The Pitfalls of Food and Nutrition Block Grants

Block grants can provide states with flexibility over SNAP requirements. However, keeping SNAP as an entitlement program will better provide benefits to individuals in need. Instead of reviving politically contentious debates each time Congress discusses SNAP block grants’ budget, Congress should maintain SNAP’s current entitlement program to better to prioritize anti-hunger goals. […]

Class as Protected

The impact of slipping into poverty is all-encompassing; I mean that in the way that poverty will impact every step and crevice of your financial health, physical health, and mental health for the rest of your life. So why aren’t there more legal protections for poor Americans? As it stands, socioeconomic status is not a protected class under anti-discrimination laws. But it should be—and here’s why. […]

Sex Discrimination in Healthcare: Section 1557 and LGBTQ Rights After Bostock

HHS under the Trump administration finalized a new rule in June 2020 that officially stripped sexual orientation and gender identity from Section 1557’s safeguards. Whether the position taken by the Trump administration can stand is now the subject of several legal challenges, particularly in light of the recent Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton Co., which held that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are forms of sex discrimination for purposes of Title VII employment discrimination. The Biden administration is likely to propose its own Section 1557 rule that again protects LGBTQ people, prompting further legal challenges. The stage is set for an eventual Supreme Court review of the question of whether Section 1557, and Title IX, necessarily ban LGBTQ discrimination after Bostock. The stakes could not be higher for LGBTQ people. […]

The New Supreme Court

[…] For conservatives, what I have described is an occasion for great celebration. They have succeeded in their goal of a very conservative Court. For liberals, like me, the challenge is enormous. No longer can we imagine the Court as a possibility for progressive change. We must look to state courts and the political process for that, while fearing how the Court will strike down progressive federal, state, and local laws. We also must consider reforms of the Supreme Court—such as increasing its size—if we want an alternative to a far-right Supreme Court for a long time to come.

What We Can All Learn from Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tracing the arc of someone’s life and examining their choices, relationships, education, and career path are our usual reactions to the death of someone notable. In RBG’s case, the results of such study are almost overwhelming, but I focus in this essay on five lessons I learned from her. […]

Unjustified Punishment: The Eighth Amendment and Death Sentences in States that Fail to Execute

Individuals incarcerated in states that have enacted death penalty moratoria do not have their death sentences carried out in a timely and expeditious manner; instead, these incarcerated individuals sit on death row until they are either exonerated or die of natural causes. Individuals on death row in these states sit on death row for over two decades on average. This Article argues that capital sentencing in states that fail to execute individuals on death row, particularly in states with moratoria on the death penalty, violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and the Racially Disparate Impacts of COVID-19

This Essay will connect the persistent strategies, logics, and identities created by settler colonialism to the disparate health impacts of COVID-19 in Indigenous, Black, and immigrant of color communities in the United States. By offering a framework that uncovers the root causes of ongoing patterns of systemic oppression, this Essay hopes to inspire reform efforts that seek to alter such patterns by advancing reform efforts that are grounded in truth, justice, and reconciliation. […]

Negotiating Trauma & the Law: Maybe We Won’t “Shake It Off”

But, in 2020, lawyers cannot afford to buy the myth that trauma is an aberration in the profession of otherwise Teflon-coated lawyering machines. Negotiating trauma is perhaps as old as the profession, even though we may have never given that emotional labor nomenclature or visibility, to our detriment. […]

Masking Up: A COVID-19 Face-off between Anti-Mask Laws and Mandatory Mask Orders for Black Americans

Anti-mask laws ban the wearing of masks in public. Popularly understood to prevent Klan activity, these laws are often vague, with a history of selective enforcement. They also clash with the exhortations to wear personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which by summer of 2020 was encouraged by all states and required by many. […]

Abandoning Centrality: Multidistrict Litigation After COVID-19

Courts around the country have adapted to the reality of socially distanced litigation, allowing virtual hearings and even trials to take place over the Internet. This infrastructure will outlast COVID-19 and will minimize the burden of traveling for litigation. In the face of these changes, the JPML should accordingly limit the importance of geographic centrality when choosing a forum for multidistrict litigation.