By Omar Khoury
Omar Khoury is the Editor-in-Chief of the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Modern Middle Eastern Studies and English.
In a highly controversial and televised interview, President Donald Trump told the news and information website Axios that he intends to revoke the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution by executive order. Such a move warrants comprehensive scrutiny on the legality of this intended executive order and on the veracity of the legal arguments invoked to justify it.
Manifesting itself as the Citizenship Clause, the 14th Amendment states that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Adopted in 1868, the Amendment and the Clause signified a reversal of the notorious Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, in which the United States Supreme Court declared African Americans were not and could not become citizens of the United States. 
By Emma Davies
Emma Davies is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.
Up until the 2018 Midterm Elections, Florida had one of the strictest disenfranchisement laws in the United States. Along with Iowa and Kentucky, Florida barred all people convicted of a felony from voting, unless they independently applied for a highly restrictive clemency application. Under Florida Governor Rick Scott, there were more than 20,000 pending cases, but only about 400 people were granted clemency each year . As a result, some individuals waited more than 10 years to have their case heard, and it is estimated that it would take 51 years to hear the entirety of the backlog, if no new cases were added . This policy, compounded with the fact that Florida has one of the highest incarceration rates (as a percentage of the population) , had led to Florida being one of the most disenfranchised states. However, this November, 64% of Florida voters voted in favor of the state constitutional amendment titled the “Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative,” aka Florida Amendment 4, in a referendum. This amendment automatically restored voter rights for people with past felony convictions upon completion of sentencing, including parole and probation, amounting to the enfranchisement of 1.6 million people . The results of this ballot initiative is extensive, and could potentially impact the direction of Florida’s 29 electoral votes in the 2020 National Elections .
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.
On October 19th, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ordered Poland to first suspend a law that forced judges off the nation’s Supreme Court and then to reinstate those judges . This was in response to the Polish Parliament passing a law lowering the mandatory retirement age for judges, forcing out 27 out of the 72 Supreme Court Justices, including the Supreme Court president, Malgorzata Gersdorf . Despite thousands of critics and protests taking place in the streets, the Polish government went ahead with the purge, resulting in the EU’s order. However, high ranking Polish government officials stated that they would not follow the EU’s ruling, claiming the ECJ did not have the authority to dictate Poland’s legal system . Jaroslaw Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, cited this recent incident as yet another conflict with the Lisbon Treaty, a 2007 agreement that was intended to reign in EU oversight and bureaucracy .