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Autism, Bullying, and the Individuals With Disabilities Act

Catherine Fregosi

In August of 2014, a viral trend hit social networks: the “ice bucket challenge” raised awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by challenging people to either douse themselves in ice or donate money to ALS research, or both.[1] In Bay Village, Ohio, five high-school boys challenged a fifteen-year-old classmate with autism to participate in the ice bucket challenge.[2] On the evening of August 18, the autistic youth met his challengers to complete the challenge, but instead of a bucket of ice, the challengers poured a bucket of urine and tobacco spit on him.[3] The challengers recorded the incident on the boy’s phone and posted the video to Instagram.[4] The boy’s parents found the video on his phone and reported it to the police and the media.[5]

The Evolution of Codes of Corporate Social Responsibility Into Contracts With Consumers

Caryn Connolly

This Note analyzes the code of corporate social responsibility as an implied-in-fact contract with consumers who rely on the reputations of corporations when making their purchasing decisions. Consumers and customers of corporations may be the public or a subcontractor in a large supply chain as in a multi-national corporation like Maersk[1], which is the world’s largest shipping company. These codes are voluntary,[2] and as such, are not often given the weight they deserve by the corporations who create them; however, society as a whole is giving the codes greater credence.[3]

You Can’t Sit With Us: Furniture’s Future in Fighting Phonies

Katia Alcantar

There are countless ways to design a chair. The designer of the chair on which you are currently sitting may have designed it for style, comfort, utility, or all of the above.  The more consumers enjoy the design, the more likely the designer will want to protect his intellectual property through trade dress to combat knockoffs, preserve his exclusive right to distinguish his product, and prevent other companies from free-riding on his marketing expenditures. The more functional the chair’s design, however, the less likely it will acquire trade dress. Indeed, some legal scholars believe that there is no possibility of furniture articles acquiring trade dress because furniture is functional.[1]

Red Tape: New Jersey’s Energy Regulations Deter Residents From Installing Photovoltaics

Alicia Artessa

New Jersey’s current energy regulations regarding solar photovoltaic (PV) use are not reaching their stated purpose. New Jersey’s Residential Development Solar Energy Systems Act set forth commendable goals for an ambitious approach toward solar energy use. The Herculean standards the State government has set would, ostensibly, make using solar energy sources on the residential level an attainable goal. However, the regulations, in effect, negate the purpose of encouraging the use of solar energy sources.[1]

Where Do We Go From Here?: Expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Angela Warner

In September 2014, President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to include 490,000 square nautical miles in the south-central Pacific Ocean, making it the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the world.[1] While this is a positive step in terms of ocean conservation, this MPA will be part of a larger disjointed system of MPA management in the United States.[2] This Note examines some of the weaknesses of the PRIMNM and explores solutions for strengthening MPA management in the United States based on Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the U.S. Coastal Zone Management Act, and California’s Marine Life Protection Act.[3]

Equality Made Real: Justice Kennedy’s Blueprint For a Just America

The debate over gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (hereinafter GLBT) rights is controversial in society and in the courts. GLBT advocates are poised to change the way courts in the United States and communities view equal protection under the law. Traditional equal protection analysis defines the classification of people burdened by the law, and then applies the appropriate level of scrutiny based on the classification. Justice Anthony Kenney authored all of the Supreme Court opinions addressing the classification of sexual orientation. Critics of Justice Kenney assert that he is vague and his opinions provide little guidance for attorneys and judges. In this note I will argue that Justice Kennedy’s opinions provide clear guidance to advocates for equality and, I will propose a new test for equal protection analysis to be applied to classifications based on sexual orientation.

The Portland Pipeline Corporation and Act 250: Can State Self-regulation of Pipelines Occur Outside of the Federal Pipeline Safety Act?

Ligia Smith

In July 2010, a section of a pipeline located in Marshall, Michigan burst.[1]  Approximately one million gallons of diluted bitumen spilled into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River.[2]  Diluted bitumen, commonly referred to as “dilbit”, is a petroleum blend consisting of oil sands taken from Alberta, Canada and gas condensates.[3]  Responders and investigators found that the diluted bitumen did not behave as ordinary crude oil usually does in a spill, by floating to the surface of the water.[4]  Instead, the EPA noted that submerged diluted bitumen attached itself to particles and sank, coating the bottom of the river and that diluted bitumen that had been exposed to sunlight formed a sticky, impermeable coat.[5]  The Kalamazoo oil spill was arguably one of the costliest oil spills in United States history.[6]

If Not Celebration, Recognition: Windsor’s Push toward Universal Interstate Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages

Charles Becker

The summer of 2013 was momentous for Ohio residents John Arthur and James Obergefell. In early July, after more than 20 years together, the couple flew to Maryland to be married. Because a neurological condition was rapidly depriving John of his ability to move and speak on his own, the couple exchanged vows from inside the plane’s cabin. After a mere 56 minutes on the ground, the pilots flew the newlyweds back to their home in Cincinnati.[1] Just two weeks before John and James married, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in United States v. Windsor.[2] The decision overturned Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and thereby paved the way for federal recognition of lawful same-sex marriages. But the ruling left untouched the legal framework that allows states to deny recognition to otherwise valid same-sex marriages. Therefore, when John and James returned to Ohio, they reclaimed their unwanted status as single under the laws of the state. The couple also faced the unsettling prospect that John would soon die.[3] Because of Ohio’s ban on recognition of same-sex marriages, the state would list John’s marital status on his death certificate as “unmarried” and would fail to name James as his surviving spouse. Determined to avoid this quiet nullification of their marriage, John and James filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of Ohio.

Predictive Policing: the Constitutional Implications of Forecasting Crime

This Note examines the implications of predictive policing and seeks ways to avoid legal snares. Predictive policing is the practice of using computer algorithms that predict the time and place crimes are likely to occur. “Crime maps” and other statistical law enforcement tools are not new and are part of an overall trend towards intelligence-led policing.[1] However, recently the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as other law enforcement agencies, has spearheaded the use of software that interprets vast amounts of data and makes predictions well outside of human intuition.[2] So far studies have shown predictive policing techniques to be generally successful.[3] Some police agencies have pinpointed 500-square-foot “hot spots,” lowered crime, and saved money by distributing manpower in accordance.[4]

Making Space for a Spectrum of Community Residences: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Communities Through New York’s Padavan Law

Adam Schmelkin

Regulating group homes for marginalized groups, including developmentally disabled people, has social justice implications that extend beyond the traditional environmental, economic, and technical considerations that generally underlay land use decisions.  Group homes are community residential facilities: homes that are integrated in residential neighborhoods, but contain support professionals that do not ordinarily exist in the archetype nuclear families that have historically predominated the American residential landscape.

Submissions The Vermont Law Review continually seeks articles, commentaries, essays, and book reviews on any subject concerning recent developments in state, federal, Native American, or international law.

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