Putting Olmstead to Work: Toward a Less Segregated Workplace

by Alexander Lane
At the Harold V. Birch Vocational Academy, “a Providence high school where students with intellectual disabilities participated in an in-school sheltered workshop, separated from their non-disabled peers,” Jerry D’Agostino worked to sort, assemble, and package jewelry and buttons. At the Academy, Jerry earned well below minimum wage until graduating in 2010. Thereafter, Jerry continued to perform this “benchwork” at another sheltered workshop—Goodwill Industries. Jerry felt this work was boring and lamented the amount of downtime involved. Prior to the June 2013 Interim Settlement Agreement between the Department of Justice and the State of Rhode Island and City of Providence, Jerry believed spending his days in a sheltered workshop performing rote benchwork for less than minimum wage would be a life sentence.

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Is My Family Constitution Unconstitutional?

by Allison Anna Tait
Every high-wealth family should write a constitution, at least that’s what wealth managers say. Because, “[w]ithout careful planning and stewardship, a hard earned fortune can easily be dissipated within a generation or two.” The aphorism “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” vividly captures this phenomenon and its universalism demonstrates how widespread and entrenched the problem is.


The Newclear Family: The Broadening Recognition of Non-Traditional Families and Where to Draw the Line

by Ally Nicol
In the past fifty years, American politics and public opinion have shifted regarding parentage and what constitutes a family.  In the wake of cases such as Holtzman v. Knott, Johnson v. Calvert, K.M. v. E.G., Obergefell v. Hodges, and In re M.C., the rights of same-sex and other “non-traditional” parents have been clarified and expanded.  Biology and marriage have long been the most commonly used means of establishing parental rights, and now those recognitions, particularly in the wake of Obergefell, are widely available to most couples. While this recognition has been long-awaited in the LGBT community, issues remain regarding legal parent status based solely on biology and the legal status of non-traditional families. As the law expands to recognize a more diverse spectrum of parents, new issues will arise regarding when parental status should not be granted, as opposed to how parental rights should be expanded.


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.


Proscribing Prescriptions: A Legal Analysis of State Off-Label Restrictions on Medication Abortion

by Kaiya A. Lyons
Since its decision in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy before viability and without undue burden. However, the ability of a woman to exercise that right today is as intimately connected to her economic privilege and geographic location as it was in the days preceding that landmark ruling. Under the guise of protecting women from the “harms inherent in abortion,” major conservative gains in the 2010 midterm elections resulted in hundreds of anti-abortion measures flooding a majority of state legislatures. In the aftermath of that year’s midterm elections, the bulk of state legislatures passed an unprecedented number of harsh new restrictions on when, how, and even whether women may access abortion services. Because these laws are also substantially more obstructive than their predecessors, for low-income women, the economic impact of these restrictive regulations is extremely harmful.