Monthly Archives: June 2017

Risky Business and Identity Theft

Adam Pitchel, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Identity theft has developed into a serious concern for most people in the 21st century.[1] Criminals’ ability to open fraudulent accounts, make purchases, and tamper with people’s credit history has drastically increased the importance of protecting private information. Companies responsible for preserving and protecting this information have occasionally failed to do so, resulting in breaches and possible theft of personal data.[2] When these incidents occur, the risk of identity theft increases significantly.[3] There remains a question of whether the risk of future identity theft creates enough harm to sustain a civil claim. Currently, circuit courts are divided over this issue. The Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Courts have held that an increased risk of identity theft is sufficient to justify a claim.[4] In contrast, the First, Third, and Fourth Circuits have held that an increased risk of identity theft is not a sufficient injury to warrant a lawsuit.[5] The approach used by the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits is simpler and better comports with the requirements of Article III of the Constitution. Continue reading

Truth in Advertising: Should America Ban Photoshop?

Author: Melanie Navamanikkam, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

In March 2014, Congress introduced the Truth in Advertising Act Bill.[1] The goal of the law was for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to regulate to what extent advertisers could digitally alter images[2] used in advertisements through a systematic framework.[3] Digitally altered images of models in beauty ads, the Act’s supporters say, are harmful to consumers as they are misleading, manipulative, and they contribute to negative body-image.[4] The Act did not gain the momentum necessary to pass the bill into law, and remained stagnant until a reintroduction in early 2016.[5] Although the Act is well intended, and takes on the noble effort of ensuring that men and women in America are not bombarded with images of unattainable beauty, the Act has many flaws and gaps that need to be addressed before it can be successful.

The major issue with the Act: blanket regulation on all digitally altered advertisements. Since not all digitally altered images are necessarily misleading, or contribute to negative body image, the fate of the Act remains unclear. Digital alterations of images often speak to simple aesthetics of an advertisement, and seek to only enhance the visuals. Other times, digital alteration can delve into manipulation.[6] The point of contention is discerning when artistry and creativity cross over into manipulation. Drawing that abstract line, distinguishing the point where art transcends into something dangerous, is what lawmakers struggle to mold.[7] Continue reading

Would You Eat This?: Why Should They?

Author: Kalisa Mora, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Imagine taking basic ingredients found in your cupboard, blending them all together, and then baking the substance until it was brick-like in both texture and taste. Now imagine being subscribed that as a meal three times a day for upwards of fourteen days in a row. That is the reality for many inmates in prisons across the United States today. Prison food is largely unappealing, but there comes a point where prison meals cross over from a culinary catastrophe to an unconstitutional use of punishment. Throughout the United States, prisons use the nutraloaf as an outdated form of punishment and either the Supreme Court or state legislatures must prohibit its use.

What is the Nutraloaf? Continue reading

Balancing the Duties: the Tenth Circuit’s Instructional on How to See the Big Picture

Author: Petra Ingerson Bergman, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution vests in the President of the United States the power to appoint public officials with the advice and consent of the Senate.[1] This clause, known as the Appointment Clause, serves as “a bulwark against one branch aggrandizing its power at the expense of another branch.”[2] By requiring the advice and consent of the Senate, the President’s appointment power is checked by the legislature to ensure that officers of the United States are thoroughly vetted to assume a role with “significant authority.”[3] The Constitution bifurcates officers of the United States into classes; principal officers and inferior officers.[4] Whereas principal officers must be nominated by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, Congress may vest the power to appoint inferior officers solely in the hands of the President, the courts, or the heads of departments.[5]   Continue reading