April 7, 2015
by Sarah Steers
In April 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules regarding internet access and transparency. Until these proposed rules were announced, the FCC required Internet service providers (ISPs) to use nondiscriminatory practices for the transfer and treatment of web-based content. ...[read more]
March 21, 2015
by Sarah Steers
The unconventional gas well fee of Act 13 ("impact fee") sparked heated discussion. Under Section 2302 of Act 13, the governing body of a county may elect to impose a fee on each individual unconventional gas well drilled (or "spudded") in the county. The oil and gas industry considers the ...[read more]
March 21, 2015
by Sarah Steers
Pennsylvania has long incorporated its advantageous position atop deposits of oil and coal into its economy. As technological advancement in the 21st century meant greater access to- and utilization of- natural gas reserves trapped in shale, Governor Tom Corbett advocated for changes to ...[read more]
February 4, 2015
by Sarah Steers
After Fidel Castro's authoritarian regime took control of Cuba in 1959, the US responded in 1960 by imposing a trade embargo- a prohibition against commercial, financial and economic dealings with Cuba enforced over time by a minimum of six statutes. In 1961, the US severed diplomatic relations ...[read more]
January 17, 2015
by Sarah Steers
Shortly before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence declassified the torture report, the UN Committee Against Torture released their own report condemning the US for failure to comply with the international Convention Against Torture treaty. Following the December 9, 2014 release of the ...[read more]
November 2, 2014
by Sarah Steers
Changing international relations at the end of the 20th century, as well as concern for how various countries would handle sensitive environmental issues, led to the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Conference. Held in June 1992, the conference produced the first ...[read more]
October 18, 2014
by Sarah Steers
All but one of the US presidents, beginning with George Washington, have issued orders which can be equated with the modern-day executive order. The sole exception was William Henry Harrison, who died in office after having heldthe presidency for less than a month. Before 20th century, executi... ...[read more]
August 31, 2014
by Sarah Steers
Cuban nationalists began pressing for independence from Spain in the mid-nineteenth century. Cuban guerrilla fighters initiated frequent skirmishes with the Spanish military between 1868 and 1878. Revolutionary activities picked up in the 1890s and Spain imposed martial law in 1896. International ...[read more]
July 17, 2014
by Sarah Steers
Open carry laws restrict a person's ability to visibly wear or carry a gun in public. Both open and concealed carry laws vary considerably from state to state. Some state open carry laws differentiate between handguns and long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. Seven states, including California ...[read more]
June 17, 2014
by Sarah Steers
Eighteen US states have abolished the death penalty. Three states- Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin- have completely banned the death penalty since the mid-nineteenth century. Fifteen states abolished the death penalty at various points throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The ...[read more]

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