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Washburn Law Journal Online Archive

Double Entendre under the MHRA: When a Transgender Teenager Pleads Discrimination on the Grounds of Sex but It Does Not Satisfy Claims of Sex Discrimination [R.M.A. by Appleberry v. Blue Springs R-IV Sch. Dist., No. WD 80005, 2017 WL 3026757 (Mo. Ct. App. July 18, 2017), cause ordered transferred to Mo. S. Ct. (Jan. 23, 2018)]

Hannah L. Woofter | April 23, 2018 | Read this comment

Summary: The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District affirmed the district court's dismissal of a transgender male teen's claims of discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act. The teen alleged discrimination on the grounds of sex when his school district denied him access to the boys’ locker rooms and restrooms. The court erred when it analyzed legislative history and looked beyond the four corners of the petition to determine what "on the grounds . . . of sex" meant, when R.M.A.'s claim, on its face, alleged sex discrimination. Like Title VII, the MHRA is a remedial statute which must be construed broadly; the court's dismissal goes against the notion that human rights violations should be heard on the merits and decided by a jury.

Preferred Citation: Hannah L. Woofter, Double Entendre under the MHRA: When a Transgender Teenager Pleads Discrimination on the Grounds of Sex but It Does Not Satisfy Claims of Sex Discrimination, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 52 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/woofter-MHRAdoubleentendre

Double Entendre under the MHRA

Wake Up! The Proper Error Analysis for the Case of a Sleeping Judge [State v. Johnson, 391 P.3d 711 (Kan. App. 2017), cert. granted Sept. 29, 2017.]

Morgan E. Hammes | April 3, 2018 | Read this comment

Summary: The Kansas Court of Appeals held when a judge falls asleep on the bench it constitutes a structural error because it permeates the entire trial. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has only formally recognized a handful of structural errors and judges falling asleep should not be added to this narrow list. Instead, the Kansas Court of Appeals should have applied the harmless-error doctrine and found the judge who fell asleep while presiding over a criminal trial properly mitigated the situation, and upheld the defendant’s conviction.

Preferred Citation: Morgan E. Hammes, Wake Up! The Proper Error Analysis for the Case of a Sleeping Judge, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 44 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/hammes-sleepingjudges

Wake Up! The Proper Error Analysis for the Case of a Sleeping Judge

Retreating from Constitutional Protections: Requiring Registration on Offender Registries Without a Jury [State v. Huey, 399 P.3d 211 (Kan. 2017)]

Bretton William Hake Kreifel | March 23, 2018 | Read this comment

Summary: In State v. Huey, the Kansas Supreme Court held requiring registration under the Kansas Offender Registration Act was not a punishment. In doing so the Kansas Supreme Court authorized judges to find facts necessary to force registration. Darnell Lee Huey was required to register for fifteen years as a violent offender after a judge decided he had used a dangerous weapon in the commission of a crime. While offender registration is a critically useful tool in our society, registration on such a public and pervasive list is something that should be decided by a jury.

Preferred Citation: Bretton William Hake Kreifel, Retreating from Constitutional Protections: Requiring Registration on Offender Registries Without a Jury, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 37 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/kreifel-offenderregistries

Retreating from Constitutional Protections: Requiring Registration on Offender Registries Without a Jury

Suspicious Reasoning: How the Tenth Circuit's Reasonable Suspicion Analysis Went Wrong [Vasquez v. Lewis, 834 F.3d 1132 (10th Cir. 2016)]

Timothy L. Carney | March 7, 2018 | Read this Comment

Summary: The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that two law enforcement officers did not have reasonable suspicion to detain and search an individual’s vehicle for drugs. The court erred in using the “divide-and-conquer” approach to determine whether reasonable suspicion existed, and because it never properly answered that threshold question, it also erred by finding the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity.

Preferred Citation: Timothy L. Carney, Suspicious Reasoning: How the Tenth Circuit's Reasonable Suspicion Analysis Went Wrong, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 29 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/carney-reasonablesuspicionanalysis

Suspicious Reasoning: How the Tenth Circuit's Reasonable Suspicion Analysis Went Wrong

Weeding out Marijuana Businesses with RICO [Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper, 859 F.3d 865 (10th Cir. 2017)]

Hayley N. Sipes | February 21, 2018 | Read this Comment

Summary: The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that private landowners can bring a civil claim under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) against marijuana growers and their associates alleging an injury to their land. This holding will open the door for numerous lawsuits to be brought against those parties involved in the marijuana business and could have a crippling effect on the industry.

Preferred Citation: Hayley N. Sipes, Weeding out Marijuana Businesses with RICO, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 21 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/sipes-marijuanaandrico

Weeding out Marijuana Businesses with RICO

Analyzing the Kansas Supreme Court’s Sweeping Prohibition of Identity Theft Prosecution Under Kansas State Law [State v. Garcia, 401 P.3d 588 (Kan. 2017)]

Curry P. Sexton | February 6, 2018 | Read this Comment

Summary: The Kansas Supreme Court held that federal law and the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986 expressly preempt Kansas identity theft prosecution of undocumented workers. The court erred by overtly interpreting federal law to satisfy its preemption analysis and dispose of the prosecution. The State should have unbridled authority to prosecute undocumented workers for crimes unrelated to illegal alien status.

Preferred Citation: Curry P. Sexton, Analyzing the Kansas Supreme Court's Sweeping Prohibition of Identity Theft Prosecution Under Kansas State Law, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 14 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/sexton-identitytheft

Analyzing the Kansas Supreme Court’s Sweeping Prohibition of Identity Theft Prosecution Under Kansas State Law

Scrutinizing the Scope of Oklahoma’s Statutory Pugh Clause [Stephens Production Co. v. Tripco, Inc., 389 P.3d 365 (Okla. Civ. App. 2016)]

Ethan D. Thompson | January 23, 2018 | Read this Comment

Summary: The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals held that the Oklahoma statutory Pugh Clause does not apply to a statutorily created unit because the Unitization Act addresses producing wells, while the Pugh Clause addresses pre-production leases. The court erred by failing to recognize that the purposes of both statutes are to prevent waste, and the court’s interpretation created opportunities for more waste.

Preferred Citation: Ethan D. Thompson, Scrutinizing the Scope of Oklahoma's Statutory Pugh Clause, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 8 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/thompson-pughclause

Scrutinizing the Scope of Oklahoma's Statutory Pugh Clause

Unreasonable Suspicion: Kansas’s Adoption of the Owner-as-Driver Rule [State v. Glover, 400 P.3d 182 (Kan. Ct. App. 2017)]

Benjamin B. Donovan | January 23, 2018 | Read this Comment

Summary: The Kansas Court of Appeals adopted a bright-line rule that reasonable suspicion exists for a traffic stop when the vehicle's registered owner has a suspended license and the officer is unaware of evidence that the owner is not the driver. This rule fails to meet the reasonableness requirement of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Preferred Citation: Benjamin B. Donovan, Unreasonable Suspicion: Kansas’s Adoption of the Owner-as-Driver Rule, 57 Washburn L.J. Online 1 (2018), http://washburnlaw.edu/wljonline/donovan-ownerasdriverrule

Unreasonable Suspicion: Kansas’s Adoption of the Owner-as-Driver Rule