Jaguars in the Borderlands: Ninth Circuit Halts Construction of Border Wall Through Wildlife Corridors

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
 By Catherine Swett.Jaguars once ranged across a large portion of the United States, through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and even as far as Louisiana. But their numbers declined throughout the 20th century until they were only found in remote areas of Arizona and New Mexico. In the last two decades, only seven jaguars have been documented in the United States. And now their population faces a new threat—the Trump administration’s border wall.Panthera onca "Male Jaguar–Photo Courtesy of UA/USFWS" by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Region is marked with CC PDM 1.0 Jaguars have been listed as an endangered species in the United States since 1997, and they received designated critical habitat near the Arizona-Mexico border in 2014. While there are many threats to the species, habitat loss and…
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COVID-19 in American Prisons: Solitary Confinement is Not the Solution

2020, Online, Online Volume 2 (2020) COVID-19 Symposium
Nicole B. Godfrey & Laura L. Rovner. As of November 12, 2020, at least 182,593 people incarcerated in American prisons, jails, and detention centers have tested positive for COVID-19; 1,412 incarcerated people have died. As the disease spread rapidly across the country (and world) in March 2020, public and prison health experts warned that jails and prisons could become incubators of the highly infectious disease. Recognizing the risk posed to the nation’s incarcerated population, public health officials issued interim guidance meant to assist prison officials seeking to protect the health and safety of incarcerated people. Simultaneously, prisoners’ rights advocates across the country filed lawsuits seeking to ensure prison systems protect incarcerated people from the risk posed by COVID-19.  In response to these lawsuits and the public health guidance, crowded prison…
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The Prop 123 Debate: A Class of Its Own

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jacinda Stephens. In July 2020, a heated debate over Proposition 123 (“Prop 123”) came to a close when the Ninth Circuit overturned a U.S. District Court decision on the matter. A year earlier, in March 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona held that Prop 123 was unconstitutional in Pierce v. Ducey. Michael Pierce, the plaintiff, sued Governor Ducey, the defendant, to stop the state from using Prop 123 to remove additional funds from Arizona State Trust land. The District Court judge ruled in Pierce’s favor, and held that Prop 123 was unconstitutional because it was a violation of the New Mexico-Arizona Enabling Act. What is Prop 123? "Inside My Classroom" by knittymarie is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 The basis of Prop 123 rests on…
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Mental Health and the Aged in the Era of COVID-19

2020, Online, Online Volume 2 (2020) COVID-19 Symposium
Barbara Pfeffer Billauer. Before CoVid felled the planet, the number of new cases of dementia every year tallied at ten million, or one new case every three seconds. Alzeheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia—which is fatal—affected 10% of Americans over sixty-five, some 4.7 million people. In recent years Alzheimer’s deaths rose 55%, 4 expected to quadruple by 2050. COVID-19 has dramatically exacerbated the situation. “At least 15,000 more Americans . . . died in recent months from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than otherwise would have . . . .” This is about 18% higher than average. The CDC reported that between mid-March and mid-April, “about 250 extra individuals suffering from some form of dementia were dying each day.” In Wales, excess non-coronavirus related dementia deaths was 54% higher. In England, official figures tallied almost 10,000 unexplained…
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Beyond the ACA and ADA: When Access to Healthcare is Limited by Ableism

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Elyse Pendergrass.Access to healthcare has become a touchstone topic in recent elections, with arguments for and against Medicare for All taking center stage. However, there are groups of people for which a single-payer healthcare system would not remedy inequities in access to care. For patients who have limited English proficiency, universal healthcare is not enough. This population is the least likely in the United States to have access to basic preventative or regular health services. Language barriers in healthcare delivery can produce disastrous, life-threatening outcomes, not only for second-language speakers but also for deaf patients. "Leave no worker behind" by PSNS & IMF is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Due to lack of access to communication with healthcare providers, patients who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate are…
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Is Being Shot in the Torso a Seizure? A Conservative Court Argues Against Traditional Fourth Amendment Interpretations in Torres v. Madrid

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jillian Knox.Is there a Fourth Amendment “seizure” when police shoot a fleeing suspect who is injured by the bullets but does not stop? On October 14, 2020, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument for Torres v. Madrid, a case that addresses this question. The outcome will offer important guidance on what constitutes as “seizure” under the Fourth Amendment and has significant implications for the viability of civil rights lawsuits against the police.THE FACTS  "Constitution in the National Archives" by Mr.TinDC is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 In July 2014, New Mexico police officers Janice Madrid and Richard Williamson mistook a car in the parking lot of an Albuquerque apartment complex for the target of an organized crime bust. As they approached the vehicle, the driver, Roxanne Torres, thought she was…
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Enabling the Best Interests Factors

2020, Online, Online Volume 2 (2020) COVID-19 Symposium
Adrián E. Alvarez. For over a century, state courts and other child welfare agencies in the United States have been applying the “best interests of the child standard” to all decision-making concerning children. The standard is also enshrined within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)—a treaty that every nation in the world has ratified except the United States. Notwithstanding its widespread adoption in family law, the standard is, with only a few exceptions, noticeably missing from American laws and policies pertaining to children in the immigration system. Full Article. 
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Employees or Independent Contractors? Uber and Lyft Avoid Reclassifying Their Drivers

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Nyla Knox.Gig Economy giants Uber and Lyft have undoubtably transformed our society. The self-proclaimed tech platforms have provided a flexible work option to about two million drivers in the United States, who are afforded flexibility and discretion in creating their work schedule. However, the ridesharing companies are facing scrutiny over their stance that drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. In response to concerns that the companies have misclassified their drivers, robbing them of critical protections, a California court recently ruled that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees. However, a California ballot initiative will now allow drivers to remain independent contractors.  This ongoing nationwide debate has emphasized the important and conflicting interests that Uber, Lyft, and their drivers have in this controversial determination.  "Uber Lyft Car" by Open Grid…
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How Blockchain Will Transform Your Legal Practice

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Gideon Cionelo.Blockchain is a relatively new technology that is taking the world by storm. Almost every major government and Fortune 500 company is studying this technology as its potential uses in every-day life expand. The legal profession will not be immune to the disruption and transformation caused by blockchain technology. As courts and corporations implement blockchain into their operations, law firms and lawyers must adapt by understanding this new technology and providing new forms of legal service that account for its use. "Litecoin Blockchain technology LTC" by BeatingBetting is licensed under CC BY 2.0 What Is Blockchain Technology?Blockchain is a decentralized, unhackable, and immutable ledger that consists of individual blocks of data that are chained and connected together. When a block of data is updated or added, the entire…
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COVID-19 and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Tragic Realities and Cautious Hope

2020, Online, Online Volume 2 (2020) COVID-19 Symposium
Samuel J. Levine.  The COVID-19 pandemic has cast the United States, along with the rest of the world, into a time of crisis and uncertainty unlike any other in recent memory. Months into the pandemic, there is scant agreement among scientists, government officials, and large segments of the public, both domestic and abroad, as to determining the causes and workings of the virus, designing appropriate and effective responses to the outbreak, and constructing accurate assessments of the future—or even of the present. Indeed, the availability of concrete information about the virus and its effects is grossly inadequate and often replaced by anecdotal or impressionistic depictions, not infrequently accompanied by rumor and speculation. Perhaps at some point in the future, with the benefit of the passage of time and access to…
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