Volume 72 | Winter 2019 | Issue 2


Interpretations by Treasury and the IRS: Authoritative Weight, Judicial Deference, and the Separation of Powers

Islame Hosny

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Foundation, tax has no longer been subject to special treatment. Rather, the worlds of tax law and administrative law have effectively been merged, adding complexity to an already extremely complex tax system. This article examines the doctrine of judicial deference to administrative agency action in the tax context as well as the criticisms of judicial deference as being a violation of separation of powers. The article also discusses the rise of judicial abdication theory and its effect on the reinvigoration of the judicial power and how that could impact the administration of the tax laws.

The Coastline Paradox

Ryan B. Stoa

Because coastlines play such a prominent role in legal frameworks, the coastline paradox presents troubling legal implications at all scales. From international maritime jurisdictions to local real estate markets, the complexities created by this phenomenon are disconcertingly understudied. In fact, the coastline paradox has never been considered as a significant source of legal problems.

This Article is the first to address the legal implications of the coastline paradox. It begins with an explanation of the coastline paradox and other, similar characteristics of coastlines that defy accurate measurement. Then the legal implications for international, federal, and local legal frameworks are introduced and examined. It is apparent that awareness of the coastline paradox is low, and challenges are scarcely being addressed. While a mathematical solution to the coastline paradox may be impossible, this Article concludes with a set of recommendations for coastal stakeholders.

The “Severe and Pervers-ive” Standard of Hostile Work Environment Law: Behold the Motivating Factor Test

Kenneth R. Davis

Building a career in an atmosphere of harassment is like trying to construct a house in a storm. No one should be the victim of a boss’s unwanted advances or fear retaliation for refusing his sexual propositions. No one should have to endure the anxiety and humiliation that come with the feeling of powerlessness. Yet many women who are simply trying to do their jobs must navigate a workplace rife with hostility.

Quantifying Reasonable Doubt

Daniel Pi, Francesco Parisi, and Barbara Luppi

In a criminal trial, the prosecution bears the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The principle is a cornerstone of the common law: every criminal conviction in the United States, as well as those in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, filters through this most stringent standard of proof.

Yet despite its paramount importance in determining the fates of the accused, courts have heretofore demonstrated an exceeding reluctance to articulate what it means for jurors to be persuaded of a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Appeals courts have viewed all attempts at meaningful elucidation with disfavor, insisting that “reasonable doubt” should not be defined, while paradoxically insisting that it is not “undefinable.”

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: An Innovative Prescription

Jeanne E. Stahl

The prevalence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is a story of unintended and unexpected consequences. Pharmaceuticals are broadly recognized as contributing to the wellbeing of society, and until twenty years ago, the environmental impact of the pharmaceutical industry, a small industrial sector with a limited environmental footprint and well-controlled manufacturing processes, was not considered of consequence. But the use of these beneficial products (not their manufacture, packaging, or disposal) has resulted in micro-pollution in waters throughout the world, causing significant concerns about negative impacts to human health and the environment.

This Note will provide a background on the current state of pharmaceuticals in the environment (“PIE”), a global public health issue of growing concern. It will explore how existing United States environmental regulations are, in general, not suited to the challenges of PIE. It will then propose how patents and regulatory exclusivity could help incentivize the innovation required to address this highly complex and consequential environmental issue.

Showdown at High Noon: Whether a Person Injured by a “Liberator” 3D-Printed Firearm Can Recover on a Product Liability Claim Under the Third Restatement

Connor Mannion

Disclaimer: This note does not address the constitutionality of the “Liberator” or any other 3D-printed firearm pursuant to the Second Amendment. Moreover, this note does not express my personal beliefs regarding the Second Amendment and any construal of this note suggesting that I am “anti-Second Amendment” is a gross misrepresentation of this note’s purpose. I believe that products liability suits hold companies accountable for putting defective products into the stream of commerce, and in turn, encourage companies to produce safe and reliable products for consumers. This note will address whether Defense Distributed could be held liable to a plaintiff in a products liability suit who has been injured due to a manufacturing, design, or lack of warning defect associated with the Liberator pistol under the Third Restatement of Torts. Finally, as the current legality of 3D printed firearms is in question in the State of New Jersey, I have not acquired the files discussed in this note. Therefore, any examination of defects is purely hypothetical.

Protecting Against Ultron: Exploring the Potential Criminal Liability of Self-Programming Deep Learning Machines

Priya Persaud

In light of recent technological advancement, deep learning machines have matured to the point where they are capable of creating their own artificial intelligence beings, devoid of human interference. While such an advancement progresses the work of computer scientists the world over, it stands to challenge the current state of legal jurisprudence in the United States. For example, it may be possible for deep learning machines to incur criminal liability as a consequence of their conduct. This note explores the possibility of assigning criminal liability to deep learning machines through a three-pronged test that was crafted to account for discrepancies within mens rea and actus reus as they apply to both human beings and deep learning machines.

Keep Your Family Close and Your DNA Even Closer: Protecting DNA Privacy Expectations After Carpenter v. United States

Alexis Smith

In recent years, the popularity of Direct-to-Consumer (“DTC”) testing has exploded. Since 2013, the industry has increased ten-fold and is expected to increase another ten-fold by 2021.2 Paired with the rise in DTC testing kits is law enforcement’s use of these very same databases to solve decades-old crimes.

While catching infamous criminals such as the Golden State Killer is appealing, privacy implications have been generally ignored in the process. As a result of the popularity of these DTC genetic databases, nearly 90% of Americans of European descent will be identifiable through the use of long-range familial matches within the next two to three years.

Due to the lack of statutory privacy protections for DTC genetic testing companies, the United States Supreme Court decision in Carpenter v. United States may provide an avenue for protection, especially when paired with the third-party consent and closed container doctrines. This Note will discuss the intersection of genetic testing privacy concerns and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, as well as advocate the extension of Fourth Amendment protections through Carpenter, the closed container doctrine, and the third-party consent doctrine.