Inequality Inquiry >> Category

Minnesota Crisis Pregnancy Centers and The Positive Pregnancies Bill

May 9, 2023

By Lizzy Miller* Introduction In 2022, the federal constitutional right to abortion previously found in Roe v. Wade was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.[1] Crucially, Dobbs found that “the  state has an ‘important and legitimate interest’ in protecting fetuses that it does not have in preventing contraception.”[2] While abortion remains constitutionally protected…

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Breonna Taylor is Not Forgotten: Department of Justice Finds Civil Rights Violations by the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government

May 9, 2023

By Alejandrea Brown* Police violence and misconduct against Black people in America is not a new phenomenon. Studies have shown that Black people are 3.23 times more likely than White people to be killed by the police.[1] The lack of accountability concerning police misconduct and violence against the Black community is also not new trend.[2] …

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Response to MPD’s Killing of George Floyd

June 2, 2020

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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…

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The Movement Lawyer of 2020

August 11, 2020

Image of a wall with spray painted text reading "I Can't Breathe"

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).

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How We Got Here: Race, Police Use of Force, and the Road to George Floyd

April 1, 2021

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.

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Biden’s Private Prison Ban Must Include ICE Detention

March 16, 2022

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…

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Expungement: The Missing Federal Piece

May 10, 2023

While states have created their own expungement laws, nothing similar exists under federal law. In this blog post, staff member Diana Kawka explores federal expungement law and offers solutions to solve this gap.

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JLI’s Statement of Solidarity

June 2, 2020

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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.

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Avoiding Atkins: How Tennessee is on the Verge of Unconstitutionally Executing an Individual with Intellectual Disabilities

November 18, 2020

Image Courtesy of Attorneys for Pervis Payne

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.

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A Constitutional Necessity, Not a Luxury: States Must Provide Public Defender Offices With More Resources to Provide Indigent Defendants With Effective Counsel

March 30, 2022

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…

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Unhoused and Handcuffed

January 13, 2023

By Eleanor Khirallah Under the guise of addressing homelessness and mental illness in New York City, on Tuesday, November 28, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new directive that allows the involuntary hospitalization of people suspected to be mentally ill on the street or subway. The city directive authorizes peace officers and police officers to…

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Examining the Constitutionality of Targeted Residential Protest Bans

May 12, 2023

By Alexandra Schrader-Dobris Introduction: Minnesota cities are steadily banning targeted residential protests in response to several Black Lives Matter demonstrations following George Floyd’s death in 2020.[1] That summer, over one hundred Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters picketed outside Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Kroll’s house, calling for his resignation as a result of his failure…

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Turning Gaming Dollars into Non-Gaming Revenue: Hedging for the Seventh Generation

May 27, 2016

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.

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Protecting Civil Liberties: Easier Said Than Done

April 1, 2022

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…

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Pass Senate Bill 355: How Proposed Minnesota Legislation Brings the U.S. into Compliance with International Norms

May 25, 2016

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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.

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