The University of Chicago Undergraduate Law Review (UCULR) is a student-run publication dedicated to the discussion, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of a variety of legal issues. It aims to provide a better understanding of the law in all of its ambiguities and contradictions in order to reveal how complex compilations of regulatory components can not only serve as reflections of social attitudes towards general ideas of order, agency, consent, power, and choice, but influence the most minute details of everyday life.
The first issue of the UCULR's third volume investigates how ambiguities in the distribution of power within and between sovereign governments obstruct the implementation of codified laws. By examining how American Indian tribes were forced to exert extra-legal pressures in order to reclaim land that federal and state authorities had illegally seized; how Kuwait Airways faced unexpected complications after attempting to rely upon English judgments in Canadian courts; and how Americans wondered if Ohio’s early regulation of the securities industry unconstitutionally infringed upon federal power, this issue illuminates how the contest of power between sovereigns comes to bear upon the construction and enforcement of legal texts. Ultimately, the articles included here demonstrate that the laws of our communities do not exist as self-executing machines that inevitably and freely march toward their stated ends. Thus, we must not conceive of laws as abstracted ideals but, instead, as malleable instruments unavoidably implicated by the motivations and prejudices of the human actors who breathe life into their very terms.
With the emergence of extensive cases of fraud in the field of speculative securities markets at the beginning of the 20th century, the state of Ohio passed an act “to regulate the sale of bonds, stocks and other securities and of real estate not located in Ohio and to prevent fraud in such sale.” The law joined the rows of those already enacted all over the United States, known generally as Blue Sky laws. These laws aimed to protect people from buying fraudulent securities by means of imposing strict licensing rules over the dis- tribution and sale of those financial instruments. For instance, Ohio’s Blue Sky law, which was passed in 1913, prohibited individuals and corporations from distributing securities within the state without first receiving a license from the state Securities Commissioner. The process of acquiring the license included the payment of a fee and the disclosure of particular information about the activities of the company, including copies of all of its advertising. The term “securities”, as defined by Ohio’s Blue Sky law, included such financial instruments as stocks, stock certificates, bonds, debentures, and collateral trust certificates, among others. Then, amendments made to the law in 1914 allowed for, inter alia, the regulation of bonds, stocks, and other securities not located in Ohio. Several classes of securities, however, were exempt from the license requirement, including Ohio public bonds, standard listed stocks, mortgages on Ohio real estate, and other financial instruments already under state regulation. While aimed at protecting consumers from fraud, the law aroused much indignation from companies that had been working for decades, had established reputations, and now were required to pay extra, onerous fees every year.
FEATURED BLOG POST
New rules, new regulations – many argue that health care is being turned upside down and inside out by the complex and often misunderstood Affordable Care Act. The effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been far-reaching, and many in the disabled community are asking what the Affordable Care Act means for children with special needs. This is an important question for individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders, the fastest growing developmental disabilities in the United States. The Center for Disease Control estimated that in the year 2000, one in every 150 children had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). By 2006 the prevalence had increased to one in every 110 children, and the most recent estimate from 2008 reports nearly one in every 88 children is diagnosed with an ASD. This means that between 2002 and 2008, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders increased by 78%. The United States is not the only country facing this challenge. South Korea reports an even higher prevalence rate of 2.6% suggesting that autism is under-diagnosed and under-reported worldwide. Competing theories exist as to why ASD prevalence has risen drastically in recent years. Yet, there is no question that ASDs are a growing concern for families, communities and countries around the world.