New Article: “The Many Meanings of “Because Of” A Comment on Inclusive Communities Project”

New Article: Noah Zatz, The Many Meanings of “Because Of” A Comment on Inclusive Communities Project, Nov. 12, 2015, Stan. L. Rev. Online.

Journal Issue Celebrating Duncan Kennedy (with mild self-promotion)

Unbound: the Harvard Journal of the Legal Left has published an issue full of contributions celebrating and reflecting on the work and career of Duncan Kennedy, who recently retired.  My own mini-essay about Duncan is here.

New Article: “The 2014 Farm Bill: Farm Subsidies and Food Oppression”

New Article: Andrea Freeman, The 2014 Farm Bill: Farm Subsidies and Food Oppression, 38 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1271 (2015).  Abstract below:

The 2014 Farm Bill left intact the allocation of agricultural subsidies established by the Bill’s first incarnation in 1933. This stasis is surprising in light of evolving medical insights into nutrition and shifting national health priorities, indicating that health and nutrition are not driving the Farm Bill. Instead, it appears that large agribusiness has succeeded in capturing the majority of resources allocated to farm support. Although farm subsidies comprise only 14% of the Farm Bill, they are highly controversial because, not only do they determine which agricultural industries are likely to thrive and survive, they guide the nation’s consumption patterns. The health of farmers and individuals are therefore both at stake in each Farm Bill. Further, agribusinesses’ influence over the Farm Bill appears not only to contribute to poor health outcomes in the United States generally, but also to cause disproportionate harm to individuals marginalized by race and class. To deconstruct the racial and socioeconomic harms of subsidized commodities, it is useful to analyze farm subsidies using the lens of food oppression theory. Food oppression theory examines how facially neutral food policy and law can physically debilitate members of marginalized and subordinated groups, creating and perpetuating racial and socioeconomic health disparities. It considers how corporate influence can lead to policy that prioritizes industry over health. Additionally, it explores how racial stereotypes and myths about personal responsibility create apathy toward health disparities, making them appear natural and irremediable, rather than products of structural inequalities that law and policy have created and thus have the potential to dismantle. Employing a food oppression lens, this paper assesses whether new aspects of the 2014 Farm Bill serve to improve health outcomes, both generally and across racial and socioeconomic lines, and offers brief proposals that would represent progress toward mitigating or eliminating both the general and disparate harms of subsidized commodities.

Report: “Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Households”

Report:  Jon M. Bailey, Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Households (Center for Rural Affairs 2014).

New Article: “Health Justice: A Framework (and Call to Action) for the Elimination of Health Inequity and Social Injustice”

New Article: Emily Benfer, Health Justice: A Framework (and Call to Action) for the Elimination of Health Inequity and Social Injustice, 65 Am. U. L. Rev. __ (2015).  Abstract below:

Every aspect of society is dependent upon the health of its members. Health is essential to an individual’s well-being, quality of life, and ability to participate in society. Yet the healthcare industry, even at its optimal level of functioning, cannot improve the health of the population without addressing the underlying causes of poor health. The health of approximately 46.7 million individuals, most of whom are low-income and minority, is threatened by economic, societal, cultural, environmental, and social conditions. Poor health in any population group affects everyone, leading to higher crime rates, economic impacts, decreased residential home values, increased healthcare costs, and other devastating consequences. Despite this fact, efforts to improve health among low-income and minority communities are impeded by inequitable social structures, stereotypes, legal systems, and regulatory schemes that are not designed to take into account the social determinants of health in decision-making models and legal interpretation. As a result, a large segment of the population is continually denied the opportunity to live long, productive lives and to exercise their rights under democratic principles. Health, equity, and justice make up the keystone to a functional, thriving society. Yet these principles are unsatisfied when they do not apply equally to all members of society. In this article, I describe the social roots of poor health and how social injustice, health inequity, and poverty are inextricably linked. For example, I provide an in depth overview of the social determinants of health, including poverty, institutional discrimination and segregation, implicit bias, residential environmental hazards (leading to diseases like lead poisoning and asthma), adverse childhood experiences, and food insecurity. I discuss how the law is a determinant of health due to 1) court systems that do not evaluate individual circumstances, 2) the enactment of laws that perpetuate poor health and 3) the lack of primary prevention laws. Finally, I demonstrate how addressing these issues requires true adherence to principles of equality and making justice and freedom of opportunity accessible to everyone. I recommend the creation of “health justice,” a new jurisprudential and legislative framework for the achievement and delivery of health equity and social justice.


New Report: “How do landlords address poverty? A poverty-focused review of the stratetgies of local authorities, landlords and letting agents in England”

New Report: Anna Clarke, Sam Morris & Peter Williams, How do landlords address poverty? A poverty-focused review of the stratetgies of local authorities, landlords and letting agents in England (2015).

New Article: “Misdemeanor Criminalization”

New Article: Alexandra Natapoff, Misdemeanor Criminalization, 68 Vand. L.Rev. 155 (2015).

A Jotwell review of the article by Angela Harris can be found here.

Op-Ed: “Why ‘need-blind’ is the wrong goal for college admissions”

_DSC0224Op-Ed: Nick Anderson, Why ‘need-blind’ is the wrong goal for college admissions, Wash. Post, Oct. 12, 2015.

The Republican Party’s Strategy to Ignore Poverty – The New York Times

Op-Ed: The Republican Party’s Strategy to Ignore Poverty – The New York Times

We Mapped the Uninsured. You’ll Notice a Pattern. – The New York Times

News Coverage: We Mapped the Uninsured. You’ll Notice a Pattern. – The New York Times