Affirming Justice: More Than Just an Acceptance Letter (Part II)

Abstract: Race-relations have been at the forefront of public discussion in the United States. The ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al. augments this discourse by solidifying past Supreme Court precedents in regards to affirmative action. The Court’s opinion, while reiterating the belief that race should be of minimal impact, upheld the use of race-based affirmative action policies. This paper details the key points in the Fisher decision as well as delineates why race requires consideration in college admissions processes. As a central feature of many people’s identities, race plays a significant role in determining life outcomes. While some people adhere to the color-blindness philosophy because they believe equality cannot be achieved if race is a factor in decisions, this perspective inadequately assesses the systemic inequality in today’s world that is the result of historic prejudice on the basis of race. Due to the historical misapplication of race, equality can not be achieved by neglecting racial considerations.

Author: Taylor Leighton is currently a second-year at the University of Chicago, pursuing a double major in Public Policy and Political Science.

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Affirming Justice: More than Just an Acceptance Letter (Part I)

Abstract: Race-relations have been at the forefront of public discussion in the United States. The ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al. augments this discourse by solidifying past Supreme Court precedents in regards to affirmative action. The Court’s opinion, while reiterating the belief that race should be of minimal impact, upheld the use of race-based affirmative action policies. This paper details the key points in the Fisher decision as well as delineates why race requires consideration in college admissions processes. As a central feature of many people’s identities, race plays a significant role in determining life outcomes. While some people adhere to the color-blindness philosophy because they believe equality cannot be achieved if race is a factor in decisions, this perspective inadequately assesses the systemic inequality in today’s world that is the result of historic prejudice on the basis of race. Due to the historical misapplication of race, equality can not be achieved by neglecting racial considerations.

Author: Taylor Leighton is currently a second-year at the University of Chicago, pursuing a double major in Public Policy and Political Science.

 

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The James Comey Fiasco: A Primer

Abstract: On October 28, 2016, just ten days before the presidential election, Director of the F.B.I. James Comey wrote a letter to congress announcing that he would be reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of confidential materials on her private email server. In the wake of Clinton’s shocking defeat, some pundits and politicians have argued that Comey’s actions could potentially have influenced the outcome of the election. In this piece, I will examine the legal precedent (or lack thereof) in Comey’s actions, as well as the potential ways in which Comey may have broken the law through a violation of the Hatch Act.

Author: Andrew Stone is a third-year in the College majoring in philosophy.

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Self-Contradictions in Statutes: Clean Power Plan

Abstract: The litigation surrounding President Obama’s Clean Powers Plan poses an interesting legal question. The Clean Air Act of 1990, on which the Clean Power Plan was based, is the result of an imperfect integration of House and Senate Amendments resulting in a contradictory section. In one version of the Act the federal government has a legitimate claim to regulating carbon emissions of factories already being regulated for emissions of other pollutants and in another version such an action is expressly forbidden. Such a minor and previously forgotten error thus prompts a debate between whether it is the role of the Courts to consider the intent of Acts when derivative initiatives come before the Court.

Author: Mary Gen Sanner is a third year student in the College majoring in History, Law Letters and Society, and Political Science.

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The Highest Court in the World?

Abstract: The International Court of Justice is charged with serving the bodies of the United Nations along with its member-states. Its authority and objectivity has been questioned on numerous occasions. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, included in the United Nations Charter, does not require all states to recognize the jurisdiction of the Court, leading the majority of UN members to reject its power. With the Security Council charged with executing its decisions but only one permanent member recognizing its authority, there is a conflict of interest. The judge selection process has received much criticism as the Security Council elects the judges, creating a process that is open to political influence. Some argue that the practice of introducing ad hoc judges that represent each party in a case disrupts the impartiality of the Court while others claim it serves to strengthen it. This essay examines the Court’s lack of authority and, perhaps, impartiality as well.

Author: Shree Mehrotra is currently a second-year in the College pursuing a major in Environmental Science.

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