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Election Subversion And The Writ Of Mandamus, Derek T. Muller Nov 2023

Election Subversion And The Writ Of Mandamus, Derek T. Muller

William & Mary Law Review

Election subversion threatens democratic self-governance. Recently, we have seen election officials try to manipulate the rules after an election, defy accepted legal procedures for dispute resolution, and try to delay results or hand an election to a losing candidate. Such actions, if successful, would render the right to vote illusory. These threats call for a response. But rather than recommend the development of novel tools to address the problem, this Article argues that a readily available mechanism is at hand for courts to address election subversion: the writ of mandamus. This Article is the first comprehensive piece to situate the …


"Solo En Inglés": Using Section 208 Of The Voting Rights Act To Combat Modern Literacy Tests, Katie Kitchen Nov 2023

"Solo En Inglés": Using Section 208 Of The Voting Rights Act To Combat Modern Literacy Tests, Katie Kitchen

William & Mary Law Review

This Note asserts that section 208 of the VRA [Voting Rights Act] plays a vital role in protecting equitable access for limited English proficient (LEP) voters to cast their ballot. It does so by (1) providing background on protections in the VRA for LEP voters, (2) proposing that section 208 fills the gap left by other provisions of the VRA, and (3) offering recommendations for using section 208 effectively. These recommendations will include (1) amending section 208, (2) furthering education, and (3) increasing individual state actions. Lastly, this Note will argue that section 208 should serve as a model for …


Why (And How) The Constitution Should Protect Prisoners From Gratuitous Disclosure Of Their Hiv/Aids Status, Dillon Schweers Nov 2023

Why (And How) The Constitution Should Protect Prisoners From Gratuitous Disclosure Of Their Hiv/Aids Status, Dillon Schweers

William & Mary Law Review

This Note is not the first to advocate for prisoners’ constitutional privacy rights concerning their HIV/AIDS status, but it is the first to focus on isolated incidents of disclosure rather than general policies that tend to lead to disclosure like mandatory testing or segregation based on HIV/AIDS status. This Note argues that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause should protect prisoners from isolated disclosures, meaning prisoners should have a § 1983 cause of action against guards or other prison officials who disclose their HIV/AIDS status in a gratuitous manner.

[...]

The proceeding section of this Note, Part I, details the …


The Summary Judgment Revolution That Wasn't, Jonathan Remy Nash, D. Daniel Sokol Nov 2023

The Summary Judgment Revolution That Wasn't, Jonathan Remy Nash, D. Daniel Sokol

William & Mary Law Review

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a trilogy of cases on summary judgment in 1986. Questions remain as to how much effect these cases have had on judicial decision-making in terms of wins and losses for plaintiffs. Shifts in wins, losses, and what cases get to decisions on the merits impact access to justice. We assemble novel datasets to examine this question empirically in three areas of law that are more likely to respond to shifts in the standard for summary judgment: antitrust, securities regulation, and civil rights. We find that the Supreme Court’s decisions had a statistically significant effect in …


The Nightmare Of Dream Advertising, Dustin Marlan Nov 2023

The Nightmare Of Dream Advertising, Dustin Marlan

William & Mary Law Review

Advertisers are attempting to market to us while we dream. This is not science fiction, but rather a troubling new reality. Using a technique dubbed “targeted dream incubation” (TDI), companies have begun inserting commercial messages into people’s dreams. Roughly, TDI works by: (1) creating an association during waking life using sensory cues (for example, a pairing of sounds, visuals, or scents); and (2) as the subject is drifting off to sleep, the association is again introduced with the goal of triggering related dreams with related subject matter. Based on a 2021 American Marketing Association survey, 77 percent of 400 companies …


Using What We Have: How Existing Legal Authorities Can Help Fix America's Nursing Home Crisis, Nina A. Kohn, Adrianna Duggan, Justin Cole, Nada Aljassar Oct 2023

Using What We Have: How Existing Legal Authorities Can Help Fix America's Nursing Home Crisis, Nina A. Kohn, Adrianna Duggan, Justin Cole, Nada Aljassar

William & Mary Law Review

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed systemic quality-of-care problems in American nursing homes as well as the deadly consequences of a regulatory system that has enabled nursing homes to divert funds needed for care to profit. Policy experts have responded by urging regulators to improve nursing-home oversight practices and by calling for new regulatory and statutory authority to increase accountability. These calls, however, have been met with sharp political headwinds. This Article suggests a path around the political impasse. Specifically, it identifies and explores four opportunities to leverage existing statutory schemes to create stronger incentives for nursing homes to provide high-quality care. …


Cash Kid: The Need For Increased Financial Protections Of Internet Child Stars On Youtube, Kylie Clouse Oct 2023

Cash Kid: The Need For Increased Financial Protections Of Internet Child Stars On Youtube, Kylie Clouse

William & Mary Law Review

This Note explores the gaps in California’s child entertainment law and the dangers of leaving child internet stars unprotected. This Note argues that while California could update their “Coogan Law” to include young internet stars, a previous attempt (and failure) to do so suggests that this may not be the best way to address the issue. In the alternative, YouTube itself has the framework to address this problem through its Partner Program. If YouTube were to fix the problem directly, it would leave child stars on other online platforms unprotected; but it could set a precedent among other platforms that …


Academic Economic Espionage?, Elizabeth A. Rowe Oct 2023

Academic Economic Espionage?, Elizabeth A. Rowe

William & Mary Law Review

In 2018 the U.S. government announced that Chinese espionage was occurring in university research labs, and the Department of Justice subsequently made it a high priority to prosecute economic espionage in academia. The DOJ’s grave concerns about espionage in academia have continued, and the Director of the FBI has lamented that American taxpayers are footing the bill for China’s technological development. This geopolitical concern about espionage has had real world and personal consequences in academia. Since 2019, over a dozen high-profile criminal prosecutions have put prominent professors at major research universities across the country in handcuffs and almost all the …


Retconning Heller: Five Takes On New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. V. Bruen, Brannon P. Denning, Glenn H. Reynolds Oct 2023

Retconning Heller: Five Takes On New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. V. Bruen, Brannon P. Denning, Glenn H. Reynolds

William & Mary Law Review

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen was the first significant Second Amendment case that the Supreme Court had heard in nearly fifteen years since its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. This Article offers some preliminary observations about the opinion itself, as well as its likely effects, some of which are starting to manifest.

Our first take concerns the question of opinion assignment. Why did Chief Justice Roberts—whose support for the Second Amendment has been suspect—assign the opinion to Justice Thomas?

Takes Two and Three concern Justice Thomas’s substitution of text, history, and tradition …


Playing The Unfair Game: Apostates, Abuse & Religious Arbitration, Thomas Floyd Oct 2023

Playing The Unfair Game: Apostates, Abuse & Religious Arbitration, Thomas Floyd

William & Mary Law Review

This Note argues that the Bixler [v. Superior Court] approach should become the standard for evaluating the enforceability of religious arbitration against ex-members. Courts should not enforce agreements to religious arbitration against ex-members of a faith when the relevant conduct occurred after their religious affiliation ended. The First Amendment right of believers to leave their faith should prevail over the First Amendment right of churches to police their internal religious doctrine. Siding with the institutions on this issue allows them the power to exert control over apostates in perpetuity through an unintended synergy of the First Amendment and …


There's No Such Thing As Independent Creation, And It's A Good Thing, Too, Christopher Buccafusco May 2023

There's No Such Thing As Independent Creation, And It's A Good Thing, Too, Christopher Buccafusco

William & Mary Law Review

Independent creation is the foundation of U.S. copyright law. A work is only original and, thus, copyrightable to the extent that it is independently created by its author and not copied from another source. And a work can be deemed infringing only if it is not independently created. Moreover, independent creation provides the grounding for all major theoretical justifications for copyright law. Unfortunately, the doctrine cannot bear the substantial weight that has been foisted upon it. This Article argues that copyright law’s independent creation doctrine rests on a set of discarded psychological assumptions about memory, copying, and creativity. When those …


Monopolizing Digital Commerce, Herbert Hovenkamp May 2023

Monopolizing Digital Commerce, Herbert Hovenkamp

William & Mary Law Review

Section 2 of the Sherman Act condemns firms who “monopolize,” “attempt to monopolize,” or “combine or conspire” to monopolize—all without explanation. Section 2 is the antitrust law’s only provision that reaches entirely unilateral conduct, although it has often been used to reach collaborative conduct as well. In general, § 2 requires greater amounts of individually held market power than do the other antitrust statutes, but it is less categorical about conduct. With one exception, however, the statute reads so broadly that criticisms of the nature that it is outdated cannot be based on faithful readings of the text.

The one …


Spac Mergers, Ipos, And The Pslra's Safe Harbor: Unpacking Claims Of Regulatory Arbitrage, Amanda M. Rose May 2023

Spac Mergers, Ipos, And The Pslra's Safe Harbor: Unpacking Claims Of Regulatory Arbitrage, Amanda M. Rose

William & Mary Law Review

Communications in connection with an initial public offering (IPO) are excluded from the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA). Unsurprisingly, IPO issuers do not share projections publicly—the liability risk is too great. By contrast, communications in connection with a merger are not excluded from the safe harbor, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) routinely share their merger targets’ projections publicly. Does the divergent application of the PSLRA’s safe harbor in traditional IPOs and SPAC mergers create an opportunity for “regulatory arbitrage” and, if so, what should be done about it? …


Making Waves: How Mandated Arbitration Could Better Address Cultural Heritage And Bring Treasure Salvage Law Into The Twenty-First Century, Megan C. Bodenhamer May 2023

Making Waves: How Mandated Arbitration Could Better Address Cultural Heritage And Bring Treasure Salvage Law Into The Twenty-First Century, Megan C. Bodenhamer

William & Mary Law Review

This Note argues that American treasure salvage law should implement the modern legal techniques of Alternative Dispute Resolution—specifically arbitration—to address the modern problems surrounding treasure salvage law. Part I of this Note provides an overview of the law governing treasure salvage law. This includes common law principles called the law of finds and the law of salvage as well as the governing United States law and international treaties. Part II will outline the problems with the current standing of treasure salvage law, particularly how it fails to address modern cultural heritage considerations such as scientific advancement and the proliferation of …


Which Came First: The Chicken Or The Chick'n? An Fda Amendment Proposal To Reconcile Conflicting Interests In Plant-Based Meat Labeling, Katie Justison May 2023

Which Came First: The Chicken Or The Chick'n? An Fda Amendment Proposal To Reconcile Conflicting Interests In Plant-Based Meat Labeling, Katie Justison

William & Mary Law Review

“The issue is, what is chicken?” As the market for plant-based meats grows, state legislators are left with the question of what the words “chicken” and “burger” mean on food labels. In response to lobbying from the traditional meat industries, states followed suit with the dairy industry and created regulations and restrictions that carve out a meat industry monopoly on meat-related terms. Commercial speech restrictions such as these are guided by the Central Hudson test. Using that test, this Note will argue that while certain state regulations pass constitutional muster, others impose unconstitutional speech restrictions. This Note will draw particularly …


The Trump Impeachments: Lessons For The Constitution, Presidents, Congress, Justice, Lawyers, And The Public, Michael J. Gerhardt Apr 2023

The Trump Impeachments: Lessons For The Constitution, Presidents, Congress, Justice, Lawyers, And The Public, Michael J. Gerhardt

William & Mary Law Review

The conventional wisdom is that the two impeachments of Donald Trump demonstrated the ineffectiveness of impeachment as a remedy for serious presidential misconduct. Meeting the constitutional threshold for conviction and removal requiring at least two-thirds approval of the Senate is practically impossible so long as the members of the President’s party in Congress control at least a third of the seats in the Senate and are united in opposition to his impeachment and conviction. This Article challenges this conventional wisdom and argues instead that the two Trump impeachments have enduring effects on Trump’s political future and legacy, especially in light …


The Article Iii "Party" And The Originalist Case Against Corporate Diversity Jurisdiction, Mark Moller, Lawrence B. Solum Apr 2023

The Article Iii "Party" And The Originalist Case Against Corporate Diversity Jurisdiction, Mark Moller, Lawrence B. Solum

William & Mary Law Review

Federal courts control an outsize share of big-ticket corporate litigation. And that control rests, to a significant degree, on the Supreme Court’s extension of Article III’s Diversity of Citizenship Clause to corporations. Yet, critics have questioned the constitutionality of corporate diversity jurisdiction from the beginning.

In this Article and a previous one, we develop the first sustained critique of corporate diversity jurisdiction.

Our previous article demonstrated that corporations are not “citizens” given the original meaning of that word. But we noted this finding alone doesn’t sink general corporate diversity jurisdiction. The ranks of corporate shareholders include many undoubted “citizens.” And …


Discovering Ebay's Impact On Copyright Injunctions Through Empirical Evidence, Matthew Sag, Pamela Samuelson Apr 2023

Discovering Ebay's Impact On Copyright Injunctions Through Empirical Evidence, Matthew Sag, Pamela Samuelson

William & Mary Law Review

This Article reports on new empirical evidence discrediting the widely held view that judges have resisted applying the Supreme Court’s teachings in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. about injunctive relief in copyright cases. That 2006 patent law decision ruled that courts should not automatically issue injunctions upon a finding of infringement; instead, plaintiffs must prove their entitlement to injunctive relief. eBay had a seismic impact on patent litigation and greatly reduced the threat that small infringements could be leveraged into billion-dollar settlements. Yet prior empirical work, at least one major copyright law treatise, and many articles assert that eBay had …


Optimizing Cybersecurity Risk In Medical Cyber-Physical Devices, Christopher S. Yoo, Bethany C. Lee Apr 2023

Optimizing Cybersecurity Risk In Medical Cyber-Physical Devices, Christopher S. Yoo, Bethany C. Lee

William & Mary Law Review

Medical devices are increasingly connected, both to cyber networks and to sensors collecting data from physical stimuli. These cyber-physical systems pose a new host of deadly security risks that traditional notions of cybersecurity struggle to take into account. Previously, we could predict how algorithms would function as they drew on defined inputs. But cyber-physical systems draw on unbounded inputs from the real world. Moreover, with wide networks of cyber-physical medical devices, a single cybersecurity breach could pose lethal dangers to masses of patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with regulating medical devices to ensure safety and …


Promoting Healing And Avoiding Retraumatization: A Proposal To Improve Mental Health Care For Detained Unaccompanied Minors Through A Best Interests Of The Child Standard, Francesca J. Babetski Apr 2023

Promoting Healing And Avoiding Retraumatization: A Proposal To Improve Mental Health Care For Detained Unaccompanied Minors Through A Best Interests Of The Child Standard, Francesca J. Babetski

William & Mary Law Review

Part I of this Note will describe the circuit split. It will provide background on the A.M. [A.M. v. Luzerne County Juvenile Detention Center] and Doe 4 cases, including an explanation of the major precedents on which the Third and Fourth Circuits based their respective decisions. Then, Part II will argue that A.M. and its deliberate indifference standard cannot appropriately be applied in cases involving detained unaccompanied minors, also called Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs). This almost twenty-year-old standard does not consider the latest information about immigration policy and the unique mental health needs of UACs such as Doe …


Smart Wearables: The Overlooked And Underrated Essential Worker, Rebekah Hill Apr 2023

Smart Wearables: The Overlooked And Underrated Essential Worker, Rebekah Hill

William & Mary Law Review

This Note argues that the FDA should revamp its criteria for regulating medical devices to unambiguously include smart wearables. Specifically, this Note calls for the FDA to amend its definition of “medical device” to focus on what a device is technologically capable of rather than its intended use.

Part I will examine the established legislation regarding medical devices; in particular, it will examine the relationship between FDA regulations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule and argue that when taken together, HIPAA creates a strong presumption that smart wearables should be regulated by the FDA. This …


Regulating Crypto, On And Off The Chain, Eric D. Chason Mar 2023

Regulating Crypto, On And Off The Chain, Eric D. Chason

William & Mary Law Review

Cryptocurrency had its most turbulent year in 2022. The collapse of TerraUSD ushered in a broad market decline, and the FTX debacle brought new publicity and scrutiny to crypto’s woes. Both events will likely spark new regulation and legislation.

Policymakers and regulators should regulate market structures like exchanges. While many cryptocurrencies are extremely transparent and require little if any additional disclosures, others are plagued by serious informational asymmetries. An exchange might allow participants to trade Bitcoin, and regulators need to protect investors who rely on such exchanges. Investors may face informational asymmetries regarding the operation and safety of the exchange. …


Emerging Technology's Language Wars: Cryptocurrency, Carla L. Reyes Mar 2023

Emerging Technology's Language Wars: Cryptocurrency, Carla L. Reyes

William & Mary Law Review

Work at the intersection of blockchain technology and law suffers from a distinct linguistic disadvantage. As a highly interdisciplinary area of inquiry, legal researchers, lawmakers, researchers in the technical sciences, and the public all talk past each other, using the same words, but as different terms of art. Evidence of these language wars largely derives from anecdote. To better assess the nature and scope of the problem, this Article uses corpus linguistics to reveal the inherent value conflicts embedded in definitional differences and debates related to developing regulation in one specific area of the blockchain technology ecosystem: cryptocurrency. Using cryptocurrency …


Defi: Shadow Banking 2.0?, Hilary J. Allen Mar 2023

Defi: Shadow Banking 2.0?, Hilary J. Allen

William & Mary Law Review

The growth of so-called “shadow banking” was a significant contributor to the financial crisis of 2008, which had huge social costs that we still grapple with today. Our financial regulatory system still has not fully figured out how to address the risks of the derivatives, securitizations, and money market mutual funds that comprised Shadow Banking 1.0, but we are already facing the prospect of Shadow Banking 2.0 in the form of decentralized finance, or “DeFi.” DeFi’s proponents speak of a future where sending money is as easy as sending a photograph—but money is not the same as a photograph. The …


Making Virtual Things, Joshua A.T. Fairfield Mar 2023

Making Virtual Things, Joshua A.T. Fairfield

William & Mary Law Review

People value virtual things—such as NFTs—because such assets trigger and satisfy deep-seated narratives of property and ownership. The cause of the recent series of failures to regulate virtual assets, and the resulting crashes, has been a failure to take seriously the ways people perceive and use the assets. Current legal frameworks fail to support buyers’ and users’ expectations of ownership in virtual things they purchase.

Making virtual things is a matter of social construction of value. Virtual things, like real-world things, have value because a community values them for a purpose. It therefore makes no sense to discount how and …


Blockchains As Infrastructure And Semicommons, James Grimmelmann, A. Jason Windawi Mar 2023

Blockchains As Infrastructure And Semicommons, James Grimmelmann, A. Jason Windawi

William & Mary Law Review

Blockchains are not self-executing machines. They are resource systems designed by people, maintained by people, and governed by people. Their technical protocols help to solve some difficult problems in shared resource management, but behind those protocols there are always communities of people struggling with familiar challenges in governing their provision and use of common infrastructure.

In this Article, we describe blockchains as shared, distributed transactional ledgers using two frameworks from commons theory. Brett Frischmann’s theory of infrastructure provides an external view, showing how blockchains provide useful, generic infrastructure for recording transactions and why that infrastructure is most naturally made available …


Digital Asset Regulation: Peering Into The Past, Peering Into The Future, Kevin Werbach Mar 2023

Digital Asset Regulation: Peering Into The Past, Peering Into The Future, Kevin Werbach

William & Mary Law Review

Blockchain is often compared to the internet as a disruptive technology that will realign economic structures across the world. This analogy extends to law and regulation. Similar to internet-based services, digital assets raise a host of challenges for policymakers. They also pose general questions regarding the desirability and practicality of regulating decentralized systems. Such debates play out against a backdrop of concerns that regulatory action will chill innovation or push market activity to more tolerant jurisdictions. The story of internet policy in the late 1990s and early 2000s therefore provides important lessons for policymakers today when confronting digital assets. Two …


Implied Organizations And Technological Governance, Shawn Bayern Mar 2023

Implied Organizations And Technological Governance, Shawn Bayern

William & Mary Law Review

Common law historically adapted creatively and gracefully to the emergence of new types of organizations. Today, statutory forms of organizations predominate. But statutory organizational forms may be ill-suited to govern the novel, loosely coupled, and rapidly changing organizations that can arise through distributed technological mechanisms. This Article suggests that the common law of implied organizations can be a fertile ground for legal responses to technological organizations and indeed may be important not just for regulating such organizations but for giving them important legal capabilities.


Blockchain Real Estate And Nfts, Juliet M. Moringiello, Christopher K. Odinet Mar 2023

Blockchain Real Estate And Nfts, Juliet M. Moringiello, Christopher K. Odinet

William & Mary Law Review

Non-fungible tokens (popularly known as NFTs) and blockchains are frequently promoted as the solution to a multitude of property ownership problems. The promise of an immutable blockchain is often touted as a mechanism to resolve disputes over intangible rights, notably intellectual property rights, and even to facilitate quicker and easier real estate transactions.

In this Symposium Article, we question the use of distributed ledger technologies as a method of facilitating and verifying the transfer of physical assets. As our example of an existing transfer method, we use real property law, which is characterized by centuries-old common law rules regarding fractionalized …


Civil Rights Without Representation, Joanna C. Schwartz Feb 2023

Civil Rights Without Representation, Joanna C. Schwartz

William & Mary Law Review

Although much recent attention has been paid to qualified immunity, the biggest threat to civil rights enforcement is actually the lack of lawyers able and willing to represent people whose constitutional rights have been violated. There are small, tight-knit communities of civil rights lawyers with expertise and passion in the cities of the Great Migration, but few civil rights attorneys practice outside those urban areas. Limits on attorneys’ ability to recover fees mean that even attorneys willing to take civil rights cases will have financial incentives to decline meritorious cases if they would be expensive to litigate or if the …