2020

Formulating a Fix: Past, Present, and Future State and Federal Efforts to Rectify the Abuses of Form Contracts

The omnipresence of the form contract and its puzzling fit into the jigsaw known as ‘contract law’ requires a reevaluation of the basic principles of contract law and their application to this new contract. This Note will specifically address legislative efforts to stem the most harmful terms that form contracts contain as a practical method of alleviating oppressive terms.


Response to MPD’s Killing of George Floyd

As this week marked by the death of Mr. Floyd draws to a close, many questions have emerged. How should we address a “code of blue silence” that has not held police accountable for the city’s standards of law enforcement conduct? Is the disciplinary process for police working?


JLI’s Statement of Solidarity

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.



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

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.


Attacks on Reproductive Rights During COVID-19—Interview with Gender Justice’s Megan Peterson

JLI staff members Kristin Trapp, Anna Berglund, and Anwen Parrott recently interviewed Megan Peterson, who serves as the Executive Director of Gender Justice. Gender Justice is a nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization devoted to addressing the causes and consequences of gender inequality, both locally and nationally. In this conversation, the group discussed how some states are trying to use COVID-19 to restrict access to abortion and reproductive services, the effects of not being able to access essential health care, and how advocates can strive to safeguard reproductive rights during a pandemic.


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

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.


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

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.


The Privileged Working Conditions of Public Employees Sanctioned by Public Law: Adding One Dimension to Inequality

This Paper joins the debate about inequality and public management reform. Authors have been thinking about equality—and inequality—mostly in terms of income and wealth and less in terms of living and working conditions, e.g. the digital divide. Adding to the literature about inequality in working conditions, this Paper shows that a significant amount of value, or ‘shadow’ income, can be perceived from a person’s working conditions, and this is the case of public employees globally.


Stretched Thin: Parents Lacking Resources Who Are Accused of Negligent Child Abuse Need Solutions, Not Prisons

The purpose of punishment is not served when the criminal justice system prosecutes poor, and often undereducated, parents for the unintended deaths of their children. Punishment as retribution is excessive for an already grieving parent, and an act cannot be deterred, either specifically to the offender or generally to society, if it was unintended in the first place. Finally, incapacitating parents by way of imprisonment does not ultimately serve the social good because their imprisonment sets up their surviving children for increased risk factors. Punishing a parent who has already received the worst punishment of all—loss of a child—cannot be justified.