New Article: “Urbanormativity, Judicial Blind Spots and Abortion Law”

New Article: Lisa R. Pruitt & Marta R. Vanegas, Urbanormativity, Judicial Blind Spots and Abortion Law, Berkeley J. Gender L. & J., forthcoming 2015.  Abstract below:

State laws regulating abortion have proliferated dramatically in recent years. Twenty-two states adopted 70 different restrictions in 2013 alone. Between 2011 and 2013, state legislatures passed 205 abortion restrictions, exceeding the 189 enacted during the entire prior decade. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently upheld as constitutional several such restrictions, parts of Texas H.B. 2 (2013), in Planned Parenthood of Texas v. Abbott. That court is currently considering the constitutionality of a similar Mississippi law. These and other recent cases raise issues likely to be heard soon by the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the regulations at stake in Texas H.B. 2 was a requirement that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. The Texas law also limits the use of medication-induced abortions.

Rarely acknowledged in academic literature or media coverage of these laws and constitutional litigation arising from them is the fact that the greatest impact of these regulations — like that of many other state abortion laws enacted since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey — is on those who live farthest from major metropolitan areas, where abortion providers tend to be located. Indeed, these laws exact the greatest toll on women who are both rural and poor. We argue that, contrary to the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Abbott, these laws place undue burdens on the abortion rights of a significant number of women and that they should be declared unconstitutional.

In addition to these doctrinal arguments, we draw on three complementary critical frames — legal geography, the concept of privilege, and rural studies concept of urbanormativity — to articulate new ways of thinking about the recent spate of so-called incremental abortion regulations and federal courts’ adjudication of the constitutionality of these laws. First, legal geography provides a frame for theorizing the relationship between the abortion regulations and rurality, revealing how law’s impact is variegated and variable, dictating different outcomes from place to place because of spatial differences. Second, we deploy the concept of privilege in arguing that many federal judges are spatially privileged but blind to that privilege. In our increasingly metro-centric nation, where rural populations are dwindling and marginalized literally and symbolically, most federal appellate judges appear to have little experience with or understanding of typical socio-spatial features of rurality: transport challenges, a dearth of services, lack of anonymity, and frequently extreme socioeconomic disadvantage. Yet those same spatially privileged judges are applying the undue burden standard to laws that require women to travel hundreds of miles, sometimes on multiple occasions, to access abortion services. Those judges are also typically upholding laws that burden women’s access to medication-induced abortions, which have the potential to ameliorate rural women’s spatial burdens. This spatial privilege and judges’ obliviousness to it are most evident among U.S. Courts of Appeal judges and Supreme Court justices construing the “undue burden” standard, as evinced most recently in Abbott but also on display in Casey v. Planned Parenthood and in many U.S. Courts of Appeals decisions in Casey’s wake. The spatial privilege phenomenon is closely linked to the third frame: critical rural studies’ concept of urbanormativity. By treating urban life as a benchmark for what is normal and, in Abbott, dismissing as constitutionally insignificant some ten percent of Texas women who live more than 100 miles from an abortion provider, federal appellate judges are increasingly articulating an urbanormative jurisprudence.

Upcoming Panel: “The War on Poverty: Is Every Lawyer a Soldier,  or Are We Tilting at Windmills?”

Upcoming Panel: The American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness & Poverty and  Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities  present “The War on Poverty: Is Every Lawyer a Soldier,  or Are We Tilting at Windmills?” and it features a great list of speakers!

Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 2:00 ‐ 4:00pm   American Bar Association | John Marshall Conference Room  1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 5th Floor | Washington, DC 20036

 

New Article/Book Review: “Paternalistic Interventions in Civil Rights and Poverty Law: A Case Study of Environmental Justice”

New Article: Anthony V. Alfieri, Paternalistic Interventions in Civil Rights and Poverty Law: A Case Study of Environmental Justice, 112 Mich. L. Rev. 1157 (2014) (reviewing Sarah Conley’s Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism (2013)).

Let Them Eat Cash – NYTimes.com

Let Them Eat Cash – NYTimes.com.  (Could be good as an assignment for a class.)

Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In – NYTimes.com

Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In – NYTimes.com.

New Book: “Failure to Flourish: How Law Undermines Family Relationships”

HuntingtonNew Book: Clare Huntington, Failure to Flourish: How Law Undermines Family Relationships (2014).  Description below:

Exploring the connection between families and inequality, Failure to Flourish: How Law Undermines Family Relationships argues that the legal regulation of families stands fundamentally at odds with the needs of families. Strong, stable, positive relationships are essential for both individuals and society to flourish, but from transportation policy to the criminal justice system, and from divorce rules to the child welfare system, the legal system makes it harder for parents to provide children with these kinds of relationships, exacerbating the growing inequality in America.

Failure to Flourish contends that we must re-orient the legal system to help families avoid crises and, when conflicts arise, intervene in a manner that heals relationships. To understand how wrong our family law system has gone and what we need to repair it, Failure to Flourish takes us from ancient Greece to cutting-edge psychological research, and from the chaotic corridors of local family courts to a quiet revolution under way in how services are provided to families in need. Incorporating the latest insights of positive psychology and social science research, the book sets forth a new, more emotionally intelligent vision for a legal system that not only resolves conflict but actively encourages the healthy relationships that are at the core of a stable society.

Foreclosure in Detroit: 43,634 Challenges to a City’s Revival – NYTimes.com

Foreclosure in Detroit: 43,634 Challenges to a City’s Revival – NYTimes.com.  Pretty cool — and depressing — graphic.  Would be good for class.

Call-for-Papers: “The New Color Lines: What Will it Mean to be an American?” – MAPOC Jan. 29-31 West Virginia University

Call-for-Papers and Conference Announcement: “The New Color Lines: What Will it Mean to be an American?” – MAPOC Jan. 29-31 West Virginia University.  MAPOC Call for Panel and Paper Proposals FINAL 6 25 14.

New Symposium Issue Published: “Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity”

New Symposium Issue Published: UC Irvine Law Review has published an issue from a symposium on “Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity” that has a long list of interesting articles, many of which have poverty law relevance:

Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity
Denny Chan, Jennifer Chin, and James Yoon

Policing “Radicalization”
Amna Akbar

Pitting Our Youth Against Each Other: Moving School Harassment and Bullying Policy from a Zero Tolerance Discipline to Safe School Environment Framework
Khin Mai Aung

“It’s a Kākou Thing”: The DADT Repeal and a New Vocabulary of Anti-Subordination
Kim D. Chanbonpin

The Invention of Asian Americans
Robert S. Chang

“A Chinaman’s Chance” in Court: Asian Pacific Americans and Racial Rules of Evidence
Gabriel J. Chin

Critical Ethnic Legal Histories: Unearthing the Interracial Justice of Filipino American Agricultural Labor Organizing
Marc-Tizoc González

Citizenship, Voting, and Asian American Political Engagement
Ana Henderson

The Significance of Skin Color in Asian and Asian-American Communities: Initial Reflections
Trina Jones

Half/Full
Nancy Leong

Reconceptualizing Asian Pacific American Identity at the Margins
Julian Lim

Legal Solutions for APA Transracial Adoptees
Kim H. Pearson

“Of the Law, but Not Its Spirit”: Immigration Marriage Fraud as Legal Fiction and Violence Against Asian Immigrant Women
Lee Ann S. Wang

The Unbearable Whiteness of Milk: Food Oppression and the USDA*
Andrea Freeman

An Invisibility Cloak: The Model Minority Myth and Unauthorized Asian Immigrants
Denny Chan

New Report from the Shriver Center: “Poverty Scorecard 2013″

poverty-scorecard-2013-coverFrom the website:

The Poverty Scorecard measures how every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on what we have identified as the most significant poverty-related proposed legislation of 2013.