Review of “Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age”

Reviewed by: Brianne Yantz Book by: Sheila Jasanoff, et al. Abtract: Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age assesses the evolving relationship between science and the law. Specifically, the authors focus on how advances in biological sciences and biotechnology in the last century have promulgated changes regarding the legal conception of life and individual rights. Told through a series of case studies, Reframing Rights argues these changes in law and science should be considered "bioconstitutional." Topics such as sterilization, DNA testing, and xenotransplantation are among those examined and argued by the authors as demonstrative of constitutionally significant changes that have developed between individuals, science, and the state in recent decades. With such considerable changes, the authors contend, the law must constantly evolve to maintain the balance between individual rights and state authority.

State of Emergency: Accessibility to Emergency Communications for the Disabled in Metropolitan Areas

By: Christopher Tommarello This article examines the discrepancies between the ADA and emergency communication systems in the United States, specifically New York City, and highlights the need for the law to be amended to require that as new technology is created for emergency communications, adaptations be made to continue accessibility for those with disabilities. The rise and use of emergency call boxes in New York City, coupled with the Civic Association case, demonstrates that without a major change to the ADA it is possible that certain individuals with disabilities will be unable to communicate with emergency services in the future. Changes must be made to afford all individuals the ability to access emergency communication devices. No individual should be concerned about whether he or she will be able to access emergency services during an emergency simply because of a disability. Instead, all individuals should feel secure knowing that in the time of need they are able to access those who can provide help and ultimately relieve a stressful situation.

Review of “Navigating Climate Change Policy: The Opportunities of Federalism”

Reviewed by: Carly Wolfrom Book by: Edella C. Schlager, Kristen H. Engel, and Sally Rider, eds. Abstract: Because of climate change’s inherently global nature, most proposed solutions have been tailored to a global scale. Navigating Climate Change Policy: The Opportunities of Federalism challenges the idea that because climate change is a global issue, only actions on a worldwide scale can lead to a resolution. It considers the perspective that since climate change itself has both global and local causes and implications, the most effective policies for adapting to and mitigating climate change must involve governments and communities at many different levels. The editors and authors feel federalism is well-suited to address the challenges of climate change because it permits distinctive policy responses at a variety of scales. This book uses a variety of viewpoints and blends legal and policy analyses to provide thought-provoking coverage of how governments in a federal system can cooperate, coordinate, and accommodate one another to address climate change.

Review of “Forensic Science in Court: Challenges in the Twenty-First Century”

Reviewed by: Pete Frick Book by: Donald E. Shelton Abstract:Forensic Science in Court: Challenges in the Twenty-First Century is a book that explores the legal implications of forensic science. Starting with the history of scientific evidence in court, the book progresses into an examination of how courts treat current types of forensic evidence, specifically how modern juries receive and weigh forensic evidence, and how judges determine what evidence can be allowed. Judge Shelton makes good use of case studies in the book to illustrate the academic points in a real-world setting.

Alcohol Breath Testing: Is There Reasonable Doubt?

By: Okorie Okorocha and Matthew Standmark Abtract: The Alcohol breath test (ABT), commonly known by its commercial name as the “Breathalyzer,” is a device made popular in the United States and used by law enforcement agencies throughout the world to assess and determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of individuals suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). , , With increased popularity of the automobile in the late 19th century, traffic accidents caused by individuals driving while intoxicated became a serious problem. While legislation was created making it illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence, no quantitative method existed which could assess the intoxication level of an individual. Instead, subjective field tests were used to assess drunkenness relying on identifying certain behaviors in the suspected individual. Blood tests eventually became available to determine BAC, but since drawing blood roadside from a suspected individual is not a viable option for law enforcement officials, another method was needed which could determine intoxication or BAC indirectly and in a non-invasive manner.

New Frontiers of Reprogenetics: SNP Profile Collection and Banking and the Resulting Duties in Medical Malpractice, Issues in Property Rights of Genetic Materials, and Liabilities in Genetic Privacy

By: Stephanie Sgambati Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent the portions of our genetic makeup where human differ from each other. Mapping an individual’s profile creates a DNA fingerprint entirely unique to that individual. The primary purpose for the creation of SNP profiles has been validation of medical techniques used in reproductive medicine that require researchers to be able to definitively determine which embryo makes which baby- thus matching DNA fingerprints from infants to those from embryos. In spite of this seemingly narrow use, the potential value of the information contained in the SNP profile is enormous.

The Fight for Accessible Formats: Technology as a Catalyst for a World Effort to Improve Accessibility Domestically

By: Mary Bertlesman This note addresses the proposed WIPO International Instrument on the Limitations and Exception for Persons with Print Disabilities. I conclude that the current growth in technology - making previously inaccessible works accessible – calls for a change to current domestic copyright law and that ratification of the proposed treaty should be this change.

Cell-Site Location Data and the Right to Privacy

By: Jen Manso Summary: This case addresses privacy rights as they relate to cell-site location data in light of the United States v. Jones decision. I argue that Jones provides little guidance and therefore cannot apply to cell-site location data for the following reasons. First, the Court did not reach the issue of cell-site location data. Second, the majority of the Court based its reasoning in property rights. Third, the majority narrowed its decision to the actual physical trespass of a GPS device placed on a vehicle and not the tracking information. Remaining loyal to Katz, a constitutional right to privacy in the information gathered via cell-site location data does not exist because the information is stored and openly available to third parties.

A Holistic Approach to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

By: Ryan Mitchell Abstract: This article takes a multi-pronged approach to a single problem: reconciling the watershed Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) with copyright proper. In the past decade or so, litigants and courts have sought to define just what sort of rights the DMCA creates. Plaintiffs have emphasized technical interpretations of the statute where it purported to create a cause of action and brought suits to vindicate interests that often had little to do with their copyrighted works; on the other hand, defendants have sought to shield themselves with standard copyright defenses such as fair use and ignore the reality that the DMCA makes illicit different conduct and creates new rights for the copyright holder. There is a middle-ground between creation of a “supercopyright” on one side, and a superfluous statute on the other. That said, I advocate an approach utilizing statutory interpretation and a judicial rule of reason to focus on whether a plaintiff is seeking to protect the value of their copyrighted work, or is merely using the copyrighted work as a necessary technicality in a DMCA claim to enforce some other non-copyright interest. In addition, other judicial doctrines, including standing and copyright misuse have a role to play in weeding out DMCA claims premised on hypothetical injuries and oppressive uses of the copyright grant respectively. Given the increasing importance of consumer electronics and digital information in our world, a multitude of approaches is appropriate to carry out Congress’s intention that the careful balance in our copyright law continues in the digital age.

The High Price Behind High Fashion

By: Laura Schumacher Abstract: Fashion is art. Fashion is a medium for designers to create new forms of expression and innovate ways to reflect on culture and society. Fashion is a reflection of culture, and like culture, it changes with time. It serves a utilitarian function and is part of our daily lives. Fashion is on the catwalk during a fashion show by one of the world’s leading designers. Fashion is one’s creative outlet to mix and match signature pieces to create a new way of personal expression. This paper will explore the nature of the fashion industry and whether we, as a society, should grant design protection under copyright law. Congress is currently considering the Design Piracy Protection Act, which would extend a form of copyright protection to fashion designs. The industry is divided on whether the legislation will impede creativity and prevent the industry from changing and evolving over time. This decision really comes down to one question; will the benefit of extending protection outweigh the negative effects? This paper will attempt to answer this question through public policy, legislative history, and industry opinion.