Inequality Inquiry

Shorter Form Content from the Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality


Are New York’s Bail and Discovery Reforms in Renewed Danger?

February 9, 2022

By Kenneth Cooper* Tracking the status of these New York procedural reforms in particular (one increasing discovery obligations and the other reducing the use of cash bail in pretrial services) can shed further insight into how other attempts at reform, perhaps more substantive in nature, may play out.

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Choice or Coercion? How the Push to Avoid Formal Foster Care Has Contributed to the Creation of a Dangerous Hidden Foster Care System

February 2, 2022

By Sydnie Peterson* Family units will often come into contact with child protective agencies when they are at their most vulnerable and in crisis. This was the case for Brian Hogan, whose first experience with local child protective agencies occurred after his wife experienced a heart attack and was sent to a hospital approximately two…

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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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How a New Ohio Law and Other State Reforms Are Changing the Landscape of Mental Health and Criminal Justice

January 24, 2022

By Bailey Martin* In 2021, Ohio became the only active death penalty state with a law that allows for resentencing of people on death row who have serious mental health conditions. While this kind of law provides an important starting point for thinking about mental health and criminal justice, courts have much further to go to protect all persons with mental health conditions from disparate impacts in the justice system.

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The Rise and Fall of Legalized Recreational Marijuana in South Dakota

January 12, 2022

by Lottie James* By the late evening of November 3, 2020, it had become abundantly clear that a majority of South Dakotans support the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana use. Two separate initiatives related to the legalization of marijuana usage were on the same ballot, and both initiatives passed with a majority affirmative…

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Preventing Bias with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct: An Interview with Professor Jon J. Lee

December 6, 2021

Interview conducted by JLI Vol. 40 Lead Online Editor Hannah Stephan Model Rule 8.4(g) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility attempts to curb harmful bias and discrimination in the legal profession, but states ultimately decide which regulations govern members the local bar. In this interview, University of Minnesota Law School Professor Jon J. Lee…

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The Sex Offender Registry is a Life Sentence for Juveniles

December 2, 2021

by Layni Sprouse* In 1990, in the wake of her 11-year-old son Jacob’s kidnapping, which grabbed the attention of the entire county, Minnesota native Patty Wetterling believed it crucial to take action to protect children against sexually violent offenders. Due to her efforts and the tragic story of her son, the first sex offender registry…

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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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Where is the U.S. Military?: An Update on the Department of Defense’s Efforts to Prevent Sexual Assault and to Protect Victims

November 17, 2021

by Thor Hawrey* Currently, a female military member is more likely to get post-traumatic stress disorder from being sexually assaulted or harassed than from actual combat. Due to this trauma, as well as the many other complex reasons associated with sexual assault, many victims feel trapped, have suicidal thoughts, and opt to leave the military. Those who desire to serve and protect us must forfeit their careers due to an inability for us to protect them. 

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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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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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Constitutional Arguments for the Legal Recognition of Bigamous Marriages

October 7, 2021

by Esther Raty* Introduction Bigamy, “the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another,”[1] is illegal in the United States.[2] If a person’s first marriage remains intact, their second marriage is not legally binding and can even lead to criminal charges.[3] Bigamy laws prohibit individuals in polygamous and…

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Children’s Online Privacy in the Age of Influencers

September 24, 2021

The children of family vloggers are often on-screen from the moment they are born—“birth vlogs” are a popular subgenre. Pregnancy is chronicled in excruciating detail, often with a focus on “gender reveals” and a highly anticipated buildup to the reveal of the child’s name.

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A Discriminatory Definition of “Mother:” The Injustice of the British Birth Registry System

September 21, 2021

Sharon Beck* Freddy McConnell, a single father in the United Kingdom, is expecting his second child in early 2022. When they are born, they will join Freddy’s family, which also includes his first child, SJ. Since giving birth to SJ in 2018, Freddy has raised him as a single father, happily and by choice. But both of his children’s birth certificates will list Freddy as their mother, not father, which Freddy has been fighting since he gave birth to SJ.

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