by Jen Davison and the JLI Editorial Team On May 25, 2020, a White Minneapolis Police Department officer killed George Floyd, a Black man in our Twin Cities community. The White police officer killed Mr. Floyd while Mr. Floyd was in police custody, and bystanders captured the scene of Mr. Floyd’s final…Continue Reading
Want to hear how two recent University of Minnesota Law grads chose to respond to the tragic killing of George Floyd? Click the link to learn more about the inspiration behind the “Breathless” podcast, created by Ian Taylor, Jr. (’19) and Haaris Pasha (’19).Continue Reading
Long before the killing of George Floyd, the United States has struggled to mitigate racially arbitrary use of force by the police. This article seeks to explain how we got to the killing of George Floyd. This article contends that that the law—especially the decisions of the Supreme Court and political choices made by politicians—has helped to enable the relatively unchecked use of force against people of color.Continue Reading
By Katie McCoy* Our incarceration-focused immigration system needlessly locks up hundreds of thousands of noncitizens each year. The number of people incarcerated in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody was 15,000 when President Biden first took office, and it now hovers near 29,000. Sixty-nine percent of those detained have no criminal history. Many ICE detention…Continue Reading
Black Lives Matter. The Journal of Law & Inequality extends its deepest sympathies to Mr. George Floyd’s loved ones and condemns the unequal legal system that continues to destroy Black American lives like Mr. Floyd’s. The Journal is deeply concerned that police brutality is disproportionately affecting Black Americans in our city and demands an independent and unbiased investigation into Mr. Floyd’s killing.Continue Reading
If the state executes an intellectually disabled individual, but no one knows of the intellectual disability, has the state violated the constitution? It is our sincerest hope that Pervis Payne and others in a similar procedural labyrinth that could lead to what everyone agrees would be an unconstitutional execution are provided an opportunity to present the merits of their claims of intellectual disability. Justice, decency, and the Constitution demand it.Continue Reading
Sharon Maher Like many same-sex couples hearing about the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur were excited to finally marry each other. But unlike most couples, Novak and MacArthur still had one more legal hurdle in the way of their union: they were legally father and son. In 2000, after…Continue Reading
By Haashir Lakhani* The phrase “you have the right to an attorney” is so ingrained in our social conscience that we perhaps do not even give it a second thought. The task of upholding this right for indigent defendants falls largely on public defenders, with some cases being assigned to other court-appointed attorneys. However, underfunded…Continue Reading
by Shane Plumer
There are four levels of diversification that tribes engage in: level one consists of amenities to gaming facilities; level two consists of tourist-reliant non-gaming businesses; level three involves on-reservation businesses that export products off the reservation; and the most sophisticated level involves acquiring off-reservation businesses in order to access more diverse markets. Historically, tribal economic development has been hindered by lack of access to capital markets, limitations placed on federal funding, federal Indian policy that requires creation of jobs on the reservation, information asymmetry and conservative investment strategies that are holdovers from how federal agencies invested tribal funds. This article provides a roadmap for cutting-edge tribal economic development that focuses on off-reservation investment by mobilizing investment banks and private equity in order to diversify tribal investment portfolios.
In “The State Of Multi-Racial America And Black Power” panel, AG Ellison began his keynote speech by acknowledging the efforts of the common people protesting in the streets every day “bringing forth justice, freedom, [and] accountability in [the criminal justice] system.” Ellison remarked that in order to ensure that Black lives matter Black Power…Continue Reading
Gabrielle Maginn* On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. The horrifying incident, in which Floyd calls out for his mother and tells Chauvin and the other officers present that he can’t breathe, was caught on camera and broadcast widely. In the days and weeks that followed, residents of…Continue Reading
by Julia Decker* It is easy to say that voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, perhaps easier still to say that protecting the right to vote is paramount. There is nuance, however, in assessing those protections. In an era of what many perceive to be increasing political polarization, ostensibly neutral yet increasingly stringent…Continue Reading
by Maria Warhol
As the 2016 presidential election approaches, the issue of voting rights in the United States is more salient than ever. While millions of people will take advantage of their right to vote in the election, nearly six million U.S. citizens are unable to vote as a result of a felony conviction. Of this disenfranchised population, only 25% are incarcerated. The remaining 75% are in the process of completing supervised release (probation or parole) or have served their sentence entirely. This concern only deepens when data reveals that disenfranchisement policy disparately impacts some communities more than others. These concerning figures impact almost every state in the United States.
What would a Civil Rights Restoration Act look like in 2020?Continue Reading
In light of the recent spike in anti-Asian violence associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Vol. 40’s Rachel Pokrzywinski (Executive Editor) and Heather Chang (Editor-in-Chief) met with University of Minnesota Law School Professor Linus Chan to discuss the origins of violence against Asian people in the United States, the role of hate crime legislation,…Continue Reading
By Brenna Evans Minnesota’s history with lynchings is a long and bloody one.  Over two dozen lynching attacks stain Minnesota’s history, but none are more infamous than the 1921 lynchings of Isaac McGhie, Elmer Jackson, and Elias Clayton in Duluth. But one part of this brutal history that is often overlooked is the…Continue Reading
by Andrew J. Glasnovich
In 2012, the United States was home to 11.7 million people who did not have legal authorization to reside in the country. Of those, approximately 8 million people were active in the work force. Unauthorized workers will likely contribute $2.6 trillion over the next decade to the U.S. economy. Those unauthorized persons are some of the most vulnerable members of society. Because of their status, some unauthorized workers fear that their choice to report employer misconduct will lead to their deportation or imprisonment. State and federal laws prohibit employers from class-based discrimination against their workers—whether these workers are authorized or unauthorized. Despite those laws, some employer misconduct is notably egregious and includes wage theft, unsafe labor conditions, race and sex discrimination, and sexual assault. However, some unauthorized workers are brave enough to risk deportation and challenge their employers’ unlawful practices.
This study analyzed Minneapolis Police Department traffic stop data from 2016 to 2020 to determine if racial bias influences MPD behavior. Results of the analysis showed that Black drivers are 10.8% percent more likely to be stopped during the day, when officers can observe the driver’s race for profiling, than when Black drivers’ race is not observable during darkness. The effect was highly statistically significant and demonstrated that Minneapolis Police Department traffic stops are racially biased.Continue Reading
Stephen Earnest* Introduction Most Americans use social media on a regular basis. Indeed, according to a recent report from the Global World Index, the average American allocates more than two hours a day to social media interaction, and that number appears to be increasing. It should then come as no surprise that law enforcement agencies…Continue Reading
By Laura Gustafson* A person’s right to choose has been under attack by state actions for some time, making headlines as the Supreme Court rules on bills restricting access to abortion. These bills can inflict great harm on people and attack the right to choose, but there is another very real threat that often goes…Continue Reading
by Kaiya A. Lyons
Since its decision in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy before viability and without undue burden. However, the ability of a woman to exercise that right today is as intimately connected to her economic privilege and geographic location as it was in the days preceding that landmark ruling. Under the guise of protecting women from the “harms inherent in abortion,” major conservative gains in the 2010 midterm elections resulted in hundreds of anti-abortion measures flooding a majority of state legislatures. In the aftermath of that year’s midterm elections, the bulk of state legislatures passed an unprecedented number of harsh new restrictions on when, how, and even whether women may access abortion services. Because these laws are also substantially more obstructive than their predecessors, for low-income women, the economic impact of these restrictive regulations is extremely harmful.
What is so important about a singular “Election Day” and why is it some Tuesday in November? To reinforce the original intent of legislators in 1845, we should make adjustments to election day to make it more convenient for voters, just as they did for farmers in the 1800’s.Continue Reading
Brenna Evans* The modern discussion of reproductive rights—especially surrounding women’s reproductive rights—often focuses on the idea of the right not to reproduce, such as the right to abortion or the right to birth control. However, one topic that seems to be left out of discussion is that of people who have had their ability to…Continue Reading
By Jocelyn Rimes* I spent the days leading up to my first day of my summer law clerk position agonizing over how I would do my hair. While still unsure, I eventually decided that I would do a twist-out, sectioning my hair in small twists and untwisting it the next day for defined curls. On…Continue Reading
by Bailey Metzger
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published the final rule implementing § 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Federal Register. The final rule addressed a wide variety of discrimination in the health care context, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. Perhaps the most notable part of the rule finds that discrimination on the basis of gender identity constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.