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

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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For Cross-Border Shooting Cases, It’s Bivens or Nothing

By Benjamin Shattuck. The Fifth and Ninth Circuits are currently split as to whether victims of cross-border shootings can bring damages claims against the U.S. Border Patrol agents who shot them. In Hernandez v. Mesa, the Fifth Circuit held that the victim did not have a claim under the Fifth Amendment. Conversely, in Rodriguez v. Swartz, the Ninth Circuit held that the victim did have a claim under the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in Hernandez and heard arguments on November 12, 2019. This blog post argues that the Supreme Court would be wise to overrule the Fifth

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Is There a Federal Right to Genetic Privacy?

By Victoria Romine. What is Genetic Genealogy? Ever since the 2018 capture of Joseph DeAngelo, California’s infamous Golden State Killer, genetic genealogy has been used to solve hundreds of unsolved crimes. Law enforcement uses genetic genealogy by submitting DNA from an unsolved crime to a consumer DNA database, such as GEDMatch or Ancestry DNA, to search for a familial match. Once a match is produced, law enforcement can use it to develop family trees of the matching sample, with the ultimate goal of identifying the perpetrator of the unsolved crime. However, despite the benefits of solving cold cases, critics have

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The Power of the Voting Rights Act After Shelby County: DNC v. Hobbs

By Emiley Pagrabs. In Reynolds v. Sims (1964), the Supreme Court stated: “The right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strikes at the heart of representative government.” However, this right historically has not applied equally to all Americans. After years of failed attempts to curb minority disenfranchisement, the Voting Rights Act (the “VRA”) entered into law on August 6, 1965. An innovative solution to historic discrepancies, the VRA curbed racial voter discrimination in two main ways. Through Section Five, Congress created a preclearance

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Kobe Bryant’s Death: An Avoidable Tragedy

By John Oliver. Background Kobe Bryant’s death not only shocked the sports world but also the nation. Kobe was a professional basketball player who entered the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) straight out of high school in 1996. Kobe enjoyed enormous success throughout his twenty-year career, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe dedicated his life to his craft and the sport of basketball, his commitment to the game and desire to be the greatest led him to proclaim himself as, “The Black Mamba.” Kobe won five NBA championships and was named to eighteen NBA All-Star teams, twelve All-Defensive teams, and

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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.