September 25, 2018

National Voting Day; #WhyIDidntReport; Proposed Green Card Restrictions, and Another Successful PILF Auction at Loyola!

In the wake of the criticism levied at Dr. Christine Blasey Ford following her allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, thousands of women and men have taken to Twitter to share their stories of unreported sexual abuse. Studies find that as many as 70% of victims fail to report sexual assault due to a variety of reasons, including feelings of shame, fear of the consequences, and lack of confidence that reporting will be taken seriously. Yet the visceral memory of such an attack can haunt for an eternity. Celebrity Alyssa Milano summed it up eloquently in an essay posted in support of Dr. Ford. Milano shared that it took her years to even discuss the attack with her closet friends and three decades to tell her parents. As passionately and publicly shared by Milano:

“For me, speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life. It meant recognizing my attacker’s existence when I wanted nothing more than to forget that he was allowed to walk on this earth at all. This is what every survivor goes through. Telling our stories means being vulnerable to public attacks and ridicule when our only “crime” was to be assaulted in the first place.” Alyssa Milano, 9.23.18.

Dr. Ford is anticipated to testify in a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week, on September 27, 2018.

The Department of Homeland Security proposed a new policy that would curtail acceptance of public benefits by those seeking American citizenship. More particularly, the DHS proposal – which is a 447-page proposal available on the DHS website – provides that receipt of public benefits could be considered a “heavily weighted negative factor” in issuing green cards or temporary stays. Immigrant advocacy groups immediately denounced the proposal due to its chilling effect on those seeking citizenship from accepting needed services, such as emergency medical care. Given the proposal would track even past receipt of benefits, the chilling effect likely already is taking place.  

On an upbeat note, Loyola’s 26th annual PILF auction was again an overwhelming success. PILF co-chair Chris Kissel reports that the event raised over $40,000 for summer public interest stipends, which more than doubled the amount raised last year. Kudos to everyone at PILF, to all those who donated to the event, and to all of the wonderful Loyola staff that made this possible.

And last but not least, today is the official National Voting Day!  Do get yourself and your friends and family registered. You can even register online through the main Google page! Numerous other apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, easily direct you to voter registration sites. You can also sign up through Loyola. Estimated time: no more than two minutes. Do remember that the California deadline to register for the November 6 election is October 22. Best to do that now. And stay tuned for more info, including Loyola’s efforts to get out the vote on election day! 

September 5, 2018

Nike Stands by NFL Players through Endorsement Deal with Colin Kaepernick; California Passes Its Own Net Neutrality Law, and a Shout-Out for Loyola’s Upcoming PILF Auction!

Nike has taken a solid stand supporting NFL players who take a knee during the playing of the national anthem at football games to protest racial injustice, specifically including disproportionate violence against people of color. As part of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, Nike awarded Colin Kaepernick a major endorsement deal that includes sports apparel, such as a signature shoe. Kaepernick tweeted out a preview of the print ad, which bears the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick has been at the very heart of the national anthem dispute from the start. He was broadly chastised for his position, arguably losing his job as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He also has been widely heralded. NBA star (and L.A. Laker) LeBron James, along with tennis star Serena Williams, both applauded Nike’s move. Nike has announced that television commercials set to run on this Thursday’s NFL season opener will feature Kaepernick.

A California bill ensuring net-neutrality has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown. The bill is in response to the FCC’s repeal of net-neutrality regulations earlier this year. The U.S. Congress could have reversed the measure, but failed to do so by a narrow margin. The California bill essentially prevents providers from putting the internet up for sale. Providers would not be able to slow or bock data based upon content. In terms of accessing websites or downloading video streams, providers could not give preferential treatment for a fee. This would ensure that start-ups can reach the public on equal terms to established websites. For you civil procedure gurus, can you see the problem with California passing its own bill? (Answer: preemption jurisprudence.) Internet providers already have laid the groundwork for legal attacks by pushing for uniform federal legislation and arguing it would be unrealistic for providers to comply with state-specific regulations.

Save the Date! Saturday, September 22 will mark the 26th annual auction night hosted by Loyola’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF). As usual, guests will be dazzled by a wide range of entertainment, casino games, and other merriment. And it’s all for a good cause! Kudos to all involved in annual event and to the many thousands of Loyola students, faculty, and alum who donate time or money every year to serve the public good.