Welcome to the Roundtable, a forum for incisive commentary and analysis
on cases and developments in law and the legal system.
on cases and developments in law and the legal system.
By Shannon Alvino
Shannon Alvino is a junior at The George Washington University majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice.
As soon as the Framers put down their pens and stumbled into the Philadelphia sunlight, our national government has been compartmentalized into three branches, each engaged in a delicate dance guided by a system of checks and balances enumerated in that governing document. One facet of this mutable tension is in courts’ power of judicial review, put forth in the seminal Marbury v. Madison decision.
By Tanner Bowen
Tanner Bowen is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying business.
With the increasing usage of data mining and forecasting in the private sector, it seems inevitable that the public sector will try to leverage these technologies to become more efficient and to better allocate resources. But, as we discussed in the last few of my blog posts, this implementation will not come without potential legal hiccups from the United States judiciary. Although concepts like non-delegation and due process can seem somewhat intangible to the average citizen, the one area where machine learning can greatly impact the lives of individuals will be whether its usage will lead to discriminatory practices.
The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination by states, and since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bolling v. Sharpe, we see that there may even be a Fifth Amendment claim involving a violation of the Due Process clause.  However, this standard is not the standard the federal government has to explain in disproportionate impact cases. Specifically, “a purpose to discriminate must be present.” 
By Habib Olapade
Habib Olapade is a first-year law student at Yale University.
Article II §1 of the Constitution requires the President-elect to take an oath that she or he will “preserve, protect and defend” the document before entering the Oval Office.  This precondition implicitly assumes that the oathkeeper has read the constitution (which is only about 4,500 words) or at the very least has attained a basic understanding of its content and structure. Based on comments he has made about libel laws throughout his campaign, and brief tenure in office, Donald J. Trump has done neither.
On February 26, 2016, speaking at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump promised that if elected, he would “open up our libel laws so that when [the press] write[s] purposefully negative…articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”  Mr. Trump, to his credit, has backed up this vow by threatening to sue the New York Times for publishing an article detailing two women’s allegations that he kissed and groped them without their permission.  Trump’s lawyers claim that the New York Times article is “reckless, defamatory, and libelous per se,” and was published with flagrant disregard for the truth.  If these allegations were true, Trump could collect compensatory (but not punitive) damages in a libel suit against the Times. 
By Harshit Rai
Harshit Rai is a third year student at the Symbiosis Law School, Pune.
Access to essential medicines is an iota of the larger mandate of health under various international declarations and conventions. The right to health is the right of all individuals to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. However, access to Medicines in general and life-saving essential drugs in particular is an issue of grave concern across the world. The shortage is particularly rampant in African and Asian underdeveloped countries where economic profiles are low and disease count high. Unlike the developed world where health insurance is common practice, majority people depend on their personal budget to meet health expenses. This has a severe effect when it comes to life threatening diseases.
By Jonathan Lahdo
Jonathan Lahdo is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying business and international studies.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has stirred much controversy in the media recently, frequently being likened to a dictator and criticised for his statements and governmental proposals due to his interest in significantly realigning the power distribution in the Turkish government.
Erdogan first served as Prime Minister of Turkey in 2002, the year after his party, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi [Justice and Development Party] or AKP, was formed. He went on to become the country’s first directly elected president in 2014. The role at the time was largely ceremonial, restricted by many factors, though his current proposed reforms seek to change that. 
By Luis Bravo
Luis Bravo is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying sociology.
Tax credits have become a popular buzzword of the Republican party and recently made their way into Donald Trump’s new child care plan. This plan depends heavily on tax breaks to assist Americans in paying for child care expenses ; however, the very people this plan intends to aid are least likely to be beneficiaries. Because the majority of low-income and working class Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, they would be unaffected by increased tax breaks.  Though largely ineffective, there is a glimmer of hope in the President’s child care plan - a modest expansion to the Existing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As one of the most effective, means-tested welfare programs in the country, the EITC is crucial for millions of working families struggling to make ends meet. Expanding it is imperative to continue the fight against poverty and ensure all Americans have an adequate standard of living.
In recent years, there has been a new sub-stratum of graduate students on campus: students in the Francis J. & WM. Polk Carey JD/MBA Program. Begun in 2009 and formally launched last year, the Carey JD/MBA program is a dual degree program that allows students to graduate with degrees from both Penn Law and the Wharton School in only three years, as opposed to the four that it takes students in many other JD/MBA programs. Penn Undergraduate Law Journal deputy editor Griffin Hyde recently spoke with program director Colleen France to learn more about the genesis of the program, as well as what it offers to and asks of its students.
By Tyler Larkworthy
Tyler Larkworthy is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying computer science and economics.
Driverless cars represent a technological innovation that is as fraught with potential legal and ethical issues as it is futuristic. Manufacturers and engineers working on driverless cars must meet numerous regulations to bring their products to market. But a pressing legal question remains: When a driverless car crashes, who is to blame?
A coherent regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles is lacking in the U.S. Only nine states and Washington, D.C. address driverless cars in any way in their laws, with most banning fully driverless vehicles. Only Florida allows truly driverless vehicles, that is, vehicles which move without an operator in the driver’s seat.  Florida law specifies, however, that a remote operator must still be able to take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency. Forty-one states do not address autonomous vehicles in their legal codes, leaving the broad issue of the cars’ legality pending. 
By Cary Holley
Cary Holley is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying Political Science.
The Sixth Amendment of our Constitution guarantees a right that is essential for justice: an impartial jury.  However, this principle is still not guaranteed to all. The legal precedents that appear to protect this right leave loopholes in which discrimination can persist. As a result, some Americans today are not truly granted a jury of their peers.
By Natasha Darlington
Natasha Darlington is a third year at the University of Warwick studying Law.
Since its permanent formation in 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has invested its time in finding those who have violated international law; thus, collecting evidence against them in order to ensure a fair and just trial under independent inspectors. Through the ICC, other ad hoc courts were created to deal specifically with particular conflicts. For example: in 1991, the Independent International Criminal tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was created as an ad hoc court, meant to investigate grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the law, genocide and crimes against humanity.