Arizona State Law Journal Blog

No Justice for Hernández, No Accountability for Federal Law Enforcement

By Harman Dhanoa. Background Standing on U.S. soil, Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa shot and killed Sergio Hernández, an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican boy on Mexican soil. Hernández’s parents sued Agent Mesa in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging that a rogue federal officer’s unreasonable use of lethal force violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. This lawsuit was their one chance at a damages remedy: they had no alternative relief under Mexican law, state law, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Alien Tort Statute, or federal criminal law. On February 25, 2020, in a 5-4 decision,

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Is There a Valid Claim for “Fake News”?

By Madelaine Bauer. Background In the wake of an upcoming election, the Trump campaign has taken action and filed libel lawsuits against both the New York Times and the Washington Post. In February 2020, the Trump campaign began their suits by filing against the New York Times for the March 27, 2019 article titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.” It is claimed the article falsely stated that the Trump campaign had a deal with Russia to help against the Clinton Campaign by agreeing to relieve economic sanctions. The Trump campaign declares the New York Times knew the statements were

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 Benefit-of-the-Bargain vs. Economic Realities: Arizona Golf Course Covenant Leaves Everyone Scoring a Double Bogey

By Delilah Cassidy. Living on a golf course seems like a dream: waking up to the smell of freshly cut grass, sitting on the porch drinking lemonade during the Arizona spring. But since the Great Recession, what was once a dream for those living on the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course quickly became a nightmare; a nightmare even the law could not truly wake them up from. Not-So-Happy Gilmore: Three decades ago, a deed restriction was placed on a master-planned Arizona community limiting a portion of the land stating: “[t]he Property shall be used for no purposes other than golf courses

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FERC’s Minimum Offer Price Rule: Appropriate Regulation or Federal Overreach?

By Cory Bernard. The country’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market recently filed a request for rehearing in response to a December 2019 order of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) setting a price floor for new entrants to the market. The Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) prevents any market entrants that receive “out-of-market” payments from bidding their power below an administratively determined price floor. Background The PJM Interconnection (PJM), which provides a market for more than 1,000 companies serving 65 million people to buy and sell electricity, argues the MOPR unnecessarily interfered with the market. Renewable energy advocates, several of

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Missing the Mark: Why SCOTUS Should Reject USPTO’s Bright-line Rule

By Jake Abrahamian. Background Later this year, the Supreme Court is set to decide USPTO v. B.V. in a ruling that will determine whether a generic name can be transformed into a protectable trademark when followed by a top-level domain (“.com”). The issue arose when, a hotel accommodations service, sought to register as its trademark, but the USPTO refused on the ground that booking and .com were generic. However, the Fourth Circuit found that as a whole, could be something that consumers perceive as a brand. And this is the heart of trademark law. Trademarks are

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Professional Athletes & Video Games: An Analysis of the Transformative Use Test

By Tyler S. Woods, J.D. Candidate, 2021. The Transformative Use Test In Brown v. Entm’t Merchants Ass’n, the Supreme Court confirmed that video games––like books, plays, and movies––are works of art that enjoy First Amendment protection. But this protection is not without limit. Although video games enjoy the freedom of expression, this expression cannot unjustly infringe upon an individual’s right of publicity. In Comedy III Prods., Inc. v. Gary Saderup, Inc., the California Supreme Court annunciated the transformative use test as an affirmative defense to a right of publicity claim. The test inquires “whether a product containing a celebrity’s likeness

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The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributors to the ASLJ Blog and should not be construed as the opinions of the
Arizona State Law Journal or the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.