A Fare Deal: The Reasonable Regulation of Ridesharing

A Fare Deal: The Reasonable Regulation of Ridesharing

Note | 104 KY. L. J. ONLINE 17 | Sept. 28, 2015

Dylan Merrill[1]


On New Year’s Eve 2013, Sayad Muzzafar was driving for the ridesharing company Uber when he struck a mother and her two children while they were crossing the street. That night, one of the children, a six year-old girl, died from her injuries.[2] The Liu family later sued the company, but Uber distanced itself from the accident, arguing it was not liable because Mr. Muzzafar did not have an Uber passenger in his vehicle when he struck the pedestrians.[3] At the time of the accident, policymakers had not implemented regulations for the new rideshare industry, further frustrating the goal of determining who in fact is liable in these circumstances.[4]
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Eldred & the New Rationality

Eldred & the New Rationality

This Online Original is available for download (PDF) here.

Article | 104 KY. L. J. ONLINE 1 | July 17, 2015

Brian L. Frye[1]


Historically, the rational basis test has been a constitutional rubber stamp. In Eldred v. Ashcroft and Golan v. Holder, the Supreme Court applied the rational basis test and respectively held that Congress could extend the copyright term of existing works and restore copyright protection of public domain works, despite evidence that Congress intended to benefit copyright owners at the expense of the public.But in Lawrence v. Texas and United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court seems to have applied the rational basis test and held that state and federal laws were unconstitutional because they were motivated by animosity, and in Obergefell v. Hodges, it held that states must license marriages between two people of the same sex, because there is no legitimate basis to refuse.This essay argues that Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell may reflect the emergence of a “new rationality” that authorizes courts to consider legislative intent when evaluating the constitutionality of legislation. If so, perhaps the Court should reconsider Eldred and Golan. Continue reading

Knowledge is Power: Understanding Kentucky’s Human Trafficking Laws

Knowledge is Power: Understanding Kentucky’s Human Trafficking Laws

Note | 103 KY. L. J. ONLINE 5 | Apr. 24, 2015

Katie Smith[1]


“Human trafficking”—these two words are increasingly onthe radar of political leaders, celebrities, and average citizens across the nation. Over the past decade and a half, leaders and activist groups have begun to decry this “modern day slavery” as a growing evil that must be stopped; however, celebrities who speak out against trafficking or legislatures that unanimously push to pass bills condemning the practice often do little, in reality, to actually prosecute traffickers or to aid victims.[2] The state of Kentucky, however, is somewhat unique. Although it remains unrecognized by many, human trafficking does, in fact, exist in the Commonwealth. Instead of settling for mediocre laws that condemn the evil of trafficking but do little to combat it, the Kentucky legislature has passed some of the strongest legislation in the country to actually take a stand against sex and labor trafficking within our state’s borders.[3] Continue reading

Lawmakers Are Not Above the Law

Hillary Chambers, KLJ Staff Editor

Many of our fellow Kentucky citizens were disturbed when a member of the state legislature, charged with DUI, defended himself by claiming he was immune from prosecution.[1] On January 6, 2015, the first day of the legislative session, Senator Brandon Smith was charged with DUI.[2] To many people’s surprise, he filed a motion to dismiss citing Section 43 of the Kentucky Constitution, which says that legislators are “privileged from arrest during their attendance of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.”[3] Although Smith subsequently asked his attorney to withdraw the motion, the episode sparked interest in the immunity clause he initially sought to use in order to have his case dismissed.[4] What was the clause intended to do? Do we still need the clause in our Constitution? Do we still want the clause in our Constitution? Continue reading

Not for Human Consumption: How Inept Legislative Policy Proliferates the Synthetic Drug Problem

Note | 103 KY. L. J. ONLINE 3 | Feb. 22, 2015

Todd J. Weatherholt[1]

The “war on drugs”[2] is facing a new opponent, one that is sophisticated and dynamic, but unfortunately whose dangers go widely undocumented.[3] As if there were not enough problems with other classes of drugs for authorities, a new “underappreciated” category – synthetic drugs – has gained tremendous momentum within the last few years in the United States and around the world.[4] These substances, although widely eradicated in neighborhood gas stations and head shops, remain easily obtainable over the internet.[5] The industry, which targets drug-naïve teenagers and young adults through the combination of shiny packaging with familiar cartoon characters and vibrant names such as Ivory Wave, Spice, and Cloud Nine, generates an estimated $5 billion dollars annually.[6] Unfortunately, the synthetic drug enigma facing our nation is not merely the result of these products’ accessibility, but likewise due to their easily manipulative characteristics, which help manufacturers circumvent existing laws.[7] As authorities identify specific chemical components to outlaw, rudimentary chemists simply modify existing drug compositions slightly to escape the law.[8] Continue reading

Limits to the Class Action Device: The Kentucky Wages and Hours Act Does Not Permit a Class Action

Article | 103 KY. L. J. ONLINE 2 | July 17, 2015

Jeffrey A. Savarise and Timothy J. Weatherholt[1]

I. Introduction

Class action claims for unpaid wages have become pervasive in both state and federal courts. Plaintiff employment attorneys and the ever burgeoning class action law firms are filing these cases throughout the country, including in Kentucky. A wage and hour class action can be extremely lucrative from a financial standpoint for plaintiffs’ counsel. Many of these classes include hundreds, if not thousands, of class members. Assuming a one-third contingency fee, a plaintiff counsel who settles a typical wage and hour class action could easily earn a seven-figure fee. Continue reading

The Commonwealth’s Response to Kentucky’s Pill Mill Problem

This Online Original is available for download (PDF) here.

Article | 102 KY. L. J. ONLINE 2 | Oct. 27, 2013

Peter P. CohronFN1


Prescription pain pill abuse and misuse is a substantial problem in Kentucky.FN2 In the Commonwealth, over one thousand deaths per year are attributable to drug overdoses.FN3 This figure is the sixth highest in the country and represents more deaths than those caused by automobile accidents. Additionally, Kentucky ranks as the fourth most medicated state in the United States, though it ranks twenty-sixth for population.FN4 Continue reading

Sticks and Stones: A Needed Legislative Reform to Kentucky’s Approach to Cyberbulling

This Online Original is available for download (PDF) here.

Article | 102 KY. L. J. ONLINE 1 | Sept. 22, 2013

Amanda East


It can hardly be argued that…students…shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech…at the schoolhouse gate.FN1

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are the “three r’s” used to describe the foundation of the typical American education. Another unspoken fixture of the American classroom is bullying. This longstanding practice has entered the new millennium, and technology has given bullies new ways to torment victims. Continue reading