Inequality Inquiry >> Category

Racism, Social Control, and the Regulation of Bar Admissions

April 14, 2022

By Professor David Schultz* Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. famously declared: “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.” When it comes to admission to practice law, one could say that “The life of admission to practice law has not been fairness but exclusion.” From its birth, America was a racist…

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2020 Summit for Civil Rights – The State of American Apartheid

November 20, 2020

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  In “The State of American Apartheid”, scholars and on-the-ground activists discuss the history of school segregation, and, even six decades after Brown v. Board of Education declared “Separate is not equal”, how segregation exists and affects people today. This panel discusses the causes, results, and on-going impact of our society’s unwillingness to challenge racial…

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Gentrification, Displacement, and Disparate Impact Liability: How Gentrification Theory is Not Cognizable Under the Fair Housing Act

May 2, 2022

by Adam Mikell*   In the United States, the topic of housing has an ugly history comprised of decades of government-sanctioned discrimination and segregation carried out through racially-motivated practices such as “neighborhood composition” rules, racial covenants, steering, and redlining. In 1968—the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement—the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed to…

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JLI’s Statement Regarding Chauvin Verdict and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice

April 21, 2021

Gabrielle Maginn, Heather Chang, Navin Ramalingam, and the JLI Editorial Board Yesterday, twelve jurors found Derek Chauvin, a White former Minneapolis police officer, guilty on all counts—third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter—for killing George Perry Floyd, Jr., on May 25, 2020. This was an extraordinary case, bolstered by the bravery of the witnesses…

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Environmental [in]Justice: Why Executive Order 12898 Falls Short in Creating Environmental Equity for Vulnerable Communities

May 18, 2021

View/Download PDF Version Sam Brower† “[I]t’s become achingly apparent that well before Trump, those who purported to champion environmental justice—primarily Democratic legislators and presidents—did little to codify the progress and programs related to it, even when they were best positioned politically to do so.”[1] Introduction “It’s not if it breaks, it’s when it breaks.”[2] These…

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Does the Minneapolis Police Department Traffic Stop Data Reveal Racial Bias?

November 24, 2020

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.

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Who’s Benefiting from Attorney General Settlement Agreements?

June 3, 2021

Anna Berglund*   Lately, when we read about state Attorneys General (AGs) in the news, we hear about them suing battleground states to try to overturn election results[1] or suing the Trump administration 138 times—almost double the number of times the Obama and Bush administrations were sued—over various policies.[2] Although state AGs are increasingly ramping…

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Mental Health & Criminal Justice: An Interview with Kelly Mitchell and Professor JaneAnne Murray

October 11, 2021

Interview by Sarah Coleman* October 3-9, 2021 was Mental Health Awareness Week. The United States’ prison and criminal justice systems are deeply interconnected with mental healthcare and mental illness. For many individuals, a mental illness diagnosis and subsequent treatment aren’t made available to them until after they come in contact with the criminal justice system.…

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Minimum Wage and the Tipping Culture Divide

January 18, 2021

Annali Cler* On November 3rd, voters flocked to the polls, and election results gripped the nation for the following week. Although the presidential race captured headlines, another important vote occurred that day. In Florida, voters approved an amendment to the state’s minimum wage. Florida’s minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase to $15 by 2026,…

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Thomas Jefferson: Derailing the Native American Future

November 23, 2021

Jefferson sought to play both sides of the conflict. On the one hand, he had to appease the zealous settlers who were eager to take Native American land. On the other, he wanted to “cultivate the love” of Native Americans even as he sought to rob them of their property.

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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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