By Frank Geng
Frank Geng is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate editor of the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal.
Last year in Blytheville, Arkansas, a group of parents attempted to transfer their children to a public school in a nearby, wealthier district in hopes of giving them a better educational environment. School officials rejected the transfer applications, citing a historical desegregation order in their district from more than 40 years ago. The lower courts quickly dismissed the parents’ litigation, and on August 31, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the decision. 
In the opinion, Judge Lavenski R. Smith stated, “We agree with the district court that [no] relevant precedent support[s] the proposition that ‘a parent’s ability to choose where his or her child is educated within the public school system is a fundamental right or liberty.’”  Arkansas state law, however, allows parents to choose where to send their kids to school—except in the case of districts under federal desegregation orders. Parents in these districts have the right to choose to send their children to private schools; however, on the matter of public education, they must conform to a federal mandate from 1971 that requires racial enrollment balance and prohibits transfers. The Court of Appeals did not rule on whether or not the mandate should still have effect, but rather focused on the rationale of equal protection.
Warning: This post discusses sexual violence.
By Suaida Firoze
Suaida Firoze is a senior at Clark University studying Economics and Business Management.
As of 2014, the number of domestic workers in Bangladesh has soared to approximately 2 million. Many of these workers are women and children.  In Bangladesh, it is quite common for middle-class households to include servants who perform all of the household chores, which include cooking, cleaning, shopping, hand washing laundry, and answering every demand of the homeowner.
Growing up in Bangladesh, my family was privileged enough to have a servant to help with domestic work. With two working parents, my siblings and I would agree that our servants were far more than their title implies We considered them a part of the family, and so always treated them fairly. However, this sentiment is absent within most households in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. The master-servant relationship, a modern-day manifestation of the master-slave relationship, is deeply ingrained in the history and culture of many South Asian regions. The strict class system that divides individuals based on their monthly income perpetuates the sense of omnipotence so many of these employers feel in relation to their servants.
By Alicia Kysar
Alicia Kysar is a senior at Columbia University studying English and Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law.
In the legal community, the role and importance of dissenting opinions in Supreme Court decisions has been deeply controversial and often questioned. For the first twenty years after the establishment of the US Supreme Court, justices initially each issued independent opinions. Since there existed no prevailing opinion, confusion regarding the judgment of the Court abound, despite there being only six justices serving at the time. It was only when John Marshall became Chief Justice in 1801 that he changed the system to that which we have today: a system in which the Court issues an official, majority decision, with each justice given the option of writing his or her own dissent or concurrence. 
Since then, dissenting opinions have proven to be crucial to the integrity of the Supreme Court and to its proper functioning. The most obvious reason for allowing justices to publish their dissenting opinions is that the legacy each justice leaves behind is his or her history of signing on to Court decisions. If the Supreme Court operated under a system that did not allow for the formally documented expression of dissenting opinions, justices would then be forced to sign on to judgments with which they disagreed. It is both cumbersome and impractical to hope for a unanimous decision on each case, and furthermore unethical to compel any justice to sign a decision which he or she does not support. Justice Felix Frankfurter, who served from 1939 to 1962, defined the sum of a justice’s decisions as “the thought and action of a lifetime.”  Indeed, this legacy cannot and should not be swayed to achieve unanimity.
By Lindsey Li
Lindsey Li is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate editor of the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal.
Virtually unknown five years ago, Uber has quickly become the world’s largest ride-sharing business model company.  Though currently expanding at a rate faster than that of Facebook in its sixth year as a private company, Uber is facing several legal issues that may ultimately prevent it from dominating the transportation industry.
The first dilemma Uber faces is misidentification and allegedly inaccurate background checks. Highly criticized for its negligent background check policies, Uber has been accused of hiring “registered sex offenders, identity thieves, burglars, a kidnapper, and a convicted murderer.” Additionally, Uber has had a history of criminals posing as Uber drivers; one recent example is that of an anonymous undergraduate at Simmons College who was approached by a “dark vehicle...the man behind the wheel said he was an Uber driver, and told the student to get in.”  This is especially problematic for students who attend universities in large cities and may rely on Uber as their main form of transportation between their campuses and the rest of the city. Social consequences such as kidnapping and exploitation arising from these scenarios also leave the culpability factor unclear—would Uber bear the blame for these crimes?