Our theme for the 2020-21 publication issue was “Separation of Powers” as we were interested in examining the structural and ideological forces behind the division of authority on multiple levels of public governance. The intent to prevent concentration of power and to limit entities from exercising power outside of their scope is an important feature of the protection of human rights as it safeguards against abuse of power. Broadly speaking, the federal government, local governments and individual citizens are recognized as separate entities that hold certain rights that cannot be infringed upon. Each of our articles delves deeper into the convoluted relationship between power and the protection of rights by analyzing the dynamics between actors and the institutions they represent.
The executive order is best understood as a federal directive mandated by the President of the United States with the effect of law. Our first article explores the scope of the authority of an executive order when it comes to its overarching influence into many facets of an individual’s life. The issuance of executive orders is often colored by the context of the administration in office, and this article provides a comparative analysis across various policy areas in order to demonstrate the consequential ramifications of executive orders when employed in different situations.
The American tradition of investing millions in a national defense fund can be attributed to the remnants of militarism that values the presence of a large military force in order to defend national rights and interests. Our second article highlights the conflicts that arise alongside a commitment to militarism, as the United States currently embodies. Military involvement bleeds over into multiple aspects of the political and social sphere — from education to the economy to protecting individual freedoms. This article presents an analysis of military impact on college universities as well as its implications on larger society.
The history of voter suppression in the United States has long been recognized as a political tool aimed to deter people of color and other minorities from participation in elections. The right to vote was, and remains, conditional based on attributes deemed acceptable by local governments to withhold the opportunity for certain citizens to express their vote, their voice. Our third article delves into the complicated history of voter suppression before presenting an examination of current legislation that remain an obstacle for equal and fair election law. On a national level, felon disenfranchisement and voter ID laws continue to be pervasive forces of suppression while lack of accessibility and disinformation during a pandemic further contribute to this issue.