Migratory Bird Act: What Does Taking Mean?

Author: Maxel Moreland, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) makes it unlawful to “take” protected migratory birds.[1] However, using two methods of statutory interpretation, a circuit split has developed over different definitions of “take” under the MBTA. The first, narrower interpretation from the Fifth Circuit must involve the intentional killings of migratory birds.[2] The Fifth Circuit’s analysis is the most recent interpretation of the MBTA and is the more persuasive analysis to define “take.” Continue reading “Migratory Bird Act: What Does Taking Mean?”

Substantial Burden: Religious Accommodations Under the ACA

Author: Brooke Logsdon, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review         

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court required the government to provide objecting employers with accommodations when their religious beliefs conflict with requirements of the Affordable Care Act.[1] Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby a number of circuits have held that the government accommodation for non-profit, religious organizations does not substantially burden the non-profits’ religious beliefs. Continue reading “Substantial Burden: Religious Accommodations Under the ACA”

The Gender Advancement in Pay Act: The GAP Act Leaves Some Holes

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

On September 22, 2015, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte submitted the Gender Advancement in Pay Act (GAP Act) to the Senate.[1]  The GAP Act proposes an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Equal Pay Act, in order to provide greater protections to women earning unequal pay to their male counterparts.[2] Continue reading “The Gender Advancement in Pay Act: The GAP Act Leaves Some Holes”

The Food and Drug Administration: Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

With so much of our daily lives being regulated by government agencies, it should come as no surprise that when a new product market emerges an administration will have something to say about it. Americans have been struggling with tobacco addictions since the early 1900s, and entrepreneurs have invented everything from hypnosis tapes, to nicotine gum, to skin patches to try and help users kick the habit. In the past few years, however, a new phenomenon has hit the states: the electronic cigarette. Continue reading “The Food and Drug Administration: Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes”

Conspiracy and the Scope of the Hobbs Act

Author: Chris Gant, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

“You see that right there? Special Investigations Unit. Special. Get it? Ten grand. First of each month. Deliver it right here.”[1] This excerpt from the film American Gangster is an example of how a corrupt law enforcement officer might extort a criminal like Frank Lucas into paying bribes. Congress enacted the Hobbs Act in 1946 to prohibit public officials from obtaining property from others by extortion.[2] Continue reading “Conspiracy and the Scope of the Hobbs Act”

Tinker Extended: Students’ Protection or School Tyranny?

Author: Brooke Logsdon, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Taylor Bell, a high school senior, created a rap song regarding allegations that coaches sexually harassed Bell’s classmates.[1] Hoping to raise awareness to the issue, Bell posted his rap on Facebook, where it made its way to the school community.[2] The rap identified the coaches, and contained the lyric, “You fucking with the wrong one, going to get a pistol down your mouth.”[3] Upon hearing about the rap, the school district suspended Bell for threatening a teacher—a “severe disruption” under school policy.[4] After a disciplinary hearing, the school suspended Bell for seven days and placed him in an alternative school for the remainder of the grading period.[5]

The issue is whether a school violates constitutional rights to freedom of speech Continue reading “Tinker Extended: Students’ Protection or School Tyranny?”

Governmental Invasion of Privacy: Warrantless Cellphone Tracking

Author: Maxel Moreland, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Cell phone use is now an essential part of daily life. Individuals use cell phones for entertainment, business, and as their main source of communication. The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) allows a court to issue an order compelling third-parties to disclose stored electronic records to the government so long as the government reasonably believes that the records are relevant to a criminal investigation.[1] However, the standard for securing a traditional warrant—probable cause—is markedly higher than the SCA’s reasonable belief standard. Continue reading “Governmental Invasion of Privacy: Warrantless Cellphone Tracking”

 Deflated Again: The Court Got It Wrong in “Deflategate”

Author: Gabriel Fletcher, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2011, the National Football League (NFL) Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has the power to punish players for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game of professional football. The NFL accused Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, of being generally aware that his team’s equipment staff engaged in deflating footballs below the NFL’s specified football inflation range. The deflated footballs were said to give Brady and the Patriots a competitive advantage because deflated footballs are “easier to catch, grip, and throw;” particularly in inclement weather.[1] Continue reading ” Deflated Again: The Court Got It Wrong in “Deflategate””

Limits on Judicial Elections: A Thing of the Past?

Author: Andrea Flaute, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

From basic speech restrictions to an outright prohibition on personally solicited campaign funds, judicial candidates, prior to the decisions in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White and Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, lacked the basic leeway given to every other candidate to control their campaign.[1] In the wake of White, candidates in judicial elections are now permitted to speak freely about disputed legal and political issues.[2] However, the Supreme Court decision in Williams-Yulee maintained that those same judicial candidates are still barred from personally soliciting campaign funding.[3] Continue reading “Limits on Judicial Elections: A Thing of the Past?”

To Pay or Not to Pay: Should Interns be Considered Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Author: Brynn Stylinski Contributing Member University of Cincinnati Law Review

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay every employee a minimum wage and to pay overtime for any hours worked over forty hours per week. However, whether a worker qualifies as an employee has been debated for years.[1]  Earlier this year, the Second Circuit reversed a New York district court’s finding that a group of unpaid interns were employees under the FLSA and thus entitled to minimum wage and overtime payments (employee wages).[2]   Continue reading “To Pay or Not to Pay: Should Interns be Considered Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act”