Volume V, Issue 2 Published!

June 2nd, 2014 No comments

WJLERCOVER
The Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race is proud to announce that Volume V, Issue II is now available! Click the link, read, and enjoy!

 

Racism In The International Criminal Court

July 28th, 2014 No comments

By: Jason Staloski

Blog Category: International Law & Race

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is located in the Netherlands and was established in 2002. The ICC was created in order to prosecute individuals charged with either genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or crimes of aggression. The ICC currently has jurisdiction over 122 states where these crimes occur. Recently, the African Union (AU) has levied allegations against the ICC claiming that the institution is racially discriminatory in deciding which cases to prosecute.

To support their allegation of racism, the AU notes that every prosecution pursued by the ICC originated from a country located in Africa. At the most recent AU Summit, the member nations of the AU unanimously agreed that a sitting head of state in a member nation of the AU should be hauled in front of ICC in response to William Ruto, the sitting Deputy President of Kenya, being forced to attend his trial in front of the ICC regarding the pending crimes against humanity charges. While the AU has not threatened to withdraw from ICC jurisdiction, the possibility has been discussed by AU nations.

Hailemariam Desalegn, chairperson of the African Union and Ethiopian President, has stated that, “The process [of the ICC selecting who to prosecute] has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.[1]” The ICC has defended itself by stating that a majority of its member nations come from Africa, therefore, it is only logical that there would be more cases arising from AU nations. The ICC also defended itself by indicating that of the 8 current investigations regarding AU nations, four of the ICC was requested by that state itself to investigate.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. 

Sources: 

Richard Lough, African Union accuses ICC prosecutor of bias, Reuters (Apr. 5 2014), available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/30/ozatp-africa-icc-idAFJOE70T01R20110130.

Jacey Fortin, African Union Countries Rally Around Kenyan President, But Won’t Withdraw From The ICC, International Business Times (Apr. 5, 2014), available at http://www.ibtimes.com/african-union-countries-rally-around-kenyan-president-wont-withdraw-icc-1423572.

Al Mariam, The International Criminal Court on an African Safari?, Salon, (Apr. 5, 2014), available at http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/2013/09/29/the_international_criminal_court_on_an_african_safari.

Catholic Leaders Among Supporters of Immigration Reform

July 21st, 2014 No comments

By: Morgan Davis  

Blog Category: Race & Religion

Immigration law reform is at the forefront of many political, legal, racial, and social debates. Supporters and opponents of various immigration reform issues use major platforms to express which side of the debate they are on. A group of Catholic leaders from across the United States received national media attention after they visited Arizona’s border with Mexico on March 31 and April 1, 2014. They are among the supporters of immigrants in the fight for immigration reform. The Catholic leaders are members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Migration, which supports undocumented immigrants gaining citizenship.  Their visit sparks the discussion, and bridges the gap between race and religion issues, as many of these immigration debates center on different racial and ethnic groups. In their visit to the border they stated their goal was to “highlight the human consequences of a broken immigration system and call upon the U.S. Congress to fix it.” Their concerns are prompted by the number of immigrants that die each year in an attempt to cross the borders into the United States. While their actions are “illegal,” many of the Catholic leaders note the majority of immigrants make this dangerous journey in hopes of finding a better live for their families and more job opportunities. The rising support for immigration reform has especially become more prominent with the increase of Hispanic Catholics over the last twenty years. As the political, social, racial, and religious debate heats up it will interesting to see if supporters of immigration reform will push Congress to take some action.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Sources:

Robert Ortega, Catholic Leaders Push Immigration Overhaul at Border, The Arizona Republic, USAToday.com (April 1, 2014, 4:31 PM), available at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/01/catholic-leaders-push-immigration-reform/7164359/.

Michael Lipka, Catholics, other Christians support immigration reform, but say faith plays small role, Pew Research Center (April 1, 2014), available at http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/01/catholics-other-christians-support-immigration-reform-but-say-faith-plays-small-role/.

Categories: Headline Tags: , ,

Costs of Environmental Regulation Worth the Reward?

July 14th, 2014 No comments

By: Joe Winning

Blog Category: Economics of Environmental Regulation

There’s a feeling among many Americans that the benefits of environmental regulation in this country are not worth the cost. These opinions reflect the prevailing view that broad environmental regulations impose substantial costs, such as (1) excessively high prices, (2) greater unemployment, (3) more poverty, and (4) increased difficulty for American companies & workers attempting to compete in increasingly international market. While this blogger tends to agree with this perspective and would argue incentives are a better approach, Dr. Frank S. Arnold offers a compelling alternative argument that the costs of regulation are indeed worth the reward.

Although written in 1999, Dr. Arnold’s research remains compelling, if for no other reason than providing calculable benchmarks to evaluate the value of this countries’ spending in the area of environmental regulation. In support of his argument, Arnold draws three major conclusions. First, national spending for environmental regulation is considerably less than the countries’ spending in areas such as health care and national defense. Next, regarding the nation’s “bang for its buck,” Dr. Arnold draws comparisons to other countries and their cost of regulation, concluding that the United States has attained a similar outcome for the amount spent. Finally, while critics insist the countries’ environmental regulation spending is destroying the nation’s job market, Dr. Arnold contends this is not the case. Arnold demonstrates the flaw in this argument by pointing to the lack of plant closures and job loss directly related to employer costs of environmental regulation. He also highlights the fact that there has not been a surge of companies fleeing the United States to go to countries with lower costs tied to environmental regulation. Although this article is somewhat dated and this blogger contends the best approach is economic incentives compared to regulations, the benchmarks outlined by Dr. Arnold remain compelling in evaluating the costs of environmental regulation in this country.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Source:

Frank S. Arnold, Environmental RegulationIs It Bad for the Economy?, Environmental Law Institute (July 9, 1999), available at http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/es135/Environmental%20Protection%20and%20Economy.pdf.

Immigration Reform: The Corker-Hoeven Amendment

July 7th, 2014 No comments

By: Carla Arias

Blog Category: International Law & Race

“The plight of undocumented immigrants in the United States, notably the substantial number of migrants who crossed the border from Mexico, is a major political issue south of the Rio Grande.”[1]

In an attempt to decrease illegal immigration and border disputes, which have plagued the United States for decades, the Obama administration dedicated time and resources to comprehensive immigration reform.[2] In June 2013, the U.S. Senate approved the Corker-Hoeven amendment, which involves a doubling of U.S. border patrol agents to approximately 40,000 agents. Of the 40,000 agents, 38,405 agents are to be stationed in the U.S-Mexico borderlands.[3] Additionally, the amendment entails the use of military-like surveillance in the borderlands, including the use of drones for aerial surveillance.[4] Along with an increase in border patrol agents and military-like surveillance, the amendment calls for fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. [5] Although the amendment will increase safety along the border, it fails to address the root cause of why immigrants leave home and migrate to the United States. As a result, “[t]he passage of the Corker-Hoeven amendment is a stark reminder of the need to put an end to an insatiable boundary and immigration policing, one whose feeding is strongly tied to the state’s ability to provide for true human needs.” [6]

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  


[1] Nick Parker and Jim Acosta, U.S. , Canada, Mexico agree to streamline border controls, CNN (Feb 19, 2014), available at http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/09/politics/us-mexico-canada.

[2] Joseph Nevins, The Impossible, Costly Dream: Border Security, Northern American Congress on Latin America (June 26, 2013), available at http://nacla.org/blog/2013/6/26/impossible-costly-dream-border-security

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

Approaching Domestic Violence From the Ground Up: From Children to Adults

June 30th, 2014 No comments

By: Jay Patel

Blog Category: Domestic Violence Issues and the Law, Economics, & Race

Domestic Violence reaches across every fabric of society.[1] It does not recognize racial, geographic, and socioeconomic or gender lines.[2] Instead it visits destruction upon those affected and imposes a significant health and economic cost on society.[3] Numerous approaches have been proposed, enacted and visited to reduce the number of incidents and provide prophylactic relief. Despite these measures, domestic violence remains an unfortunate reality in society.[4]

At this time, renewed focus should be directed to educating children on the concept of domestic violence, its scope, impact and their potential risk to become victims or  abusers in the future. A class devoted to human relationships and the associated benefits and potential detriments should be created. Discussions oriented around the signs and reactions of victims and abusers should be detailed.  By providing this component when they are young, it should have the ability of impressing upon them the serious nature of the act and provide a basis for them to seek assistance in the future.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

[1] United States Department of Justice, Domestic Violence, United States Government (Apr. 1, 2014 10:05 A.M.), available at http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm
[2] Id.
[3] See Robert Pearl, M.D., Domestic Violence: The Secret Killer That Costs $8.3 Billion Annually, Forbes Magazine (Apr. 1, 2014 10:12 P.M), available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2013/12/05/domestic-violence-the-secret-killer-that-costs-8-3-billion-annually/ (noting “[a]bused women are 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, 80 percent more likely to experience a stroke and 60 percent more likely to develop asthma.” and calculating lost productivity costs at 2.5 billion dollars.); see also Domestic Violence Facts, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Apr. 1, 2014 10:09 A.M.), available at http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet%28National%29.pdf (noting a 2003 and 2007 Centers for Disease Control Report which estimated the annual medical cost of domestic violence at 5.8 billion dollars and the cost of injuries and death at 37 billion dollars each year).
[4] Shannan M. Catalano, Ph.D., Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Apr. 1, 2014 10:21 A.M.), available at http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm.
Categories: Headline Tags: ,

Is a Corporation Religious?

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

By: Joseph Chirdon

Blog Category: Race & Religion

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether for-profit corporations can deny female employees contraception based on religious beliefs. The lead plaintiff, Hobby Lobby, believes it should be exempt from providing certain contraception that they would be mandated to provide under the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA), including IUDs and morning-after pills. One argument is that “the court has never found a for-profit company to be a religious organization for purposes of federal law.” The Justice Department argues that exempting corporations from commonly applied law would cause havoc with ramifications to child labor laws and mandates to serve racially diverse groups.

In 1990, the Supreme Court decided that as long as a generally applied law is neutrally applied it is constitutional despite religious opposition. In response Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Under the RFRA, if the law imposes a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, it must meet a high threshold for justification. Hobby Lobby’s burden – opting out of the AHA – comes with a 26 million dollar penalty. However, 26 million is less than it currently pays for employee healthcare insurance. Assuming the justices apply the RFHA test, they must decide whether the AHA penalty imposes a substantial burden on Hobby Lobby and whether sexual discrimination or other arguments made by the Justice Department meet the high threshold for justification.

Of the various arguments made, the writer found the argument of former Clinton administration Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger, most persuasive:

“Here the 13,000 employees of the Hobby Lobby corporate enterprise aren’t and should not be expected to share the religious beliefs of the Greens. What you really have is one family attempting to utilize their economic leverage to impose their religious beliefs on others.”

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

Source:

Nina Totenberg, Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Case Goes Before Supreme Court, NPR (Mar. 25, 2014, 3:18 AM), available at http://www.npr.org/2014/03/25/293956170/hobby-lobby-contraceptive-case-goes-before-supreme-court.