By Lyndsey Reeve
Lyndsey Reeve is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania studying International Relations.
In March 2019, the FBI operation “Varsity Blues” uncovered 35 parents involved in what would become one of the most notorious and publicized college admissions scandals. Parents were accused of bribing sports coaches to grant their students special admission as athletic recruits on the pretense of falsified test scores. Actresses Laurie Lauchlin and Felicity Huffman were two of the accused, paying William Singer to help their children masquerade as athletic recruits and fabricate exam scores.
By Shiven Sharma
Shiven Sharma is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biology with a minor in French Studies.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is an organization founded during two White House conferences in the early 20th century in response to repeated football injuries and deaths. Now, it oversees intercollegiate competition for 24 different sports, most notably including basketball and track. With an enormous viewership for its popular sports, the NCAA has generated a great deal of revenue. For instance, the popular NCAA Basketball March Madness tournament generated upwards of $1 billion last year and the championship game itself raked in $114 million in ad revenue alone . However, despite the lucrative nature of college sports in the U.S., college athletes, up until now, have not received a single penny of compensation for their efforts. For instance, due to former Division I Basketball phenom Zion Williamson’s stint as a Duke Blue Devil, jersey sales more than doubled, yet Williamson did not profit from his name .
By Suprateek Neogi
Suprateek Neogi is a fourth-year student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab studying Law and specializing in Business Laws.
The law in India relating to sexual acts with minors has been specialized in recent years with the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences, 2012 (“POCSO”). Earlier, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), which deals with general substantive criminal law, was used for persecuting the accused for committing crimes against children.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse of children has only recently been publicly acknowledged as a problem in India, which is why POCSO has been a welcome development in India. Despite being well-intentioned and detailed, POCSO has one lacuna. It does not differentiate between sexual acts between consensual minors and sexual acts between minors and adults. 
By Emma Davies
Emma Davies is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Philosophy.
In 2015, 21 plaintiffs all under the age of 23 sued the US government in the US District Court for the District Court for the District of Oregon in a case titled Juliana v. US. The plaintiffs, supported by the advocacy group Our Children’s Trust claimed that the US government had recklessly promoted fossil fuel use, which jeopardizes the stability and health of the climate. They argued that the US government’s actions violated people’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, on the basis that a stable climate is a necessary condition to exercise these rights.
By Sophie Lovering
Sophie Lovering is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and minoring in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.
“[The United States] raises smoking age to 21! BIG!” Trump wrote on December 20, 2019, referencing a measure included in a sweeping spending bill signed into law in late 2019 . According to the American Lung Association (ALA), increasing the age of sale for tobacco products by just three years will save approximately 50,000 lives . Drs. Steinberg and Delnevo write that most addicted smokers begin their smoking habit before the age of 18, and that marketing is often targeted at young adults, making them an at-risk age group . These researchers argue that an increase in smoking age to 21 will not only make it more difficult for young adults to access tobacco products, but also disrupt the natural trajectory “from experimentation to regular use” 
By Filzah Belal
Filzah Belal is a final year undergraduate law student at National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.
For decades now, the illegal immigration of Bangladeshis into India’s North-Eastern State of Assam has been a cause of conflict. This high rate of influx led to an exponential growth of immigrants into Assam. What led to the Assam Agitation was the Assamese belief that such an influx posed a threat to their cultural identity.
By Hailie Goldsmith
Hailie Goldsmith is a student in the College of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania.
Substantial research has already been conducted on climate change, showing that the impending consequences span from rising sea levels to high-intensity storms. These effects, already devastating for environmental and ecological reasons, will also create a heavy financial burden for many regions of the world, especially for cities located on coasts. At this point in time, the prices of climate-change-causing-pollutants like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide currently do not match the financial costs of the damage they cause . This is because large fossil-fuel-burning-corporations do not factor in the impacts of carbon emissions, which are more technically called “external costs” . A carbon tax would collect revenue to pay for these “external costs.”
By Anika Prakash
Anika Prakash is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences who plans on studying English and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Time and time again, the lives of undocumented children have been wrestled around at the hands of the federal government, often through proxies such as zoning law. Earlier this year, VisionQuest, a private Arizona-based youth agency, received a $5.3 million contract from the Trump administration allowing them to house sixty migrant boys between the ages of 12 and 17 at their North Philadelphia shelter; however, this is not the first time they have received such a contract. VisionQuest previously housed children at the same location and was shut down towards the end of 2017 due to numerous reports of abuse (both physical and emotional) and neglect. A staff member shoved a child’s head through the wall and another child was choked and slapped, among other horrific acts. Additionally, the facility was not cleaned and several staff members were completely untrained . Furthermore, when children were housed in this facility, they were confined to its walls and not allowed to attend local schools or become a part of the surrounding community .
By Emma Davies
Emma Davies is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania studying Philosophy.
In Georgia, a man was arrested and ordered to wear an ankle monitor for a year after stealing a can of beer worth only $2. The company administering the ankle monitor then charged him hundreds. When he was unable to pay, even after selling his own blood plasma, he was jailed for non-payment. In Ferguson, Michigan, a homelesssingle, teen mom received a ticket for driving without a license. When she missed her court date, she was arrested, and spent time in jail because she could not pay the $250 bail. Her trouble did not end there, as she ended up spending four months in jail due to accruing fees and fines. At one point, she was arrested after she called the police because her ex-boyfriend had assaulted her .These situations are not anomalies. In numerous counties across the nation, citizens are facing financial penalties and incarceration, due to the fact that they do not have the financial means to pay fees and fines related to the criminal justice process. In fact, according to a 2015 report, 20% of individuals in local jails were incarcerated because they were unable to pay a fee or fine .
By Nicholas Williams
Nicholas Williams is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences planning on majoring in Political Science.
In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton declared the judicial branch to be the weakest of the three branches of government . He also wrote that the judiciary must remain “truly distinct” from the legislative and executive branches so as to not encroach upon the general liberty of the people. The Supreme Court has thus historically stayed clear of any issues that fall under the purview of the legislative and executive branches; more generally, the Court will not hear cases which it determines present political questions. It will also refuse to hear cases that do not present a clear judicially-manageable, non-political standard of deciding the case on its merits. These two instances wherein the Court refuses to hear a case are collectively known as the political question doctrine. What constitutes a political question is not always clear, and the doctrine has led to some contentious cases. However, the doctrine also has significant implications for the current legal and political climate.