SUMMER ISSUE – 2022

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BY: HALEY STEWART

This Note examines Alaska Native systems of private land ownership as imposed through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and evaluates existing and potential alternatives in the interest of self-determination, sovereignty, and land ownership. ANCSA was passed in 1971 to resolve conflicts over the land in Alaska, and it established a system of tribal corporations which is distinct from the federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States. With few exceptions, Alaska Native tribes do not hold their lands in trust and tribal land in Alaska is not considered “Indian Country.” This distinction from the tribes in the contiguous United States carries administrative, jurisdictional, and environmental consequences. Alaska Native tribal governments are without territorial reach and are severely limited in their authority. Alaska Native villages face additional challenges with regards to subsistence living and environmental considerations due to the extinguishment of native claims through ANCSA. This Note explores aspects of self-determination both retained by and denied to Alaska Native tribes and analyzes the conflicted legacy of ANCSA 50 years after its enactment.

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BY: JONATHAN BECKER

This Note analyzes the emerging, and under-documented litigation field of illegal dumping of electronic waste (e-waste). U.S. federal courts are inadequately prosecuting and failing to provide avenues for both criminal and civil restitution for international victims. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the primary legislation on e-waste recycling, protects only state interests and offers little relief to private actors. Under RCRA, which has both criminal and civil statutes, the exportation of e-waste is lightly monitored and is only scorned under specific circumstances, mainly if the receiving country has not authorized it. Further, most prosecutors elect to bring wire fraud charges under Title 18, the federal Criminal and Criminal Procedure law, rather than RCRA. Therefore, restitution is only granted to companies, not international victims. Using the three major e-waste criminal cases —Executive Recycling, Intercon Solutions, and Total Reclaim— as steppingstones to begin the discussion on international e-waste dumping, this Note demonstrates that victims are only narrowly provided relief, and international victims are virtually unable to seek relief. This Note focuses on administrative action to provide proper prosecutorial direction and critique legislative ignorance of modern environmental issues. In addition, this Note emphasizes international solutions to the growing waste epidemic and discusses how the U.S. can more effectively use these structures to prosecute e-waste smuggling and environmental waste smuggling at large.

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BY: CHRISTIAN WEBBER

This Note analyzes hiring preferences on tribal lands in the mining industry within the United States and particularly in the State of Arizona, which has a relatively high number of both mines and federally recognized tribes. Arizona has its own robust history and case law on hiring preferences in the mining industry for tribal members. This Note asserts the efficacy of hiring preferences in increasing employment and improving economies on tribal lands and explains how hiring preferences can be of use moving forward. To establish context, this Note introduces the history of tribal relations regarding land with the federal government, covers the history and current state of mining on tribal lands, and analyzes how hiring preferences are set in a lease or tribal government document. Then, the constitutionality of hiring preferences (particularly regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964) is addressed, along with how tribal constitutions and enactments alike interpret and apply such hiring preferences. This Note also looks at hiring preferences thus far from statistical and economic perspectives. Finally, this Note predicts how hiring preferences might benefit tribes moving forward, particularly with expanding sustainable development and renewable energy.

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BY: HUNT REVELL

Georgia oysters have both a historic pedigree and a bright future. The salt marsh ecosystem Georgia’s wild oysters inhabit and the booming market awaiting Georgia’s farmed oysters each stand to benefit from the State’s 2019-2020 oyster law and regulations. This new legal framework provides for leasing and permitting of floating cages in public trust waters, and the potential for sustainable ecological and economic growth for coastal resiliency. These developments should allow Georgia to enter the national and international market for farmed oysters, alongside neighboring states and others on the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf Coast, and Pacific Northwest. By analyzing the history and structure of the new law, this article provides an in-depth analysis of how Georgia might establish its oyster farming industry, with an eye toward the benefits of protecting, preserving, and restoring the wild natural oyster resource. By comparing Georgia’s approach to that of its “core corner four” neighbors—South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama—this article outlines the considerations and context used by other states developing oyster “mariculture” programs. By identifying the potential for the Georgia oyster farming industry to not only serve a growing market but also to strengthen coastal resiliency, this article also highlights the ecological benefits of oysters and the State’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Act. Last, the article provides an Appendix with a short legal memorandum analyzing constitutional law issues related to residency requirements and contains several tables comparing state mariculture programs.