Category: Forum

A Vicious Cycle: Juvenile Fines and Fees in Kansas

Interacting with the legal system can be financially ruinous for many young people and their families.  There are fines and fees in the juvenile justice system associated with confinement, supervision, counsel, court costs, drug and alcohol testing, offenses, …

Occupational Licensing Laws: Threading the Needle Between Consumer Protection and the Constitutional Right to Earn a Living

A proliferation of occupational licensing laws has increased the percentage of the US workforce in an occupation requiring a state license from 5% in the 1950’s to nearly 30% by 2006.[i]  These occupational licensing laws, aimed at protecting …

Bostock’s Aftershock: Intersectional Discrimination Claims Following Bostock v. Clayton County

Though Bostock v. Clayton County’s most visible effect was its extension of Title VII protections to LGBTQ+ individuals, the manner in which the Supreme Court decided the case has broad implications for claims of intersectional discrimination. Intersectionality refers …

Prison Gerrymandering: The Practice of Counting Inmates as Residents for Political Representation and the State Action Needed to End It

More than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States[1]––the vast majority of whom cannot vote.[2]  Yet, in most states, incarcerated people are counted for political representation purposes in the voting districts in which they are incarcerated.[3] …

Just a Start: Executive Pardons and COVID-19 in Kansas

In early March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Kansas.[1]  More than a year later, and despite the introduction of vaccines, Kansas is still battling the virus with more than a 1,000 new cases per …

An Officer’s Bullet Constitutes a Seizure in Torres v. Madrid

Author: Rachel Zierden, Staff Editor In the recent case Torres v. Madrid, the U.S. Supreme Court once again updated its Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.  Led by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court determined that physical force with the intent to …

Anti-Asian Attacks and Attempts to Redefine “Hate” in America

On March 26, 2021, a white male gunman opened fire on three small businesses in metropolitan Atlanta, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.[i]  The attack follows a year of rising violence against people of Asian …

Partisan Ping-Pong – President Biden and Private Prisons

President Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20, 2021.  Soon after, he signed a flurry of executive orders, four of which were specifically targeted at “increas[ing] racial equity in the US.”[1]  One of these executive orders is …

When the Right to Protest is Not Created Equal

By now, everyone has seen coverage of the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  The largely ceremonial certification of election results became violent when protestors-turned-rioters broke into the Capitol building.  They overturned barricades, smashed windows, and …

Selective Mercy – Clemency and the Holiday Season

            President Trump’s recent pardons of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, and four former military contractors drew headlines, but the President is not the only executive wielding pardon power.[1]  In December 2020, multiple Governors granted clemency in …