The law student confounded by the simple question, “What is justice?” now sits in an exceptional moment of reckoning. The question is not a facetious one, despite the grave irony of being asked in a country built on stolen land by stolen people, where even the most publicly adored jurist can callously dismiss an indigenous nation by wagging at “embers of sovereignty that long ago grew cold.” The question is all the more important in that grand institution called law school, which has tended socially and pedagogically to perpetuate inequities. Yet the law school curriculum appears not to answer the question, or at least not satisfactorily. This leaves the law student to either adopt narrow doctrinal assumptions about justice, or to go ask the question elsewhere. […]
Police reform or abolition? This blog post discusses the history of the police institution in the United States, several possible reforms, and then the demands of abolitionist groups, to begin to imagine a future without police.
Are there moral stakes involved when an individual plays with imitations of the tools of torture? If so, how does the existing moral discourse on torture incorporate a role for members of society? […]
As society embraces the benefits and growing ubiquity of Internet of Things devices, consumers are increasingly exposed to unanticipated privacy risks. Today’s technology can collect data in unprecedented quantities, enabling capabilities previously unimaginable outside the realm of science fiction. Particularly alarming is that this technology is entering what the Supreme Court has defended as one of the most sacred sites at the core of the Fourth Amendment—the home.
Kim Seng was wrongly decided. Originality and fixation should not be doctrinal barriers to extending copyright protection to the artistic plating of food. Copyright for plating is consistent with both Congress’s statutory framework and the special place gourmet cuisine holds in society. […]
Covid-19 is indeed a global emergency, but for millions of families, the lack of social support in the United States has been an emergency for a long time. This isn’t a new problem, only one that is newly visible in this simultaneous health care crisis for everyone. Perhaps the long-term comparative welfare of families in industrialized countries with minimally adequate social support and the few, like the United States, without it, will show the folly of ignoring this emergency for too long. […]
First, what can and can’t the government do in restricting liberties to stop the spread of COVID-19? Second, what is the respective constitutional authority of the federal and state governments in dealing with the pandemic? […]
President Trump has proven oddly reluctant to make full use of federal emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. The reasons for the delay are puzzling, given his enthusiasm for using emergency powers in other settings. Fortunately, the harm caused by his lackluster response to the coronavirus has been somewhat mitigated by the decentralized nature of the U.S. federal system for addressing epidemics. Where the federal government has faltered, state governments have stepped up to address the challenge with social distancing orders and stay-at-home orders. […]
Inherent in the idea of cultural heritage as property—or, as it was previously known, cultural property—is the idea of ownership. All property has an owner. But in the context of cultural heritage, identifying that owner is a challenge. Is cultural heritage the property of all mankind, valuable because of what it teaches us about the collective human experience? Should nation-states be the guardians of the cultural heritage that comes from within their borders? Or is cultural heritage highly localized, the product and property of the specific community and culture that produces it? International law is still struggling to answer this question. […]
Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many individuals and families throughout America recently began practicing “social distancing” measures in an effort to slow transmission of the novel virus COVID-19. Many workplaces adopted “work from home” policies, and most school, college, and university systems prioritized sending students away from campus for the remaining semester. While these efforts to support families facing COVID-19 should be applauded, they fail to address the approximately two million people confined within the criminal justice system unable to adequately practice these measures. […]