Category Archives: Politics

New Op-ed: What Republicans Know (and Democrats Don’t) About the White Working Class

New op-ed: Lisa R. Pruitt, What Republicans Know (and Democrats Don’t) About the White Working Class, Politico, 6/24/2022.

New Article: “Inside the Minority-Led Movement to Create an Inclusive City”

New Article: Brentin Mock, Inside the Minority-Led Movement to Create an Inclusive City, Bloomberg (May 26, 2022). Excerpt below:

After three failed proposals to create new cities in Georgia’s Cobb County, a fourth is touting diversity, affordability and inclusive voting rights. Out of four new cities proposed just west of Atlanta, only one is still in play.

Campaigns to establish the municipalities of Lost Mountain, East Cobb, and Vinings in what are now unincorporated parts of Cobb County, Georgia, all failed their May 24 ballot referendums. Voters living within the proposed boundaries of Mableton, on the southern edge of the county, will vote on cityhood in November. Organizers of that movement, which would create one of metro Atlanta’s most racially and economically diverse cities, say the later voting date will give them more time to educate the electorate on the benefits of incorporation.

New Article: “More Than Hungry: How Political Narratives Built & Maintain Hunger in the United States”

New Article: A. Camille Karabaich, More Than Hungry: How Political Narratives Built & Maintain Hunger in the United States, 27 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 541 (2021). Abstract below:

This Note aims to examine the role of the legal system in creating and maintaining hunger in the United States. Through this lens, the Note discusses the shift necessary to support specific legal interventions to end hunger. This Note begins by discussing how hunger was built in the United States through policies regarding land, housing, incarceration, and food, and the narratives that allowed these policies to flourish. These policies created hunger by creating pockets of poverty and disempowerment. Although many individuals and organizations donate their time, money, and energy to support local food banks, soup kitchens, and free school meal programs, these efforts alone are not enough to end hunger. As Andrew Fisher describes, despite the singular focus of anti-hunger initiatives today on food, food plays a minor role in the solution to hunger. Hunger is not a food issue, it is a food justice issue. That is because you cannot solve hunger without solving poverty.

New Article: “Poverty, Place and Voter Participation: Bridging the Gap”

New Article: Michael Redzich, Poverty, Place and Voter Participation: Bridging the Gap, 28 Geo. J. Poverty L. & Pol’y 201 (2021). Abstract below:

In West Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, there is a correlation between poverty, place, and lower voter participation. In the 2016 presidential election, the five poorest counties in four of these states exhibited average voter participation rates that were appreciably lower than their five wealthiest counties. The fifth state discussed here—Oregon—features the opposite trend.

This Note briefly explores a sampling of election laws in each state, with a particular emphasis on voter identification laws and the availability of mail ballots. It then considers several proposed pieces of federal legislation designed to expand the franchise. It also considers some of the salient concerns about voting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and litigation surrounding the 2020 election. Drawing upon various pieces of legislation, the Note then offers a federal legislative proposal that ties federal dollars to the parity of voter participation between the poorest and wealthiest census tracts. All of this is possible with unified Democratic government willing to reform the filibuster. The reactions of state and federal leaders to the challenge of voting during the COVID-19 crisis only underscores the need for broad reform. Legislation like this Note’s “Equal Voter Participation Act of 2021” could survive under several constitutional theories. The disparity in participation between rich and poor voters will likely only grow wider with more restrictive state laws and the lack of a federal response. The time to act is now.

[Older book I missed]: Obama’s Welfare Legacy: An Assessment of US Anti-Poverty Policies

OWLBook: Anne Daguerre, Obama’s Welfare Legacy: An Assessment of US Anti-Poverty Policies (2017). Available on Cambridge Core as well. I missed this one when it came out which is why it is going up now.

New Article: From Stigma to Dignity? Transforming Workfare with Universal Basic Income and a Federal Job Guarantee

Lynn Lu, From Stigma to Dignity? Transforming Workfare with Universal Basic Income and a Federal Job Guarantee, 72 S.C. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021). Abstract below:

By the summer of 2020, pandemic isolation gave way to mass protests supporting the Movement for Black Lives with calls to end anti-Black police brutality and mass incarceration, but also seeking to end exploitation of Black essential workers and increase attention to longstanding economic devastation of divestment from communities of color. With physical health and safety linked inextricably to material deprivation came heightened public demands for racial, social, and economic justice to help marginalized communities not just survive in times of crisis, but thrive every day.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a catastrophic toll on lives and livelihoods across the United States, the harshest impact of the unpredictable virus has disproportionately fallen with foreseeable accuracy on Black, immigrant, poor, and elderly people, who are most likely to live and work in close contact with others and to have less access to health care or emergency savings. The speed and severity of the viral contagion has rendered devastatingly, undeniably visible the vast, racial gap between those with reliable health care, child care, housing, nutrition, household wealth, and income and those without, but that gap was already widening well before the pandemic amid accelerating economic inequality, racial disparity, and precarity for those fortunate enough to find paid work. 

This Article examines reinvigorated proposals for universal basic income (UBI) and a federal job guarantee (JG) to reduce poverty, income inequality, and the widening racial wealth gap. It examines the potential of such reforms to put more money into the hands of those most likely to use it while ending involuntary unemployment and boosting labor conditions for all, but especially Blacks and people of color with less access to generational wealth, higher education, and protection against employment discrimination. It concludes that both UBI and JG are necessary but each insufficient on its own to achieve greater economic security and mobility, with dignified work for all. 

Crucially, a universal minimum income untethered to any form of work requirement is essential to break the racialized and gendered stigma that frames economic need as welfare dependency; equally important is the guarantee of public employment at a living wage to those who voluntarily choose to avoid gaps in earned income and employment history but have historically been excluded from the best work-life options. Together, UBI and JG form vital pillars of social support for withstanding future crises, large or small, and for creating the future society we want.

New Article: Implicit Bias in the Age of Trump

New Article: Charles R. Lawrence III, Implicit Bias in the Age of Trump, 133 Harv. L. Rev. 2304 (2020).

News Coverage: Election Day Voting in 2020 Took Longer in America’s Poorest Neighborhoods

News Coverage: Kevin Quealy and Alicia Parlapiano, Election Day Voting in 2020 Took Longer in America’s Poorest Neighborhoods, N.Y. Times, Jan. 4, 2021.

New Blog Post: Evaluating the Omnibus’s Anti-Poverty Measures

New Blog Post: David Super, Evaluating the Omnibus’s Anti-Poverty Measures, Balkinization, Dec. 28, 2020.

New Article: Erasing the Thin Blue Line: An Indigenous Proposal

New Article: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Erasing the Thin Blue Line: An Indigenous Proposal, (Aug. 25th, 2020).

My novel claim is that there must be an accounting of how the judiciary has employed the theory of the social contract to dehumanize large swaths of poor persons and people of color. I argue that it is the judiciary, even more so than the legislatures, that has enabled and encouraged the police to engage in deep-seated injustices every single day. I will show that social contract talk is deeply embedded in judicial decision-making and policy articulation in the criminal justice realm.