At the end of June 2014, the Supreme Court decided one of the most publicized controversies of decades. In a decision covering two cases, widely referred to as Hobby Lobby, the Court held that closely held for-profit corporations, based on their owners’ religious convictions, have a right under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to decline to provide employees with insurance that covers contraceptive devices that may prevent a fertilized egg “from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.”
A Strategic Legal Challenge to the Unforeseen Anticompetitive and Racially Discriminatory Effects of Baseball’s North American Draft
By: Stephen F. Ross & Michael James, Jr.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has honored a single player by retiring his number for every club. Absent special commemorations, no player will wear the number “42” in honor of the man who broke the color barrier to become the first African American to play major league baseball in the modern era: Jackie Robinson. MLB has also honored a single player—chosen from nominees from each individual club—by presenting an annual award for humanitarian service in his name; that honoree is Roberto Clemente. However, the sad reality is that if a fifteen-year-old Jackie Robinson were growing up today in South Pasadena, California, or if a fifteen-year-old Roberto Clemente were growing up today in Carolina, Puerto Rico, there is little chance that either would ever become a professional baseball player.
By: Robert G. Schwemm
On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court held in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (Inclusive Communities or ICP ) that parts of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) include a disparate-impact standard of liability. This standard allows liability without a showing of illegal intent and traces back to the Court’s 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., which endorsed impact-based claims under the federal employment discrimination law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One-off or a Sign of Things to Come? In Re Cuozzo and the Scope of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Rulemaking Authority
By: Allyson E. Mackavage
The America Invents Act (AIA) provided the first comprehensive reform of patent law since the modern patent act was passed in 1952. It was the product of many compromises, and its effect on the balance of power between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the courts will be an issue for many years to come. The Federal Circuit is beginning to address the USPTO’s authority under the AIA, and In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies may be the first recognition of a shift in the balance.
By: Jordan M. Singer
In 2011, the federal district courts began a pilot program to record and post full-length videos from selected civil proceedings. The program was deliberately structured to preserve the quality and integrity of ongoing adjudication. Three-and-a-half years in, the program has revealed an equally important, and unanticipated, benefit: improving the quality and integrity of future adjudication. This Essay describes this second benefit and explains why the pilot program should be extended beyond its scheduled sunset in July 2015.