Highest Rated Projects
Fix Baxter Street (or get out of our Waze)
Apps like Waze route drivers over Baxter Street, which features a 32-percent grade street dating back to the 19th century. Accidents and property damage are increasing, because neither the apps’ traffic algorithms nor Los Angeles road signs account for Baxter’s dangerous configuration.
Free Meek Mill
Against the recommendation of the assistant district attorney AND the probation officer, Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced Meek to two to four years in prison for insignificant probation violations on a case from nearly a DECADE ago. Nothing about Meek is a risk to public safety - in fact, he’s contributed to society through his community service and activism. Meek has been on probation since he was 19 years old. He's now 30 and has been under the strain of the state his entire adult life--and his situation is not uncommon. 1 out of every 3 people in Pennsylvania prisons are there because of a probation or parole violation - not new crimes.
Orange County Homeless Justice
Latest studies show more than 1,030 people are on the streets of OC, twice the number from 2017, and many from other parts of the county. Contrary to perceptions, the vast majority of OC’s homeless are American citizens and longtime OC residents, and the costs of managing homelessness is tremendously expensive for the public. The current lawsuit forcing homeless encampments forces action now.
Doing Business in Ghana
While Ghana has made improvements including posting regulations related to construction online free of charge, the World Bank's Doing Business ratings indicate it still has far to go. While starting a business is scored an 80 on Distance to Frontier, registering property is only a 55.5, with a lack of digitization a key challenge.
Most Popular Projects
Gideon's Trumpet: Indigent Right to Counsel
Charged in a Florida State Court with a noncapital felony, I appeared without funds and without counsel and asked the Court to appoint counsel for me; but this was denied on the ground that the state law permitted appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases only. I conducted my own defense about as well as could be expected of a layman; but was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Subsequently, I applied to the State Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, on the ground that my conviction violated his rights under the Federal Constitution. The State Supreme Court denied all relief.
U.S.-China Trade Diplomacy Project
The U.S. has imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum, exempting a number countries but not China, prompting retaliatory tariffs and a WTO case from Beijing. Additionally, the U.S. has teed up new tariffs, a WTO case of its own, and potential investment restrictions in response to China’s intellectual property regime and forced technology transfer rules. In response, China readied new tariffs of its own in a squabble that could eventually ensnare $300 billion in bilateral goods trade. China/Hong Kong is by far the Port of Los Angeles’ largest trading partner. The ports, accounting for close to a million jobs in the region, handled $284 billion worth of goods last year, half of that from China. “The United States loses, China loses, and the world loses from the two largest economies imposing taxes on imports and disrupting global value chains and world markets,” said Christine McDaniel, senior research fellow at the nonprofit Mercatus Center, in a report last week.
Rampant Misconduct In Orange County Criminal Justice System
A civil rights group has accused Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas of running a longstanding, secret and illegal jail informant program that has violated the rights of countless defendants for over 30 years, according to a bombshell lawsuit filed Wednesday. The complaint, filed in Orange County Superior Court by the American Civil Liberties Union along with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, bolsters the allegations of Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders that the county was running an expansive jailhouse informant program. The corruption scandal has rocked the county’s criminal justice system for more than four years and has led to the unraveling of nearly 20 high-profile cases and threatens to upend still more.
LA Sheriff's Unconstitutional Immigration Program
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unlawfully detained immigrants based on warrantless requests from federal immigration authorities, violating the Fourth Amendment. Because nonfederal officers can only detain immigrants based on suspected criminal activity and not for suspected civil immigration violations, the department lacked the authority to hold the individuals — arrested on unrelated criminal charges — in custody beyond the point they were due to be released from jail.
Moderators' Choice Projects
Empowering Public Defenders - not Public Pretenders
As the LA County Board of Supervisors searches for the new chief public defender for the Los Angeles County public defender’s office, it must be cognizant of a deep commitment to quality indigent defense. Needs range from social services to proactively dressing the severe civil legal consequences that can stem from criminal convictions. This experience gives faith that the candidates are true defenders.
Prosecutorial Regulation in the Global South: Environmental Litigation in China
Chinese prosecutors have only initiated a small amount of civil cases against minor polluters. Spurred by innovation incentive structures, the prosecutors have gone after the lower hanging fruit, fulfilling limited regulatory need and having near to no regulatory effect. Given the lack of capacity and independence as well as the conflicting incentive structures it is unlikely that the Chinese one-off prosecutorial civil litigation cases studied here can develop into a broader regulatory force, not even now that a legal amendment points towards standing for prosecutors in such cases.
Legalize State University Cannabis Research
The University of California at Irvine recently established its Center for the Study of Cannabis, an innovative multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to legal cannabis. However, many of the proposed activities of the Institute unfortunately violate federal law and the UC prohibition against direct research involving controlled substances. There are number of options - including obtaining a DEA license, and/or engaging in some type of litigation - to deal with these challenges and obstacles. However, for a number of reasons, none are likely to succeed.
United States Declaration of Independence
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and d
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Jim Crow laws enabled the racial segregation of the Montgomery Bus Line. As a result of this segregation African Americans were not hired as drivers, were forced to ride in the back of the bus, and were frequently ordered to surrender their seats to white people even though black passengers made up 75% of the bus system's riders. African-American passengers were also attacked by bus drivers and shortchanged and left stranded after paying their fares.
The Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war....But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
I quarrel not with far-off foes, but with those who, near at home, co-operate with, and do the bidding of those far away, and without whom the latter would be harmless. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.... No man with a genius for legislation has appeared in America. They are rare in the history of the world. There are orators, politicians, and eloquent men, by the thousand; but the speaker has not yet opened his mouth to speak who is capable of settling the much-vexed questions of the day. We love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire. Our legislators have not yet learned the comparative value of free-trade and of freedom, of union, and of rectitude, to a nation. They have no genius or talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufactures and agriculture. If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncor
Exodus from Egypt
Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go.
The X-Files: The Truth is (Still) Out There
My name is Fox Mulder. Since my childhood, I have been obsessed by a controversial global phenomenon. Since my sister disappeared when I was 12 years old... in what I believe was an alien abduction. My obsession took me to the FBI, where I investigated paranormal science cases through the auspices of a unit known as the X-Files. Through this unit, I could continue my work on the alien phenomenon, and the search for my missing sister. In 1993, the FBI sought to impugn my work, bringing in a scientist and medical doctor to debunk it... which only deepened my obsession for the better part of a decade, during which time that agent, Dana Scully, had her own faith tested. In 2002, in a change of direction and policy, the FBI closed the X-Files, and our investigation ceased. But my personal obsession did not.
Save Leslie Knope's Tiny Park Plan
Please ask Councilmember Jamm and other members of the Pawnee City Council joining me to approve the creation of this important tiny park. The Smallest Park in Indiana featured in "Smallest Park" will be commissioned in the northwesternmost parking space of the Valley Stores Shopping Center’s rear parking lot in Pawnee, IN. Please put your Pawnee tax dollars to this wise and amazing new project!
The Trial of Socrates
Well, what do the slanderers say? They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit: 'Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.' Such is the nature of the accusation: it is just what you have yourselves seen in the comedy of Aristophanes, who has introduced a man whom he calls Socrates, going about and saying that he walks in air, and talking a deal of nonsense concerning matters of which I do not pretend to know either much or little—not that I mean to speak disparagingly of any one who is a student of natural philosophy. I should be very sorry if Meletus could bring so grave a charge against me. But the simple truth is, O Athenians, that I have nothing to do with physical speculations. Very many of those here present are witnesses to the truth of this, and to them I appeal.
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