Letter from the Editor: Winter 2013

by: Bridget J. Daley
Individual freedoms are the backbone of America, those rights that allow us—we the people—to stand tall and affirm faith and conviction in whichever belief system we hold above others. Naturally, in a presidential election year, many of the articles that staff writers pitched focused on heated constitutional and political issues: Our Right to Vote. Right to Health Care. Right to Marry. Right to Education. Right to Bear Arms. As with all public discourse, these issues can unite, but also divide many Americans, inflated by the Freedom to Disagree. Perhaps this freedom, in particular, is the oxygen that allows the embers of dialogue to burn. Inhale information,exhale opinion. Inhale opportunity, exhale entitlement. Inhale injustice, exhale social change.
And so, the Winter 2013 edition of Juris developed organically. In this issue, staff writers tackle major state and national issues while offering a local legal perspective. Guided by the insight of law school faculty, prominent local figures and legal scholars, each article offers readers an objective take on some of the most newsworthy events leading us into 2013. From the inspiring tale of Amanda Holt, a young Pennsylvanian who not only challenged the constitutionality of the state’s redistricting plan but also became a “crusading cartographer,” to coverage of the school-to-prison pipeline, a troubling national trend that deplorably promotes incarceration over education, this issue has many highlights.
Of all the articles in this issue, none resonate as loudly as Lauren Gailey’s coverage of gun access and the mentally ill. With heavy hearts and overwhelming sadness, the nation watched around-the-clock coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, just 11 days before Christmas. As Americans rally behind the families in Newtown, Conn., dialogue and debate continue over the necessary measures to prevent such future tragedies. With diverging reactions, common ground is not always so common. But where the common good is the ultimate goal, Americans’ right to disagree often lights the path.
In my former life, a short layover of five years between undergraduate and law school, I was a sojourner with a journalism degree, an American living abroad. One of the great opportunities of working for a study abroad program in Italy was the chance to travel: to lose the comfort of familiarity and gain a little perspective on the world and myself. In developing the concept of this issue, my mind raced back to two countries I so fortunately had the chance to visit with friends while living abroad: Egypt and Tunisia. As staff articles filled my inbox, headlines of these North African countries’ political unrest filled my newsfeed, humbly reminding me that the freedom to disagree is not universally accepted.
With great honor and appreciation, I present the Winter 2013 issue of Juris. Please share with us your comments and reactions on Twitter at @JurisDuqLaw or on our Facebook page.
Bridget J. Daley, 3L, is the Editor-in-Chief of JURIS. She is also an Associate Notes and Comments Editor of the Duquesne Law Review and a Certified Legal Intern in the Community Enterprise Law Clinic. Upon graduation and passing the bar, Bridget will join Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC as an associate attorney. She can be reached at bridgetjdaley@gmail.com.

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