Current Events

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.


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 Case for Preserving Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Health Care Protections

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.


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

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.


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

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.