Daniel Bourgault Senior Editor Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, JD 2022 In 2020, Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office as to a federal investigation into the utility company for bribing a high-level elected official. In the agreement, ComEd agreed to pay a fine of $200 …
In an effort to reduce gun violence, President Biden has announced tighter regulations on the sale of “ghost guns.” Ghost guns are guns sold in several pieces and subsequently assembled by the buyer. Historically, gun kits have not been required to have serial numbers and their sales have not required background checks, which has made them far easier to acquire than normal firearms, despite the final product being substantially the same.
Economist Michael Mandel analogized regulations to pebbles in a stream. If you drop one pebble into a stream, its individual effect is negligible. If you deposit a thousand pebbles into a stream, the flow of the water slows down. On the other hand, if you pour one hundred thousand pebbles into a stream, the stream’s flow can become blocked altogether. Researchers note that the amount of regulation in the U.S., both at the state and federal level, has grown steadily over the years. It is a process known as regulatory accumulation. Whether it involves regulating the fuel efficiency of cars, labels on food products or the number of beds permitted in a hospital, new rules are added every year. Yet, few, if any, regulations are ever taken off the books despite the fact that many become unnecessary or virtually obsolete. Some economists argue that overregulation has the effect of slowing economic growth and ultimately impacting the well-being of society. But the task is a difficult one: how does a government identify which regulations should be cut and who should lead the effort?
This past January, the American Red Cross announced that the United States was facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a significant risk to patient care and causing doctors to make difficult decisions in determining which patients should be prioritized for blood transfusions given the dwindling supply. The staggering decrease in blood and platelet donations can be attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic driving up the need for donations and the hesitancy people have had to leave their homes over the past two years. Even in this desperate time of need for blood, gay and bisexual men in America are still prevented from donating because of discrimination.
Policing is a settler colonial creation to control native populations and is exported aboard to teach other empires how to do the same. In 2007, the FBI found that cops averaged roughly four hundred “justifiable homicides” every year, whereas nearly eighty cops were murdered in the line of duty. These disparities have only further developed, where since 2014, cops averaged nearly one thousand homicides each year, and the number of cops killed in the line of duty remained around forty-eight. Policing and prison systems are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention. Thus, as stated in Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.
Justice is a means through which people can discuss, decide, and create environments that encourage them thrive and it involves the people who are most impacted by those conditions. In that vein, abolition will look different in each community. The goal of abolition should be prioritizing the needs of each community by allowing the community control and ultimate decision-making ability. Abolition allows each community to communicate, prioritize, and enact methods and means that will make that community the best environment for its members. As Dereka Purnell wrote in Becoming Abolitionists, “activists or abolition-curious people will often ask me, ‘What does abolition look like to you?’ My answers change all the time during conversation, especially since I believe that the dreaming and practicing should happen together. This is what I’m thinking about today as I’m writing the conclusion to this book. Every neighborhood would have five quality features: a neighborhood council; free twenty-four-hour childcare; art, conflict, and mediation centers; a free health clinic; and a green team.” Upon community needs, discussion, and approval, funds currently spent on police and prison systems should be reallocated to education, housing, health care, and public spaces.
After the EU invalidated the previous data transfer agreement between the EU and the US in July of 2020, many big tech companies have been left unsure how to keep business flowing from Europe without the ability to store data within the US. To the relief of these companies, the Biden Administration has reached a preliminary agreement for a new deal with the EU. Coined the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, this new agreement works to address concerns raised by the EU.
The popularity of NFTs has been rapidly increasing over the past year, but regulations and guidance relating to the tax consequences of buying and selling NFTs has been slow to keep up. Despite also living on the blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrencies are not created equally in the eyes of the IRS. The IRS has addressed the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and published guidance for crypto-investors but has not yet published any specific guidance for NFTs. This leaves many investors in a position of uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of their investments.
By May 3, 2023, U.S travelers must be Real ID compliant to board domestic flights, enter nuclear facilities, visit military bases, and gain access to certain federal facilities. The implementation of the Real ID comes eighteen years after Congress passed the Real ID Act and ten years after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an enforcement plan for compliance with Real ID standards. Although U.S travelers have a little more than a year to comply with Real ID requirements, compliance may be difficult in light of the Real ID’s history and complications.
In October 2021, ProPublica published an article about a rare and virulent strain of salmonella infantis outbreak that occurred in May 2018, afflicting at least a dozen people across the country. Many who reported being sick reported that they ate chicken, and federal food safety inspectors found the infantis strain in packaged chicken breasts, sausages, and wings during routine inspections at poultry plants.
The impact of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022 has not only caused a horrific human rights crisis but has also had a dramatic effect on how the world conducts business, felt well beyond the borders of Russia and Ukraine. Warnings of an imminent Russian cyberattack on critical United States infrastructure has small and large businesses alike brushing up their cybersecurity policies to ensure they are compliant with current best practices in the likely event of a Russian cyberattack and impending federal legislation.