Keshav Sharma is a freshman at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, who plans on majoring in Health Sciences.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the most challenging global health crises witnessed in the modern era. It has placed unprecedented strain on every aspect of society within the USA and across the globe. Healthcare sectors are attempting to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases with limited resources, thereby increasing the demand for tremendous planning of various contingencies (i.e., the rise of community transmission of COVID-19 variants) and effective treatments. While some novel therapies are beginning to show promise, it is widely agreed upon by experts that a mass vaccination response will ultimately bring life as we know it to some degree of normal . With the ongoing developments regarding the nature and mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, the technical name for the COVID-19 disease, significant advancements have been made in the production and distribution of vaccines within the United States . As of February 27, 2021, the FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson for emergency use in the population . Given the high demand for such a coveted resource and limited supply, ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine is allocated in an ethical manner is integral to efficiently reducing the pandemic’s mortality and morbidity.
By: Jessica "Lulu" Lipman Jessica “Lulu” Lipman is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying English.
In June of 1971, President Richard Nixon asserted that drug abuse was “public enemy number one” and sought to make every drug illegal in the so-called War on Drugs. These new measures led to a sharp increase in mass incarceration, which disproportionately affected black Americans . Now, 50 years later, the War on Drugs is slowly coming to an end, as more and more drugs are being decriminalized.
By Joseph Anderson Joe Anderson is a sophomore in the College studying Political Science and History. In addition to writing for the Roundtable, he is a member of the Penn Policy Consulting Group and Penn Debate Society, and a fellow at the Marks Family Writing Center.
Two days after a pro-Trump mob unraveled congressional proceedings to certify the 2020 Electoral College results, students and alumni of law schools across the country petitioned for state bar associations to disbar Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, arguing they encouraged the Capitol siege by objecting to Biden’s victory . The senators called for an electoral commission to investigate the contrived fraud claims, and to grant state legislatures the right to change their votes as they saw fit . Their objections legitimized the lies which animated the siege, but disbarment never came to fruition. It was hindered by state bar associations’ unwillingness to involve themselves in politics. Little could be done: the senators’ actions were sanctioned by institutional procedure, and no precedent exists for disbarring elected lawyers for their votes, no matter how unseemly. While Hawley and Cruz couched their objections in concerns about election integrity, their remedy would have overruled state law and opened the door to undermining millions of legal votes. But the Missouri, Texas, and D.C. associations had their hands tied.
By Ally Margolis Ally Margolis is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science and History. In the recent weeks following the release of the documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” the #FreeBritney movement has become mainstream. This movement features examinations of the misogyny and mistreatment that Spears endured as a child and burgeoning star, as well as analyzes her conservatorship, with many believing that she is being unfairly restricted by her father. But with 1.3 million people under these arrangements, what is a conservatorship ? And what is it like for non-celebrities?
By Nicholas Williams Nicholas Williams is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Los Angeles, California who is majoring in History.
Now that Donald J. Trump has exited the Oval Office, the full extent of one of his most lasting legacies is clearer: his judicial appointments. In addition to his appointment of three Supreme Court justices, Trump also appointed hundreds of lower-court judges. These judges will continue to sit on the federal bench for decades, far outlasting Trump’s tenure in office.
By Hailie Goldsmith Hailie Goldsmith is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and minoring in Hispanic Studies.
In the age of omnipresent social media platforms, a majority of speech and dialogue now takes place online. For this reason, conflicts discerning which speech falls outside the protection of the First Amendment now frequently occur on an online stage rather than in-person. These conflicts are amplified by the wide-reaching arena compared to the minimal reaches of interpersonal interactions. Because social media can expose millions of people to information in a short period of time, speech can result in real actions and potentially violent consequences.
By Ally Margolis Ally Margolis is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science and History.
Former President Trump’s legal challenges to the outcome of the 2020 election were largely if not entirely struck down by courts. In the most recent case, the Supreme Court threw out a case brought by the Texas Attorney General to invalidate election results in various states that President-Elect Biden won. Not one of the Justices offered a public dissent in favor of relief. Justices Alito and Thomas said that they would have let the case be filed but would not have provided any further relief . This decision came just days after the Court denied Pennsylvanian Republicans’ case to throw out all of Pennsylvania’s mail-in votes from the recent election . Again, there were no written dissents to this decision.
By Nicholas Williams Nicholas Williams is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Los Angeles, California who plans on majoring in Political Science and History.
On November 25, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in the case of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo. In the decision, the majority held that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that limited attendance at in-person houses of worship due to the COVID-19 pandemic constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case’s outcome could significantly affect both the future of the Supreme Court and government policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Saranya Das Sharma Saranya Das Sharma is a junior studying English in the College of Arts & Sciences and Operations, Information and Decisions at Wharton.
Twelve years ago, the world was in the throes of a similar crisis as the one before us today. Although there was no global pandemic, the recessionary scenes seem eerily familiar: staggering unemployment, government bailouts and an uncertain economic recovery. However there is one key difference- no major bank has become insolvent. A large part of this can be attributed to one of the world’s largest soft law mechanisms- the Basel III Capital Accords, which are a product of the aftermath of the previous crisis.
By Joseph Squillaro Joseph M. Squillaro is a member of the Class of 2022 at the University of Pennsylvania studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) with a concentration in cyber policy and internet law.
In the past few years when visiting various websites, how many times have you encountered a salient prompt asking for you to accept “cookie” permissions or select which types of data the website is able to retain? I know I personally have seen more than I can count. Yet prior to 2018, you likely would not have seen any such prompt and that was because it simply was not required, at least not in the European Union. That all changed, however, when on May 25th 2018, the European Parliament implemented a sweeping set of cyber reforms collectively known as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR revolutionized the ways in which tech companies can collect and store your data. From that day forward, companies were required to ask your permission to save information to their servers in the form of the aforementioned cookies. This included details such as your navigation history for personalizing results or your IP address to provide location specific content, among many other examples . This policy, on balance, is a great boon for the liberty for all users of technology: to have control on who stores your data and what kind of information they collect. But a large number of users of technology, including myself, do not reside in the European Union, nor are a citizen of any EU country, yet the prompt and intention of the GDPR still applies. Why is this?