Peel Slowly and Sue

By Stephen Hooper The Velvet Underground’s groundbreaking first album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico” is an icon, giving birth to the punk rock revolution and countless indie bands, and the sounds and images that emanated from the band in the sixties have become inextricably absorbed into our popular culture. The album also sports a cover that is iconic in its own right, designed by famed artist Andy Warhol, featuring a sticker of a yellow banana peel that listeners could peel off to reveal a pink banana underneath. The counter-culture of the sixties, as embodied in the incomparable work of Warhol and the generation of rock bands that followed the influence of the Velvet Underground, has had such strong reverberations in our culture that we often take for granted the extent to which it has permeated the popular imagination despite its counter-cultural origins. The Library of Congress even added the album


Whose Tweets? Our Tweets?

By Paul Hershan It’s a common refrain that our degree of privacy in modern life isn’t what it used to be.  Facebook, Twitter and the like pose the same dilemma- post on the website frequently and contribute to fun, interesting things being talked about online, while diminishing your level of personal privacy; not post on the website, maintain your privacy but miss out on the fun.  It is hard to stay completely off the grid, especially when more and more people use these sites for personal communication.  Should you really have to forgo your privacy when you send a message to your friend on Facebook or post a tweet?  Are you broadcasting whatever message you are sending to the world, or is it more personal? Should a prosecutor be entitled to subpoena your tweets?   Recently, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office subpoenaed Twitter at their San Francisco offices for the tweets


Are We Entering a Minority Report Era? The Ninth Circuit Says "No."

By Sarah K. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a California law that permits law enforcement authorities to collect DNA samples from people arrested for serious crimes, even prior to conviction. Originally passed in 1998, the law was amended in 2004 to permit DNA collected from any person charged with a felony offense. In 2009, five California residents who were arrested, but never convicted, filed a lawsuit which challenged the law as unconstitutional. The plaintiffs allege that the 2004 version of the law violates the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. It is worth noting that the collection of fingerprints from persons at the time of arrest is widespread and remains virtually uncontested on a constitutional basis. In defense of the law, the Ninth Circuit majority explained that the benefits of DNA collection for arrested persons, which include California’s successful


Rallying Like It’s 1973

By Sarah K. What do you get when you take the women’s lobby, add in some freedom of religion, combine with an impending presidential election, and throw in more reproduction-related controversies in one month than most people can recall in recent memory? The answer is the month of February, 2012. And boy, Saturday Night Live is certinaly enjoying it. In an era where most young women take contraceptives and abortions for granted, the events of the last few weeks have certainly shed doubt on the security of these well-respected rights. As I was perusing the internet this week, I noticed an advertisement on the bottom of my screen, proclaiming “Birth Control under ATTACK!” While such an ad might be slightly hyperbolic, watching the birth-control controversy of the last two weeks unfold invoked the not-too-distant memory of Fordham’s own birth-control fiasco last Fall. Fordham’s refusal to explicitly disclaim its unwillingness to


New York Sports Unite

By Nicholas G. The New York Football Giants and Jeremy Lin have more in common than first meets the eye.  Yes they are both sports entities within New York, but over the past two months they evolved into something grander and more complex.  The two sports sensations connected the citizens of New York for a brief moment in time distracting us from reality. The Giants had a magical run in the playoffs topped off by an incredible Super Bowl win over one of New York’s fiercest rivals, the New England Patriots.  The Giants began their Super Bowl push in early January.  Over the course of the month the Giants toppled Super Bowl favorites week after week.  The state of New York became enveloped in Giant mania.  Throughout New York City the Giants dominated the headlines, a sea of number 10 jerseys could be seen, it felt as though the entire


Ryan Braun: Legally Innocent…Morally Wrong?

By Nicholas G. Ryan Braun, outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, recently became the first baseball player to successfully dispute a drug related penalty.  In the past few years, Ryan Braun has emerged as more than just a solid left fielder.  In the 2011 season, Braun sustained a .332 batting average, hitting 33 home runs, and driving in 111 runs.  He lead the Brewers to the 2011 National League Championship and was awarded the National League Most Valuable Player Award.  Ryan Braun is no longer just your everyday left fielder he has become one of the faces of Major League Baseball. Unfortunately and to the dismay of all baseball fans, Braun’s outstanding 2011 season may have been achieved through questionable measures.  The last two decades have been labeled the “steroid era” in Major League Baseball.  All Star players from Mark McGuire to Manny Ramirez have achieved greatness in the game of


Rutgers Bully Goes on Trial

By Victoria G. On Friday, Dahrun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student went on trial for setting up a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi. A few weeks into their freshman year, Ravi and another hallmate used the webcam to spy on Clemente kissing another man and later commented about it on Twitter. Several days later Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after posting a short but chilling Facebook status update: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.” Now, Ravi is facing a 15- count indictment including tampering with physical evidence, invasion of privacy, and bias intimidation. Bias intimidation is a hate crime, usually attached to violent crimes and carries a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison. Here, the allegation is that Ravi set up the webcam with the intention of harassing Clementi because he was gay or that Clementi felt that


Can Vasectomies be Regulated the Same Way as Abortions?

By Victoria G. This past week, Representative Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from Jonesboro, Georgia, proposed a bill prohibiting men from getting vasectomies, unless its purpose was to prevent death or serious injury. This bill is a direct response to a bill that punishes abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy, but also makes exceptions for death or serious risk of bodily harm for the mother. She says that “[i]f we legislate women’s bodies, it’s only fair that we legislate men’s,” and hopes that this bill will stir up controversy and dialogue the same way anti-abortion statutes have. Neal makes it clear that the primary purpose of this proposed bill is to shed light on the injustice in letting men legislate what women can and cannot do with their bodies. She says “even if it were proposed as a serious issue, it’s still not my place as a woman to


Marijuana Policy Continues to Perplex

By  Paul Hershan Roughly 3/4 of Americans believe it should be legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana for serious medical conditions.  For this and other reasons, it has come as a shock to many that the Obama administration has stepped up its pursuit of medical marijuana dispensaries over the past year.  During the campaign, President Obama (himself a frequent marijuana smoker in his youth, according to his memoir) stated that he would reverse the Bush policy of prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries (legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia), promising to leave the issue up to states.  Not so much.  The federal government has prosecuted marijuana dispensaries nationwide, vowing to seize the property of those who simply rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. From a cynical perspective, the reversal in policy from the Obama Administration makes little sense- it


Vincent Chin Trial Reenactment

By A. Hsu Last Thursday, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) of Fordham put on a reenactment of the trial for the murder of Vincent Chin, which started the Asian American civil rights movement. The reenactment was edited and adapted from the court transcripts by Judge Denny Chin. Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, was beaten to death by a baseball bat in Michigan by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. The murder was a hate crime, stemming from massive layoffs in the Detroit auto industry (including Nitz’s layoff) because it was losing market share to Japanese automakers. During the beating, Ebens made the comment “It is because of you…that we’re out of work!” In the state criminal charges, Ebens and Nitz received a lenient sentence through a plea bargain of 2 years probations and $3,700 fines each, despite the brutal nature of the attack. Due to public outrage, the