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Washburn Law Journal Blog Posts From 2020

Four Keys to Understanding the Significance of Johnson v. U.S. Food Service

Joe Patton | December 1, 2020 | Read this blog post

Summary: Howard Johnson, who had been employed by U.S. Food Service, injured his neck on the ground and received a valid but shockingly low workers' compensation award. Mr. Johnson challenged the workers' compensation statute as a facially unconstitutional violation of Section 18 of the Kansas Bill of Rights, due to his inadequate remedy. Johnson v. U.S. Food Service is an appeal to the Kansas Court of Appeals from the Kansas Workers Compensation Board and is currently before the Kansas Supreme Court.

Acquiring Ethical Algorithmic Governance

David S. Rubenstein | November 16, 2020 | Read this blog post

Summary: On November 5, 2020, Washburn School of Law hosted a symposium that explored the “rights” and “wrongs” of artificial intelligence (AI). My presentation at the symposium focused on the federal government’s uses of AI. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses AI in law enforcement; the Social Security Administration uses AI to adjudicate benefits claims; the Department of Homeland Security uses AI to regulate immigration; and countless other agencies are experimenting with AI for the delivery of government services, customer support, research, and regulatory analysis. This small sampling presages a new era of “algorithmic governance,” in which government tasks assigned to humans will increasingly migrate to machines. 

Mail-In Ballots During COVID-19

Kayla Dieker | May 15, 2020 | Read this blog post

Summary: On April 7, 2020—amidst a global pandemic—Wisconsin held its primary election. At a time when the CDC was recommending cancellation for groups of ten or more people, blocks in Milwaukee were lined with voters wearing face masks and waiting to cast their ballots. Wisconsin has not been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 10, 2020, there have been 3,068 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, with 904 hospitalizations and 128 deaths. This is an increase of almost 500 cases since the April 7th primary election. Wisconsin is the only state with an April election that had not postponed or shifted to mail-in only—though it’s not for lack of trying.

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