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Updates from the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law

JETLaw in the News: The Fault in Our Stars Reaches the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 

Ramon Ryan’s paper, The Fault in Our Stars: Challenging the FCC’s Treatment of Commercial Satellites as Categorically Excluded from Review under the National Environmental Policy Act, in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law continues to push the frontiers of space law. Ryan’s paper raises several issues with the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) categorical exclusion of commercial satellites from environmental review.

In a recent filing in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the communications company Viasat, which operates a competing satellite to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite, raises an argument from Ryan’s paper in its lawsuit against the FCC. Ryan recently spoke with Scientific American about this recent development of his paper. The Scientific American feature can be found here.

Ryan is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and a former Editor in Chief of JETLaw. A copy of Ryan’s paper can be downloaded here. The paper has been reported on by Scientific AmericanBusiness Insider, and Futurism. The paper also prompted legislation aimed at creating National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for satellite launches. In January 2020, US Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) sent a letter to the US Government Accountability Office requesting review of the FCC’s longstanding policy of excluding commercial-satellite projects from environmental review.

Statement in Solidarity with the AAPI Community

Since March 2020, there have been almost 4,000 attacks on Asian Americans, with many incidents specifically targeting Asian American women and elders. While hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are unfortunately not a new phenomenon, the rate at which they occur has greatly increased due to the ignorant association of AAPI-identifying individuals with the coronavirus outbreak last year. Most recently, a man in Georgia was charged with killing eight people, including six Asian American women, in a string of massage parlor shootings. While there are many narratives suggesting that these murders were not racially motivated, we know better than to ignore the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status in the context of atrocities committed to members of marginalized communities.

On behalf of the Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, we stand against all forms of white supremacy, bigotry, and violence. We stand with members of the AAPI community as they grieve these tragedies and continue to experience the effects of discrimination. As an organization, it is our responsibility to be actively anti-racist, to loudly speak up in the face of injustice, and to educate ourselves on how best to serve as allies to those affected by or in fear of racially-motivated violence and hate crimes.

Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the victims of the Atlanta shootings: Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michaels, Hyun Jeong Park Grant, Soon Chung Park, Sun-Cha Kim, Yong-Ae Yue, and Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz.