The Legal Strategy of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, an estimated 200,000 Syrians have been killed[1].  The conflict has resulted in the internal displacement of 7.6 million Syrians and has pushed an estimated 3.2 million to take refuge in Syria’s neighboring countries[2]. The result has been a humanitarian crisis defined as “the worst…since […]

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Religious Liberty v. LGBT Equality – The Rights Battle Explored

On July 1, just five days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision declaring marriage a fundamental right available to same-sex couples, guaranteed by the 14th amendment, a same-sex couple in Kentucky sued their county clerk for refusing them a marriage license.[1] The clerk’s name was Kim Davis, and her subsequent arrest, jailing, and release […]


Case Review – City of Los Angeles v. Contreras

In September of 2012, 26-year old Robert Contreras was compensated with $5.7 million in damages for injuries sustained during a police chase. Seven years earlier, LAPD officers on night patrol pursued a van identified by witnesses as having set off rounds of gunfire. After a brief chase, three men exited the vehicle and scattered. One […]

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Identifying the Issues – Voting Rights in the Wake of Shelby County v. Holder

In 1964, states across the South imposed poll taxes and literacy tests, significantly disenfranchising African-Americans. Only one-third of voting age African-Americans were registered to vote and existing anti-discrimination laws seemed incapable of stopping the generation of new laws intended to restrict African-Americans from voting. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act to bolster the […]


The Distinction Between Consent and Property in Brotherton v. Cleveland

Underlying all medical practice is the issue of informed consent. Informed consent allows doctors to operate on patients and frames the nature of the procedure. In cases where consent cannot be obtained the burden of consent is transferred to next of kin who are empowered in different ways to make decisions about medical procedure based […]


The Course of the Court – The King v. Burwell Decision

In a much-anticipated decision that had many holding their breath, the Supreme Court announced their decision on the King v. Burwell case on June 25, 2015. Many had speculated over the decision, aware of its historical importance as precedence. The Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act, put into effect by the Obama Administration in 2014, […]


An Interview with Sheila Riesel

Sheila Riesel is a partner at Blank Rome LLP and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Riesel practices in all aspects of matrimonial law.  Ms. Riesel has extensive appellate and trial experience, having argued three times in the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 60 times in both federal and state appellate courts.  Additionally, […]

Photo contributed by Sheila Riesel.

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Case Review: Dariano v. Morgan Hill

The Supreme Court recently denied petition for certiorari to Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, a controversial case that resurfaced the issue of protecting students’ first amendment rights in public schools. The civil suit resulted from the school’s decision to ban students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Contrary to Tinkers […]


Case Review: Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York

America has built its national character on fundamental liberties, such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. Yet, when these liberties conflict in practice, contention inevitably follows. In Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York (2014), tension formed between religious freedom and other liberties. […]

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Case Review: Elonis v. United States

Questions regarding the First Amendment and its role in social media have become more prominent in the last decade. The upcoming Supreme Court case of Elonis v. United States asks judges to determine whether or not threats made online to a specific person requires a subjective intent to threaten by the defendant. [i] Subjective intent […]