Category Archives: Opinion

Make your voice heard! Georgetown Law Weekly writers share whatever they feel like writing about in this section.

The Law Weekly Is Fake News

“Fake news” is perhaps the definitive word to describe the last six months. Quickly entering popular culture in the waning weeks of the 2016 Presidential election, the term refers to news stories that are deliberately misleading or outright falsehoods. Commonly associated with stories supporting President Donald Trump, the administration has repurposed and embraced the term in launching its offensive at the so-called “mainstream media,” who are often critical of President Trump.

The Georgetown Law Weekly has taken the Trump Administration’s admonitions to heart. In this moment of self-reflection, I, as editor-in-chief, admit that I am part of the problem. We are fake news.

From our coverage of the fiery exchanges that played out over students’ inboxes after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, to our riveting coverage of Student Bar Association affairs, it is and has all been fake news. Despite this publication’s efforts to avoid commentary on political issues, the fact that we attempt to provide fair, unbiased news to the students and staff of Georgetown Law means we surely fit within the President’s conception of fake news, as translated from the original Russian.

This turn of events must come as a shock to certain viewers, who assumed our coverage of student elections and the latest developments on campus as genuine. However, we can now confirm that every single morsel of information posted by the Law Weekly has been false.

As soon as I took leadership of the Law Weekly, I felt an indescribable, deep-seated desire to mislead the public and discredit the candidacy of Donald Trump, even though he had yet to announce any such candidacy at that point. Although the Law Weekly is hardly in a position to influence national or even local politics, as indicated our paltry (but rising) Facebook “like” count, I had to do what I could. To that end, I attempted to manipulate everything I could about Georgetown Law’s student government affairs to best suit my own agenda, even though I was unsure what that agenda was.

After two years of effort, however, the Law Weekly and all of Fake News-dom have failed in this regard, now that the President has called us out on it, and we have decided to give up entirely.

Finally, in a bizarre turn of events, the above story has revealed to be fake news in and of itself. Happy April Fool’s Day!

A Watershed Moment for New Originalism

A New Era For Constitutional Law and Theory

If 1987 marked the downfall of originalism, then 2017 might be known as the comeback, thanks to Judge Gorsuch, an originalist who has testified to his adherence to the “original public meaning.”

Twenty years ago Robert Bork, a self-professed originalist, failed to earn enough votes to make it to the Nation’s highest court. And originalism ventured into an isolated wilderness. Now, Judge Gorsuch, who has brought originalism out of obscurity, is also bringing originalism squarely into the mainstream. Given an impending confirmation vote for him in late spring, Judge Gorsuch’s ascension to the bench will likely normalize originalism in many academic and political circles.

This is important for two of many reasons. First, state-of-the-art originalism, as a method of constitutional interpretation, is arguably the best-suited for the task. Second, originalism has the ability to appeal to individuals of all stripes, from left to right on the political spectrum.

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Stories from Inauguration and the Women’s March

unnamed-3This weekend, I, a moderately liberal white female law student raised between California and the Midwest who is admittedly privileged in many regards, went to both President Trump’s inauguration on Friday and the Women’s March the day after. Upfront, my experience came with implicit biases. I am not a Trump voter; I attempted to remain unbiased and objective at inauguration, but fully intended on protesting at the march. I consider myself a pragmatist with a love for dialogue; I wanted to talk to people, hear their stories and perspectives, and see for myself what the mood was like between the two very different groups that descended on Washington this weekend.

Official numbers have not been released of how many people attended the inauguration. As of 11am on Friday morning, WMATA had recorded over 193,000 rides for the day. Presumably, not all of those rides were individuals attending the Inauguration, and a portion of inaugural attendees would not have used the metro. My personal metrics say that the size of the crowd was somewhere between being sparse enough where I could have done a cartwheel in any direction without harming anyone, but condensed enough that I easily inhaled a pack of cigarettes via second-hand smoke. However, photos comparing the inaugural crowds during President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, and President Trump’s inauguration went viral not long after the ceremony finished. If you have yet to see them, just know that they were less than favorable for President Trump.

My ticket entrance was on 3rd and Constitution, directly adjacent to Judiciary Square. This was the only location where I personally encountered large-scale protests. As we approached the entrance there were four or so young African-American women chained together and to the metal gates delineating the entrance. They – and the protestors wearing all black in front of them – chanted “This checkpoint is closed” along with a number of other refrains denouncing white supremacy and President Trump. A man from Takoma Park who attended with the protestors said he would have preferred the blockade to have been closer to the gate; further out it served as more of a “spectacle” than to stop Trump supporters from entering the inauguration.

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In Support of Austin Tice

During the Student Bar Association meeting in the evening of March 15, 1E delegate Ata Akiner proposed a resolution in support of Austin Tice.  The resolution passed unanimously.

Tice is currently registered as a 3L at Georgetown Law, and a 2002 alumnus of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service as well as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of Captain.  A photojournalist, Tice traveled to Syria between his 2L and 3L years to cover the emerging conflict in that region.  His work was published across many prominent news outlets, like CBS, BBC and the Washington Post.

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OPINION: An Open Letter to GULC Professors: “Scaliagate” From a Student’s Perspective

Deborah Steinberg is a current 1L at Georgetown Law.  

As a proud millennial with the power of social media, I knew before the announcement from The New York Times that Justice Scalia passed away last week. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were covered in posts of mourning, posts of joy, and genuine inquiry into what was going to happen next. The majority of these posts came from my peers at Georgetown University Law Center.

Most of us did not even see Dean Treanor’s initial statement on the school’s website, as it was not sent to us directly and the majority of us do not regularly check the homepage. The first communication we got was the message from Professors Peller and Seidman. I logged into Facebook and saw a mix of reactions, ranging from “Who the hell are these guys?” to “Finally someone is speaking the truth!” Then we received the next email from Dean Treanor reaffirming his initial position. And then we received another email from more professors agreeing with him. Normally, I like getting email; but this was ridiculous.

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Nino Scalia: Grit and Elegance

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Associate Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia was found dead  at the age of 79 while on a hunting trip in remote West Texas on Saturday, February 13th, 2016. Much has been made about the implications of his passing on the future state of our High Court, which will be discussed in a later article. But first, I’d like to take a moment to bring my readers to better understand the Associate Justice as his admirers, dissenters, colleagues, and opponents undoubtedly do. Justice Scalia, however you may feel about his politics, was a brilliant man, and he deserves to be remembered as such.

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Letters to the Editor: Smoking on Campus

Editor’s note:  During the Student Bar Association meeting on 11/3/2015, an open forum was held discussing and debating the concept of a smoking ban on campus.  A number of SBA delegates and members of the student body at large voiced their opinions.  In response, the Law Weekly has solicited opinion articles from community members that wish to publish their opinions. 

The following two letters are reproduced exactly as they were received by the Law Weekly.  They do not reflect the opinion or position of the Law Weekly.  If you would like to see your opinion on this or any other issue published in the Law Weekly, contact the Editor in Chief, David Nayer, at dan31@georgetown.edu.  
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