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U.S. v. Kordel, Parallel Proceedings, and the Value of Statistical Freedom
George Vojta
George Vojta is a J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at the University of Chicago.

The author thanks his parents Deneen and Chris Vojta, his siblings, Charles and Grace Vojta, Shiri Gross, Judge Thomas L. Kirsch II, and the University of Chicago Law Review Online team.

This Essay proposes using the dilemma defendants face in parallel proceedings as a way to measure the Value of Statistical Freedom (VSF). The VSF (sometimes called the Value of Liberty) can be thought of as an individual’s willingness to pay to not be in prison. The VSF is spiritually similar to the far more prevalent “Value of Statistical Life” (VSL), which measures the willingness to trade money or wealth in exchange for an increase in the mortality probability.

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Lobbying Language: How Supreme Court Opinions Invite Legislative Change
Jack Brake
Jack Brake is a J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

The author thanks the University of Chicago Law Review Online team for their helpful feedback. 

How often do Supreme Court opinions include what might be called “lobbying language,” which endorses a policy position while calling for another government entity to realize it? Reviewing relevant cases, this Essay finds that the sample set includes at least a dozen examples of lobbying language. As it turns out, lobbying is not so unusual for the Supreme Court.

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Surviving Family Regulation
S. Lisa Washington
Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

I thank Elizabeth Scott, Richard Bonnie, Emily Buss, Clare Huntington, and Solangel Maldonado for their work on the Restatement and for creating a productive space for discussion of its implications. I thank Steph Pettit for research and discussion on Sojourner Truth. Finally, thank you to Christopher Lau for reading everything I write.

This Essay documents the limitations of the parental rights lens for Black families and argues that the more appropriate lens for marginalized families focuses on the survival of both individual families and the larger community tied to these families. With this in mind, it contemplates what the future of the Restatement might hold against the backdrop of a reconfigured framework.

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Children’s Autonomy Rights Online
Clare Ryan
Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law

She thanks Esther Hong, Zalman Rothschild, and Lisa Washington, as well as the participants and organizers of the University of Chicago’s 2023 Law Review Symposium on Children and the Law.

Children’s lives are increasingly shaped by their online environment, quite apart from the physical geographies of home and school. How they make choices in that space, and how those choices are shaped by law and parental authority, warrants deeper discussion than the Restatement of Children and the Law was able to provide. The complex challenges of children’s engagement with social media, both as content creators and consumers, help illuminate some of the core tensions in this Part of the Restatement—namely, the tension between children’s autonomy, parental authority, and state regulation.

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Prosecutors and the Child Wellbeing Framework
Esther K. Hong
Associate Professor of Law, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law.

The importance of initial prosecutorial decisions in juvenile outcomes is well-studied, but recent developments in the law, including the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma; new laws and proposed legislation pertaining to youth being tried in juvenile or criminal court; and the forthcoming adoption of the Children's Restatement require that we reexamine their significance.

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Federal Circuit Calls Foul on "Sandbagging" at the PTAB in Axonics v. Medtronic
Joshua A. Zuchniarz
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks Georgia Huang, Natalie Cohn-Aronoff and the entire University of Chicago Law Review Online team for productive comments and suggestions.

How far does discretion stretch before it is abused? Last August, as part of a long-running dispute between healthcare technology firms Axonics and Medtronic, the Federal Circuit provided an answer: openly ignoring a litigant’s response to the other party’s arguments will result in vacatur for abuse of discretion. In doing so, the court illustrated how judges should privilege the strong public policy interest in maintaining the fundamental fairness of the justice system, even when they are not formally required to do so.

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Sosa v. Martin County—Mistaken Identities and the Three-Day Rule
Samuel S. Hallam
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks Brian Huang, Benjamin Chanenson, Sophie Hallam, and the University of Chicago Law Review Online team.

In 2014, David Sosa was stopped for a traffic violation in Martin County, Florida. After running his license, police discovered an outstanding warrant issued twenty-two years earlier in Harris County, Texas. Sosa was arrested, fingerprinted, and detained for three hours. In 2018, the same David Sosa was once again pulled over. Police found the same Texas warrant in their system. This time, Sosa was detained in county jail for three days over the weekend. The problem with these two encounters? The Texas warrant, which was over a quarter-century old by 2018, was for a different David Sosa.

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The Perils of Poor Penmanship: A D.C. Circuit Fight Demonstrates the Urgency of Electronic Union Elections
Noah Levine
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks the University of Chicago Law Review Online team for their careful feedback.

The legibility of handwriting is on the decline. Thankfully, calligraphy carries low stakes in a digital age. Why write something down when it can be typed instead? Yet, there is still one near-universal fragment of writing that must often be done by hand: the signature. While usually a formality, so long as signatures are done by hand, they can be second-guessed, threatening a generation untrained in cursive. This Essay highlights a recent incident in which a union representation election hinged on the legibility of one employee’s signature.

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The Objective Observer Test and Racial Bias in Civil Jury Trials: The Washington State Approach
Derek Willie
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks the University of Chicago Law Review Online team.

Is it OK for courts to think about race when they decide whether to bar certain arguments from being made, because they think those arguments could rely on stereotypes or otherwise play on the jury’s racial biases? For the Washington Supreme Court, the answer is yes—in fact, courts have a duty to consider race in making these evidentiary decisions. Rather than statements or arguments that are made with a clearly racist intent, the Washington Supreme Court’s idea of “racially biased arguments” is far more capacious: it includes “dog whistles,” or superficially harmless comments that have the effect of operating on a jury’s implicit biases.

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Exploring Statutory Remedies to State-Created Dangers After Fisher v. Moore
Jean-Luc Belloncle
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks the University of Chicago Law Review Online team.

Applying the “state-created danger” doctrine, circuit courts have generally held that a state actor who creates a risk of injury for a private party faces liability if injury occurs. But in Fisher v. Moore, the Fifth Circuit declined to apply the doctrine where public school teachers failed to protect a disabled student. Why would the Fifth Circuit diverge so sharply from nearly every other circuit to consider the matter? In large part, the answer relates to the Supreme Court’s stance on substantive due process rights in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

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The Establishment of Originalism in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District
Tyler Ashman
Dual-degree J.D. and MDiv candidate at the University of Chicago Law School and Divinity School, Class of 2025.

He thanks Alexandra Webb, Tyler Mikulis, Natalie Cohn-Aronoff, and Jonah Klausner for their helpful feedback.

In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the Supreme Court held that Coach Kennedy’s choice to kneel and pray on the field after games did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion gave the reader a glimpse of four different interpretive pathways for the Establishment Clause without precisely identifying the historical precedent that got Coach Kennedy off the hook. Through a close reading of the Kennedy opinion, this Note attempts to understand why exactly Coach Kennedy’s actions passed Establishment Clause muster under the Court’s new test.

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National Pork Producers Council v. Ross: An Invitation to Revisit the Import-Export Clause?
William Horvath
J.D. Candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, Class of 2025.

He thanks Professor William Baude, Alexandra Webb, Tyler Mikulis, and the entire University of Chicago Law Review Online team.

In National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, the Supreme Court upheld California’s Proposition 12, which forbids the sale of pork from pigs that were “confined in a cruel manner.” Given that California imports most of the pork consumed within the state, the plaintiffs contended that the law violated the dormant Commerce Clause. While the bulk of Justice Gorsuch’s opinion fleshed out the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine, it made passing reference to a considerably more obscure constitutional provision: the Import-Export Clause.