The Equal Protection Component of Legislative Generality

Evan C. Zoldan

The goal of achieving equality under law is deeply rooted in American philosophical traditions and constitutional doctrine. And although there is no universally accepted definition of equality, some applications of the principle are uncontroversial; most conceptions of equality bristle at the notion of particularized legislative treatment of named individuals without adequate justification.

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COMMENT: Regulating Human Germline Modification in Light of CRISPR

Sarah Ashley Barnett

Scientific advancement is notorious for pushing legal and ethical boundaries, but never more so than recently. For the first time in history, we have the potential to not only recreate genetic marvels of the past, but also reshape the genetic destiny of future generations. This is due to the development of a new, revolutionary technology in genetic engineering called CRISPR—short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

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COMMENT: Uniform Rules: Addressing the Disparate Rules that Deny Student-Athletes the Opportunity to Participate in Sports According to Gender Identity

Chelsea Shrader

Grade-school and college playing fields have long been segregated on the basis of sex. For decades, male and female students were afforded the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletic competitions on teams determined by their biological gender. Recently, an increasing number of high school and college-aged [students are publicly] identifying as transgender (or trans), meaning that their internal sense of their gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth. The emergence of openly transgender students in grade schools and colleges, in general, has resulted in vastly disparate rules promulgated by school districts to address how transgender individuals fit into the traditional operation of the education system.

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COMMENT: For the Sake of Consistency: Distinguishing Combatant Terrorists from Non-Combatant Terrorists in Modern Warfare

Alexander Fraser

The prosecution of Irek Hamidullin in an Article III federal court crystallized the result of years of heated debate amongst legal scholars, the military, and, most importantly, the executive branch. For the first time in the history of the United States, a military detainee enemy combatant was brought from Afghanistan to the United States to stand for a criminal trial in an Article III federal court. The defendant, Irek Hamidullin, was a known associate of the Taliban who orchestrated an attack in Afghanistan in November of 2009 and was captured by American forces thereafter. This concept—bringing a foreign combatant terrorist into our country for a criminal prosecution in a civilian tribunal for war-like conduct that took place on a foreign battlefield—has left many people, even federal judges, confused.

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Remarks on Campus Sexual Assault

Allison M. Tinsey

I was appalled to learn how the first-year criminal law curriculum addresses the subject of criminal sexual misconduct. Criminal sexual misconduct was the last topic covered in class and reserved for the last day of class. My section was forewarned of the upcoming conversation with an added bonus of knowing the material covered in class would not be on the exam. The assigned textbook reading on criminal sexual misconduct was condensed and edited. I heard a similar story from my friends in other sections: they were warned, told it would not be tested, and even given the option of not showing up to class that day.

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The Future of the Practice of Law: Can Alternative Business Structures for the Legal Profession Improve Access to Legal Services?

James M. McCauley

Nationwide, law school admissions have plummeted to levels not seen in years. From 2010 to 2015, applications were down by 38 percent and down by nearly one-half over the last eight years. Excluding perhaps some first-tier law schools, on the average, law schools are only placing about half of their new graduates in jobs that require a law degree and a law license. The American Bar Association (“ABA”) mandated disclosure policies which forced law schools to reveal that they pay stipends to graduates to work short-term jobs in an effort to beef up their placement statistics.

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Preface

Stephanie Serhan, Annual Survey Editor

The University of Richmond Law Review proudly presents the thirty-first issue of the Annual Survey of Virginia Law 2016. The Annual Survey is the only legal publication that provides an update to practitioners regarding recent developments in Virginia law. Since 1985, the Annual Survey has been a guiding tool for practitioners and students to stay abreast of the recent legislative, judicial, and administrative developments in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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IN MEMORIAM: Justice Antonin Scalia and the Constitution’s Golden Thread

As Americans, it is our duty to remember United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia‘s unwavering commitment to the words of our Constitution—their true meaning as the Founders deliberately wrote them. Words have meaning. Otherwise, what purpose do they serve? Chief Justice John Marshall, the great Federalist and Virginian, wrote, “As men . . . generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they intend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said.”

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Civil Practice and Procedure

Continuing in the rich vein of prior Annual Surveys, this article examines developments in Virginia civil procedure and practice in the past year. The survey includes a discussion of the relevant decisions from the Supreme Court of Virginia, changes to applicable rules of practice or procedure, and new legislation, which will likely affect the practice of a civil practitioner in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Corporate and Business Law

Thanks to a 2016 amendment to VNSCA, a nonstock corporation‘s board of directors can approve an action that does not require member approval by less than unanimous written consent if it is authorized in the nonstock corporation‘s articles of incorporation and, if no director objects to the proposed action, within ten days. To permit directors an opportunity to object, the corporation must give written notice to all directors at least ten days prior to the action.

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