By Kelly Liang
Kelly Liang is a Sophomore studying Mathematics and Political Theory in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Lex est quod populus iubet atque constituit - The law is what the people have agreed to and established . This quote of Gaius, a celebrated Roman jurist, describes the source of power of laws, and can be further extended to understand the relation among the People (also the Citizens or the Nationals), the Law, and the State. A further dissection of the quote would lead us to the natural conclusion of a power circuit that works like the children’s game “Paper, Scissors, Rock”: 1) The People gives power to the Law by consents; 2) The Law constructs the State and gives the State power - especially in the case of constitutional government; and finally, 3) the State can use the power to govern the people and execute the Law.
By Anna Schwartz
Anna Schwartz is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying Political Science, French, and Economic Policy.
The purpose of the WTO is to promote fair, efficient, and free global trade. At the heart of the WTO is its Appellate Body (AB), which resolves conflict between member states through processes of appeals and dispute settlement. Seven members serve on the AB with four year terms that are renewable once. The judges are balanced to reflect a range of nationalities, but do not act on behalf of their countries. Rather, they are experts in international trade who are chosen to temporarily speak for the WTO . Through the reduction of the AB and threats of noncompliance with WTO decisions, President Donald Trump is executing a multi-pronged attack on the global trade system.
By Kaitlyn Rentala
Kaitlyn Rentala is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment. I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion – that women and men are persons of equal stature – I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.” - Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The history of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has been a long and tumultuous one. Despite the widespread media attention the ERA received in the 1970s, itis widely misunderstood today. Shockingly, 80% of Americans, including many lawyers, believe the ERA is a constitutional amendment while in fact it was never ratified.  This also begs the question, why wasn’t the ERA ratified? With nearly two-thirds of Americans supporting the amendment, the ERA clearly holds the same cultural relevance today as it did over 40 years ago.  However, with the recent ratification of the ERA by Nevada and Illinois, perhaps the more pertinent question is what does the future hold for the ERA?
By Cole Borlee
Cole Borlee is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences
One of the most notable examples of President Trump being sued is the travel ban that was first put into place in early 2017. The lawsuits poured in immediately following the executive order that instituted the travel ban. And while injunctions were granted right away, there existed a serious question among experts on whether the courts could even consider arguments against the order. This is called justiciability; that is, the ability of a court to actually hear and consider a case [1; 2].
By Emma Davies
Emma Davies is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.
Anti-vaccine rhetoric and practices continues to hold a seat in public discourse, despite intensive research to refute myths and countless examples of its effectiveness in not only combating communicable diseases, but reducing risk of certain cancers . Refueled in recent years by social media and online platforms, “a emotional contagion, digitally enabled”, as termed by Heidi Larson in Nature has begun to endanger even more individuals that before . In fact, this year, the World Health Organization recognized vaccine hesitancy- the voluntary reluctance to vaccinate- as one of the top 10 global health threats , such that diseases that were once considered extinct or near extinct in certain countries are re-emerging. The United States alone saw 372 cases of measles in 2018, despite once being considered an “eliminated” disease . The emerging growth of vaccine hesitancy, coupled with the re-emergence of preventable diseases, thus prompts the need for an important discussion of the legal bounds of vaccine refusal with particular emphasis on the dynamic of parental decisions and child welfare.