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Opioid Litigation Nationwide May Leave States with New Funding to Combat the Epidemic

Opioid Litigation Nationwide May Leave States with New Funding to Combat the Epidemic

As the country continues its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, states are poised to receive new sources of funding from lawsuit settlements with drug distributors. Following the success of a claim in 2007 against Purdue Pharma, hundreds of plaintiffs—ranging from small towns and counties to larger cities and states—are joining the wave of litigation. To speed up the process, many of these cases have been consolidated; one federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio is currently presiding over…

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Article III Standing in Biometric Privacy Suits

Article III Standing in Biometric Privacy Suits

As the use of biometric technology has grown increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives, the legal issues surrounding its use have rapidly developed. Ranging from facial recognition technology employed by social media providers to fingerprint technology adopted by employers, biometric technology has important societal implications. While many find ease and benefit in its uses, others sense a justifiable wariness over its proliferation. Biometric technology consists of an individual’s private and unique biologic identifiers. Such information in the hands of large…

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Brendan Dassey Asks Supreme Court to Hear His Case

Brendan Dassey Asks Supreme Court to Hear His Case

Brendan Dassey, who gained national recognition in 2015 from Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” docuseries, is now bringing his story to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dassey’s attorneys, Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin, co-directors of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, recognize the uphill battle that Dassey faces in getting the Supreme Court to grant a petition for certiorari. “But if there ever was a juvenile confession case that the court should hear, this is it,”…

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Perceptions of Misperceived Race

Perceptions of Misperceived Race

In recent years our federal courts have taken steps to address racial discrimination by emphasizing what has been called colorblindness––the idea that our laws should achieve racial equality by eliminating racial categories. While this catchall solution addresses a majority of racial discrimination claims, it fails to properly address misperceived racial discrimination. In cases involving misperceived race, an individual claims that he or she has been discriminated against in some way based on the racial identity that others have imputed onto…

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Software Innovation After Alice

Software Innovation After Alice

The Supreme Court decided Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l in June 2014, a decision which greatly restricted the scope of patentability for software innovations. The case concerned an electronic escrow service—a computer program that acted as a “third party intermediary” between two negotiating parties and ensured that both would meet their financial obligations. The primary question for the Court was whether the patents were for “abstract ideas” and thus ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The…

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The Breaking Point on Gun Control

The Breaking Point on Gun Control

The response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead, is markedly different from that of similar tragedies in recent memory. Many credit the survivors of the attack with creating a proper sense of urgency to work against having to revisit this issue as often as we do in the United States. Whatever its source, there is mounting momentum toward changing existing gun laws, leading to a fissure in Republicans’ typical resolve on the issue. Rick Scott’s…

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Partisan Gerrymandering

Partisan Gerrymandering

With the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state’s congressional districts, partisan gerrymandering has surged to the forefront of newspaper coverage. When most of us consider the partisan gerrymandering issue that faces the Supreme Court (whether or not they ultimately decide to act on the issue), we imagine Republicans or Democrats meticulously crafting lines to add or remove the couple of thousand voters that could determine the next election. It makes sense, intuitively, that the adversarial nature of elections…

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The Unfriendly Skies: When Emotional Support Animals Attack at 35,000 Feet

The Unfriendly Skies: When Emotional Support Animals Attack at 35,000 Feet

Most people are familiar with service animals and there is no denying the vital function that they provide for the people they assist. To perform this role, service animals are specially trained to assist people with disabilities, such as blindness or deafness. For this reason, service animals, usually dogs, are permitted in places other types of pets may not be, such as the main cabin of an airplane. Unlike service animals, “emotional support” animals—or animals that provide some therapeutic benefit…

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America’s Failure to Recognize the Right to Health: A Global Comparison

America’s Failure to Recognize the Right to Health: A Global Comparison

The United States remains one of the only countries to not recognize the right to healthcare. As an example, 166 countries have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which provides that the “States Parties . . . recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Additionally, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states, “health is a fundamental right indispensable for the exercise of other human…

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Interview with Karen Daniel: Wrongfully Convicted Client Now Faces Deportation

Interview with Karen Daniel: Wrongfully Convicted Client Now Faces Deportation

In December 2017, the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC)’s client Gabriel Solache was exonerated of murder charges that kept him behind bars for nearly twenty years—but relief was short-lived. Without missing a beat, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials took Mr. Solache into custody, where he now faces deportation to his native Mexico. Northwestern University Law Review sat down with the CWC’s Karen Daniel, Solache’s attorney, to discuss his exoneration, the involvement of now-discredited former Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara,…

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