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Chicago’s “Decriminalization” of Sex Work

In the United States, according to a HG study, every year, between 70,000 and 80,000 people are arrested for prostitution related offenses, where roughly seventy percent of arrests are made against women sellers, twenty percent of arrests are made against men sellers, and a mere ten percent are made against buyers. In Chicago, the number of arrests are comparable, where according to a Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation study, in 2013, approximately seventy-four percent of prostitution-related arrests were for selling, and in 2017, ninety percent of prostitution-related arrests were for selling. 

Following the enactment of similar laws in other states, in 2014, Illinois passed Public Act 98-1013 which creates a financial incentive for the enforcement of prostitution laws against buyers and traffickers, rather than sellers. However, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) continues to prioritize arrests of sex sellers over buyers. Criminalization of sex work disproportionately harms LGBTQ people, communities of color, and immigrants. At a local level, Chicago needs to decriminalize sex work and reallocate CPD’s enforcement budget to social welfare services.

New Body-Worn Camera Requirements in Effect for New Jersey Police

On June 1, 2021, a new policy went into effect in New Jersey, requiring police officers to wear body cameras. In November 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation mandating and regulating law enforcement officers’ use of body-worn cameras during encounters with the public. Specifically, the governor signed two bills: S1163 and A4312. The former establishes the requirement for officers to wear body-cameras, while the latter regulates their use. These bills have received support from both law enforcement officials and civilians.

Abort Texas’ New Abortion Law

Under Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court found that states could not create onerous requirements which interfered with a patient’s right to an abortion up to the point of viability of the fetus, which was around 24 weeks. However, Texas’ new law erodes that decision. On May 9, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas’ new abortion law commonly known as the fetal “heartbeat” bill, and on September 1, 2021, the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ “heartbeat” bill. The new law bans abortions as soon as cardiac motion can be detected in the embryo, roughly six weeks into a pregnancy.

The “heartbeat” bill contradicts the purpose of standing and adversely impacts not only the patients but people working in the medical field, families and friends of the patients, people who support a person’s right to choose, and society as a whole. Congress cannot continue to idly sit by. Congress must codify the principles of Roe v. Wade to protect an individual’s right to health care.

Together we go … to the White House?: The Cybersecurity Risks of Peloton

Peloton has a coined the term “together we go far” as their company slogan, and over the course of this year that is exactly what this company has done. Since the company launched in 2012, Peloton has gone far and wide delivering their fitness technology to millions of people across the globe. Peloton is an international company that designs at-home gym equipment and produces virtual workout classes for their customers to live-stream or watch on-demand through their Peloton products. Peloton provides an outlet for fitness and competition while building a positive and inclusive community for their members across the United States and the world. Of the millions of members in the Peloton community, one is our leading man in office President Joe Biden.

How the Biden Administration will tackle Special Education Failures during COVID-19

The incoming Biden administration includes Dr. Miguel Cardona as the new Secretary of Education. Advocates for students with disabilities recently met with Dr. Cardona to voice concerns about issues ranging from school discipline to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on special education services. In this meeting, Cardona stressed the importance of inclusivity in public schools and the need to promote the rights of people with disabilities, as well as to increase civil rights law enforcement by Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”). Providing a “free appropriate public education” or FAPE during this time came with tremendous costs to budgets and other burdens for school administrators who, in “good faith” tried to meet these standards. However, after the DOE initiated four investigations in the past month over concerns districts nationwide have failed to provide appropriate services to students with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic. These investigations will be one of the first tasks Dr. Cardona will take on as Secretary of Education.

Chicago City Council Passes Ordinance Banning Flavored Vaping Products

In response to the rise in teenage vaping, and given the link between respiratory issues and COVID-19, the Chicago City Council (“City Council”) passed an ordinance on September 9, 2020 banning the sale of flavored vaping products. Flavored vaping products are targeted to youth and can also mislead them to believe that flavored products are safer than other tobacco products. The City Council originally proposed banning all flavored nicotine products, but after pressure from small business owners, they decided to only pursue a ban on flavored vaping products.

CRISPR Technology. A Chicken-And-the-Egg Problem of Scientific Advancement and Regulatory Oversight.

It’s been nearly two years since Chinese researcher He Jiankui shocked the scientific community and the world when he claimed to have genetically modified the genome of two human babies for resistance to HIV using CRISPR technology. Jiankui operated under the guise of reducing the HIV/AIDS disease burden in Africa, a seemingly admirable pursuit. But geneticists and ethicists considered the experiment , and done in pursuit of personal gain.

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: Compliance and the Impact on Hospital Margins  

The effects of COVID-19 create numerous hospital financial management issues. One specific issue is hospitals maintaining financial stability. As the United States adjusts to the pandemic, hospitals have the burden of navigating their purpose, mission, and values while maintaining operations. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) is a comprehensive bill that includes provisions that financially assist healthcare providers. Nevertheless, as with all federal assistance, compliance with specific conditions is required. As the pandemic continues, if hospitals accept federal help to stabilize finances, awareness, and increasing training to comply with federal guidelines is crucial.

The Patchwork Paradox: Data Privacy Regulation and the Complications of Compliance

This spring I had the pleasure of attending a conference entitled Digital Platforms: Innovation, Antitrust, Privacy & the Internet of Things hosted by the UIC John Marshall Law School Center for IP, Information & Privacy Law. Throughout the day, panelists spoke about various topics of intellectual property, including artificial intelligence antitrust issues, and more. But for me, the highlight of the afternoon was the session on privacy issues. Here is a bit of what I learned…

Pre-Approval Access and Pathways to Investigational Drugs

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FDC) Act of 1938 requires pharmaceutical drugs to provide evidence of their safety before they are allowed on the market. As such, pharmaceutical companies submit applications to the Federal Drug Administration for approval. There are situations, however, in which patients seek to receive access to a particular pharmaceutical drug before the FDA approval process is complete. This blog will explore the various pathways to pre-approval access in addition to recent legislation and legal considerations for such pathways, in addition to the principles and common obstacles that pharmaceutical companies face within such pathways.