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Morality Bites: Moral Rights Under VARA and the Battle between Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” and “Charging Bull”

Amie Johnson

A girl stands boldly—fearlessly—in front of Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull.”[1] On the eve of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors commissioned Kristen Visbal’s installment of the diminutive, yet defiant, statue of a girl facing down a bull.[2] State Street Global Advisors intended the “Fearless Girl” to be a celebration of the power of women leaders.[3] However, Arturo Di Modica—the “Charging Bull” sculptor—is arguing that the juxtaposition of the two statues subverts the message of his statue, casting the bull as a villain.[4] He contends that the “Fearless Girl” infringes upon his moral rights.[5]

Score: Structured Cannabis Organizational Reform Evaluation

George Clause

Marijuana in the United States is in a precarious legal position.[1] By January 2018, adults 21 years or older will be able to consume the plant legally and recreationally in California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada (as well as Alaska, Massachusetts and Maine), yet cross the border into Idaho or Utah and be prosecuted for the same conduct.2 All the while the plant remains unequivocally illegal at the federal level.[2] Today, the disconnect between federal and state marijuana laws exists primarily because the plant has been politically demonized.[3]

Water Tension: When Discharges to Groundwater Migrate to Navigable Waters

Katherine Klaus

Groundwater is an essential natural resource, comprising 30% of the world’s fresh water.[1] Society’s dependence on groundwater is pervasive, as it provides for drinking, irrigation, industry, and more.[2] In 2010, groundwater withdrawals in the United States totaled 79,300 Mgal/d,[3] valued at over 20 billion dollars.[4] Despite the importance of groundwater, no federal law comprehensively protects it from contamination.[5] Even the Clean Water Act (CWA) fails to address groundwater directly.[6] The CWA only prohibits discharges to “navigable waters,” the definition of which does not include groundwater.[7] Yet, there may be an indirect method of overcoming this barrier. Groundwater is often hydrologically connected to navigable surface waters.[8] Therefore, pollutants discharged to groundwater may migrate, eventually reaching navigable waters.[9] Some courts have been willing to find that these discharges violate the CWA.[10] However, there is no universal agreement on the issue. Several district courts in the Fourth Circuit have recently answered this question, reaching different conclusions.[11] The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has not yet considered this issue.[12] Consequently, this will continue to be a gray area of law in the Fourth Circuit until it takes an appeal and renders a unifying decision. The direction that the Fourth Circuit chooses to take will then have profound implications for CWA regulation moving forward.

Case Comment: Adequacy of the Efficiency Gap in Whitford v. Gill

Joseph Haase

Traditionally, the Supreme Court found the Constitution vests reapportionment to the state government.[1] With this breadth, States delegate their reapportionment responsibilities to several different bodies: direct legislative control, bipartisan or independent commissions,[2] other branches,[3] and hybrids.[4] Wisconsin follows the direct legislative control.[5] Because of this, Wisconsin’s redistricting schemes are highly contested and often end up litigated in federal courts.[6] This ultimately is the fate of Wisconsin’s 2011’s reappointment scheme: Act 43.[7]

Call to Duty: Eliminating Gender Identity Service Barriers Within the United States Armed Forces Through Social Advocacy

Caitlyn (Cat) Kelly

Unit cohesion is essential to military effectiveness and ultimately accomplishing the mission.[1] A common theme between the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces is a teamwork-based call to action; a call to action that requires service members to respect and be mindful of one another.[2] This camaraderie was disrupted on July 26, 2017, when our Nation’s President and Commander in Chief, President Donald J. Trump, announced—via Tweet—his intentions to stop transgender persons from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.[3] His reasoning? That “the previous administration failed to identify a sufficient basis . . . terminating the Department’s longstanding policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, [and] disrupt unit cohesion . . . .”[4] Thus, the President believes transgender service members distract from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) overall mission. The President’s policy change will continue indefinitely unless he is advised otherwise—chiefly by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.[5]

Corporate Malfeasance: How Private Individuals can Rein in Corporate Greed with Civil Suits

Zachary Dayno

Lasting over two years, the 2008 financial crisis touched almost every American, as well as individuals, families, and companies all over the world.[1] Americans lost $17 trillion in net wealth.[2] Thirteen million Americans lost their homes.[3] Neighborhoods in Florida and Nevada were left desolate and empty, skeletons of the housing boom.[4]

Catching the Drift: The Herbicide Drift from Genetically-Modified Seeds to Nongenetically-Modified Seeds and Proposal for Strengthened Regulation

Bomy Hwang

Herbicide drift describes the movement of herbicide from one location to another.[1] As it is used incessantly in agricultural settings, some weeds develop resistance to formulas.[2] Herbicide manufacturers, including Monsanto, partly responded to these troublesome “superweeds” by releasing genetically-modified seeds resistant to certain herbicide, such as dicamba.[3]

Trusting Nonprofits: Applying Trust Principles to the Assets of Charities

Malachi Brennan


First arising in England as charitable trusts with the Statute of Uses in 1601,[1] nonprofit organizations[2] currently represent 10 percent of the U.S. economy.[3] The assets employed by these 1.7 million nonprofits represent an invaluable public resource.[4] Nonprofits alleviate the burden on public funds,[5] and provide important services that private businesses avoid:[6] “For every dollar that a [person] contributes to these public charities, . . . the public gets 100 percent.”[7] But how do we ensure that the public gets 100 percent?

She Must Be Mutilated, First: How the United States Violates its Duties Under the Convention Against Torture by Denying Relief to Women Who Fear Future Female Genital Mutilation

Kathryn Steffy

An estimated three million girls are expected to suffer Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 2018.[1] Also known as Female Genital Cutting or Circumcision, FGM is performed for the purposes of curbing sexual behavior and increasing a perception of cleanliness and feminism.[2] It is encouraged and perpetuated through social norms, like receiving increased dowries and bride prices for circumcised women, in many cultures across the globe.[3] In actuality, there are no health benefits to the practice, but instead FGM causes a massive number of health effects.[4] Viewed as a violent violation of human rights by the United Nations (UN) and other entities worldwide, FGM is still a principal practice within at least 30 countries and on three continents.[5]

Taming America’s Rogue Roads: Unsolved R.S. 2477 Claims in the Tenth Circuit and Beyond.

Evan Baylor

The United States boasts some of the world’s most stunning vistas, picturesque landscapes, and diverse scenery. From the Green Mountains in Vermont to the mesas of Utah, many of the most pristine examples of America’s beauty are carefully managed and protected by the federal government.[1] However, these lands are under attack.

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.

Learn more about the submissions process >