News Coverage: Equal pay for women elusive 55 years after landmark law

equalpay_office_istockNews coverage: Niv Elis, Equal pay for women elusive 55 years after landmark law, The Hill, June 13, 2018.


New Article: Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities

New Article: Marcella Alsan and Crystal Yang, Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities, SSRN (2018). Abstract below:

We study the impact of deportation fear on the incomplete take-up of federal safety net programs in the United States. We exploit changes in deportation fear due to the roll-out and intensity of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from 2008 to 2014. The SC program empowers the federal government to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies and has led to the issuance of over two million detainers and the forcible removal of approximately 380,000 immigrants. We estimate the spillover effects of SC on Hispanic citizens, finding significant declines in ACA sign-ups and food stamp take-up, particularly among mixed-status households and areas where deportation fear is highest. In contrast, we find little response to SC among Hispanic households residing in sanctuary cities. Our results are most consistent with network effects that perpetuate fear rather than lack of benefit information or stigma.

New Article: Pregnancy, Poverty and the State

New article: Pregnancy, Poverty and the State, Michele Goodwin & Erwin Chemerinsky, Yale Law Journal, Vol. 127, 2018. Forthcoming UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2018-21. Abstract below:

In Pregnancy, Poverty, and The State, we argue that the core bundle of rights contained in reproductive privacy have been hollowed out through new legislation and court decisions, affecting the actual practice of reproductive privacy. We show how increasingly, even judicial opinions affirming reproductive rights fail to constrain state governments seeking to eviscerate those rights through new legislation. Though court rulings recognize these rights, they ultimately render them meaningless for poor women, particularly poor women of color. These groups are the first victims since they are largely unseen and unheard by those who make the law and policy. As the policies that substantially burden women’s reproductive rights become normalized, these norms will affect broader segments of the population, placing greater numbers of women at risk.

We view these issues as not simply matters of law, but of human rights, morality, and dignity. The moral hypocrisy of the state is clear in the reproductive health context. That is, when the state coerces women and girls into pregnancies they do not want and to bear children they do not desire to have, it not only creates unconstitutional conditions, but it also acts immorally. Even though legal scholars typically refer to lawmaking that unduly burdens the poor as unjust, we suggest that legislative efforts to eviscerate reproductive rights is far worse than that.

This project, launches with a review of Professor Khiara Bridges’s daring book, The Poverty of Privacy Rights to problematize the intersections of privacy and morality. We view the state as not only a fallible and problematic arbiter of women’s morality, but argue the state acts immorally when it deprives poor women of privacy, bodily autonomy, and threatens to rob them of life itself. As we document in detail, bounded in the state’s immoral actions toward poor women of color are its historical struggles and campaigns against their personhood and citizenship as well as conscription of their bodies in service to malevolent state agendas such as eugenics and forced sterilization. As we show, this is more than mere indifference, but an historic pattern. We illustrate how the continued effects of more than a century of negative state interventions in the reproductive lives of poor women of color is actually deadly. Finally, we predict that the continued interference in the reproductive lives of poor women creates cultural norms and precedents in medicine, law, and society that will spill over and constrain the rights of all classes of women, regardless of race. That is, historical disregard for the lives and rights of Black women inscribed by judicial doctrine and court opinions as well as state and federal legislation serve as vehicles for contemporary and future disparagement of all women.

Blog Post: What is Loitering, Really? (visual storytelling)

whatisloiteringreallyBlog Post: Ariel Aberg-Riger, What is Loitering, Really? CityLab, May 21, 2018.

New Article: An Intersectional Approach to Homelessness: Discrimination and Criminalization

New Article: Alice Giannini, An Intersectional Approach to Homelessness: Discrimination and Criminalization, 19 Marq. Ben. & Soc. Welfare L. Rev, 1 (2018). Abstract below:

The purpose of this essay is to address discrimination against homeless people. First of all, the theory of intersectionality will be explained and then applied as a method of analysis. The complexity of defining homelessness will be tackled, focusing on the difficulties encountered when approaching this concept. Notions such as protected ground and immutability of personal characteristics will be discussed. Then, an intersectional approach to homelessness will be outlined. Different cases settled by the Supreme Court of Canada will be used to support this approach. Intersectional discrimination is a rather new theory which has not yet been applied by many courts and tribunals but Canada has proven to be a vanguard in this area. For this reason, Canadian case law has been chosen as the main example in this research. Phenomena of stereotyping, prejudices and social profiling connected to homelessness will be described. In addition, an inquiry on homelessness cannot be conducted without looking at the representation different minority groups within the homeless population and therefore this aspect will be shortly dealt with. To continue with, different laws and other legal sources concerned with criminalizing specific conducts against public order will be analyzed applying the outlined intersectional method. In specific, this work will concentrate on quality of life regulations and anti-homeless regulations. What the author will argue is that, once it is established that homelessness is a ground worthy of protection, this kind of legislation results in direct and indirect discrimination. In conclusion, the arguments in favor of including homelessness or social condition as a ground of discrimination will be laid out, with reference to Canadian, European and international law sources. Due to the broadness of the topic, this essay does not aim at being a comprehensive study but rather at trying to answer these questions: how can we consider homelessness as a ground of discrimination? What are the most common ways in which this distinctive kind of discrimination is perpetuated?

[Self-promoting post] New Op-ed: “Trump administration’s hypocritical immigration policies demand public outrage”

[Self-promoting post] New Op-ed: Ezra Rosser, Trump administration’s hypocritical immigration policies demand public outrage, The Hill, June 13, 2018.

Last minute note… Washington Council of Lawyers, Poverty Law Summer Forum Panel

For those in or near DC this summer, especially students, the Washington Council of Lawyers’ Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum includes a poverty law panel tomorrow, 6/13, from 12:00-2:30 pm at Georgetown University Law Center that might be of interest.

New Op-Ed: States across the nation are criminalizing poverty

New Op-Ed: Editorial Board, States across the nation are criminalizing poverty, Wash. Post, May 27, 2018.

New Article: Constructing and Contesting Structural Inequality


New Article: K. Sabeel Rahman, Constructing and Contesting Structural Inequality, Critical Analysis of Law 5.1 (2018). Abstract below:

Many forms of economic, social, and political inequality are the product not of individual actors but rather of larger systemic and structural arrangements. How should we conceptualize and then respond to such structural inequalities? This paper highlights two areas of current debate in legal scholarship and public policy: the changing nature of work and urban inequality. Each of these areas of debate provides examples of how law and policy construct structural forms of inequality—and how such inequality can be contested. As this paper suggests, structural inequality is best understood as an aggregate, cumulative product of legal and policy decisions. Such structural inequality requires similarly structural remedies that go beyond incremental, “meliorist” approaches. Specifically, the paper suggests three strategies for redressing structural inequality: limits on private power, investments in public goods, and oversight and enforcement by administrative agencies.

New Book: Radical Markets, Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society

radical markets - uprooting capitalism and democracy for a just societyNew Book: Eric A. Posner & E. Glen Weyl, Radical Markets, Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society (2018). Overview below:

Revolutionary ideas on how to use markets to bring about fairness and prosperity for all

Many blame today’s economic inequality, stagnation, and political instability on the free market. The solution is to rein in the market, right? Radical Markets turns this thinking–and pretty much all conventional thinking about markets, both for and against—on its head. The book reveals bold new ways to organize markets for the good of everyone. It shows how the emancipatory force of genuinely open, free, and competitive markets can reawaken the dormant nineteenth-century spirit of liberal reform and lead to greater equality, prosperity, and cooperation.

Eric Posner and Glen Weyl demonstrate why private property is inherently monopolistic, and how we would all be better off if private ownership were converted into a public auction for public benefit. They show how the principle of one person, one vote inhibits democracy, suggesting instead an ingenious way for voters to effectively influence the issues that matter most to them. They argue that every citizen of a host country should benefit from immigration—not just migrants and their capitalist employers. They propose leveraging antitrust laws to liberate markets from the grip of institutional investors and creating a data labor movement to force digital monopolies to compensate people for their electronic data.

Only by radically expanding the scope of markets can we reduce inequality, restore robust economic growth, and resolve political conflicts. But to do that, we must replace our most sacred institutions with truly free and open competition—Radical Markets shows how.