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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.

Wiretapping in a Wireless World: Should Vermont Codify a Statute on Intercepting Communications?

Hannah Clarisse

As technology continues to evolve, the need to prevent unconsented recording of communications is more important than ever before. The way that Americans communicate has changed considerably in the 140 years since the installation of the first telephone lines.[1] In 1968, when Congress enacted the Federal Wiretap Act,[2] 20 percent of American homes did not have a telephone.[3] Today, over 95 percent of Americans own some type of mobile phone, and 49 states have passed some form of wiretapping statute.[4] Vermont is the only state that has not.[5]

Under-Depreciated: Can Public Utility Commissions Accelerate Depreciation for Fossil-Fuel Assets to Hasten the Renewable Energy Transition and Avoid Looming Stranded Costs?

Benjamin Civiletti

The renewable energy revolution is taking shape across the United States, carrying the potential for environmental and economic benefits.[1] Developments in clean energy are encouraging, but the transition is not happening fast enough. One significant barrier is the traditional ratemaking model, where investor-owned utilities are incentivized to build large generation projects and keep them running for as long as possible.[2] This is partly because the cost of these projects is built into electric rates in the form of an operating expense called depreciation.[3] Depreciation is spread over the expected life of the project, which often stretches 30 years or more.[4]

Can David Beat Goliath? Strategies on how the Philippines can Enforce the Hague’s Arbitration Award

Renee Valerie G. Fajardo

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague issued its Final Decision on the dispute between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines.[1] The Final Decision—a complicated answer written in 500 pages—can be distilled into four major points: (1) China has no historic rights over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea[2]; (2) None of Spratly Islands generates its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ)[3]; (3) China violated the Philippines’ rights within the Philippine EEZ by interfering with the Philippines’ activities in the area[4]; and (4) China severely damaged the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve the environment under the UNCLOS.[5]

Lock ‘Em up: Determining the True Cost of Prolonged Mandatory Detention of Noncitizens under §1226(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Laura Savall

David Balderramas is a blue-collar steel worker in Texas by day and a handyman by night.[1] Like many Americans, he works two jobs to provide for his family.[2] David and his wife came to the United States in 1956 for a better life and to start a family.[3]  They became legal permanent residents and regular taxpayers.[4] Unfortunately, David used to be an alcoholic and was convicted for driving while intoxicated.[5] After serving time for his crime, in 1998, Immigration and Naturalization Services arrested David at his home and soon after began the deportation process.[6] If the United States deports David, he will leave his two children, both U.S. citizens, and his diabetic wife to fend for themselves.[7]

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