VOLUME 169, ISSUE 2 January 2021


Two of the most important issues defining the Trump Administration were the President’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Administration’s dealing with immigration issues. These have been regarded, in the popular press and in the scholarly literature, as unrelated. But there is a key common feature in the Trump Administration’s response: racism and xenophobia has shaped both the handling of the public health crisis and immigration issues. Understanding the underlying basis for the Trump Administration’s reaction to both issues helps to clarify the fallacies, indeed the tragedies in its actions, and the legal errors that have been made.
For more than 150 years, companies called “heir hunters” have operated in the shadows of the court system. Heir hunters monitor probate filings to identify intestate decedents who have missing or unknown relatives. They then perform genealogical research, locate the decedent’s kin, and offer to inform them about their inheritance rights in exchange for a share of the property. States are sharply divided about whether to enforce contracts between heir hunters and heirs. This discord stems from the fact that we know virtually nothing about heir hunting.
High courts + high stakes = high drama. But not always. As the Supreme Court’s 2015 Term showed, some bombshell cases fizzle rather than dazzle. During the fourteen months it took for Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor to arrive at One First Street, some of the Term’s most controversial—and consequential—cases divided 4–4. And when the highest court in the land deadlocks, it issues a dry, nine-word order: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” Supreme stalemate.


After paying for sex, the man was not charged with prostitution or solicitation: in fact, he was not charged at all. On the contrary, police paid him a total of $180 for the time he spent receiving oral stimulation and engaging in sexual intercourse with the female employees. The man discussed the sexual encounters with police, who laughed and joked with him on multiple occasions about the acts.
In the past few years, “kidfluencers,” or children with large social media followings, have been integral to the rise of an "$8-billion social media advertising industry. The most successful kidfluencers make up to "$26 million in a year by posting sponsored content and monetizing ad space on their social media pages. Because kidfluencers have no legal right to these earnings or safe working conditions, the risk of exploitation is extreme and immediate. Still, the issue is nuanced because parents significantly control the production of their children’s online content, and states are limited in how much they may regulate a parent’s decisions in raising their child.
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