Vol. 104 Issue 2

As surveillance technology becomes more sophisticated, the power of private citizens to spy on one another increases. Parents, in particular, may make use of formidable new tools in monitoring their children. For example, with a program covertly installed on a smartphone, parents can track the location of a minor child, install equipment on a car to monitor travel and receive detailed data on driving style, and load spyware onto a home computer to capture social media passwords by monitoring keystrokes and browsing history. Although parents may profess to use this technology only to protect their children, not all instances of surveillance are so noble. In certain cases, when parents wish to gain bargaining leverage over each other, they may lose sight of their children’s best interests. Especially in the context of divorce, children cannot rely on their parents’ benevolent discretion in deploying surveillance technology. . . .

Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) is an experimental assisted reproductive technology (ART) for women with mitochondrial disease who want to avoid passing that disease on to their children and for women with certain causes of infertility. It is unique in that it results in a child with DNA from three different people. Our cells, including egg and sperm cells, contain both nuclei with nuclear DNA—the “instruction manual” for the cell—and many intracellular organelles that carry on the functions of our cells—the “machinery” of the cell. One of those organelles, mitochondria, has its own small, independent source of DNA called mitochondrial DNA. MRT essentially works by transferring the nucleus (containing nuclear DNA) from one egg cell (the “original egg”) into a different egg cell (the “donor egg”) that has had its nucleus removed but retains its mitochondria and associated mitochondrial DNA. Because the fertilized embryo contains mitochondrial DNA from the donor egg that is different from the mitochondrial DNA in the original egg, the resulting embryo has DNA from three different sources: nuclear DNA from the original egg, mitochondrial DNA from the donor egg, and nuclear DNA from the sperm. . . .

The cost of higher education has been rising faster than inflation for decades and is likely to continue to do so despite reform efforts. This has negative distributional consequences given that higher education is a quasi-public good that should be consumed widely. As the costs continue to rise, higher education will become increasingly unaffordable to those at the lower end of the income distribution, even though as a matter of justice and economic policy, higher education ought to be available to all. Full public financing of higher education would be an obvious answer to this distributional problem, but the cost renders that close to politically impossible. . . .

Visitors to the Whitney Museum in Manhattan during the summer of 2014 encountered a tremendous range of iconic pop-culture imagery: a granite statue of Popeye, an Incredible Hulk piano organ, Jayne Mansfield embracing the Pink Panther, the Trix Rabbit ogling a spoonful of whipped cream, a Cabbage Patch Kid in a bear costume, and a porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson with his pet chimpanzee. This imagery formed a substantial component of the Whitney’s largest-ever retrospective, dedicated to the controversial and wildly successful artist Jeff Koons. The Whitney’s 128-piece, three-and-a-half decade journey through Koons’s career gave visitors a kitschy, colorful, and astronomically expensive insight into the characters and imagery that form the “raw material” for much contemporary creative expression. And in doing so, the exhibition also provides a window into the recent history of fair use, intellectual property, and creative expression. . . .

Probation plays a dominant role in the operation of the U.S. criminal justice system. Approximately four million adults in the United States are now on probation, a court-ordered sentence that provides for a period of community supervision as a penalty for a crime. In sentencing a person to probation, a court imposes a battery of conditions intended to regulate that person’s behavior during the period of supervision. Probation officers supervise probationers for compliance with the conditions imposed.

Probation should not be confused with parole, which involves community supervision as a function of an inmate’s early release from prison. Unlike parole, probation is an independent criminal sentence imposed and administered by a judge. The judge, assisted by the probation officer, retains jurisdiction during the period of the sentence. . . .