Consumer Protection in the Age of Big Data

Max N. Helveston
The Big Data revolution is upon us. Technological advances in the degree to which third parties can record information about individuals, along with increases in the use of predictive analytics, are transforming the way that business is conducted in practically all sectors of the economy. This is particularly true in the insurance industry, where a firm’s ability to forecast the future is the central determinant of its profitability. Scholars and…

Students, Police, and the School-To-Prison Pipeline

Jason P. Nance
Since the terrible shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, lawmakers and school officials continue to deliberate over new laws and policies to keep students safe, including putting more police officers in schools. Yet these decisionmakers have not given enough attention to the potential negative consequences that such laws and policies may have, such as creating a pathway from school to prison for many students. Traditionally, only educators,…

Can Sharing Be Taxed?

Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring
In the past few years, we have seen the rise of a new model of production and consumption of goods and services, often referred to as the “sharing economy.” Fueled by startups such as Uber and Airbnb, sharing enables individuals to obtain rides, accommodations, and other goods and services from peers via personal computer or mobile application in exchange for payment. The rise of sharing has raised questions about how…

Constitutional Mixologists: Muddling the Analysis of Protectionist Alcoholic Beverage Laws After Granholm v. Heald

Paul Knettel
In its 2005 decision in Granholm v. Heald, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that state alcoholic beverage laws that discriminate against out-of-state entities are unconstitutional restrictions of interstate trade under the dormant Commerce Clause. Despite this holding, lower courts have split in their analyses and conclusions regarding protectionist alcoholic beverage laws. Specifically, the Eighth Circuit recently upheld Missouri’s residency requirements for alcoholic beverage distributors. Meanwhile, a district court in Michigan…

The FCC’s Abandonment of Sponsorship Identification Regulation & Anonymous Special Interest Group Political Advertising

Sushma Raju
Over the course of the last several American election seasons, both political news coverage and political advertising have become all but inescapable. Particularly as election time nears, voters are bombarded by political ads that present highly persuasive, one-sided, and sometimes misleading information about candidates and their platforms. Since the 1920s, federal law, enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “the Commission”), required broadcasters to identify on-air content as paid…

Bill Cosby, the Lustful Disposition Exception, and the Doctrine of Chances

Wesley M. Oliver
On December 30, 2015, an affidavit of probable cause alleged that William H. Cosby, Jr., Ed.D., a comedian whose storied career spanned decades, committed aggravated indecent sexual assault upon Andrea Constand. For decades, women have been coming forward claiming to have been the victims of Cosby’s unwanted sexual advances, most of them claiming that Cosby drugged them and took advantage of them when they were in an unconscious state. Despite…