In Volume 56, Issue 3
Leashed: How Veterinarian Noncompetes Accelerated Industry Consolidation
The veterinary services industry, once characterized by locally-owned general care providers, has been rapidly consolidating into one dominated by multinational conglomerates. These corporate consolidators leverage their size and capital both to fund acquisitions and to attract debt-laden veterinary school graduates with above-market starting salaries. Whether they join a corporate practice through entry-level hiring or an acquisition, veterinarians typically become bound by employment contracts containing restrictive noncompete provisions. Regardless of their specific terms, legal enforceability, or actual enforcement, these noncompetes appear to keep young associates from leaving to competitors until later than they otherwise would have. These provisions serve to withhold scarce labor from competitors, which has increased pressure on independent veterinarians to sell their practices and accelerated consolidation.
In detailing the effects of veterinary consolidators’ use of noncompetes, this Note lends support to a broad federal rule prohibiting these provisions without an exception based on income or job function. A rule eliminating all veterinarian noncompetes except those covering practice owners or those used in the sale of a practice can best foster more equitable and sustainably competitive growth in the veterinary services industry.
Short of a Full House: The Increasing Length of Vacancies in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1997–2021
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives provide the most immediate and localized connection between their constituents and the federal government. When those positions are left vacant for extended periods of time, Americans are deprived of an agent to advocate for their interests at the national level. Article I of the Constitution gives state executives authority to set dates for special elections to Congress. In some instances, governors have taken advantage of this nearly unlimited power to deny these seats to their partisan rivals. This Note presents the data from every open seat in the House over twenty-five years and shows that the average vacancy has become substantially longer during that period—almost twice as long on average. This Note then uses the seat in the 20th District of Florida, which was left open for 287 days in 2021 and 2022, as a case study to show the negative impacts of such vacancies. To avoid these increasingly common outcomes, this Note urges the adoption of an upper limit on the length of a vacancy in the House of Representatives. Article I also provides the U.S. Congress with authority to overrule the states and pass laws to regulate the times of congressional elections. Congress should use this power to pass a new law regulating vacancies. Such action is necessary to address potentially severe harms to representative democracy.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again: Why College Athletes Should Keep Fighting for “Employee” Status
Jennifer A. Shults
Beginning in the 1980s, innovations in television turned college sports from a modest, regional industry into a sprawling, billion-dollar enterprise. The various stakeholders in college sports did not benefit equally from these advancements, however. While those in charge of college sports rode the train of technological progress to extreme profits, the athletes under their care got left behind. Today, the college sports world is once again undergoing a period of transition and transformation—except this time, college athletes are the ones leading college sports into a new era.
In recent years, athlete activists and their allies have secured a series of major legal victories. Key victories have included the removal of the ban on college athletes profiting from their fame and the Supreme Court’s watershed decision in the antitrust case NCAA v. Alston. This Note focuses on college athletes’ recent efforts to improve their financial circumstances and to dismantle a system that deprives them of the basic right to fair compensation. This Note argues that Division I athletes’ best shot at getting fair compensation is to continue fighting for employee rights—specifically, the right to collectively bargain and the right to a minimum wage.