Inequality Inquiry >> Category

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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The Law in Politics: A Conversation with Rep. Ryan Winkler

January 12, 2021

    In this interview, staff member Jon Erik Haines met with Minnesota House Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler. Mr. Winkler is the Democratic Majority Leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives and represents suburban district 46A, which contains Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Plymouth. As a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law…

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A Substantial Interest: Why the Government is Legally Justified in Prohibiting Disparaging Trademarks

July 31, 2016

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by Jessica Mikkelson and Michael Van Muelken
Imagine sitting down on a Sunday afternoon with friends and family to watch your local football team play in “the big game.” Now picture the team being cheered on by several thousand fans. It seems like an idyllic Sunday afternoon. The only problem is that this team is named after a popular slur used to identify your racial or ethnic group. This slur is broadcast over television, the Internet, and in homes all across the country. This hypothetical is a reality for Native Americans today.

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Locking the Door to the Country on the Way Out: The Trump Administration’s Final Attempt to Eliminate Protections for Asylum Seekers

January 22, 2021

Only weeks before the expiration of the Trump presidency, his Administration sought to create an alarming regulation that opponents have called “the death knell” to asylum law and protections for vulnerable migrants. Check out this post from staff member Katie McCoy, as she outlines the proposed rule and the situation that the Biden-Harris Administration inherits.

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The Case for Preserving Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Health Care Protections

December 5, 2017

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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.

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Covid-19 in Prisons: Human Rights Violations and Inmate Exploitation

January 29, 2021

Heather Chang* The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020 required unprecedent changes. While business and individuals have adapted their policies and behaviors to reflect health and safety recommendations, the prison system remains rigid and dangerous.  As of January 12, 2021, The Marshall Project reports that at least 343,008 prisoners tested positive…

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Immigration Under the Biden Administration: An Interview with Attorney Erin Schutte Wadzinski

November 15, 2021

Interview by Grace Anderson* After four years of anti-immigrant, “Build the Wall” rhetoric from the previous presidential administration, President Biden came into office with promises to revitalize our nation’s immigration system. Almost a year into the Biden administration, JLI Staff Member Grace Anderson checks in with immigration attorney Erin Schutte Wadzinski, owner of Kivu Immigration…

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Domestic violence and other gender-related issues during COVID-19 – Interview with Prof. June Carbone

April 24, 2020

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JLI’s Editor-in-Chief, Navin Ramalingam, and Executive Editor, Abby Rauls, sit down with Prof. June Carbone, family law professor and faculty advisor for the journal, for the first in a series of video interviews for Inequality Inquiry with the faculty, practitioners and other legal experts about a variety of issues affecting law and inequality during COVID-19. They discuss the gendered dynamics surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include the effect of quarantine on families and couples who are having to stay at home together, gender discrepancies in the “essential” workforce, funding of the healthcare system, and possible recourse for those who may be facing higher levels of domestic abuse and violence during these turbulent times.

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Volume 40 is Open for Submissions!

February 17, 2021

Do you have an idea for an article everyone should read? Maybe this is the time to write it! The Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality is now accepting submissions for its 2021-2022 Volume 40.

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Eviction/Housing Issues During COVID-19—Interview with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Joey Dobson

April 30, 2020

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JLI staff members Maddie Sheehy, Adam Johnson, and Peter Schuetz recently interviewed Joey Dobson (Housing Policy Attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid). The group discussed how the pandemic can exacerbate health and safety issues in housing (mold, infestations, heat, etc.), the eviction moratorium, and how housing attorneys are advocating for their clients now and will be moving forward.

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Statement on COVID-19: Addressing Inequity Within Our Law School

January 31, 2022

JLI Editorial Board Over the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deeply-rooted inequities within our law school community. Coupled with the normal pressures of law school, the pandemic has strained (and continues to strain) students’ mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. And the challenges brought by the pandemic are exponentially increased for…

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Inmate Rights and the Prison/Jail System During COVID-19—Interview with Prof. Susanna Blumenthal

May 9, 2020

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JLI staff members Abbie Hanson and Jen Davison recently interviewed Professor Susanna Blumenthal in a conversation about COVID-19’s effects on inmate rights and the prison/jail system. Professor Blumenthal co-directs the Program in Law and History at the University of Minnesota and she is an expert in criminal law. Professor Blumenthal’s research and writing focuses on the historical relationship between law and the human sciences. In this discussion, the group highlights the challenges of containing a virus in inherently constrained spaces, the damaging results on inmate rights, and how groups are working to ensure that incarcerated individuals receive adequate protection during a pandemic.

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Deadly Force: How George Floyd’s Killing Exposes Racial Inequities in Minnesota’s Felony-Murder Doctrine Among the Disenfranchised, the Powerful, and the Police

March 8, 2021

View/Download PDF Version Greg Egan[1] I. Equity in Peril: How Felony-Murder Charging Discretion and Widely Varying Punishments are Deployed Against White Defendants, Defendants of Color, and Peace Officers Minnesota’s second-degree felony-murder statute represents a unique and creative charging mechanism that affords wide discretion to prosecutors. This makes it ripe for inequitable application. It is the…

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A Healthy Start: Minnesota Is Pioneering an Alternative to Prison Nurseries, and Other States Should Follow Its Lead

March 28, 2022

by Rachel Pokrzywinski*   In May 2021, Governor Tim Walz signed Minnesota’s Healthy Start Act (HSA) into law. The first of its kind in the United States, the HSA authorizes placement of pregnant and postpartum inmates into alternative housing—such as halfway houses and residential treatment facilities—with their newborns for up to one year after birth.…

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Out of the Cell and Into the Fire: Inherently Dangerous Prison Work Assignments, the Eighth Amendment’s Guarantee of Safe Conditions of Confinement, and California’s AB-2147

April 13, 2022

by River Lord[1]   Using the labor of inmates in the United States has a long and controversial tradition. Many observers have identified how higher rates of policing and incarceration among minority communities, coupled with the widespread use of inmate labor in exchange for sub-minimum wages, create a system of labor exploitation and racial oppression…

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