Arizona State Law Journal Blog

Arizona State Law Journal is suspending blog posts indefinitely to allow its members to focus on their health, family, friends, and other academic responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be provided when we have them. Thank you for reading and sharing our members’ posts this year. We look forward to sharing legal thoughts, opinions, and analysis with you again soon. In the meantime, please be safe.

If you would like to submit a blog post to ASLJ during our hiatus, please email

When the Pandemic Reaches Prisons: Considering the Legal and Humanitarian Consequences

By Abby Dockum. In Iran, 85,000 prisoners—nearly half the prison population—have been released in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In China, after a guard showed symptoms of COVID-19, two thousand prisoners were tested and two hundred tested positive. In at least two other countries, prisoners have rioted—resulting in thirteen deaths in Italy and twenty-three in Colombia—to protest a lack of protective measures against the virus. Coronavirus is now spreading in the United States, home to more than two million incarcerated people—by far the world’s largest prison population. Meanwhile, measures recommended by the CDC to prevent transmission are impossible in many

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Will the Supreme Court Hold That Half of Oklahoma is an Indian Reservation?

By Caitlin Doak. Background In 2000, a jury in Oklahoma convicted Patrick Murphy, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, of murder. After seeking post-conviction relief in Oklahoma state courts, Murphy petitioned the Eastern District of Oklahoma for a writ of habeas corpus. The district court denied habeas relief, finding that the state court decisions were not contrary to federal law. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit reversed, holding that under the Solem v. Bartlett test, Congress had not disestablished the Creek reservation (or the Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw reservations either, collectively known as the Five Tribes). Therefore, the Tenth

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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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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.