Week 5 Midterm

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GM520ONO Legal, Political and Ethical Dimensions. Week 5 Midterm.

1. TCO B. Infuriated when Harry Reid is re-elected during the 2010 fall election, the Republican National Committee decides to take matters into its own hands. In 2011, the House of Representatives passes a new "Freedom isn't Free Act" that requires that anyone who wants to vote in the 2012 presidential election must prove that they paid at least $200 in federal income tax in the past year, including people aged 18 (who typically are deducted on their parents' returns and do not pay income tax). Anyone who received the "earned income credit" is barred from voting unless they return the payment from the government. Proof of payment of the tax can be made by showing a copy of the prior year's W2, a copy of the prior year's tax return, or a signed statement from the IRS stating that the payment of more than $200 in federal income tax has been made. Citizens who do not pay taxes can still vote if they donate $200.00 to the federal government as voluntary income tax and get a statement from the IRS that they have done so. The law sunsets on December 31, 2012. List two bases under which someone impacted by this law could argue to have the law overturned. (Points : 15)

The United states government, and the United States constitution has many provisions to ensure that people can vote, freely, regardless of skin color, gender, race, or other such factors beyond their control. What the republicans are essentially trying to do is to establish a tax on voting, much akin to the post-civil war "Black Codes" and "Grandfather Clauses" which were aimed just at that -- to prevent voters, who would otherwise vote against the landed gentry, from voting, on account of their ancestry or ability to pay. One law which was passed by president Bush in 2002 is the Help America Vote Act, which granted homeless people assistance in registering and voting -- the law provides for people who do not even own an address to be able to vote and participate in government, and for people of limited means, including those who cannot afford documents or taxes. Clearly, the law provides the ability for poor people to vote, and if a person cannot afford the tax, he or she cannot be prevented from voting. However, I think the strongest defense to this law can be found in The United States Constitution, in Article VI, section 3, which clearly prohibits the denial to anyone to vote based on several key points. Specifically, the Voting Rights act of 1965 and the 24th amendment has provided that no voting right shall be denied for failure to pay a poll or tax to the federal government. What the Republicans are trying to do clearly violates the 24th Amendment of the Constitution, and is therefore a strong defense against such an activity.

2. TCO F. In Midler v. Ford Motor Co., Bette Midler sued Ford for unauthorized appropriation. Explain what appropriation is. Tell me what type of civil claim appropriation is and what a person has to prove to win damages for it. (short answer only) (Points : 15)

Appropriation, especially unauthorized appropriation, is essentially the use of a copyrighted or trademarked patent, name, image or likeness that belongs to one company, by another company for reasons of monetary and other gains. It is closely related to copyright infringement. This is a type of civil tort when it occurs between businesses. Appropriation may also mean the seizure and control of personal property by the governments of countries, and other such governing bodies. A person must establish, first of all, ownership of the property or trademark in question. Secondly, the person has to (usually, with exceptions such as some fair use cases) prove that the alleged misuse of the property is damaging in some way, and is made for personal gains, or that it in some other way violates the rights of the owner.

3. (TCO C)  One summer, David Baxter and his wife, Melissa, were on their new boat...
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