Category Archives: Urban Issues

Article: Racial Subjugation by Another Name? Using the Links in the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Reassess State Takeover District Performance

Article: Steven L. Nelson, Racial Subjugation by Another Name? Using the Links in the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Reassess State Takeover District Performance, 9 Geo. J. L. & Mod. Crit. Race Persp. (2017).

The state takeover of locally governed schools in predominately black communities has not disrupted the racial subjugation of black people in the United States. Using proportional analyses and the cities of Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans as sites, the researcher finds that state takeover districts have not consistently disrupted the school-to-prison pipeline for black students in urban settings. Furthermore, the researcher found little evidence that would support broader and more intentional efforts to combat the over disciplining of black students in the United States Department of Education’s proposed rules for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In fact, the legislation perpetuates strategies that have aided the creation of the school-to-prison pipeline and supplies only strong recommendations to replace strategies that have compounded the harm of the school-to-prison pipeline. This finding is important in the context of education reform, particularly as researchers begin to question the motives and results of contemporary education reform. Moreover, this work is important to the current scholarly discussions that consider the many civil rights that black communities are required to exchange for the prospect of better schools.

Article: Rights and Queues: On Distributive Contests in the Modern State

Article: Katharine G. Young, Rights and Queues: On Distributive Contests in the Modern State, 55 Colum. J. Transnt’l L. 65 (2016).

Two legal concepts have become fundamental to questions of resource allocation in the modern state: rights and queues. As rights are increasingly recognized in areas such as housing, health care, or immigration law, so too are queues used to administer access to the goods, services, or opportunities that realize such rights, especially in conditions of scarcity. This Article is the first to analyze the concept of queues (or temporal waiting lines or lists) and their ambivalent, interdependent relation with rights. After showing the conceptual tension between rights and queues, the Article argues that queues and “queue talk” present a unique challenge to rights and “rights talk.” In exploring the currency of rights and queues in both political and legal terms, the Article illustrates how participants discuss and contest the right to housing in South Africa, the right to health care in Canada, and the right to asylum in Australia. It argues that, despite its appearance in very different ideological and institutional settings, the political discourse of “queues” and especially “queue jumping” commonly invokes misleading distinctions between corruption and order, markets and bureaucracies, and governments and courts. Moreover, queue talk obscures the first-order questions on which resource allocations in housing, health care, or immigration contexts must rely. By bringing much-needed complexity to the concept of “queues,” the Article explores ways in which general principles of allocative fairness may be both open to contestation and yet supportive of basic claims of rights.

Article: Demosprudence on Trial: Ethics for Movement Lawyers, in Ferguson and Beyond

Article: Justin Hansford, Demosprudence on Trial: Ethics for Movement Lawyers, in Ferguson and Beyond, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 101 (2017).

A complex, dynamic, and creative tension endures between law and social movements. Not only can law affect and even help from social movements, but social movements can affect and even help form law. Just as jurisprudence is the study of how judges make law, demosprudence is the study and practice of how social movements can also affect change through the law.

This Article explores how movement lawyers can use demosprudence to promote social change outside of the courtroom. It uses the civil rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson as examples. By applying this framework to the movement lawyering context, movement lawyers can adapt to the void in voice created by the vanishing trial in civil litigation and still help the movement.

Note: The Misguided Appeal of a Minimally Adequate Education

Note: The Misguided Appeal of a Minimally Adequate Education, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 1458 (2017).

Series: The New Face of American Unemployment

Series: Jeanna Smialek and Patricia Laya, The New Face of American Unemployment, Bloomberg (2017).

News Article: Hard Lessons From Chicago’s Public Housing Reform

News Article: Susan J. Popkin, Hard Lessons From Chicago’s Public Housing Reform, CityLab (Feb. 7, 2017).

Article: A Foe More Than a Friend: Law and the Health of the American Urban Poor

Article: David A. Papke & Elise Papke, A Foe More Than a Friend: Law and the Health of the American Urban Poor, Fordham Urban L.J. (forthcoming 2017).

Social epidemiologists insist fundamental social conditions play a large role in the health problems of the American urban poor, but these well-intentioned scholars and practitioners do not necessarily appreciate how greatly law is intertwined with those social conditions. Law helps create and maintain the urban poor’s shabby and unhealthy physical environment, and law also facilitates behaviors among the urban poor that can result in chronic health conditions. Then, too, law shapes and configures the very poverty that consigns the urban poor to the inner city with its limited social capital and political clout. Overall, law creates and perpetuates the health problems of the urban poor more than it eliminates or ameliorates them. Social epidemiologists and others concerned with improving the urban poor’s health might therefore approach law as a foe more than a friend.

News Article: Can Miami Convince The Supreme Court That Subprime Loans Hurt Cities, Too?

News Article: Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, Can Miami Convince The Supreme Court That Subprime Loans Hurt Cities, Too?, FiveThirtyEight (Nov. 8, 2016).

News Article: We Can Make Housing More Affordable

News Article: A. Barton Hinkle, We Can Make Housing More Affordable, Reason.com (Oct. 31, 2016).

News Article: Life in a 375-square-foot apartment

News Article: Paul Duggan, Life in a 375-square-foot apartment, Washington Post (Oct. 25, 2016).