MLB’s Political Donations

Author: Madeleine Smith | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: February 15th, 2019 | Download PDF

The World Series ended over a month ago, but, this weekend, Major League Baseball was back in the headlines.

A flurry of critical commentary began when Judd Legum of Popular Information broke the news that the MLB, through the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC, had donated $5,000 to the campaign of highly-criticized Mississippi Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.[1] Then, the day after the story broke, the MLB publicly requested that Hyde-Smith’s campaign return the funds.[2] (more…)

Do No Evil or Do the Right Thing?

Author: Angeli Patel | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: February 15th, 2019 | Download PDF

In 2010, Google withdrew from China because of its censorship laws and online hacking. Now, it is working on a search engine for China that will censor websites and search terms that are blacklisted by the Chinese government. What’s going on?  

The Chinese government has long believed in “internet sovereignty,” a concept where each country has the right to regulate its own internet—it has already achieved this vision by building The Great Firewall of China. It is also helping other authoritarian countries develop similar online architecture. For China, this also means being able to build mass surveillance and censorship systems. The development of AI makes automated, machine controlled surveillance a dystopian nightmare. The Chinese State Council announced in 2017 that it aims to become the world A.I. leader by 2030, and outperform its rivals to build a domestic industry worth almost $150 billion. Search engines are the biggest data source required to build an accurate AI system. When Google withdrew, it left Baidu, Google’s main competitor in China, to rack up the rest of the market share, and data, of the world’s largest internet market. What is Google’s role now given China’s 2030 goal?


San Francisco’s Tax on Tech Companies to Fight the City’s Homelessness

Author: Brittany Adams| UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: February 12th, 2019 | Download PDF

After the midterm election, Marc Benioff, the co-CEO of Salesforce, celebrated the passage of San Francisco’s Proposition C on Twitter: “Prop C’s victory means the homeless will have a home & the help they truly need! Let the city come together in Love for those who need it most! . . .”[1] Proposition C, which passed with approximately 60% of the vote, will provide the city with up to $300 million in additional funds to fight the city’s homelessness crisis by raising the gross receipts tax by an average of 0.5 percent for San Francisco companies that earn more than $50 million in revenue a year.[2] As a result, Salesforce, which is headquartered in San Francisco, will pay approximately $10-11 million more in taxes annually.[3]


Nike and the Business Case for Getting Political

Author: Dana Lueck-Mammen | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2019 | Posted: February 5, 2019 | Download PDF

On September 5, 2018, Nike released an advertisement that, although not overtly political, immediately led to hordes of #BoycottNike tweets and videos of Nike gear bonfires. But the advertisement was no mistake—in this age of social media, where one tweet can suddenly snowball into a movement with millions of followers, Nike was wisely taking a side on an issue before its customers forced it to. And, despite the anger of some, Nike’s efforts paid off: when the stock market closed on September 13, Nike’s shares had reached an all-time high of $83.47. (more…)

Women on Board

Author: Ken Taylor | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: January 18th, 2019 | Download PDF

California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 826 into law on September 30, 2018. The law requires publicly-traded companies incorporated in California to put at least one woman on their board under threat of penalty.[1] In addition to the issue of constitutionality, there are numerous problems with this law.