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    COMMENT: Technology & Textualism: A Case Study on the Challenges a Rapidly Evolving World Poses to the Ascendant Theory

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    In Encompass Insurance Co. v. Stone Mansion Restaurant Inc., the Third Circuit relied on a technical reading of the statute and a strict textualist analysis to conclude that the stratagem known as “snap removal” was permitted under the plain language of 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). This provision codifies the so-called “forum defendant rule,” providing that “[a] civil action otherwise removable solely on the basis of . . . [diversity] jurisdiction . . . may not be removed if any of the parties in interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought.” The Third Circuit ruled that under the plain language of the statute, forum defendants could, in fact, remove to federal court under certain circumstances. Using this little-known technique, a defendant sued in a state court in its home state may circumvent the forum defendant rule and remove the matter to federal court so long as they file the notice of removal before they are “properly joined and served.” This article will explore the tensions between textualism and the realities of modern litigation as revealed in Encompass and its progeny. It explains the underpinnings of textualism and briefly discusses the basics of removal and the forum defendant rule, as well as snap removal. Various district court decisions that have grappled with snap removal are analyzed, and Encompass is discussed in detail

    A Vicious Cycle: United States’ Failure to Protect Immigrant Women’s Reproductive Rights at the Irwin County Detention Center

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    The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) detained Jane Doe #15, an immigrant woman, at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia. During Jane’s time at ICDC, Doctor Mahendra Amin hastily examined her because she was experiencing severe pain in her pelvic area. Abandoning established professional and legal protocols for diagnosis and treatment, the medical staff scheduled Jane for surgery. Jane did not know what to expect from the surgery or what the medical personnel would do. After the surgery, the staff at ICDC neglected Jane’s care. She could not get out of bed on her own; her wounds would not stop bleeding and eventually became infected. Two months later, Dr. Amin, after refusing to answer Jane’s questions, told Jane she could no longer have children. Unfortunately, this story of abuse at the ICDC is not an isolated situation. Immigrant women detained at the ICDC have been suffering egregious medical abuse for decades. Advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Project, and Project South, have raised concerns about the ICDC’s treatment of immigrants at the facility. Further, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspection reports, the ICDC continues to violate national detention standards. Recently, in September 2020, a whistleblower complaint by a licensed practical nurse at the ICDC exposed the nonconsensual and unnecessary gynecological procedures performed on immigrant women at the facility. This Comment focuses on advancing the reproductive rights of immigrant women held in detention centers in Georgia. In particular, this Comment recommends that the Georgia General Assembly enact legislation prohibiting the sterilization of any individual imprisoned in its state. Part I discusses the historical background of forced sterilization. Part II reviews pending cases of immigrant women who have filed suit against the ICDC challenging medically unnecessary and non-consensual gynecological procedures performed on them. Part III describes the relevant law and standards in detention centers. Part IV examines how the DHS, ICE, and the ICDC violated detained women’s fundamental rights guaranteed under domestic and international law. Part V provides recommendations to the state of Georgia

    High Winds, Red Flag Warnings, and Active Power Lines: a Recipe for Disaster and Just Compensation

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    Let’s imagine, you bought your dream home with a beautiful, spacious backyard. The backyard is bordered off with a wooden fence. Beyond the fence, lies an open green field with tall, brown power lines. One day, the weather brings heavy wind, blowing at twenty to twenty-five miles per hour. The National Weather Services issued a red flag warning and provided notice to the local electric company days before. The power lines were not shut off. Suddenly, debris starts to fly in the air. Tree branches start to break off and spin in the air. The debris and branches come into contact with the electrical poles and ignite a fire. Immediately, the fire starts to spread across the open space and—into your neighbors’ and your backyard. Now, all of your vegetables and plants are destroyed, your wooden pool deck has disintegrated to fibers, and your lovely bedroom is destroyed. What legal claim(s) may be available

    Capriole v. Uber Technologies Inc.: The Court Split over the Interstate Commerce Worker Exemption of the Federal Arbitration Act

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    This case note analyzes Capriole v. Uber Techs., Inc., 460 F. Supp. 3d 919 (N.D. Cal. 2020) aff’d, 7 F.4th 854 (9th Cir. 2021), a case wherein the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that rideshare drivers who are employed as independent contractors do not qualify as interstate commerce workers within the meaning of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Those who qualify as interstate commerce workers are exempt from certain arbitration requirements under the FAA. Because the court found that rideshare drivers do not qualify for this classification, rideshare drivers who want to complain about certain aspects of their employment contracts with Uber—such as low pay and the absence of a requirement that Uber pay minimum wage—must arbitrate their claims according to the terms of their employment contracts. The court’s decision relied principally upon United States v. Yellow Cab Co, a 1947 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that taxicabs that occasionally transport passengers to and from railroad stations only engage in “casual and incidental” interstate commerce insufficient to qualify for the FAA exemption. However, courts in other jurisdictions have come to the contrary conclusion that drivers do qualify for the interstate commerce worker exemption. This Note argues that the court split should be resolved, optimally through the federal legislature

    Florida’s Stop Woke Act and its Function as a Content-Based Restriction

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    May 2023, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed into law Florida Senate Bill 266 (SB 266) concerning changes to funding requirements for Florida State University System institutions.. Under SB 266, university undergraduate courses may not “distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics…or is based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities”. The bill is popularly known as the “Stop Woke Act” (hereafter “the Act”)—an attempt to curtail the apparent horrors of Critical Race Theory (CRT) discussion. Desantis has been outspoken in his disdain for tenets of CRT. Consistent with Desantis’s mischaracterization, the Florida legislature believes CRT materially distorts history, victimizes Caucasian Americans, and silences what it would call “Western values”. Accordingly, the Florida legislature began a campaign to ban or remove CRT as an approach to education in state-funded universities. Under the Act, Department heads and professors must present their curricula to the institution’s Board of Trustees annually to ensure compliance; professors may lose their positions and schools may lose their funding if classes integrate CRT teaching

    Transgender Law Center v. Ice: Ninth Circuit Rules ICE Failed to Meet FOIA Requirements After Death of Detainee

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    This case summary details the decision in Transgender L. Ctr. v. Immigr. & Customs Enf’t, 46 F.4th 771 (9th Cir. 2022), in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit analyzed whether the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) had properly responded to a request for information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. § 552). The Transgender Law Center (TLC) had filed a complaint of an asylum-seeker who had died in the custody of ICE. In furtherance of its claim, TLC had submitted two FOIA requests regarding the circumstances of the complainant’s death. Due to a perceived lack of timeliness and inadequacy of the responses, TLC filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Although the district court granted TLC’s request for a declaratory judgment that the agencies had failed to timely respond to their FOIA requests, the district court in all other respects ruled for the defending agencies. TLC timely appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit considered several aspects of the defending agencies’ responses, including the adequacy of the government’s search; the sufficiency of the defending agencies’ Vaughn indexes; whether withholdings and redactions complied with FOIA exemptions; the segregability of certain information; whether duplicative and non-responsive designations were appropriate; and whether the defending agencies had properly responded to expedited processing requests. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit held that government agencies must provide precise, easily reviewable explanations when asserting exemptions to the FOIA. Further, government agencies defending themselves in FOIA complaints must establish the adequacy of their searches beyond a material doubt, with any exemptions interpreted narrowly. Finally, this case illuminates what constitutes “adequacy” by laying out precisely what must be disclosed in a response to an FOIA request


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    A conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which one person is responsible for the affairs of another, presumably because that person cannot manage alone. Britney was one of the estimated three million adults in the United States who cannot make decisions about their own lives. Instead, the court transfers the decision-making role to another person, known as a conservator. This drastically reduces the legal status of the person under conservatorship, known as a conservatee. Britney’s case is a prime example of the difficulties associated with conservatorships. Since Britney’s conservatorship ended, California amended the law to address some of the concerning provisions

    COMMENT: Secondary Effects: The First Amendment and Defective 3D Firearm Files

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    Three-dimensional printing brought the factory inside the home, leaving behind traditional government oversight and industry safeguards common to the free market. Anyone in the world with a 3D printer can produce a functional firearm, and most adult citizens in the United States. may do so legally. While 3D printing has demonstrated its utility, novel issues such as commercial liability and broad access to computer code for 3D-printable guns remain in the technology’s legal periphery. This Comment analyzes Washington v. Defense Distributed, in which the United States Department of State attempted to prevent an online organization, Defense Distributed, from posting printable 3D firearm files online

    Comment: Ensuring Wages for California Restaurant Workers: Utilizing The Self-Help Prejudgment Wage Lien Tool

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    Wage theft runs especially rampant in California’s restaurant industry and these workers are highly susceptible to worthless wage judgments. Some estimates found restaurant workers account for up to 10% of wage claims filed with the Labor Commissioner each year. Although wage theft is a nationwide epidemic crossing various industries, this Comment explores the wage theft crisis in the context of low-wage restaurant workers and the obstacles they face when recovering unpaid wages. This Comment argues that a self-help prejudgment wage lien tool is an ideal solution to ensure restaurant workers can collect unpaid wages

    Spring 2023 Newsletter

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