and political candidates continue to evade accountability. The FEC should therefore reconsider adopting a rule presuming coordination whenever a Super PAC and a political candidate use a common vendor. By doing so, the FEC can require candidates and their Super PACs to truly ensure and document that no coordination takes place by performing due diligence prior to engagement and documenting their communications with the media agency. In addition, a more detailed firewall provision can serve to prophylactically stop actual coordination from taking place. Addressing the common vendor rule alone will not diminish the ever-increasing amount of funds poured into political campaigns by wealthy donors, but closing off this loophole is essential to an overall campaign regime of full disclosure from political actors.

Law in the Service of Misinformation: How Anti-Vaccine Groups Use the Law to Help Spin a False Narrative

By: Dorit R. Reiss, Viridiana Ordonez | November 23, 2022

Social movements use legal tools to create narratives. Those narratives support social agendas which certain movements leverage to mislead their followers and potential followers. In this Article, we examine one influential anti-vaccine organization, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), that uses its far-reaching platform to create false narratives around legal action. Again and again, this anti-vaccine group misrepresented both the legal and the factual meanings of court decisions, settlements, and other legal actions to create a narrative to galvanize its followers and influence newcomers. ICAN filed lawsuits that make anti-vaccine arguments—even when the legal framework did not fit doing so—and misrepresented the results. Most commonly in this category, while FOIA requests can only ask for documents and cannot ask queries, ICAN framed its frequent FOIA requests and subsequent lawsuits as if they were asking the agency to answer questions, rather than provide records. The group then presented the results to support one of its narratives—that vaccines cause autism—when the results did not, in fact, support such a narrative. This Article shows how legal tools advance disinformation and misinformation, creating a misleading, alternative reality.