By Krista Haraway In the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential election, many of us turned to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings to assess the implications of a third Supreme Court vacancy filled by President Trump. SCOTUS is set to hear several cases starting this November that a conservative leaning Court could unravel, like the constitutionality of the … Continue reading Demystifying Amy Coney Barrett’s Judicial Philosophy
By Anya Witmer
2020 has been both an unprecedented year, and a modern tragedy: from new, deadly global pandemics and an amazing resurgence in social revolution, to the loss of an icon, warrior, and a pop culture hero.
On September 18, 2020, after decades as a prominent protagonist for women’s rights, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lost her battle with cancer. The world will never be the same. Continue reading “Loss of an Icon: The Notorious RBG”
By The Commentary and Ryan Stygar
As fires scorch across the state, Californians are once again reminded of the extreme threat posed by wildfire. News broadcasts show hundreds of firefighters working day and night to contain the blaze. While most firefighters wear yellow jackets to protect themselves from heat and embers, a substantial group wears bright orange jackets.
Why? They are California’s front line.
California’s Inmate Firefighters
On September 28, 2019, Cal Western students heard first-hand accounts of the inmate firefighter experience! Two veterans of the inmate firefighter program, Brooke Carrasco and Brandon Smith, shared their stories as the keynote panelists. Among the many topics covered was the controversy around the program. Prisoner rights advocates have raised questions about placing inmates in harms way, especially since inmate firefighters earn only $2.00 per day, plus $1.00 per hour while fighting fire.
By Nicolas Ahadzadeh
Election time for the 52nd district of California is coming up quickly. According to BallotPedia, the candidate filing deadline is December 6, 2019 and the primary election is March 3, 2020. Katie Pope, a current 2L at California Western School of Law, is taking advantage of these deadlines. Katie will be submitting her candidacy for Congress in the 52nd district this week.
Originally published in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
By Abril Perez
This is a call to action for everyone—especially our white allies—to stand up against white supremacy and publicly condemn it.
On August 3, 2019, a white supremacist violated my hometown of El Paso, Texas, by shooting Latinx shoppers at a Walmart. Fruit flies are circling the marigolds my friends and I laid out on our emergency Día de los Muertos altar in memory of the victims, yet I cannot bring myself to take it down. I am not ready to put this act of domestic terrorism behind me and you should not be either. We are all, in part, to blame for what happened in El Paso.
We politely engaged in civil discourse with racists who hide behind their self-appointed role as devil’s advocate. We watched in horror as a car slammed into a crowd of peaceful protesters, but let our indignation fade into, “but what can we do?” We nurtured the illusion that there are safe places for people of color and even felt grateful for minimal tolerance from white people. And now, as I sift through the rubble of my devastated community in hopes of finding signs of life or strength, all I find is a profound rage and sorrow that burns in my chest.
I am a third-year student at California Western School of Law. The Saturday before my finals, I received a text message from my best friend who was fleeing a parking lot near the shopping center under attack: “There’s a shooting in El Paso. Tell your family.”
By Vincent Chiaverini
It’s Friday night; all of your friends are over, you turn on your game console, and the game of choice is NCAA Football by EA Sports. Everyone is cheering for their respective colleges from Alabama to Clemson. But, you know who isn’t cheering at this party? All of the student-athletes who needed money, but weren’t paid for the use of their image and likeness.
This is just one example of why the Fair Pay to Play Act, a proposal by California State Senator Nancy Skinner, has been introduced. College football video games have come and gone, however, players wanting an equal cut of the profits generated from their skills is not going anywhere. On September 30, 2019, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed this act into law on the popular HBO show, “The Shop,” starring Lebron James.
I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you. @gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it! @uninterrupted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 allowing college athletes to responsibly get paid. pic.twitter.com/NZQGg6PY9d— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 30, 2019
Thank you for reading and supporting The Commentary these past two years! The Commentary, which started at CWSL in 1973 as a print newspaper, entered a new era when we created the first-ever Commentary website in the Fall of 2017.
At the very beginning, we were truly a blank slate. We had no writers and no content — just an empty website with endless possibilities. And over time, those possibilities became realized. That started with our very first edition in November 2017, in which we were able to celebrate New Media Rights’ ten-year anniversary and the California Innocence Project’s exoneration of wrongfully convicted prisoners.
We had 5,800 site views during year one, and since then, that number has tripled!!! Admittedly, probably at least 1,000 of those views were from me proofreading the site obsessively. But at least a few of them were from a lovely woman who will be attending Cal Western in the fall as a 1L. I met her at the new students’ reception held a few weeks ago. Without knowing my involvement with The Commentary, she said she eagerly reads each new edition and that reading The Commentary made her excited to attend school here. This was the most amazing thing to hear. Further, it made me realize how valuable student journalism is in capturing the essence of what makes Cal Western such a special place, and preserving that impression as a legacy for future students and the larger legal community.Continue reading “From Sara Gold — The Commentary 2017-present”
By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, Managing Editor
It’s April and for a lot us, whether we are 1Ls about to finish our first year in law school or 3Ls about to graduate, we are not in the same physical or mental shape as we were prior to law school. I am willing to admit that personally one of the biggest lows of my 1L year has been the realization of exactly how much weight I’ve gained over the course of it, putting me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Now, don’t get me wrong — this is not an article to blame the institution of law school, as my choices are my own and I know there are people who have maintained a healthy lifestyle during the semester or even became healthier during that time. But I am going to be addressing the culture that seems to be in law schools all across the country.
The culture I am referring to is this “Pain is temporary, GPA is forever” mindset where we as students are willing to sacrifice our emotional, mental, and physical health for the sake of good grades. We will justify it by saying everything in law school is only temporary and after we graduate we can undo all of this. But let’s ask ourselves, how many of us have seen our classmates, friends, and even ourselves develop some form of health issue? How many of us have developed some form of depression or mental health due to prolonged stress? How many of us have developed some form of substance abuse during our time in law school?Continue reading “Health in Law School”
By Francis Carlota
I have a question. First, I’ll give stats of a former NFL quarterback. Then you tell me if you think he’s good enough to be a current NFL quarterback. Keep in mind he is just 31 years old, only two seasons removed from playing professional football, has no criminal history of domestic violence or rape, no injury issues, and no substance abuse problems.
Stat 1: This player had a passer rating of 90.7 for the 2016-2017 season. This ranked 17th out of 47 quarterbacks who started an NFL game, higher than Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton.
Stat 2: Of all the former quarterbacks ever to throw the ball over 500 times, this player has the lowest interception percentage of all time, making him the most interception averse quarterback of all time. Only one other player, Aaron Rodgers, has more attempts and a lower interception percentage.
Now you tell me. Is this player good enough to be a current NFL quarterback at any level? Forget being a starter. But is he at least good enough to be a second or third-string quarterback? Yes. But shockingly, this player is no longer a quarterback in the NFL. Why?Continue reading “Opinion: Kaepernick ousted from NFL for exercising free speech”
By Lindsey Cherpes
New Editorial Boards
The California Western Law Review and International Law Journal are excited to announce their new editorial boards for 2019-2020!
Law Review: Samantha Sneen, Editor-in-Chief; Natalie Holtz, Executive Editor; Lindsey Cherpes, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Katherine Norton,
Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Chelsea Staskiewicz,
Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments
International Law Journal: Rojina Haririparsa, Editor-in-Chief; Emily Ferman, Executive Editor; Mary Grace Jalandoni, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Carlos Gomez, Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Sophia De La Rocha, Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments
Symposium: Border Myths
On Saturday, March 9, the journals hosted a symposium to explore myths surrounding America’s borders. The symposium, attended by about 150 people, featured a dynamic array of distinguished speakers. Meagan Nettles (ILJ’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) and Janna Ferraro (Law Review’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) coordinated the event, assisted by symposium committee members Ommar Chavez, Giovanni Dolleton, Elisa Pineda, Mark Simpliciano, and Amanda Thom.Continue reading “Law Review/ILJ news: New boards & symposium”