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Keeping Community Solar in the Community: Is Your Solar Garden Unreasonable?

Rikaela Greane 

Regulators, economists, and renewable energy advocates trumpet community solar as a more affordable, relatable, and accessible renewable energy source.[1] Indeed, researchers predict these snappily named “solar gardens” will be the next largest solar growth market in the United States.[2] Motivated by statute, image, or altruism, many utilities started growing community solar gardens, which allow several energy customers to share the benefits of one solar array.[3] Unfortunately, state statutes enacted to prevent utilities from unreasonably discriminating between customers in their ratepayer territory could be the weeds that strangle these silicon gardens.[4]

Pipeline Flows and Oil Sands Foes: Business as Usual or Grass-Roots Zoning for a Clean Energy Transition

Hans Eysenbach 

The United States’ energy sector is experiencing a profound clash: accelerated departure from fossil energy sources versus commercial pressure to exploit now economically recoverable unconventional oil and gas reserves. Perhaps the most notable example of this clash is the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline proposal that was recently rejected by executive order after a highly publicized six-year environmental and inter-agency review.[1] Since the early 2000s, the advent of horizontal drilling technology and hydraulic fracturing of rock structures containing oil and gas have led to unprecedented increases in access to unconventional reserves of oil (e.g., tight formation, or oil sands, and shale oil) and gas (i.e., shale gas).[2] This hydraulic fracturing technological revolution has rapidly changed the structure of the U.S. oil and gas sector in under a decade.[3] Current projections hold that, given continuity of current trends, the United States is poised to become a net energy exporter by 2035.[4] These systemic shifts have increased the strain and strategic importance of the bottlenecks for oil and gas transportation: pipelines.

Vermont Food Access and the “Right to Food”: Using the Human Right to Food to Address Hunger in Vermont

Heather Devine 

The greatest health risk in the world today is hunger.[1] One out of nine people in the world do not get enough to eat—meaning they do not get enough calories, nutrients, or both.[2] Hunger and malnutrition threaten global health at a greater rate than AIDs, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.[3]

Hunger is not restricted to developing nations. Fourteen percent of United States households are food insecure—they cannot consistently access enough food for their households.[4] Closer to home, 84,000 Vermonters, 25,000 of whom are children, are food insecure.[5] More than a third of Vermonters report they cannot afford to buy nutritious food, or they cannot buy enough food.[6]

Taking Raisins: Horne v. Department of Agriculture and the Supreme Court’s Problematic New Per Se TakingsRule

Letson B. Douglass 

The United States Supreme Court Justices have become very familiar with raisins over the past two years. The Hornes, raisin farmers in California, filed suit against the federal government in 2009, alleging that the requirements of a governmental program, left over from the New Deal era, constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment.[1] This program compelled raisin handlers in California to reserve a certain quantity of their crop each year for the federal government, free of charge. The Hornes demanded just compensation for those reserved raisins. The case first appeared before the Supreme Court in 2013,[2] was remanded to the 9th Circuit,[3] and returned to the Supreme Court in 2015.[4]

Turner, Thornburgh, and an Inmate’s Right to Read: The Chelsea Manning Case and Possible Solutions to BOP Regulation Language

Alexander Dean 

In 2013, the United States Army Military District of Washington convicted army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning of violating provisions of the federal Espionage Act[1] by releasing highly-sensitive military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.[2] Currently incarcerated in a maximum-security prison, Manning faces solitary confinement for keeping prohibited publications in her cell without filing a book request.[3] The Manning case represents a recent concern lodged at both the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) rules and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regulations they derive from: the ambiguity of how prison administrators may accept or deny book requests on a case-by-case basis.

From Corrupting the Youth to Aggravated Murder: Who Deserves Death as Punishment?

Catlin Davis 

During Classical antiquity, an Athenian jury sentenced the enigmatic philosopher, Socrates, to death for “corrupting the young” and “not believing in the gods in whom the city believes.”[1] Ignoring all questions of Socrates’ guilt, the punishment he received was severe: Death is final, irrevocable. Today, many countries have entirely banned death as a form of punishment.[2] In the United States, the death penalty is saved almost exclusively for crimes of aggravated murder.[3] This was not always the case. In early American history, the death penalty was used as punishment for a variety of crimes, and while it was never imposed for the crime of “corrupting the young,” it was imposed for crimes of theft, forgery, piracy, treason, rape, and murder.[4] This Note will address why the use of capital punishment narrowed and why is it preserved for criminal defendants who commit aggravated murder.

Giza to the Galápagos: A Critique of the Current UNESCO World Heritage System and How to Fix It

Tim Cunningham

In 1959, the Egyptian government took steps towards the construction of the Aswan Dam. The completion of this dam would result in the flooding of the Nile Valley, home to the Abu Simbel temple complex.[1] To preserve the cultural heritage of Egypt, the temples and other cultural monuments needed to be moved to safety. However, the costs of this extensive project totaled over U.S. $80,000,000.[2] Despite the enormous cost, there was general acceptance throughout the world that the history and culture was at risk if the project were to fail. With this in mind, the international community funded half of the project costs.[3] This immensely successful project was the first undertaken by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO.[4]

Matter of Glick v. Harvey: A Blight on New York City Community Gardens

Natalie Colao

After years of publicized debate, celebrity testimony, faculty disapproval, and student protests, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of New York University’s (NYU) Greenwich Village expansion project (the Project).[1]  Project opponents fear this holding effectively eliminates New York’s Implied Dedication Doctrine and exposes NYC green space to illegal development in violation of New York’s Public Trust Doctrine.[2]   

A Sentence Deferred: Fair Notice—Or lack thereof— in Vermont’s Probation Conditions

Jessica Bullock

In his 2015 State of the Union address, United States President Barack Obama called for a sweeping reform of the country’s criminal justice system.[1] In response, the nation shifted its gaze to take a critical appraisal of the country’s policies around policing, sentencing, and incarceration.[2] Since 2002, the United States has maintained the highest incarceration rates in the world.[3] Currently, 1.5 million people are housed in United States prisons; a disproportionate number of those individuals are young, male, and members of racial minorities. [4] Yet, while imprisonment represents the most extreme form of carceral power—the complete removal of liberty—inmates housed in state and federal prisons make up a minority, roughly 20 percent, of individuals under correctional supervision. [5] Strikingly, the most common form of correctional supervision—affecting the lives of nearly 4 million people in the United States—is probation. [6]

Defaming Planned Parenthood: Lying, Cybersmears, and the First Amendment

Kelsey Bain 

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” -Mark Twain

In the summer and fall of 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP, an anti-abortion organization, released several incriminating videos that implied Planned Parenthood was in the business of selling body parts from aborted fetuses for profit.[1] Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization, provides reproductive health care and sex education to people in the United States and around the globe.[2] Fetal tissue donations, like those performed by Planned Parenthood, are completely legal[3], and done with the consent of the mother.[4] Further, the fetal tissue harvested from aborted fetuses is used to study potential treatments for cancer, diabetes, and birth defects, and is used in the actual treatment of Parkinson’s disease.[5]

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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