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Guns, Germs, and Steal: The Crime Epidemic in Post-Pandemic California

<p>California faces yet another dangerous outbreak, but this time it is characterized by ski masks rather than surgical ones. From armed robbery to petty theft, crime in the state has been on the rise since the reversal of quarantine orders. This increase comes as a surprise from an economic standpoint, considering the forgiving nature of COVID-19 relief checks and payment suspensions. According to President Joe Biden, our nation is currently sitting in an &ldquo;economic sweet spot&am...
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Cruel and Unusual: Capital Punishment’s Increasing Unconstitutionality

<p>&ldquo;Alabama has done it, and now so can you,&rdquo; boasted Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall . Marshall was referring to nitrogen hypoxia, a new method of carrying out the death penalty, first used by the state of Alabama this past January. Yet, was this new method as effective as Marshall implies?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On January 25th, 2024, Kenneth Smith, 58, was executed using nitrogen gas. A mask was placed around his face...
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Lost Voices: How our Democracy is Still Suffering From Shelby County v. Holder

<p>The validity of our political elections is in question. The problem of low voter turnout in the United States and the increasing political polarization between Democrats and Republicans have led many to question the success of America&rsquo;s electoral system. However, in searching for the answers to why our voting system is flawed, previous court rulings that are still affecting voters today have been overlooked. One such decision is <em>Shelby County v. Holder</em> (20...
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Democracy at Crossroads: Addressing Minority Disenfranchisement in the 2024 Election

America is a representative democracy: everyone has the right to participate in government and have a voice through the means of their vote. Well, almost everyone. In the 2020 election, 5.1 million Americans could not vote due to felony convictions and over 20 million U.S. citizens did not have the qualifying government-issued photo identification to be eligible to vote in some states . These policies of felony disenfranchisement and restrictive voter ID laws disproportionately impact people of...
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Party over Country: What the Situation at the Southern Border Reveals About Dysfunction in Washington

<p>Thousands. That is the number of migrants that have arrived in New York City from the southern border over the past year and a half. Even as the winter chill settled over Manhattan, asylum seekers were huddled on the streets of the city that never sleeps. According to Mayor Eric Adams, the influx of immigrants has pushed the city&rsquo;s infrastructure to its breaking point, and cost the municipality billions in the process .&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> &...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Emma Zhou for External Vice-President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Can you introduce yourself?&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Emma Zhou: Hi, my name is Emma Zhou. I use she/her pronouns. I am a th...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Javier Nuñez-Verdugo for External Vice-President

<p><strong>This interview was co-led by Rachel Jos and Aashna Kothari.</strong></p> <p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Why are you running for office...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Chloe Garton for President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Why are you running for president?</em></p> <p>Chloe Garton: That&#39;s a good question. I think for me, I became so...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Katie Pool for President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR):&nbsp; Hey, Katie. Thank you for coming to interview with me today. My first question to ask you is what inspires you to run for USAC Pres...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Adam Tfayli for President

Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.   Bruin Political Review (BPR): All right, so can you tell me your first and last name, what year you are, your major and what position you're running for? Adam Tfayli: My name is Adam Tfayli, he/him pronouns. I'm a second ...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Faith Choi for External Vice-President

Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.   Bruin Political Review (BPR): Can you introduce yourself?  Faith Choi: My name is Faith Choi. I'm an out-of-state student from Massachusetts, specifically the Boston area. I'm double majoring in pre-public affairs an...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Joshua Bances for President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Why are you running for office of the president?</em></p> <p>Joshua Bances: So I&#39;ve been very straightforward ab...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Tajvir Singh for President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Why are you running for president?</em></p> <p>Tajvir Singh: Honestly, I&rsquo;m in my third year here at UCLA, and ...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Josh Garland for Internal Vice-President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote on MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Hi, Josh, thank you so much for doing this interview with me. How are you doing today?&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Josh Garland: Pr...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Joe Lin for Internal Vice-President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): Okay, can you tell me your first and last name please?</em></p> <p>Joe Lin: Joe Lin.</p> <p>&nbsp;<...
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A Conversation with the Candidates: Ishan Misro for Internal Vice-President

<p>Note: The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bruin Political Review, and the publication of this interview does not constitute an endorsement for the candidate. Vote through MyUCLA between May 10th and May 17th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Bruin Political Review (BPR): What motivated you to run for the position of USAC IVP?</em></p> <p>Ishan Misro: Okay, so currently I&rsquo;m a firs...
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Decoding the Threat: AI-Driven Misinformation and U.S. National Security

<p>In response to rumors that US intelligence agencies were aware of a potential bombing or hijacking before 9/11, former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said, &ldquo;Yes, it&rsquo;s true.&rdquo; He explained shortly after the attacks, &ldquo;We received information about something like this, bombings, and so on. But we always receive lots of information we are not able to process or even to see. We have too much of it, this is the problem. We have too much in...
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The Undemocratic Transformation of Super PACs

Jeb Bush at the campaign rally in which he formally announces his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election .   The United States is undeniably tied to its democratic foundation. In 2024, however, the structures that enable democracy are becoming increasingly undemocratic. Undemocratic campaign funding laws and the role of “Super PACs” are to blame. Although a legal framework for regulating Super PACs exists—led by the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.)—th...
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Unjust Justice? The Complex Reality of Plea Bargaining

<p>Modern legal dramas consist of intense cross-examinations and stunning witness confessions. To the untrained eye, hard-fought courtroom showdowns are the norm in the American judicial system. However, the reality of the U.S. court system is far less flashy. Plea bargaining&mdash;the system by which prosecutors offer defendants deals that avoid trial often in exchange for a lesser charge or sentence &mdash;accounts for 95% of convictions in the U.S. , with only 2% of federal crim...
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Could Pope Francis’s Progressive Reforms of the Catholic Church Shift the Outcome of the 2024 Election?

<p>You&rsquo;ve heard about Taylor Swift swaying the 2024 election, but what about the other figure with a cult-like following, namely, Pope Francis? Everyone knows that the separation of church and state is of vital importance in the modern world&hellip;but they seldom go without affecting one another. Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis steered the Catholic Church in a new direction, both necessary and concurrent with the generally progressive state of the world. The ...
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The Overlooked Impacts of Policy Post-Roe v. Wade

<p>In 1973, the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v Wade legalized abortion nationwide by establishing a person&rsquo;s constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy . In 2022, the landscape of reproductive rights faced a seismic shift with the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women&rsquo;s Health Organization, where the Supreme Court ruled that a person&rsquo;s right to choose is now determined at the state level . In the case&rsquo;s turbulent aftermath, states rapidly ena...
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Unhoused and Without Care: The Medi-Cal Accessibility Crisis

<p>California&rsquo;s unhoused population is locked out of healthcare. Medi-Cal is California&rsquo;s Medicaid healthcare program that promises to &ldquo;be a catalyst for equity and justice&rdquo; . Although almost all unhoused individuals logistically qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, a great number of them are unable to access them . The life expectancy of unhoused people is 30 years less than that of typical citizens in California . To better understand why this is the cas...
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Is it Joever Yet? How Biden’s Economic Policies Will Impact his Re-Election

<p>Across a variety of metrics, the US economy is doing well under President Joseph Biden. Voters, however, are struggling to see the benefits of his so-called &ldquo;Bidenomics,&rdquo; evidenced by the president&rsquo;s dismal approval ratings . As we approach the November election, Biden&rsquo;s campaign has chosen to center his economic policies. His team will need to shift public perception via stronger advocacy and appeals to swing voters in order to ease voters&rs...
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The California Insurance Crisis: Insuring the Uninsurable

<p>California&mdash;known for breathtaking landscapes, ideal weather, and cultural diversity&mdash;is facing a financial inferno, burning through the housing market and leaving behind uncertainty as to the future of property ownership in the Golden State. In the past five years, nearly 25,000 Californian homes and buildings burned to the ground . However, those left homeless are just a small fraction of the victims of the ever-increasing amount of wildfires plaguing our state; ever...
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Breaking The Cycle: Domestic Violence Policy Reimagined

<p>Intimate partner violence is undeniably a sensitive and challenging topic to navigate. These situations are not clear-cut and legislators must acknowledge the spectrum of emotions that survivors face when deciding to report abuse by a loved one. In many states, the policies surrounding domestic violence do not adequately protect victims; instead, they burden them with the decision of whether to take action against their abuser even if they risk their life in doing so. The plausible thre...
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Supreme Court Rejects Review of Race in School Admissions Case: a Roadmap for the Future of Admissions

<p>One of the most complicated issues within the American education system is the long-standing debate surrounding the ethics of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action, the practice of favoring individuals belonging to groups regarded as disadvantaged or subject to discrimination, aims to increase equity and inclusivity within American institutions . However, critics of Affirmative Action argue that it actually poses the opposite effect by discriminating based on racial factors. The debate...
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The Fall of Bush Republicanism: How the GOP Embraced Populism and Authoritarianism

<p>The Republican Party is reaching the end of a transformation nearly a decade long. As Donald Trump prepares to make his third run at the presidency, only 33% of Americans view him favorably, yet that percentage is higher than any of his Republican competitors. Per the same polling, 48% of Republicans believe that &ldquo;we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that&rsquo;s what it takes to set things right&rdquo; in the U.S., illustrating their desire for outsi...
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The U.S. Wealth Gap Is Much Bigger Than Tax Policy

<p>Mitigated wealth inequality is not necessarily problematic. Some even argue that, under capitalism, wealth inequality is benign. Those who take calculated risks and apply themselves get rewarded financially, and, in turn, surpass those who do not take risks or provide value to the economy. Yet, in the United States, the top 10% now owns 70% of all U.S. wealth and since 2007, household wealth decreased among all classes except the top 20% . For middle-class Americans, their prospects of ...
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Fentanyl on Campus: Federal and State Initiatives to Combat the Epidemic

<p>Fentanyl, being 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is known to be the most lethal painkiller . The drug is illegally imported from China and smuggled through the US-Mexico border. In 2022, more than 11,000 pounds of fentanyl made its way into the U.S., and more than half of it came right through the border of Mexico and San Diego . Even with recent government crackdowns, fentanyl is still managing to enter the country and reach victims who are unaware they are taking a potential...
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A Generational Battle: The Implications of American Gerontocracy

<p>Gerontocracy is a form of governing that translates to &ldquo;rule by elders&rdquo; . While it is not inherently undemocratic, the consequences of gerontocracy&mdash;especially in the U.S.&mdash;are very apparent. The decreasing generational diversity seen in D.C. has led to a severed connection between the older members of Congress and the younger, but populous generation of Americans. Misrepresentation and legislative stagnation are a few of the many consequences arisi...
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It’s the Algorithms, Stupid: How Social Media is Shaping Public Opinion on the Economy

<p>It is 6:30PM on a Tuesday night in 1968. You and twenty-seven million other Americans tune in to watch Walter Cronkite anchor CBS Evening News. For those who are not fans of &lsquo;the most trusted man in America,&rsquo; there are only two other options for television news &ndash; ABC and NBC. Big news stories immediately become mass cultural events, and most people operate on the same playing field, with the same facts. Needless to say, times have changed.&nbsp;</p&g...
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Breaking the Binary: A Case for Ranked Choice Voting as Electoral Reform

On January 6, 2021, it became evident that American politics had completely entered a new realm of hostility, disagreement, and conflict as never seen before. This instance of political violence represented the transformation into a new political landscape in which the deepening schism between Americans has become a true threat, elucidating the urgent and drastic need for reform. Research shows that both the American public and our nation’s lawmakers are becoming increasingly polarized, w...
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Discrimination in Police Funding: A Case to Reform the JAG

<p>The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) is largely responsible for federally funding police departments. The amount of resources distributed by the program is directly proportional to law enforcement arrest data. While incentivizing arrests might appear to be a good motivator for police departments to keep communities safe, it has proven counterproductive. Byrne funding has exacerbated a variety of systemic issues within the criminal justice system.&nbsp;<...
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Democracy in Decline?: How Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Represents the Growth of Authoritarianism in the United States

<p>The United States is experiencing a rapid rise in anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures, with over 400 of these policies introduced in 2023 alone . These bills have numerous different functions, ranging from limiting education about gender and sexuality in the classroom to preventing transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming healthcare. However, they all share one similarity: they target the LGBTQ+ community, which is having damaging effects on the mental and physic...
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Independence of Higher Education: Constitutional Autonomy as a Defender of Academic Freedom

<p>A quiet battle is being fought in the halls of universities that threatens the very foundation of public higher education in America. Since public education is completely reliant on an increasingly polarized government, how can we possibly protect the sanctity of higher education from becoming a tool of political influence? Public universities provide attainable higher education for the American people, but we cannot expect these universities to remain beacons of independent thought whi...
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Secession is a Bad Idea. It’s Also More Popular Than You’d Think.

For many, it’s hard to imagine a world in which America contains any less than fifty states. For others, that is a world they want to come to fruition. Calls for the state of Texas to secede from the United States and create its own sovereign nation have re-emerged in recent years given increasing dissatisfaction with the federal government. While the U.S. likely won’t have to worry about Texas seceding anytime soon, the Texas secession movement is an indication of a broader trend of...
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A Defense for Spending So Much on Defense

<p>In March, a record-breaking defense budget found its way to the Congress floor: $816 billion . This proposition came just one month after progressive Democratic Senators proposed the &ldquo;People Over Pentagon Act&rdquo;, which sought a $100 billion budget cut for the Department of Defense. Calls of this sort to reduce military spending are not isolated to the nation&rsquo;s highest offices. A poll taken in February of this year found that 35% of Americans feel that the U.S...
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Labor Solidarity Amidst the Expanding Gig Economy

<p><em>Ben Hant is a Senior Editor for the Bruin Political Review.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the summer, Hollywood writers took to the streets to protest unfair working conditions in the entertainment industry. The Writers&rsquo; Guild of America called on studios to provide reliable and fair jobs rather than short-term writing gigs that leave writers perpetually shuffling to find a new job . This shift from long-term employment to sho...
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Americans Are Dreamers Too: Why the Courts Should Abrogate DACA

<p>Since its creation, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program has been in constant legal conflict&ndash;and the battle lines have been sharply drawn in the Biden era.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the summer of 2021, a coalition of Republican Attorney Generals notched a victory when District Judge Andrew Hanen declared the DACA program unlawful, blocking new applicants into the program but allowing current DACA recipients to renew their enrollment . However ea...
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Gen-Z Swings Towards Intervention

<p>Today&rsquo;s college Tik-Tokers are going to be tomorrow&rsquo;s world leaders. Our response to future international conflict will be dramatically affected by the invasion of Iraq, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and other political events experienced by Millenials and Gen-Z in late adolescence. The impacts of these conflicts on our generation will set the stage for how we remedy Chinese aggression.</p> <p>It is widely accepted that adolescent experiences have a prof...
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Why a Tik Tok Ban is Dangerous for US-China Relations

<p>In July 2020, President Donald Trump proposed to ban the immensely popular video-sharing app Tik Tok before the ban was blocked by a federal judge . This measure originated over concerns that Tik Tok&rsquo;s parent company ByteDance was storing consumer information like names, faces, online usage habits, and even IP addresses of homes and workplaces. Laws in China stipulate that Chinese companies are required to turn over consumer data to the state when asked. The security risk of t...
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California’s Homelessness is a Cost of Unaffordable Housing

<p>California hosts 30% of the nation&rsquo;s homeless individuals despite only making up 12% of the United States of America&rsquo;s overall population . Since 2020, the state&rsquo;s homeless population has increased by 6%, while the nationwide rate has only risen by 0.6% . California&rsquo;s homelessness disparity is usually explained as a phenomenon that results from a myriad of factors, including drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty, but these issues exist fairl...
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Social Media and the Democratization of Information

<p>Media bias is a topic that is increasingly relevant in elections where voters habitually rely on the news to make political decisions. Traditional mass media plays a large enough role in American politics that it has earned the moniker of the &lsquo;fourth branch of government&rsquo;. Undoubtedly, traditional news sources can exert pressure on political attitudes by covering the topics that will go on to decide elections, stoking public outrage, and building or diminishing publi...
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Why the Death Penalty Should be Federally Abolished

<p>Forms of capital punishment have existed in the United States since colonial times, adopted from the influence of British settlers. While the United Kingdom abolished criminal executions by 1965, however, the United States continues its federal implementation to this day (&ldquo;This Day in History&rdquo;, 2020). Michigan was the first state to abolish the death penalty in 1846, followed by Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and limitations by several other states (&ldquo;State by Sta...
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Protecting Democracy from the Ground Up: A Plea for Voting in Local and State Elections

<p>One afternoon in the fall of 1842, a farmhand in DeKalb County, Indiana, suddenly remembered his promise to an Indiana State Legislature candidate named Madison Marsh. The farmhand, Henry Shoemaker, had assured Marsh that he would vote for him in the upcoming election for a seat in the state house. On the afternoon of election day, staying true to his word, Shoemaker mounted a horse and rode 12 miles from his farm to the nearest polling place. Shoemaker&rsquo;s vote ended up breakin...
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The Case for a Strengthened E.P.A. Has Never Been More Clear

<p>Since its inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been the official federal environmental regulatory agency of the U.S. What was seen as a positive social change soon became a downward spiral of inaction. The inadequacy of the EPA and current regulations were shown through its responses to recent environmental failures, like those in East Palestine, Ohio , or the Flint, Michigan water crisis . Today, there are tens of thousands of chemical substances used in cos...
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Radicalization of Gender Inclusive Language On Both Ends of the Spectrum

<p>Gender inclusive language is intended to promote acceptance, yet society is struggling to embrace this inclusivity. It acknowledges the gender identities of those who do not fit the socially-constructed &#39;traditional&#39; gender definition. Although many people associate acceptance of inclusive language with left-wing liberals, there are groups across the political spectrum that use transphobic and gender-exclusive rhetoric that further marginalizes the trans and non-binary c...
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The False Promise of American Hypersonic Weapons

<p>In the early 2000s, the U.S. military under the Bush Administration proposed the development of a weapons system that could deliver a conventional precision strike anywhere in the world in under one hour, a capability that came to be referred to as Prompt Global Strike (PGS). While multiple systems capable of filling this role were considered, one specific technological initiative stood out as particularly promising. The Falcon Project, a cooperative effort between the Defense Advanced...
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The Post-Pandemic Era Has Been An Environmental Failure for Americans

<p>Amidst the chaos and despair of the COVID-19 pandemic, one silver lining emerged: the temporary improvement in environmental conditions. As countries went into lockdown and people stayed home in unprecedented numbers, the global community saw a remarkable decrease in industrial and transportation activities, resulting in cleaner air and water, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Wildlife started to reclaim their homes, and the sound of birdsong filled the air. For a brief moment, the ...
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The Threat of Artificial Intelligence in a Post-Truth Political Landscape

<p>Artificial intelligence has captured the collective imagination. These technologies have advanced rapidly, and their development is unlike anything we have seen before. We have found, thus far, that artificial intelligence systems that run using machine learning excel at imitating human language, art, and other types of data. As a result, these systems are able to generate large quantities of media that closely mimic media created by humans. The scalability of this technology raises que...
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Examining the PLCAA: Who Do Guns Protect?

<p>Between 1968 and 2017, more Americans were killed by guns than in all U.S. wars combined, and the number of gun-related deaths has only continued to rise . Yet in 2005, amidst intense lobbying efforts from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), President George W. Bush signed into law The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). This piece of controversial legislation grants firearm manufacturers broad immunity, shielding them ...
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The Future of Early Release for Sexually-Abused Inmates

<p>Compassionate release in the United States began as a way to free specific inmates for humanitarian purposes. It was mainly reserved for terminally ill inmates &ndash; those not viewed as a threat to public safety, reducing the costs of incarceration (1). The federal penal code specifically states that people can be freed early for &ldquo;extraordinary and compelling reasons,&rdquo; but this has historically only been done in the cases of serious illnesses (2).</p> ...
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The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Has Begun: How Do We Regulate It?

<p>By now, you&rsquo;ve probably heard of ChatGPT. On the off chance that you haven&rsquo;t, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI that endeavors to replicate a human conversationalist. Interestingly, this sophistical AI &ldquo;bot&rdquo; is not limited to just conversation. Rather, it has the ability to do almost anything. To name a few things, ChatGPT has accurately debugged a series of video game codes, passed the Wharton MBA exam and th...
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Racism and the Prison-Industrial Complex: Disparate Impacts of Policing, Sentencing, and Mass Incarceration

<p>America is romanticized as the land of opportunity, the place where dreams come true. As the old adage goes, workers just need to work hard, and &ldquo;pull themselves up by their bootstraps&rdquo; to attain economic prosperity. But this is not the United States that Americans of color reside in. Americans of color live in a nation infected by racism and fear. The United States shoves guns into the hands of agents of the state and vests them with the discretionary power to comba...
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Universal Basic Income for Women

<p><em>San Francisco Mayor London Breed Announcing the Abundant Birth Program <a href="https://sfmayor.org/article/mayor-london-breed-announces-launch-pilot-program-provide-basic-income-black-and-pacific"></a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Background</strong></p> <p>Women have never been more involved in the workforce than today. Since the industrial revolution and before, women worked in te...
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No More Lemon: The Supreme Court’s Take on Religion.

<p><em><strong>Significance of the Supreme Court</strong></em></p> <p>The Supreme Court has made several controversial decisions since the conservative bloc takeover. Many of those decisions can have far-reaching impacts that affect legislation and, consequently, the people&#39;s rights and freedoms. New precedents are set each year, yet few of the sixty-six cases that were heard during the 2021-2022 term made headlines . One case, Kennedy v. Brem...
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Why You Hate Your Neighbor

<p>With rising polarization, congressional gridlock, and increasing mistrust of political institutions, division has become a fact of life in American politics. Although numerous social and economic factors encourage division, the recent rise in political polarization can be&mdash;at least partially&mdash;attributed to a recent development: social media. Social media and the internet at large create a never-ending stream of entertainment and information. Yet, the constant distracti...
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Judicial Supremacy: A Threat to Democracy?

<p>One would think that the highest court in the land can be relied upon, but with 44% of Americans having an unfavorable opinion of the Supreme Court, it is clear that the court has lost the public&rsquo;s trust. Judicial supremacy, set into motion by Marbury v. Madison (1803) and solidified by Cooper v. Aaron (1958), is the precedent that the Supreme Court&rsquo;s rulings are the ultimate interpretations of the constitutions and are binding, thus making it imperative that justice...
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The Student Debt Trap

<p>Work hard in high school to get into a good college. Work hard in university to be accepted into a high-ranking master&rsquo;s program. Upon completion of your master&rsquo;s, be guaranteed a variety of job offers to choose from. Presented with this narrative our entire lives, many students such as myself buy into it without realizing that the benefits of attending university in the U.S. often do not outweigh the enormous costs of tuition. Thus, it&rsquo;s no wonder why stud...
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Polarization and State’s Rights: the Biggest Threats to American Democracy

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are quick to complain about polarization and the pitfalls of a country divided against itself. This polarization is a consequence of growing differences between red and blue states and deepens as politicians act to cement their own authority. By allowing individual states to legislate on fundamental issues, the Supreme Court is creating a new era of states’ rights with blue states becoming more liberal and red states becoming more conservative. The po...
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The Science Behind Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Jon Stewart (L) and Leslie Rutledge (R), the Arkansas Attorney General . Jon Stewart recently released an interview with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, pushing back on her state’s passing of Act 626 . Act 626 is the first bill in the nation to ban gender-affirming care, such as hormones, puberty blockers, and surgeries, for minors. While Stewart has long served as a staunch left-wing figure, a new and mounting body of evidence suggests that the scientific position lies in su...
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Inequality Among Refugees in the United States: A Racial Divide

<p>Nine months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine in March of 2022, sending millions of refugees fleeing for their lives to nations willing to take them in. One such nation that made a promise to these refugees, guaranteeing to provide them shelter in their time of need, was the United States. However, this broad acceptance of Ukrainian refugees comes in stark contrast to how the United States government and the American people treat refugees from other regions of the world. Unlike U...
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“Blitzscaling”: The Silicon Valley Culture Problem

<p>In theory, business interests should align with the interests of their consumers. Supply and demand should balance to deliver resource allocation that maximizes efficiency.&nbsp; However, modern business practices are often at odds with this equilibrium, and in many circumstances, irrational actors act recklessly, harming the general public. Silicon Valley&rsquo;s success can be attributed to software &mdash; none of which require brick-and-mortar locations to distribute the...
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The Complexity of the Latino Vote

<p>The most critical part of any political campaign is voter targeting. Candidates spend exorbitant amounts of money to ensure that their messages go out to as many voters as possible.&nbsp; Political scientists make their careers out of the analysis of voting blocs &ndash; groups with common identities and political goals. The categorization of voters into distinct blocs based on identifiers such as religious belief, age, race, and/or ethnicity allows candidates to focus on defini...
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America’s Progressive Prosecutor Problem

<p>In June of this year, San Francisco voted to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin by a landslide margin <a href="https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2022/live-election-results/chesa-boudin-recall"></a>. Despite the overwhelming support among voters in San Francisco for the Democratic Party&ndash; in 2020, they voted for Joe Biden by nearly seventy-three points <a href="https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/"></a>--even the overwhelmingly b...
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Obesity: A Public Policy Failure

<p>Obesity is the single greatest threat to Americans today. Only thirty years ago, Mississippi topped the rankings with a rate of 15%. In the year 2020, you cannot find a state with less than a quarter of adults suffering from this disease, and Mississippi has climbed to over 40%. We have grown up in an entirely different America than that of our grandparents. Most of us do not remember a United States before the obesity epidemic. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer on US soil...
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California’s New Congressional Districts: Fair or Unfair?

<p>After the completion of the 2020 United States Census, each state with more than one U.S. Representative was tasked with redistricting. This process occurs every 10 years to account for population shifts within the state, equalizing representation across political districts. California was only apportioned 52 representatives &mdash; one less than in the two decades prior &mdash; as a result of its below-average population growth rate . Though the state legislature conducts redis...
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Opinion: Lessons from Afghanistan

History always repeats itself. As President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan recedes further into history, the United States’ involvement in the region begins to look more and more like a “Vietnam 2.0”. Once again, America did not understand the unique cultural landscape of Afghanistan. And, once again, the U.S’s strategic goals became increasingly vague the more time it spent there.   To be sure, the United States had some success during it...
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Could Credible Cryptocurrencies Silently Take Over the U.S Financial System?

Cryptocurrency is considered by many to be yet another esoteric fad reserved for a select group of people. Like the dot-com bubble of the 1990’s, many expect cryptocurrency’s time in the spotlight to end and for tech risk-takers to lose their wealth as quickly as they amassed it. The shiny array of buzzwords such as “Web3”, “NFT”, “Bitcoin”, “Dogecoin”, “Blockchain”, “Ethereum”, and countless others clog news hea...
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The Crypto Conundrum and the Need for a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, an anonymous entity under the alias “Satoshi Nakomoto” authored and developed a cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Bitcoin became the first decentralized digital currency – free from government regulation, and manipulation. Since the creation of Bitcoin over a decade ago, a staggering 10,000 different cryptocurrencies have been created over, with a total market cap of over $3 trillion . However, what began as a fringe, anti-government mon...
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The Texas Abortion Ban and its Far-Reaching Implications

On September 1st, the Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks went into effect following the Supreme Court’s second consecutive refusal to block it. Despite Chief Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority allowed for a 5 to 4 vote in favor of upholding the fairly recent Texas law.    The law, also known as Senate Bill 8, is the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation.  It marks Texas lawmakers’ aim...
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Indigenous Activism is at the Forefront of Modern Environmental Advocacy

In much of the modern discourse surrounding climate change, particularly in discussions about the reduction of carbon emissions or the use of fossil fuels, there exists a fundamental belief in the power of large-scale, regulatory legislation. Such legislation often seeks to transform the economy, incentivize other forms of clean energy use, and disincentivize companies’ use of fossil fuels. Bills like the Green New Deal or policies like the CEPP , which calls on the federal government to ...
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Modern Day Slavery: Why Prison Labor Should Be Reformed

The prison labor system has been a significant yet controversial contributor to the United States economy since the post-slavery late 19th century. Prison labor refers to the jobs carried out by prison inmates during the period of their sentencing. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, all inmates are required to perform penal labor if they are able-bodied . This labor constitutes two primary areas, in-prison duties and industrial production duties. In-prison duties include on-site jobs to...
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Opinion: Ditch the Cuba Embargo

The United States embargo on Cuba turned sixty years old last month . Despite this milestone, there is no major push in Congress to end the decades-long policy. There absolutely should be.   It is important to understand the rationale behind the embargo. On February 2nd, 2022, the National Security Archives declassified documents relating to the early stages of the embargo . The failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion caused President John F. Kennedy to impose a total embargo on Cuba in 1...
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Inflation Games

Inflation is a larger problem than the Federal Reserve would like to admit. Recent data showcase a dire economic situation: inflation is now rising at an annualized rate of roughly 5.4%, and monthly inflation data indicates it’s not slowing anytime soon . Joe Biden has called this inflation “transitory”, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell echoed the President in saying that it would soon pass. However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently provided a contradictory statement and con...
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Ending Federal Incarceration for Lower Level/Nonviolent Drug Crimes

Mass incarceration has been a central issue for political parties in the United States since around the 1970s. Today, the US makes up approximately 25% of the world’s prison population. This high-imprisonment rate can be traced to the war on drugs, a policymaking campaign that promotes harsh drug laws and sentencing that disproportionately impacts people of color and people of lower socioeconomic standing. Mass incarceration is a particularly threatening societal issue because it continues...
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Opinion: The Foster Care System Feeds the Opioid Crisis

The United States is failing one of its most vulnerable populations—orphans. Thousands of children enter the U. S. Foster Care System in hopes of a better future and receive little more than trauma. Kids shuffle from house to house, never experiencing a consistent home or long-term reliable parental care. Much less, love. Children enter the foster care system for a variety of reasons—from parental abuse and neglect, to incarceration or death of their parents. Over the past five years...
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An Autopsy of America’s Longest War

On August 30, 2021, the last U.S. plane fled Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan after twenty years of war in the country. They left amidst chaos: in the days preceding that last flight from Kabul, a man fell to his death after clinging to a U.S. military aircraft with the hopes of escaping the collapsing country, and a suicide bombing by the Islamic State in Khorasan killed thirteen U.S. service members while they defended the perimeter of the airport, the first U.S. service members kill...
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A Roadmap for *Affordably* Housing All Californians

California is unaffordable for working families. As of May 2021, the average California home sells for over $800,000. Assuming that a buyer puts down a 20% down payment, they will need to make roughly $150,000 to afford the principal, mortgage, and interest on the average home . But not many Californians make $150,000 per year, as this falls in the 76th percentile for median household income and the 91st percentile for median individual income . California is the only state in which the average ...
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A Brief Explanation of Critical Race Theory and how its Opponents Embody Modern Anti-Intellectualism

Critical Race Theory has caused a whirlwind of debates both in the educational world and the legal sector with rumors of the qualm making its way all the way to the highest court.    Even though Critical Race Theory has gained steam in recent years, the coining of the term traces back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Kimberle Crenshaw, Derrick Bell, Richard Delgado, and others first started their trailblazing venture to give this legal approach standing and credibility . Cr...
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Excluding 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave from the New Democratic Spending Framework Threatens American Nuclear Family

The American public is well-versed in the struggles of being a working parent. When it comes to family welfare policy in the US, however, the government fails to provide any significant aid. In an attempt to rectify the severe lack of family welfare security, Democrats proposed to include paid parental leave in their initial $3.5 trillion spending bill first put forth in the Senate in early August of 2021 . This framework could have secured up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave and/or caretaker ...
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Fiscal Conservatism: A Republican Mirage?

The level of debt in the United States is reaching unprecedented territory with a current estimation of $28 trillion. While this number is definitely large, it is important to use relative values since inflation can significantly skew these numbers.   A standard metric that is used to convey the value of debt against inflation is the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, with GDP representing the total value of goods in the economy. The U.S. debt to GDP ratio reached its highest...
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Are Democrats Making the Same Mistakes? The Similarities Between The Recent Infrastructure Debate and the Formation of the ACA in 2009-10

The Congressional stage is set. A historic electoral mandate has won President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party a supermajority of 60 seats in the Senate and a majority in the House with 257 seats. Fresh on the legislative table is healthcare reform, and President Obama insists on the creation of what is now known as Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The process needs committees, debate, amendments, public hearings, markups, and negotiations.   The Con...
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The Price of Being a Moderate, as Told by the Downsized Infrastructure Bill

It is no secret that the United States has strayed far from the united republic that its forefathers envisioned. As the pandemic took over our lives, political polarization and party division became even more conspicuous in everyday life. In the year 2020, something as mundane as a trip to the grocery store became a revelation of who in your town was a Conservative (no mask) or Liberal (mask). While such conclusions are never based on more than a guess, research confirms general assumptions such...
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Policing From the Streets and Into Californian Classrooms: Fueling the School to Prison Pipeline

Since the infamous Columbine High School massacre of 1999, school board members and anxiety-ridden parents have sought to prevent such an atrocious act of violence from recurring. Consequently, in succeeding years the number of school resource officers (SROs) have skyrocketed across the nation in hopes of deterring an unhinged student from becoming every parent’s worst nightmare: a school shooter. Despite data that shows a lack of disparity between gun access and bullying rates among ethni...
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Do-Nothing Congress: How We Got Here and How We Fix It

Millions of anxious Americans sat in their homes glued to their televisions on January 5th, 2021 watching the results of a special Senate election in the state of Georgia that would determine the fate of the newly elected president’s agenda. Georgia flipped blue in a presidential election for the first time since 1992 when Bill Clinton carried the state to defeat incumbent president George H.W. Bush. It became the centerpiece of national controversy as two Senate races would decide whether...
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Jesse Baker Headlines First Bruin Political Review Speaker Series

The Bruin Political Review was honoured to host Jesse Baker at our first Bruin Political Review Speaker Series event this Fall.  Jesse Baker is the Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Los Angeles Field Office.  During his career, he has worked on the president’s protective detail, was a liaison in Congress for law enforcement agencies, and served as the security coordinator for the Rose Bowl and upcoming Super Bowl in LA.  Jesse is in the process of getting his EMB...
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The Yazidi Genocide: Will the International Community Ever Take Action?

Introduction On August 3rd, 2014, 200,000 Yazidis clamor over rocks to escape a genocide beginning at the base of a mountain. Within days, this ethnoreligious minority group will be nonexistent from the villages they have occupied for generations. International headlines will momentarily spotlight these atrocities before expectedly switching gears to resume discussions of domestic affairs. Though the attacks and headlines lasted only several days, the homicide continues and must now face reso...
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One Size Does Not Fit All: The Case for School Choice

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of schools was one of the largest challenges to American families with children. Many parents were forced to assume the role of teacher, and many students were left wondering when they’d return to the classroom. As phased re-openings dragged on, parents grew increasingly anxious. The collective frustration surrounding the delayed re-openings galvanized a new, yet familiar debate on education.          ...
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Why SCOTUS Term Limits are Necessary

In an 1855 speech, Republican Senator William Seward called on his Northern supporters to elect antislavery candidates who represented their true interests. His rationale was eerily reminiscent of today’s rhetoric; only about 1% of the nation owned slaves, he told the crowd, though slave owners were at the helm of every branch of government. “The people of the United States do not prefer the wealth of the few to the liberty of the many,” Seward declared . Sure enough, a decade ...
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The Biden Administration Must Make Cyber Security a Top Priority

On May 3, 2021, former President Donald Trump released a statement. He said, “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020, will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” . This sentiment captures the spirit of all the election challenges that have occurred, and the narrative propagated by Trump allies which hinges on conspiracy theories surrounding Dominion Voting Systems. Trump’s people have claimed that these voting machines were somehow compromised or that they were e...
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Religious Freedom is Where the Roberts Court Will Make its Impact

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump fashioned a substantial conservative Supreme Court majority and a potential line of defense in the form of justices. Trump himself appointed three justices, Niel Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, but also arguably had ideological support from three other justices, Thomas Clarence, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts-- all of whom were appointed by former Republican presidents (1).  Going into  2020 , some political comm...
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Why Class-Based Affirmative Action Works

Affirmative action policies in the United States have long been controversial, where neither side of the debate can agree on an effectively equitable solution. Many Americans recognize the egregious history of racial discrimination in the United States that needs to be addressed, and that we all benefit when we interact with a diverse group of people. Yet, many are also uncomfortable with the idea that an applicant’s race has a huge impact on his or her chances of admission. They worry tha...
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How Originalism Validates America’s Ugly Past of Racially-Motivated Gun Violence

Five months into the new year, and the United States has already witnessed a total of 194 mass shootings with at least 4 dead and/or injured . The recent spike in mass shootings, especially the spa shootings in Atlanta, jolted the American public, reigniting online discourse around the nation’s long-standing gun problem and shameful history of hate crimes.    Because the distribution and use of firearms has always been a big topic of contention between political groups with...
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Packing the Supreme Court

The death of feminist and legal champion Ruth Bader Ginsberg only 47 days before election day incited  a storm of debates surrounding the procedures and makeup of the Supreme Court.   The controversy began with concerns over President Trump’s rapid replacement of the esteemed justice. Democrats were quick to point out that in 2016 Mitch McConnel, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, blocked any sort of hearing for Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland, fol...
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Opinion: Medicare for All Is Inevitable

One of the most polarizing debates regarding the future of healthcare in the U.S is  whether or not to replace the current system of privatized healthcare with a universal, federally-funded system  called Medicare for All.  This idea of implementing such a system gained traction due to both the charismatic persona of advocate Senator Bernie Sanders and a growing majority of Americans being dissatisfied with the healthcare system. Implementing the idea is not so much a question of ...
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How Zoning Laws Create the Foundations of Racial Segregation in America

It is undeniable that in the past year, racial tensions have been surging across the country. On the surface it may seem like this development was due to a series of racially charged events consisting of police brutality, among other topics, that gained national attention and escalated along strands of ineffective and at times brutal governance. But a deeper analysis reveals a far more ingrained system of inequality than news headlines illuminate. Even more remarkable is that this concept, which...
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Tackling the Digital Divide in the Age of Coronavirus

Before the closure of schools and many businesses in March 2020, most Americans had probably never heard of Zoom. The video conferencing app soared into prominence as a result of “Safer at Home” orders, which transitioned many face-to-face activities into an online format. As a result of this paradigm shift from the real world to cyberspace, our invariably plugged-in society became even more virtually connected. One group of Americans was disproportionately impacted by this trend: th...
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How the Capital Riots Represent Social Media's Constitutional Dilemma

On January 8th, former President Donald Trump joined an exclusive list of people.  Among them: George Zimmerman, the man charged for the murder of Trayvon Martin; Milo Yiannopoulous, an alt-right political commentator; David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan; the American Nazi Party; and the now-former President of the United States, Donald Trump , whom Twitter suspended after he encouraged supporters to violently storm the Capitol on January 6th — an action which resu...
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Facebook’s Antitrust Case is Only The Beginning

On April 10, 2018, in the most apologetic way the somewhat colorless and fairly robotic sounding mega billionaire could offer his admissions, he stared into the eyes of the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and stated: “We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here." Mark Zuckerburg was forced to testify in the h...
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Political Expression Should Be Covered in Anti-Discrimination Law

Political polarization- the gap between conservatives and liberals, has surged in recent years. According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who express consistently liberal or conservative views has doubled since 1994, from 10% to 21%. Essentially, more Americans have moved to the right or left side of the political spectrum, with fewer Americans holding shared, overlapping beliefs. The percentage of Americans holding "mixed" ideological beliefs dropped from 49% in 2004, to 39%...
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Opinion: For Democrat’s Climate Proposals to Succeed, Partisan Aspirations Must Be Ditched

For too long, the ultimate consequences of climate change have been softened. Its ramifications have been dictated in digestible terminology and scenarios: sad polar bears, coral reef bleaching, and extra tropical storms. Even some climate activists today pontificate its implications in relatively palatable ways, usually something akin to "cities will flood, droughts and fires will be more prevalent, think of your grandchildren". It's easy to see why the misery humanity is on sc...
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DACA Failed, But Must Be Fixed

One of the biggest issues on the minds of voters during every election cycle in recent years has been illegal immigration. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 52% of registered voters say immigration is "very important" to their vote in the 2020 election . Despite the high level of importance voters place on addressing this issue, the country is polarized on how to solve the immigration crisis. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly referred to as ...